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USS George Washington Arrives In Philippines; Controversy Over Sri Lanka Hosted Commonwealth Summit; Embattled Toronto Mayor Ford Refuses To Step Down; Sachin Tendulkar Steps on Cricket Pitch For Last Time

Aired November 14, 2013 - 08:00   ET


MICHAEL HOLMES, HOST: Hello everyone. I'm Michael Holmes at the CNN Center. Welcome to News Stream where news and technology meet.

Well, six days now after the super typhoon and relief organizations say some aid is finally being distributed to victims in the Philippines. But they say it is not enough and not fast enough.

Toronto's city council wants its scandal ridden mayor gone. Rob Ford says no.

Plus, last chance to see a cricketing legend, one of India's, in fact the world's greatest players, is on a test match pitch perhaps for the last time.

Well, nearly a week now after Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines and some stricken communities still have not received much in the way of food, water or medical relief. We've got some hungry children to show you now on the Island of Bantayan pleading for food from passing cars. When a motorist does give them something to eat, they clamor to take it.

While some supplies are now getting through to devastated regions, there is still a bottleneck of international aid piling up at airports. Distribution of the supplies has been slowed down, of course, by blocked roads, the debris and the like. Meanwhile, officials in the hard hit city of Tacloban have begun mass burials of victims of the super typhoon.

The official death toll across the country stands at 2,357.

U.S. Navy ships have now arrived in the Philippines to help with the rescue and relief effort, including the aircraft carrier USS George Washington.

Rear Admiral Mark Montgomery is the commander of the carrier's strike group, joins me now on the phone from the ship. And admiral, thanks so much for being with us.

First of all, what is your order of business?

REAR ADM. MARK MONTGOMERY, U.S. NAVY: Well, thank you very much, Michael.

You know, we're here now to support Operation Damayan (ph), which is basically our effort to work with the Philippine government to deliver emergency assistance as rapidly as we can.

I'm working directly for the marine general leading the overall U.S. effort who, in turn, is supporting the Philippine armed forces.

And as you can imagine, the U.S. navy has a history of successfully working with international relief organizations in these sort of crises, so we're getting right down to work.

HOLMES: You know, it's memories of Haiti, really, when you see the backlog of relief supplies at the airport and not getting out to people. What can you bring to the table to get it out there? Do you have the types of helicopters that can do airlifts of food to the areas that need it?

MONTGOMERY: Well, Michael, that's exactly what we have. We have nine ships. They're a mix of combat ships like the aircraft carrier George Washington, but also logistic ships. And what we have is a total of 21 helicopters, we're growing to 23 tomorrow. And these helicopters are the perfect kind of light to medium lift to distribute supplies and move people into the more remote -- you know, into the more remote areas and from the more remote areas.

HOLMES: I don't know if it'll be needed, given that I imagine water is coming in, but your battle group, of course, has the ability to desalinate water. Are you likely to be doing that as well to get water to some of these people?

MONTGOMERY: Yeah, you're correct. A few other things we'll do is water production and we'll move water ashore on the helicopters until they can get some more permanent osmosis machines running. And then we also have some limited medical supplies that we can push ashore. And we've been working with medical NGOs already to make sure we're supporting them.

And then probably finally we can use our fixed-wing planes to do surveillance, to identify the remote areas, kind of distressed areas, and then also identify landing zones for our helicopters to get in there and deliver parts.

HOLMES: I'm sure a lot of people in the region are going to be delighted to see you guys on the ground.

I'm curious, though, too, that security has been an issue. And I imagine that while you're well equipped to take that in hand, it's going to be a consideration as well?

MONTGOMERY: Well, certainly security is an issue. I think in the area we're in, which is we're mostly on the island -- we're going to support the island of Samar on each coast around the area of Guiuan which really took the first brunt of the super typhoon. This is a -- it's a safe area. Obviously it's -- the conditions there are pretty grim right now, but it's not as much security as it is just the inability -- the inaccessibility of the roads.

So again, going back to those helicopters, that will be key for us moving around efficiently and safely.

HOLMES: Rear admiral Mark Montgomery, commander of the carrier strike group really appreciate your time. I know you're very busy. Admiral, thanks so much.

All right, earlier in the disaster it was reported the death toll might soar to 10,000. Well, now the regional police commander who gave that figure to the media he's been fired. Meanwhile, the central governor is defending its relief efforts, blaming and shortcomings on logistical challenges.

There has been a lot of criticism of the central government throughout this in terms of response times. CNN's Andrew Stevens spoke to the Philippines interior secretary Mar Roxas.




