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Firefighters douse the wreckage of a helicopter after it crashed into an apartment building in Seoul, leaving two people that were on board dead. Rough Cut (No Reporter Narration).

Philippine president to camp in Tacloban

Associated PressBy TERESA CEROJANO and TODD PITMAN 4 hours ago
 Churches in Philippines Hold Sunday ServicesRaw: 3,600+ Known Dead in Philippines Play video ..  TACLOBAN, Philippines (AP) — President Benigno Aquino III said Sunday that he will stay in typhoon-battered Leyte province until he sees more progress in the aid effort following complaints from survivors that they have yet to receive proper help.Related Stories

Aquino is expected to set up camp in Tacloban, the capital of hardest-hit Leyte province, but it is not clear where he will find suitable accommodations amid the ruins. Virtually every building in the city was damaged or destroyed by the Nov. 8 Typhoon Haiyan, which killed 3,974 people, according to the latest official count released Sunday. The storm left about 1,200 people missing.Electricity is available only in small pockets through diesel generators. There is no running water, and people must manage with water supplied by tankers. Many don’t even have that.Speaking to reporters during a visit to Tacloban, Aquino said that while there has been some progress in the aid effort, it is not enough. A massive effort by the international community, which has donated aid and cash worth more than $248 million, is beginning to show improvements on the ground.”We really want to ease the burden of everybody as soon as possible. As long as I don’t see any more improvements, we’ll stay here,” Aquino said, referring to his official team. Presidential spokesman Ricky Carandang said Aquino wanted to ensure that the distribution of relief goods goes on smoothly and power is restored soon in this city of 220,000 people.Raw: 3,600+ Known Dead in PhilippinesPlay video.”Raw: 3,600+ Known Dead in PhilippinesThis is not the first time Aquino has taken a hands-on approach to a crisis. When Muslim rebels occupied fishing villages outside Zamboanga in the south in September, he set up a camp in the regional military headquarters in the city to oversee the offensive against the insurgents. The move won him wide praise.Last month, the 53-year-old bachelor president slept overnight in an army tent to reassure jittery residents of a central town that was devastated by a magnitude-7.3 earthquake.Earlier in the day, thousands of Filipinos, many homeless and grieving, flocked to dozens of churches across the region for their first Sunday Mass since the typhoon. More than 80 percent of the 90 million people in the Philippines are Roman Catholic, a legacy of its history of Spanish colonial rule.Some came to give thanks for surviving. Others came to pray for the souls of the departed.”Coming to Mass gives people hope that things will eventually get better,” said Marino Caintic.View gallery.”A Filipino man prays on a statue of Jesus Christ prior …A Filipino man prays on a statue of Jesus Christ prior to a Mass at Santo Nino church, which was dam …One such service was held by the Rev. Amadero Alvero at his half-destroyed Santo Nino church, a landmark of Tacloban.”Despite what happened, we still believe in God,” he said. „The church may have been destroyed, but our faith is intact, as believers, as a people of God, our faith has not been destroyed.”Sun shone for the first service, but by the second, rain was falling through a gaping hole crisscrossed by wooden beams in the roof of the downtown church and landmark. Its windows were blown out, and winds snapped at a silver cross on top of its steeple, which hangs upside down.”We are being tested by God, to see how strong our faith is, to see if our faith is true,” he said. „He wants to know that we have faith in him in good times, as well as in bad.”Santo Nino and other churches have also been helping care for those who survived.View gallery.”Typhoon Haiyan survivors enter a Catholic cathedral, …Typhoon Haiyan survivors enter a Catholic cathedral, where crowds of homeless people are squatting i …About 30 families are living in the church, and there are boxes of water and canned goods and food piled up on the promises. The seawater flooded much of the first floor of the compound.Filipinos elsewhere in Asia also remembered their homeland in their prayers Sunday.In Hong Kong, home to 133,000 Filipinos, volunteers outside one church were collecting food, medicine, blankets and clothing to send to the affected region. Most of Filipinos working in the city are low-paid domestic workers.”We can’t really afford to give much money, but we can help them by praying,” said Jovie Tamayo, 32, who is from central Iloilo province. The roof of her family’s house was ripped off in the storm, but her family members were uninjured.Chelly Ogania said she had been unable to contact her mother and brothers on Samar Island, where the storm made landfall, though she had heard from friends that the village was safe.”We pray that they are really safe, we pray always,” said the 35-year-old. „That’s all the things I can do, just pray and trust the Lord, because I’m very far from them. No communications, just praying, praying.”___Associated Press writer Kelvin K. Chan in Hong Kong contributed to this report.

