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Typhoon Parma Hits Philippines


ASIA STORM: Officials in the Philippines say a powerful typhoon has hit a northern province, toppling trees, cutting power lines and tearing the roofs off buildings. Authorities say Typhoon Parma made landfall Saturday in the province of Cagayan. No casualties have been reported. Major flooding that had been expected in Manila was averted when the storm veered to the north. A deadly storm just a week ago caused the worst flooding in the capital city in decades. President Gloria Arroyo has declared a "state of calamity" throughout the island nation and ordered mass evacuations of six provinces.

INDONESIA EARTHQUAKE: Foreign emergency rescue teams in Indonesia are working to reach areas in and around the port city of Padang, which was devastated by a powerful earthquake Wednesday. The United Nations says the death toll from the 7.6-magnitude quake is at least 1,100. Medical teams, search dogs, earth-moving equipment and emergency supplies have been trickling into Padang, the capital of West Sumatra province. Ambulances are having trouble getting through the traffic jams in the city. With electricity out, the traffic lights are not working.

IRAN: The head of the United Nations nuclear regulatory agency heads to Iran Saturday, two days after world powers demanded Iran open up its newly revealed uranium enrichment facility to inspectors. Diplomats say International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei will fly to Tehran to discuss the facility near the holy city of Qom with Iranian officials. ElBaradei said this week that Iran broke IAEA law by failing to disclose its second nuclear plant much earlier. Iran accepted a demand to allow U.N. inspectors into its plant during Thursday's talks with six world powers in Geneva.

OLYMPICS: Brazilians are celebrating the decision to hold the 2016 Summer Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro, marking the first time the event will take place in South America. The IOC voted Friday in Copenhagen after hearing personal pleas from world leaders on behalf of the four finalist cities - Chicago, Madrid, Rio and Tokyo. Tens of thousands of Brazilians flocked to the beach at Rio de Janeiro Friday to watch the announcement, broadcast on a large video screen. They cheered wildly at the news, many waving national flags. Thousands danced to samba music and partied long into the night.

HONDURAS: Honduras's de facto leader and the country's ousted president will begin negotiations next week aimed at resolving the political crisis triggered by a coup in June. A representative from the Organization of American States says the two are ready to open talks, although they will not necessarily meet with each other. De facto president Robert Micheletti said Friday he had already spoken secretly with OAS Secretary-General Jose Miguel Insulza, as part of the process leading to negotiations.

BURMA: Burmese officials say opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi met Saturday with Labor Minister Aung Kyi. The two last met in January of 2008. Details of Saturday's talks were not revealed. The 45-minute meeting at a government guest house came a week after the Nobel laureate sent a letter to military government leader Than Shwe offering suggestions about how to get Western sanctions against the country lifted. On Friday, lawyers for Aung San Suu Kyi said a district court in Rangoon upheld her conviction for violating the terms of her house arrest.

OBAMA ADDRESS: U.S. President Barack Obama says health care reform will help ease financial burdens on small businesses and spur new job growth. Mr. Obama said in his weekly (radio and Internet) address Saturday that small businesses face higher health care costs, which can impede growth and cause job cuts. He said overhauling the health care system is - as he put it - "a critical step in rebuilding our economy so that our entrepreneurs can pursue the American dream again." The president said reforms will allow small businesses to provide better health plans to employees at a lower cost.

Listen to our World News for details.

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