The wRap


Your World in 10 - September 27, 2012 Edition

#WhyMining

1. More than P1bn fine for mine tailings leaks



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The Philippines imposes a fine of a little more than P1 billion on Philex Mining, the country's largest mining company, for the leak of more than 20 million tons of solid waste from its Padcal mine in Benguet. Philex shut down the mine after the first leak was discovered in August and says it's planning to build more tailings ponds. The accident is expected to have severe repercussions on its performance, cutting revenues from an estimated P4bn to a little more than P1.5 bn this year. Philex chair Manny Pangilinan gave these numbers before the fine was announced.

Read more on Business World and Rappler



Terrorism

2. Al-Qaeda's black flag seized in the PH, Clinton links Qaeda to Libya



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The black flag has a special place in al-Qaeda lore. Since Sept. 11, it's been raised in violent protests around the world, including in Benghazi, Libya, where a mob stormed the US consulate and killed 4 Americans, including US ambassador Christopher Stevens. On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton links an al-Qaeda affiliate to the attack. Last Thursday, authorities in the Philippines discovered the black flag during a raid ofan Abu Sayyaf camp in Zamboanga City. It's not the first time the black flag has appeared in the Philippines.

Read more in this Rappler exclusive and about Clinton's statements on the New York Times.



Civil War

3. Syrian rebels hit army HQ, Egypt calls for end to war in Syria



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Rebel fighters attacked the army headquarters in the center of Damascus showing their sophistication and reach which has grown during the 18 month conflict. The explosions were the largest to hit Damascus since a bombing in July that killed three top government officials. Syria's government and main international supporters, Iran and Russia, say the rebels are financed and supported by other countries. At the United Nations General Assemby, the United States snubbed the speech of Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who said "uncivilized Zionists" were a "continued threat" to Iran and slammed the West's "nuclear intimidation." Egypt's new president Mohammed Morsi urged an end to the civil war in Syria.

Read more about the rebel attacks in Syria on the Wall Street Journal. Read more about Iran's Ahmadinejad speech on Rappler and watch Egypt's Morsi speech on NBC.



Technology

4. Smartphone sales surge, PH tops SE Asia



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Smart device sales are booming globally. Computers, smartphones and tablets sold increased sharply in the past quarter, driven by smartphones and tablets, according to a global survey. The IDC report said shipment increased 27.4% year-on-year. Smartphone sales surged in the Philippines, which is now considered its fastest-growing market in Southeast Asia, increasing 326% in the past 12 months. According to Singapore-based research firm GfK, the Philippines growth from 9 to 24% is the highest jump in smartphone market share in the region.

Read more about the Philippines' surge in smartphones here and the growth in global sales of smart devices here - all on Rappler.



Cybercrime

5. Anonymous PH hacks websites to protest cybercrime law



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Can you break a law to protest a law? Well, that's exactly what a loose grouping of computer programmers and activists did Wednesday night. Calling themselves Anonymous Philippines - linking to a global Anonymous, known for bringing down websites through distributed denial of service attacks - a group of hackers attacked several government websites, starting with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. They replaced the content with a symbol of Anonymous and a treatise against the new cybercrime law.

Read more on Rappler.



Euro Crisis

6. Protests in Athens, Madrid push markets down



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Violent protests erupted in Athens, Greece as tens of thousands of protestors clashed with police. They were linked to a 24 hour strikes called by the country's two giant unions, the first test for the government from opposition to its cutbacks. They coincided with antiausterity protests in Madrid, Spain - both triggered by uncertainty and fear of new measures and budget cuts. The twin-protests affected markets, first in Europe where the Euro Stoxx 50 index went down 2.7%. Sentiment spread and weighed down other markets as well.

Read more on the Wall Street Journal.



Science

7. Asian scientists create new element



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Japanese scientists say they finally created one of the elements missing from the periodic table of elements, #113. Not found naturally on earth, Element 113 is an atom with 113 protons in its nucleus. It was created at the RIKEN Nishina Center for Accelerator-Based Science in Japan and if validated would be the first element discovered in Asia, giving Japan naming rights to an element of the periodic table - the first time for any Asian nation.

Read more about Element 113 on CBS News



Art

8. Second Mona Lisa authenticated after 35 years?



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Would you like to see the Mona Lisa at least 10 years younger? That's exactly what the Mona Lisa foundation says you can do when you look at the "Isleworth Mona Lisa." After 35 years of research, the foundation claims it has definitive proof its painting of a woman with a coy smile is an earlier painting of Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa and predates the masterpiece by at least a decade based on regression tests, mathematical comparisons and historical and archival records. Experts who have studied the paintings say the woman in the Isleworth painting is in her 20's. The famous Mona Lisa is in her 30's. Other experts though have questioned the Isleworth painting's authenticity. The foundation says it will publish a book with its new evidence.

Read more on the Associated Press



Gay Bounty

9. HK billionaire offers $65 million to any man who wins lesbian daughter



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After reports his daughter, a 33 year old University of Manchester graduate, wed her long-term girlfriend in a civil partnership in France, HK property magnate Cecil Chao Sze-tsung announced a $65 million bounty to any man who could woo and win his daughter, Gigi Chao. He also told the South China Morning Post reports of his daughter's civil ceremony were "false." A photo on her Facebook page showed she and her girlfriend of 7 years flew to France two days before the reported ceremony.

Read more on the Telegraph



Technology

10. New 'shoot now focus later' camera



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New technology now gives you a camera that allows you to shoot and then adjust the focus later! The telescope-shaped camera uses "light field technology" to allow the focal point of a digital image to be changed after the picture is taken. Called Lytro, the camera uses powerful sensors to capture significantly more light than a conventional camera. It will be available in October at shops in Australia, Canada, Singapore, Hong Kong and the United states. It began shipping in March but was only available by order on the Internet.

Read more on Rappler.