Cyclone, hurricane, typhoon: definition

They may have different names according to the region they hit, but typhoons, hurricanes and cyclones are all violent tropical storms that can generate 10 times as much energy as the Hiroshima atomic bomb.

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The typhoon that devastated the Philippines, wiping out entire towns with a death toll that could soar well over 10,000, is the Asian term for a low-pressure system that is called a hurricane in the Atlantic and northeast Pacific and a cyclone in the South Pacific and Indian Ocean.

But meteorologists use the term “tropical cyclone” when talking generally about these immensely powerful natural phenomena, which are divided into five categories according to the maximum sustained wind force and the scale of the potential damage they can inflict.

Super Typhoon Haiyan, which is now heading towards Vietnam, was a category 5 typhoon – the highest level – when it hit the Philippines, with maximum sustained winds estimated at 315km/h, and gusts reaching 380km/h, according to Japan’s meteorological agency.

The winds are reported to be the strongest ever measured, and Haiyan could wrest the title of most powerful cyclone on record from Super Typhoon Tip, which ravaged Japan in 1979.

The Philippines endures a seemingly never-ending onslaught of deadly typhoons, earthquakes, volcano eruptions and other natural disasters.

Every year, some 20 super storms or typhoons hit the country, of the 80 or so that develop above tropical waters annually.

Cyclones are formed from simple thunderstorms at certain times of the year when the sea temperature is more than 26 degrees Celsius down to a depth of 60 metres.

Sucking up vast quantities of water, they often produce torrential rain and flooding resulting in major loss of life and property damage.

They also trigger large swells that move faster than the cyclone and are sometimes spotted up to 1000km ahead of the powerful storm. The sea level can rise several metres.

These powerful weather formations can measure between 500 and 1000km in diameter and have a relatively calm “eye” at the centre.

They weaken rapidly when they travel over land or colder ocean waters.

Cyclones are closely monitored by satellites, and specialised centres around the world – in Miami, Tokyo, Honolulu and New Delhi – track the super storms’ trajectories under the co-ordination of the World Meteorological Organisation.

Juanfran own goal keeps Atletico away from La Liga summit

Diego Simeone’s side were on course for a victory after a Villarreal own-goal in the second minute.

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Juanfran’s cross forced Mario to head into his own net under pressure from Koke, and the visitors then put in a typically abrasive performance in an intense tussle.

Villarreal were finally rewarded for their endeavour when Jeremy Perbet got to the line and crossed to the near post where striker Ike Uche slid in with Juanfran, and the Atletico defender poked the ball over the line in the 79th.

Second-placed Atletico moved on to 34 points from 13 games, the same as unbeaten leaders Barcelona, who visit struggling Real Betis in Sunday’s late game.

Real Madrid sit third with 31 points after Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick in their 5-1 home rout of Real Sociedad on Saturday. Promoted Villarreal are fourth with 24.

Earlier, there were whistles at Mestalla after Miroslav Djukic’s Valencia came from behind to draw 2-2 against his former club Real Valladolid with a 75th-minute strike from substitute Sofiane Feghouli.

The hosts got off to a woeful start, Ever Banega hoofing a penalty over the bar after only five minutes, and they then conceded a ninth-minute Javi Guerra header.

Colombia striker Dorlan Pabon’s long-range effort put Valencia level in the 29th, and after Valladolid notched a second through Gilberto Garcia just after the re-start, Feghouli rescued a point for Djukic’s inconsistent side.

Sevilla ended a run of 22 consecutive road games in La Liga without a win when they triumphed 3-1 at Espanyol.

The Andalusians last won an away league fixture in September 2012, beating Deportivo La Coruna 2-0, and coach Unai Emery was feeling the heat after five games without a win in all competitions.

Quick goals from Federico Fazio and Vitolo gave Sevilla the advantage and Carlos Bacca made sure of the points with an impressive third in the 58th minute, running from the halfway line to fire home.

(Reporting by Mark Elkington, editing by Justin Palmer)

Finance News Update, what you need to know

WORLD FINANCE UPDATE:

The Australian dollar is lower against the greenback following the release of surprisingly strong jobs data in the US.

