At least 16 people have been killed in the Philippines following a deadly Super Typhoon. It is estimated that one million people have been evacuated in areas considered a pathway for Super Typhoon Goni. The country’s disaster agency said that around 19 million people have been affected by the typhoon.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte lifted a ban on oil exploration in the disputed waters of the South China Sea. Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi looks forward to speeding up negotiations with Beijing on energy cooperation projects. The Philippine government also expects China to allow the Philippines “peacefully” in these waters.
A volcano in the Philippines has begun spewing lava as the authorities warn that a hazardous eruption is possible “within hours and days.” Early Monday morning, a weak flow of lava began seeping out of Taal volcano, some 70 kilometers (45 miles) south of the capital, Manila. This came after it emitted a huge plume ash, triggering the mass evacuation of 8,000 people from the area.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has launched his fifth visit to China on Wednesday. In addition to the South China Sea issue, he is also believed to discuss trade, investment, and infrastructure projects with China. After meeting with President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang in Beijing, Duterte will fly to Guangzhou with Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan to watch a basketball game.
For someone who speaks so often, and so fondly, of “democratic socialism,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) seems to have no idea what it is. On Wednesday, the two-time independent candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination delivered a “major speech,” entitled “How Democratic Socialism Is the Only Way to Defeat Oligarchy and Authoritarianism.” It was the second time he has attempted to describe this utopian society entirely free from want. And, just as in 2015, he left all but his most dedicated Berners wanting.
More than 61 million voters will decide over 18,000 national and local offices, up for grabs in Monday’s midterm elections in the Philippines. The contests will serve as a referendum on the current president and his policies. President Rodrigo Duterte is widely expected to pass his first test. A victory could allow the popular populist to expand his control over the country and further tilt it toward China.
All 305 seats are up for grabs in the House of Representatives, increased from 297. Duterte’s PDP-Laban party holds 115 seats. His allies in the Coalition for Change add another 135. Duterte’s thumping majority isn’t under threat or likely to change. The House typically supports popular presidents, and at around 80% in the latest polls, Duterte certainly is.