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Geopolitics

At Least One Dead, 45 Missing After Typhoon Hits Philippines

AP, BBC

Worldcrunch

MANILA - The season’s most powerful typhoon hit the north of the Philippine islands early Monday morning, leaving one person dead, with at least 23 others missing, according to the Associated Press.

Typhoon Utor brought winds of up to 130 mph and torrential rains to the country’s main island of Luzon, toppling power lines, causing landslides and stranding thousands of people. It is described as the world’s strongest typhoon so far this year, the BBC reports.

In Benguet province, a 22-year-old man died on the way to a hospital after he was pulled out from a landslide, according to the regional civil defense official Andrew Alex Uy.

In four towns in Catanduanes province, at least 45 fishermen who were out at sea failed to return home, the AP reports. Authorities hope they are just taking cover from the storm in nearby islands.

Typhoon Utor is expected to cut across the island of Luzon on Monday, before moving into the South China Sea on Tuesday toward Guangdong in China, according to the government weather forecaster Jun Galang.

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Ideas

Calmez-Vous, Americans: It's Quite OK To Call Us "The French"

A widely mocked tweet by the Associated Press tells its reporters to avoid dehumanizing labels such as "the poor" or "the French". But one French writer replies that the real dehumanizing threat is when open conversation becomes impossible.

Parisians sitting on a café terrasse.

Parisians sitting on a café terrasse.

Dirk Broddin on Flickr
Gaspard Koenig

-Essay-

PARIS — The largest U.S. news agency, the Associated Press (AP) tweeted a series of recommendations aimed at journalists: “We recommend avoiding general and often dehumanizing 'the' labels such as the poor, the mentally ill, the French, the disabled, the college-educated. Instead use, wording such as people with mental illnesses.”

The inclusion of “The French” in this list of groups likely to be offended has evoked well-deserved sarcasm. It finally gives me the opportunity to be part of a minority and to confirm at my own expense, while staying true to John Stuart Mill's conception of free speech: that offense is not a crime.

Offense should prompt quips, denial, mockery, and sometimes indifference. It engages conflict in the place where a civilized society accepts and cultivates it: in language.

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