Mars orbiter aims to crack mystery of planet’s lost water

ReutersBy Irene Klotz 47 minutes ago
 Mount Sharp, on Mars is pictured in this panorama made from a mosaic of images taken by the Mast Camera (Mastcam) on NASA's Mars rover Curiosity released as a NASA handout imageView galleryA portion of Mount Sharp, on Mars is pictured in this panorama made from a mosaic of images taken by …By Irene Klotz Related Stories

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) – Scientists have no doubts that oceans and rivers once pooled on the surface of Mars, but what happened to all that water is a long-standing mystery.The prime suspect is the sun, which has been peeling away the planet’s atmosphere, molecule by molecule, for billions of years.Exactly how that happens is the goal of NASA’s new Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission, or MAVEN, which is scheduled for launch at 1:28 p.m. EST/1828 GMT on Monday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.Upon arrival in September 2014, MAVEN will put itself into orbit around Mars and begin scrutinizing the thin layer of gases that remains in its skies.”MAVEN is going to focus on trying to understand what the history of the atmosphere has been, how the climate has changed through time and how that has influenced the evolution of the surface and the potential habitability – at least by microbes – of Mars,’ said lead scientist Bruce Jakosky, with the University of Colorado at Boulder.Specifically, MAVEN will look at how much and what type of radiation is coming from the sun and other cosmic sources and how that impacts gases in Mars’ upper atmosphere.Scientists have glimpsed the process from data collected by Europe’s Mars Express orbiter and NASA’s Curiosity rover, but never had the opportunity to profile the atmosphere and space environment around Mars simultaneously.”We’ll get a window on what is happening now so we can try and look backward at the evidence locked in the rocks and put the whole story together about Martian history and how it came to be such a challenging environment,” said Mars scientist Pan Conrad, with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.EARTH’S LOST TWIN?-The evidence for a warmer, wetter, more Earth-like Mars has been building for decades. Ancient rocks bear telltale chemical fingerprints of past interactions with water. The planet’s surface is riddled with geologic features carved by water, such as channels, dried up riverbeds, lake deltas and other sedimentary deposits.”The atmosphere must have been thicker for the planet to be warmer and wetter. The question is where did all that carbon dioxide and the water go?” Jakosky said.There are two places the atmosphere could go: down into the ground or up into space.Scientists know some of the planet’s carbon dioxide ended up on the surface and joined with minerals in the crust. But so far, the ground inventory is not large enough to account for the early, thick atmosphere Mars would have needed to support water on its surface.Instead, scientists suspect that most of the atmosphere was lost into space, a process that began about 4 billion years ago when the planet’s protective magnetic field mysteriously turned off.”If you have a global magnetic field, it causes the solar wind to stand off. It pushes it away so it isn’t able to strip away atmosphere,” Jakosky said.Without a magnetic field, Mars became ripe pickings for solar and cosmic radiation, a process that continues today.MAVEN’s prime mission is expected to last one year, enough time for scientists to collect data during a variety of solar storms and other space weather events.Afterward, MAVEN will remain in orbit for up to 10 years serving as a communications relay for Curiosity, a follow-on rover slated to launch in 2020 and a lander that is being designed to study the planet’s deep interior.If MAVEN is launched as planned on Monday, it is due to reach Mars on September 22 – two days before India’s Mars Orbiter Mission, which launched on November 5. India’s probe has been raising its orbit around Earth and should be in position on December 1 to begin the journey to Mars.If weather or technical problems prevent Monday’s launch, NASA has 20 days to get MAVEN off the ground while Earth and Mars are favorably aligned for the probe to reach Mars.(Editing by Sandra Maler)

