NEWSCAST top story: NoKor missile a dud

Rappler.com

Story 1: NOKOR 
North Korea admits its satellite failed to enter its orbit. The rocket exploded in mid-air less than 2 minutes after lift-off today Friday the 13th. This controversial long range rocket test was supposed to reach as far as east of Cagayan in the Philippines. Japan and the United States were among the first to confirm the mission was a failure. South Korea said the rocket exploded into 20 pieces and fell into the sea. 

North Korea’s admission of failure marks a departure from the past, when it insisted that two previous launch attempts were successful, though both clearly failed. North Korea suffers from persistent food and electricity shortages but spent hundreds of millions of dollars for the launch. According to experts, launch failures are common even for technologically-advanced nations. But given the publicity, the failure was a humiliating blow to the totalitarian state. 

Experts also say some of the scientists and engineers who worked on the launch may face death for the embarrassment. North Korea insists it was a peaceful space project but the United States says it was a disguised long-range ballistic missile test banned under a UN resolution. The missile launch was seen as a serious threat to regional security.

Story 2: PACMAN
People’s Champ and Saranggani Representative Manny Pacquiao will be joining Vice President Jejomar Binay’s political party, PDP-Laban. Vice president Binay says in an interview that Pacquiao approached him and asked to join his party. 

Pacquiao is expected to run for governor of Saranggani in the upcoming elections. The move signals his intent to break away from his old political party, the Nacionalista Party led by former presidential candidate, Senator Manny Villar.

Story 3: FB-INSTAGRAM
On Thursday, Rappler spoke with internet enterpreneur Hans Roxas-Chua on Facebook’s one billion purchase of mobile photo sharing app Instagram. Roxas-Chua talked about the trends that small businesses can see from Instagram. 

Mobile is the future. Facebook is a web first photo sharing service but Instagram is a mobile first company. People access Instagram through their phones, and Roxas-Chua points out that’s where consumers and businesses are moving. He says consumers and businesses are going mobile and the buy makes sense. He adds by buying the popular mobile photo sharing app, Facebook eliminates the need to create its own and adopted Instagram’s community. 

“If you see most of the growth coming from mobile you need a company that has a mobile first perspective. It was maybe a way for Facebook to ensure it maximizes its chances of expanding into the next frontier”.

Story 4: GOOGLE
Google Plus users, check out its latest look.

Google just rolled out its new redesign for its 5-month old social network, calling it more functional and flexible. The look is simpler – but similar to other networking sites like Facebook’s timeline and Twitter’s discovery page. It introduces new concepts like a navigation ribbon on the right making it easier to access its features. Google Plus now has 170 million registered users after its launch November 2011.

Story 5: SALN  
Public officials will be filing their Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth or SAL-N for this year as mandated by law. The deadline is April 30. The on-going Corona Trial, which is still on a 6-week break, focuses attention on SAL-Ns and how well public officials comply with the law. Rappler

Carmela Fonbuena reports.

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Story 6: PALARO
At least 10,000 athletes and sports officials will gather in Pangasinan for next month’s Palarong Pambansa. 

As Rappler Natashya Gutierrez reports, the local government will be pulling all stops to bring back the luster to the country’s biggest sports event.

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Story 7: JESSICA
A day after 16 year old American Idol contestant Jessica Sanchez wowed the audience with her song “Stuttering”, she ends up with the lowest number of votes in this week’s elimination round. In a shocking turn of events, Sanchez ends up in the bottom three with fellow fan  favorites Joshua Ledet and Elise Testone. 

As host Ryan Seacrest announces the elimination results and singles out Sanchez with the lowest number of votes, boos and jeers were heard from the audience. Judges Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez, and Randy Jackson are surprised.  Jackson calls itl it “a ridiculous bottom three”. As Sanchez sings her exit song “Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here,” the three judges walk on stage and interrupt her. 

American Idol judges can only save one contestant per season and they used it to save  Jessica. The show ends with Sanchez getting another standing ovation.

– Rappler.com