PHILIPPINES: Typhoon slams into Manila
A powerful typhoon slammed ashore Tuesday in the northern Philippines, unleashing floods, cutting power and halting work in the capital, Manila, where residents waded in waist-deep waters and winds toppled trees. More than 100,000 people were ordered to shelter from rains and wind gusts up to 106 mph. A baby drowned and four fishermen were reported missing. Typhoon Nesat made landfall before dawn over mountainous Isabela and Aurora provinces. With a 400-mile cloud band, Nesat threatened to foul weather across Luzon Island as it moves toward the South China Sea.
SAUDI ARABIA: Trial still on for woman driver
An activist will stand trial in a month for defying the kingdom's ban on female drivers, a lawyer and rights advocates said Monday, revealing clear limits on how far the conservative Muslim land is willing to go to grant women greater rights. Just a day earlier, King Abdullah decreed that women would be allowed for the first time to vote and run in elections for municipal councils starting in 2015. Activists welcomed the changes, but some pointed to the case against Najalaa Harriri as evidence of how far the kingdom still has to go. Harriri was among the dozens of women to challenge the country's longtime ban on driving in a campaign that began in June.
RUSSIA: Key minister resigns
When he came to power in 2000, Vladimir Putin methodically and ruthlessly went about assuring there would be no dissent among the top circles in Russia. But the unity he insisted upon has been slackening, and on Monday President Dmitry Medvedev dared the well-regarded minister of finance, at a public meeting, to quit if he felt he couldn't get along. Later in the evening, that's what Alexei Kudrin did. He had taken exception to the idea of serving under Medvedev once the president becomes prime minister in spring, in what had looked like a well-oiled mechanism for Putin's return to the top spot. Kudrin, a longtime Putin ally, reportedly wanted the prime minister's job himself.