November 13, 2013 Edition

Valerie Castro

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

  1. UN: $301M needed for Yolanda (Haiyan) victims

    APPEAL. UN Usec Gen Valerie Amos asks the international community for $301 million dollars more to help Filipinos affected by Yolanda. All photos by Carol Ramoran

    In light of the massive destruction left by Super Typhoon Yolanda (international codename: Haiyan), the United Nations (UN) and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) launched an action plan to help rehabilitate the affected provinces in the Philippines. To effectively help the 11.3 million people who lost their homes and livelihood get back up on their feet, the action plan needs $301 million, said UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in the Philippines Luiza Carvalho. The UN representative made the flash appeal before the country’s diplomatic corps on Tuesday, November 12. UN Undersecretary General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos said the amount the UN is asking for the action plan excludes the separate pledges and donations earlier made by different countries and international organizations. Amos also announced that the UN will be releasing $25 million in funds for the emergency life-saving efforts.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  2. Aid agencies on the ground ‘overstretched’ after 3 crises

    RELIEF READY. An airplane loaded with aid from the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency in support of UN relief work, after Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines. Photo by EPA/PER KNUTSSON

    International aid agencies are overstretched in responding to three crises in the Philippines as thousands of people in areas hit by Super Typhoon Yolanda have yet to receive relief aid. In a situation report released on Monday, November 11, OCHA, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says the capacity and resources of some agencies are “overstretched” as they are currently responding to two other humanitarian crises: the Central Visayas earthquake and the siege in Zamboanga City. UN partner agencies have been distributing relief assistance to areas hit by the typhoon since Sunday, November 10. Immediate needs are food, clean water and emergency health, care and shelter. Widespread damage to lifeline roads and critical infrastructure has hampered aid delivery and response. Severely affected provinces still do not have electricity and communication lines. Personnel capacity is another constraint, as staff members are also attending to those affected by the Central Visayas earthquake and the Zamboanga siege. Both crises displaced thousands of people from their homes.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  3. ‘My prayer is for our story to reach the President’

    SURVIVOR, WIDOW. Macrina Baful lost her husband, a boxer, after super typhoon Yolanda battered Hernani, Eastern Samar. Photo by Franz Lopez

    In towns without cellphone connections after super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), one question often brings residents to tears: “Anong panawagan ninyo?” (What do you want to appeal for?) Facing cameras, typhoon survivors assure relatives they’re safe, or tell them a family member died because of Yolanda’s fury. Most of them simply request food and water – and seek Filipinos ready to help. Macrina Baful tells us about the death of her husband, who was crushed by a boulder in Hernani town. “I would like to inform my children in Manila…they don’t know what happened to their father,” Baful says. Another resident says she only has one wish for now: “For this story to reach [President Benigno Aquino III].”

    Watch Rappler’s Paterno Esmaquel II and Franz Lopez interview Yolanda survivors in Hernani, Eastern Samar here.

  4. Loses due to Yolanda estimated at $15B – report

    SWALLOWED: Typhoon Yolanda left the Tacloban City airport in ruins. Photo from the Philippine Air Force

    A Bloomberg report estimates that losses from Typhoon Yolanda (international codename Haiyan) could reach as much as $15 billion (around P650 billion), making it one of the most expensive disasters in Philippine history. That amounts to about 5% of the country’s gross domestic output (GDP), said the report, which quoted figures from Charles Watson, director of research and development at US disaster modeling firm Kinetic Analysis Corp. In the Bloomberg report, Watson said Yolanda’s impact is “catastrophic” and could be several times worse for the Philippines than superstorm Sandy was for the US.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. US to send additional ships, troops to Philippines

    ALL SET. In this file photo, US Marines board a KC-130J Hercules aircraft on November 10, 2013 at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, Okinawa, Japan, moments before departing for a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief mission to the Philippines. Photo by AFP/USMC/Lance Cpl. David N. Hersey

    The US military has ordered two amphibious ships to the Philippines to help victims of the devastating Typhoon Haiyan and a third was poised to deploy, officials said Tuesday, November 12. The move will ferry hundreds of US Marines to the storm-ravaged country as well as vehicles able to operate in flooded, debris strewn areas, officials said. The USS Germantown and USS Ashland, amphibious warfare vessels designed to transport and launch landing craft and vehicles, have been ordered to depart for the Philippines from the southern Japanese port of Sasebo, said a Navy official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. General Paul Kennedy, who is leading a contingent of Marines that has arrived in the Philippines, requested the amphibious ships, a senior Marine Corps official told reporters.

    Meanwhile, President Barack Obama spoke to Philippine President Benigno Aquino IIITuesday, November 12 (Washington time) to express sorrow for the destruction left by Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda in the Philippines) and to coordinate US help. Obama expressed America’s “deep condolences for the lives lost and the damage caused” by the storm that is feared to have killed more than 10,000 people, his spokesman Jay Carney said.

    Read the full story here and here.

