The wRap


Your World in 10 - October 5, 2012 Edition

Plunder case

1. Arroyo, 2 others detained



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Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was arrested anew on October 4 over plunder charges filed against her by the Ombudsman. But before the police could serve the warrant on her, she went to a government hospital, the same facility that she used in a previous hospital arrest. Two of her 9 co-accused have also surrendered, both former officials of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office who, the Ombudsman said, misused the agency's intelligence funds with the approval of Mrs Arroyo. Plunder is a non-bailable offense in the Philippines. Another former Philippine leader, Joseph Estrada, was also jailed -- and convicted -- for plunder. But Mrs Arroyo herself, who was then president, eventually granted him pardon.

Read the full story on Arroyo's arrest here

Read the full story on the co-accused's surrender here




Turkey shelling

2. UN condemns Syria



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The UN Security Council has condemned Syria "in the strongest terms" for its deadly shelling of Turkey, while UN chief Ban Ki-moon urged restraint along the neighbors' tinder-box border. Turkey had demanded strong Security Council action after Syrian fire killed 5 Turkish women and children on October 3, prompting retaliatory Turkish strikes against a military position inside Syria that reportedly killed several soldiers. After hours of haggling between Turkey's Western allies on the Security Council and longtime Syria backer Russia, the top UN body issued its statement, which although toughly worded was a rung down from a formal resolution. The text also urged "restraint" and Guatemala's ambassador to the United Nations, the current council president, said this applied to both Syria and Turkey.

Read the full story on Rappler





Industry

3. New mining rules signed



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President Benigno Aquino III has approved the final version of the mining rules, which retained the cut in mining contracts' maximum term from the current 50 years to 25 -- a provision that the mining industry has described as "patently illegal." Presidential Communications Secretary Ricky Carandang said the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the government's policy on mining under Executive Order 79 (EO-79) is "final." The IRR has 4 most contentious provisions: the term of the mining contract; the no-go areas or those barred from any mining activities; the primacy of national over local laws, and; a no-new-contract policy put in place while the government and the mining firms pursue a revenue-sharing scheme in Congress.

Read the full story on Rappler






Politics

4. Aquino bails out new poll commissioner



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Is there something wrong with this picture? Grace Padaca, a former governor known for her integrity, is appointed commissioner of the Commission on Elections, an independent constitutional body tasked to oversee the May 2013 mid-term elections. A day after her appointment, Padaca posts a P70,000 bail for a graft charge against her. President Benigno Aquino III, who heads the ruling Liberal Party (LP) that seeks to win all senatorial seats next year, provides the money for the bail bond. And Padaca is accompanied to the court by a key LP leader, Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas. Padaca vowed to remain independent though, saying her track record speaks for itself.

Read the full story on Rappler






Disaster in China

5. 18 school children dead in landslide



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All 18 school children who were buried when a landslide engulfed their primary school in remote and mountainous southwestern China have died, according to state media. The landslide, triggered by sustained rains, buried the school and 3 farmhouses in Yunnan province October 4 as children arrived to make up classes lost due to deadly earthquakes in the area last month that killed 81 people. Rescuers pulled the body of the last missing child from the landslide debris early October 5. The disaster in the village of Zhenhe is likely to raise questions over why the children had been brought back into the school, located in a deep mountain valley, when the rest of China was on a week-long national holiday.

Read the full story on Rappler





Presidential debate

6. Big Bird is angry



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In the first face-off between President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney last October 4, Romney said he would push to end subsidies to PBS, the United States' leading public broadcasting network. Romney told debate moderator Jim Lehrer, himself a PBS newsman: “I’m going to stop the subsidy to PBS. I’m going to stop other things. I like PBS. I love Big Bird. I actually like you too. But I’m not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for things we don’t need.” PBS expressed "disappointment" over the statement, saying Romney "does not understand the value the American people place on public broadcasting and the outstanding return on investment the system delivers to our nation." Federal funding of the agency equals "about one one-hundredth of one percent of the federal budget," PBS added. "Elimination of funding would have virtually no impact on the nation’s debt. Yet the loss to the American public would be devastating.”

Read the full story on the Wall Street Journal





#phvote

7. 3 Binays running in 2013



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The eldest daughter of Vice President Jejomar Binay will complete his senatorial slate under the United Nationalist Alliance. The 39-year-old Nancy Binay has been part of UNA as deputy secretary-general. Despite her high survey ratings, she had refused to join politics. Now, Nancy will join her siblings in vying for positions in the 2013 elections. Her brother, Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr is running for reelection. Her sister, Makati Rep Mar-Len Abigail Binay-Campos of the 2nd District, is also running for reelection. Nancy Binay joins other political children in the UNA slate: San Juan Rep JV Ejercito, former President Joseph Estrada’s son, and Cagayan Rep Juan Ponce “Jack” Enrile Jr, son of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.

Read the full story on Rappler





Technology

8. Who's the next Steve Jobs?



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It's a question often asked in tech circles ever since the legend died exactly a year ago today, Oct 5, 2011. After all, even Apple has undergone some changes albeit in a subtle manner. CNN concedes that "no figure in the tech industry will perfectly duplicate the unique blend of vision, salesmanship, mystique and eye for detail possessed by Jobs." But it has drawn up a list nonetheless that analyzes the pros and cons of each technology leader. It includes Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon; Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook; Tim Cook, CEO of Apple; Jonathan Ive, senior vice president of Apple; and Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo. Take a look at the list and make your pick.

Read the full story on CNN





Health

9. Aspirin slows brain decline



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Take it once a day. Chances are it just might slow your brain decline. A recent Swedish study shows that an aspirin a day may slow brain decline among elderly women, the BBC reported. Researchers tested 500 women facing risk of cardiovascular disease and discovered that those who took aspirin performed better. The questions asked during the test include orientation questions like, "what is today's date?," "where are we today?" and visual-spatial tests like drawing two interlinking pentagons, the BBC added. Researchers warned against self-medication though.

Read the full story on BBC





1st in history

10. Champion boxer says he's gay



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Puerto Rican Featherweight Orlando “El Olimpico” Cruz (18-2-1, 9KO), a former Olympian and the current interim WBO Latino Featherweight champion, announced October 3 that he is gay. The revelation made him the first boxer in the history of the sport to come out of the closet. It’s certainly a surprise, in a sport as primal and as violent where 'gay' insults are easily thrown around and aimed at any fighter who is perceived to be ducking opposition. But the 31-year-old 126-pounder looks to inspire kids like him who may be thinking about taking up professional boxing to make a living.

Read the full story on Rappler