Northern Philippines Experiences ‘Worst Flooding’ in Years After Typhoon Vamco
Northern parts of the Philippines battled with severe flooding on November 14 after Typhoon Vamco, known locally as Ulysses, battered the nation days before. Tuguegarao City Mayor Jefferson Soriano called for help, telling local media the region was dealing with the “worst flooding” in years. The Manila area was in a similar situation. This video shows the extent of the flooding in Tuguegarao City. At least 42 people were killed due to the typhoon. The storm has since moved west into the South China Sea and was expected to hit Central Vietnam on November 15, according to local news reports. Credit: Philippine Coast Guard via Storyful
President Donald Trump on Thursday continued his all-out assault on former Department of Homeland Security Chief of Staff Miles Taylor – who revealed Tuesday he was behind an anonymous New York Times op-ed in 2018 about internal resistance to the president within the administration – warning “bad things” will happen to him and calling for both him and the Times to be prosecuted.
Trump initially called for Taylor to be prosecuted for writing the op-ed and an anonymous book expanding on it during a rally in Arizona on Wednesday, calling him a “low-level employee” who never worked in the White House and was “quickly removed from his job a long time ago.”
Taylor began as a senior advisor at DHS in 2017, ascending to the positions of deputy chief of staff later that year and then chief of staff, a job which he said involved briefing Trump in the White House, before resigning in June 2019.
At a rally in Florida on Thursday, Trump said there should be “major criminal liability” for Taylor – who he claimed left his position with “nothing but praise for the Trump – calling him “treasonous” and urging Google to fire him because “bad things are going to happen to him.”
Trump also called for the Times to be prosecuted for unspecified charges, calling the op-ed, written by Taylor, “fake news made up by the New York Times.”
Trump claimed on Thursday that he “never even heard of” Taylor despite tweeting about him in August and claiming in February to know the identity of the op-ed author, telling reporters at the time, “I can’t tell you that… We won’t get into it.”
Taylor is far from the only political opponent Trump has called to prosecute in recent months. Trump has long called for Justice Department and Senate probes into his enemies, including former FBI Director Jim Comey, former President Barack Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden, his Democratic opponent in the presidential election. Trump has also taken a hard line on leakers, calling them “traitors and cowards” and launching numerous internal probes into various leaks.
“The state of open dissent in America: the President derides critics as “traitors” and “treasonous”; threatens to “prosecute” & “lock them up”; and ominously warns “bad things” will happen to them,” Taylor tweeted in response to Trump’s warning about “bad things” happening to him. “Is this who we are?”
Despite serving in the Trump administration, Taylor has endorsed Democratic candidate Joe Biden and cut ads for pro-Biden group Republican Voters Against Trump, claiming Trump promised pardons to officials who broke the law, withheld wildfire aid to California over his disdain for the state’s Democratic governor and declared “magical authorities” beyond the law. Taylor is among more than half a dozen former Trump officials – and hundreds of Republican former officials – who have endorsed Biden.
“Many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations,” Taylor wrote in the op-ed in 2018, declaring “our first duty is to this country, and the president continues to act in a manner that is detrimental to the health of our republic.”
Late on Tuesday, 200 million miles away from planet Earth, a NASA spacecraft began a precarious descent to an asteroid.
The Osiris-Rex craft is attempting to collect a handful of rubble, which scientists say contains the building blocks of our solar system.
It dropped out of orbit around the asteroid, named Bennu, beginning a four and half hour descent to the boulder-covered surface of the space rock.
This is the USA’s first attempt to gather samples from an asteroid, something Japan has accomplished twice.
Osiris-Rex won’t be landing on the asteroid – as long as everything goes to plan – as Bennu’s gravity is too low, being just 510 metres across.
Instead, the spacecraft will reach out with a robotic arm, to try to collect between 60 grams and 2 kilograms of material.
“We’ll only be kissing the surface with a short touch-and-go measured in just seconds,” said the University of Arizona’s Heather Enos, the deputy scientist for the mission.
After nearly two years orbiting Bennu, the spacecraft found this location to have the biggest patch of particles small enough to be swallowed up.
By the time flight controllers near Denver hear back from Osiris-Rex, the action already will have happened 18 and a half minutes earlier – the time it takes radio signals to travel each way between Bennu and Earth.
NASA won’t know until later this week how much was actually collected — or whether the spacecraft got anything at all.
The $800-plus million mission started with a launch back in 2016, and the spacecraft isn’t expected back on Earth until 2023.
Queensland deputy premier Steven Miles has been a willing thorn in the side of the Federal Government, regularly picking fights with the Prime Minister and other Liberal rivals in NSW.
And during his press conference alongside Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Monday morning, he once again took aim at Scott Morrison.