STEVENS: ...the relief efforts are now working as effectively and as efficiently as they could be?

ROXAS: You know, Andrew, nothing is fast enough in a situation like this. The point is, everything that we have -- if this was a gun, all bullets are being deployed. If this was a fire hose, all hoses are being deployed. And slowly as we are clearing the streets we are able to reach the people in the interior.

Imagine a situation where from zero -- from zero -- no power, light, water, communication, nothing, you have to build the social infrastructure as well as the physical infrastructure for 275,000...

STEVENS: But is the (inaudible) response surely that you knew the storm was coming. We all knew the storm was coming. We knew it was going to be perhaps one of the most intense storms we've ever seen. The president said on the day before the storm arrived that Manila stood by ready to support everyone.

From my view, I would say that did not happen quickly enough.

ROXAS: Well, as I said, nothing is fast enough in a situation like this.

In our doctrine, or in our framework, the local government unit is the first responder. The national government is supposed to come in on day two and day three to be able to support that.

What happened is that the local government unit, not just even Tacloban but the entire -- many of the communities in Leyte, basically was literally swept away.


HOLMES: Now as you hard there, too, of course all of Tacloban's medical infrastructure is gone along with other infrastructure. A makeshift clinic at the airport is now overwhelmed with patients, many of them just want food, clean water, possibly a flight out of the devastated city. But as Anderson Cooper shows us, everything is in short supply.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): It's like this every day now. In this overcrowded clinic at Tacloban Airport, there are too many people, not enough supplies.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a little bit chaotic because...

COOPER (on camera): It looks very chaotic.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. As you can see, we don't have any medicines. We don't have any supplies. We have I.V. fluids, but it's running out. And most of the people here doesn't have water and food. That's why they come here. Most of the kids are dehydrated. Most of them are suffering from diarrhea and vomiting.

COOPER (voice-over): Dr. Katrina Catavae (ph) has been here for three days. It feels much longer.

(on camera): What do you need here?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mostly need food and water. That's the most important supplies that we need for all the people.

COOPER: So you don't even have enough food and water for the sick people coming?


COOPER (voice-over): More people just keep coming in.

Captain Lelanlol Abagnol (ph) stitches up a man injured in the typhoon. Used bandages lie in a pile on the floor. Nearby, a member of the Philippine military reads names off a list of those who get to be evacuated today.

(on camera): So who gets to be evacuated right away? What makes someone eligible?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, like the elderly, the children that are sick.

COOPER (voice-over): For some, the wait is too long. This man died last night. He lies on a gurney at the end of the hall. They have no place else to put him.

A mother plays with her child, and in a tiny side room, three babies have been born in the last three days.

(on camera): It's a very beautiful baby.


COOPER: I know. He's very beautiful.

(voice-over): A healthy baby boy named Haiyan, named for a storm he will know nothing about.

Anderson Cooper, CNN, Tacloban, Philippines.


HOLMES: And we will have a lot more on the relief effort in the Philippines a little later in the program. Also coming up, lower than predicted enrollment numbers plaguing the troubled Obamacare website. We are going to look into that as well.

And a huge day for Mumbai, hometown of cricket's living god Sachin Tendulkar, a man known to many as the little master. The latest from his 200th and final test match is also coming up.


HOLMES: You're watching News Stream. And we're looking at a visual version of all the stories there that we've got in the program today. We've already told you about the latest efforts to get aid to victims of the Typhoon in the Philippines. And later we're going to explain the controversy around the commonwealth summit. But now we would like to turn to the fresh round of scrutiny on Obamacare.

And just to remind you, that is the president's signature health care law known officially as the patient protection and Affordable Care Act. What it does is require most Americans to have health insurance by next year or face a fine. But the government website has largely been a failure so far, a series of problems preventing most people from signing up.

Well, the White House has promised a fix by the end of the month. Some people doubt that will happen. The fact does remain that the overplayed website is a long way off from full functionality.

The administration projected that up to 60,000 users would be able to access the website at any given time, but the actual number, well it's less than half that. And it is these access issues that have no doubt contributed to low enrollment numbers.

Now, keep in mind the government was expecting half a million people to be enrolled by now. The actual figure falling far short of those projections. The administration says only 106,000 American have enrolled in a plan so far.

And of those who have signed up, nearly 25 percent have successfully done so through that error plagued website, most of them using state exchanges, other ways of signing up.

Also remember that the March 31 deadline applies to 7 million people, so there's a long haul ahead for the Obamacare roll out.

President Obama's pledge, now broken, that Americans would be able to hold on to their existing policies if they like them has even some Democrats pushing for changes. There is a lot happening. And senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta in on it.

