Today on Rappler.
Story 1: MILLIONS CELEBRATE DAWN OF 2013
Millions of people celebrate the dawn of 2013 in the streets of major cities around the world.
In Australia, crowds gather in the early afternoon to find a spot to watch the Sydney harbour bridge fireworks display.
The iconic bridge and nearby opera house serve as a backdrop for a dazzling display of pyrotechnics and music.
Over in the United States, a million people cheer in New York’s Times Square as the traditional crystal ball drops to mark the start of the new year.
Around one billion more around the world watch on television.
Similar celebrations take place in Hong Kong, London, Rio de Janeiro, and for the first time, Myanmar.
Meanwhile, celebrations in other parts of the world are more somber.
Paris bans fireworks for the night.
While India, still reeling from the deadly gang-rape of a medical student, cancels public new year’s eve celebrations out of respect for the victim.
Story 2: DOH: NEW YEAR 2013 INJURIES LOWEST IN 5 YEARS
Filipinos love to bring in the new year with a bang, but it comes at a cost to the people and the environment.
After a high-profile campaign against dangerous fireworks, the Department of Health records the lowest number of injuries from holiday celebrations in the past 5 years.
From December 21 to 6am of January 1, the health department reports 413 injuries from firecrackers and stray bullets.
This is 17 percent lower than the 498 cases recorded during the same period last year.
A total of 1,021 firework-related cases are recorded nationwide in 2011.
TEODORO HERBOSA, HEALTH UNDERSECRETARY: Itong statistic natin, 5 year average, mas mababa ang taon na ito sa five year average natin...Pag natapos na ang period of collection masasabi natin na aktwal kung mababa talaga, pero day by day, ang bantay namin mas mababa talaga ang numero na nirereport ng mag 50 ospital na binabantayan namin.
Health undersecretary Teodoro Herbosa says the department will come up with a complete report by January 5.
He adds, there are less major injuries reported this year.
Herbosa credits this to the implementation of Republic Act 7183, which regulates the sale and use of dangerous firecrackers.
On Sunday, President Benigno Aquino orders the police to shut down shops selling illegal fireworks and to file charges against those caught.
Story 3: PCGG HEAD WANTS TO WIND DOWN HUNT FOR MARCOS WEALTH
The head of the Presidential Commission on Good Government wants the government to end the search for the ill-gotten wealth of former president Ferdinand Marcos.
Andres Bautista, chairman of the PCGG, told Agence France-Presse that the return of the Marcos family to political power makes the recovery of assets difficult.
He adds, “It's been 26 years and people you are after are back in power.
At some point, you just have to say, 'we've done our best', and that's that.”
Since its creation in 1986 by President Corazon Aquino, the PCGG has recovered 164 billion pesos or four billion US dollars of Marcos assets.
But it has failed to successfully prosecute any Marcos heir or crony for graft and corruption.
Bautista laments that the Marcos family has the resources to - quote - “go head to head with [the PCGG] in respect to litigation.”
In 2010, the PCGG first proposed to President Aquino that it wind down operations within two years and transfer all pending cases to the Department of Justice and the Office of the Solicitor General.
Malacanang has yet to decide on the proposal.
Story 4: US SENATE APPROVES DEAL ON 'FISCAL CLIFF' CRISIS
Voting 89 to 8, the United States Senate passes a last-minute deal to avert the fiscal cliff that threatens to send the US economy into recession.
The Senate bill will preserve Bush-era income tax cuts for individuals earning less than $400,000 and will put off automatic budget cuts for two months.
The Republican-controlled House is set to vote on the measure, which could come as soon as Tuesday.
Vice President Joe Biden went to Capitol Hill to negotiate the deal with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and sell it to Democratic senators.
President Obama originally wanted tax hikes to kick in for those making $250,000 and above.
He earlier said the deal would extend tax credits for clean energy firms and unemployment insurance for two million people.
Story 5: N. KOREA LEADER VOWS 'RADICAL' ECONOMIC SHIFT
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un calls for a - quote - "radical turnabout" in the country's economy in a rare New Year's address Tuesday, the first of its kind in 19 years.
Kim says the country "should wage an all-out struggle [to build] an economic giant."
In his address, Kim also urges a scaling down of tensions between North and South Korea.
But South Korea's president-elect Park Geun Hye says she still views Pyongyang as a serious threat and would put the South's national security before any trust-building program.
Kim says building the economy does not mean a complete shift away from his father's "military first" policy.
But he does not mention North Korea's nuclear weapons program, despite growing speculation that Pyongyang is preparing to conduct a nuclear test...
following the successful launch of a long-range rocket last month.
Story 6: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 2, the prices of tobacco and alcohol are set to increase after the sin tax reform law takes effect on Tuesday.
The new tax rate for cigarettes with a net retail price of less than 11.50 pesos is now pegged at 12 pesos.
For higher priced cigarettes, the new tax rate is 25 pesos.
The measure will raise about 34 billion pesos in additional revenues from tobacco and alcohol in 2013, and 184.31 billion pesos over the next four years.
A large part of the revenues generated will go to the government’s health program.
At number 4, President Benigno Aquino urges Filipinos to vote wisely in the coming 2013 midterm elections.
In a New Year message, Aquino says - quote - “2013 is a critical chapter in our crusade for long-term development and clean governance and sustaining reforms started under his administration will depend on who gets elected in 2013.”
Aquino’s ruling Liberal Party and its allies seek to strengthen their position in Congress and in local governments across the country in preparation for the 2016 presidential elections.
At number 7, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is recovering from a blood clot that formed after she fell early in December.
Her doctors say she is making progress in her recovery and is in good spirits.
Clinton is set to step down as America’s top diplomat.
At number 8, Filipina Rizzini Alexis Gomez beats 55 others to win the Miss Tourism International beauty pageant held in Malaysia.
The 22-year old Cebuana nurse is the first Filipina to win the pageant since 2000.
And at number 10, say goodbye to Gangnam style.
South Korean viral sensation Psy says he will retire the hit song gangnam style because it has become - quote - ‘too popular.’
Psy performs the song during the New Year’s eve celebration at New York City’s Times Square on Monday, possibly for the last time.
Gangnam style is now the most viewed video on Youtube with over one billion views.
Psy says he is working on a new single for 2013.
Newscast production staff
|EXECUTIVE PRODUCER / WRITER||Lilibeth Frondoso|
|ASSOCIATE PRODUCER / PUBLISHER||Rodneil Quiteles|
|HEAD WRITER / PROMPTER||Katerina Francisco|
|MASTER EDITOR / PLAYBACK||Vicente Roxas|
|TECHNICAL DIRECTOR / CAMERAMAN||Charlie Salazar|