Aid missions boost US troops’ image, readiness Associated Press

By ERIC TALMADGE 2 hours ago
In this photo taken Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, the shadow of a U.S. military helicopter on a disaster relief mission is cast passing over a sign pleading for help near Tacloban, Philippines. The U.S. military has launched a massive relief effort for victims of Typhoon Haiyan in an effort to both save lives and build relations with its allies around the region by showing that it has the military strength to provide support in times of need. (AP Photo/Eric Talmadge)View gallery  ABOARD THE USS GEORGE WASHINGTON (AP) — As soon as Navy pilot Matthew Stafford puts his helicopter down in the village of Borongan, he is rushed by dozens of local men who form a line to unload the supplies and water he has flown in from the mothership, the USS George Washington aircraft carrier. Children swarm him as he breaks out a box of sweets.Related Stories

On the Philippine islands of Leyte and Samar that were shattered by Typhoon Haiyan, there is no doubt about it: the U.S. military has been a godsend. „It is awesome to see this,” says one grateful villager. „They are saving us.”But while U.S. military support can be critical when disasters like Haiyan strike, staging massive humanitarian relief missions for allies in need isn’t just about being a good neighbor. They can be a strategic and publicity goldmine for U.S. troops whose presence in Asia isn’t always portrayed in such a favorable light — and a powerful warning to countries that aren’t on board.”These disasters are not unique only to the Philippines. It will send a signal to all of Southeast Asia, to Asia, that the U.S. is serious about its presence here,” said Philippine political analyst Ramon Casiple. „It’s easy to translate this capability for disaster handling into handling warfare. This is the new orientation of the task forces.”From the military perspective, humanitarian missions like the ongoing Operation Damayan in the Philippines offer concrete benefits — the chance to operate in far-flung places, build military-to-military alliances and get realistic training — that they may later apply to their primary mission, which will always be fighting and winning wars.”Crisis response planning is a skillset for the military, so when you have an opportunity to execute crisis response it’s good for your planning team,” said Rear Adm. Mark C. Montgomery, who commands the George Washington strike group, stationed offshore in the Gulf of Leyte. „So, sure, there is a benefit there. But in reality the reason we do this mission is because in the Navy’s list of missions this is one of the significant efforts we plan for.”View gallery.”Villagers stranded by last week's Typhoon Haiyan scramble …Villagers stranded by last week’s Typhoon Haiyan scramble for aid from a U.S. Navy Sea Hawk helicopt …In the week since the disaster, the Philippines has started to receive support from military forces around the region. Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan have sent aircraft or personnel and more support is expected soon from Brunei, Great Britain, New Zealand and Thailand.But none has come close to matching the U.S. Equally importantly, America’s regional rival China has not sent any military personnel, and contributed relatively tiny financial aid.”This is being done in a big way that highlights the meager response of China — that’s the politics there. They’re saying China is not actually your friend in the region,” said Casiple”I’m sure China is watching and assessing,” he said. China announced Sunday it is ready to send rescue and medical teams to the Philippines, but did not say when the teams would depart.For U.S. allies like the Philippines, Vietnam, South Korea, Thailand and to some extent Indonesia, it is an affirmation of the U.S. commitment. For others — Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar who are more closely aligned with China — he said the mission is a not-so-subtle message that the U.S remains the biggest power in the region.View gallery.”A crew member of a U.S. Navy Sea Hawk helicopter from …A crew member of a U.S. Navy Sea Hawk helicopter from the U.S. aircraft carrier USS George Washingto …Within hours of the typhoon, U.S. Marines were on their way from their bases in Japan to assess the damage and plan out their response. Within days, the George Washington was pulling out of Hong Kong to lead its half-dozen ship battle group to the Gulf of Leyte. By the time they arrived, the U.S. Air Force was already in action.According to the Marines, U.S. military aircraft have put in nearly 480 flight hours in 186 aircraft sorties, moved nearly 1,200 relief workers into the devastated city of Tacloban and have airlifted nearly 2,900 displaced people from the affected areas. On Saturday alone, they delivered more than 118 tons of food, water and shelter items to Tacloban, Borongan and Guiuan — some of the hardest-hit regions.More than 600 U.S. military personnel are currently ashore in the Philippines. The USS George Washington strike group adds another 6,200 sailors supporting air operations, and 1,000 Marines and sailors with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit are expected to arrive later this week.”Getting to help people is actually the primary thing that we signed up to do,” Toby Pickens, a Navy rescue diver, said after helping off-lift supplies during several hours of helicopter operations from the George Washington. „It’s not so much the combat that we are looking for … Compared to anything else we do, I would say that this is by far the tops.”U.S. military public affairs offices, meanwhile, have been pushing out a torrent of photos, text updates, videos and media packages to play up that message of friendship and support.View gallery.”Villagers stranded by last week's Typhoon Haiyan scramble …Villagers stranded by last week’s Typhoon Haiyan scramble for aid from a U.S. Navy Sea Hawk helicopt …Col. Miguel Okol, a spokesman for the Philippine Air Force, said that while he is grateful to the U.S. assistance, he is also keenly aware that this is a military operation, with military implications.He noted that by working together on humanitarian missions, U.S. and Filipino soldiers are in effect conducting joint military exercises, such as while operating C-130 transport planes. The U.S. has deployed 15 of them in the Philippines, which has three of its own.”No country buys these kind of transports” purely for humanitarian purposes, he said as he watched two C-130 transport aircraft, one from each country, unload supplies at Villamor Air Base in Manila.”Together, now, we are doing real operations,” he said.__AP writer Jim Gomez contributed to this story from Manila.