Just (inaudible) the extraordinary scene, really, of former president Bill Clinton going public and criticizing him and not being able to -- or keep the promise, if you like. Extraordinary for somebody who was stumping for Obamacare. Whats' the latest on other Democrats? What are they doing?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, there's almost a rush to the exit doors, Michael, for some incumbent Democrats who are up for reelection next year. That's part of the dynamic that you're seeing right now play out here in Washington.

We should point out we may hear from the president later today on these discouraging enrollment numbers. He's got an event in Cleveland, Ohio later today. It'll be his first really on camera appearance since those enrollment numbers came out.

And meanwhile, over here at the White House, officials seem to be reacting to those enrollment numbers by saying they don't have anywhere to go but up.


ACOSTA (voice-over): It's not just the numbers that are in. For the first month of signups in Obamacare, so are the reviews.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just another day in a series of mess-ups in Obamacare.

ACOSTA: And it's not just Republicans who are giving the October enrollment period a thumbs down.

LANDRIEU: I don't think anyone is satisfied. But you know, the promise of The Affordable Care Act is worth fighting for.

ACOSTA: Of the roughly 100,000 consumers who signed up for Obamacare during October, less than 27,000, about one quarter did so on the federal marketplace on the troubled website.

KATHLEEN SEBELIUS, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY: We have every reason to expect more people will enroll.

ACOSTA: A website embattled Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius claims is now improving daily.

SEBELIUS: I'd say first of all, it is running right now, every day people are coming through, every day people are getting enrolled.

ACOSTA: But mark your calendars for November 30th. The White House says it will be working for, quote, "The vast majority of users by the end of the month."

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: It is our conviction that we can, with the fixes being implemented reach that goal by November 30th.

ACOSTA: The administration is under pressure to act fast with frantic Democrats rushing to support a bill proposed by Senator Mary Landrieu that would allow Americans to keep their insurance plans, an idea they worry could undermine the entire program. That has yet to deliver.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've spent $600 million already. Does anybody have any idea how much all this is going to cost us in the end?


ACOSTA: Now as for those relations between the White House and some of those nervous Democrats, White House chief of staff Denis McDonough will be heading to Capitol Hill later today to meet with some of those Democrats over in the Senate about potential legislative fixtures to Obamacare. The White House, the president, they've all been mulling over some of these ideas for the last several days. And from what we're hearing from administration officials, that potential fix that they're going to be announcing could come as soon as today. They say, in their words, it'll be sooner rather than later -- Michael.

HOLMES: All right. For the update, we thank you, Jim. Jim Acosta there at the White House.

Well, also under scrutiny the president's pick to head the U.S. Federal Reserve, a very important post. Janet Yellen's confirmation hearing gets underway a couple of hours from now. If confirmed to replace Ben Bernanke, Yellen would be the first woman to ever head the Fed.

You're watching News Stream here on CNN. Coming up, the final test for cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar in a farewell performance. We'll be live in Mumbai.


HOLMES: Arguably the greatest cricketer of all-time Sachin Tendulkar is about to bid farewell to the sport. The 40-year-old is going to retire after this, his 200th test match which starts today. Just a few hours ago, crowds were going wild in Mumbai as he went out to bat in the first innings, his final test match. Indians have been paying tribute to their hero for some time now. Fans in northern India leaving written messages today for Tendulkar. Some have called him the god of cricket. He is widely known as the little master.

Can't say enough about this guy.

Tendulkar has amassed a haul of world records since making his debut for India back in 1989.

Well, today he'll get another 200 test matches, just extraordinary.

Throughout his incredible career, the batsman has scored more than 15,000 runs in test matches alone. And his most celebrated achievement perhaps last year he became the first person to score 100 centuries in international cricket. That's 100 times he's gone out and scored 100 runs. It's one of the many reasons he's being described as the greatest player in modern cricket.

Tendulkar says as a young boy he dreamed of playing cricket for his country. And he has been living that dream, of course, for 24 years now.

CNN's Amanda Davies looks back now at the career of the Little Master.


AMANDA DAVIES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): His life has played out like a Bollywood blockbuster movie. The humble Mumbai kid cracking it in the big time. Sachin Tendulkar made his professional debut at 16 and his international career lasted an astonishing 24 years. He became revered around the world for both his elegance and power at the crease and became the only batsman to score an incredible 100 hundreds in internationals.


DAVIES: Milestones have fallen, but they've never been important to the Little Master.

