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- Lando weakens into a tropical storm, leaves at least 16 dead
Severe Tropical Storm Lando, international name Koppu continues to make its way through Northern Luzon Tuesday. As of 4 am, Lando’s center was located 130 km northwest of Laoag City, with maximum sustained winds of 95 km/h near the center and gusts of up to 12 km/h. The storm continues with its slow pace through the region, moving northeast at a speed of 5 km/h. Authorities confirmed at least 16 people died because of the storm, and the death toll was expected to rise as full accounts from badly hit villages were gathered. Lando is also forecast to continue dumping heavy rains across the Philippines until Wednesday.
Read more on Rappler.
- Typhoon Lando: infra damage “close to 100%” in Casiguran, Aurora
Nearly 100% of houses and infrastructure were damaged in Casiguran, Aurora province, the town where Typhoon Lando made landfall early Sunday. Mark Dia of rapid response volunteer group Team 48 says at least two people were killed and about 20 others injured. Neighboring towns Dinalungan and Dilasag are also “completely cut off.” The volunteer group counted at least 100 fallen electric posts and mudslides blocking the roads, making it difficult to access the towns where help was badly needed. Electricity and phone signals are also cut off in the area, making it difficult to get supplies and aid to at least 27,000 affected people.
Read more on Typhoon Lando’s damage in Casiguran on Rappler.
- Monday night magnitude 5.4 quake
A magnitude 5.4 earthquake shook Occidental Mindoro on Monday evening. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology or Phivolcs says the earthquake struck at 9:50 pm, 19 km northeast of Looc, Occidental Mindoro. The quake was tectonic in origin. The quake was also felt in Batangas City, Tagaytay, Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro, Cavite. In Metro Manila it was felt in Makati, Pasay, Mandaluyong and Pateros. The U.S. Geological Survey measured the quake at magnitude 5.8 with a recorded depth of 105 km.
Read more on the magnitude 5.4 quake here.
Read more on what to do before, during, and after earthquakes here.
- PH hits China for lighthouses in disputed waters
The Philippines on Monday strongly criticized two lighthouses China constructed in the disputed South China Sea, charging that they were covert means of enforcing Beijing’s claims to the disputed waters. The two reefs are located in the Spratly islands in the South China Sea, a vital sealane and fishing ground which is claimed almost entirely by China. In a forum with ASEAN defense chiefs in China last week, Fan Changlong, vice-chair of China’s Central Military Commission, tried to ease tensions, pledging that his country would “never recklessly resort to the use of force, even on issues bearing on sovereignty”. However upon returning from the forum, Philippine Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin late Saturday reiterated the call for “rules-based solutions” to resolve the dispute.
Read more on China’s new lighthouses on Rappler.
- Ateneo basketball player in hot water for drunk driving incident
Ateneo de Manila University athlete John Apacible of the Blue Eagles men’s basketball team was caught on video appearing to be drunk and trying to pick a fight with another driver. In the video, a male who appeared to be Apacible was seen evidently inebriated as he challenged the person recording the video to a fist fight. He was also seen brandishing a “Councilor” plate and yelling expletives. The university’s Facebook page released a statement saying Apacible “deeply regrets his reprehensible behavior and sincerely apologizes to all parties concerned,” but may face charges for drunk driving.
Read more on Ateneo basketball player’s drunk driving mishap on Rappler.
- US, Europe prepares to lift trade sanctions vs Iran
The United States and Europe began preparing to lift the trade sanctions that hobbled the Iranian economy Sunday as a historic nuclear deal came into effect. The procedure to lift the embargo began 90 days after the UN Security Council endorsed the accord signed in Vienna in July, a milestone referred to as “Adoption Day.” Foreign firms will not be able to resume ties with Iran’s oil industry and banks right away – sanctions will remain in place until Iran fulfills its end of the bargain. The next stage in the process – “implementation day” – will only come when UN nuclear watchdog the IAEA confirms Iran has dramatically scaled back its nuclear program. Iran said that lengthy process may start this week.
Read more on the Iran trade sanctions on Rappler.
- French president Hollande: There will be a climate deal in Paris
French President Francois Hollande said Monday a deal would be reached at an upcoming climate conference in Paris, although the scope of the agreement had yet to be defined. The last round of negotiations for a climate rescue pact ahead of the year-end Paris talks, got off to a halting start in Bonn on Monday with developing countries protesting that several of their key demands were being sidelined. Hollande said he had “a certain confidence” that an agreement would be reached in Paris because “the nations are committed”. His tone was much more upbeat than that of French Prime Minister Manuel Valls who two weeks ago said a comprehensive climate agreement was “still a long way off”. Representatives of 195 countries are expected to meet in Paris for the key talks which will take place between November 30 and December 11.
Read more on Hollande’s take on the upcoming climate conference on Rappler.
- Amazon cracks down on fake reviewers
US online retailer Amazon has filed a lawsuit against more than 1,000 people who have posted fake reviews on Amazon.com. The BBC reported Sunday, October 18, that it has filed the lawsuit in Seattle, Washington, saying that its brand reputation is being damaged by what it calls “false, misleading and inauthentic” reviews. Amazon said in its complaint, filed Friday, that the fake reviews “can significantly undermine the trust that consumers and the vast majority of sellers and manufacturers place in Amazon, which in turn tarnishes Amazon’s brand.”
Read more of Amazon’s crackdown on Rappler.
- Lamar Odom’s condition improves after drug binge-induced coma
Two-time NBA champion Lamar Odom’s condition improves. Odom slipped into a coma after a brothel binge Tuesday, October 13. The 35-year-old remained in the intensive care unit at Sunrise Hospital with serious medical concerns. But E! News, without citing its source, reported on its website that Odom had shown he could swallow – a sign of neurological function. Nye County Sheriff Sharon Wehrly has said officers who responded to an emergency call were told Odom used cocaine and sexual performance enhancer supplements in a multi-day stay at the brothel. Odom won NBA titles with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2009 and 2010 and married socialite Khloe Kardashian in 2009 in a splashy televised wedding. His connection to the celebrity Kardashian clan widened his fame, and while she filed for divorce in 2013 the split has reportedly never been finalized.
Read more on Lamar Odom’s condition on Rappler.
- Watch: New ‘Star Wars’ trailer
A new official trailer of Star Wars: The Force Awakens is out! The trailer not only teases a lot of in-space explosions but also scenes with actress Daisy Ridley as Rey, and Harrison Ford as Han Solo. The trailer also features Kylo Ren, a new villain, speaking in front of Darth Vader’s destroyed helmet saying, “I will finish what you started.” The new poster features faces new and old: General Hux, a ruthless leader of the First Order played by British actor Domhnall Gleeson, who played Bill Weasley in the last two Harry Potter films; Adam Driver of TV series Girls as the evil Kylo Ren and old hands Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher as Han Solo and Princess Leia. This is the 7th installment in the wildly popular space saga. It is directed by JJ Abrams. Disney announced tickets for the film will go on sale Monday for its December 18 US release.
Watch the new Star Wars trailer here.