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At 0630 AEDT on Monday, the local unit was trading at 93.84 US cents, down from 94.65 cents on Friday.

And the Australian share market looks set to open higher after Wall Street’s strong gains following better-than-expected US jobs figures.

At 0707 AEDT on Monday, the December share price index futures contract was up 55 points at 5,464.

ELSEWHERE:

ATHENS – Thousands of activists from Greece’s main left-wing opposition party Syriza have demonstrated against austerity measures in Athens as the government faces a no-confidence vote.

BEIJING – China’s industrial output accelerated in October, retail sales showed a solid gain, and inflation was stable as the world’s second-largest economy showed early signs of fourth-quarter strength.

JOHANNESBURG – Thousands of workers at an Anglo American Platinum mine in South Africa have refused to come out from underground in protest at the suspension of one of their leaders.

ALGIERS – Chinese state manufacturer FAW is to build an assembly plant in Algeria producing 10,000 vehicles per year under an agreement signed with private Algerian firm Arcofina.

ROME – Italy’s troubled flag-carrier Alitalia has the option to tie up with another partner if talks with shareholder Air France-KLM over its recapitalisation fail, Italian Transport Minister Maurizio Lupi says.

OTTAWA – A Qatari sovereign wealth fund was among a small group of investors who recently contributed $US1 billion ($A1.06 billion) to Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry, US securities filings show.

PERTH – Whisky, beef, nougat and olives are among the West Australian produce to be promoted in Shanghai this week to try to break into the Chinese market.

Marquez seals historic MotoGP title

Spaniard Marc Marquez, at 20 years of age, has become the youngest rider to ever win the MotoGP world championship as he finished third at the Valencia Grand Prix.

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Two-time world champion Jorge Lorenzo claimed his eighth victory of the season, but it wasn’t enough to overturn Marquez’s 13-point lead, which he held heading into the race.

In the end there was just four points between them.

Marquez’s Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa finished second.

“I cannot explain what I feel, (it is) a dream come true,” Marquez said.

“Maybe I was clear too early (in the season) and then Jorge came charging at the end and I had to keep my nerve in the final race. I am overjoyed.”

Needing just to finish in the top four to seal the title in his maiden year in MotoGP, Marquez started on pole but was immediately overtaken by Lorenzo heading into the first corner.

Pedrosa then also moved past Marquez and an incredible battle between Pedrosa and Lorenzo ensued as the latter tried to bunch the leading pack in an attempt to increase Marquez’s chances of sliding down the field.

However, his plan backfired as both Lorenzo and Pedrosa ran wide and allowed Marquez to briefly move in front.

Lorenzo then retook the lead with unerring ease, but Marquez cruised round in second before allowing Pedrosa to pass with five laps remaining to ensure there was no late drama.

In the end, Lorenzo was happy just to seal his third consecutive win to end the season.

“It was a bit of a different race because I wasn’t trying to escape early on,” he said.

“I have to apologise to Dani because the two of us nearly crashed at one point and it was bit of a risky move on my part.

“I couldn’t do any more. Once I saw that Dani and Marc had moved away from the rest, I just tried to win the race.”

Earlier, Maverick Vinales became the Moto3 champion by winning the race, edging runner-up Alex Rins after fellow challenger Luis Salom crashed.

Only three points separated points leader Salom, Vinales and Rins entering the decisive event, but Salom’s chances of winning the title evaporated when he fell in a curve with 10 laps to go while riding a close third behind Rins and Vinales.

Famine to feast, Wallabies break drought

Try-scoring is no longer a dirty word for a Wallabies outfit long starved of “meat” in their forgettable attacking rut.

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Back-to-back wins and better defence remains highlighted in bold on the Ewen McKenzie agenda, but for now he’s satisfied one of his vows on taking the national role has come to pass.

In racking up seven tries in Sunday morning’s (AEDT) 50-20 thumping of Italy, Australia have tallied 18 five-pointers from their last four Tests.

