The wRap


Your World in 10 - November 22, 2012 Edition

Supreme Court

1. Leonen, 49, is new justice



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He's the second youngest Filipino justice to be appointed to the Supreme Court. And he will stay there for 21 years. President Benigno Aquino III has named government peace panel chief and former UP Law dean Marvic Leonen associate justice of the Supreme Court to fill in the vacancy left by now Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno. Leonen helped craft a difficult Framework Agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front that sets the stage for the creation of a Bangsamoro region. The President said he hopes Leonen's appointment would be the Aquino administration's "lasting legacy" in ensuring an independent judiciary.


Read the full story on Rappler




Israel-Hamas conflict

2. Ceasefire in Gaza, but…



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A ceasefire between Israel and Hamas officially took effect Wednesday, November 21, on the basis of the text of the deal announced in Egypt. The truce aims to end a week of bloodshed in and around Gaza that has killed more than 150 people, Egypt and the United States said. If it holds, within 24 hours, Israel would be required to start procedures to open Gaza's border crossings and allow the movement of people and goods, according to the text. But hours after the ceasefire took effect, Israel said it was hit by 12 rockets fired from Gaza.


Read the full story on Rappler
Read the story on the 12 rockets hitting Israel here




Territorial dispute

3. PH to host talks on South China Sea



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The Philippines is to hold four-way talks in December with fellow Southeast Asian nations that have rival claims to South China Sea (West Philippine Sea) territories. The talks, which exclude China, are aimed at pushing for a multilateral solution to the regional dispute, according to Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario. The deputy foreign ministers of Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam are to meet in Manila on December 12. "This is one of viable options to move the issue forward in terms of (arriving at) a peaceful solution," del Rosario said. Rival claimants Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam are all members of the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Tensions have increased steadily over the past two years, with the Philippines and Vietnam accusing China of increasingly aggressive diplomatic tactics to stake its claims.


Read the full story on Rappler




Global economy

4. Myanmar is Asia's rising star?



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No less than the International Monetary Fund believes so. Myanmar could become Asia's next economic engine if it enacts vast reforms, the IMF said in Washington, DC, signaling the country could receive a Fund monitoring program in 2013. The IMF said the discussions pointed to the possibility of a staff-monitored program next year that would jointly monitor progress on the government's own reform plans. In May, the IMF published its first report on Myanmar in decades, calling on authorities to step up reforms to enhance the business and investment climate, including modernizing the financial sector and liberalizing trade.


Read the full story on Rappler




#phvote

5. Maguindanao massacre suspects still a power bloc



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On Friday, November 23, the Philippines will commemorate the Maguindanao massacre, the worst election violence in the country's history which happened 3 years ago. But the main suspects, members of the Ampatuan clan, are very much around. Rappler research shows that 74 members of the Ampatuan clan have filed their certificates of candidacy in 14 municipalities in Maguindanao. Of the 74 Ampatuans who filed their candidacy for next year's poll, 17 are incumbent. Two will run for higher office, while 15 will run for reelection. The clan, however, is not expanding into other towns, but fighting it out in their current turfs. The Philippines, meanwhile, continues to be the deadliest place for media in Southeast Asia, according to a recent report of the Southeast Asian Press Alliance.


Read the full story on Rappler
Read SEAPA's report on state of the media here




Climate change

6. Carbon cuts too slow, laments UN



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The United Nations Environment Program says attempts of countries to reduce their C02 emissions have been slow. A UN report claims that greenhouse gases are 14% above where they should be by 2010, BBC said. Experts have warned that governments must be more aggressive in reducing carbon emissions or face more dire consequences of climate change. A UN Climate Change Conference will be held in Qatar next week aimed at coming up with a global deal by 2015, the BBC added.


Read the full story on BBC




U.S. politics

7. Jesse Jackson Jr quits



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It's a sad ending to a once-promising political career. Amid allegations of unethical conduct, Chicago congressman Jesse Jackson Jr, son and namesake of the famous civil-rights leader, has resigned his seat in the US House of Representatives, according to thedailybeast. Jackson is said to be in negotiations with federal prosecutors over allegations he used campaign funds to renovate his house. It's been a series of bad news for him. The 47-year-old Jackson was earlier exposed to have had an affair with a bikini model. And then several months ago, he was hospitalized for a bipolar disorder. “It’s a terrible heart-rending tragedy,” said Mike Flannery, the dean of Chicago political reporters and mainstay of the local Fox affiliate.


Read the full story on the Daily Beast




Media

8. Oops…Russia bans YouTube



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But it's supposedly "by mistake." Web-surfing Russians endured a brief scare Wednesday, November 21 that the authorities had blocked YouTube after the video-sharing website appeared on a list of banned addresses, in what officials later called a "technical mistake." The new registry of blacklisted websites introduced this month showed the website youtube.com as having been added there by Russia's consumer protection agency and remained on it for several minutes. After a media furor, the agency's head Gennady Onishchenko told Russian news agencies that the intention was to ban 22 specific videos, rather than the whole service, notably ones giving instructions on how to commit suicide. Russians have been worried about an impending Internet crackdown ever since the hasty recent passage of a law which introduced the concept of the blacklist.


Read the full story on Rappler




Sports

9. Azkals' Etheridge out of Suzuki Cup



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Bad news for the Philippine Azkals only days before the AFF Suzuki Cup. First-choice goalkeeper Neil Etheridge has been recalled by his mother club Fulham and will not be playing in the tournament despite being cleared by his current side Bristol Rovers, the English League Two club said on Wednesday, November 21. The news came only a few hours after Bristol Rovers had given the green light for the keeper to join the Azkals in Bangkok, where they face regional powerhouse Thailand in their first game on Sunday, November 25. Etheridge was on a one-month loan to Bristol Rovers from English Premier League club Fulham FC until September 20, but he extended his contract until Christmas to help improve side’s standing in the league, where Rovers are currently at the bottom of the table facing relegation.


Read the full story on Rappler




Entertainment

10. Tolkien vs the Hobbit studio



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The estate of author J.R.R. Tolkien has filed a lawsuit against Warner Bros, claiming that the film giant is abusing its right to merchandising linked to "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit." Filed in Los Angeles weeks before the release of the first "Hobbit" movie, the lawsuit seeks at least US$80-M in damages from the studio. The late British author's lawyers claim that Warner has breached the terms of an original agreement which allowed it to make money from the kind of physical merchandising common in the pre-Internet age. The lawsuit claims that Warner Bros and other defendants, including New Line Productions Inc, have "with increasing boldness, engaged in a continuing and escalating pattern of usurping rights to which they are not entitled."


Read the full story on Rappler