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October 24, 2013 Edition

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  1. Napoles brought to hospital due to nausea

    MEDICAL EMERGENCY. In this file photo, a police doctor checks on Janet Lim Napoles. File photo courtesy of PNP SAF

    Pain, nausea and continuous vomiting prompted authorities to bring alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles to the Southern Luzon Hospital in Sta Rosa, Laguna early Thursday morning. Initial findings indicated kidney stones were the cause of her discomfort. After several tests, Napoles was brought back to Fort Sto Domingo at 3:30 am. She is scheduled to appear on November 7 before the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, which is investigating abuses and misuse of lawmakers’ Priority Development Assistance Funds.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  2. Merkel to Obama: Did you tap my phone?

    epa03920987 (FILE) A file photo dated 05 March 2013 showing German Chancellor Angela Merkel presenting a tap-proof mobile phone of Blackberry at a booth of Secusmart during the opening round tour of the world's largest computer expo CeBIT in Hanover, Germany. Reports late 23 October 2013 state German government spokesman Steffen Seibert as saying Germany has asked USA for 'immediate and thorough' explanation following hints German Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile phone may have been tapped by US secret services. EPA/JULIAN STRATENSCHULTE

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel called US President Barack Obama Wednesday, October 23, after receiving information US intelligence agencies may have spied on her mobile phone. Her spokesman Steffen Seibert said Merkel “unequivocally disapproves” of such methods and finds them “totally unacceptable,” German news magazine Der Spiegel reported. White House spokesman Jay Carney said, “The United States is not monitoring and will not monitor the communications of the chancellor.” Merkel told Obama such practices “must be prevented immediately.”

    Read the full story on Der Spiegel.

    A related story is on CNN.

    More information is available from The Guardian.

  3. Spying by US, China, Google spark debate

    'INCREDIBLY DEPRESSING.' Index on Censorship's Michael Harris says it is depressing to watch China lecture on the US over mass surveillance. Photo by Ayee Macaraig/Rappler

    Finger-pointing at a workshop during the United Nations’ Internet Governance Forum on Wednesday, October 23, sparked a heated exchange among delegates. Civil society leaders took to task the United States for its surveillance activities, China for its suppression of individual freedoms, and even Google for turning over user data to the US government. Michael Harris, head of advocacy at the London-based Index on Censorship, said civil society groups and governments must work to put in place more legal protections for whistleblowers and implement global standards on freedom of expression.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. 1.3-M deaths due to tuberculosis – WHO

    Bacteria Strain image from shutterstock

    At least 1.3 million people died from tuberculosis (TB) in 2012, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday, October 23. This makes the infectious disease the second deadliest after HIV/AIDS. India accounts for 26% of TB cases, while China accounts for 12%. Southeast Asia is where close to one-third of cases have been reported, followed by Africa with over one-fourth, and the Western Pacific region with one-fifth. While the number of infections dropped by nearly half from 1990 to 2012, a strain of TB that is resistant to drugs used to fight the classic form, has been emerging as a threat.

    Read the full story on Rappler.


    Bacteria Strain image from shutterstock

  5. Most distant’ galaxy spotted

    Artist's rendition of the newly discovered, farthest galaxy.  From Wikipedia

    Astronomers have detected what is, so far, the most distant galaxy. About 30 billion light-years away, the galaxy was spotted using the Hubble Space Telescope, and was named z8_GND_5296. Though the system is small, it is turning gas and dust into new stars at a remarkable rate, the BBC reported. It churns out stars hundreds of times faster than our own galaxy can, and has been found to be 1-2% the mass of the Milky Way. Lead researcher Steven Finkelstein said, “This is the most distant galaxy we’ve confirmed. We are seeing this galaxy as it was 700 million years after the Big Bang.” It can shed light on the period immediately after the Big Bang.

    Read the full story on the BBC.

  6. Researchers assert baby’s HIV cure isn’t fluke

    NO FLUKE. Researchers say a girl's apparent cure from HIV wasn't a chance situation

    A little girl who was treated for HIV shortly after birth still shows no sign of infection at age 3, suggesting her apparent cure was not a fluke, US researchers said Wednesday. The story of the first child known to have been cured of HIV through early treatment with powerful doses of antiretroviral drugs — what researchers call “sustained remission” rather than a cure — was initially announced in March when she was two and a half. The girl’s updated case report in the New England Journal of Medicine also sought to answer questions raised by outside experts over whether she was ever really infected, by describing DNA and RNA tests that were positive for HIV just over a day after birth. The child was given antiretroviral drugs until the age of age 18 months and, after a year and half without treatment, no sign of the disease has returned, the article said.

     Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. Online drunk-driving confessor receives 6 1/2 years in prison

    I KILLED A MAN. Matthew Cordle's message: 'Don't drink and drive.' Screen shot from YouTube [becauseisaidiwould]

    The young Ohio man whose remorseful video claim of responsiblity for a fatal drunk-driving accident went viral on YouTube was sentenced Wednesday to 6 1/2 years behind bars. Matthew Cordle, 22, stood passively and attentively as gravel-voiced Judge David Fais sent him to jail after replaying in court the emotional video confession that has now been seen online more than 2.3 million times. Cordle had been out drinking with friends when his vehicle collided in the pre-dawn hours of June 22 on an Interstate highway near Columbus, Ohio, hitting Canzani’s car head-on.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. Prince George christened

    PRINCE GEORGE CHRISTENED. Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, arrive with their son Prince George of Cambridge at Chapel Royal in St James's Palace in central London on October 23, 2013, ahead of the christening of the 3-month-old prince. Photo by AFP/John Stillwell

    Britain’s baby Prince George was christened in a private ceremony on Wednesday, October 23, with parents Prince William and Kate giving the world a rare glimpse of the chubby 3-month-old boy. Wearing a frilly cream lace gown, the third in line to the throne was carried into the Chapel Royal of St James’s palace by his father, his mother Kate close by, elegant in a cream Alexander McQueen outfit. Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, the spiritual head of the world’s Anglicans, performed the baptism, which involves pouring holy water from the River Jordan on the baby’s head.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  9. Japan readies asteroid-blasting space cannon

    Japanese scientists readying to blast a crater in an asteroid to find out what it is made of said Wednesday, October 23, they have successfully tested their new space cannon. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) said the huge weapon would fire a metal bullet at the surface of asteroid 1999JU3 some time in 2018. The Hayabusa-2, which will launch the weapon, will then land on the surface and take samples of the newly-disturbed soil as part of a project searching for organic materials or for any sign of water.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. Instagram heads to Windows Phone

    One app could change the course of a struggling mobile operating system. That app is Instagram, and the smartphone OS is Windows Phone 8. Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom made the announcement at the Nokia World Conference in Abu Dhabi last Tuesday, October 22. Systrom said his company’s ultimate goal is “to bring Instagram to everyone who wants to use it.” He adds, “We’re looking forward to watching the Windows Phone community use Instagram to capture and share beautiful moments in the coming weeks.” Nokia also posted the announcement on its Twitter account.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

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