Connect with us

World

Phuket Gazette World News: Typhoon flattens Philippines; Mexico frees kidnap victims; US embroiled in Iran nuclear, Palestine dilemma

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

 on 

PHUKET MEDIA WATCH
– World news compiled by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Typhoon Haiyan hammers Philippines
Reuters / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: Typhoon Haiyan, possibly the strongest storm ever to hit land, was barrelling out of the Philippines on Saturday after it flattened houses, triggered landslides and floods and knocked out power and communications across a number of islands.

In the central Philippines, nearly all houses in Tacloban in Leyte province with a population of about 220,000, were toppled and casualties were feared to be massive, a disaster official said.

“Almost all houses were destroyed, many are totally damaged. Only a few houses are left standing, but with partial damages,” Major Rey Balido, a spokesman for the national disaster agency, told Reuters.

“Our disaster officials can’t give a number on casualties yet, the communication lines are down,” Balido said. “But I asked our teams to send us even a crude body count, they are just using a satellite phone and the signal is poor.”

Early official reports said at least four people had died, four others were missing and seven were injured by the typhoon.

Local radio reports said at least two more people had been killed on Cebu island, a popular tourist destination.

Haiyan, a Category-5 typhoon, had weakened after hitting land at least five times in the Philippines, but weather forecasters said it could strengthen again as it passes over the South China Sea before heading to Vietnam on Sunday.

The typhoon was hovering 440 kilometres west of San Jose, in southwestern Occidental Mindoro province, packing winds of a maximum 175 kph, with gusts of up to 210 kph.

The storm lashed the islands of Leyte and Samar with 275-kph wind gusts and 5-6 metre (15-19 ft) waves on Friday before scouring the northern tip of Cebu province.

It weakened slightly as it moved west northwest towards Capiz and Aklan provinces and near the tourist island of Boracay, later hitting Mindoro island.

About a million people took shelter in 37 provinces, after President Benigno Aquino appealed to people in the path of the typhoon to leave vulnerable areas, such as river banks, coastal villages and mountain slopes.

Teams from communications and power companies were trying to restore services, but authorities warned that may take days.

Ferry services and airports in the central Philippines remained closed. The military said it was deploying at least one C-130 cargo plane loaded with relief goods and emergency supplies to Tacloban city early on Saturday.

Haiyan was the second Category 5 typhoon to hit the Philippines this year after Typhoon Usagi in September. An average of 20 typhoons strike the Philippines every year, and Haiyan was the 24th in 2013.

Last year, Typhoon Bopha flattened three towns on southern Mindanao region, killed 1,100 people and caused damage totalling more than $1 billion.

Mexico frees 61 kidnap victims held near U.S. border
Reuters / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: Mexican authorities freed 61 kidnapping victims in the northern border city of Reynosa, the government said on Friday, liberating a mix of foreign nationals that included at least nine minors and one American.

The raid, which took place on Thursday in four separate buildings in Reynosa, freed captives from Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Mexico and the United States, government spokesman Eduardo Sanchez said at a news conference in the capital.

He said the captives, many of whom had been trying to cross the border into the United States, had been held there for at least a week in “inhuman conditions,” although he did not go into details. Reynosa is across the border from McAllen, Texas.

The captives included children ages 2, 7 and 11, he added.

Authorities arrested four suspects, who could face sentences of up to 36 years if found guilty, Sanchez said.

Mexican criminal gangs have long been involved in trafficking migrants from Mexico and Central America north into the United States in a side business that complements their drug smuggling efforts.

Although the murder rate in Mexico has fallen somewhat, kidnapping has risen since President Enrique Pena Nieto took office in December vowing to stamp out such crimes.

A recent Pew Research Center report found that as of March 2012, 11.7 million illegal immigrants were living in the United States, according to a preliminary estimate based on U.S. government data.

The number of such immigrants in the country peaked at 12.2 million in 2007 and fell to 11.3 million in 2009, bucking an upward trend that had held for decades, the study found.

Immigration reform is one of U.S. President Barack Obama’s main objectives following his re-election last year. The White House hopes to push through a broad bill to reform immigration rules and provide a pathway to citizenship for the undocumented, but the effort has stalled in the House of Representatives after passing with bipartisan support in the Senate.

