#ThewRap: Things you need to know, April 11, 2017

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

An aerial view of a section of the Great Barrier Reef near Cairns, Australia, March 2017. Photo courtesy Ed Roberts/ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies

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Hello!

Hello there, Rappler reader,

As Christians observe Holy Week, President Rodrigo Duterte flies off to the Middle East to meet with the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Qatar. Back home, a new survey showed FIlipinos are satisfied with the President's performance, while his deputy, Vice President Leni Robredo, saw her satisfaction rating fall. Outside the Philippines, the most 'viral' story has been the rough treatment of a United Airlines passenger, whose bloodied face spread throughout the Internet, sparking outrage.

These stories, and more, are in today's wRap!

Duterte steady, Robredo slides in SWS satisfaction survey

President Rodrigo Duterte maintains his net satisfaction rating, while Vice President Leni Robredo sees hers slide, the Social Weather Stations (SWS) said in its latest survey. Duterte kept his +63 "very good" net satisfaction rating, while Robredo's dropped to a "moderate" +26. The SWS survey also polled Filipinos on their satisfaction with the performance of other top officials – Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III, Alvarez, and Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno. The satisfaction ratings of the 3 other officials were statistically unchanged or within the margin of error.

Duterte starts Middle East trip

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has started his 3-country Mideast trip, arriving in Riyadh late Monday evening, April 10 (Riyadh time), for a two-day state visit. Philippine Consul General to Riyadh Iric Arribas said the Philippines and Saudi Arabia aim to forge at least 3 agreements during Duterte's visit including an agreement to protect overseas Filipino workers in the country. Duterte will then proceed to Bahrain and Qatar.

President deliberately 'misinformed' over rice importation issue, says fired official

Was President Rodrigo Duterte deliberately misinformed by his inner circle about the rice importation issue? Dismissed Palace undersecretary Halmen Valdez thinks some officials with direct access to Duterte may have been "name-dropping" poor Filipino farmers in order to rile up the President. Valdez said the "poor card" must have been used on Duterte to persuade him to fire her and to reject an extension of deadline for private rice importers.

Outrage over airline's forceful removal of passenger from plane

United Airlines found itself in the middle of a social media storm on Monday, April 10, after the US carrier forcefully removed a passenger from a flight due to overbooking.

The airline said it had asked for volunteers to give up their seats on a Sunday flight bound for Louisville, Kentucky, from Chicago. Police were called after one passenger refused to leave the plane. Smartphone video posted online showed 3 Chicago Department of Aviation police officers struggling with a seated middle-aged man.

Stories on US elections, PH war on drugs win Pulitzer Prizes

Work that challenged US President Donald Trump during the country's divisive election campaign, the Panama Papers, as well as images on the Philippines' deadly war on drugs were honored with Pulitzer Prizes, the most prestigious awards in US journalism, on Monday, April 10. The 101th edition of the awards, announced at Columbia University in New York, came with the US news media under assault from the White House for peddling "fake news" critical of the administration, and after the press took a bashing for failure to predict Trump's election.

CA affirms verdict in Jennifer Laude case

The Court of Appeals (CA) affirmed a trial court ruling that declared US Marine Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton guilty of homicide for the death of Jennifer Laude, a Filipina transgender, 3 years ago. The CA also upheld the award of loss of earning capacity to the heirs of Laude in the amount of P4.32 million as well as exemplary damages of P30,000. It also increased the civil indemnity and moral damages awarded to Laude’s heirs from P50,000 to P75,000.

Coral bleaching has hit Great Barrier Reef hard, scientists confirm

Coral bleached for two consecutive years at Australia's Great Barrier Reef has "zero prospect" of recovery, scientists warned Monday, April 10, as they confirmed the site has again been hit by warming sea temperatures. Researchers said last month they were detecting another round of mass bleaching this year after a severe event in 2016, and their fears were confirmed after aerial surveys of the entire 2,300-kilometer (1,400-mile) long bio-diverse reef.

Pinoy boxer knocks out Thai opponent with mysterious record

Filipino boxer Mark John Yap, the current OPBF bantamweight champion, recorded his seventh straight win on Sunday, April 9 in Osaka, Japan. The win moved his record to 26-12 (12 knockouts), but the true record of the fighter he beat remains in question.

Thor: Ragnarok trailer teases superhero's new battles

In the first teaser trailer for the superhero movie Thor: Ragnarok, released Monday, April 10, we see Thor (Chris Hemsworth) in chains without his trusted hammer Mjolnir, after being beaten by Hela (Cate Blanchett) – Asgard has fallen. Thor: Ragnarok is directed by Taika Waititi and opens in the US on November 3.

Top image: An aerial view of a section of the Great Barrier Reef near Cairns, Australia, March 2017. Photo courtesy Ed Roberts/ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies

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