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Super Typhoon Noru Slams Into the Philippines, Leaving 5 Rescuers Dead

MANILA, Philippines — Typhoon Noru blew out of the northern Philippines on Monday, leaving five rescuers dead, causing floods and power outages and forcing officials to suspend classes and government work in the capital and outlying provinces. The most powerful typhoon to hit the country this year slammed into the coast in Burdeos town in Quezon province before nightfall on Sunday then weakened as it barreled overnight across the main Luzon region, where thousands of people were moved to emergency shelters, some forcibly, officials said. Read more: The Philippines Is the Most Storm-Exposed Country on Earth Gov. Daniel Fernando of Bulacan province, north of Manila, said five rescuers, who were using a boat to help residents trapped in floodwaters, were hit by a collapsed wall then apparently drowned in the rampaging waters. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] “They were living heroes who were helping save the lives of our countrymen amid this calamity,” Fernando told DZMM radio network. “This is really very sad.” On Polillo island in northeastern Quezon province, a man was injured after falling off the roof of his house, officials said. Aaron Favila—APA resident swims along strong waves as Typhoon Noru approaches the seaside slum district of Tondo in Manila,…

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Typhoon Noru: Evacuations in Philippines as explosive super typhoon nears

By Laura Bicker in Manila and Elsa Maishman in London BBC News 3 minutes ago About sharing People in vulnerable areas have been evacuated as the super typhoon approaches. Thousands of people have been evacuated and government offices have been closed as a a super typhoon bashes the Philippines eastern islands. Typhoon Noru has caused gusts of up to 240kph (149mph) on the main island Luzon, where more than half of the country’s 110 million population live. Forecasters say the storm experienced an “explosive intensification” as it made landfall west of Luzon. The storm could cause landslides, flash flooding and dangerous storm surges. More than 8,400 people have already been evacuated from its path, and officials have issued warnings of “serious flooding” in areas of the capital, Manila. The storm’s speed increased by 90 km/h in 24 hours. Weather forecaster Robb Gile told news agency AFP that its increased speed was “unprecedented”. The Philippine weather service has issued a wind signal five for Luzon, the highest warning level which marks Noru as a super typhoon. Richard Gordon, chairman of the Red Cross in the Philippines, told the BBC that heavy rainfalls had filled many of the country’s dams, leading to…

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Italy’s far right set to win election – exit poll

Giorgia Meloni is on course to become Italy’s first female PM, exit polls say.

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Russian Exodus Grows Amid Fears Kremlin May Restrict Borders for Mobilization-Eligible Men

Russian men and their families flooded to the border over the weekend as speculation grew that the Kremlin may bar mobilization-eligible men from leaving the country. Witnesses reported hours-long lines at the main airport in Moscow and at land crossings into Kazakhstan and Georgia as reports spread that those subject to the call-up may be banned from leaving as soon as this week. The government sought to assure people that the rules of the “partial” mobilization that President Vladimir Putin declared Sept. 21 would be enforced after stories of ailing, old or otherwise exempt people being conscripted went viral on social media. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Putin late Saturday decreed a deferral for some students at state vocational schools and universities, after the Defense Ministry’s assurances failed to calm the public. Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of the lower house of parliament, on Sunday promised an “individual” approach to each complaint received, reiterating assurances from some regional governors. But the Federal Security Service, or FSB, has begun stopping men from leaving the country on the orders of military commissariats, Russian lawyer Pavel Chikov, who advises on conscription cases, said in his Telegram channel Sunday. He posted photos of two notices handed out at…

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Canada Sends Troops to Help Clear Fiona’s Devastation

TORONTO — The Canadian military mobilized and officials on Sunday tried to assess the scope of devastation from former Hurricane Fiona, which swept away houses, stripped off roofs and knocked out power across the country’s Atlantic provinces. After surging north from the Caribbean, Fiona came ashore before dawn Saturday as a post-tropical cyclone, battering Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Quebec with hurricane-strength winds, heavy rains and huge waves. Defense Minister Anita Anand said Canadian troops would help remove fallen trees throughout Eastern Canada, restore transportation links and do whatever else is required for as long as it takes. She didn’t specify how many troops would be deployed. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Fiona was blamed for at least five deaths in the Caribbean, but there was no confirmation of any fatalities or serious injuries in Canada. Police said a woman who might have been swept away was listed as missing in the hardest hit town of Channel-Port Aux Basques on the southern coast of Newfoundland. Entire structures were washed into the sea as raging surf pounded Port Aux Basques. “Thankfully the weather is a lot better on the outside this morning which will give us opportunities to have a look and…

