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Sunday, November 29, 2020

Nation and World

Philippines
International relief efforts in the Philippines have been stalled in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan. Food, clean water, medical supplies and shelter have yet to reach the worst hit-areas.

United States helicopters from the aircraft carrier USS George Washington have made an active effort at combating the devastation by transporting supplies and expanding search-and-rescue operations.

The Philippine government says relief efforts are being hampered by shortages of trucks and fuel. “In a situation like this, nothing is fast enough,” said Interior Secretary Mar Roxas. “The need is massive, the need is immediate and you can’t reach everyone.”

The initial surge began on Friday, November 9, and shattered the port-city of Tacloban. The devastation spanned across six Philippine islands, and has left an estimated 4,400 dead.

Egypt
Russian officials visited Egypt last week, and began defense cooperation talks on Thursday. General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the head of the Egyptian army, said the talks hailed a new era of enhanced military cooperation.

The visit by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigui signals the highest level visit to Egypt by a Russian delegation in years. Egyptian and Russian ministers have discussed possible arms deals that could be worth as much as $2 billion.

The talks follow the United States’ decision to cut portions of the military and economic aid it gives to Egypt every year. The cuts were in response to the military’s treatment of pro-Morsi protesters.

Egypt’s Foreign Minister, Nabil Fahmy, said that he was not looking for a substitute for anyone. No agreement has been reached between Egypt and Russia yet.

The United States
Notorious Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger, 84, was sentenced on Thursday to two life sentences in prison. Bulger was convicted earlier this year of participating in 11 murders, drug trafficking, racketeering, money laundering, extortion and other crimes.

United States District Court Judge Denise J. Casper also ordered that Bulger pay $19.5 million in restitution to his victims’ families, and that he forfeit $25.2 million to the United States government.

“The scope, the callousness, the depravity of your crimes, are almost unfathomable,” said Judge Casper.

Bulger fled Boston in 1994 to avoid a racketeering indictment after being tipped off by a corrupt FBI official. He remained in hiding for more than 16 years, and was one of the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted, but was captured in June 2011 in Santa Monica, California.

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