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#ThewRap: Videos you need to watch this week, January 1-7, 2018

Dear Rappler readers, 

2018 began with both fireworks and torrential rain. The Department of Health recorded 191 firecracker-related injuries on New Year’s Eve, prompting Health Secretary Francisco Duque III to propose a total firecracker ban. While it did not develop into a full storm until it was about to leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility, Agaton brought rains to the southern and central Philippines, still recovering from two consecutive Christmas storms Urduja and Vinta. 

Another storm came in the form of the tempest brought about by Senator Sherwin Gatchalian’s meltdown on Twitter, where he lashed and cursed at people who called him “trapo” and “balimbing.” Gatchalian later defended his outburst, saying he is “human like everyone else.” Many criticized Gatchalian’s inability to control his emotions, including multi-awarded artist Lea Salonga, who reminded public figures “you’re fair game the moment you open an account, and it can really test your patience and resolve.” 

Filipinos also welcomed 2018 with new withholding tax rates. The Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law took effect in the new year, and as a result, basic goods and commodities hike up. Communications secretary Martin Andanar defended the new set of tax hikes, saying better basic services are in the offing. 

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio is among the top contenders in the May 2019 senatorial elections, based on two surveys obtained by Rappler on Wednesday. The fiery daughter of President Rodrigo Duterte joined the Magic 12 in surveys conducted by polling firms Social Weather Stations (SWS) in December 2017 and Laylo Research Strategies in November 2017. Both surveys were dominated by reelectionists led by survey front-runner Senator Grace Poe and returning senators led by Taguig Representative Pia Cayetano. 

Meanwhile, a bombshell dropped in the United States in the form of a provocative book – “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.” The book is an exposé by author and political muckraker Michael Wolff that quotes key Trump aides expressing serious doubt about his fitness for office. Trump tried to suppress the release of the book but and it has already sold out barely four days after its release. 

Here are the stories we think you shouldn’t miss. 

Netizens slam Sherwin Gatchalian over 'Ulol, Gago' tweets

'Check your language,' netizens who saw the tweets of Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on New Year's eve ask him

DOH considers recommending total firecracker ban to Duterte

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III says imposing a total ban on firecrackers would require the government to provide alternative sources of livelihood to vendors who would lose their jobs

Preemptive evacuation helps Bohol achieve zero casualty during Agaton

Bohol Governor Edgar Chatto says the province 'is not very badly affected' by Tropical Depression Agaton, which brought to Bohol torrential rains that lasted for more than 24 hours

Pricier goods under TRAIN Law mean better basic services, says Andanar

Communications Secretary Martin Andanar says the TRAIN Law will open more job opportunities for Filipinos

Sara Duterte joins Magic 12 in 2019 Senate race surveys

Presidential daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio joins the list dominated by reelectionist and returning senators

Trump lashes out at bombshell book after failing to block release

Publishers respond to a cease-and-desist letter by moving forward by 4 days the release of 'Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House'

[WATCH] Rappler Live Jam: Cynthia Alexander

Singer-songwriter Cynthia Alexander introduces new songs and plays old favorites at Rappler HQ!