The wRap


Your World in 10 - September 3, 2012 Edition

Released!

1. Murder charges against South African miners dropped



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South Africa’s lead public prosecutor has dropped murder charges filed against 270 miners whom local authorities blame for the murder of 34 other miners during a protest in Marikina, South Africa last August 16. The 34 miners are believed to have been shot dead by police but authorities using a controversial law from the apartheid-era arrested and charged their fellow strikers. The “common purpose doctrine” was previously used by South Africa’s white minority to address black activists fighting for democracy. The incident has sparked national outrage with South African Justice Minister Jeff Radebe calling for an explanation into the charging of the miners. Radebe says the incident has “induced a sense of shock, panic and confusion.” About 3000 miners have been on strike since August 10 demanding for higher pay. 10 people were killed during 3 days of clashes with the police. During the August 16 riot, police admit to have shot back when protesters started to attack. No police officer has been charged in relation to the incident pending a separate inquiry into the matter. The 270 miners will be released conditionally, pending investigations.

Read more on CNN and BBC.



PH Earthquake

2. August 31 quake leaves P14.22M in damage



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Hundreds of thousands of evacuees returned to their homes Sunday after the 7.7 magnitude earthquake that struck off the coast of Eastern Samar, Friday night, August 31. The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) estimates the damage caused by the quake amounts to around P14.22M. Eastern Visayas was worst hit. The quake triggered landslides in which one woman died. Tsunami warnings were also raised in the Philippines and as far as Indonesia, Japan and Papua New Guinea. Waves of over half a meter hit parts of the eastern coast but were not high enough to cause any damage. NDRRMC Benito Ramos said, the Philippines was “lucky” this time around but warned local governments to improve disaster preparedness measures particularly in relocating communities affected by similar earthquakes in the future.

Read more on Rappler



War in Syria

3. UNICEF: Deadliest week in Syria’s 18-month civil war



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The civil war in Syria has reached a new low in its 18-month history. The United Nations says 1,600 people were killed last week making it the deadliest week since the war broke. A spokesperson from the United Nations Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF) says that number includes children. A separate group, the Center of Documentation of Violation in Syria says almost 5,000 have died in the month of August. The death toll continues to rise as the government of Syrian President Basher al-Assad fights to keep control of the country over rebel fighters. Over the weekend opposition fighters claimed a military air force base in Albu Kamal.

Read more on CNN



Taliban connection?

4. US suspends training of Afghan police recruits



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The United States says it will temporarily halt training of new Afghan police recruits following a series of killings of NATO troops by Afghan policemen. 45 troops have been killed this year, the most recent incident saw the death of two American Special Forces members. Around a thousand Afghan local police (ALP) hopefuls undergoing training by US Special Forces are affected by the suspension. The move will give the US more time to “re-vet” over 27,000 ALP members and determine if any have ties to the Taliban. NATO officials admit the vetting process for Afghan soldiers was never strictly followed due to the immense “international pressure to grow these forces.”

Read more on Washington Post



Religion

5. Self-proclaimed Messiah, Sun Myung Moon dies



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Self-proclaimed Messiah, Rev. Sun Myung Moon of South Korea died of organ failure at a hospital in Gapyeong, South Korea Sunday, September 3 - he was 92. In 1954 Moon founded the Unification Church, one of the world’s most controversial religious organizations, it’s members, are often referred too as “Moonies” . The church is most known for its mass weddings involving thousands of participants at a time and has been involved in various lawsuits in relation to way it acquired funds, property and followers. In 2004 at a luncheon with US Congressmen, Moon referred to himself as “humanity’s savior”. Moon believes that Jesus was unsuccessful in his attempt to save mankind because he was unable to marry and have children before his crucification. Moon saw himself as the man to do what Jesus was unable to do, to purify mankind. Moon’s business empire spans dozens of firms involved in construction, food, education and media. He is also the founder of several international newspapers including the Washington Times.