Protesters build wall of oil barrels at Alberta Legislature

CBCCBC – 17 hours ago

Related ContentAbout two dozen people gathered near the steps of the Alberta Legislature Saturday afternoon to protest expanding oilsands operations in the province.View Photo About two dozen people gathered near the steps of the Alberta Legislature Saturday …

More Canada news »People braved the snow to rally against oilsands expansion and climate change at the Alberta Legislature Saturday afternoon.About two dozen people, including Representatives of Greenpeace, the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation and Keepers of the Athabasca, attended the protest, one of 130 similar demonstrations happening across the country today.Participants are calling for governments to stop the increased use of pipelines, to slow oilsands production and focus on a greener future.“People are here today to brave the cold to try to deliver that message – both to Premier Redford and to Prime Minister Harper,” said Mike Hudema with Greenpeace.“We’re seeing more and more extreme weather events around the world. It was only a week ago that we saw record typhoons hit the Philippines, causing immense damage there,” said Hudema, who also mentioned the extreme flooding seen across southern Alberta this summer“These events are becoming more and more frequent the longer we delay action on climate change.”Protesters in Edmonton built a wall of 116 oil barrels across the legislature steps to represent the amount of carbon dioxide Shell’s Jackpine Mine expansion will produce every second if the plan is approved.Now, Hudema said, those gathered outside the legislature want to see the government take action on emissions – an issue he thinks is particularly important in Alberta.“If you talk about emissions in Canada, you have to talk about the tarsands because they are the fastest growing source of emissions in the country.”Hudema said he’d like to see the federal government explore green solutions.“Other countries are taking the lead – it’s time that Canada do the same.”

Three Canadian military choppers to head to Philippines to help in relief effort

The Canadian PressBy Benjamin Shingler, The Canadian Press | The Canadian Press – 21 hours ago

