Philippines Agriculture Damaged by Typhoon

(abs-cbn NEWS) The damage caused to the agriculture sector by typhoon Juan have reached P8.49 billion as of Friday, the Department of Agriculture said. . . .  P8.49 billion worth of crops, livestock and poultry, fisheries and agriculture infrastructure, according to the department’s Situationer Report No. 175.

Unknown Flying Creature in Texas

(ksn) A new theory to explain the mysterious dancing lights of Marfa, Texas, has been suggested by a cryptozoologist in California. Jonathan Whitcomb, of Long Beach, compares the Marfa Lights, sometimes called “ghost lights,” of southwest Texas to flying lights, in the southwest Pacific, called “ropen” in Papua New Guinea. According to natives of those tropical islands, the ropen is a large flying creature. Those few eyewitnesses who have seen it describe a giant pterosaur-like animal, with no feathers and a long tail. In Texas, some eyewitnesses have described a long-tailed “pterodactyl.”

Whitcomb says, “It may not be a coincidence that a few Texans have seen apparent living pterosaurs and many Texans have seen flying lights that seem to move intelligently; in some remote tropical islands, a few natives have seen similar large featherless flying creatures and many natives have seen similar lights.” The cryptozoology author believes that bioluminescent flying creatures in Texas may be hunting and eating the Big Brown Bat, in addition to other small animals of southwest Texas; in Papua New Guinea, the ropen may feed mostly on reef fish or clams. Whitcomb had explored Umboi Island in 2004, interviewing natives.

Home-Grown Innovators Wanted in China

(msnbc) busy people in ChinaCreating a new generation of higher-skilled workers is both a means and an end for China’s ambitious development plan. With wages rising for low-skilled factory jobs, Chinese leaders say they need to expand the base of higher-paying jobs and create the highly trained work force needed to fill those jobs.

President of Chile Pledges to Improve Mines

(Reuters) President Sebastian Pinera pledged on Monday to tighten up mine safety in Chile, even if it meant extra costs for owners, after the dramatic rescue of 33 trapped miners. Pinera, basking in the glow of the rescue while he tours European capitals, said Chile was tripling the budget of mining industry regulators and revising its regulations.

See also Mine Explosion in New Zealand

Maliki of Iraq meets Iran Leaders

(AP) Iran gave its clearest nod of support to Iraq’s prime minister Monday as he seeks to line up backing from key neighbors in his bid to remain in office after a more than seven-month political limbo in Baghdad.

Iran plays a critical role in Iraqi affairs and the Shiite-led coalition of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who is making his first visit to Tehran since Iraq’s indecisive March elections.