World in brief: Philippines preps as typhoon nears

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines put seven northern coastal areas on alert today for fast-approaching Typhoon Lupit as the church offered prayers that the storm will spare the battered country still reeling from deadly floods and landslides.

Lupit is forecast to make landfall Thursday in the extreme north of the main island of Luzon with winds of 120 miles per hour and gusts of up to 143 mph, the weather bureau reported.

The third storm in a month was projected to dump heavy rainfall in and around the mountainous north where mudslides set off by back-to-back storms since Sept. 26 killed more than 850 people.

Chinese freighter seized by pirates

NAIROBI, Kenya – Somali pirates seized a Chinese cargo ship Monday with 25 people onboard, a naval spokesman for the European Union’s anti-piracy force said, in the first successful attack on a Chinese vessel since the country deployed three naval warships to the region.

Cmdr. John Harbour said that coalition forces had observed at least two pirates onboard the deck of the De Xin Hai, and the cargo ship also was towing two light skiffs used by the pirates behind it. All 25 crew onboard are Chinese, he said.

The attack occurred early Monday in the Indian Ocean about 700 miles east of the lawless Somali coastline. Harbour said he believed it was the farthest afield the pirates had ever struck.

No prize this year for African leader

LONDON – In a snub to recent ex-presidents and heads of state in Africa, organizers of a multimillion-dollar annual prize for good governance on the continent said Monday they will not give out the award this year.

The Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership is awarded only to democratically elected heads of state who have left office in the past three years. That requirement eliminates strongmen leaders, some of whom have held on to power for decades.

The committee considered “some credible candidates” but could not select a winner, said former Botswana President Ketumile Masire, a board member of the group that awards the prize.


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