Typhoon Haiyan: A choice to either ‘distribute food or collect bodies’

Seven days after the powerful Typhoon Haiyan slammed into the Philippines, aid was still slow to trickle in to desperate survivors due to a paralyzed infrastructure and widespread looting.

In the worst-hit city, Tacloban, Mayor Alfred Romualdez said authorities lacked the necessary manpower and vehicles to both deliver supplies and to clear bodies off the streets.

In the chaos, rubble and ruin of the Philippines, a mother gave birth to a baby girl  in the doorway of the church in the devastated city of Tacloban. The girl was named Yolanda, the Filipino name for the typhoon which hit just hours before she was born.

“It’s scary,” Romualdez told Reuters. “There is a request from a community to come and collect bodies, they say it’s five or 10. When we get there, it’s 40.”

The mayor said the options are bleak in Tacloban: “The choice is to use the same truck either to distribute food or collect bodies.”

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Ariel Castro’s death is ‘last slap’ to victims’ faces, psychologist says

Kidnapper and rapist Ariel Castro’s apparent prison suicide may deprive his victims of a vital sense that justice has been done, a leading psychologist said Wednesday.

The convicted Cleveland kidnapper and rapist was found dead overnight, an apparent suicide just one month  after being  sentenced to life in prison. NBC’s Chris Tye reports.

“Going forward now these girls are going to have to find a way of healing without a sense of justice,” said Dr. Linda Papadopoulos, a U.K.-based psychologist and author. “We want the sense of justice when we heal. Sometimes we have to heal without it, and sadly that is what they will have to do.”

She added: “He decided his fate, something they were never ever ever able to do for themselves. He had ultimate control. To some extent this was in a way his last slap to their faces —  ‘I’ve got this over you’.”

Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight disappeared separately between 2002 and 2004, when they were 14, 16 and 20 years old. They escaped escaped May 6 after Berry broke through a storm door while Castro was out of his Cleveland house.

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EXCLUSIVE: Iran president blames Israel for ‘instability,’ calls for peace

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani blamed Israel for causing “injustice to the people” of the Middle East during an exclusive interview with NBC News in which he also called for peace, saying Iran is not “looking for war.”

Unlike his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Rouhani struck a moderate tone on many issues, but he deflected a question from NBC News’ Ann Curry about whether he believed that the Holocaust was “a myth.”

“I’m not a historian. I’m a politician,” he replied. “What is important for us is that the countries of the region and the people grow closer to each other, and that they are able to prevent aggression and injustice.”

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UN chief says he expects report will show chemical weapons use in Syria

Condemning the “specter of chemical weapons warfare,” U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Friday that it would be an “atrocious violation of international law” if a report by U.N. experts confirms the use of poison gas in an Aug. 21 attack that killed hundreds of civilians.

“I believe that the report will be an overwhelming, overwhelming report that chemical weapons (were) used even though I cannot publicly say at this time before I receive this report,” Ban said at a U.N. meeting.

Stopping short of holding Syrian President Bashar Assad liable for the chemical weapons attack, Ban blamed the ongoing bloody conflict for “rising sectarian tensions, regional instability and the largest displacement of a people in a generation.”

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‘Our generation is a lost cause’: Spain’s youth struggle to chart a life amid economic crisis

MADRID, Spain – In a country where more than 55 percent of young people are unemployed, even an obsession with bolstering your resume is no guarantee of success.

Barbara Victoria Palomares-Romero, 22.

Barbara Victoria Palomares-Romero.

Barbara Victoria Palomares-Romero, 22, is qualified to work in restaurants, nurseries and hotels. Since leaving high school, she’s trained as a secretary, air conditioning technician and funeral cosmetologist, which is her profession of choice.

“Even though I’m 22, my resume is two pages long. And that’s because I have done everything,” she said. “I have done everything and can’t find anything.”

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With big promise of aid, Saudi Arabia puts security before diplomacy

News Analysis

Saudi Arabia’s pledge to replace U.S. aid to Egypt that could be cut in the wake of the military’s bloody crackdown makes clear the American ally’s priority in the Middle East: to keep deposed President Mohammed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood at bay and its own kingdom secure – even at the risk of stepping on American toes.

“I confirm to everyone, the Saudi Kingdom leaders, government and nation has stood and will forever stand with Egypt and the Arab community will not allow ever to have their fate manipulated or their security and stability tampered with,” an official Saudi news agency quoted Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal as saying. “As for those who announced that they will stop their support to Egypt or threatened to stop it, for the Arab and Muslim world is rich with its people and capabilities and will not hesitate to offer a helping hand to Egypt.”

Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Kuwait view the Muslim Brotherhood – the Arab world’s most influential Islamist movement – as a significant security threat to the region’s authoritarian governments.

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‘Out of control’: Vigilante justice grips impoverished South African slum

DIEPSLOOT, South Africa – Ersido Ayele is still wearing the same pants, shirt and sweatshirt he had on when some 40 looters broke through the corrugated iron roof of his corner store almost three weeks ago.

“They burned all my clothes,” the 33-year-old Ethiopian said. “They burned everything.”

Samuel Maira, local representative for the ruling ANC party, says growing joblessness and desperation are behind the violence in Diepsloot, South Africa.

Samuel Maira, local representative for the ruling ANC party, says growing joblessness and desperation are behind the violence in Diepsloot, South Africa.

“Everything” included plastic bags of rice, beans and flour; bars of deodorant and soap; bottles of detergent, shampoo and cooking oil; a refrigerator full of soda. Everything equaled around 180,000 rand ($17,000) worth of stock and savings that he and his uncle Areg Aroso had built up over two years trying to make it in South Africa.

Nobody has been prosecuted in relation to the looting, which swept through other parts of this dusty patch of land crisscrossed by rivers of open sewage.  And it was not an isolated incident – like many thousands of others, particularly foreigners, Ayele and Aroso fell victim to violence shaking Diepsloot with increasingly frequency.

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