The wRap


Your World in 10 - July 4, 2013 Edition

SERENDRA VICTIM DIES

1. Serendra unit 501 occupant dies



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He came here to attend a wedding and rented Unit 501 of Two Serendra, owned by a friend. Five weeks after the blast that damaged the unit, Angelito San Juan died Thursday at 12:20 am in St. Luke's, Taguig. San Juan was 63, married with two children. Based in the United States, he was one of the 4 injured in the May 31 blast at Serendra that killed 3 other men, all outsourced employees of Abenson. It's been days of blood transfusion and intensive care for San Juan, according to his lawyer Raymund Fortun. While the specific cause of his death was not immediately known, it "may be due to multiple complications." San Juan, whose body got burned during the blast, had to undergo daily dialysis because of weak kidneys. His doctors could not remove the poison that his body sustained from the explosion, Fortun said.

Read the full story on Rappler.




EGYPT WATCH

2. Morsi ousted in coup



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President Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first freely elected president, was ousted in a military coup by army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Wednesday, July 3. The head of the Supreme Constitutional Court caretaker was appointed caretaker leader. Also the defense minister in Morsi’s government, Sisi said a panel would be created to look into constitutional amendments and a law passed to regulate parliamentary elections. Early presidential elections will likewise be held. Morsi denounced the move as “illegal” and urged Egyptians to “peacefully resist the coup as he himself will do.”

Read the full story on Rappler.
More information is available from the Huffington Post.
Additional details are available on CNN.




NELSON MANDELA

3. Mandela’s health ‘perilous’?



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Leaked court documents showed that South Africa’s anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela is in a “perilous” condition on life support. The papers were submitted by Mandela’s relatives on June 28 as part of legal efforts to retrieve the remains of 3 of his children. Quoting from the court documents, the South African
Mail & Guardian weekly paper said, “Nelson Mandela’s health is perilous. (An) affidavit will be provided from physicians that he is assisted in breathing by a life support machine.” Mandela’s relatives said they wanted to bury him in the same place where his descendants’ remains lie. The remains of his 3 children earlier moved by his oldest grandson had been ordered to be immediately returned to Mandela’s childhood village of Qunu. The presidency had described his condition as “critical but stable” but without much detail.

Read the full story on Rappler.
A related story on Mandela’s grandson asked to return the remains of Mandela’s children is also on Rappler.




AL-JAZEERA DOWN

4. Al-Jazeera shut down after Morsi ouster



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News website Al Jazeera released a statement on July 4, saying on a blogpost that its live Egypt service, Al Jazeera Misr, was taken off the air, along with several other TV channels. The raid and shutdown happened after the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi, and occurred during a live broadcast, "when security forces stormed the building and arrested the presenter, guests and producers." Reuters added that Al-Jazeera staff broadcasting a pro-Morsi rally were prevented from broadcasting, and the crew detained.

Read the full story on Rappler.




PH GROWTH TARGETS

5. PH keeps 2013, 2014 growth targets



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One of the world's fastest growing economies is keeping its growth targets at 6% to 7% this 2013 and 6.5% to 7.5% in 2014, opting to be more conservative as global uncertainties linger. These are lower than the stellar 7.8% the Philippines has achieved in the first quarter, even faster than China's 7.7%. “There are no changes in the macroeconomic targets. We decided to stay conservative,” said Budget Secretary Florencio Abad after the July 3 meeting of the interagency Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) that he chairs. Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said the move is considered "wise" given external factors. He also said the favorable domestic developments may boost the Philippines chances of exceeding the growth targets.

Read the full story on Rappler.




INDIA FOOD WELFARE

6. India govt approves massive food scheme for poor



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India's government Wednesday, July 3, approved a vast food welfare program targeting the nation's poor as it sought to increase its popularity before national elections next year. "The cabinet has unanimously approved the food security ordinance," food minister K.V. Thomas told reporters, adding that the measure would be sent to India's president later Wednesdayfor approval. President Pranab Mukherjee was due to pass the long-delayed National Food Security Bill as an ordinance, meaning it would come into law immediately but must eventually be approved by parliament. The multi-billion-dollar populist food welfare program will be the largest in the world, offering subsidized grains to nearly 70% of the population, or more than 800 million people.

Read the full story on Rappler.




HEALTH

7. Bone marrow transplant seems to clear HIV virus



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Because of bone marrow transplants that seemed to clear the HIV virus from their bodies, two patients have been taken off their HIV drugs, the BBC reported. The findings were reported at the International Aids Society Conference by a team of doctors from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in the US. The two men had HIV for about 3 decades and developed a cancer which required a bone-marrow transplant. Following the transplant, no HIV virus was detected in the blood for two years in one patient, and 4 in the other. Doctors have cautioned however that it is too early to talk about a cure as the virus could return any time.

Read the full story on the BBC.

Image of bone marrow transplant from Shutterstock




NATION

8. Binay vs e-violence, Miriam for net freedom



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Recognizing the web’s double-edged power, senators Nancy Binay and Miriam Defensor-Santiago filed separate bills on Internet policy. Binay filed the Electronic Violence Against Women (E-VAW) bill, while Santiago re-filed her proposed Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom. In a statement on Wednesday, July 3, Binay said her bill aims to regulate “the exploitative and irresponsible use of social media that has become a mode of disseminating scandals involving both television personalities and private individuals.” While Binay focused on online violence, Santiago’s bill aims to establish a framework for information and communication technology (ICT) in the Philippines. In a statementWednesday, Santiago said, "While it is important to crackdown on criminal activities on the internet, protecting constitutional rights like free expression, privacy, and due process should hold a higher place in crafting laws."

Read the full story on Rappler.



ENVIRONMENT

9. UN: Past decade was hottest, marked by extremes



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The first decade of the 21
st century was the hottest on record, the United Nations World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said in a report. At the same time, the period was marked by climate and weather extremes that killed more than 370,000. WMO said the period was the warmest, the second-wettest since 1901, and had the most tropical cyclones since 1855. The acceleration in global warming, according to WMO head Michel Jarraud, has been caused by the rising concentrations of greenhouse gases.

Read the full story on Rappler.
A related story is on the BBC.




WELLNESS

10. How exercise can calm anxiety



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Researchers at Princeton University have found that exercise creates new brain cells then shuts them down when they shouldn’t be active. Physical exercise, they found, based on studies in animals, creates a lot of “excitable neurons” in a portion of the brain involved in thinking and emotional responses, the hippocampus. At the same time, exercise has also been found to reduce anxiety in both people and animals, the New York Times said. Quoting the director of the Gould Lab at Princeton, the Times said that “the hippocampi of active people might be less susceptible to certain undesirable aspects of stress than those of sedentary people.”

Read the full story in the New York Times.
Image of people exercising from Shutterstock