Lieutenant Alayna Kang of a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) prepares her luggage for a rapid deployment to the Philippine Islands on November 11, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Canadian Forces Combat Camera - Corporal Darcy LefebvreView PhotoLieutenant Alayna Kang of a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) prepares her …
More Canada news »A new addition was made to Canada’s relief efforts in the Philippines Saturday, with three military helicopters and their crew designated to help with aid operations in the typhoon-ravaged country.Two of the three CH-146 Griffon choppers were set to leave Canada on Sunday from Ontario’s CFB Trenton aboard a military transport plane.Defence Minister Rob Nicholson said the helicopters will give Canada’s Disaster Assistance Response Team — which is already in the Philippines — additional means to reach and help those in need of assistance.Meanwhile, Canadian soldiers on the ground in the Philippines were making clean drinking water a priority in their relief efforts.Col. Stephen Kelsey, of Canadian Joint Operations Command, said a transport plane carrying a water-purification system was en route to the country and would be in place by early next week.It will produce 50,000 litres of safe drinking water a day.Kelsey also said DART was able to successfully send out a mobile medical team from its base camp in the city of Roxas to treat victims in a hard-hit area.Some roads remain choked by debris, making it a challenge for Canadian crews to reach certain communities, Kelsey said.”As they start to interact with the communities, they get a better sense of what’s happening and the true enormity of the challenges,” Kelsey said in a telephone briefing on Saturday.In all, there will be about 200 members of the DART providing aid to typhoon victims.Kelsey said co-ordinating the relief work hasn’t been easy.”One of the challenges on early days is the synchronization of all the efforts,” he said. „Not only the Canadian effort, but in concert with the provincial authorities and non-governmental organizations.”After an initial week of chaos, the United Nations said the international aid effort in the Philippines was gathering momentum. The UN said more than 107,000 people have received food assistance so far.In addition to aid operations, efforts remain under way to locate Canadians missing in the aftermath of the typhoon.Officials have said they are dealing with 55 active cases brought forward by relatives in Canada who’ve asked for help tracking down loved ones.Canada’s ambassador designate to the Philippines said Saturday that extra consular staff are being sent to the Asian country.Three additional officers are being dispatched to the city of Roxas to work with the Canadian Forces and local officials, said Neil Reeder, and will help Canada assess the „long term assistance this region may require.”Canada has committed to fast-tracking Filipino visa applicants and has said that Filipino students and temporary workers currently in Canada will be allowed to apply to have their visas extended so they don’t have to go back to destruction in their home country.

NASA’s newest Mars spacecraft will study atmosphere, tackle puzzle of Martian climate change

The Canadian PressBy Marcia Dunn, The Associated Press | The Canadian Press – 22 hours ago

FILE - In this Friday, Sept. 27, 2013 file photo, technicians work on NASA’s next Mars-bound spacecraft, the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN), at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. The robotic explorer is scheduled to blast off Monday, Nov. 18, 2013 on a 10-month journey to the red planet to study the atmosphere in an attempt to understand how Mars changed from warm and wet to cold and dry. (AP Photo/John Raoux)View PhotoFILE – In this Friday, Sept. 27, 2013 file photo, technicians work on NASA’s next …

