AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
MANILA: Thousands more Philippine flood survivors crammed into evacuation centres on Friday as waist-high water covered vast farming regions and the death toll from a week of misery rose to 60. The flooding that submerged 80 percent of Manila early in the week had largely subsided, allowing people to return to their homes, but vital rice-growing areas to the north remained submerged as more rain fell there. “We need something to eat. I haven’t gone to work or been paid for a week,” said Rogelio Soco, a construction worker and father-of-three in the small farming town of Apalit, about 60 kilometres from Manila. Soco, 60, said the floods, which began on Monday, were the worst the area had seen since a huge typhoon struck in the early 1970s, and other locals also said they had not experienced anything like it for decades.
New prez in Libya
TRIPOLI: Libya's national assembly picked former opposition leader Mohammed Magarief as its president as the North African country's newly elected congress began its rule. Magarief, seen as a moderate Islamist, will head the 200-member congress, which will name a prime minister, pass laws and steer Libya to full parliamentary elections after a new constitution is drafted next year. Magarief, leader of the National Front party, is effectively acting head of state, but the true extent of his powers is yet to be determined. He beat a liberal candidate in the vote. An economist and former Libyan ambassador to India who had lived in exile since the 1980s, Magarief was a leading figure in Libya's oldest opposition movement — the National Front for the Salvation of Libya — which made several attempts to end Moammar Gadhafi's rule. The 72-year-old's National Front Party is an offshoot of the old opposition movement and won three seats in the July 7 poll — Libya's first free vote in a generation.