The wRap


Your World in 10 - July 18, 2013 Edition

PROTEST AGAINST CHINA

1. July 24: Worldwide Pinoy protest vs China



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Filipinos around the world will stage protests in front of Chinese embassies on Wednesday next week, July 24, to support the government's position against China's "aggression" in the West Philippine Sea. They will hold a protest rally in front of the Chinese Consulate in Makati from 12 noon to 2 pm on July 24. Similar protests will be staged in various states in the US, Canada, Australia, and Europe. Local celebrities and bands have joined the fight. At least 25 artists, including Billy Crawford and Anne Curtis, are also recording a song to inspire the coalition.

Read the full story on Rappler.




MANDELA AT 95

2. Improving Mandela to mark 95th birthday in hospital



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Former South African president Nelson Mandela will spend his 95th birthday in the hospital Thursday, July 18, but was said to be making "remarkable" progress. As admirers around the world prepared to honor his legacy through a tidal wave of charitable acts, Mandela's youngest daughter said her father was now able to communicate and watch television. After 6 often fraught weeks in hospital for South Africa's national icon, that was welcome news to South Africans planning to mark his 95 years. Children in schools around the country will kick off the day by singing "Happy Birthday" to the former statesman, who also marks 15 years since he married his third wife Graca Machel. Meanwhile biker gangs will clean streets, volunteers will paint schools and politicians will spend 67 minutes on worthy projects — to mark Mandela's 67 years of public service.

Read the full story on Rappler.




WORLD YOUTH DAY

3. Pope Francis shuns popemobile



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No bullet-proof popemobile in Brazil. The Vatican said on Wednesday, July 17, that Pope Francis will instead travel in an open-top jeep during his 7-day visit to Brazil that starts on July 22. “We are going to Brazil with confidence in the authorities' ability to manage the situation," Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said during a briefing on the Pope’s first foreign trip since being chosen last March. The visit coincides with World Youth Day which will be celebrated in Rio de Janeiro and will be attended by more than a million young people from 170 countries. Brazil has been witness to demonstrations prompted by the cost of public transport, 2014 World Cup spending, and corruption. “This is the Pope’s choice, in continuity with what he is doing here,” Lombardi said, adding that he prefers to have contact with the crowd.

Read the full story on Rappler.




INDIA FOOD POISONING

4. Violent protests in India over food meal deaths



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Violent protests erupted in the Indian state of Bihar after 22 children died and dozens more fell ill from eating a free school lunch believed to be contaminated with a chemical used in pesticides. Four police vehicles were set on fire during the protests by parents and hundreds of villagers, the BBC reported. The school’s cook was reported as saying she thought a new type of cooking oil was what caused the poisoning. The Mid-Day Meal Scheme offers children free food but suffers from poor hygiene. The children brought to the hospital showed symptoms of organo-phosphorous poisoning. “Organo-phosphorus is a compound also used as a pesticide for crops. It is very dangerous. Even a small quantity of it would prove fatal for small children,” a doctor at the district hospital said.

Read the full story on the BBC.




TALIBAN

5. Why Malala was attacked



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Adnan Rasheed, a senior Pakistani Taliban leader, said in a letter reportedly addressed to 16-year-old Malala Yousafzal, that she was attacked because of her criticism of them and because her writings were provocative. Then 15, Malala was shot in the head as she rode home on a school bus in October 2012. Dated Monday and released to CNN by a Pakistan intelligence source, the letter was given just days after Malala spoke before the United Nations. “The Taliban believe you were intentionally writing against them and running a smear campaign to malign their effort to establish an Islamic system in (the) Swat Valley, and your writings were provocative,” the letter said. “You have said in your speech…that the pen is mightier than the sword. So they attacked you for your sword not your books or school.” The authenticity of the letter could not be independently verified.

Read the full story on CNN.

More details are on the BBC.




LEGITIMATE DEAL?

6. North Korea says seized Cuba arms part of legitimate deal



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North Korea said Wednesday, July 17, that Cuban arms seized from a Pyongyang-flagged ship near the Panama Canal were part of a legitimate deal, amid concerns UN sanctions may have been violated. Havana said the arms, discovered on the ship among tons of sugar, were "obsolete" Soviet-era missiles and parts, which were being sent to North Korea for repair — an account backed up by its allies in Pyongyang. But Panama on Wednesday officially requested UN inspectors scrutinize the cargo, which UN diplomats said could constitute a breach of the strict arms sanctions imposed on North Korea over its nuclear program. A spokesman for UN chief Ban Ki-moon said in a statement the secretary general "commends the action taken by Panama in full conformity with its obligations under the relevant Security Council resolutions."

Read the full story on Rappler.




PNOY AND THE SONA

7. No rallies near Batasan during SONA – QC gov't



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The Quezon City government has denied a progressive group's application for a permit to hold a rally near the Batasan complex when President Benigno Aquino III delivers his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, July 22. Instead of allowing the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) to gather in front of Sandiganbayan along Commonwealth Avenue, as the group requested, the QC government offered it a park near city hall about 9 kilometers away. In a written notice received by Bayan counsels, the Quezon City government reportedly expressed concern that the rally will create traffic jam along the roads to Batasan. According to Article 3 Section 4 of the Constitution, the government can only regulate freedom of speech and deny rally permits if a clear and present danger is posed to the public.

Read the full story on Rappler.




THE BOMBER COVER

8. Rolling Stone defends Boston bombing suspect cover



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Rolling Stone magazine's newest cover boy, Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, has sparked outrage in social media, prompting the magazine to defend its latest cover story. The Rolling Stone article, titled "The Bomber" on the front page, was described by the magazine as a "deeply reported account of the life and times" of Tsarnaev. The 12-page story is based on interviews with dozens of sources that "deliver a riveting and heartbreaking account of how a charming kid with a bright future became a monster," it said. While members of social media have taken the move as a glamorization of terrorism, Rolling Stone asserts that the article "falls within the traditions of journalism and Rolling Stone's long-standing commitment to serious and thoughtful coverage of the world's most important political and cultural issues of the day."

Read the full story on Rappler.

Read Rolling Stone's Reply to critics on Rappler.




ENTERTAINMENT

9. Robert Downey Jr is Forbes’ highest-paid actor



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Robert Downey Jr topped Forbes’ list of Hollywood’s highest paid actors for this year. He earned an estimated US75 million from June 2012 to June 2013. He starred in “The Avengers” and “Iron Man 3,” two adaptations from Marvel Comics that collected more than a billion dollars. Next to Downey was Channing Tatum with $60 million, followed by Hugh Jackman with his estimated earnings of $55 million. Tom Cruise, who was last year’s richest, dropped to 8th place with his $35 million.

Read the full story on Rappler.




DOWN'S SYNDROME

10. Chromosome for Down's is switched off in lab



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Gene scientists on Wednesday, July 17, said that in lab-dish cells, they had found a way to switch off the rogue chromosome that causes Down's syndrome. The breakthrough opens up the tantalizing goal of therapy for Down's, though years of work lie ahead before this aim is reached — if it does happen to be attainable. Down's Syndrome, formally known as trisomy 21, is the world's leading genetically caused mental disease and is caused by an additional chromosome 21, impacting brain development and body functions.

Read the full story on Rappler.

Image of a young girl from Shutterstock