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – NASA hopes its newest Mars spacecraft lives up to its know-it-all name.The robotic explorer called Maven is due to blast off Monday on a 10-month journey to the red planet. There, it will orbit Mars and study the atmosphere to try to understand how the planet morphed from warm and wet to cold and dry.”A maven is a trusted expert,” noted NASA’s space science chief, John Grunsfeld. Maven will help scientists „build a story of the Mars atmosphere and help future human explorers who journey to Mars.”The $671 million mission is NASA’s 21st crack at Earth’s most enticing neighbour, coming on the heels of the Curiosity rover, still rolling strong a year after its grand Martian arrival.When Maven reaches Mars next September, it will join three functioning spacecraft, two U.S. and one European. An Indian orbiter also will be arriving about the same time. Maven will be the 10th orbiter to be launched to Mars by NASA; three have failed, testimony to the difficulty of the task.”No other planet, other than perhaps Earth, has held the attention of people around the world than Mars,” Grunsfeld said.Early Mars had an atmosphere thick enough to hold water and moist clouds, said chief investigator Bruce Jakosky of the University of Colorado’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics in Boulder. Indeed, water flowed once upon a time on Mars, and microbial life might have existed.”But somehow that atmosphere changed over time to the cold, dry environment that we see today,” Jakosky said. „What we don’t know is what the driver of that change has been.”Maven — short for Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, with a capital N in EvolutioN — is the first spacecraft devoted entirely to studying Mars’ upper atmosphere. India’s orbiter will also study the atmosphere but go a step further, seeking out methane, a possible indicator of life.Scientists theorize that some of the early atmospheric water and carbon dioxide went down into the crust of the Martian surface — there is evidence of carbonate minerals on Mars. Gases also may have gone up and become lost to space, stripped away by the sun, molecule by molecule, Jakosky said.Maven holds eight scientific instruments to measure the upper atmosphere for an entire Earth year — half a Martian year. The boxy, solar-winged craft — as long as a school bus and as hefty as a 5,400-pound (2,450-kilogram) sport utility vehicle — will dip as low as 78 miles (125 kilometres) above the surface for atmospheric sampling, and its orbit will stretch as high as 3,864 miles (6,218 kilometres).Understanding the makeup and dynamics of Mars’ present atmosphere will help guide humans more safely to the planet’s surface, especially if the ship takes advantage of the atmosphere for braking, Jakosky said. NASA targets the 2030s for the first manned expedition.The spacecraft also holds an antenna and radio to serve as a communications relay for NASA’s two active Martian rovers, Curiosity and Opportunity, as well as the next pair of landers to be launched in 2016 and 2020.Maven is considered so important that launch preparations were allowed to resume a couple of days after the start of the 16-day government shutdown. Maven has one month to launch; Earth and Mars line up just so, just every 26 months. So if Maven isn’t flying by mid to late December, the spacecraft will be grounded until the beginning of 2016.The red planet is a notoriously tricky target. The world’s overall success rate since the 1960s for a Mars mission is less than 50-50.NASA has attempted the most, 20 launches so far, and has the best success rate: 70 per cent. Russia, in second place with 18 Mars launches, has a dismal 14 per cent success rate. China collaborated on one of the Russian flops. Europe and Japan have attempted one Martian mission apiece; the European Mars Express has had mixed results, while the Japanese effort fizzled.”We’re never a success until we’re at Mars and we’re taking data and getting the science that these folks envisioned back in 2003,” when the idea arose, observed NASA project manager David Mitchell.There’s a light side to Maven.Attached to one of Maven’s solar wings is a DVD containing more than 100,000 names submitted by the public earlier this year, as well as more than 1,000 Japanese-style haiku verses, also penned by the public, and 377 student art contest entries.The Maven team liked this haiku from an anonymous contributor:”Amidst sand and stars/We scan a lifeless planet/To escape its fate.”But this haiku was the No. 1 public vote-getter, submitted by British blogger Benedict Smith:”It’s funny, they named/Mars after the God of War/Have a look at Earth.”

Philippines typhoon disaster: on the ground with DART

CBCCBC – Sat, 16 Nov, 2013

Homes such as these near Roxa were flattened by the storm's sustained winds of 250 km/h.View PhotoHomes such as these near Roxa were flattened by the storm’s sustained winds of 250 …

„Toronto, you say. The place with the funny mayor?” Oh yes, even in the disaster of the Philippines, volunteers packing food into bags for the hungry and homeless want to know more about Rob Ford. Didn’t expect that.We were at a Red Cross facility in Cebu, from where much of the humanitarian operation is now being directed. In those bags: five kilograms of rice, five packages of noodles, five cans of sardines and a big bottle of water. Any family struck by the storm can expect that — though it may take days more for aid to each them.The challenge is two-fold: the storm’s magnitude and the geography of the country. Typhoon Haiyan was enormous and in many communities the winds knocked down buildings, while the storm surge carried away entire villages. And this is a nation of islands, large and small.Airport towers are smashed, runways covered in debris. Docks for ferries have been washed away and roads are still tricky. In short, helicopter is the primary way to get aid into the hands of people and there just aren’t enough of the aircraft.We flew in a small plane to Roxas, where Canada’s DART team is just getting started. The flight here demonstrated how widespread the damage is, but also how complex it is to get help to those who need it.The entire world has now heard of Tacloban, which is getting the most attention for its death toll and massive destruction. It deserves the coverage, but so do other places. As I write this, I’m driving to Pilar along roads where power lines and downed palm trees make driving complicated. Wooden homes look like a giant stepped on them.The first visit for the Canadian military medical team is to Pilar — at an evacuation centre. Water treatment is gone and so, not unexpectedly, gastro illnesses have spread. In disasters, something as simple as that can kill. It’s why those Red Cross aid packages with the noodles also contain ciprofloxacin, a common antibiotic.I have seen terrible natural disasters — the Haiti earthquake and the Japanese tsunami. The Philippines is better equipped certainly than Haiti to address the immediate needs. But while it’s not as wealthy as Japan, there is something here that reminds me of Japan. The worst damage is along the coastlines — in villages reliant on the sea for fishing, virtually the only local economy.But the boats are gone — and along with them, livelihoods.And nobody in Pilar is talking about Rob Ford. Their problems are far greater: survival first, and then…what to do next.