Read more on New York Times and Rappler



#PHVote 2013

6. More overseas voters registered for 2013 compared to 2010



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With two months to go before the deadline for overseas Filipinos to register to vote for the 2013 elections, the Department of Foreign Affairs reports the number of registrants has already surpassed those who registered for the 2010 elections in the same period. As of August 31, there are already 249,391 new overseas registrants, almost 6% than the those registered during the same period from February to August 2009. The DFA says, “this indicates the increasing political consciousness of Filipinos overseas.” Meanwhile the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) has still to pass a resolution on how overseas voters will vote. In 2010 precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines were used only in Hong Kong and Singapore, in other countries, voting was done via mail. Casting of votes by overseas votes will take place between April 13 to May 13, 2013.

Read more on Rappler



Good and bad

7. Isaac floods threaten Louisiana, but ease drought elsewhere



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Authorities have lifted an evacuation order that affected thousands of residents of a neighborhood in New Orleans, Louisiana. The order was issued earlier this weekend after a lock in the Louisiana canal was at risk of breaking. Had it broke it would have sent flood waters from Hurricane Isaac through neighborhoods of St. Tammany Parish. Residents are relieved after water was released over the weekend eased pressure on the said lock. 4 people died when Isaac hit Mississippi and Louisiana late last week. Hundreds of thousands were still without power as late as Sunday morning. What is left of Hurricane Isaac is making its way through the Central United States helping to ease what some call the worst drought seen in the half a decade.

Read more on NBC News and CNN



2012 Paralympics

8. Pistorius sets WR in heats but settles for silver in 200m final



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Oscar Pistorius was off to an amazing start at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. The double amputee from South Africa set a new world record in the heats of the T44 200m race. His time was 21.30 seconds, more than half a second faster than the previous record. But his Paralympic campaign took an unexpected twist however when he failed to clinch the gold medal in the event after a stunning upset by Brazilian Alan Fonteles Cardoso Oliveira in the final. Pistorius was forced to settle for the silver after Oliveria came from behind in the last few meters of the race. Comments made by Pistorius after his loss however drew criticism from fans after he accused Oliveria of using blades that were 4 inches higher than the standard. The 25-year-old made history a few weeks back by being the first double amputee to compete at the Olympic Games. Pistorius will be competing in the 100m, 200m and 400m events at these Paralympic Games.

Read more on Telegraph



#UAAP75

9. Ateneo takes down La Salle, leads with 9-1 slate



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The Ateneo Blue Eagles reaffirmed their dominance of the UAAP Season 75 with a convincing 77-67 win over the De La Salle University last weekend. Ateneo’s Ryan Buenafe was the game’s top scorer with a career-best 24 points and 8 rebounds. Buenafe bounced back after being ejected in the last game for two unsportsmanlike fouls. Ateneo’s 8th straight victory gives them a solo lead with a 9-1 slate. Earlier Saturday, Jeric Teng powered the UST Growling Tigers to a 83-79 win over Adamson University. On Sunday, it came down to a buzzer beater by Ryan Roose Garcia to clinch a 77-75 victory for FEU against National University. The win allows FEU to tie with UST at second spot in the league with a 8-3 win-loss record. The UE Red Warriors also won by a buzzer beater to take down the University of the Philippines 79-76.

Read more on Rappler



Ale to the chief

10. White House releases secret beer recipe



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Beer drinkers all over the world have been fascinated with “White House Beer” since President Barack Obama mentioned it a few weeks back. Over the course of his campaign trail he has mentioned it several times, saying he enjoys one after a long day at the office. The President even took a question on the beer recipe during a recent chat with the tech website Reddit. But despite an online petition calling for the release of recipe, Obama and other White House officials remained mum. That is until this weekend when the White House in a blog post entitled, “Ale to the Chief” released the recipe for two White House beers, “The White House Honey Ale” and “The White House Honey Porter”. The blog post also includes an instructional video. Some say the release of the recipe, and Obama’s willingness to have photos of him taken drinking beer is part of a campaign strategy that makes him more relatable to voters. Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney is a Mormon and does not drink beer.

Read more on White House and SMH