The wRap


Your World in 10 - May 13, 2013 Edition

#PHVote

1. Tight races in 49 provinces



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In an attempt to gain control of key provinces, the ruling Liberal Party (LP) may be waging one-on-one battles in more areas than necessary in the country’s midterm elections on Monday, May 13. If the strategy is meant to establish an early advantage for the 2016 presidential elections – as political observers widely believe the LP is doing – President Benigno Aquino III’s party might just accomplish the opposite. One-on-one’s make for more intense, costlier, and more violent campaigns. They make local candidates focus their efforts and resources on their own battles, and not look after the interests of their national parties.

Read the full story on Rappler




#PHVote

2. Voting delay, PCOS problems



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Problems hit Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines in polling precincts where candidates and public officials – including Vice President Jejomar Binay - cast their respective votes. Binay's ballot was not accepted by the PCOS machine in San Antonio High School, Makati, when he first inserted it. He succeeded in his second try. In Pangasinan, former President Fidel Ramos had to wait for an hour before he could has his vote because the PCOS machine malfunctioned.

Read the full story on Rappler




Regional tension

3. Taiwan to PH: Respond or else



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Taiwan's discussion on the possibility of imposing sanctions against the Philippines has ended, and the result is an ultimatum. Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou issued a 72-hour ultimatum on May 11, demanding that the Philippines respond to Taiwan's requests over the death of a Taiwanese fisherman or face a hiring freeze for Filipino workers seeking employment in Taiwan. The Philippine Coast Guard admitted that they fired at a Taiwanese fishing vessel May 9. Taiwanese authorities said 65-year-old fisherman Hung Shih-cheng was killed in the incident, which also left the boat riddled with more than 50 bullet holes.

Read the full story on Rappler




Crime

4. 19 hurt in Mother's Day parade



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Nineteen people were hurt in a shooting at a Mother's Day parade in New Orleans on Monday, May 13 (Manila time), police said as the US city's mayor vowed to find those responsible. Those wounded by gunfire in the early afternoon incident included 17 adults and two 10-year-olds. The children -- a boy and a girl -- suffered graze wounds and were in good condition while a man and a woman were still in surgery late Sunday.

Read the full story on Rappler




Syria

5. 4 Filipino peacekeepers released



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The Filipino peacekeepers abducted in the Golan Heights earlier this week were released May 12. They are now in the custody of the Philippine batallion led by Lt Col Nollie Anquillano. The Department of Foreign Affairs emphasized the impartiality of the UN forces tasked to monitor the Disengagement of Forces Agreement, and reiterated its call for all parties to "respect the freedom of movement and safety and security of peacekeepers."

Read the full story on Rappler




Business

6. After sin tax, alcohol sales drop



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Ginebra San Miguel Inc, the beverage arm of diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp, experienced a 30% drop in volume sales after the government implemented a higher excise tax on alcohol products. “Our beer and hard liquor business, we were greatly affected by the recent tax increase,” said COO Ramon Ang. The tax reform law took effect last January. In 2012, Ginebra, which is a subsidiary of San Miguel Brewery Inc, saw a drop in domestic volume of 5% from a year ago. The company sold 19% more volume for its flagship brand Ginebra San Miguel.

Read the full story on Rappler




Health

7. France fears more cases of SARS-like virus



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French health authorities said they feared the country's first case of a new SARS-like virus that has killed 18 people, mostly in Saudi Arabia, may have infected two other people. The 65-year-old man who came back to France from a holiday in Dubai was diagnosed with the deadly novel coronavirus, and is in intensive care in a hospital in the northern city of Douai. The virus, known as nCoV-EMC, is a cousin of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which triggered a scare 10 years ago when it erupted in east Asia.

Read the full story on Rappler




Science

8. Space station leak



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The International Space Station suffered a small leak of ammonia used to cool its power system on Thursday, May 9, but there was no danger to the crew, NASA said. The US space agency said crew had spotted small white flakes floating away from an area outside the craft before reporting the incident to Mission Control in Houston. NASA noted in a website bulletin that while the rate of ammonia leaking from the station's truss structure had increased, the "station continues to operate normally otherwise and the crew is in no danger."

Read the full story on Rappler




Campaign vs Landmines

9. Ladies swoon as Prince Harry begins US tour



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Young women swooned in Washington's corridors of power on May 9, as Britain's Prince Harry began a week-long tour of the United States clearly showing more interest in landmines. Squeals echoed through the halls of the Russell Senate office building on Capitol Hill as the 28-year-old bachelor inspected a photo exhibit set up by the Halo Trust, a charity favored by his late mother Princess Diana. The Halo Trust is the world's biggest de-mining organization which, since its founding 25 years ago, has unearthed more than 1.4 million landmines in 9,800 minefields around the world. The US is the only NATO member state not to sign the 1997 Ottawa treaty banning land mines, but since President Bill Clinton's administration it has contributed $150 million to support the Halo Trust's work.

Read the full story on Rappler



Entertainment

10. Neil Patrick Harris to host Tony Awards



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Theater fans can expect a legendary 67th Annual Tony Awards as Neil Patrick Harris has been confirmed as its host. The world-famous awards show, which recognizes achievements in live Broadway theater, will be held on June 9 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. This marks Harris's 4th time to host the awards night, presented yearly by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League. He previously hosted the 63rd, 65th, and 66th Tony Awards.

Read the full story on Rappler