The wRap


Your World in 10 - June 21, Edition

Singapore

1. Smog tops 400-level, dangerous to ill and elderly



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Singapore's smog index hit the critical 400 level on June 21, making it potentially life-threatening to the ill and elderly people, according to a government monitoring site. The level was reached at 11 am after a rapid rise in the Pollutant Standards Index, which measures the haze crisis caused by Indonesian forest fires. Singapore has urged children, the elderly, and those with heart or lung disease to avoid outdoor activities and seek medical treatment early if they feel unwell. Parts of Malaysia close to Singapore have also been severely affected by the smog. The Indonesian forestry ministry said it plans to use cloud seeding to try and unleash rain on Sumatra.


Read the full story on Rappler




NBA

2. It's Miami!



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Back-to-back champs. The Miami Heat defeated the San Antonio Spurs, 95-88, in Game 7 to win the 2012-13 NBA championship on June 21. LeBron James continued his Game 7 brilliance, posting 37 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists and 5 three-pointers and coming up big in the clutch as Miami clawed back from a 3-2 series deficit to win the title at home. Dwyane Wade added 23 points and 10 rebounds while Shane Battier rose to deliver 6 three-pointers for 18 points to help the Heat endure a 0-point outing from Chris Bosh.


Read the full story on Rappler




Brazil

3. Protests show no sign of abating



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Some 80,000 Brazilians took to the streets again on June 20 in several cities on a new day of mass nationwide protests, demanding better public services, bemoaning massive spending to stage the World Cup, and railing against corruption. More than one million people have pledged via social media networks to march in 80 cities across Brazil, as the two-week-old protest movement – the biggest seen in the South American country in 20 years – showed no sign of abating. The protesters scored a major victory when authorities in Sao Paulo and Rio, Brazil's two biggest cities, canceled controversial transit fare hikes, but that was not enough to placate the demonstrators.


Read the full story on Rappler




Conservation

4. Goodbye, ivory tusks



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The Philippines was to destroy 5 tons of elephant tusks on June 21, in a high-profile event aimed at shedding its image as one of the world's worst hot spots for illegal African ivory trading. The country becomes the first in Asia to destroy its multi-million-dollar stockpile. The Philippines was named by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species as one of 8 nations that was failing to do enough to tackle the illegal trade in elephant ivory. The tusks come from a total of 13.1 tons seized at Manila's port and international airport after being smuggled in from Africa in 2005 and 2009. The rest of the ivory, worth many millions of dollars on the black market, was stolen over the years.


Read the full story on Rappler




Human trafficking

5. Courts weaken PH campaign vs human trafficking



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The Philippines has barely improved in fighting sex slavery, forced labor, and other forms of human trafficking mostly due to its weak justice system, the United States said on June 20. Because of this, for the second straight year, the Philippines failed to get a higher anti-trafficking rating from the US, retaining its Tier 2 rating. This means government efforts have not been sufficient to address the problem.


Read the full story on Rappler




India

6. 1,000 feared dead in monsoon



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Thousands of Indian soldiers battled on June 20 to reach villages and towns cut off by flash floods and landslides in the country's north as officials warned at least 1,000 people may have been killed. Helicopters and close to 10,000 soldiers have been deployed to reach tourists and pilgrims stranded after floods caused by torrential monsoon rains hit the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand at the weekend. Houses, buildings and vehicles have collapsed or been swept away by flooding rivers and landslides, while bridges and narrow roads have also been destroyed, leaving some 65,000 people stranded mainly at remote pilgrimage sites.


Read the full story on Rappler




Golan Heights

7. Aquino threatens to withdraw troops



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President Benigno Aquino III has threatened to withdraw Philippine troops from the UN peacekeeping force on the Golan Heights unless they receive anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons, and are protected against chemical arms. Aquino said the UN Disengagement Observer Force, now made up of just over 500 Filipino and Indian troops, needed revised rules of engagement as Syria's civil war heats up. Manila pledged to keep its troops in the volatile strip of land between Syria and Israel until at least August 3, but said their continued presence would depend on the UN beefing up security. At least 25 Filipino soldiers were kidnapped by Syrian rebels in two separate incidents this year.


Read the full story on Rappler




Technology

8. Samsung Premiere 2013 brings new devices



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At the Samsung Premiere 2013 event held in London on June 21 (Manila time), Samsung released information on a number of gadgets, which Rappler covered in its liveblog. Samsung announced the Ativ Q Windows 8/Android convertible PC and tablet. Rappler also got some hands-on time with the Samsung Galaxy NX, a new flagship compact system camera.


Read the liveblog on Rappler.

Read about the Samsung Ativ Q on Rappler.

Check out Rappler's Samsung Galaxy NX hands-on review.




Science

9. China astronaut teaches lesson from space



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A Chinese astronaut orbiting more than 300 kilometers above the Earth's surface delivered a video class to children across the country on June 20, state television showed in a live broadcast. Wearing a blue space suit, Wang Yaping, the second Chinese woman in space, demonstrated how a variety of objects – from a bubble of water to a spinning toy – behave in zero gravity. Wang's class – delivered from China's orbiting space module Tiangong-1 – was shown in classrooms across China, state broadcaster CCTV said. Using a live video link, Wang fired questions at students who gathered at a school in Beijing to watch the lesson on a giant screen. More than 60 million students and teachers were expected to watch the class.


Read the full story on Rappler.




Social Media

10. Facebook gets photo comments, Instagram gets videos



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Facebook released two new features on its products to better compete with other social networks and their feature sets. Facebook rolled out photo commenting on Facebook posts, allowing users to reply to posts and other comments by adding pictures onto a comment instead of linking to a picture on a different service. Facebook-owned Instagram also got an upgrade, with the service now allowing for videos to be put on Instagram accounts. Unlike the 6-second video limit on Vine, its closest competitor, Video on Instagram will allow up to 15 seconds of video in a single upload to the service. Users can also apply filters, edit frames, and digitally stabilize videos you take.


Read about Facebook photo commenting on Rappler.

Read about Video on Instagram on Rappler.