Mr Miles said the Prime Minister had launched an “extraordinary attack” on him.
“He said I should stick to my day job, well this is my day job — delivering more and better health services for Queenslanders,” said the deputy premier who also serves as the state’s Health Minister.
“This is from a bloke who has taken a whole week off leading our country to prop up his party here in Queensland in a state election campaign all because he wants to elect a premier who will just do what he says.”
An experienced regional South Australian reptile handler is recovering after being bitten by one of the world’s most venomous snakes during a cleaning mishap.
David Miles was bitten while he was attending to his tiger snake enclosure at his Mount Gambier home.
While he has handled hundreds of snakes over the past 25 years, it is the first time Mr Miles has been rushed to hospital with a venomous bite.
Despite the drama that unfolded, Mr Miles held no animosity towards the 1.2-metre-long brightly patterned snake even though it was more toxic than an Indian cobra.
But Mr Miles conceded the bite could have been fatal given tiger snakes were listed in the top six venomous land snakes across the globe.
“People ask me why I handle snakes. The truth is you have more chance of dying driving a car or walking across the road,” Mr Miles said.
He said the tiger snake came straight out and latched onto his thumb after thinking it was going to be fed.
Tiger snake strikes with great speed
Showing the deep scratch marks on his thumb, Mr Miles said the snake’s fangs punctured his skin making it “bleed like anything”.
“I walked over, got a bandage and started bandaging up to my elbow. I walked slowly into the house and said to my wife ‘I have just been tagged by a tiger snake’.
“That did not go down well with my wife, who called the ambulance. I was laying on the floor when they arrived.”
At the Mount Gambier Hospital’s emergency department, Mr Miles said medical staff responded swiftly and sought advice from a leading Adelaide-based toxicologist.
“The hospital normally doesn’t see a lot of venomous snake bites — most cases are dry bites. But you have to treat all spider and snake bites as potentially fatal,” Mr Miles said.
He said staff checked whether the snake had injected venom by analysing his blood.
“They gave me tiger snake antivenom, but they also prepared me just in case I went into shock.
“They put pads on my front and back and they had two adrenaline needles ready to go. They stood there waiting for something to happen. Staff did a top job.”
He attributed his own first aid for helping to save his life.
“Medical staff commented on how calm I was, I don’t get carried away during these things,” Mr Miles said.
Snake bite delivers ‘throbbing pain’
Mr Miles, who is a well known snake educator, said the only ill-effect from the bite was that his thumb and hand swelled to nearly “twice its size”.
“That was very sore and throbbing. They always say tiger snake bites are painful, the red-bellied black snake is more painful, but a brown snake can bite you and sometimes you cannot feel it,” he added.
“During the whole experience, I didn’t feel that unwell — my eyes didn’t go fuzzy. I think the fact I was calm helped me.”
With snakes now on the move due to the warmer weather, Mr Miles warned of looming snake sightings and encounters.
“Personally, I think there will be a few around. A number have already been sighted,” he said.
“I went to look for one recently, but I couldn’t find it. We think it may have bitten a dog. When I was at the vets, they also said a cat has already been bitten.
Mr Miles urged people to carry bandages and mobile phones in snake-prone areas, such as the Crater Lake precinct, and for farmers to store them in their utilities.
Mr Miles said the most important message if bitten was to keep still and call for an ambulance.
“If you are on the top of the hill, paramedics will have to climb the hill to get you.” he said.
The three most common snakes in the South East region of South Australia are the tiger snake, common brown snake, and lowland copperhead.
Tiger snakes inhabit regions across south-eastern Australia and are “common” on the Limestone Coast.
Aerial video filmed by the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office and released on September 19 shows “miles” of land area charred by the SCU Lightning Complex Fire in Santa Clara County. The SCU Lighting Complex Fire in northern California burned nearly 400,000 acres, the second largest fire event in California history, reports said. The Los Angeles Times reported at least 77,000 people had been forced to evacuate as the fires spread. Credit: Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office via Storyful
A fire broke out at a plastics plant in Grand Prairie, Texas, early Wednesday morning, August 19, reports said. A call came in about a fire just after midnight on Wednesday after an overhanging power line fell onto plastic sheeting in a storage area at the Poly-America manufacturing plant near Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, Grand Prairie Assistant Fire Chief Bill Murray said. Because the fire was fueled by polyethylene and petroleum-based items, there was no timeline on when it might be put out, officials said, though firefighters said the fire was likely to continue burning for days. Firefighters said they were concerned about the “toxic plume” and power lines that would come down at some point, reports said. Officials urged residents to stay indoors because of the toxic smoke, which could be an irritant for people with respiratory issues. This video shows the smoke as seen from Arlington, a few miles away from the site of the fire. Credit: Jordan Miles via Storyful