Ministers arrive in Geneva as Iran nuclear deal nears
Reuters / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday important gaps needed to be bridged in high-stakes talks with Iran on curbing its nuclear programme and he would meet Tehran’s foreign minister shortly to try to clinch an interim deal.

“I want to emphasise there is not an agreement at this point,” Kerry said shortly after arriving in Geneva, tempering rising anticipation of a breakthrough that would reduce the risk of a Middle East war over Iran’s nuclear aspirations.

“We hope to try to narrow these differences but I don’t think anybody should mistake there are some important gaps that have to be closed,” he told reporters.

Midway through the second round of negotiations since Iran elected a moderate president who opened doors to a peaceful solution to the nuclear dispute, Kerry joined fellow big power foreign ministers in Geneva to help cement a preliminary accord, with Israel warning they were making an epic mistake.

Diplomats said a breakthrough remained uncertain and would in any case mark only the first step in a long, complex process towards a permanent resolution of international concerns that Iran may be seeking the means to build nuclear bombs.

But they said the arrival of Kerry, British Foreign Secretary William Hague and French and German foreign ministers Laurent Fabius and Guido Westerwelle signalled that the five permanent U.N. Security Council members and Germany may be closer to an elusive pact with Iran than ever before.

Kerry was expected to hold a trilateral meeting with European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

A senior U.S. State Department official said Kerry was committed to doing “anything he can” to overcome the chasm with the Islamic Republic. The powers aim to cap Iran’s nuclear work to prevent any advance towards a nuclear weapons capability.

The top U.S. diplomat arrived from Tel Aviv where he met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who regards Iran’s atomic aspirations as a menace to the Jewish state.

Netanyahu warned Kerry and his European counterparts that Iran would be getting “the deal of the century” if they carried ou

— Phuket Gazette Editors

 

Get more from The Thaiger

Looking for your next home in Thailand? Let us match you with a local expert in minutes!

Thank you for your interest!

One of our agents will
reach out to you soon.

