#ThewRap: Things you need to know, April 3, 2017

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










Dear Rappler reader,

This week's #AnimatED talks about a new war that has been raging in town.

It's not the war against drugs, it is the catfight between the mistresses of Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and his longtime ally, Congressman Antonio Floirendo Jr.

What started out as a very public word war between the two women has exposed the new levels of indecency to which our elected leaders have unapologetically descended.

Meantime, there are more important matters that we will need to mull over.

In an interview with select journalists, Franz Jessen, the European Union's (EU) Ambassador to the Philippines, explains what EU Parliament's warning to President Rodrigo Duterte could mean for the country.

Because the Philippines is a signatory to 27 conventions relating to human rights under the United Nations (UN) system, Jessen explains, the EU granted the Philippines its Generalized Scheme of Preferences (GSP+) trade incentive. Under this scheme, 6,200 products from the Philippines are given duty-free entry to the EU market.

The EU, however, monitors "effective implementation" of these conventions. And if the human rights situation in the country does not improve, this incentive could be revoked. This happened to Sri Lanka whose GSP+ status was suspended in 2010 for "failure to address reported human rights violations in the country."

We keep these concerns in mind as we bring you the top news of the day.

EU trade incentives and the #WarOnDrugs

European Union (EU) Ambassador Franz Jessen to the Philippines stresses that the 27 human rights conventions are not impositions, they are commitments the Philippine government already signed up for in the United Nations system. The EU gives trade incentives to countries which ratified these agreements under the Generalized Scheme of Preferences (GSP+) scheme. "Effective implementation" of these agreements will give 6,200 products from the Philippines duty-free entry into European Union (EU) member countries.

'Palit bise' rally

Some of them want her impeached. Others want her to "change" the way she expresses dissent. "Palit Bise" rally participants are united in one thing: they want Vice-President Leni Robredo to "Stop shaming the President." President Rodrigo Duterte refused to comment on the rally held on Sunday, April 2, saying he does not want to waste his time on politics.

Battle of the Mistresses

Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez is not the first member of Congress to have a mistress. But his lack of delicacy brings the level of indecency among our elected leaders to a new low, according to our #AnimatED.

UK goes after fake news

Britain is going after the fake news industry. A British lawmaker is leading a probe into the phenomenon warning it was "a threat to democracy." The panel is considering whether fake news spreaders could be blocked or closed down, or genuine news outlets given a special verification mark. British journalism schools have also begun to adapt their teaching while national broadcaster the BBC has issued prevention guidelines for children in an attempt to reverse the trend.

Cyclone Debbie is 'not done" with Australia yet

Flooding in eastern Australia is still expected to rise even as emergency workers battled to restore water and electricity in areas hit by Cyclone Debbie. In Rockhampton in central-east Queensland, residents were bracing for the biggest floods they have experienced since 1954, with peak levels set to be reached late Wednesday, April 5, or early Thursday, April 6.

Panama Papers: What's next?

The Panama Papers have given ammunition to the fight against tax evasion, but much still needs to happen before the world's tax dodgers run out of places to hide money, experts say.

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