The wRap


Your World in 10 - November 12, 2012 Edition

Senate Investigation

1. Ethics complaint vs Sotto to be filed Tuesday



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At least 30 faculty members of the University of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila, and De La Salle will be filing an ethics complaint on Tuesday, November 13, against Senate Majority Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto. Complainant and RH advocate Leloy Claudio of the Ateneo Political Science department said a letter from Kerry Kennedy, the daughter of the late US Sen Robert Kennedy, is “the most damning evidence” they have against Sotto. The case will be filed before the Senate Ethics and Privileges Committee. Kerry Kennedy, president of the Robert F Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, said Sotto’s use of her father’s 1966 Day of Affirmation speech is a clear case of plagiarism and urged him to “apologize for his unethical, unsanctioned theft.” Sotto had previously said it was not plagiarism because he merely translated quotes into Tagalog.

Read the full story on Rappler.




Plagiarism

2. Kennedy to Sotto: apologize for plagiarism



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Kerry Kennedy, president of the Robert F Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, wrote on Friday, November 9, that Senate Majority Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto “flagrantly and deceptively plagiarized Robert Kennedy’s 1966 Day of Affirmation Speech in his remarks to the Philippine Senate on September 5, 2012.” She said that neither he nor anyone associated with him sought permission to use her father’s speech. Sotto also failed to cite the speech as that of Robert Kennedy, “presenting them instead as his own words.” For Sotto to claim that delivering his speech in Tagalog makes it his own is an argument “that has no ethical merit,” Kennedy said. She urged the senator to apologize for his “unethical, unsanctioned theft of Robert Kennedy’s intellectual property” as well as those whose work he plagiarized.

Read the full story on Rappler.




Rappler Exclusive

3. Visayan Forum degenerates to US ‘foe’



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Once named as one of its “heroes” in the fight against modern-day slavery, Cecilia Flores-Oebanda, founder of the Visayan Forum (VF), has become the subject of a complaint of the USAID or the United States Agency for International Development. USAID accused the VF of allegedly misusing over P210 million of its P300 million donation for a port project. The project was intended to shelter human trafficking victims in airports and harbors. The case, perhaps the first that USAID has filed against a Philippine NGO, is unprecedented. The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) filed the fraud accusation against VF before the justice department, submitting evidence that included about 35,000 documents stored in 35 boxes. The NBI discovered 32 boxes of allegedly falsified receipts used to defraud donors of USAID. The NGO has denied the charge and Oebanda has implied that traffickers masterminded the exposé.

Read the full story on Rappler.




CIA Scandal

4. Another woman leads FBI to Petraeus affair



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It was another woman complaining about “harassing” emails sent by the biographer of the CIA’s director that tipped FBI agents chief spy David Petraeus was having an affair. Paula Broadwell, Petraeus’ biographer, was the subject of a complaint of an unnamed woman whose relationship with the CIA director was not immediately known. Both women seemed to be competing for his loyalty, if not his affection, according to the New York Times. It was while investigating the complaint that FBI agents discovered exchanges between Broadwell and Petraeus which revealed they were having an affair. The CIA chief, considered the most well-known and popular military leader since Colin Powell, resigned on Friday, November 9. While Broadwell was found to have in her possession classified information, no major breach of security was found.

Read the full story on Rappler.

More information is available in the New York Times.

Other details are on CNN.




Media

5. BBC needs ‘overhaul’ after chief quits in abuse row



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Chris Patten, chair of BBC Trust, called for a “thorough, structural, radical overhaul” of the way the BBC was being run after its chief executive resigned Saturday, November 10. George Entwistle quit after a “Newsnight” report wrongly accused a politician of being a child abuser. Patten said the BBC had to make sure its programmes were properly managed. Earlier, there were reports that the late news presenter Jimmy Savile sexually abused young people. There are ongoing investigations on possible BBC management failings after a decision was made not to air a “Newsnight” program about the sexual abuse claims involving Savile. In an email to staff, Pattens said there was a need to look “how the BBC’s historic culture and behavior allowed Jimmy Savile to get away with his vile criminal activity.” The events have left the BBC facing one of the most serious crises in its 90-year history.

