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#ThewRap: Things you need to know, December 19, 2017
#ThewRap: Things you need to know, December 19, 2017
Hello! Here's an overview of news you need to know this Tuesday.

Hello and hope you’re having a good Tuesday, Rappler reader!

It has been a rainy few days in large parts of the Philippines, no thanks to the storm Urduja (Kai-tak), which dumped large volumes of water, particularly in the Visayas. The government said aid and reconstruction efforts for areas affected by the storm will be fast-tracked.

As the government finalizes the 2018 budget, Rappler takes a look at President Rodrigo Duterte’s multi-million intelligence funds. As the President’s intelligence and confidential funds reach record highs, should taxpayers be worried, as these funds are barely audited?

Meanwhile, Donald Trump unveils his ‘America First’ national security policy; a train derails in the US; and a Kpop superstar dies. These, and more stories, in today’s wRap.

Duterte vows speedy aid for Biliran, Urduja-affected areas

President Rodrigo Duterte began his week with a visit to Biliran, one of the provinces reeling from devastation wrought by Tropical Depression Urduja (Kai-tak). 

Are Duterte’s multi-million-peso intel funds achieving their purpose?

[NEWSBREAK] Confidential and intelligence funds, by their nature, are difficult to audit. Given significant increases in level of spending on these items, should taxpayers simply trust that President Duterte is ‘a good man’?

‘Multiple’ deaths as train derails over Washington state highway

An Amtrak passenger train traveling on a new route for the first time derailed Monday, December 18, in Washington state, killing “multiple” people as cars flew off a bridge onto a busy highway at the height of rush hour, officials said.

Bishop seeks freedom of supermarket clerk jailed for stealing corned beef

“For heaven’s sake, let’s get this man out of jail! I am willing to repay his employer, the supermarket owner, a hundred times over,” says Bishop Pablo David.

Trump sends mixed message with ‘America First’ security strategy

US President Donald Trump used the launch of his first National Security Strategy on Monday, December 18, to laud the benefits of cooperation with Russia, a striking departure from the document’s more combative tone toward the Kremlin.

LOOK: ‘Circulatory’ and ‘skeletal’ maps of the Philippines

For Filipino geographer and cartographer David Garcia, making maps can be useful in urban planning and disaster preparedness.

SHINee’s Jonghyun dead in apparent suicide

K-Pop boy group SHINee’s lead vocalist Kim Jonghyun was found dead in an apartment in Cheongdam, Gangnam on Monday, December 18. Korean media outlets, including the Yonhap News Agency, quoted Gangnam police as saying that the singer died in an apparent suicide. He was 27 years old.

Top photo: A girl jumps for a photo under the Christmas decorations set on a street in central Moscow on December 18, 2017. Mladen Antonov/AFP

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