The wRap


Your World in 10 - January 31, 2013 Edition

Economic Boom

1. Philippine’s growth at 6.6% surpasses targets



Happy


Sad


Angry


Don't Care


Inspired


Afraid


Amused


Annoyed




The Philippines surpasses it’s own target of 5% and grew 6.6% in 2012. The country is one of Asia's best performing economies, bucking the world-wide trend of troubled economies. The National Statistical Coordination Board says the economy grew by 6.8% GDP in the 4th quarter, when consumer spending was up 6.9%. This is higher than Vietnam's 5.4% and Singapore's 1.1%, but not China's 7.8%. NSCB Secretary general Jose Albert says the growth was spurred by the services, business real estate and manufacturing sectors.

Read more on Rappler




World Economy

2. US economy shrinks for first time since 2009



Happy


Sad


Angry


Don't Care


Inspired


Afraid


Amused


Annoyed




The US economy unexpectedly shrinks in the fourth quarter of 2012, suffering its first decline since the 2007 to 2009 recession. Economists were expecting a 1.1 percent growth, but businesses scaled back on restocking and government spending plunged. The US Commerce Department says Gross domestic product fell at a 0.1 percent annual rate after growing at a 3.1 percent in the third quarter of 2012. Superstorm Sandy that battered the northeastern coast in October is seen as a key factor. Economists played down the reversal, noting strengths in consumer spending and business investment.

Read more on Rappler and Al Jazeera.




Post RH

3. Church denies it’s behind Celdran case



Happy


Sad


Angry


Don't Care


Inspired


Afraid


Amused


Annoyed




Who is behind the legal case against Carlos Celdran? The Manila Archdiocese denies it's behind the criminal case that got the reproductive health advocate convicted of "offending religious feelings" after he disrupted a service at the Manila Cathedral. Celdran held up a sign with the word "Damaso," alluding to a villainous priest in the novel “Noli Me Tangere.” In a statement Wednesday, the Archdiocese says lay Catholics passionate about the issue pursued the case. The private prosecutor in the Celdran case, Ronaldo Reyes, tells Rappler he pursued the case because he didn’t want to see Celdran’s actions repeated by others. He says, “I am a Catholic and I felt offended by what Mr. Celdran did."

Read more on Rappler.




Stars & Politics

4. “Agimat” as President for 2016?



Happy


Sad


Angry


Don't Care


Inspired


Afraid


Amused


Annoyed




Another movie star for president? Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats stalwart Danilo Suarez says the party is eyeing Sen Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr as its standard bearer in 2016. "Let's not kid ourselves, he is also a pillar in our political hierarchy and possible candidate for another position. At saka may agimat iyon. Bihira ang senador na merong agimat. (And besides, he has an amulet. A senator with an amulet is rare.) While serving as a senator, Revilla played the lead role in a series of fantasy films. In 1998, Joseph Estrada, a movie star, was elected president. It was a landslide win.

Read more on Rappler.




Military Upgrade

5. PH to buy SoKor fighter jets



Happy


Sad


Angry


Don't Care


Inspired


Afraid


Amused


Annoyed




The Philippines will buy 12 South Korean FA-50 fighter jets to strengthen the military. The move comes in the middle of increasing tensions with China over territorial claims in the South China Sea. Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda says the FA-50s will be the first fighter jets to be operated by the air force since it retired the last of its US-designed F-5 fighters in 2005. Lacierda says the jets will be used for "training, interdiction and disaster response." He says the planned purchase was "not aimed at any particular country" despite the new tensions with China.

Read more on Rappler.




Space Race

6. Is Asia the new center?



Happy


Sad


Angry


Don't Care


Inspired


Afraid


Amused


Annoyed




North Asia is the new stage for the space race, following South Korea's successful rocket launch. The United States and the Soviet Union had defined global space rivalry since the 80’s. The International Crisis Group says "The Chinese have been very active... Japan, North and South Korea. It's quite a competitive atmosphere." The race will heat up this year with China aiming to land a rover on the moon and India planning to send an unmanned probe into Mars orbit. Last July, Japan set up the country's first Cabinet-level office for space strategy. In December last year, North Korea successful launched an Earth observation satellite into orbit. South Korea's own successful rocket launch this week makes it the fifth Asian country and the 13th nation in the world to go into space.

Read more on CNN




Health

7. Vegetarians cut heart risk by 1/3



Happy


Sad


Angry


Don't Care


Inspired


Afraid


Amused


Annoyed



Going vegetarian may cut risk of heart disease by 32%. An 11-year study in England and Scotland shows vegetarians were 32% less likely to need medical treatment for heart disease. 169 people in the study died from heart disease and 1,066 needed treatment -- most of them meat and fish eaters. Results show vegetarians had lower blood pressure and lower levels of "bad" cholesterol. But the British Heart Foundation says a vegetarian diet should be planned carefully to replace lost vitamins and minerals.

Read more on BBC




Neuroscience

8. Study shows the brain edits conscious experience



Happy


Sad


Angry


Don't Care


Inspired


Afraid


Amused


Annoyed



Ever got that feeling of being able to remember something you heard even when you don't consciously remember hearing it? A new study from France shows the brain edits conscious experience retroactively. This allows a person to recall experiences even after the moment passes. This may explain why students dozing off in class may be able to recall what their teacher just said even if they weren't consciously listening. The finding suggests consciousness and perception may be a two-way street, instead of a linear progression from seeing something to consciously noticing it.

Read more on Yahoo!




Comeback?

9. RIM no more-- call it BlackBerry



Happy


Sad


Angry


Don't Care


Inspired


Afraid


Amused


Annoyed



Research in Motion rebrands itself as Blackberry. Before unveiling its two new smartphones, RIM CEO Thorsten Heins announces the company will operate under the name of its popular smartphone and mobile computing platform. Heins says the change comes at a defining moment in the company's history. Blackberry launches the Z10 and Q10 smartphones, both running on a new operating system. The Z10's slate design is reminiscent of the iPhone 5 and is completely touch-based while the Q10 retains a physical keyboard.

Read more on Rappler




Mobile Explosion

10. More users access Facebook on mobiles than on the web



Happy


Sad


Angry


Don't Care


Inspired


Afraid


Amused


Annoyed




Facebook announces a majority of the social network's over a billion active users access the site from mobile devices. Facebook's active users for December hit 1.06-B, with the number of mobile active users hitting 680 million. This is the first time that mobile active users have exceeded daily active users.

Read more on Rappler