For Philippine typhoon survivors, search for missing loved ones is a hellish daily routine

The Canadian PressBy Kristen Gelineau, The Associated Press | The Canadian Press – Sat, 16 Nov, 2013

Workers arrange body bags at a mass burial site at the Basper public cemetery in Tacloban, Leyte province, central Philippines on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013. Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest storms on record, slammed into 6 central Philippine islands on Friday leaving a wide swath of destruction. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)View PhotoWorkers arrange body bags at a mass burial site at the Basper public cemetery in …Play VideoVideo: The fight for survival in the Philippineseuronews Videos  1:34Article: How to help donate to Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts

dailybrew – Mon, 11 Nov, 2013

Article: What is Canada’s Disaster Assistance Response Team and why was it sent to the Philippines?

dailybrew – Tue, 12 Nov, 2013

Article: Canada to deploy 2nd plane to aid typhoon-hit Philippines

CBC – Wed, 13 Nov, 2013

Article: Night flights begin to arrive at typhoon-devastated Philippine city as aid effort gathers pace

The Canadian Press – Wed, 13 Nov, 2013

More Canada news »TACLOBAN, Philippines – John Lajara peers under a slab of crumbled concrete, lifts a sodden white teddy bear then drops it back into the filth. He reaches again into the rubble and pulls out a boot, a treasured find in this typhoon-flattened village. But he’s searching for something far more precious — the body of his brother, Winston.For those still looking for loved ones missing since last week’s storm, their already torn-apart lives are shot through with a difficult question — How do you move on when there is no body to bury?The search for the missing — 1,179 by official count — has become a hellish daily activity for some. In Lajara’s seaside village residents estimate that about 50 of the 400 people who lived there were killed. About half of the dead are still missing: mothers, fathers, children and friends.”Somehow, part of me is gone,” Lajara said as another fruitless expedition in the rubble ended Saturday.Lajara has carried out the routine since both he and his brother were swept from their house by Typhoon Haiyan on Nov. 8. And every day has ended so far with no answers on Winston’s fate.According to the latest figures by the Philippines’ main disaster agency, 3,633 people died and 12,487 were injured. Many of the bodies remain tangled amongst piles of debris, or lining the road in body bags that seep fetid liquid. Some are believed to have been swept out to sea.After the initial days of chaos when no aid reached the more than 600,000 people rendered homeless, an international aid effort was gathering steam.”We’re starting to see the turning of the corner,” said John Ging, a top U.N. humanitarian official in New York. He said 107,500 people have received food assistance so far and 11 foreign and 22 domestic medical teams are in operation.U.S. Navy helicopters flew sorties from the aircraft carrier USS George Washington off the coast, dropping water and food to isolated communities. The U.S. military said it will send about 1,000 more troops along with additional ships and aircraft to join the aid effort.So far, the U.S. military has moved 174,000 kilograms (190 tons) of supplies and flown nearly 200 sorties.The focus of the aid effort is on providing life-saving aid for those who survived, the search for missing people is lower in the government’s priorities.The head of the country’s disaster management agency, Eduardo del Rosario, said the coast guard, the navy and civilian volunteers are searching the sea for the dead and the missing.Still, he said, the most urgent need is „ensuring that nobody starves and that food and water are delivered to them.”Lajara’s neighbour, Neil Engracial, cannot find his mother or nephew, but he has found many other bodies. He points at a bloated corpse lying face down in the muddy debris. „Dante Cababa — he’s my best friend,” Engracial says. He points to another corpse rotting in the sun. „My cousin, Charana.” She was a student, just 22.Lajara remembers the moment his brother vanished.They were standing alongside each other side by side with relatives and friends before the surge hit. They stared at the rising sea, then turned to survey the neighbourhood behind them, trying to figure out where or if they could run. Then the wave rushed in.Lajara, Winston and the others dived into the water, and were swept away from each other. After Lajara’s face hit the water, he never saw Winston again.Lajara has trudged through the corpse-strewn piles of rubble and mud, searching for two things: wood to rebuild his home, and Winston. So far he has found only wood.On Saturday, he set out again. The rat-a-tat-tat of a snare drum echoed across the landscape, as a young boy played the instrument from the roof of a gutted building. It was a grim accompaniment to what has become Lajara’s daily march into the corpse-strewn wasteland that was his home, where the sickly sweet stench of death mixes with the salty sea air.Reminders of the people who once lived here are wedged everywhere amongst the warped piles of wood, glass and mud: A smiling, bowtie-clad stuffed bumblebee. A woman’s white platform shoe. A wood-framed photograph of a young boy.Suddenly, a neighbour, Pokong Magdue, approached.”Have you seen Winston?”Magdue replies: „We saw him in the library.”Lajara shakes his head. It can’t be Winston. He’s already searched the library.Sometimes people come to him and inform him that Winston’s body has been found. Lajara must walk to the corpse, steel himself, and roll it over to examine the face.He then must deal with conflicting emotions: relief that the body is not his brother’s. Hope that Winston might still be alive. And grief that he still has no body to bury. Because at least then, he says, he could stop searching.Winston was his only brother. He had a wife and two teenage children. He was a joker who made everyone laugh. He drove a van for a living and was generous to everyone. He was a loving father.”It’s hard to lose somebody like him,” Lajara says.Now, the only trace of his brother that remains is his driver’s license: Winston Dave Argate, born Dec. 13, 1971. 177 centimetres tall, 56 kilograms. The upper left-hand corner of the license is gone, and the picture is faded. Lajara leaves it with a friend for safekeeping when he is out hunting for wood and Winston.He gazes at the card in his hand. „When I want to see him, I just stare at his picture.”
November: A dazzling lightning storm in Perth is a fitting picture for the month of Guy Fawkes night. (SWNS)
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Extreme weather from Down Under: Fire tornadoes and waterspouts feature in Oz calendar

