The wRap


Your World in 10 - November 5, 2012 Edition

US Elections

1. Obama, Romney deadlocked in polls



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It’s a virtual dead heat between US presidential bets Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. A new NBC/Wall Street Journal survey showed Obama leading 48%-47%, while an ABC/Washington Post poll showed the two tied at 48%. Even independents are evenly divided with 46% saying they favor Obama, and the same number saying they prefer Romney. Rappler’s Carmela Fonbuena reported from Ohio that the presidential elections has come down to 9 swing states – Ohio, Nevada, Colorado, Iowa, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida. Obama and Romney barnstormed through electoral battlegrounds over the weekend. In Concord, Obama accused Romney of trying “as hard as he can to repackage the same old ideas and pretend they’re new.” Romney told supporters in Iowa a second term for Obama would mean a new economic downturn.

Read the full story on Rappler.

More details are available on CNN.

Read a related story also on Rappler.




China

2. Bo Xilai formally expelled from Communist Party



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Disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai was formally expelled from the Communist Party Sunday, November 4, a few days before a once-a-decade power handover. Xinhua news agency said the Central Committee endorsed a decision by the Political Bureau made last September 28 to expel Bo. This paves the way for his facing a criminal trial. Former party boss of Chongqing, Bo was once seen as a candidate for promotion to the party’s top echelons. Xinhua had previously reported he would “face justice” for alleged abuse of power, taking “massive” bribes and having inappropriate sexual relations. In October, Bo was expelled from parliament and stripped of his legal immunity. The controversy also revealed rifts within the Communist Party as Bo was said to have influential patrons and a wide following among left-leaning members.

Read the full story on Rappler.

More details are available in the New York Times.




Aviation

3. Robredo plane crash due to engine, pilot errors



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The plane crash that killed Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo was caused by engine trouble and pilot error. The plane carrying Robredo, his aide Jun Abrasado, pilot Jessup Bahinting, and Nepalese student pilot Kshitiz Chand crashed on August 18 into the waters of Masbate. A 14-page report submitted by an investigating body created by former Transportation Secretary Manuel Roxas II said the pilot mishandled an emergency situation caused by technical problems. Bahinting informed his passengers of a propeller problem 23 minutes after they left Mactan Airport but instead of heading back to Cebu they proceeded toward Masbate instead. The pilot miscalculated and went past the runway. “If the flight returned to Mactan, it would have landed safely with still two engines, as the loss of the right engine was after 38 minutes of flight after the initial propeller problem was noted, the report said. Only Abrasado survived the crash, while Robredo’s body was recovered only on August 21.

Read the full story on Rappler.




Disaster

4. Tens of thousands lose housing due to ‘Sandy’



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Tens of thousands of New Yorkers are in need of housing after superstorm Sandy swept through the eastern border of the US Monday last week. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told a press conference Sunday, November 4, “It is starting to get cold, people are in homes that are uninhabitable.” City Mayor Michael Bloomberg estimated that about 40,000 people in the city alone would need housing. “Sandy” left more than 100 dead in 15 US states and Canada and left behind damage estimated at tens of billions of dollars. Over 700,000 in New York state are still without electricity, including 130,000 in the city, according to Cuomo. On Sunday, severe fuel shortages threatened recovery attempts, even as power was restored to nearly all of Manhattan by Saturday, November 3. This means no heating at a time when temperatures are starting to drop.

Read the full story on Rappler.

More details are available in the New York Times.

A related story is also on Rappler.




Media and Business

5. Why TV5 is MVP’s favorite business



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The entertainment side of the business allows him to “feel human.” This is why businessman Manuel V Pangilinan considers TV 5 his favorite venture among the many that he manages. The TV network however has yet to turn in a profit since its acquisition in 2010. Pangilinan is into telecommunications, mining, and utilities, but entertainment via his TV station involves a different world and lifestyle from the corporate life he is used to. In an interview with Yes!, an entertainment magazine, Pangilinan said that in showbusiness “You feel the human life there…all of its stark realities.” The business realities of running a media group, according to Pangilinan, also means flexibility with financial targets. From 2013, the target for the network to get into black has been reset to 2015. “I think eventually we will turn TV5 around. The question is, will it be a good investment rather than a great investment? It’s a big unknown, but we will certainly give it a good try – out best try,” he said.