I want to:
  • Thailand (ไทย)+66
  • United States+1
  • United Kingdom+44
  • Australia+61
  • Afghanistan (‫افغانستان‬‎)+93
  • Albania (Shqipëri)+355
  • Algeria (‫الجزائر‬‎)+213
  • American Samoa+1684
  • Andorra+376
  • Angola+244
  • Anguilla+1264
  • Antigua and Barbuda+1268
  • Argentina+54
  • Armenia (Հայաստան)+374
  • Aruba+297
  • Australia+61
  • Austria (Österreich)+43
  • Azerbaijan (Azərbaycan)+994
  • Bahamas+1242
  • Bahrain (‫البحرين‬‎)+973
  • Bangladesh (বাংলাদেশ)+880
  • Barbados+1246
  • Belarus (Беларусь)+375
  • Belgium (België)+32
  • Belize+501
  • Benin (Bénin)+229
  • Bermuda+1441
  • Bhutan (འབྲུག)+975
  • Bolivia+591
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina (Босна и Херцеговина)+387
  • Botswana+267
  • Brazil (Brasil)+55
  • British Indian Ocean Territory+246
  • British Virgin Islands+1284
  • Brunei+673
  • Bulgaria (България)+359
  • Burkina Faso+226
  • Burundi (Uburundi)+257
  • Cambodia (កម្ពុជា)+855
  • Cameroon (Cameroun)+237
  • Canada+1
  • Cape Verde (Kabu Verdi)+238
  • Caribbean Netherlands+599
  • Cayman Islands+1345
  • Central African Republic (République centrafricaine)+236
  • Chad (Tchad)+235
  • Chile+56
  • China (中国)+86
  • Christmas Island+61
  • Cocos (Keeling) Islands+61
  • Colombia+57
  • Comoros (‫جزر القمر‬‎)+269
  • Congo (DRC) (Jamhuri ya Kidemokrasia ya Kongo)+243
  • Congo (Republic) (Congo-Brazzaville)+242
  • Cook Islands+682
  • Costa Rica+506
  • Côte d’Ivoire+225
  • Croatia (Hrvatska)+385
  • Cuba+53
  • Curaçao+599
  • Cyprus (Κύπρος)+357
  • Czech Republic (Česká republika)+420
  • Denmark (Danmark)+45
  • Djibouti+253
  • Dominica+1767
  • Dominican Republic (República Dominicana)+1
  • Ecuador+593
  • Egypt (‫مصر‬‎)+20
  • El Salvador+503
  • Equatorial Guinea (Guinea Ecuatorial)+240
  • Eritrea+291
  • Estonia (Eesti)+372
  • Ethiopia+251
  • Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)+500
  • Faroe Islands (Føroyar)+298
  • Fiji+679
  • Finland (Suomi)+358
  • France+33
  • French Guiana (Guyane française)+594
  • French Polynesia (Polynésie française)+689
  • Gabon+241
  • Gambia+220
  • Georgia (საქართველო)+995
  • Germany (Deutschland)+49
  • Ghana (Gaana)+233
  • Gibraltar+350
  • Greece (Ελλάδα)+30
  • Greenland (Kalaallit Nunaat)+299
  • Grenada+1473
  • Guadeloupe+590
  • Guam+1671
  • Guatemala+502
  • Guernsey+44
  • Guinea (Guinée)+224
  • Guinea-Bissau (Guiné Bissau)+245
  • Guyana+592
  • Haiti+509
  • Honduras+504
  • Hong Kong (香港)+852
  • Hungary (Magyarország)+36
  • Iceland (Ísland)+354
  • India (भारत)+91
  • Indonesia+62
  • Iran (‫ایران‬‎)+98
  • Iraq (‫العراق‬‎)+964
  • Ireland+353
  • Isle of Man+44
  • Israel (‫ישראל‬‎)+972
  • Italy (Italia)+39
  • Jamaica+1
  • Japan (日本)+81
  • Jersey+44
  • Jordan (‫الأردن‬‎)+962
  • Kazakhstan (Казахстан)+7
  • Kenya+254
  • Kiribati+686
  • Kosovo+383
  • Kuwait (‫الكويت‬‎)+965
  • Kyrgyzstan (Кыргызстан)+996
  • Laos (ລາວ)+856
  • Latvia (Latvija)+371
  • Lebanon (‫لبنان‬‎)+961
  • Lesotho+266
  • Liberia+231
  • Libya (‫ليبيا‬‎)+218
  • Liechtenstein+423
  • Lithuania (Lietuva)+370
  • Luxembourg+352
  • Macau (澳門)+853
  • Macedonia (FYROM) (Македонија)+389
  • Madagascar (Madagasikara)+261
  • Malawi+265
  • Malaysia+60
  • Maldives+960
  • Mali+223
  • Malta+356
  • Marshall Islands+692
  • Martinique+596
  • Mauritania (‫موريتانيا‬‎)+222
  • Mauritius (Moris)+230
  • Mayotte+262
  • Mexico (México)+52
  • Micronesia+691
  • Moldova (Republica Moldova)+373
  • Monaco+377
  • Mongolia (Монгол)+976
  • Montenegro (Crna Gora)+382
  • Montserrat+1664
  • Morocco (‫المغرب‬‎)+212
  • Mozambique (Moçambique)+258
  • Myanmar (Burma) (မြန်မာ)+95
  • Namibia (Namibië)+264
  • Nauru+674
  • Nepal (नेपाल)+977
  • Netherlands (Nederland)+31
  • New Caledonia (Nouvelle-Calédonie)+687
  • New Zealand+64
  • Nicaragua+505
  • Niger (Nijar)+227
  • Nigeria+234
  • Niue+683
  • Norfolk Island+672
  • North Korea (조선 민주주의 인민 공화국)+850
  • Northern Mariana Islands+1670
  • Norway (Norge)+47
  • Oman (‫عُمان‬‎)+968
  • Pakistan (‫پاکستان‬‎)+92
  • Palau+680
  • Palestine (‫فلسطين‬‎)+970
  • Panama (Panamá)+507
  • Papua New Guinea+675
  • Paraguay+595
  • Peru (Perú)+51
  • Philippines+63
  • Poland (Polska)+48
  • Portugal+351
  • Puerto Rico+1
  • Qatar (‫قطر‬‎)+974
  • Réunion (La Réunion)+262
  • Romania (România)+40
  • Russia (Россия)+7
  • Rwanda+250
  • Saint Barthélemy+590
  • Saint Helena+290
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis+1869
  • Saint Lucia+1758
  • Saint Martin (Saint-Martin (partie française))+590
  • Saint Pierre and Miquelon (Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon)+508
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines+1784
  • Samoa+685
  • San Marino+378
  • São Tomé and Príncipe (São Tomé e Príncipe)+239
  • Saudi Arabia (‫المملكة العربية السعودية‬‎)+966
  • Senegal (Sénégal)+221
  • Serbia (Србија)+381
  • Seychelles+248
  • Sierra Leone+232
  • Singapore+65
  • Sint Maarten+1721
  • Slovakia (Slovensko)+421
  • Slovenia (Slovenija)+386
  • Solomon Islands+677
  • Somalia (Soomaaliya)+252
  • South Africa+27
  • South Korea (대한민국)+82
  • South Sudan (‫جنوب السودان‬‎)+211
  • Spain (España)+34
  • Sri Lanka (ශ්‍රී ලංකාව)+94
  • Sudan (‫السودان‬‎)+249
  • Suriname+597
  • Svalbard and Jan Mayen+47
  • Swaziland+268
  • Sweden (Sverige)+46
  • Switzerland (Schweiz)+41
  • Syria (‫سوريا‬‎)+963
  • Taiwan (台灣)+886
  • Tajikistan+992
  • Tanzania+255
  • Thailand (ไทย)+66
  • Timor-Leste+670
  • Togo+228
  • Tokelau+690
  • Tonga+676
  • Trinidad and Tobago+1868
  • Tunisia (‫تونس‬‎)+216
  • Turkey (Türkiye)+90
  • Turkmenistan+993
  • Turks and Caicos Islands+1649
  • Tuvalu+688
  • U.S. Virgin Islands+1340
  • Uganda+256
  • Ukraine (Україна)+380
  • United Arab Emirates (‫الإمارات العربية المتحدة‬‎)+971
  • United Kingdom+44
  • United States+1
  • Uruguay+598
  • Uzbekistan (Oʻzbekiston)+998
  • Vanuatu+678
  • Vatican City (Città del Vaticano)+39
  • Venezuela+58
  • Vietnam (Việt Nam)+84
  • Wallis and Futuna (Wallis-et-Futuna)+681
  • Western Sahara (‫الصحراء الغربية‬‎)+212
  • Yemen (‫اليمن‬‎)+967
  • Zambia+260
  • Zimbabwe+263
  • Åland Islands+358

