The wRap


Your World in 10 - May 2, 2012 Edition

New territory

1. Benham Rise: new underwater Philippine territory



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The Philippines has been awarded a potentially mineral-rich continental shelf and territory called the Benham Rise, located off the coast of Aurora province. The underwater plateau is said to be larger than the island of Luzon and is said to be an area rich in living and non-living resources like minerals and gas. Environment Secretary Ramon Paje called it a frontier “for future Filipinos.” Unlike the Scarborough Shoal and other portions of the South China Sea, no other country claims the area. It is now up to the Philippines to enact a law establishing the boundaries of the area.

Read on Rappler




Surprise visit

2. Obama promises pull out of US troops from Afghanistan



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At the end of his surprise visit to Afghanistan, US President Barack Obama announced a pact with Afghan President Hamid Karzai to pull out 23,000 troops from the country by the end of summer 2012, and his commitment to honor the 2014 deadline for the US to turn over to the Afghan government. Speaking on Wednesday, May 2, before his departure from Kabul, President Obama promised to “end this war responsibly.” Obama’s visit, his 3rd in history, coincided with the anniversary of the US raid in neighboring Pakistan that killed Osama bin Laden. xperts however believe that a pull out of troops from Afghanistan will allow Al Qaeda to strengthen its position anew.

Read on CNN / Rappler Analysis




Myanmar

3. Aung San Suu Kyi sworn in



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After winning a seat in her country’s parliament, opposition leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi has taken her oath as a member of Myanmar’s parliament today, Wednesday, May 2. Suu Kyi and 42 other members of her National League for Democracy had previously refused to take part in the swearing in ceremonies due to issues in the way the oath was worded. Suu Kyi announced her decision April 30 during a visit by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to Myanmar.

Read on The Guardian




Standoff

4. Taiwan claims ownership of Scarborough Shoal



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Four weeks into the standoff between China and the Philippines over the Scarborough Shoal, Taiwan has stepped in to reaffirm its own claims over the disputed area. Taiwan also called on all claimants to exercise self-restraint so that peaceful resolutions could be reached through consultation. Taiwan’s Foreign Affairs Ministry is willing to jointly explore the resources in the South China Sea with other countries taking into consideration, safe guarding sovereignty and in the interest of peace.

Read on Rappler




ADB conference '12

5. Asian leaders and businessmen converge in Manila



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Manila hosts the 2012 Asian Development Bank (ADB) Meeting starting today, May 2. Thousands of foreign guests will be joining the meeting, including finance ministers, central bank executives, and top ranking government officials from the 67 ADB member countries. The Philippines, which last hosted the event almost a decade ago, is significant because it is where the headquarters of the Asian Development Bank is based. The event is a great opportunity for the country to highlight key industries that drive inclusive growth through tourism, infrastructure information technology, and agriculture. On the first day of the conference, the ADB announced that it had raised US$12-B for anti-poverty efforts.

Read on Rappler here and here




Minimum wage

6. ILO: RP wage among the lowest in the world



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P11,700 - the average monthly wage in the Philippines - is the third lowest among 72 listed countries in the world, according to a recent report by the International Labor Organization (ILO). The Philippines finished above only to Pakistan and Tajikistan. It is worth noting, however, that the world’s poorest countries were not included in the study. The Philippines’ average salary is below the minimum wage in NCR (P8,250/month) but twice the wage in Region IV-B, the lowest in the country (P3,800/month).

Read on Rappler




Unfit

7. Report: Rupert Murdoch ‘not fit’ to run NewsCorp



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A British Parliamentary report released Tuesday, May 1, has declared media mogul Rupert Murdoch unfit to run a major international company. The report comes amid investigations into a hacking scandal that rocked Murdoch’s News of the World newspaper last year. The investigation revealed Murdoch’s publishing arm News International sought to cover up the wrongdoing by misleading British parliament instead of conducting its own internal investigation, calling it “willful blindness” on the part of Murdoch. Following the release of the report, Murdoch sent an email to his staff saying they can emerge “better and stronger.” He said that while the committee’s findings were “hard to read,” he was proud that the company worked to make things right.

Story on Rappler

Update on BBC




Health

8. 'Deadlier' Dengue



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The Department of Health (DOH) says it is closely monitoring a rare and deadlier strain of dengue first monitored in Zamboanga City two years ago. DOH Assistant Secretary Dr. Enrique Tayag said dengue cases are increasing in the city, and that cases usually shoot up when there are new serotype strains.

Read on Rappler




Sports

9. Why we should care about Palarong Pambansa?



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The Palarong Pambansa - an annual, nationwide “Olympics” for grade school and high school students across the country - takes place next week, May 6-12, 2012 in Lingayen, Pangasinan. As the country still pines after an elusive Olympic gold, now more than ever, the event matters.

Find out why on Rappler




Technology

10. Facebook ads organ donor feature



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Facebook has introduced a new feature which allows users to declare organ donor status. By creating a life event, users can now create an online record when they decide to become an organ donor. The move is aimed at helping millions of people around the world waiting for organ donations for transplants. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg says the inspiration came from people who have been using Facebook to solve a lot of social issues. He added his girlfriend (who is studying to be a doctor) and Steve Jobs (who benefited from an organ donation) were also sources of inspiration. The feature is not yet available in the Philippines, but Facebook will be rolling out this feature worldwide once they have setup proper links to organ donation registries around the world.

Read More on The Verge