Italy votes as far-right Meloni looks for victory

By Paul KirbyBBC News, Rome 1 hour ago About sharing Giorgia Meloni has benefited from not taking part in Italy’s broad unity government Italians are deciding whether to choose their most right-wing government since World War Two, in an election being followed closely across Europe. Giorgia Meloni leads the far-right Brothers of Italy party and is aiming to become the country’s first female prime minister allied with two other parties on the right. She has softened her image and resents being linked to Italy’s fascist past. She backs Western sanctions on Russia and has toned down rhetoric on Europe. But she still embraces an old slogan adopted by the fascists – “God, fatherland and family” – she has spoken out against the “LGBT lobby” and called for a naval blockade of Libya to halt migration. Almost 51 million Italians have the right to vote until 23:00 (21:00 GMT); 2.6 million are first-time voters and another 4.7 million are abroad. President Sergio Mattarella cast his ballot early in the Sicilian capital Palermo. An hour south of Rome, in the town of Latina, observers believe the far right can seize the town from the left. Founded in 1932 by fascist leader Benito…

Ukraine war: Ukraine will treat Russian deserters civilly, Zelensky vows

By Elsa MaishmanBBC News 17 minutes ago About sharing Russian soldiers who surrender to Ukraine will be treated in a “civilised manner”, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said. In his nightly address, Mr Zelensky appealed to Russians to run away or surrender once at the front. It comes after Vladimir Putin signed a law doubling the punishment for Russian soldiers who desert or disobey orders. Fresh protests have also broken out over Russia’s partial mobilisation of 300,000 extra troops. Russian human rights organisation OVD-Info reported that 700 people were arrested on Saturday, while more than 1,000 were detained earlier in the week. Unsanctioned rallies are banned under Russian law. Speaking in Russian – his first language – Mr Zelensky urged Russians to surrender to Ukraine rather than risk being tried as a war criminal after the conflict. Ukraine will treat deserters in line with international conventions and will not return anyone to Russia if they are afraid of repercussions, he said. “It is better to surrender to Ukrainian captivity than to be killed by the strikes of our weapons,” he added. President Putin signed a law on Saturday which means Russians who desert, refuse to fight, disobey orders or surrender…

Ukraine war: Hundreds arrested as Russian draft protests continue

By Matt MurphyBBC News 1 hour ago About sharing Hundreds of people have been arrested by authorities as protests against Russia’s new “partial mobilisation” continue across the country, an independent rights group has said. OVD-Info said 724 people were detained across 32 different cities on Saturday. Widespread demonstrations have broken out since President Vladimir Putin announced plans to draft 300,000 men to fight in Ukraine. Unsanctioned rallies are banned under Russian law. But Mr Putin’s move to draft civilians into the military has sparked large scale protests in urban areas, with more than 1,000 people being detained at demonstrations earlier this week. In Moscow, news agency AFP reported witnessing one demonstrator shouting “we are not cannon fodder” as she was arrested by officers. And in St Petersburg, Russia’s second city, one man told reporters: “I don’t want to go to war for Putin.” Seventy-year-old Natalya Dubova told AFP that she opposed the war and confessed she was “afraid for young people” being ordered to the front. Some of those arrested on Saturday reported being handed draft papers and ordered to report to recruiting centres while being held by security officials. The Kremlin defended the practice earlier this week, saying “it…

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What to Know About the Iranian Protests Over Mahsa Amini’s Death

Protests have intensified this week in Iran over the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody after she was arrested for allegedly wearing her headscarf too loosely. Amini died on Sept. 16 three days after her arrest in Tehran, and many Iranians are alleging that she was killed by law enforcement. Protestors have faced a brutal crackdown from the government who have deployed riot police, resulting in arrests, injuries and at least 17 deaths, according to the state media. Iranian authorities claim that Amini died of heart failure, but her family and protestors across Iran accuse the government of covering up her murder. The international protests have expanded to express anger over a range of issues, not just restrictions women face over hijabs and more generally in Iran but also against the current regime. At one Iranian protest, a street full of Iranians chanted “death to the oppressor, be it the shah or the supreme leader!” [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Here’s what to know: The death of Mahsa Amini Mahsa Amini, 22, was arrested on Sept. 13 while visiting Tehran by the notorious morality police who enforce compulsory conservative Islamic behavior and dress. Hijabs are mandatory to wear in public for…

