In the news today…
A typhoon that hit the central Philippines is now a tropical storm. But weather experts say the storm will cause serious flooding as it moves toward the capital, Manila.
The Philippine Red Cross says at least 21 people died as a result of Typhoon Hagupit over the weekend.
The government has confirmed the deaths of two people. It says more than one million people are still at evacuation centers. In the Manila area, several thousand people fled their homes because of the storm.
Rescue teams from the United States, Japan, Australia and Singapore are studying the damage.
The storm is not expected to leave the Philippines until Thursday.
Aid groups looking to resettle Syrian refugees
Thirty rights and aid groups are calling on the international community to help 180,000 Syrians who have fled fighting in their country. The groups are asking governments from the Gulf area and Latin America to help with resettlement efforts.
Separately, the UN refugee agency is holding a conference this week in Geneva to discuss resettlement of Syrian refugees. More than three million people have fled the country. The U.N. believes the conflict has also displaced 6.5 million people within Syria.
Indian Prime Minister urges people to vote despite violence in Kashmir
India’s Prime Minister is urging people in the Himalayan area of Kashmir to vote in local elections. Prime Minister Narenda Modi praised the Indian military for defending democracy. And he condemned rebel attacks on Friday that killed 21 people, including 11 security personnel.
There has been an increase in militant violence since local elections began in Indian Kashmir November 25. Many people have marked ballots, although Muslim separatist leaders have urged people to boycott the vote.
India and Pakistan both claim all of Kashmir. Rebel groups have been fighting against Indian rule in Kashmir since 1989.
Seventeen killed in Nepal overcrowded bus accident
An overcrowded bus fell off a mountain road in western Nepal late Sunday. At least 17 people were killed and 50 injured. There were 67 people on the bus, which had just 38 seats.
The bus was on a narrow road during the night when the accident happened about 400 kilometers west of the capital, Katmandu.
And that’s the news for today.
From the VOA Learning English headquarters in Washington, I’m Christopher Cruise.