#ThewRap: Things you need to know, February 2, 2017

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










Hello, Rappler readers!

A fire hits the facility of the biggest investor in the Cavite export processing zone south of Metro Manila just as workers have changed shifts Wednesday evening. Government investigators file criminal charges against the organizers of the CloseUp rave party last summer for failing to prevent the entry of party drugs that killed 5 young people. The communist New People's Army ends its ceasefire with the Duterte government, and kills a young soldier in an attack hours later. The warehouse of a popular online shop is raided, yielding smuggled gadgets.

Overseas, Iran confirms it fired a test missile, but insists it does not breach the deal it made with big countries. The United Nations calls for the lifting of America's ban on immigrants from 7 Muslim-majority countries. Members of the British parliament has approved the bill that gives the Prime Minister power to start Britain's pullout of the European Union.

Here are the big stories you shouldn't miss:

Scores hurt in Cavite export processing zone fire

Dozens were injured in a fire that hit the House Technology Industries building at the Cavite Export Processing Zone south of Metro Manila evening of February 1. About 100 HTI workers are being treated in various hospitals in the cities and towns around Rosario, where the industrial zone is located. The HTI facility, where housing materials for export to Japan are manufactured, occupies 6 hectares in the Cavite EPZA. Here's a running list of victims treated in the hospitals.

Organizers of CloseUp Forever Summer charged for party drug deaths

The National Bureau of Investigation filed criminal charges on February 1 against executives of Unilever Philippines, Activation Advertising Incorporated, HypeHouse Production Corporation, and Delirium Manpower Services over the rave party where 5 young people died of drug poisoning in May 2016. The NBI filed with the Department of Justice charges of criminal negligence and violation of the Corporation Code against the suspects for failing to prevent the entry of party drugs to the event attended by more than 16,000 at the SM Mall of Asia grounds.

Communist rebels end ceasefire with PH gov't amid peace talks

The communist New People's Army declared on February 1 that it is terminating its 5-month-old ceasefire with the Philippine government following a series of fatal skirmishes with the military. President Rodrigo's peace adviser still wants the military to keep its own unilateral ceasefire. Hours after the NPA ended its ceasefire, a young army officer was killed in an attack in Davao Oriental.

Iran tests missile; US puts it on notice for breach of nuke deal

Iran confirmed on February 1 that it had tested a ballistic missile, but denied that was a breach of its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. "The action was in line with boosting Iran's defense power and is not in contradiction with the JCPOA (the nuclear deal) or Resolution 2231," Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan said, referring to a United Nations Security Council resolution that bans Iran from developing missiles that can carry nuclear warheads. The United States and Saudi Arabia agreed on "rigorously" enforcing the Iran deal. The White House said, without elaborating, that it is "officially putting Iran on notice."

United Nations asks US to lift Muslim ban

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on February 1 called for lifting a United States ban on travellers from 7 Muslim-majority countries, saying the measures would not prevent terrorists from entering the US. "Those measures indeed violate our basic principles and I think that they are not effective if the objective is to, really, avoid terrorists to enter the United States," he said. The appeal to end the travel ban came amid a mounting international outcry over the 90-day entry restrictions on citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. IT companies have united to challenge President Donald Trump's order, while two of the most influential unions in US filmmaking spoke out against the ban.

1st step toward Brexit gets MPs'vote

British MPs on February 1 approved the first stage of a bill empowering Prime Minister Theresa May to start pulling Britain out of the European Union. The bill, which would allow the government to trigger Article 50 of the EU's Lisbon Treaty and formally begin two years of exit negotiations, won by a margin of 498 to 114. It was the first Brexit-related vote in the House of Commons, coming after more than 17 hours of debate, with a second and final vote in the lower house set for next week. May is under intense pressure to push the bill through quickly, having promised EU leaders she would trigger Article 50 by the end of March.

KimStore online shop raided for smuggled gadgets

Gadgets worth millions of pesos, believed to be smuggled and sold by online shop KimStore, were seized by the Bureau of Customs from a building in Manila on January 30. Some of the gadgets seized were iPhone 7 smartphones, Macbook laptops, Samsung Galaxy S7 smartphones, Canon cameras, tablets, music players, audio accessories, and safety and security gadgets. The KimStore Facebook page currently has 1.5 million followers, a user base it has been able to attract thanks largely to prices that typically undercut the competition.

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