Read the full story on Rappler.




New Appointments

6. Petilla, Almendras sworn in before Aquino leaves for ASEM meet



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President Benigno Aquino III swore into office Secretary to the Cabinet Jose Rene Almendras and incoming Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla before leaving for the 9th Asia-Europe summit (ASEM) in Laos on Sunday, November 4. The ceremonies were held at the pre-departure area of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 at not Malacañang Palace as is customary. Almendras, a former classmate and trusted friend of the President, was moved to the Office of the President after heading the energy department for two years. Aquino handpicked Petilla, serving his last and third consecutive term as Leyte governor, as replacement of Almendras. The President is attending the ASEM meeting for the first time and is expected to exchange views with his counterparts from both Asia and Europe on trade and investment, energy and food security, disaster management, counter-terrorism, migration and regional issues, the foreign office said. Before his departure, Aquino said he would raise overlapping claims to the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea) during the summit. The territorial dispute has been an irritant in bilateral relations and has been a source of tension in the region.

Read the full story on Rappler.

A related story on ASEM is on Rappler.




Technology

7. Apple paid only 2% tax outside US



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Apple paid less than 2% corporation tax made on profits outside the US, according to documents submitted to the US Securities and Exchange Commission. It paid a higher 2.5% the previous year. After Starbucks, Facebook and Google, Apple is the latest company identified in recent weeks as paying low rates of overseas tax. A BBC report however said it has not been suggested that any of these companies’ tax avoidance schemes are illegal. Apple paid $US713 million on foreign pre-tax profits of $36.8 billion. This covered the period January up to end September this year. Apple’s total profits for 2012 were up 24%, according to the BBC.

Read the full story on BBCNews.




Sports

8. PH Volcanoes clinch Rugby World Cup Sevens slot



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The Philippine Volcanoes Men’s Rugby team is going to Moscow to compete for the first time in the prestigious Rugby World Cup Sevens. Winning 22-19 over 4th-ranked South Korea on Saturday, November 3, the Volcanoes took the third and last Asian team slot to the June 2013 tournament in Russia. Ranked 6th at the start of the HSBC Asian Sevens Series, the Philippine team won against Guam then lost to top-ranked Hong Kong. In the quarterfinals, they beat China then lost to Japan in the semi-finals. In their match against South Korea for 3rd place, the Philippine team needed to win to secure its spot in the World Cup. While the South Koreans tried to overcome the 17-7 halftime lead of the Volcanoes, the Philippine team successfully held them off.

Read the full story on Rappler.




Middle East

9. Egypt’s Coptic Christians choose new pope



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Bishop Tawadros was chosen new pope of the largest Christian minority in the Middle East, Egypt’s Coptic Christians. A blindfolded boy, one of 12 shortlisted children, picked the name of the 60-year-old bishop and doctor from a glass bowl during a ceremony at St Mark’s Cathedral in Cairo. The names of the 3 candidates – who included Bishop Raphael and Fr Raphael Ava Mina – were written on 3 pieces of paper and put in crystal balls sealed with wax on the altar. Bishop Pachomius, acting leader of the Copts, took the ballot from the altar boy’s hand and read “Bishop Tawadros.” The British-educated Tawadros succeeds Pope Shenouda III who died in March. He will lead Egypt’s Coptic Christians who fear the rise of Islamists under the new president Mohamed Morsi.

Read the full story on Rappler.

More details are available on BBCNews.




Entertainment

10. Adele has yet to name her new baby



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Singing diva Adel gave birth to a baby boy last October but her baby remains unnamed. Her close friend and talk show host Alan Carr described her newborn as “absolutely beautiful.” Fans initially thought Adele was keeping her baby’s name secret in the interest of privacy but Carr said this wasn’t so. “I saw him on Wednesday. But I need to find out what his name is before I can get a gift – you can’t sign a gift ‘To X’ now, can you?” Her son with boyfriend Simon Konecki was seen with her for the first time on Tuesday, October 29, when she took him for a walk in a black baby carrier in London, according to a report by Young Hollywood.

Read the full story on Rappler.

Other details are available on Young Hollywood.