SACHIN TENDULKAR, INDIAN CRICKET LEGEND: I don't play for milestones. I play cricket and I want to enjoy cricket, and somehow this perception or -- it's created by possibly a few of you guys sitting here because you write. I don't play for milestones. While playing, this is a journey where you end up breaking records and all that, but I don't play for records.


DAVIES: One of Tendulkar's finest moments was winning the World Cup with India in 2011. In front of an adoring home crowd, the hosts beat great rivals Sri Lanka, sending over a billion Indians into raptures. But despite all his success, it's Tendulkar's humility that's bowled people over.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What he has achieved as a cricketer is phenomenal, but same thing as a person. I think he's a fantastic guy, especially with one billion people's expectations on his shoulders. That's something that you have to admire.

DAVIES: Tendulkar has broken nearly every run-scoring record there is, and it's not surprising over his career he's had phenomenal commercial success. Forbes put his earnings for 2012 alone at $18.6 million. But for the fame and fortune, it's living his childhood dream that's brought him the most joy.

TENDULKAR: I remember when I first held a cricket bat when I was maybe four or five. And the love for cricket only grew bigger and bigger after that and it hasn't stopped. Every outing is a special one, and that is what I've dreamt of as a kid, and I'm living that dream.

DAVIES: One record Tendulkar doesn't hold is batting average. That's held by another giant of the sport, Australia's Don Bradman. But when the Little Master calls it a day after the home series against West Indies, few would argue against him being ranked alongside Bradman as the greatest batsman in history.

Amanda Davies, CNN, London.


HOLMES: Won't get any argument from me.

Let's check in on the mood in Tundulkar's home city of Mumbai. Our Mallika Kapur is there.

You know, Mallika, you have to be a cricket fan to understand just how huge this guy is and what a true gentleman he is. You know, as a lifelong cricket fan I think he's the best ever.

What is the mood there?

MALLIKA KAPUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think most people in Mumbai would agree with you, Michael. And here people also think he is the best ever.

You had to see the city this afternoon, you know. You know the moment it was India's turn to bat, people started leaving work, kids started leaving school, and everybody was rushing to Wankara Stadium (ph) where the match is being played. And it's just down the road behind me.

It really was a really important day for Mumbai. And of course Mumbai residents, known as Mumbaikers, are very, very proud that Sachin is their boy. He was born in Mumbai. He was raised here. The stadium is very special to him. He wanted his last match to be here in Mumbai.

When he came out onto the field today, there was a round of thunderous applause for him. He really is extremely special to Mumbaikers. And the stadium was packed, packed with fans, packed with Bollywood stars, the who's who of the corporate world in Mumbai. And also there was one person who came to Wankara Stadium (ph) for the very first time, a very special lady, his mother. She's in a wheelchair. She's never seen him play live before, but she did come today after apparently Sachin Tendulkar oversaw the arrangement himself for a ramp so that his mother could come. And she was there today to cheer her son on.

HOLMES: Yeah, I heard that little fact earlier. She had never seen him play before, which seems extraordinary -- or play at this level in a test match anyway.

I'm curious now what happens. He's only 40. What's next for Sachin Tendulkar?

KAPUR: Well, you know, he's such an important part of the Indian psyche, of the Indian consciousness, of the Indian public life. He is not going to fade out of public memory any time soon. And let's not forget his brand. You know, he also -- commercially he's been a very, very successful person. He endorses more than 15 brands. He's earned a lot of money that way.

What happens next? I'm sure he's going to take some time out to relax. He's had a grueling 24 year career. That's a really, really long time to be playing professional cricket. So I'm sure there's some time out on the cards for him. And then he's probably going to, you know, perhaps take up cricket commentary.

A lot of the other great Indian cricketers have just have done just that, whether it's Anil Kavaskar (ph) or (inaudible), Ravi Shastri (ph), they've all gone on to remain part of India's cricket circuit not on the field just off it.

HOLMES: Yeah, indeed. I wish I was there watching this.

Mallika Kapur there. Sachin Tendulkar, class act on and off the pitch.

And by the way, he's I think 32 not out of the end of the day's play. Let's hope he gets another century.

Still to come here on News Stream, a very heated row over allegations of war crimes overshadowing a Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka.

Also in the Philippines, orphans play happily, oblivious to how precarious their situation is -- no food, no water, nowhere to go.


HOLMES: I'm Michael Holmes at the CNN Center, you're watching News Stream. And these now your world headlines to the minute.

A police official in the Philippines has been dismissed from duty for telling the media that 10,000 people may have died from the super typhoon that hit the country a week ago. Police chief director general said it was not the officer's place to release such a number.

