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Philippines Delegate Launches Hunger Strike in Emotional Speech at UN Climate Change Conference: VIDEO

Sano

Naderev "Yeb" Sano, a member of the Philippines Climate Change Commission, received a standing ovation a the UN Climate Change conference in Warsaw Tuesday after delivering an emotional speech about the effects of Typhoon Haiyan on his homeland and family and announcing that he was beginning a hunger strike to demand action from the body on climate change.

CNN:

Sano said he will refrain from eating during the 12-day conference "until a meaningful outcome is in sight." He called for "concrete pledges" to the Green Climate Fund -- a U.N. fund aimed at helping developing nations reduce their climate change emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change -- and said he will continue to fast "until we see real ambition on climate action in accordance with the principles of the convention."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Typhoon Haiyan Leaves Humanitarian Crisis in the Phillippines: VIDEO

Philllippines

More than 10,000 are thought dead after Typhoon Haiyan leveled villages in the Phillippines over the weekend and a humanitarian crisis has unfolded. The NYT reports:

As Monday dawned, it became increasingly clear that Typhoon Haiyan had ravaged cities, towns and fishing villages when it played a deadly form of hopscotch across the islands of the central Philippines on Friday. By some estimates, at least 10,000 people may have died in Tacloban alone, and with phone service out across stretches of the far-flung archipelago, it was difficult to know if the storm was as deadly in more remote areas.

Watch the video below for a look into what is happening there.

The NY Daily News reports:

President Barack Obama pledged U.S. support, saying “significant” humanitarian assistance is on the way to help survivors.

“Michelle and I are deeply saddened by the loss of life and extensive damage,” Obama said in a statement Sunday, praising the “incredible resiliency” of the Philippine people.

Reuters:

President Benigno Aquino, facing one of the biggest challenges of his three-year rule, deployed soldiers to the devastated city of Tacloban to quell looting and said he might impose martial law or a state of emergency to ensure security.

Super typhoon Haiyan destroyed about 70 to 80 percent of structures in its path as it tore through Leyte province on Friday, said police chief superintendent Elmer Soria. After weakening, the storm headed west towards Vietnam.

Huge waves from one of the strongest storms ever recorded swept away coastal villages. Some officials likened the destruction to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

The Guardian has a liveblog documenting the disaster as it unfolds.

The Guardian also has a lengthy list of various relief efforts if you would like to donate to those who desperately need it.


Typhoon Haiyan, Said to be Strongest Storm to Make Landfall in History, Bears Down on Phillippines: VIDEO

Haiyan

Here's a mindblowing satellite image of Typhoon Haiyan. It's barreling across the Phillippines toward Vietnam right now, the Guardian reports:

Typhoon Haiyan has hit the Philippines with winds of 195mph, with experts saying "catastrophic damage" will result from what is predicted to be the strongest tropical cyclone to make landfall in recorded history.

Thousands of people have been evacuated and thousands more have fled their homes as the category five storm sent waves as high as 5m (15ft) ashore on the islands of Leyte and Samar in the central Philippines, overturning powerlines and leaving streets knee-deep in water.

Haiyan – the Philippines' 25th typhoon so far this year – is expected to barrel through the archipelago close to Cebu, the nation's second-largest city and home to around 2.5 million people.

Watch an update on the storm, AFTER THE JUMP...

Check out some intense satellite images of the storm on the CIMSS blog.

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Film Explores a Gay Man's Twilight Years: VIDEO

Bwakaw

A film about being gay and growing old is getting attention in the Phillippines where it was made, and has been submitted as the country's Academy Awards entry for Best Foreign Film, the WSJ reports:

The movie stars Eddie Garcia, a popular Filipino actor, as Rene, a curmudgeon with a sensitive side who didn’t come out of the closet until he was 60 and now faces old age alone. Rene occupies his time talking to his dog, Bwakaw (which rhymes with “Macau” and translates to “voracious” or “greedy”), hanging out with a gay couple who run a hair salon and visiting an elderly nursing-home resident (Armida Siguion-Reyna) who is eventually revealed to be a former sweetheart...

...[Director Jun Robles Lana] wanted to capture the sadness and silence of aging, “but at same time I didn’t want the film to be bleak. I used humor to break the silences,” he said.

To attract moviegoers in the Philippines, “Bwakaw” is being marketed as a comedy, with ads and trailers highlighting its lighter moments, including an upbeat poster that shows Bwakaw perched on Rene’s shoulder. Producers thought it would be an “easier sell,” Mr. Robles Lana said, noting that locally made comedies and horror movies dominate the country’s box office.

Watch the trailer, AFTER THE JUMP...

Bwakaw2

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Boxer Manny Pacquiao Blasts Obama Over Same-Sex Marriage, Cites Scripture Saying Gays Should Be Put to Death

Filipino boxer and politician Manny Pacquiao, who Forbes named the #4 most influential athlete in the world this year, is speaking out against Obama's endorsement of same-sex marriage, citing Biblical scripture that gays should be put to death.

PacquaioThe Conservative Examiner reports:

Pacquiao's directive for Obama calls societies to fear God and not to promote sin, inclusive of same-sex marriage and cohabitation, notwithstanding what Leviticus 20:13 has been pointing all along: “If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.”

Pacquiao, bearing a conservative stance on the Reproductive Bill which is still pending in the Philippine Congress for approval even after contemptuous debates, believes the sweeping campaign of Obama favoring the gays and lesbians to legally marry is nothing more than a direct attack on the moral society and against the creative power and will of God.

Pacquiao continues: "God only expects man and woman to be together and to be legally married, only if they so are in love with each other."

"It should not be of the same sex so as to adulterate the altar of matrimony, like in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah of Old."

America should be the model of morality for other countries to emulate and must have the responsibility to uphold the Scripture to the highest order of God's command, he adds.


Christians Protest Lady Gaga's Concert In Seoul; Pray It Won't Go Through

Gagagag

Lady Gaga is currently in South Korea, where she'll launch her Born This Way Ball tour on April 27th in Seoul's Olympic Stadium. Many thousands will be in attendance, but Seoul's most devout protestants will not be among them. Indeed, if the protestants had their way, nobody would see Gaga, and the pious are petitioning their deity to prevent the concert from going ahead.

PrayFrom Raw Story:

About 300 Protestant church members will gather in downtown Seoul Sunday night to hold a group prayer against the concert in the capital, Kang Ju-Hyun, a prayer organiser told AFP.

“We will pray to God that the concert will not be realised so that homosexuality and pornography will not spread around the country,” he said.

Kang, who leads a group called Alliance for Sound Culture In Sexuality, said other major church groups would join his campaign by holding protests around the Seoul headquarters of Hyundai Card, the concert organiser.

The Korean Association of Church Communication vowed last month to take “concerted action to stop young people from being infected with homosexuality and pornography.”

Last week, the Alliance for Sound Culture In Sexuality set up "street banners" around Seoul, which accused Gaga of spreading sin and sodomy with her "lewd lyrics and performances." The banners were removed by the city, but that's only a partial defeat for the Alliance: they and their censorious fellows have already succeeded in limiting concert attendance to fans 18 years of age and older.

Raw Story points out that South Korea is East Asia's second most Christian country after the Philippines. The Born This Way Ball will visit the Philippines in a few weeks, but the devout there are mostly Catholics, and less likely to be offended by pageantry.


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