The wRap


Your World in 10 - January 9, 2013 Edition

No honey, No money

1. Enrile admits excluding 4 Senator-critics from 'cash gifts'



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Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile confirmed that he refused to give 4 senators additional funds under the Senate’s Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses or MOOE before the Christmas break. The 4 Senators are Miriam Defensor Santiago, Alan Peter Cayetano, Pia Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes IV – either his vocal critics or members of the Senate minority. The Senate President was responding to a Philippine Daily Inquirer report that came out Wednesday which said he gave 18 senators P1.6 million each as a cash gift billed as “additional MOOE” but he approved only P250,000 each to the 4 senators mentioned. Enrile insisted that he exercised “prudence and equity” in handling Senate funds but stood by his decision not to give more money to his 4 critics.


Read more on Rappler.




Black Nazarene

2. Hundreds wounded in first 3 hours of procession



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At least 164 were wounded as hundreds of thousands of devotees converged Wednesday, January 9, for the annual Black Nazarene procession, police said. As of 10 am Wednesday, police said about 500,000 devotees have joined the procession. The procession will take the image of the Black Nazarene through several major streets in and around central Manila, ending at Quiapo Church later in the day. Organizers aim to end the procession by 730 pm. Last year, the procession lasted around 22 hours after the carriage carrying the image broke down.


Also read, Nazareno: Does it make the Pinoy a better neighbor. and The Quiapo Church rector warns against 'easy judgments' about the Black Nazarene devotion, which attracts 8-M Catholics to a rowdy annual procession.




End of term

3. Will the US pull out of Afghanistan in 2014?



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With the NATOs combat mission in Afghanistan ending in 2014 White House officials say the United States government is mulling over the possibility of pulling out its military presence in the country. According to White House House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes the Obama administration is considering several options but that a decision would boil down to whether or not they ad here to their objective of "making sure there's no safe haven for al Qaeda within Afghanistan." Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai are scheduled to meet in Washington, Friday.


Read more on CNN.




Extreme Weather

4. 2012 is hottest year ever recorded in US history



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2012 was the hottest year ever recorded in the United States. The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAAA) reports that the average temperature in the US in 2012 was 55.3 degrees Fahrenheit - which is more than 3.2 degrees more than the average temperature for the 20th century. A report the by US government also reveals that 2012 was the the second-worst in history in terms of the effects of "extreme weather events" such as hurricanes, droughts and floods.


Read more on CNN.




Not Defective

5. Sandiganbayan rejects Arroyo appeal to junk ZTE case



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The graft case against former President and now Pampanga Rep Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will proceed following a Sandiganbayan decision to deny a motion to dismiss the graft case. The court issued the resolution Monday, January. In his motion to quash former First Gentleman Jose Miguel “Mike” Arroyo called the graft case defective, saying the NBN-ZTE deal never pushed through. He also questioned the anti-graft court’s jurisdiction over the case, arguing that the contract was signed and executed in Boao, China in 2007. The Sandiganbayan dismissed Arroyo’s arguments, pointing out that the case stated that the offense was committed in February to April 2007 in Malacañang. “There is no basis to deal or argue in semantics,” the court said. “At this stage, this Court assumes jurisdiction based on what is alleged in the information.” The court also said the case is not defective even if the deal was botched.


Read more on Rappler.




Ailing leader

6. Chavez still sick, inauguration postponed



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The inauguration of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is postponed indefinitely to allow the leader to recover from complications arising from cancer survey in Cuba. Chavez was due to be sworn in on Thursday but is not able to return home due to his condition. The decision by legislators to postpone his swearing in comes amid a storm of controversy over whether his current term can be extended beyond January 10, and calls by the opposition for the Supreme Court to intervene. Chavez has been President of Venezuela since 1999 and was re-elected for his 4th term in office last October.


Read more on BBC.




Game changer

7. Low-end iPhone in the works?



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Is Apple working on a lower-end iPhone? The Wall Street Journal reports that "people briefed on the matter" say the Cupertino-based tech giant is shifting its corporate strategy and will target the growing market segment. The WSJ report says, "while Apple has explored such a device for years, the plan is progressing and a less expensive version of the its flagship device could launch later this year." Sources add the lower-end iPhone would share specs with the existing iPhone but with a less expensive body.


Read more on The Wall Street Journal.


Read more on Rappler.




CES 2013

8. CES Day 1 disappoints



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This year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas has been a let down to some due to the lack of any ground breaking announcements. Known as the one of the biggest annual tech events in the world, CES is the place to see major tech announcements but few were seen a day into the weeklong event. There were a few interesting devices however…Kingston released a 1TB USB thumb drive, no specifics on pricing yet but the device is set for commercial launch in the 1Q of 2013. Several television manufacturers also showed off new large screen, ultra HD 4K televisions. ZTE also announced a 5-inch Android phone with a 13-megapixel camera.


Read more on Tom's hardware.


Read more on Rappler.


Read more on CNET.




Alcohol Poisoning

9. Inquest reveals cause of Amy Winehouse's death



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A second inquest into the death of troubled British singer Amy Winehouse confirmed Tuesday, January 8, that she died of accidental alcohol poisoning. Winehouse had 416 milligrammes of alcohol per decilitre of blood in her system — more than 5 times the British legal driving limit of 80mg.


Coroner Shirley Radcliffe said the soul singer died from "alcohol toxicity," adding that it was "a level of alcohol commonly associated with fatality." Grammy award winner Winehouse was found dead at her north London home on July 23, 2011, following years of drug and alcohol addiction. She was 27. The UK's daily mail reports she spent her final hours alone in her bedroom drinking vodka and watching YouTube videos of herself.


Read more on Dailymail.




Armstrong

10. Lance Armstrong scheduled for Oprah tell-all



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Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong will talk about the doping scandal that dramatically brought down his cycling career during an interview with Oprah Winfrey next week. The famed talk show host said that a 90-minute special show would address "years of accusations of cheating, and charges of lying about the use of performance-enhancing drugs" throughout Armstrong's "storied cycling career."


The interview will be Armstrong's first since being stripped of his seven Tour de France titles last year and will air on the Oprah Winfrey Network next Thursday, January 17. It will also be streamed live on her website.


Read more on Rappler.