The U.S. Navy, meanwhile, has arrived in the Philippines. In the last few hours, a group of warships making it to the area battered by the super typhoon six days ago. It seems everything is in short supply in the hard hit city of Tacloban where huge crowds of people have descended on the airport hoping to escape the devastation.

The latest round of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks may be in jeopardy. A spokesman for the Palestinian mission to the United Nations tells CNN Palestinian negotiators have resigned. He says they will not take part in the talks as long as Israel continues to build new settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. On Wednesday, Israel canceled plans to build 20,000 new homes in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

America's top diplomat urging the U.S. Congress not to slap new sanctions on Iran. The U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says fresh sanctions could destroy any chance to get a deal on Iran's controversial nuclear program. But some lawmakers say they don't trust Iran's government. And new sanctions would keep the pressure on Tehran.

Iraqi police say 27 people have been killed, 58 wounded in a suicide bombing Thursday northeast of Baghdad, the attack targeting Shiite pilgrims on the Muslim holy day of Ashura. This follows a pair of twin blasts in the country's east that killed nine and injured 25 earlier on Thursday.

It is a very desperate situation, of course, in the Philippines. Nearly a week now after Typhoon Haiyan hit. Let's get an update on the ground. Our Nick Paton Walsh is in Tacloban.

Well, the U.S. Navy is there, there aid groups are there, is the aid getting out?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Very slowly, Michael. But I think the frustration mounts as each day passes.

Look behind me and you can't see anything at all, because that should be Tacloban at night. And because of the devastation it's completely dark.

But there are people living there. There are people trying to get some sort of shelter amongst the ruins there, lighting fires, burning trash.

I saw as we drove through just before dusk we did see substantial truck handing out food to people, large queues filling the street there, perhaps a sign the number of people coming for aid there about frustration building in the past few days. And yet again we saw bodies still on the side of the road in substantial numbers.

Now the government says these are new bodies being brought out and laid on the street on a daily basis, many of them to us have looked like the same lying there for a long time. I did see today, though, for the first time a truck carrying away some of these corpses.

But the sheer delay in dealing with that pressing public health issue, not just about the dignity of those who have lost their lives, it's part of what's causing anger inside this time, part of what will become a question of disease and hygiene in the days ahead. Rain continuing even as I speak now to hit this particular town.

As you mentioned, the USS George Washington arriving imminently here. That has thousands of U.S. soldiers on it, dozens of aircraft that can continue to boost the capacity of the Philippine government in some ways, but it is, forgive the phrase, a drop in the ocean in some degree, because we're talking hundreds of thousands of people affected here.

A mammoth operation required by the Philippine government and still it's a trickle that's slowly building into this larger flow and not reaching the industrial scale people really require, Michael.

HOLMES: And certainly a lot of criticism on the central government's reaction to this.

Nick, I'm curious in your take on this -- and when you think about the damage to infrastructure -- buildings and the like, let alone the loss of life, what is left in Tacloban for the people? Are they going to be able to rebuild this place?

WALSH: That's a very tough question for those here. It is substantially damaged. And while Tacloban has born the brunt, we took a drive to other parts, other towns neighboring Tacloban heading south yesterday.



WALSH: We drove south, away from Storm Yolanda's epicenter to answer the question how far had the destruction spread? It took about 40 kilometers before life breathed easier, but then the storm led to other dangers. Police warned us of bandits ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (inaudible) been shot by (inaudible).

WALSH: Are they rebels? OK, and why are they doing this?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We believe they are looking for food.

WALSH: We turned back towards the heart of the chaos. As we move closer towards the eye of the storm, signs of the devastation begin to grow and while many of the trees here are left standing, you can see telegraph poles bent at a slight angle, a sign of the sheer ferocity of what passed through here. They warned us again of bandits at this school where the smallest are hungry and sick and where Storm Yolanda was so fantastical in its power it came straight from Hollywood's own Apocalypse.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's just like a movie 2012. A Storm Yolanda.

WALSH: Are you scared?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, super. Super scared.

WALSH: The basics, a struggle, (inaudible) for little gas remains. Trees are scattered like matchsticks as you approach the town of (Paolo). Its two church spires standing defiantly although 800 people died here in this town of 60,000. Some here where waters surged, the winds tearing the back off this house and from their relatives across the river.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we have an aunt from the one (inaudible) which was flooded. So they're missing and three grandchildren including her.

WALSH: Death has been more dignified in Palo than the bodies left on the streets of neighboring Tacloban, even though life itself remains a shell of what it was. The mayor had mass graves dug fast and now gives free calls to loved ones, medicine even bureaucracy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Most of them died out in the waters. We have survived this far, so I think we can rebuild it.

