World News

    US Carrier Group to Arrive in Philippines Wednesday

    The USS George Washington arrives Wednesday in the typhoon-hit central Philippines to help bring aid to many remain who remain desperate for food and other basic necessities.

    The aircraft carrier is helping rush emergency supplies to the city of Tacloban, which was almost completely destroyed Friday by one of the strongest typhoons ever recorded.

    The carrier is part of a team of ships that will be able to produce millions of liters of drinking water daily. They are also carrying helicopters and other special aircraft needed to bring life-saving supplies to remote areas.

    VOA's Steve Herman, speaking from Manila, says the situation is still "quite grim" in Tacloban, but that relief will soon start flowing faster.



    "The Tacloban airport, which is a civilian airport, which is now only open to military aircraft, will be operating again 24 hours. That will essentially triple the amount of aircraft and humanitarian supplies going into Tacloban."



    The help could not come soon enough for many survivors, hundreds of thousands of whom remain homeless, five days after the storm. Many have little or no access to food and water, and some have turned to looting to survive.

    In a sign of the desperation, eight people were killed Wednesday when a government warehouse holding stockpiles of rice collapsed after being stormed by a group of survivors.



    U.S. Brigadier General Paul Kennedy, who is leading a group of U.S. Marines on the ground in Tacloban, says the "entire Pacific Command" is responding to the crisis.



    "We have water purification units that are coming today. I wont give you the technical details of that but these are coming out of Japan. We have got expeditionary runway sets that are coming out, so that will include what we call a mini tower. It won't be an actual radar but it will be more than just a beacon to allow airplanes to land at night and then we have light sets that are going up today. So we can start doing 24-hour operations starting today."



    On Wednesday, the official death toll from Typhoon Haiyan reached 1,883. With thousands still missing and entire communities not heard from since the huge storm hit, officials initially said 10,000 people may have perished.

    However, Philippine President Benigno Aquino, sounding a note of optimism, told CNN the final toll could be significantly lower. Mr. Aquino spoke as stories of hunger, desperation and loss continued to trickle in from Tacloban.

    The Manila Standard newspaper, under the headline "Mass Escape from Hell," said thousands of people frightened by post-storm anarchy in the city and sickened by the stench of decaying corpses, were awaiting flights to Manila Wednesday.

    Local authorities said about 3,000 people have swarmed the airport since Monday night, fighting for a chance to board a single C-130 prop plane to Manila. But only a few hundred made it on board.

    Authorities say the flow of relief supplies has been further hampered by clogged regional ports and wrecked roadways leading to Tacloban and surrounding areas.

    Tens of millions of relief dollars have been pledged by a cluster of developed nations, ranging from Britain and other European governments to Canada, the United Arab Emirates, South Korea and the global banking group HSBC.

    The United Nations is asking international donors for $301 million to help typhoon survivors.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora