The wRap


Your World in 10 - June 22, 2012 Edition

Territorial dispute

1. New Chinese 'city' in South China Sea



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China has strengthened its claim over South China Sea islands by broadening the scope and powers of the government unit covering disputed territories such as Scarborough Shoal and the Spratlys. On June 21, China established Sansha, a prefectural-level city that administers the 3 disputed island groups of Nansha (Spratly Islands), Xisha (Paracel Islands), and Zhongsha (Macclesfield Bank). The new city also covers the groups' surrounding waters. The Philippines claims portions of the Spratly Islands while Macclesfield Bank includes Scarborough Shoal, the site of a 2-month standoff between the Philippines and China.

Read the full story on Rappler




Financial crisis

2. Slashed credit ratings for top 15 banks



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Moody's downgraded the credit ratings of 15 of the world's largest financial institutions, putting to question their financial health. Some of the biggest names in banking, including Goldman Sachs, Barclays, Citigroup, HSBC and Deutsche Bank, saw their ratings slashed, spelling increased scrutiny from markets and potentially higher borrowing costs. Moody's explained that the banks' actions inherently risked massive losses and that they were exposed to the roiling financial crisis and to each other. Credit Suisse faced the largest downgrade, with its rating slashed three levels from Aa1 to A1.

Read the full story on Rappler






Bali bombmaker

3. Umar Patek gets 20 years



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An Indonesian court sentenced bombmaker Umar Patek to 20 years' jail on Thursday, June 21, for his role in the 2002 Bali bombings. The 45-year-old Patek was found guilty of 6 charges, a number of which related to the twin suicide bombings on a Bali nightclub and bar that killed 202 people, including 88 Australians. The verdict brought to an end a 10-year probe into the nation's deadliest act of terror.

Read the full story on Rappler





Rio+20 Summit

4. Greed behind green economy?



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UN chief Ban Ki-moon defended the first summit on sustainable development in a decade as "the beginning of a journey," but greens and indigenous groups believe otherwise. The gathering came under fire from the leftist presidents of Bolivia and Ecuador, along with indigenous peoples, who described the green economy as "a new colonialism" that rich nations sought to impose on developing countries. NGO leaders also said the conference was "nothing short of disastrous," as governments came offering no money or commitments to action.

Read the full story on Rappler

Read the NGO leaders' statement in the Guardian






Taliban attack

5. 16 killed in hotel attack



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Taliban insurgents launched a suicide attack on a wedding party at a hotel in a popular Kabul beauty spot, NATO and police said Friday, June 22, killing at 16 people. Those killed in the 12-hour attack on the Spozhmai hotel on Qargha lake, a beauty spot popular with picnickers, included 12 civilians, 3 hotel guards and a police officer, Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said. A number of hostages earlier taken by Taliban militants have been freed. Four or 5 attackers were involved in the assault on the hotel by Qargha lake. The target of the attack appeared to be Afghan police and civilians.

Read the full story on Rappler







Viral

6. Donations for bullied US grandma



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Video of a US grandmother being bullied by a busload of school kids went viral on Thursday, tugging at the heart strings of sympathetic strangers who donated more than US$330,000 to send her on a trip to recover from the ordeal. The 10-minute video of school bus monitor Karen Klein being harassed by 12- and 13-year-olds went viral shortly after it appeared on YouTube and Facebook late Tuesday. With a goal of sending Klein on a vacation to recuperate from the trauma, the website indiegogo.com launched an online fundraising drive and quickly surpassed its goal of raising $5,000.

Read the full story on Rappler





Technology

7. Jitters over Twitter bug



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Twitter said a "cascading bug" caused outages June 21 affecting millions of users of the wildly popular site, and dismissed claims of a hacker attack. The outage led to a barrage of complaints and comments, some serious and other ironic, which the company said underscored "how critical Twitter has become." The on-again-off-again service led to a range of speculation and one claim of a denial of service attack, but Twitter said this was unfounded.

Read the full story on Rappler




New media

8. Beyond Facebook and Twitter



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Journalists from across Asia and the Pacific gather at the Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea for East-West Center's 2012 International Media Conference. This year's theme is "Networked News: How New Media Is Shaping Stories in Asia and the Pacific." The forum brings together online and media organizations from all over the world where they are expected to share the lessons they have learned in the new media landscape. South Korea is where the trailblazing OhMyNews.com, a citizen journalism portal, began in 2001.

Read more about the conference on Rappler





Entertainment

9. Jessica Sanchez to join 'Glee'



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American Idol runner-up Jessica Sanchez will join the cast of "Glee" for a number of episodes, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Sanchez will appear in the series' upcoming 4th season. No other details about her character have been released by Fox. Rolling Stone said Sanchez "will most likely start following Idol's summer concert tour," which includes a stop in Manila on September 21 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Read the full story on Rappler





Sports

10. LeBron leads Miami to NBA championship



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Miami Heat takes down Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 5 of their best of 7 Finals series, 121-106, to win the 2012 NBA Championship Friday, June 22. LeBron James put on a dominating performance scoring 26 points, dishing out 13 assists and hauling down 11 rebounds. He is the first player since Magic Johnson to record a triple-double twice in a Finals series. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra is the first ever Filipino-American head coach to win an NBA title.

Read the full story on Rappler