WALSH: The job of simply cleaning up so mammoth, healing seems a distant idea.


WALSH: Well, Michael, the real question with a town devastated like this, with the number of people who have been heading to the airport simply trying to get out. And exactly what is left for those who stay here and try and rebuild, Michael.

HOLMES: Yeah, and where they go and how long that will take, extraordinary. Thanks, Nick, appreciate that. Nick Paton Walsh.

Well, children of course are always the most vulnerable in areas ravaged like this. In one town, they could be seen pleading for food at the side of the road. You see the video there.

In Tacloban, the situation is so dire that even the director of an orphanage can't get essential supplies as Andrew Stevens now reports.


STEVENS: In a city where everyone is asking for help, Erlend Johannessen is a special case. He runs the street lights orphanage here in Tacloban. And he's looking for food and water.

ERLEND JOHANNESSEN, DIRECTOR, STREETLIGHT ORPHANAGE: So we will ask for 72 children and have for the rest of the day.

STEVENS: And then what?

JOHANNESSEN: And then -- well, right now everyone is looking. We're organized. Everyone is divided into different departments.

STEVENS: But you're not seeing the organized relief that you need.

JOHANNESSEN: No, no, we're not. We're not.

STEVENS: Today he's responsible for 72 orphans.

At the orphanage, the kids are unaware their food security is hanging by a thread. They do what kids do when they don't have to go to school: they play.

Erlend is also cheerleader in chief, keeping up morale. In fact, these kids are the happiest, most relaxed ones I've seen here, despite a terrifying experience just five days ago.

On the night of the storm, Erlend took 72 children and led them up to the second floor to this balcony here where the waves were starting to actually crash over the balcony and got them onto this roof where they stayed until the storm had blown through.

Everyone here was safe.

Their well contaminated by sea water, they now face a new threat just as serious and just as real. Every day, Erlend and the older children search for supplies.

JOHANNESSEN: Plenty of places they can go to, but when they go there's nothing there. We're being told go here, go there, go there. But...

STEVENS: They collected stores, but it's not much.

This is now the most important room in the house: the food store. Cans of sardines, more sardines we're told. Nothing is labeled here. We believe that's some sort of tomato paste. But most important is water. There's only one day of supplies here.

There's only one solution: to get out of town.

Erlend is trying to arrange transport to get them all to safety.

For now, though, he has to keep up their spirits knowing that the crisis facing him and his children is a long way from over.

Andrew Stevens, CNN, Tacloban City, Central Philippines.


HOLMES: The United Nations has launched an appeal for more than $300 million in international aid for the Philippines. So far, $136 million has been pledged by more than 30 countries and organizations along with thousands of private donations also from around the world.

But the lion's share of the funding comes from three sources: the UN, the U.S. and the United Kingdom.

China, meanwhile, stepping up its promise of aid to the Philippines. You may remember they initially pledged $100,000 and that brought a lot of heavy criticism. Beijing now says it will donate $1.6 million worth of relief supplies, including blankets, tents and other materials.

China and the Philippines have long been at odds over islands in the South China Sea which both claim as their territory.

All right, Mari Ramos is at the world weather center. Nick was saying it's still raining there. I mean, what's the weather situation like.

MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORREPSONDENT: You know what, yeah, there are still areas that are going to get some scattered rain showers. This time of year that is very common, unfortunately, especially in that area near Tacloban. Their rainy season does last for quite a long time. They don't really have a wet and a dry season. Of course, when you get tropical cyclones, it rains much more. And then they just get some scattered rain showers, which is where we are now.

I want to talk to you a little bit about some of these other places that we've seen like Guiuan, for example. This is the landfall -- and I'll get to that forecast, the immediate forecast in just a moment, Michael. Winds over 300 kilometers per hour, gusting to 380. We've heard a lot about these areas. And our Ivan Watson has been in this region as well. I wanted to show you some before and after pictures from this region, because they are really amazing.

This before when you see here, not high resolution this area there, but this second picture certainly is. And what I wanted to show you from here, look at all the roofs that are torn off from all of these homes over here. This gives you an idea of the damage and the destruction and the power of the winds that people suffered here. The damage here is more related to wind as opposed to storm surge compared to other areas like we've seen, for example, in Tacloban.

So, widespread damage and another area, of course, that has been hard hit.

But remember, Guiuan was only one of the areas affected.

But look at this widespread area that we have highlighted here affected by the storm. It's about the size of Germany.

