The wRap


Your World in 10 - May 16, 2013 Edition

PH ELECTIONS 2013

1. Comelec sets proclamation, rejects UNA motion for suspension



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Winning senators will be proclaimed by Thursday evening, May 16, by the National Board of Canvassers, Comelec Chair Sixto Brillantes Jr said. In a press conference, he announced that up to 6 senators will be declared winners. Earlier, the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) filed a motion to suspend the proclamation, citing the slow transmission of election results. The poll body unanimously rejected UNA’s request. Brillantes also said media groups and watchdogs will temporarily stop directly receiving transmission results via the Transparency Server to avoid confusion while the proclamation is ongoing. The Comelec, sitting as the national board of canvassers, will proclaim the senators after having canvassed over 20% of certificates of canvass.

Read the full story on Rappler.
A related story on the UNA motion to suspend proclamation is also on Rappler.




PH-TAIWAN RELATIONS

2. Why Taiwan is important to the Philippines



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Will heightened tension between the Philippines and Taiwan over the killing of a Taiwanese fisherman by the Philippine Coast Guard on May 9 be disadvantageous to the country? On Tuesday, May 14, Taiwan announced it had stopped issuing visas, thereby freezing the hiring of Overseas Filipino Workers. According to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Taiwan is the 4th largest source of remittances from Asia. Tourism may also be affected, considering that Taiwanese tourists ranked 5th in number among tourist arrivals in 2012. Finally, also in 2012, Taiwan was the country’s 9th largest trading partner. Taiwanese Premier Jiang Yi-huah rejected the apology of President Aquino, describing as “unacceptable” the presidential spokesman’s statement. Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the death of the 65-year-old fisherman was unintended.

Read the full story on Rappler.

A related story is on Rappler.




WORLD

3. White House releases emails on Benghazi



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The White House on Wednesday, May 15, released about a hundred pages of emails related to an attack on a US mission in Libya, to dispel claims of a cover-up. The assault on the mission in September 2012 killed four Americans, including US Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens. Republicans have been alleging that the White House was downplaying the terrorism angle ahead of the presidential election in November 2012. The released emails showed that officials erred on the side of caution in the hours after the attacks, as various agencies that included the CIA, National Security Council, the State Department debated on which talking points to use in describing the attack and its causes. Initially the White House attributed the attack to a spontaneous protest instead of organized extremists in Libya, who later emerged as being involved. President Barack Obama’s critics on Capitol Hill said the release of the documents still left unanswered questions about the administration’s handling of the Benghazi attack.

Read the full story on Rappler.

A related story is on the BBC.




MINDANAO ELECTIONS

4. Mangudadatu wins in Maguindanao



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Rising to national prominence on account of a bloody massacre widely believed to be instigated by his political rivals, Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu earned a second term as governor of Maguindanao. Mangudadatu and his running mate Datu Lester Sinsuat, both members of the Liberal Party, were proclaimed by the provincial board of canvassers on Wednesday night, May 15. He won by a landslide, garnering 195,473 compared to his rival Tucao Mastura’s 94,678. Mastura said they were thinking of filing an electoral protest and that they are gathering evidence of vote buying, intimidation, and irregularities involving PCOS machines. Mangudadatu was proclaimed even with results from 2 more municipalities still not canvassed because the Provincial Board of Canvassers determined that given Mangudadatu’s lead, Mastura’s numbers would not be able to catch up with those of the incumbent governor. In 2009, Mangudadatu’s wife, sister, and supporters were killed in the infamous Maguindanao Massacre where 58 people were killed.

Read the full story on Rappler.




LOCAL ELECTIONS

5. Leni Robredo wins in Camarines Sur



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Leni Robredo, the widow of well-loved former Naga City Mayor Jesse Robredo, was proclaimed congresswoman of the 3rd district of Camarines Sur on Wednesday, May 15. She defeated Nelly Villafuerte, the wife of incumbent Rep Luis Villafuerte Sr. The Villafuertes have been in power for over 3 decades, and were accused of engaging in vote buying during the election period. Camarines Sur is among the poorest in the country where political dynasties have held sway over the years. Robredo obtained 102,694 votes as against Villafuerte’s 31,364.

Read the full story on Rappler.

A related story on Robredo’s early lead is also on Rappler.




MANMADE WARMING

6. 'Overwhelming' consensus for manmade warming - review



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A review of thousands of studies published over 21 years found "overwhelming" and growing consensus among scientists that humans are mostly to blame for global warming, its authors said Thursday, May 16. This contradicts a widely held view that scientists are deeply divided on the topic -- a misconception that complicates efforts to win public backing for climate policy, the authors wrote in the journal Environmental Research Letters. Researchers from the United States, Australia and Canada reviewed more than 4,000 scientific papers that expressed a position on whether humans were mostly to blame for recent global warming. The papers, published between 1991 and 2011, were written by more than 10,000 scientists. Just over 97 percent agreed that manmade warming was a reality.

Read the full story on Rappler.




COMING FROM BEHIND

7. Dick is in; Team PNoy leads canvassing



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Opposition bet Richard “Dick” Gordon entered the winning slate on Wednesday afternoon, May 15, after the national board of canvassers (NBOC) finalized the tally for over 3 million votes for senator. The latest canvassing report also shows the administration ticket, Team PNoy, keeping its lead. Gordon, who runs under the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), has 1,081,080 votes from the 21 certificates of canvass (COC) processed so far by the NBOC. The former senator dislodged Gringo Honasan, who was part of the official tally earlier on Wednesday. The canvassed COCs comprise around 7% of the total. The NBOC was supposed to proclaim winning senators on Wednesday evening, but poll chief Sixto Brillantes Jr postponed this due to transmission problems.

Read the full story on Rappler.




BLACKBERRY MESSENGER EXPANDS

8. BlackBerry Messenger coming to iOS, Android



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Following years of exclusively being available only on the BlackBerry platform, the highly popular Blackberry Messaging Service, more commonly referred to as BBM will come to iOS and Android later this year. Upon release BBM for iOS and Android will support iOS 6 and above and Android version 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and above. The app will be free a free download from both the iTunes app store and Google Play. iOS and Android users will be able to add contacts through BBM PIN, email, SMS or QR code scan regardless of platform. Android users will also get the ability to add contacts via compatible NFC-capable devices.

Read the full story on Rappler.




CLONING STEM CELLS

9. Embryonic stem cells: Advance in medical human cloning



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Human cloning has been used to produce early embryos, marking a "significant step" for medicine, say US scientists. The cloned embryos were used as a source of stem cells, which can make new heart muscle, bone, brain tissue or any other type of cell in the body. The technique used - somatic cell nuclear transfer - has been well-known since Dolly the sheep became the first mammal to be cloned, in 1996. The study, published in the journal Cell, used methods like those that produced Dolly the sheep in the UK.

Read the full story on BBC News.




FAST AND FURIOUS

10. Vin Diesel thrills Pinoy fans in Makati



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Pictures of Hollywood action star Vin Diesel casually strolling around Makati City and interacting with the locals went viral on social media on May 14. Fans went on paparazzi mode as they snapped pictures of Diesel, who is in the Philippines for the premiere of his newest film "Fast and Furious 6." Other "F6" cast members who are also in the country are Luke Evans, Michelle Rodriguez, and ex-MMA fighter Gina Carano.

Read the full story on Rappler.