#ThewRap: Things you need to know, January 31, 2017

Hello! Here's a round-up of news you need to know this Tuesday










Dear Rappler reader,

The week opened with the beautiful ladies of Miss Universe 2016 pageant gracing the coronation stage and Miss France coming out victorious. There was a slight issue, though, whether the winner's answer was correctly interpreted.

The war on drugs and the corrupt cops who allegedly took advantage of it continued to take center stage.

Uncertainty on the future of flagship disaster mitigation program Project NOAH haunted regional rescue groups across the country.

And a study confirmed what we suspect, Filipinos spend the most time on the internet and social media.

Below are the big stories we think you shouldn't miss.

New witness tags anti-drugs group chief as mastermind in Korean slay

Another suspect surfaced on the killing of kidnapped South Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo. Jerry Omlang said he was part of the kidnapping ring and implicated Rafael Dumlao, the former chief of the police's Anti-Illegal Drugs Group as the mastermind of the crime. Omlang also admitted he was one of the men caught by closed-circuit cameras withdrawing money using the ATM card of Jee.

Suspension of drug war – what does it mean?

What happens after President Rodrigo Duterte put a stop to all police operations related to the war on drugs, in the heels of the killing and murder of a South Korean businessman? National police chief Ronald dela Rosa said the force will focus on cleansing its ranks of corrupt cops. But what does this mean for the public? For starters, no one will knock on your door in the name of Oplan TokHang.

Questions on the future of Project NOAH

Project NOAH Executive Director Mahar Lagmay said on Sunday the government will stop its flagship disaster management initiative, Project NOAH, due to "lack of funds." The news prompted disaster responders in the regions to ask President Rodrigo Duterte to save the project by funding it. The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) clarified that the project will go on, but will be turned over to state weather bureau Pagasa once the program ends on February 28. (Find out what Project NOAH does here.) The question is, will it be the same Project NOAH under Pagasa, without Lagmay and his team? Will it be as dynamic and responsive to the needs of disaster managers all over the country?

Anti-money laundering council chief quits

Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) Executive Director Julia Bacay-Abad has resigned from her post, following President Rodrigo Duterte's threat to "whack" executives. The President said officials are corrupt and are not doing their jobs. Duterte also accused the AMLC along with the country's Central Bank, of contributing to a smear campaign against him during the 2016 polls. Abad said, “Though already resilient on its own, the AMLC Secretariat will be accorded with renewed strength through a transformed strategy."

Philippine govt, communist rebels tackle poverty

The Philippine government and communist rebel negotiators began talks on CASER, the 'heart and soul' of the peace process that seeks to draw a roadmap to address widespread poverty in the Philippines. CASER refers to the Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-Economic Reforms which seeks to radically reform socio-economic policies. It is seen as the hardest part of the negotiations and will require painful compromises from both camps.

Filipinos spend the most time online and on social media

When Filipinos go online, they tend to hang around, specifically for 8 hours and 59 minutes every day on average – the highest in the world. About 60 million have access to the internet in the Philippines – or 58% of the total population. The number of internet users in the Philippines grew by 27% in the past 12 months – second only to Indonesia. The data is part of the report "Digital in 2017 Global Overview" by social media consultancy We Are Social and the social media management platform Hootsuite.

May on Trump state visit: It will push through

British Prime Minister Theresa May refused to back down on inviting US President Donald Trump for a glitzy state visit, despite a petition gaining more than 1.5 million signatures and protesters rallying across the country. The visit would see Trump honored by parliament and Queen Elizabeth II, despite the premier saying she does not agree with his controversial ban on refugees.

Trump fires acting attorney general over immigration ban

United States President Donald Trump fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates, who had instructed justice department lawyers not to defend Trump's ban on immigrants. Yates said the ban on people from 7 Muslim nationswas not lawful. The news comes in the heels of statements Trump made on Twitter lashing out at critics as he struggled with the fallout. Trump blamed Delta airlines for the problems at U.S. airports as protests were held at airports around the world over the weekend. Earlier, UN chief Antonio Guterres slammed the closure of borders "even in the most developed countries in the world." In response, Starbucks said it planned to take on 10,000 refugees worldwide over the next 5 years while Airbnb said it would offer free accommodation 'to refugees and anyone not allowed in the US.' Silicon Valley heads slammed Trump for the ban, fearing it could prevent them from accessing a global reservoir of talent.

Was Miss France's answer misinterpreted?

French-speaking viewers of Miss Universe 2016 immediately went on social media after Miss France answered her second question, saying that she was misinterpreted by her translator. She was asked: "Name something, over the course of your life, that you failed at and tell us what you learned from that experience." Viewers said France's Iris Mittenaere talked about failures in "medical school," not "casting." She eventually went on to win the Miss Universe 2016 title.

All-female 'Ocean's 8' movie to hit theaters in 2018

The first photo for the upcoming all-female Ocean's 8 reboot was unveiled by Warner Brothers. The photo shows the movie's cast of characters –Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Rihanna, Minday Kaling, Awkwafina, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway and Sarah Paulson – seated in a New York City subway. In the movie, the gang tries to pull off a heist during the annual Met Gala.

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