Dmitry Bulgakov: Putin fires deputy defence chief amid supply failures

By Matt MurphyBBC News 1 hour ago About sharing Observers said that Gen Dmitry Bulgakov had become increasingly side-lined Vladimir Putin has fired the general charged with managing the Russian military’s faltering logistics operations in Ukraine. Gen Dmitry Bulgakov, a deputy defence minister, was removed from his role on Saturday, the defence ministry said on Telegram. The ministry said the 67-year old was “released” to transfer into a new role. He will be replaced by Col Gen Mikhail Mizintsev, who managed Moscow’s brutal siege at the port city of Mariupol. Gen Bulgakov has run the military’s logistics operations since 2008 and was responsible for keeping Russian troops supplied after their deployment to Syria in 2015. But observers say he has become side-lined in Moscow in recent months, with many blaming him for the chaotic logistics operations that have dogged Russia’s advance and seen their troops left undersupplied. In recent months, the Kremlin has been forced to approach North Korea and Iran – two of its only remaining allies – for new artillery and drone supplies. Gen Bulgakov’s dismissal comes as footage circulated on social media showing newly drafted Russian recruits being equipped with rusty assault rifles. Pro-war figures in Russia…

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Russia Shells Ukrainian Cities Amid Kremlin-Staged Votes

KYIV, Ukraine — Russian forces launched new strikes on Ukrainian cities as Kremlin-orchestrated votes took place in occupied regions of Ukraine to create a pretext for their annexation by Moscow. Ukraine’s presidential office said the latest Russian shelling killed at least three people and wounded 19. Oleksandr Starukh, the Ukrainian governor of Zaporizhzhia, one of the regions where Moscow-installed officials organized referendums on joining Russia, said a Russian missile hit an apartment building in the city of Zaporizhzhia, killing one person and injuring seven others. Ukraine and its Western allies say the referendums underway in Kherson and Zaporizhzhia in the south and the eastern Luhansk and Donetsk regions have no legal force. They alleged the votes were an illegitimate attempt by Moscow to seize Ukrainian territory stretching from the Russian border to the Crimean Peninsula. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Luhansk Gov. Serhiy Haidai said the voting “looked more like an opinion survey under the gun barrels,” adding that Moscow-backed local authorities sent armed escorts to accompany election officials and to take down the names of individuals who voted against joining Russia. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged Ukrainians in occupied regions to undermine the referendums and to share information about the people conducting…

Ukraine war: Putin not bluffing about nuclear weapons, EU says

7 hours ago About sharing Russia’s president made a thinly veiled threat this week he could use nuclear weapons The EU must take Vladimir Putin’s threats he could use nuclear weapons in the conflict in Ukraine seriously, the bloc’s foreign policy chief has said. Josep Borrell told the BBC’s Lyse Doucet that the war had reached a “dangerous moment”. His remarks come as Russia begins a partial mobilisation and moves to annex four regions of Ukraine. Mr Putin has faced setbacks on the battlefield, with his forces pushed back by a Ukrainian counter-offensive. “Certainly it’s a dangerous moment because the Russian army has been pushed into a corner, and Putin’s reaction – threatening using nuclear arms – it’s very bad,” Mr Borrell said. Seven months since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began, analysts agree that President Putin’s forces are on the back foot, but he said a “diplomatic solution” must be reached, one that “preserves the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine”. “Otherwise, we can finish the war, but we will not have peace, and we will have another war,” he said. In a rare address to the nation earlier this week, Mr Putin said his country had “various weapons of…

Iran protests: Raisi to ‘deal decisively’ with widespread unrest

By Matt MurphyBBC News 32 minutes ago About sharing Much of the country has seen protests following the death of a young woman in custody Iran’s president has vowed to take action against protesters after more than a week of anti-government demonstrations. President Ebrahim Raisi pledged to “deal decisively” with the protests, which have now spread to most of Iran’s 31 provinces. Officials say some 35 people have been killed since protests broke out over the death of a women in police custody. Mahsa Amini died after being detained for allegedly breaking headscarf rules. Officers reportedly beat Ms Amini’s head with a baton and banged her head against one of their vehicles. The police have said there is no evidence of any mistreatment and that she suffered “sudden heart failure”. And while Mr Raisi says her death will be investigated, his Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi has insisted that Ms Amini had not been beaten. “Reports from oversight bodies were received, witnesses were interviewed, videos were reviewed, forensic opinions were obtained and it was found that there had been no beating,” he said. Videos circulating on social media have captured violent unrest in dozens of cities across the country, with some…