So kind of gives you an idea of how intense and how widespread all of this -- that they're having deal with.

So where to begin? Looking down on the ground this is in Tacloban as reporters have been telling us, people just kind of searching for a way to survive.

And I wanted to show you these pictures, Michael, because have you noticed something? Every single time we see these images there are -- all the trees are gone and there's a few palm trees that are still standing sometimes. And even in many cases as we've viewed in many of the images even the palm trees, like in this one from Palo, are snapped like twigs.

An interesting thing about palm trees that I learned a long time ago during Hurricane Andrew is that palm trees are among the strongest trees. They can withstand very intense wind, up to about 230 kilometers per hour. And when you look at these images with the trees snapped the way that they are, it really makes me -- it puts me in awe to imagine how strong -- what people had to endure when that storm was moving through there.

But getting on into the immediate forecast, this picture right here, aid being delivered. I wanted to show you the clouds and the rain that are in the background, because that's really important. I don't think we're going to see completely dry days, but drier than they have been over the last few days. So that's definitely a little bit of an improvement as far as the wet weather goes.

But with more sunshine, we see an increase in temperatures. And you saw that band of rain that moved through, that's going to be typical, again, we'll see that again tomorrow with some scattered rain showers hit or miss here or there. Some of them at times will be locally heavy. The temperatures will be hovering around those daytime highs into the lower 30s. Tacloban about 32. As we get into Cebu maybe 31. So not a big difference between daytime highs and overnight lows.

However, Michael, you've got to remember that these temperatures are in the shade. When you go outside and, you know, we've been through those situations, you don't even have a place to cover your head from the sun, for example. I think it's going to feel a lot hotter than that once you factor in the heat and the humidity combined and so temperatures will feel more into the upper 30s as opposed to the lower 30s for the survivors and of course for the rescue personnel moving into that area.

HOLMES: Yeah, and the humidity, too, I imagine as well. Mari, it's a bit hard to go inside when there is no inside left. Mari, thanks so much. Mari Ramos there.

You're watching News Stream on CNN. Coming up, Sri Lanka playing host to a major Commonwealth summit, but war crime allegations against the government have some leaders declining the invitation. We'll have the details when we come back.


HOLMES: Welcome back to News Stream. Let's take another look at our video rundown. IN a moment, we're going to take you to Toronto, Canada where the scandal plagued mayor there just refuses to quit

But first, let's talk about the controversial Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka. Allegations of war crimes against the government are overshadowing the summit which opens on Friday.

The Sri Lankan president, though, insists he has nothing to hide.


MAHINDA RAJAPAKSA, SRI LANKAN PRESIDENT: Anyone who wants to complain about human rights violations in Sri Lanka, whether it is torture, whether it is rape, whether it is (inaudible) you must -- we must -- you all must respect the system of a country, the culture of a country.

So we are ready to look into these things. If there is any violations, we will take action against anybody, anybody.


HOLMES: Leaders of China -- sorry, Canada, India and Mauritius are all staying away from the summit. But Bill Neely reports now others are coming with a message for Sri Lanka's government.


BILL NEELY, ITV NEWS: Sri Lanka is putting on a show, ready to welcome world leaders to a summit, ready to ignore the drumbeat of criticism about the brutal end to its civil war. Its leaders are accused of war crimes by the UN and human rights groups, charges they deny. Britain, one of the nations here who will confront them.

WILLIAM HAGUE, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: Terrible crimes were committed. All the evidence is very clear about that a few years ago. And the accountability for those, in our view, has to be addressed.

NEELY: Sri Lankan protesters would like to confront their government. Dozens were detained for trying.

These Tamils accuse the army of stealing their land. They're grateful David Cameron will become the first world leader ever to visit the country's war damaged north.

DHARMALINGAM SITHARTHAN, TAMIL POLITICIAN: He coming here will give it good -- will give a serious message to the government saying that the international community is watching what is happening in Sri Lanka. And I think it puts a lot of pressure on the government.

NEELY: They're also waiting for him at northern Sri Lanka's biggest newspaper. Mr. Cameron wants to highlight the intimidation of journalists and their murder.

The paper has lost six staff to assassins it believes were hired by the government. The paper's presses were attacked by burned just weeks ago.


NEELY: Still scared, scared of their lives.

ESWARAPATHAM: Yes. (inaudible) people are scared, especially in the north. Everyone is dying daily because of fear.

NEELY: Sri Lanka's summit show cannot hide its terrible record on human rights.

Sri Lanka has a lot to answer why it has more people missing from war, 6,000, than any country in the world apart from Iraq. Why it has thousands of people held without trial. And why no one is accountable for the tens of thousands of deaths at the end of the war.

