The wRap


Your World in 10 - July 29, 2013 Edition

Revamp

1. Palace eyes Kim Henares for Customs



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Rappler learned that Internal revenue chief Kim Henares – known for her aggressive campaign against tax evaders – is being eyed to replace Rozzano Rufino Biazon as commissioner of the corruption-plagued Bureau of Customs (BOC). According to at least two senior advisers of President Benigno Aquino III, Henares is being considered for the top Customs post to institute reforms in the bureau and increase its revenue. The move comes after the President hit the BOC for corruption and ineptness in his 4th State of the Nation Address (SONA). Replacing the BOC commissioner is one of the many reforms the government is planning for the revenue-generating agency. The aim is to make the reforms sustainable, a senior government official told Rappler.

Read the full story on Rappler.




Deadly blast

2. 8 killed in Cagayan de Oro



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Two more victims in the blast that rocked a restaurant in Cagayan de Oro City on Friday, July 26, have died, raising the death toll to 8. Reynaldo Dalupan, an executive of UAP Pharmaceuticals (a United Laboratories subsidiary), died in a hospital in Cagayan de Oro Sunday evening, July 28. Another victim, Dr Marciano Agustin, died early morning of July 29. The explosion occurred between Candy's Café and Kyla's Bistro at the Rosario Arcade, a strip of al fresco restaurants at the Limketkai Center. Most of the victims were doctors and pharmaceutical salesmen who had just attended a national convention of lung-disease specialists at the nearby the Grand Caprice hotel. Police have yet to determine who was behind the blast.

Read the full story on Rappler.




Abe's visit

3. Image building for Japan



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In a visit seen as an image-building move against an aggressive Beijing, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on July 27 vowed to boost the Philippines’ maritime security and extend other forms of aid. Abe met with Philippine President Benigno Aquino III and pledged 4 forms of assistance to the Philippines that included improving the capabilities of the Philippine Coast Guard. The commitment was made within the context of Japan's and the Philippines' current territorial dispute with China over the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea). Will this scare Beijing? Some analysts doubt it.

Read the full story on Rappler




Middle East peace

4. Israel, Palestine resume stalled talks



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High-level envoys from the Israeli and Palestinian leaders will meet in Washington on July 29 to restart stalled Middle East peace talks, according to the State Department. The announcement came shortly after Israel announced plans to release more than a 100 Palestinian prisoners, and represents the first direct dialogue since the peace process fell apart in September 2010. "Initial meetings are planned for the evening of Monday July 29 and Tuesday July 30, 2013," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said. Israel will be represented by Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and negotiator Yitzhak Molcho, and the Palestinians will be represented by chief negotiator Saeb Erakat and by senior official Mohammad Shtayyeh.

Read the full story on Rappler




World Youth Day

5. Pope tells youth: Go, the Church needs you



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Pope Francis on July 28 challenged the youth to spread the Catholic faith even to the “most indifferent,” as he emphasized his call for a missionary Church that goes out to humanity’s “outskirts.” In the concluding Mass for World Youth Day, Francis said the 3 million delegates who trooped to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil should share with others “the wonderful experience of meeting Jesus.” The Pope said the experience “must not remain locked up in your life or in the small group of your parish, your movement, or your community.” By making this challenge, Francis involved the youth in a key theme of his papacy: promoting a missionary Church that goes out “to the ‘outskirts’ where there is suffering, bloodshed, blindness that longs for sight, and prisoners in thrall to many evil masters.”

Read the full story on Rappler




Europe tragedy

6. 36 die in bus accident



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Barely a week after a train crash in Spain that killed 80, at least 36 people were killed and 11 more were injured after a bus carrying pilgrims plunged off a motorway flyover in southern Italy, rescue services said on July 29. They had been thrown from the vehicle as it plunged 30 meters down a slope. Photographers at the scene described how fire crews raced to find any remaining survivors, as the victims were laid out under white sheets along the roadside. The passengers had been returning to Naples following a pilgrimage to Pietrelcina, the birthplace of Saint Pio, an Italian priest canonized in 2002 who is highly venerated in southern Italy. On July 24, at least 80 people died in a train crash in Spain.

Read the full story on Rappler




Advertising

7. Ad giants Publicis and Omnicom merge



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French advertising group Publicis and its US rival Omnicom will merge, bringing together the third and second largest firms in the sector to form the world's advertising leader, the two companies announced on July 28. The new company, dubbed the Publicis Omnicom Group, whose capital will be split 50-50 between the shareholders of the two firms, will be co-directed by the current bosses, Maurice Levy of Publicis and John Wren of Omnicom, a joint statement said. The merger, which has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies, will bring together more than 130,000 employees. It will also bring together such iconic ad agency brands as Saatchi & Saatchi, Leo Burnett, Razorfish, Ketchum, and ZenithOptimedia. The new group will have a combined market capitalization of about US$35.1 billion.

Read the full story on Rappler




Sports and politics

8. Manny Pacquiao for President? Why not?



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Oh boy. Philippine boxing great Manny Pacquiao is harboring thoughts of running for president when he finally hangs up his gloves, he revealed to Agence France-Presse in an exclusive interview. Giving his strongest hint yet that he will push to the top of the political tree when he finally retires from the ring, the "Pacman" admitted he had considered the presidency.
When pressed on whether he had thought about shooting for the top job, the softly-spoken 34-year-old replied "Yes."

Read the full story on Rappler




Music

9. From one liners, a Filipino song is born



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The Kayanihan Project launched earlier this year asked Filipinos to share one-liners about how life in the Philippines has improved. After sifting through some 900 entries, the first song created by the Filipino nation was born. Maestro Ryan Cayabyab's OPM hit "Kay Ganda ng Ating Musika" was remixed to fit contemporary times and revamped with lyrics written by Pinoys. With Mr C, Regine Velasquez, Itchyworms and Gloc 9 at the helm of the project, the result is a mix of upbeat pop and rap, with the familiar tune of the classic hit. A music video featuring faces of hopeful participants is set for release in August. The project aims to unite the country with one goal: to create music and art that awaken and liven the Filipino spirit.

Read the full story on Rappler




Internet

10. Panda lovers, read this!



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Panda lovers around the world will be able to watch live 24-hour Internet broadcasts of the iconic Chinese animals from next month, state media reported on July 28. The "Giant panda channel" will start broadcasts from August of pandas in Sichuan province, the official Xinhua news agency reported, citing an announcement by the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. A total of 28 high definition video cameras will capture the activities of the pandas living at the base. People accessing the site at ipanda.com will be able to choose from six different categories, including "garden for adult pandas," "kindergarten" and "mother and child," the report stated.

Read the full story on Rappler.