#ThewRap: Things you need to know, August 18, 2017

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

'TERRORIST ATTACK.' Policemen stand together on the Rambla boulevard after a van ploughed into the crowd, killing at least 13 people and injuring around 100 others on the Rambla in Barcelona on August 17, 2017. Photo by Josep Lago/AFP

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Hello!

Good morning!

Barcelona is grieving after a van driver plowed into crowds of pedestrians on the city's most popular street in broad daylight, killing 13 people in an attack claimed by the Islamic State jihadist group. Just hours later, 6 civilians and one police officer were also hurt when a car drove into people in the Spanish seaside resort of Cambrils in a similar vehicle attack.

In the Philippines, after months of promises, the Duterte administration's much anticipated spending spree finally kicked in to lift the country's economy in the 2nd quarter of 2017. The gross domestic product (GDP) recovered from 3 quarters of slowdown to hit 6.5% in the 2nd quarter of 2017, thanks to agriculture and infrastructure.

Malacañang also vowed an "impartial" investigation into the simultaneous Bulacan raids that killed a record number of alleged drug offenders in a single day – just one day after President Rodrigo Duterte praised the police operations.

As for Duterte, Human Rights Watch continues to slam the President, demanding for a retraction of his threat to shoot human rights advocates so they would know what real violations are like.

Also in today's wRap are updates on the Uber and LTFRB saga, a feature on the Gilas basketball team as it competes in the SEA Games, and an in-depth look at how the President is stifling press freedom by threatening ABS-CBN.

Here are the major stories you shouldn't miss this Friday.

13 dead in Barcelona van carnage, driver at large

Authorities say 13 people died and another 100 were injured in what police are treating as a 'terrorist attack,' warning that the death toll could rise further.

Gov't spending, agriculture lift Philippine GDP in Q2 2017

Spending on infrastructure is a bright spot for the economy in the 2nd quarter of 2017, but in a role reversal, it's now the private sector and not the government that is lagging.

LTFRB allows drivers to switch to Grab, U-Hop during Uber suspension

The affected drivers should present proof of Uber accreditation and proof of insurance coverage.

HRW to Duterte: Retract threat vs human rights advocates

The New York-based organization says President Rodrigo Duterte has placed 'targets' on the backs of human rights advocates.

Amid Marawi crisis, Gilas to give PH something to cheer for at SEA Games

More than victories and prestige, the national team will endeavor to unite the country amid the ongoing Marawi crisis.

Malacañang vows 'fair and impartial' probe into deadly Bulacan raids

Malacañang makes the promise a day after President Rodrigo Duterte expressed hope that future police operations would yield the same results.

Duterte's ace against ABS-CBN, the Philippines' biggest network

President Rodrigo Duterte's plan to block ABS-CBN's franchise is a threat to press freedom, experts tell Rappler.

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