Monday, November 11, 2013
UPDATE: Typhoon survivors swarm airport, desperate to leave a city littered with bodies
TACLOBAN, Philippines (AP) — Thousands of typhoon survivors have swarmed the airport in the city of Tacloban in the central Philippines seeking a flight out.
Two Philippine Air Force C-130s arrived at the city's destroyed airport just after dawn Tuesday, along with several commercial and private flights. A few hundred people did make it aboard, but more than 3,000 people had been camping out, waiting.
The survivors are trying to flee a shattered city short of food and water and littered with bodies. Four days after Typhoon Haiyan (HY'-ahn) struck the eastern Philippines, only a trickle of assistance has made it to affected communities. Authorities estimate the storm killed 10,000 or more while millions are without shelter or food.
Tacloban has a population of about 220,000 people. It bore the full force of the winds and the tsunami-like storm surges which left most of the city is in ruins.
UPDATE: Governments, agencies begin worldwide relief effort for Philippine typhoon victims
TACLOBAN, Philippines (AP) — Water, food, medicine and shelter are the top needs in the central Philippines.
Doctors at a small makeshift clinic next to the ruined airport town Tacloban say they have treated around 1,000 people since the typhoon for cuts, bruises and deep wounds. But they say they've run out of tetanus shots and are overwhelmed.
International aid groups and militaries are rushing assistance to the region, but little has arrived yet. Government officials and police and army officers have all been caught up in the disaster themselves, hampering coordination.
The Pentagon says the USS George Washington aircraft carrier should arrive off the coast in about two days. A similar sized U.S. ship, and its fleet of helicopters capable of dropping tons of water daily and evacuating survivors, was credited with saving scores of lives after the 2004 Asian tsunami.
Meanwhile, the U.N. humanitarian chief has released $25 million of emergency relief funds.
Iran criticizes Kerry for 'conflicting statements'
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — There's progress of sorts in the drawn-out negotiations over Iran's nuclear program: Tehran has agreed to offer more information and expanded access to U.N. nuclear inspectors. This would include more openings at a planned reactor and uranium site.
The developments Monday came as America's top diplomat said that Iranian envoys had backed away from a broader deal seeking to ease Western concerns that Tehran could one day develop atomic weapons. Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday that the major powers, including France, were unified on an Iran nuclear deal during weekend talks in Geneva but the Iranians were unable to accept it.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said later Monday that Kerry's "conflicting statements" damaged confidence in the process and says "considerable progress was made" during the talks in Geneva.
Zarif said in remarks on an Iranian TV talk show that he's still hopeful a deal will be reached but insists any agreement must include the lifting of all Western sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
UN-HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL
China, Russia in line for top UN human rights body
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — China, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam are among the nations running unopposed for seats on the U.N. Human Rights Council, a prospect that has independent human rights groups crying foul.
On Tuesday, the General Assembly will elect 14 new members to the 47-seat, Geneva-based Human Rights Council, which can shine a spotlight of publicity and censure on rights abuses by adopting resolutions — when it chooses to do so. It also has dozens of special monitors watching problem countries and major issues ranging from executions to drone strikes.
New York-based Human Rights Watch points out that five of the candidates — China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam and Algeria -- have refused to let independent U.N. human rights monitors visit to investigate alleged abuses.
PAKISTAN-HAQQANI MILITARY KILLED
Senior militant leader shot dead in Islamabad
ISLAMABAD (AP) — Last night's shooting death in Pakistan of a senior leader of the Haqqani network is one of the biggest blows to that group since the start of the Afghan war.
The network is one of the most feared militant groups that have been fighting against U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
According to the militant group and an eyewitness, Nasiruddin Haqqani was shot and killed when he stopped to buy fresh bread from a bakery on the outskirts of Pakistan's capital.
His presence in Islamabad -- and questions over who killed him -- could bring new tensions between Pakistan and the United States.
U.S. officials have accused Pakistan's intelligence agency of supporting Haqqani in order to counter the influence of Pakistan's arch-enemy India in Afghanistan. It's an allegation that Pakistan denies.