That is just as many as the Wallabies scored from the previous 18 internationals as they averaged just one a game in a damaging blow to fan support of the battling code.

As the backline ran riot against Italy, hungry winger Nick Cummins gladly lapped up “two pieces of meat” – as in ‘meat pies’ for tries – and lauded his slick inside men for a free-running spectacle at Stadio Olympico.

Under Robbie Deans in 2012 and in the Lions series loss, Australia were living on rations as they were forced to guts out gritty tight wins through a conservative territorial game and penalty goals.

McKenzie’s first five Tests in charge during the Rugby Championship changed little on the try-scoring front, just one per game, and they went well backwards in defence – conceding an alarming 16.

But the tide has well and truly turned.

Italy are ranked a lowly 12th in the world but they are no pushovers and showed in upset wins over France and Ireland in the Six Nations, plus a spirited 17-11 loss to England, they’re a formidable outfit at home.

With the Wallabies forward pack nullifying the Azzurri’s scrum threat, playmakers Quade Cooper and Matt Toomua combined superbly to unleash the ball-runners Israel Folau and Tevita Kuridrani, while wingers Cummins, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Joe Tomane finished clinically.

Tough all-rounder Toomua, a five-eighth for his entire career, has stepped up to snaffle his chance at No.12 at the expense of Brumbies teammate Christian Leali’ifano and provide a perfect foil for the mercurial Cooper.

“I like having a playmaker in that (inside centre) position,” McKenzie said.

“It suits us and if you look at last night six tries were scored by outside backs.

“That’s one of the things I was talking about right from the start, being a bit more try-scoring (oriented) and scoring more tries.

“We’ve scored 23 tries now (in his nine Tests in charge) … so we’re getting that bit right.

“We’re getting a lot more potent.”

But with Ireland – set to rise to No.5 on the rankings, one spot below Australia – looming in Dublin this weekend, McKenzie is stressing credibility will only come with consistency.

“You have to win two in a row, it sounds a bit meagre but that’s where we’re at. We need to get that consistency.”

United’s Van Persie is Arsenal’s nemesis again

Van Persie followed up his header by racing away in open-mouthed delight, skidding to a halt on his knees and being swamped by team mates.

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Then, fists clenched and arms raised, he turned to the home fans and let off some more steam.

It was hardly the gesture of a player missing North London, any more than it was likely to mend broken fences with Arsenal’s travelling faithful whose colourful chants had been far from complimentary.

“Eight points clear, Robin,” they had called out, but by the end of the match it was only five and United were back up to fifth place in the table having ended Arsenal’s run of 15 unbeaten away games in all competitions.

The match was seen as a big test of Arsenal’s mettle, and of United’s championship credentials at the start of the post-Alex Ferguson era, and Van Persie delivered his own verdict.

Sold by a reluctant Arsenal to United for 24 million pounds in 2012, he has made a point since then of rubbing in just what Arsenal let go – and are still missing up front – every time he plays against them.

Sunday’s 27th minute header, his seventh league goal of the season, kept up the Dutchman’s record of scoring in every match against Arsenal since his departure – with three goals in three games.

BIG RESULT

Last April he returned to the Emirates with the champions and was clapped on to the pitch by the Arsenal players in a guard of honour. He returned the favour by scoring from the penalty spot in a 1-1 draw.

In November, he netted in a 2-1 win at Old Trafford but was more restrained in his celebrations.

“I took him when he was a very, very young player. We have gone together through very difficult periods and he became a world-class player and for me he is an Arsenal player,” Wenger said last week.

Van Persie’s new boss David Moyes will not be paying too much attention to that.

“This was a big result for us today. Arsenal have been in terrific form this season and we had to play well today to get the result,” he told Sky Sports television.

“I thought we started the game well, we were very good in the opening 20 to 30 minutes. I thought in the end our whole determination, of effort, commitment, good play, helped us in the second-half when we were under more pressure.”

Wenger was disappointed to concede from a set-piece.