Read the full story on Rappler.

More details are on BBC News.

A related story is on Rappler.




Middle East

6. Syrian cleric chosen to head opposition



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A moderate cleric who fled Syria has been chosen to head the opposition against President Bashar al-Assad. 52-year-old Moaz al-Khatib was selected to head a new coalition, the National Coalition Forces of the Syrian Revolution led by the Syrian National Council (SNC). The US and Arab nations have been pushing the SNC to unite with other opposition groups in Syria. Al-Khatib left for Cairo in July after being detained by Syrian authorities at least thrice since the revolution began. In October, he called for a political solution to save his country from further destruction and pave the way for the departure of the al-Assad regime with the least harm caused. More than 35,000 have been killed in the fighting in Syria and more than 400,000 have been displaced.

Read the full story on BBC News.

A related story is on CNN.




Asia

7. Myanmar quake: at least 12 feared dead



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At least 12 are feared dead and dozens more injured as a result of a 6.8-magnitude quake that struck Myanmar Sunday, November 11. In the early hours of Monday, a second quake of 5.6-magnitude struck again. The strong quake caused a bridge under construction to collapse. It was located in Shwebo, close to the epicenter. In Mandalay, the second biggest city, residents rushed out of their homes, terrified. Six workers of a goldmine that collapsed died. Five construction workers who had been working on the Radana Thinga bridge in Shwebo were missing after “a huge steel beam fell into the river,” the BBC reported. A woman died when after a house collapsed. Earthquakes are quite common in Myanmar. The last strong one hit in March 2011, which left at least 75 dead.

Read the full story on BBC News.




#MoveBacolod

8. Rappler’s Move chat series goes to Bacolod



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Addressing among others, the issue of political dynasties, Rappler brings its Move chat series to Bacolod, Negros Occidental on Wednesday, November 14. The same political clans have dominated local elections in the province, among them the Montelibanos, Lacsons, Amantes and Yulos. Described as “power aspirants” are political families like the Leonardias, Puentevellas, Ramoses, and Espinos. The election of politicians advocating inclusive politics and a consultative style of governance indicates the openness of Negros Occidental voters to alternatives to the political elite. The 8th of its chat series, Move.PH in Bacolod is a partnership with the University of St La Salle and is sponsored by Smart Communications. The event will be held at La Salle Bacolod’s MM Auditorium A, from 1:00-5:00 pm.

Read the full story on Rappler.




Entertainment

9. Elton John, partner expectant dads



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Elton John and partner David Furnish might become new dads again as the same surrogate who gave them their first child is expecting her second baby. John and Furnish are parents to 2-year-old Zachary Furnish-John born by the same unidentified woman. A close friend of the two told the British daily, The Sun, “Elton and David love this lady like a sister and they feel indebted to her for life.” They are believed to have gotten in touch with the woman said to be based in California through the Center for Surrogate Parenting in Encino. Elton John is scheduled to perform in Manila on December 8 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Read the full story on Rappler.




Movies

10. ‘Toy Story 3’ writer bags ‘Star Wars’ project



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Hollywood writer Michael Arndt, twice nominated for an Oscar, will write the next instalment in the “Star Wars” series, according to Lucasfilms. Arndt wrote the screenplay for “Toy Story 3” which was nominated for best adapted screenplay in 2010, and co-wrote the second film in the “Hunger Games” trilogy. In 2006, Arndt won an Oscar for his “Little Miss Sunshine” screenplay. The latest instalment in the “Star Wars” series will focus on a new generation of heroes, according to the BBC. Appearances by Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia are however possible, as with Han Solo which was played by Harrison Ford. In October, Disney announced its purchase of George Lucas’ Lucasfilms for over $4 billion and was committed to producing 3 new films.

Read the full story on BBc News.