No one has claimed responsibility for the killing, which took place only a couple of miles from the U.S. Embassy. But some Pakistanis are suspecting that Americans were behind it.
Toronto mayor says he's "not going anywhere"
TORONTO (AP) — A defiant Toronto Mayor Rob Ford says "I'm not going anywhere, guaranteed" despite immense pressure to step aside after admitting he smoked crack cocaine.
Ford made the remark to a supporter as he walked back to City Hall Monday after giving a speech during Remembrance Day ceremonies for veterans.
Ford later told reporters that he's ready to "get it on" with City Council members who have introduced a motion urging him to step aside. A vote is likely Wednesday.
Ford's refusal to resign or take a leave of absence has frustrated both his opponents and allies on the council, which has no legal way to force him out unless he's convicted of a crime.
There's been no indication that Ford will enter rehab since his lawyer said Friday that he was "considering" it.
SENATOR'S SON-PLANE CRASH
Official: Sen. Inhofe's son killed in plane crash
TULSA, Okla. (AP) — The U.S. Secretary of Defense has confirmed the death of U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe's son, 52-year-old Dr. Perry Inhofe, who was killed in a weekend plane crash in northeast Oklahoma.
Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, says Monday night that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel "was informed of Sen. Inhofe's son's death."
Perry Inhofe was an orthopedic surgeon for Central States Orthopedics in Tulsa. According to the clinic's website, he graduated from Duke University in 1984 before attending medical school at Washington University in St. Louis.
The Federal Aviation Administration says the multiengine plane was about 5 miles north of Tulsa International Airport when it crashed shortly before 4 p.m. Sunday. The plane took off from Salina, Kan.
The married father lived in Tulsa.
School to review gun policy
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Gonzaga (gahn-ZAG'-uh) University in Washington state is going to review its weapons policy.
This, after two students who used a pistol to chase an intruder from their apartment door found themselves on probation for having guns -- in violation of a ban on firearms in university-owned housing.
The school's president says Gonzaga is "a Jesuit institution dedicated to thoughtful evaluation of complex social issues," and that it will use the incident to re-examine its policy on guns.
A lawyer for students Erik Fagan and Daniel McIntosh says the school should consider student safety above all else.
The students say a homeless man who came to their door last month was demanding money and trying to force his way inside. Fagan says he offered the man a blanket and a can of food, but no cash, and that the man became agitated and combative.
McIntosh says he came downstairs with a loaded Glock pistol, and the homeless man took off.
The men called police and campus security -- who the next day confiscated the pistol and a shotgun.
The students say they are glad they weren't expelled, but that they are appealing their probation because they don't want it on their records.
NEW: 6 inmates killed in fight at Mexico border prison
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Authorities in northern Mexico say six inmates have died in a prison fight in the city of Reynosa, across the border from McAllen, Texas.
Tamaulipas state authorities said in a statement that three inmates have acknowledged to stabbing the victims to death with makeshift knives.
Officials say the suspects told investigators they attacked the six inmates Sunday night because of old grudges between the two groups.
Authorities didn't say if those involved are connected to drug trafficking or what crimes they were convicted for.
Tamaulipas state has become a battleground for the formerly allied Zetas and Gulf drug cartels as they fight over turf.
Report of 'Junior' Gotti stabbing is investigated
SYOSSET, N.Y. (AP) — Authorities are investigating a report that John "Junior" Gotti was stabbed outside a Long Island pharmacy on Sunday night.
That's the word from Shams Tarek, a spokesman for Nassau County prosecutors. He says police and prosecutors are investigating Gotti's alleged stabbing.
A Nassau County police spokeswoman says officers did receive a report of a stabbing Sunday night. But she would not release the victim's name. Police said the victim was in stable condition.
The victim declined to discuss details with police. It allegedly happened in the parking lot of a CVS store.
Gotti's attorney did not immediately return a telephone message.
The 49-year-old Gotti has been tried four times since 2005 for racketeering. Each trial ended in a hung jury. He said he left organized crime in 1999.