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ISIS blasts in Syria regime heartland kill more than 148

ISIS ATTACK. An officer stands next to damaged cars at the site of a bombing in a bus station in Jableh city, Lattakia province, Syria on May 23, 2016. Photo from Syrian Arab News Agency/EPA

The Islamic State says the attacks were in retaliation for Syrian regime and Russian air strikes

DAMASCUS, Syria (May 24, 2016) — More than 148 people were killed Monday, May 23, in bombings claimed by the Islamic State group in northwestern Syria, the deadliest attacks to date in the regime’s coastal heartland. Continue reading ISIS blasts in Syria regime heartland kill more than 148

Brazil confirms mosquito as Zika vector

ZIKA VIRUS. A view through a microscope shows the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which transmits the virus Zika, at a laboratory at the National Institute of Health in Bogota, Colombia, April 26, 2016. File photo by Leonardo Munoz/EPA

Despite the fact that world health authorities have said for months that the mosquito species is the main vector for Zika, no Aedes aegypti carrying the virus had previously been found in the Americas

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (May 24, 2016) — Brazilian scientists said Monday, May 23, they have found the first hard evidence the Zika virus blamed for causing brain damage in hundreds of babies is carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. Continue reading Brazil confirms mosquito as Zika vector

OCD finally uses up ‘idle’ funds for Yolanda victims after 2 years

AID NEEDED. State auditors said the OCD should have immediately used up its quick response funds to aid Yolanda victims.

In 2014, state auditors criticized the Office of Civil Defense for its slow use of the funds, which should have been used to help victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda

MANILA, Philippines (May 24, 2016) — Two years since the onslaught of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) over central Philippines, the P923.154-million quick response fund (QRF) of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) has been used, the Commission on Audit (COA) said. Continue reading OCD finally uses up ‘idle’ funds for Yolanda victims after 2 years

Evacuation lifted for oil sites threatened by Canada fires

This file photo taken on May 7, 2016 shows flames and smoke rising off Highway 63 outside Fort McMurray, Canada. Cole Burston/AFP

Officials lift the evacuation order for several oil production sites north of Fort McMurray, but stop short of allowing production to resume

MONTREAL, Canada (May 23, 2016) — Officials on Sunday, May 22, lifted the evacuation order for several oil production sites north of Fort McMurray, the city threatened by massive Canadian wildfires, but stopped short of allowing production to resume. Continue reading Evacuation lifted for oil sites threatened by Canada fires

ISIS threatens US, tries to rally support in new audio message

ISIS IN YEMEN. A Yemeni inspects the site of suicide car bombings targeting security checkpoints in the southern port city of Aden, Yemen, March 26, 2016. File photo by EPA

The audio recording reportedly featuring ISIS spokesman Abu Mohamed al-Adnani is posted online late Saturday evening, after much fanfare by ISIS supporters on Twitter

BEIRUT, Lebanon (May 22, 2016) — The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group appeared to try to keep morale high among its supporters in a new audio message released on Saturday, May 21, which also called for attacks on the US during the holy month of Ramadan. Continue reading ISIS threatens US, tries to rally support in new audio message

S. Africa compensates 750 families for apartheid land loss

ZUMA. File photo of South Africa president and South African ruling Party African National Congress President Jacob Zuma taken May 1, 2016 in Pretoria. Photo by Mujahid Safodien / AFP

South African families who say they were pushed out of their land on a natural reserve during apartheid will be handed over $5 million in compensation

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (May 22, 2016) — Some 750 South African families who say they were pushed out of their land on a natural reserve during apartheid will be handed over $5 million in compensation, President Jacob Zuma said Saturday. Continue reading S. Africa compensates 750 families for apartheid land loss

Dignity only in death for migrants at France’s Calais ‘Jungle’

THE JUNGLE. Migrants chat outside their tents in the “Jungle”, the biggest makeshift camp to spring up along the northern French coast, in the port town of Calais, on March 30, 2016. Photo by Philippe Huguen / AFP

They fled hardship and war only to find misery and squalor, but migrants who meet a gruesome end in northern France hoping to reach England are finally getting a touch of dignity in death

CALAIS, France (May 22, 2016) — They fled hardship and war only to find misery and squalor, but migrants who met a gruesome end in northern France hoping to reach England are finally getting a touch of dignity in death. Continue reading Dignity only in death for migrants at France’s Calais ‘Jungle’

UN names special envoys for El Niño and climate

SPECIAL ENVOYS. Macharia Kamau (L) and Mary Robinson (R) are the United Nations’ special envoys for El Niño and climate. Kamau photo by Miguel Medina/AFP; Robinson photo by Patrick Kovarik/AFP

The new special envoys will be responsible for ‘raising the profile and sounding the alarm,’ says UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

UNITED NATIONS (May 22, 2016) — UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday, May 20, appointed former Irish President Mary Robinson and Kenyan diplomat Macharia Kamau as special envoys for El Niño and climate. Continue reading UN names special envoys for El Niño and climate

PH to revise UN climate pledges to align with 1.5-degree target

CLIMATE TALKS. The Philippines calls for more radical action from other countries to make sure the world does not warm higher than 1.5 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels. Photo by Renee Karunungan

The Philippines current commitments include 70% carbon mitigation by 2030. All of these commitments, however, are conditional.

BONN, Germany (May 22, 2016) — The Philippines announced on Wednesday, May 18, during the third day of climate negotiations that it will review and revise its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) to align better with the 1.5-degree target. Continue reading PH to revise UN climate pledges to align with 1.5-degree target

Migrant crisis needs generosity, not fear

ANGELINA JOLIE-PITT. The UN special envoy speaks in London about responding to Europe’s refugee crisis. File photo shows Angelina waving to photojournalists while leaving the Maximos Mansion in Athens, Greece, after a meeting with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, 16 March 2016. File photo by Simela Pantzartzi/EPA

In a speech in London, the Oscar winner and UN special envoy for refugees urges the international community to respond to Europe’s refugee crisis

LONDON, UK (May 17, 2016) — UN special envoy Angelina Jolie Pitt urged the international community on Monday, May 16 to respond to Europe’s worst refugee crisis since World War II with generosity and not the “politics of fear.” Continue reading Migrant crisis needs generosity, not fear

Growing disaster resiliency in Region 12 (SOCCSKSARGEN) and the rest of Mindanao