#ThewRap: Things you need to know, October 26, 2017

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

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Hello!

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Alibaba founder Jack Ma was in Manila Wednesday to receive an honorary degree from De La Salle University, among other activities. He did say what everybody already knew – that internet in the Philippines is bad – but, optimistic and persistent as he’s known to be, he said that could be taken as a challenge for the country to lead instead in the technology for cashless transactions.

In other countries, Xi Jin Ping consolidates his power in China after securing a fresh 5-year term as secretary general of the Communist Party, while in Thailand citizens end the one-year mourning period for their well-loved King Bhumibol with a lavish funeral.

Among the major stories you shouldn’t miss this Thursday is Rappler’s half-an-hour documentary on the war in Marawi – the biggest crisis to hit the young administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.

PH can be global leader in financial technology, says Jack Ma

"The Philippines has the opportunity to develop the best fintech services in the world because you have so many mobile phones," said Alibaba Group founder and executive chairman Jack Ma.

The country's lack of financial inclusion and slow internet speed could ultimately be the seeds to sow great ideas, he said.

While being interviewed by Presidential Adviser on Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion in Manila on Wednesday, October 25, Ma recounted how Alibaba's Alipay service, now the world's largest payment platform, was born out of a similar situation in his native China.

Read here how Ma spent his day in the Philippine capital region.

Duterte warns he'll go after Iloilo Mayor Mabilog next in drug war

President Rodrigo Duterte warned the mayor of Iloilo City he would go after him for allegedly coddling drug lords. The President admitted he personally ordered the raid that killed Ozamiz City Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr. Before that, the mayor of Albuerra, Leyte, whose son is known to be the drug lord in Eastern Visayas, was also killed in a police raid while in detention.

How Atio Castillo died in hazing rites: Aegis Juris fratman tells all as state witness

Mark Ventura told investigators that when the fratmen at the initiation rites saw Atio Castillo move after he collapsed, they paddled him again.

Xi's consolidates power in China with new 5-year term as Commuist Party sec-gen

Chinese President Xi Jinping was formally handed a second term Wednesday, October 25, with no clear successor emerging in a revamped ruling council, cementing his grip on power and setting the stage for him to dominate China for decades to come.

In a highly choreographed event, Xi led the new members of the elite Politburo Standing Committee in front of television cameras at Beijing's massive Great Hall of the People after their selection by 204 party officials in a closed-door vote.

Thais bid final goodbye to beloved King Bhumibol

A sea of black-clad mourners massed across Bangkok's historic heart early Thursday, October 26, as funeral rituals began for King Bhumibol Adulyadej, a revered monarch whose passing after a seven-decade reign has left Thailand bereft of its only unifying figure.

As dawn broke an estimated 200,000 Thais had gathered around the Grand Palace to bid an emotional farewell to a monarch known as "father of the nation", silently packing the pavements, many clutching portraits of the beloved late king.

The golden spires of a spectacular $90 million cremation site, purpose-built for the funeral, were bathed in light as Bhumibol's son and heir, King Maha Vajiralongkorn, joined Buddhist monks to start a day of sombre processions, colorful pageantry and religious ceremony.

There's Game 7! Meralco trips Ginebra, extending the Govs' Cup finals

The Meralco Bolts clicked on all cylinders to churn out a 98-91 win over the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in Game 6 and force a do-or-die Game 7 in the PBA Governors’ Cup finals at the Philippine Arena Wednesday, October 25.

Game 7 of the finals will be on Friday, October 27 at the same venue.

Marawi: 153 days of war: A Rappler documentary

Rappler brings you a documentary on the biggest crisis to hit the young administration of President Rodrigo Duterte – a full-blown war in Marawi City.

Local armed groups that pledged allegiance to international terrorist network Islamic State (ISIS) laid siege to the city in an attempt to establish an Islamic caliphate in the Philippines.

See the terror, get to know the heroes, and learn the lessons of the war that dragged on for 5 months.

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