November 19, 2013 Edition

Valerie Castro

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

  1. Damage breaches P10B mark

    More than a week since Typhoon Yolanda — international name Haiyan — ripped through Central Philippines, the official death toll climbed to 3,976. The storm also caused at least P10.38 billion worth of damage to agriculture and infrastructure. On the positive side, it took 9 days, but all 40 municipalities of Leyte now have access to relief supplies. On Sunday, local officials said the water supply in Tacloban City is now “back to normal.” Although much-needed aid finally arrived, the United Nations said an estimated 2.5 million people still need food. An estimated four million people are displaced. Only 350,000 are sheltered in evacuation centers. A woman from Tacloban told Rappler, “Stop counting the dead, save the living.”

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  2. Pope Francis, OFWs in Hong Kong and Bieber help victims

    Help is pouring in from all over the globe. Pope Francis will appeal for donations as he winds up the Vatican’s “Year of Faith” in a Saint Peter’s Square ceremony Sunday. The pope will ask everyone from cardinals to the simple faithful to donate aid money for the Philippines. In Hong Kong, overseas filipino workers (OFW), most of them domestic helpers earning less than P20,000 a month (around US$ 480), contributed food, milk, clothes and cash.  Canadian pop singer Justin Bieber with friend Milk Tyson, spray painted a Los Angeles wall with the words “Pray 4 Philippines,” with the image of hands in prayer. The popstar posted a photo of him in prayer beside his work, with the caption, “We all can help.”

    Read more on Pope to call for Philippine Aid, Justin Bieber Paints Graffiti, and $1-Billion Loan Pledges for Post Typhoon rebuilding.

  3. Soldier breastfeeds Yolanda babies

    BREASTFEEDING SOLDIER: Corporal Anjannete Obligado

    Corporal Anjannete Obligado only went to the makeshift hospital at the Tacloban airport to guide a woman who had passed out. But the lady soldier found herself breastfeeding babies of evacuees. It was November 11, 3 days after the super typhoon hit the city, and one woman had just given birth. Obligado was a new mom herself, and when she spoke to the woman, she learned the husband was in Bacolod City and did not know his wife had given birth. Noticing the child was hungry, Obligado offered to breastfeed the newborn. The soldier mom fed two other babies after that. “The babies were pitiful,” she said. Unicef Humanitarian Action Children says over 5.4 million children were affected by the monster typhoo. Out of this number, nearly 800,000 were displaced. There are nearly 300,000 pregnant and lactating women in the devastated areas as well.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. Energy chief to resign if power not restored by Christmas

    ON THE LINE. Energy chief Jericho Petilla says he will resign if power isn't restored in Visayas by Christmas eve. Photo by Malacañang Photo Bureau

    Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla promised to resign if he fails to restore power in typhoon-ravaged areas by Christmas Eve. On Monday, Petilla admitted December 24 is a –quote– “very tight target” but said he’s betting his position on it so typhoon survivors won’t have a “dark Christmas.” But he clarified the December 24 target doesn’t cover remote barangays, which will take more time. Petilla earlier said full restoration of power would take about 2 to 6 months. The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) said 566 transmission towers and poles and 7 substations are damaged. An NGCP spokesperson earlier said fixing the transmission backbone and main lines of the grid in Visayas will take up to 6 weeks.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. Tacloban Mayor hits Aquino for remark

    One of the hardest-hit areas of Typhoon Yolanda got caught in a clash between leaders of rival families. On his visit to Tacloban City on Sunday, November 17, President Benigno Aquino turned his anger on local officials whom, he said, did not prepare enough for the super typhoon. Aquino said the second-class town of Guiuan did better than Tacloban: disaster officials said at least 0.31% of Tacloban residents died because of the typhoon, while only 0.21% died in Guiuan. But Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez said the President insults the dead. He added, “Perhaps I can say that Metro Manila was prepared for Yolanda because the typhoon didn’t hit it. But what about us, how can we be that prepared? Will we still insult the dead, and say they died because they were unprepared?” He also said the national government should revamp its response to disasters.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. UN climate chief calls on coal industry to change

