World briefs: Typhoon slams Philippines
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MANILA, Philippines -- More than 50 people were killed Tuesday, and some 57,000 displaced, as Typhoon Bopha hit the southern Philippines, with strong winds and heavy rains also ripping apart power lines, roofing and trees.
The typhoon, the country's strongest this year, made landfall at the town of Baganga on the eastern side of Mindanao island before 5 a.m. local time.
The typhoon saw sustained winds of 115 mph hour, gusts of up to 130 mph and heavy rain, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said.
The Philippines are battered by around 20 typhoons a year. Bopha is the 16th this year.
JERUSALEM -- Days after winning upgraded status at the United Nations, the Palestinians are threatening to join the world's first permanent war crimes court and pursue charges against the Israelis.
Although the Palestinians say that any decision is still a long ways off, the mere threat has unnerved Israel. But pressing a case may not be so simple and could potentially leave the Palestinians themselves vulnerable to prosecution.
Since winning recognition as a nonmember observer state in the United Nations General Assembly last week, the Palestinians believe they now qualify for membership in the International Criminal Court.
SEOUL -- South Korea's ruling party and main opposition presidential candidates called on North Korea to halt plans to fire a rocket this month, while pledging to engage with the totalitarian country to improve relations.
In a debate Monday ahead of the Dec. 19 election, Park Geun Hye of the ruling New Frontier Party and Moon Jae In of the Democratic United Party said a launch would further isolate the regime. At the same time, neither backed away from a willingness to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in an effort to ease tensions with the nuclear-armed state.
Mr. Kim's plan to launch a rocket between Dec. 10 and Dec. 22 renewed focus on South Korea's security after both candidates pledged to reverse a deterioration of bilateral ties under outgoing President Lee Myung Bak.
WASHINGTON -- The Senate has approved President Barack Obama's choice to be the top commander in Afghanistan.
By voice vote Monday, lawmakers cleared the way for Gen. Joseph Dunford, the assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, to take over as head of U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan.
Gen. Dunford would replace Gen. John Allen, the current commander who has been nominated to take charge in Europe. Gen. Allen's nomination is on hold as he's ensnared in the sex scandal that had led to the resignation of CIA director David Petraeus.
LONDON -- Under heavy pressure from the victims of Britain's phone hacking scandal, Prime Minister David Cameron met with the country's top newspaper editors on Tuesday and told them "the clock is ticking" on their pledge to adopt a tough new system of press regulation of their own devising if they are to avoid demands by the hacking victims and many lawmakers for a new regulatory system backed by parliamentary statute.
Mr. Cameron made his comments during a meeting at 10 Downing St., with editors, representing most of Britain's main national newspapers,.
First Published December 5, 2012 12:00 am