The wRap


Your World in 10 - May 17, 2013 Edition

#PHVote

1. 9-3 for Team PNoy in Senate race



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The proclamation of 3 new senators completed the victory of the administration ticket on May 18, in midterm elections seen as a referendum on the President and a preview of the 2016 presidential elections. The national board of canvassers on May 18 proclaimed Cynthia Villar, JV Ejercito, and Gregorio "Gringo" Honasan as Philippine senators. Other senators-elect who attended the proclamation included Nancy Binay and Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III. Both were proclaimed earlier but held off attending their own proclamation ceremonies. The proclamation of the last 3 senators means that of the 12 senators to assume office in June, 9 will come from the Liberal Party (LP)-led coalition, Team PNoy, and only 3 from the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA). Political analysts have said the midterm elections would test the influence of President Benigno Aquino III, who chairs the LP. It is also a preparation for the presidential elections in 2016. LP's Mar Roxas is expected to face off with UNA's Jejomar Binay for the presidency.


Read the full story on Rappler




Election

2. 70% precincts post 100% voter turnout



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Did the birds and the bees vote in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, that many polling precincts there registered a 100% voter turnout? While many polling precincts encountered the usual problems – hundreds of thousands of disenfranchised voters unable to vote and the Precinct Count Optical Scan machines malfunctioning – it was election Valhalla for 54 clustered precincts in the ARMM which recorded a perfect voter attendance during the recent May 13 polls. It was an achievement of sorts, as these precincts often defy the estimated national average of voter turnout for the mid-term polls of 70-75%.


Read more on Rappler




PH-Taiwan

3. Joint probe on Taiwanese death 'impossible'



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Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on May 16 said the Taiwanese government could not just send investigators to the Philippines for the killing of a Taiwanese fisherman last week. De Lima said that Taiwan has to go through “proper channels” and make an “official request” to the Manila Economic and Cultural Office before conducting any investigation in the Philippines. A team of 30 investigators from Taiwan arrived in Manila on May 16 to conduct an investigation over the killing of a 65-year-old fisherman in Philippine waters. De Lima explained that without any request from Taiwan, it would be the government’s “obligation” to investigate the killing. De Lima said it would be “impossible” to conduct a joint investigation with Taiwan as the Philippines “is a sovereign country” with its own processes and justice system.

Read the full story on Rappler




Asia-Pacific

4. Proposal: New Asia treaty to curb conflict



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In a visit to Washington, Indonesia's foreign minister called for a new treaty spanning across Asia to help build trust, warning of the potential for conflict in the fast-changing region if tensions fester. Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said that a new treaty could help end "the all-too-familiar vicious cycle of tensions" in Asia and instead encourage confidence by bringing countries together in their goals. Natalegawa said an "Indo-Pacific-Wide Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation" would be along the model of the ASEAN bloc's Treaty of Amity and Cooperation, which bans the use of force in settling disputes in Southeast Asia. Several of China's neighbors, including Vietnam, the Philippines and Japan, have accused Beijing of aggressive encroachment to exert territorial claims.

Read the full story on Rappler





Local politics

5. Aga Muhlach fails to dethrone 105-year-old dynasty



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Actor Aga Muhlach failed to dethrone the Fuentebella political dynasty in Camarines Sur. The provincial board of canvassers May 16, proclaimed William “Wimpy” Fuentebella the winner in the race for the 4th District of Camarines Sur. Their vote gap was 2,205 votes. The Fuentebellas have the political machinery and loyal mass base nurtured in the 105 years they have ruled in Camarines Sur, particularly in the province's 4th district. Running for public office for the first time and as the ruling Liberal Party bet, Muhlach's congressional bid pitted him against the son of Deputy House Speaker Arnulfo Fuentebella, and a 4th generation member of a political clan that has been in power since the American occupation of the country.

Read the full story on Rappler





Japan

6. Osaka mayor ready to apologize to comfort women



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On May 16, Toru Hashimoto, the mayor of Osaka, offered to meet former wartime sex slaves to apologize for their suffering, but insisted anew that Japan's soldiers were not unique in brutalizing women. "I will tell the comfort women that I'm sorry for having had such a system no matter whether it was forcible or not," Hashimoto said. "It was a disgraceful act and should never be repeated." But Hashimoto, who has been mentioned as a possible future prime minister, insisted sexual exploitation of women was not unique to Japan.

Read the full story on Rappler.




Boston bombing

7. Suspect wrote note before capture



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Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev wrote a note before his capture in which he called the victims "collateral damage" for US action in Afghanistan and Iraq, local media reported Thursday. "When you attack one Muslim, you attack all Muslims," Tsarnaev also scribbled on the inside wall of the boat where he hid from police during a massive manhunt in the days after the April 15 blasts, according to CBS News. The twin explosions near the finish line killed three people and wounded more than 260.

Read the full story on Rappler.




Economy

8. Hot money inflows surge in PH



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Foreign portfolio investments in the Philippines, or "hot money," more than doubled in April from the year before, boosted in part by large subscriptions in shares of LT Group Inc. The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas reported hot money amounted to $3.5 billion in April, 137.4% higher than the $1.5 billion recorded in the same month of 2012. The latest figure was also 50.3% more than the $2.3 billion inflows that came in last March. Contributing to the growth were $970 million worth of subscriptions in tycoon Lucio Tan's LT Group, which sold shares to global investors in April. The top 5 investor countries in April were US, UK, Singapore, Hong Kong and Luxembourg, which, combined, had a share of 87.8%.

Read the full story on Rappler




Technology

9. Facebook and Twitter jump on Google glasses



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Facebook and Twitter launched applications Thursday, May 16, for Google glasses as developers rushed to learn more about tailoring software for the Internet-linked eyewear yet to hit the market. "Built by Facebook, this app allows you to upload photos from Google Glass directly to your Facebook timeline," Erick Tseng, head of mobile products at the social network, said in a message posted from the Google developers conference. Tseng's Facebook page displayed an image evidently taken in a packed Glass session at the gathering and was tagged as the first public post to the social network using the application built for the eyewear.

Read the full story on Rappler.




Sports

10. David Beckham to retire



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Football megastar David Beckham announced that he is to retire after a glittering 20-year playing career in which he became one of the most widely recognized figures in world sport. The former England captain, 38, made the announcement shortly after winning the Ligue 1 title with French giants Paris Saint-Germain, which made him the first Englishman to win league championships in four different countries. Blessed with an extraordinarily accurate right foot, Beckham was renowned for his dead-ball prowess and his seemingly limitless reserves of stamina. He bows out from the game at the same time as his Manchester United mentor Alex Ferguson, who handed Beckham his professional debut in 1993 and thereby launched one of the most newsworthy careers in the history of the English game.

Read the full story on Rappler