    QATAR, Doha : United Nations Convention on Climate Change Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres speaks during a press conference on November 30, 2012, on the fifth day of the two weeks United Nations 18th Climate Change Conference in Doha. AFP PHOTO / AL-WATAN DOHA / KARIM JAAFAR

    UN climate chief Christiana Figueres urged the coal industry to help reduce carbon emissions and start investing in renewable energy sources. Speaking at a coal summit in Warsaw, Figueres said, “The world is rising to meet the climate challenge as risks of inaction mount, and it is in your best interest to make coal part of the solution.” But industry officials said coal is the only viable energy source in many countries. The International Energy Agency said less than 30 percent of the world’s energy supply comes from coal, but generates more than 40% of emissions. Figueres said existing coal reserves should be left in the ground and new plants that trap emissions before being released into the atmosphere should be put up to bring down CO2 levels.

    Read the full story on Yahoo News.

  7. Dangerous fuel-rod removal to start in Fukushima

    GROUND ZERO. A Tokyo Electric Power Corp.'s official (C) is standing in front of journalists at the H4 tank area at the Tokyo Electric Power Corp.'s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, northeast of Tokyo, Japan, 07 November 2013. EPA/Kimimasa Mayama/Pool

    Japanese nuclear engineers prepare to move uranium and plutonium fuel rods at Fukushima, an important step in the plant’s decommissioning plan. Operator Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) will also have to remove the misshapen cores of three reactors that went into meltdown. More than 1,500 rods must be pulled out of the storage pool where they were being kept when a tsunami smashed into Fukushima in March 2011. TEPCO said the entire operation is scheduled to run for more than a year. But the full decommissioning of Fukushima is likely to take decades. The operation comes after months of setbacks at the plant, including multiple leaks from tanks storing radioactive water.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. Day of mourning for victims declared

    The Russian republic of Tatarstan declared a day of mourning for the victims of the Russian plane that crashed on landing on Monday, November 18. All 50 people on board died when Tatarstan Airlines flight 363 crashed in Tatarstan’s capital, Kazan. Crews continued to look for bodies as Russian officials retrieved the severely damaged flight and data recorders. Officials do not know the cause of the crash, but hoped the flight recorders may provide new information that can provide clues behind the crash. Officials said the pilot tried twice to land the plane. A video released by Russian media showed the plane in vertical dive as it crashed into a huge fireball on the ground.

    Read more on CNN.

  9. Rob Ford stripped of powers

     CANADA, Toronto : TORONTO, CANADA- NOVEMBER 15: Toronto Mayor Rob Ford stands amid the media at City Hall after City Council stripped him of some management powers on November 15, 2013 in Toronto, Canada .The council voted to strip the embattled Ford striped him of striped him of authority during emergency situations and the ability to hire and fire the deputy mayor and appoint members of the executive committee. Aaron Vincent Elkaim/Getty Images/AFP

    Controversial Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was stripped of many of his powers after a heated city council debate. The Guardian reports the meeting came in the heels of the mayor’s recent drug abuse revelations and allegations of drunk driving and meeting with a prostitute. Although the city council cannot remove Ford from office unless he is convicted of a crime, it can remove some of his powers as mayor. The council voted to cut Ford’s office budget by 60%, allowed his staff to transfer to the deputy mayor, and stripped him of his power to chair the council’s executive committee. The decision came after a chaotic meeting where Ford paced around the council chamber, heckled the public, and knocked over a council member as he charged at the gallery. Ford said the council’s decision stems from their opposition to his agenda to save taxpayers’ money.

    Read the full story on The Guardian.

  10. The business of espionage

    Images from Shutterstock

    Private firms are selling spying tools and mass surveillance technologies to nations in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, promising to enable them to snoop on millions of emails, text messages and phone calls. The Guardian reports research by watchdog Privacy International showed how firms peddled the capabilities at private trade fairs. Mass surveillance capabilities are associated with Britain’s GCHQ and United States’ National Security Agency after revelations by whistleblower Edward Snowden. Human rights groups have raised the alarm, saying regulation is necessary. One firm offers “massive passive monitoring” equipment, while some cameras are hidden in cola cans, bricks or children’s car seats. Another manufacturer turns cars or vans into surveillance control centres.

    Read the full story on The Guardian.

    Images of Eye and World Map from Shutterstock.

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