The wRap


Your World in 10 - October 12, 2012 Edition

Foreign ownership

1. PLDT loses case in High Court



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It's a decision that top Filipino businessman Manny V. Pangilinan once described as "economic suicide" that would scare away foreign investors. In a vote of 10-3 with one abstention, the Supreme Court affirmed an earlier verdict against the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co (PLDT) and its foreign shareholders. The government's 37-percent stake in PLDT had been sold to the Pangilinan-led and Hong Kong-based First Pacific group, which was the basis of the court case. A former PLDT stockholder had told the Court that the sale increased the foreigners' stake in PLDT to more than 80% - a violation of the constitutional limit of 40%. SC Associate Justice Antonio Carpio penned the decision, which is to be released on October 12.


Read the full story on Rappler




Rising tensions

2. Syria plane carried ammo, says Turkey



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Tensions between neighbors Syria and Turkey have worsened over a Syrian passenger plane -- en route from Moscow -- that the Turkish government had intercepted. Syria said Turkey was lying to justify its "hostile attitude" toward the Damascus regime. Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan earlier said the plane carried "equipment and ammunition shipped to the Syrian defense ministry" from a Russian military supplier. Syria, however, challenged Erdogan to show the alleged weapons seized. Last week, 5 Turkish civilians died by shelling across the border. Turkey has returned fire, warning Syria of more force if the border shelling continued. France warned of the risks posed by the current developments.

Read the full story on Rappler






Sin tax bill

3. Recto betrayed us - BIR



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Bureau of Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares said the Executive branch feels betrayed by Sen Ralph Recto, chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee who endorsed a watered-down version of the sin tax bill which seeks to raise only P15 billion to P20 billion incremental revenues from excise taxes on tobacco and alcohol products. This is way below the P31 billion under the version passed by the House of Representatives in June and the government's original target of P60 billion. Recto is also under fire from his colleagues in the Senate, who vowed to question his committee report in the plenary. If passed, the proposed sin tax law would be the first in Philippine history; previous government attempts to make one had all failed. President Benigno Aquino III has asked asked for "solidarity" from Congress in passing the bill, stressing its importance to the government's health care program.

Read the full story on Rappler




Peace process

4. Negotiator downplays Misuari threat



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A government peace negotiator has shrugged off threats made by Moro National Liberation Front chair Nur Misuari in relation to the peace deal reached by the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). Misuari has threatened to sue the government for crafting an agreement with the MILF that would replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), which he once led as governor. In an interview with the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Misuari said he can file a case against President Benigno Aquino III before the International Court of Justice. Government peace panel member Senen Bacani downplayed the threat although he stressed that the government is "respecting Misuari's opinion." He also said the MNLF would always be part of forming the Bangsamoro region.

Read full story on Rappler




Disputed territory

5. Fishermen missing off Scarborough Shoal



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At least 9 Filipino fishermen have been missing off Scarborough Shoal for 12 days, the Coast Guard said on October 12. Authorities are scouring the nearby towns of Candelaria, Palauig, Iba and Cabangan in Zambales for the missing crew of a boat that failed to return after departing on October 1 to the area disputed by the Philippines and China. Undersecretary Benito Ramos, executive director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, said that two groups of fishermen left for Scarborough Shoal that day but only one was able to return to shore.

Read the full story on Rappler





Literature

6. Chinese author wins the Nobel



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China and its controlled media praised it, but its most prominent dissident questioned it. Chinese author Mo Yan on October 11 won the Nobel Literature Prize for writing that mixes folk tales, history and the contemporary. Yan, whose real name is Guan Moye and was born in 1955, has published novels, short stories and essays on various topics, and despite his social criticism is seen in his homeland as one of the foremost contemporary authors, the Nobel committee noted. In his writing Mo Yan draws on his youthful experiences and on settings in the province of his birth. Chinese dissident Wei Jingsheng criticized the award, however, saying the move was meant to appease Beijing. Wei praised Mo Yan's skill as a writer but questioned his actions including copying by hand part of a speech by late leader Mao Zedong for a commemorative book. Wei said the Chinese regime "tolerates" Mo Yan.

Read 2 stories related to this on Rappler

Mo Yan awarded Nobel Prize in Literature
China dissident criticizes Nobel literature




Outbreak

7. Meningitis in America



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Two more people have died from meningitis linked to steroid injections in Florida and Indiana, USA, bringing to 14 the total number of deaths since the outbreak began in September, Reuters said. Citing the US Centers for Disease Control, Reuters reported that the outbreak has alarmed US health officials, prompting them to focus on regulating pharmaceutical companies that produce the drugs. A total of 170 people have been stricken in 11 states, Reuters said.

Read full story at Reuters.




Overseas Filipinos

8. Ex-actress sues 'The Dark Knight' creator



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She cries discrimination. Former beauty queen and actress Dindi Gallardo has sued "The Dark Knight" creator Frank Miller, his girlfriend Kimberly Cox, and his company for racial discrimination. In the complaint filed on October 8 at the Manhattan Supreme Court, Gallardo accuses of racial discrimination, inflicting emotional distress and creating a hostile work environment that was tolerated by Miller. Gallardo is demanding unspecified punitive damages even if Cox had offered to settle to avoid the lawsuit. Gallardo, 41, was then Cox's assistant but was later promoted to executive assistant of Miller himself. Although born and raised in the Philippines, Gallardo is a naturalized American citizen and has lived in the US for 20 years and speaks fluent English.

Read the full story on Rappler




Movies

9. Snoopy, Charlie Brown on your big screens



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To celebrate the 65th anniversary of the Peanuts comic strip, the 20th Century Fox Animation announced it had acquired the rights to show Charles M. Schulz's series. Characters such as Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Linus and Peppermint Patty are thus headed back to the big screen, according to the BBC. The movie will be directed by Ice Age director Steve Martino. In its heyday, the Peanuts strip, which ran for 50 years, reached readers in 75 countries, the BBC said. The first Charlie Brown comic strip was published in 1950.

Read the full story on BBC




Basketball

10. Ateneo's 5-peat



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The Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles soared to its fifth consecutive UAAP title on October 11, after it defeated the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers 65-62 during Game 2 of the best-in-three finals series. Kiefer Ravena and Greg Slaughter teamed up to score 15 of the Blue Eagles' 18 points in the final period as the Katipunan-based squad fended off a late rally by the erratic Growling Tigers. "This one was tough," retiring coach Norman Black shared after the game. "We really had to make big plays down the stretch to win." The Eagles' championship is a fitting goodbye to Black, who is leaving Ateneo to return to coaching professionally. Black's 8-year-stay at the Ateneo makes him the longest tenured coach in the school's history.

Read the full story on Rappler

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