#ThewRap: Things you need to know, November 7, 2016

Hello! Here are the stories you shouldn't miss this Monday.

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Hello!

Dear Rappler reader:

In a few hours, the world will know if Americans will have their first female commander in chief or if they will elect as president the billionaire real estate tycoon who hosted The Apprentice. As the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) finally lifts the threat that Hillary Clinton might face charges over her private email server, the former US Secretary of State leads the race vs Trump by a slim margin according to various polls. In the Philippines, Senator Leila De Lima files a petition for writ of habeas data against President Duterte, believing he has abused his immunity from suit. Activists and human rights victims during Martial Law stage their final plea against a hero's burial for late dictator Ferdinand Marcos with former President Benigno Aquino III adding his voice to the protest for the first time. Governor Manuel Mamba of Cagayan said the province needs a Yolanda-like rehab plan, due to damages it sustained from Super Typhoon Lawin (Haima) last month. Elsewhere in the world, European car manufacturer Volkswagen continues to struggle with the worst crisis in its history as investigators probe the involvement of its executives in the 'dieselgate' scandal. Hackers continue to exploit vulnerabilities in "internet of things" devices. Their target last week: the single broadband link in Liberia. Finally, we give you how Germany, Israel, Belgium, Russia, and China rate as potential alternative firearms suppliers now that the US is reluctant to sell firearms to the Philippine police.

Stay on top of the news with today's list of stories you shouldn't miss.

Battlegrounds in play in U.S. election's final hours

In the final hours of the US election, polling firms give Hillary Clinton a national lead, albeit a narrow one. NBC/Wall Street Journal's final poll of the election showed Clinton with a 4-point lead Sunday over Trump, 44% to 40%. An ABC/Washington Post tracker Sunday put Clinton 5 points ahead, 48 to 43. Polling averages are closer. Clinton and Donald Trump make their last pitches to voters in a frenetic final 48-hour dash across key contested states. The bruising and unpredictable race that concludes on November 8 has gripped the world and roiled international markets. Will Americans elect their first female commander in chief or a billionaire real estate tycoon whose political inexperience is seen by some as an asset and others a liability? Follow our live coverage of #USVote for the latest developments.

FBI lifts Clinton email cloud as US election looms

Only 36 hours before Hillary Clinton's White House showdown with Donald Trump, the Federal Bureau of Investigation finally lifts the threat that Hillary Clinton might face charges over her private email server. The Democrat's camp welcomed the news that FBI Director James Comey had decided not to change his July recommendation that she not be prosecuted for putting US secrets at risk while serving as secretary of state. Trump, who has hammered away at the email issue in stump speeches 3 to 4 times a day for the last few weeks of the campaign, had no immediate reaction to Comey's decision. But at a rally in Minnesota, a state won comfortably by Obama in 2012, he returned to his familiar theme of the corruption of the Washington elite.

De Lima files petition vs Duterte at Supreme Court

Embattled senator Leila De Lima files a petition for writ of habeas data against President Duterte, believing he has abused his immunity from suit. De Lima, accompanied by supporters and women leaders, lodged a petition for writ of habeas data against Duterte on Monday, November 7. De Lima earlier said that while she recognizes that the Chief Executive enjoys immunity from suit, she would push through with the filing of her petition to test the doctrine. She said she believes the framers of the doctrine did not intend for the rule to be "abused" by any President, which she had accused Duterte of committing, in her case.

Protesters stage last plea vs Marcos burial

Activists and human rights victims during Martial Law held a Mass and concert on Sunday, November 6, culminating months of protests against the planned hero's burial for the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. The event at Luneta was organized ahead of the Supreme Court (SC) ruling on the matter, which is expected to be released on Tuesday, November 8. Former president Benigno Aquino III, who joined the protest for the first time, stressed that the fight against a hero's burial for the late dictator is not just about the feud between his family and that of the Marcoses. "This is a struggle of many Filipinos." Aquino said he chose to be silent first because he wanted voices of other victims to be heard.

Cagayan needs Yolanda-like rehab plan – Governor Mamba

Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba on Sunday, November 6, said the province needs a Yolanda-like rehabilitation plan to cope with the damage brought by Super Typhoon Lawin (Haima) last month. In a press release, provincial information officer Rogie Sending quoted Mamba as saying that despite the much lower casualty count from Lawin compared to 2013's Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), Cagayan "obviously" suffered heavily in agriculture and infrastructure. The Cagayan Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) said the supertyphoon left P5.7 billion worth of damage to agriculture and P2.8 billion worth of damage to infrastructure in the province.

German prosecutors extend 'dieselgate' probe to Volkswagen chairman

German prosecutors are probing whether Volkswagen executives manipulated the markets in the wake of the "dieselgate" scandal have widened their investigation to include the group's supervisory board chief, the embattled auto giant said Sunday, November 6. The announcement is a fresh blow to VW's efforts to move on from from the worst crisis in its history, which erupted after the group admitted in September 2015 to installing software in 11 million diesel engines worldwide that could dupe emissions tests to make the cars seem less polluting than they were. VW said the probe had now also ensnared board chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch, who was only appointed last year, and would focus on his previous role as the group's chief financial officer. Prosecutors in the German city of Brunswick are already investigating former CEO Martin Winterkorn and another former board member for allegedly holding back information from investors in the days after the scandal erupted.

Huge cyber attack disrupts internet in Liberia

In yet another another massive cyber attack that exploited 'internet of things' devices, hackers targeting Liberia's single broadband link took the country's internet intermittently offline for the last week, web security experts said Friday, November 4. The characteristics of the attack point to the same type of cyber weapon that crippled several major websites based in the United States in late October. Using software called "Mirai," hackers deployed a network of infected computers known only as "Botnet 14" to repeatedly overload the country's broadband network, taking Liberia offline for minutes at a time, internet security expert Kevin Beaumont told Agence France-Presse. A recent attack that also used vulnerabilities in 'internet of things' crippled Netflix, Twitter and other popular sites.

Alternative weapon suppliers for the PH: how they fare

With the reluctance of the US to continue with its arms deal with the Philippines, PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa says the country can still source weapons from Germany, Israel, Belgium, Russia, and China. Three of the 5 countries Dela Rosa mentioned were identified as the biggest arms exporters in 2011 to 2015 by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Check out how these countries rate as firearms suppliers.

Finally, Rappler is covering the presidential and vice presidential elections in the United States, with perspective provided by Filipinos who are based there.

BOOKMARK THIS PAGE for updates, photos, videos, interviews, fast facts, and analyses starting November 8, Monday, Manila time. We will have a marathon coverage from Tuesday night to Wednesday as the results come in. A live broadcast on Wednesday morning (Manila time), in time for the announcement of winners, will be anchored by Maria Ressa.

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