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‘Super typhoon’ nears Hong Kong and China after pummeling Philippines

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A “super typhoon” swirled towards Hong Kong and the Chinese coast on Sunday, gaining in strength over the South China Sea after hurtling through the Philippines, where it wreaked devastation that killed at least seven.

Tropical cyclone Mangkhut is considered the strongest to hit the region this year, packing gale force winds of more than 200 kph (125 mph), equivalent to a maximum Category 5 “intense hurricane” in the Atlantic.

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Philippine authorities confirmed 6 people were killed in landslides with four more missing, while another was found dead in a river in Manila, the capital.

Mangkhut, the Thai name for Southeast Asia’s mangosteen fruit, was expected to skirt 100 km (62 miles) south of Hong Kong and veer west towards the coast of China’s southern Guangdong province, and the gaming center of Macau.

“According to the present forecast track, Mangkhut will be closest to the Pearl River Delta around noontime (0200 GMT),” the Hong Kong Observatory said.

Hong Kong has already raised its second highest No. 9 typhoon signal, which is expected to be stepped up within hours as fierce waves pound low-lying areas and strong winds rattle windows in many towering skyscrapers.

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Some residents have been evacuated from low-lying areas with storm surges of up to 3.5 m (12 ft) expected.

Tens of thousands of travelers had plans disrupted after Hong Kong’s international airport, a major regional hub, canceled most flights. Airlines such as its flagship carrier, Cathay Pacific, canceled many flights last week.

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Last year, typhoon Hato, one of the strongest in recent years, pummeled the region, with Macau suffering wide damage and nine deaths, sparking criticism that authorities had not been well prepared.

Macau has been cautious this time, with officials saying it shut casino gambling operations late on Saturday and China’s People’s Liberation Army on standby for any disaster relief assistance.

“The suspension is for the safety of casino employees, visitors to the city, and residents,” the government of the world’s largest gambling hub said in a statement.

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China has ordered about 6,000 boats to return to harbor, and evacuated thousands of offshore oil platform workers, the state news agency, Xinhua, said.

“KING OF STORMS”

The typhoon, or “King of Storms”, as Chinese media have described it, is expected to make landfall in Guangdong somewhere between Zhuhai and Wuchuan in the evening, Chinese weather officials say.

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The airport in the boomtown of Shenzhen has been shut since midnight, and will be closed until 8:00 a.m. (2400 GMT) on Monday. In Guangzhou, scheduled flights between noon on Sunday and 8:00 a.m. on Monday have been canceled.

Mangkhut will keep to a northwesterly track, bringing heavy rain and winds when it enters the autonomous region of Guangxi early on Monday, before weakening into a tropical depression as it arrives in southwestern Yunnan on Tuesday.

Reporting by James Pomfret, Anne Marie Roantree and Farah Master; Additional reporting by Martin Petty in MANILA and Ryan Woo and Meng Meng in BEIJING; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Trump explains why he wants to buy Greenland to reporters: ‘It’s a large real estate deal — a lot can be done’

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President Donald Trump reaffirmed his desire to buy Greenland in discussion with reporters Sunday.

The president was returning to Washington, D.C. when he stopped at the airport in Morristown, New Jersey. New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman asked the president about his desire to buy the country from Denmark.

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Ben Howe, a conservative writer and evangelical Christian who refuses to support Donald Trump, explained why fellow evangelicals continue to back the president despite his decidedly ungodly behavior.

Speaking with the Atlantic’s Emma Green about his new book The Immoral Majority, Howe — whose evangelical bona fides include attending pastor Jerry Falwell’s church as a kid — described evangelicals’ support for Trump, insisting “they love the meanest parts of him.”

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Given the opportunity to discuss two profiles on White House adviser Stephen Miller -- published by the Washington Post and the New York Times late Saturday -- Democratic consultant Don Calloway jumped in with both feet to trash the man he called a "mental midget"."

Asked p on MSNBC about the controversial Miller's outsized influence on Donald Trump, Calloway didn't hold back.

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