One thing is for certain, Sri Lanka's government won't be answering any of that at this summit.

Bill Neely, ITV News, Colombo.


HOLMES: And just ahead on News Stream, we're going to take you live to Toronto. He has already admitted to smoking crack cocaine and having drunken binges, now Toronto mayor Rob Ford faces fresh allegations. We'll have the latest.


HOLMES: To Canada's biggest city now. The Toronto mayor facing a new wave of disturbing allegations about his behavior. Earlier this month, you may remember, Rob Ford made the shocking admission that he had smoked crack cocaine.

Now court documents released on Wednesday detail police interviews with former staffers, what they allege is a pattern of alcohol use, abusive and erratic behavior.

The city council is urging the mayor to take a leave of absence.

Paula Newton joins me now from Toronto. And Paula they can urge all they like. They can't make him go, can they?

PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely not. We're just outside the mayor's office right now. He says he's showing up to work again today for business as usual.

You know what, Michael, this was a mayor who just last week after that admission of having smoked crack cocaine said I have nothing left to hide.

Yesterday, we found out otherwise.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Allegations have come forward of driving drunk.

NEWTON (voice-over): Never a dull moment at city hall as the mayor of Toronto faces fresh allegations of drug use, drunk driving and maybe even escorts.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Be careful what you write.

NEWTON: That was his comeback after court documents revealed accusations of a sordid night of binge drinking and drugs detailed in interview with his staff, all this after an inquisition that became a public flogging.

MAYOR ROB FORD, TORONTO: You're answering, but you don't want to hear my answers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Actually, you're not being truthful.

NEWTON: Ford made confession after confession.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you purchased illegal drugs in the last two years?

FORD: Yes, I have.


NEWTON: This from one of his allies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Mayor, do you recognize there are few of us that really do want to help you?

NEWTON: But Ford denies being a drug addict.

FORD: The reason I drank or did drugs was not because of stress. It was out of sheer stupidity. That's all it was. I'm not going to blame something. I'm not going to use an excuse or a cop out. I take full responsibility for my mistakes. I don't know what else I can say.

NEWTON: At one point, Ford introduced a motion calling for all city council members to be tested for drugs and alcohol.

FORD: I don't want to move this motion, but I have to move this motion. That city council direct all members of council -- the only thing that can prove, at least to clear me, I'm not going to start pinpointing people because I think we all know stories about each other here. If you're willing to lash out at the mayor in a public forum like this, then you should do a blood test yourself.

NEWTON: It didn't matter what he said. Fellow counselors voted overwhelmingly for the mayor to take a leave. The truth is the vote didn't matter either. No one can legally force the mayor to quit.

FORD: I know I've done a great job running the city, saving taxpayers money and putting us on the right path. I'm going to continue doing that. There's nothing else to say, guys. I really f'd up and that's it.

NEWTON: Doug Ford, the mayor's big brother says, he's staying put.

(on camera): When the mayor said I smoked crack cocaine, what kind of an example is that?

DOUG FORD, MAYOR ROB FORD'S BROTHER: It's not a good example. It's not and he's admitted it. There's going to be a point in life that you have to say we accept his apology, time will tell. The people will decide.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Has something come out that you're planning to sue about?

NEWTON: And that is the Ford doctrine: despite being humiliated, he's hanging on, battling through, betting he'll be back in the mayor's office for another term next year.


NEWTON: And you know what, Michael, through all this we have to remember that the mayor remains a subject of a police investigation even though police say that there are no charges pending against the mayor right now.

The issue here, though, is that he repeated yesterday that on the advice of his lawyer he is not cooperating with the police investigation. This is a police department, again, that he leads -- Michael.

HOLMES: Yeah. Oh, the irony.

I've got to ask, you know, what next for him? Where does it go from here? And also what is his level of support? There is support for him. Could he win next time around?

NEWTON: Absolutely. A strong level of support. It is slipping a bit, Michael. But what's so interesting is some of the polls show that if he actually does take a leave of absence, gets counseling, comes back to the mayor's chair in a few weeks, a few months, his support would again go up. There are people that believe in this guy for saving the money here at city hall.

In terms of what happens next and speaking with a couple of the local newspapers here, they say they have more information to release on Mayor Ford next week. On top of that, we may get more evidence from court that so far has been sealed. That may be broken wide open some time next week - - Michael.

HOLMES: Troubled days for the mayor.

Thank you, Paula. Good to see you. Paula Newton.

That is News Stream for this day, but the news always continues here at CNN. World Business Today up next.