4 DECEMBER 2015:

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Friday received the President of the Philippines, Benigno S. Aquino III, who subsequently met with the Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, who was accompanied by the Under-Secretary for Relations with States, Msgr. Antoine Camilleri. A statement from the Holy See Press Office called the talks “cordial,” and said they focused on the dialogue among the different parts of Philippine society, as well as the contribution of the Catholic Church in the life of the country. The statement said particular attention was given to the state of the peace process in the Mindanao - located in the south of the country – with hope being expressed that the commitment of the parties can guarantee a stable and lasting peace in the region. Furthermore, there was an exchange of views on the international and regional situation, especially in reference to the issue of climate change and the COP21 Conference currently taking place in Paris.

14 DECEMBER 2015:

Powerful Typhoon Nona made a pair of landfalls in the Philippines Monday after undergoing a last-minute spurt of intensification. The tropical cyclone, known by the name Melor internationally, is forecast to tear a swath from east to west through the heart of the island nation through Wednesday, bringing flooding from rainfall and storm surge in addition to the wind threat. As of 5 a.m. local time Tuesday, the Philippine national weather agency PAGASA said the center of Typhoon Nona has passed near Burias Island and is now traversing Sibuyan Sea. The national government's disaster management agency said that the second landfall was near Bulusan in the Sorsogon province, following an initial 11 a.m. landfall on Batag Island near the northern tip of Northern Samar province. Since the Philippines are made up of many islands, the center will move back over water and could make an additional one or more landfalls as it moves west. The eye of Typhoon Nona became much better defined as it approached the northern coast of the island of Samar in the eastern Philippines late Monday morning local time. Satellite-based intensity estimates from the University of Wisconsin-Madison suggested Nona's maximum wind speeds rapidly increased from approximately 100 mph (155 kph) at 3 a.m. Monday to about 135 mph (220 kph) by 10:20 a.m. (The Philippines are eight hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time and 12 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time in the U.S.) WEATHER CHANNEL>>>>>>>>