    image

    Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

    Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

    Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

    Click to comment

    You must be logged in to post a comment Login

    Leave a Reply

    Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

    image

    Follow Thaiger by email:

    Chon Buri9 mins ago

    Body found on Chon Buri beach

    Crime44 mins ago

    Former air force officer murders ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend in Bangkok

    Thailand1 hour ago

    Goodbye masks & Monkeypox reality check | GMT

    Sponsored4 hours ago

    Why you should study Thai to explore Thailand

    image
    Economy1 hour ago

    Large banana plantation near Bangkok goes viral, Thai netizens say owner wants to avoid land tax

    Thailand1 hour ago

    Ranong reports 41 cases of monkey-to-human “Nousai” malaria

    Phuket2 hours ago

    Phuket police search for kidnapper and young girl he abducted months ago

    image
    Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
    Crime2 hours ago

    Thai nurse arrested for conning the public out of millions of baht in flu vaccine scam

    Election2 hours ago

    Bangkok governor-elect calls for calm and unity to get through the political storm

    Politics2 hours ago

    Government says PM listening to concerns over draft law on public gatherings, NGO funding

    Thailand3 hours ago

    Tesla registers as a company in Thailand

    Chon Buri3 hours ago

    Alleged drug dealer from Estonia arrested in Chon Buri after hiding for 4 years

    Central Thailand3 hours ago

    Policeman suspended after kicking, stomping on 2 handcuffed teenagers

    Crime4 hours ago

    Teenage gunman goes on rampage killing 19 children and 2 adults at a Texas primary school

    World4 hours ago

    19 children, 2 teachers killed as gunman opens fire at primary school in Texas

    Phuket4 hours ago

    Phuket officials announce plans for 2 big tourism events next month

    Thailand8 months ago

    Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

    Tourism1 year ago

    Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

    Phuket1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

    Tourism1 year ago

    Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

    Tourism1 year ago

    In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

    Trending