Today on Rappler.
- Hagupit, local name Ruby, weakens into a tropical storm.
- The Red Cross says Hagupit kills at least 21 people mostly in Samar.
- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says America needs to confront “centuries of racism.”
TYPHOON HAGUPIT DOWNGRADED TO TROPICAL STORM
From a typhoon, Hagupit with local name Ruby weakens to a tropical storm. The storm, which struck the Philippines over the weekend, moves towards Batangas but state weather bureau PAGASA says Southern Luzon and Metro Manila should brace for moderate to heavy rain. The National Disaster Command Center declares the provinces of Albay, Camarines Sur, Masbate, Catanduanes, Aklan, Capiz, Leyte, and Samar under a state of calamity. Storm signal number 2 is up over Metro Manila, Bataan, Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Marinduque, Norther Oriental Mindoro, Lubang Island, and Southern Quezon province. And signal Number 1 is up over Zambales, Pampanga, Tarlac, Rizal, Bulacan, the rest of Quezon province, the rest of Mindoro Island, and Romblon. PAGASA warns the coastal provinces under signal number 2 are still in danger of storm surges. PAGASA says Hagupit hits Metro Manila 8 to 10 pm Monday around the time of this newscast. Metro Manila is home to around 11.9 million people, or 13% of the Philippines’ population.
The center of the weather system will be closest to Manila between 10-11 pm. We’ll bring you more details as Hagupit passes near the Philippine capital on Rappler.com. Hagupit is expected to leave the Philippine area of responsibility Wednesday 7PM.
AT LEAST 21 DEAD FROM TYPHOON HAGUPIT – RED CROSS
The Red Cross says Typhoon Hagupit kills at least 21 people as of Monday. But the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council or NDRRMC says the casualty count is not yet verified. Most of those who died are from Samar… which bore the brunt of the typhoon at the peak of the it’s strength. Floods and fallen trees blocked roads while communication lines were cut off.
Pia Ranada reports from Samar in the aftermath of the typhoon.
PIA RANADA, REPORTING: We’re now at Yaan road where you can see behind me a landslide which happened because of Typhoon Ruby’s landfall last night. This is a very critical road because it’s the only road that leads to places like Tacloban, Dolores, Borongan and other provinces and towns hit by Typhoon Ruby so an engineer from DPWH just told me that a lot of relief goods and army trucks weren’t able to pass through because of the landslide but they assure us that by 5 pm today they will be able to clear at least one road so that the trucks can get through.
In Metro Manila, local government units and the Metro Manila Development Authority are enforcing precautionary measures right before Hagupit strikes.
More on that from Bea Cupin.
BEA CUPIN, REPORTING: It’s only drizzling here at the Manila Baywalk along Roxas Boulevard in the city of Manila but metro Manila cities are not leaving anything to chance. Hours and even days before typhoon Ruby is expected to inch closer to the national capital region, cities start preemptively evacuating coastal communities, or those along waterways.
NEW YORK MAYOR: ‘CENTURIES OF RACISM’ IN US
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio dodged questions on whether he endorsed a grand jury’s decision to not charge a white cop who killed a black man. In recent weeks, New York has become the center of demonstrations for black men who died in the hands of white policemen. But he says the US must confront –quote– “centuries of racism.” De Blasio is white and has mixed raced children with his african-american wife. He says he fears for his son’s safety in dealing with the police.
TOM HANKS, STING AMONG KENNEDY HONOREES
Actor Tom Hanks and singer-songwriter Sting receive this year’s Kennedy Center Awards for influencing American culture through the arts.
In a lighthearted speech, US President Barack Obama said Sting is an “all-around creative force.”
BARACK OBAMA, US PRESIDENT: His is an incredible solo career, the songwriting that shapeshifts rock and jazz and reggae and rhythms drawn from all over the world. Artist, truth-teller, champion of human rights, champion of our environment.
Obama also praised Hanks’ portrayal of characters who were flawed, but real.
BARACK OBAMA, US PRESIDENT: Tom’s career began just like so many Hollywood legends but he first won our hearts in comedy. Tom is not simply known for his characters; he’s known for his character, for his tremendous support of our veterans. People have said Tom is Hollywood’s everyman (CUT) but he’s just Tom Hanks. And it’s enough. It’s more than enough.
SONY HACK: ‘WORST HACK EVER’
A security researcher calls the recent cyber attack on Sony Pictures “Sony-pocalypse.” CNN reports, the hack could prove costly to the movie studio after the leak of movies and sensitive personal information on personnel including celebrities Conan O Brien and Sylvester Stallone. The hack also revealed embarrassing internal communications that show employees criticizing the –quote– “boring, unimaginative movies Sony keeps putting out.” Sony is about to release the movie “The Interview” about two journalists recruited by the CIA to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The movie angered Pyongyang, which praises the hack, but denies involvement.
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