#ThewRap: Things you need to know, April 25, 2017

Hello! Here are the top stories you must know this Tuesday.

SPECIAL GAMES. Visually-impaired athletes prepare to run for the 100-meters. Photo by Vina Salazar/ Rappler










Hello Rappler readers,

The Philippines prepares to welcome leaders from the Southeast Asian neighborhood for the 30th ASEAN Summit, to be held in a few days' time. Organizers are doing last-minute checks from things like security to what the leaders' spouses will do during the regional summit.

Meanwhile, the controversial war on drugs has reached the International Criminal Court, after a case was filed by Filipino lawyer Jude Sabio against President Rodrigo Duterte and a number of other top Philippine officials.

Abroad, Barack Obama finally ends his post-presidency vacation, while North Korea again threatens the US.

These stories and more, in today's wRap.

Duterte faces complaint at ICC

Filipino lawyer Jude Sabio filed a complaint against Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte before the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Monday, April 24, for alleged "mass murder" in the Philippines. In a 78-page complaint, Sabio requested that the Pre-Trial Chamber of the ICC "commit President Rodrigo Duterte and his senior government officials to the Trial Chamber for trial and that the Trial Chamber in turn, after trial, convict them and sentence them to corresponding prison sentence or life imprisonment." Malacañang slammed the complaint, saying it is intended merely to "shame" the Chief Executive.

Special Report: Where the war began

The families of the dead say they know who shot their children – and they’re willing to speak his name. Rappler reporter Patricia Evangelista and Magnum Foundation photographer Carlo Gabuco return to the villages where the drug war began. In a 3-month investigation, multiple witnesses have put their names and testimonies on the record to accuse Manila police of conducting summary executions in the guise of legitimate police operations. This multimedia report, the first of its kind to name alleged police executioners, profiles the man residents call the demon of Delpan.

Obama's back

Former US president Barack Obama returned to the public spotlight on Monday, April 24, saying he hopes to spend the next phase of his life helping to "prepare the next generation of leadership." After 3 months off, Obama – looking rested and sporting a coat with no tie – broke his silence in his adopted hometown of Chicago, speaking to a packed auditorium of more than 400 high school and college students at the University of Chicago.

Philippines ready to welcome ASEAN leaders, delegates

With only a few days to go, the Philippine government said it is ready to welcome guests attending the 30th ASEAN Summit in Manila. The summit – to be attended by guests ranging from 9 top dignitaries to an array of top-level diplomats, government officials, and staff – will be the first major international event to be hosted by the Duterte government. Security forces said they are ready to keep the summit safe, while the President's common-law partner Honeylet Avanceña is ready to play host to the leaders' spouses.

Bad romance: Police with romantic link to suspected terrorist arrested

A commissioned police officer was detained in Clarin, Bohol for supposedly planning to rescue Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) members being pursued by government forces in the area. Superintendent Maria Christina Nobleza was detained on Saturday, April 22, after attempting to avoid a police checkpoint in Clarin. Nobleza was reportedly inside a van driven by Renierlo Dongon, who is suspected to have links to the terror group. Nobleza and Dongon’s capture is the latest – and thus far, oddest – subchapter in the ASG's foiled attempt to supposedly kidnap tourists in Bohol province.

North Korean media warns 'wipeout' of US

An official North Korean website warned on Monday, April 24, that Pyongyang will "wipe out" the United States if Washington starts a war on the peninsula, the latest tit-for-tat sabre-rattling that has sent tensions soaring in the region. In a series of editorials the Rodong Sinmun newspaper – the official mouthpiece of the ruling Workers' Party – said the North's forces were undeterred and called the US strike group's imminent arrival "undisguised military blackmail".

Palarong Pambansa Day 1: Student athletes go all-out

Student-athletes went all out in their first day of competitions in athletics, basketball, volleyball, wrestling, and sepak takraw, among other sports in the Palarong Pambansa 2017 in Antique. James Lozañes from the host-region Western Visayas posted a new record in the Javelin Throw in the Secondary Boys Division bagging the gold medal for the event. Visually-impaired players joining the competitions grabbed gold medals in special events led by the Northern Mindanao Regional Athletics Association.

Lyrics, quick: Songs getting faster as attention spans diminish

A new study finds that pop songs themselves are getting faster as listeners' attention spans diminish. Instrumental openings to songs have shrunk dramatically over the past 3 decades and, to a lesser extent, the average tempo of hit singles has been speeding up, the research found. In 1986, it took roughly 23 seconds before the voice began on the average hit song. In 2015, vocals came in after about 5 seconds, a drop of 78%, he found.

Top photo: Visually-impaired athletes prepare to run for the 100 meter dash at the Palarong Pambansa in Antique, April 24, 2017. Photo by Vina Salazar/ Rappler

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