Enormous waterspouts, lightning storms and fire tornadoes all feature in a dramatic series of images documented by Australian photographers. They snapped their country’s extreme weather for The Bureau of Meteorology and Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society calendar. More than 700 pictures were submitted for the 30th anniversary issue.

Boeing passenger jet crashes in Russia, killing 44

AFPBy AFP | AFP – 2 minutes 53 seconds ago

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A Boeing 737 belonging to a domestic Russian airline crashed Sunday while attempting to land at an airport in western Tatarstan, leaving 44 dead, the emergency situations ministry said.The plane, which took off from Moscow, „crashed at Kazan airport at 7:25 pm (1525 GMT),” the ministry’s local branch said in a statement. „According to preliminary information, 44 people were killed.”The Tatarstan Airlines plane, arriving from Moscow’s Domodedovo airport „hit the runway and burst into flames”, Russia’s Investigative Committee said in a statement.Local news agencies reported the plane had tried to land three times before crashing.

‘Dozens Dead’ In Russia Plane Crash

Sky NewsSky News – 3 minutes 27 seconds ago

'Dozens Dead' In Russia Plane CrashView Photo‘Dozens Dead’ In Russia Plane Crash A Boeing 737 has crashed while attempting to land at Kazan airport in western Russia, killing all 50 people on board.The plane took off from Moscow and crashed at 7.25pm local time, according to Russia’s Emergencies Ministry.The aircraft was making a second attempt to land when it exploded upon striking the runway.Some 44 passengers and six crew members were on board the plane at the time. The flight was operated by the regional Tatarstan airline, a ministry spokeswoman said.Firefighters extinguished a blaze at the scene. The airport in Kazan, the capital of the region of Tatarstan, has been closed.