“I felt in the first half we were too nervous and rushed our game too much and lost too many balls. Second half when we played composed, and played our usual game, I felt we were very close many times to scoring.

“It didn’t happen. We have to digest that and come back after the break in a strong way.”

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ken Ferris)

Defence investigates Ballarat abuse claims

Defence force investigators have boarded HMAS Ballarat and several sailors have been returned to mainland Australia in the wake of sexual assault allegations centred on the naval vessel.

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Defence confirmed on Sunday that an Australian Defence Force Investigative Service (ADFIS) team had climbed aboard.

The navy won’t say how many sailors have been returned from the ship to mainland Australia, via Christmas Island, nor why they landed.

The defence force began formal investigations on Tuesday after a sailor made allegations against members of the ship’s company.

A former naval member later claimed officers were “set upon, stripped off and had things essentially put in their bums”.

Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Ray Griggs said in a statement on Sunday that the allegations were serious and that “inappropriate behaviour” was not tolerated by the navy.

He said support personnel, including an officer from the military’s Sexual Misconduct and Response Office, had climbed onboard along with investigators.

“Navy will continue to be as open and transparent about this matter as we can be, but the investigation is now at the point where the ADFIS team needs to be able to get on with the job,” Vice Admiral Griggs said.

“As such, no further public statements regarding these allegations will be made until the investigation is complete.”

Vice Admiral Griggs said there had been no “adverse impact” on the ship’s operational commitments.

HMAS Ballarat has been embroiled in the standoff between Canberra and Jakarta over whether a boatload of asylum seekers, rescued off the Javan coast, should be returned to Indonesia or accepted by Australian authorities.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison ended the stalemate on Saturday, requesting that the 63 passengers be taken to Christmas Island and then transferred to processing centres at Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island or Nauru.

Vision of the asylum seekers arriving at Christmas Island on Sunday showed one man dressed in an Australian one-day cricket uniform.

The ABC reports only two women were among the group.

Utd beat Arsenal, EPL title race heats up

Manchester United roared back into the English Premier League title picture on Sunday by beating leaders Arsenal 1-0, completing a perfect day for the improving reigning champions after surprise defeats for top-four contenders Manchester City and Tottenham.

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Robin van Persie’s 27th-minute header against his former club settled a cagey match at Old Trafford and lifted United to fifth place, with Arsenal’s second defeat of the campaign trimming their lead over second-place Liverpool to two points.

With City losing 1-0 at struggling Sunderland and Spurs beaten at home by Newcastle by the same scoreline, just six points separate Arsenal and eighth-place City after 11 matches in what is proving to be a tight, exciting battle for the title.

“What we have learned today is that not only Man United can beat Arsenal but that everybody can beat everybody in this Premier League,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said.

City’s poor away form continued as Phil Bardsley grabbed the winner in the 21st minute for Sunderland, which started the day level on points with bottom-place Crystal Palace.

City have taken only four points from a possible 18 on their travels.

“I am concerned because we are losing too many points away and, of course, that’s very difficult if you don’t win away to try to fight for the Premier League,” City manager Manuel Pellegrini said.

More doubts were raised about Tottenham’s top-four credentials after in-form striker Loic Remy struck a 13th-minute winner at White Hart Lane, with Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul preserving the victory with a string of brilliant saves.

“I think Tim Krul was the key to the game,” Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas said.

“He made the difference.”

Spurs followed medical advice and chose not to play goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who is still recovering from being knocked unconscious during a match against Everton last weekend.

In Sunday’s other match, Charlie Adam converted a penalty in the sixth minute of second-half stoppage time to salvage Stoke a 3-3 draw at Swansea.

After beating Liverpool 2-0 last weekend, Arsenal were looking to pass another examination of their title credentials but failed to shake off an inferiority complex the Gunners seem to have when they arrive at Old Trafford.

Wenger said his side was “nervous” in the first half, during which Van Persie answered the relentless taunts of visiting fans by heading Wayne Rooney’s corner into the top corner.

Since leaving north London for Manchester in August last year, Van Persie has scored in all three games against Arsenal.

