Tropical Storm Usman, which entered the Philippines on Christmas Day, emerged as the deadliest weather disaster for the country this year following Typhoon Mangkhut in September. Usman, a slow-moving storm with winds of up to 55 kilometers (34 miles) an hour, killed at least 61 people as it triggered floods and landslides and forced thousands to flee to safer grounds. More than 6,600 people were stranded in various ports, while Cebu Air Inc. and Philippine Airlines Inc. canceled more than a dozen flights from Dec. 27 to Dec. 30.
The Philippines is preparing for the anticipated Saturday arrival of Typhoon Mangkhut with thousands evacuating from coastal areas. As farmers rush to save their crops, schools and offices are closing as the typhoon approaches. Typhoon Mangkhut is projected to be the strongest typhoon in the Philippines in 2018 with ten million people in its path.
President Rodrigo Duterte announced, Wednesday, the withdrawal of the Philippines from the Rome Statute, the treaty which established the International Criminal Court (ICC), following the ICC’s investigation into Duterte and deaths linked to his campaign against drug users and dealers. Duterte defended his campaign saying the acts committed ‘are neither genocide nor war crimes.’
President Donald Trump met with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte Monday during an economic conference where conversation shortly touched upon human rights. Trump publicly commented to Duterte ‘we’ve had a great relationship.’ Duterte appears to have warmed to Trump, opposed to Barack Obama who urged Duterte to follow the law in dealing with illegal drug trade.
In a series of raids carried out near Manila, police have killed 32 people in the bloodiest night yet of President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. Duterte used undercover cops to lure drug dealers to incriminate themselves and after acknowledging the corruption of police vowed to protect law enforcement who help in the war on drugs.