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Concerns grow over survivors of flooding in Philippines

PHILIPPINES

Concerns grow over survivors of flooding

As the death toll from flash floods produced by Tropical Storm Washi rose Monday to 927, officials in the southern Philippines turned their attention to survivors and the threat of disease in crowded evacuation centers. Gwendolyn Pang, secretary-general of the Philippine Red Cross, said, "Water has not been restored to many areas, and people are not well sheltered." About 45,000 people were packed into centers after floods ripped through the southern Philippines on Friday night.

Venezuela

U.S. faults Chávez over ties to Iran

President Barack Obama's sharp criticisms of Venezuela's human rights record and its ties to Iran are heightening tensions with Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, who on Monday responded by calling Obama a "clown" and telling him to mind his own business. Obama appeared to stiffen his stance toward Chávez in his remarks, which were published Monday by the Venezuelan newspaper El Universal. Some of Obama's Republican opponents have also been strongly critical of Chávez, and analysts expect the Venezuelan president could become a popular target of criticism as American politicians feud over foreign policy ahead of next year's U.S. presidential election.

Detroit

Father denies son is a spy for U.S.

An Iranian-American from Michigan who appeared on Iran's state TV is not a CIA spy as authorities in that country claim and was visiting relatives when he was detained, his father said Monday. Iran's TV broadcast video Sunday of Amir Mirzaei Hekmati, 28, and said he was a CIA spy who sought to infiltrate Iran's secret services. Ali Hekmati said his son never worked for the CIA.

Los Angeles

Teen gets 21 years in gay slaying

A teen who fatally shot a gay classmate in the back of the head at an Oxnard, Calif., middle school in 2008 was sentenced Monday to 21 years in prison. A Los Angeles County judge issued the sentence a month after Brandon McInerney, 17, agreed to plead guilty to second-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter in the slaying of Larry King, 15. Prosecutors alleged that it was a hate crime driven by homophobic rage because King wore girl's clothing and flirted with McInerney.

Elsewhere

Russia: Time appeared to be running out to rescue 39 people still missing more than a day after an oil rig capsized and sank in stormy, freezing waters off the eastern coast of Russia. Of the 67 men aboard, 14 were rescued. Workers have spotted 14 bodies.

Pakistan: The Supreme Court on Monday put off a decision on whether to investigate a controversial memo in which a Pakistani diplomat purportedly sought U.S. help to constrain the Pakistani military.

Times wires

Concerns grow over survivors of flooding in Philippines 12/19/11 [Last modified: Monday, December 19, 2011 11:34pm]

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