  6. Overseas Pinoys organize aid for typhoon victims

    After watching images of the devastation caused by Super Typhoon Yolanda on TV and online, Lynza Gonzalez from Houston, Texas, worried about her sisters and brothers whom she has not heard from since Yolanda struck Friday, November 8. Gonzalez is desperate to travel back to the Philippines to find out the fate of her family, but in the meantime all she can do is seek comfort with the Houston Filipino community in organizing relief efforts. Overseas Filipino communities across the globe are organizing fundraisers, medical teams, and other relief initiatives to support the victims of Typhoon Yolanda. From the US, to the UK, Spain, and Australia, Filipinos have gathered once again, just weeks after organizing similar fundraisers for the victims of the Central Visayas Earthquake. “When you’re far away and you see everything that’s happening in the Philippines flooding your Twitter and Facebook newsfeeds, the first thing you feel is helplessness. But then come the posts about relief efforts, and then you ask yourself, ‘what can I do from here?'” said Alex Gemperle, a student from the University of Navarra.

    Rappler has compiled a list of worldwide Filipino community typhoon aid events, you can see the list here.

    Read the full story here.

  7. Globe, Smart offer free SMS in Yolanda-hit areas

    Massive destruction and loss of life due to Typhoon Yolanda pushed telecommunications firms to set aside their rivalry and help desperate survivors in Visayas. In an unprecedented move, Globe Telecom and the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company group through units Smart Communications and Sun Cellular agreed to provide subscribers in several Visayas areas 25 free text messages per day for 5 days. The free SMS may be used for local and international text messages across all networks, the companies said in a joint statement Tuesday, November 12. The service will be valid from November 13 to 17 in the following areas: Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Leyte, Northern Cebu, Samar, and Tacloban City.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. Bro Armin tells teachers to stand tall for others in aftermath of Yolanda

    PEOPLE FIRST. Education Secretary Br Armin Luistro says finding people at this stage is top priority. File photo by Jee Geronimo/Rappler

    During a crisis command meeting in Cebu on Tuesday, November 12, Luistro delivered a message below to urge all DepEd personnel to put the search for people at the top of their priority and to help bring the children back to school. This is a crucial time for us. It is during times like this when you are most needed. It is important that you recognize your leadership role. The leader has to stand strong. Without a leader, chaos just spontaneously erupts. These are trying times, but you don’t have to rely on yourself alone. A good leader always creates the team, strengthens the teams. In times like this, you need leaders who are not just designated, but who are actual leaders on the ground. Before anything else, let’s look for our people. Let’s list all affected regions, contact one person so we could get a description of what is going on. Regions contact divisions. Divisions contact schools. Schools establish contact with teachers and staff. Let’s look for people first. Don’t worry about damages to property – we will deal with that later. The worst thing is to count buildings and fallen trees and not account for our people. Second, let’s bring our children back to school. The best way for kids to recover is to bring them back to their routine as soon as possible – and that is to bring them to school. There is no need to conduct classes right away. Let them play. Do activities.

    Read the full message here.

  9. Iran refuses to accept blame for nuclear talks failure

    BLAME GAME. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif, briefs to media after the closing of the fourth day of closed-door nuclear talks, during a press conference at the CICG, in Geneva, Switzerland, early 10 November 2013. Photo by EPA/MARTIAL TREZZINI

    Iran, backed by Russia on Tuesday, November 12, blamed friction among Western powers for the failure of Geneva talks that came tantalizingly close to a landmark deal on its nuclear program. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif dismissed claims by US Secretary of State John Kerry that Iran had balked at the deal on offer from the six powers in last week’s talks. He said it was French objections to the draft thrashed out by Tehran and Washington that had scuppered an agreement, echoing criticism of French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius in the Iranian media. “Mr Secretary, was it Iran that gutted over half of US draft Thursday night? And publicly commented against it Friday morning?” Zarif asked on Twitter. Zarif spent nearly seven hours with Kerry in Geneva as both sides worked on the draft text of an agreement. Kerry denied that differences between the Western powers had led to the talks between Iran and the P5+1 – Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States, plus Germany – ending inconclusively early on Sunday, November 10. “The P5+1 was unified on Saturday when we presented our proposal to the Iranians… But Iran couldn’t take it,” Kerry said in Abu Dhabi on Monday, November 11.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. Lady Gaga launches new album ‘Artpop’ in a flying dress

    VOLANTIS. Lady Gaga lifts off in a custom made flying dress she believes 'could be a new dawn in travel.'.Screen grab from AFP video

    Multi-platinum selling diva Lady Gaga electrified several thousand handpicked groupies with a live performance at the Brooklyn docks, kicking off the global release Monday, November 12, of her third album. Strutting and writhing across the stage dressed in a white leotard and white wig, Gaga late Sunday performed tracks from her new album “Artpop,” launched in collaboration with US artist Jeff Koons. “Artpop” signals a return to the limelight for Stefani Germanotta, the 27-year-old privately educated New Yorker best known as Lady Gaga, after she was forced to tone down her wall-to-wall engagements to undergo hip surgery. “I just want 11/11 to be a time for us all to really open our minds and project a brand-new future in communication, in technology, in visual art,” Gaga told a packed press conference ahead of the VIP launch party, in reference to the date. Critics however gave the hotly-anticipated new album only lukewarm reception.

    Read the full story here.

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