In a game of few clear-cut chances, Arsenal established control in the second half as United reorganised after losing defender Nemanja Vidic to a head injury sustained just before the break.

Vidic was later taken to hospital for a scan.

It was the most important win for Moyes since taking over from Alex Ferguson.

“I don’t think it puts out a statement, I think people have known for years how good Manchester United have been,” Moyes said.

“My job and the team’s job is to try to show we can do that again.

“We know we are going to get a few bloody noses along the way. And I think the Premier League has shown it’s not just Manchester United getting them, there are a few others as well.”

All Blacks still stung by England loss

The pain of losing to England last year still hurts All Blacks coach Steve Hansen but he believes a better preparation this week can help them get their own back at Twickenham.

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Hansen was in a forthright mood after arriving by train in London from Paris on Sunday, a day after the All Blacks held off the the strong-finishing France 26-19.

He was pleased to avoid the “banana skin” that France represented and maintain a 40-year unbeaten streak in Paris.

It leaves he and his men clear to concentrate on avenging last year’s 38-21 loss to the English – his only defeat in 26 Tests as head coach.

Hansen believes his team will be improved this time, mainly because his players had been given more opportunities to rest after a testing season, including a week off for several key players while the rest flew to Tokyo to play Japan.

He is also banking on no repeat of the virus that disrupted the preparation for many players ahead of last year’s game.

“It still hurts, we don’t like losing,” Hansen said.

“It was a tough old day, we didn’t have enough energy to compete with the English on the day and they outplayed us.

“That’s something we’ve had to hold onto for quite some time.”

He said he has a fully fit contingent to choose from.

That includes lock Luke Romano, who has taken 10 weeks to overcome a groin injury, and wing Julian Savea, who missed the Paris Test due to illness.

Hansen wouldn’t be drawn on selection, including at five-eighth, where world point scoring record-holder Dan Carter is set to become the fourth member of the squad to play 100 Tests.

England have won nine of their 10 Tests since the boilover against New Zealand last December.

New Zealand coaching staff have been impressed by England’s two wins this month at Twickenham, over Australia and Argentina, setting up a classic encounter.

“They’ve clearly got a lot of confidence and believe in themselves,” Hansen said.

“On the day (last year), they just played a game that we couldn’t compete with. That’s our challenge this week, to see if we can be good enough to get up to that level.”

Abbott offers more help to the Philippines

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has offered the Philippines’ leader more disaster support after the devastating Typhoon Haiyan.

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The government pledged almost $400,000 in immediate humanitarian aid after Haiyan slammed into the Philippines on Friday, killing more than 10,000 people.

But Mr Abbott says the government is prepared to do more.

“I join my fellow Australians in expressing our deepest sympathies to the people of the Philippines in the wake of the terrible loss of life and damage caused by Typhoon Haiyan,” the prime minister said in a statement on Monday.

“I have written to the President of the Philippines, Benigno Aquino III, to pass on our thoughts and prayers to the Philippine people and to offer further disaster support if and when it is needed.”

Australian man Kevin Lee, a former priest who blew the whistle on child sex abuse cover-up in the Catholic church, was among those killed.

Mr Abbott said the government was providing consular assistance to his family and The Department of Foreign Affairs was investigating whether more Australians were affected.

DFAT says Australians concerned for the welfare of family and friends in the region, should first attempt to contact them directly.

If that is unsuccessful they should call DFAT’s 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on 1300 555 135 or +612 6261 3305.

Speaking at a major international humanitarian forum in Sydney, foreign minister Julie Bishop said the government expected to announce more aid for the Philippines.

“The Australia government has provided initial emergency relief supplies and two Australian disaster experts are on the ground, a third on the way and we’re working with Filipino authorities on a further aid package to be announced hopefully early this afternoon,” she said on Monday.

Ms Bishop extended condolences to the people of the Philippines and the family of former Sydney priest Kevin Lee, who died in storm.

Mr Lee founded the Padre Pio parish in Glenmore Park, in western Sydney, but moved to the Philippines after leaving the priesthood.