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Death Toll In Philippines Has Surpassed 3,000; Boatloads of Survivors Enter Cebu City; What's Next For Sachin Tendulkar?; Toronto City Council Attempts To Strip Mayor Of Power

Aired November 15, 2013 - 15:00   ET


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

After months of hints, China announces some pretty big reforms. And the one child policy is not the only change in the works. We're going to go live to Beijing to get the latest.

Also, ceremony and controversy in Sri Lanka. Dramatic scenes greeting British prime minister David Cameron.

And one week after Typhoon Haiyan, the struggle for survival continues. We're going to bring you the latest from hard hit towns and communities.

We're going to have some more on those major changes in China in just a moment. But first a week after Super Typhoon Haiyan slammed into the Philippines, hunger, thirst and sickness are rife across ruined communities left behind.

But a growing number of people are being evacuated now from Tacloban and other devastated cities. The pace of aid delivery also picking up. Distribution is another story. There is the arrival, too, of the U.S. Navy with the ships and the helicopters, a race against time to deliver relief to the estimated 2 million people who urgently need it.

Survivors trying to get out of the disaster zone any way they can. On Friday, a Philippine naval ship brought thousands of evacuees from Tacloban to Cebu. Anna Coren was there as they arrived.


ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the survivors of Super Typhoon Haiyan have begun arriving here at Cebu Port. Well, a short time ago this naval vessel docked in with about 3,000 people from Tacloban, many of them carrying all that remains of their belongings. So those whose homes are still intact, they said they had to get out of there. There is no food. There is no water. There is no electricity. There is no infrastructure whatsoever. And they also felt incredibly unsafe.

There are reports of looting, of violence against women. And for so many young mothers on this ship, they said they just had to get out of that devastated city.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Security is not good. They ransack homes. They're like savages there already.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (inaudible) the prisoner they're getting into the homes of the people who have survived there. It's very, very dangerous to live in Tacloban.

COREN: For so many of these refugees, they have been without basic necessities for over a week. Finally, they are getting assistance. The government and aid agencies like the reg cross to set up food and medical stations here at Cebu port.

For the people who have family and relatives around the country, they will be sent there. For those who have no relatives, have nowhere to go, they'll be sent to emergency evacuation centers being set up here in Cebu where they can start to rebuild their lives.

Anna Coren, CNN, Cebu, The Philippines.


HOLMES: And a little later in the program, we're going to hear from the commander of the USS George Washington carrier strike group. Find out how American forces are aiding the recovery effort. We'll have that a little bit later, as I say.

Well, the Typhoon, of course first made landfall in a remote town called Guiuan, which has been all but cut off ever since. And that has left families separated and desperate for news about their loved ones. Here's Ivan Watson.


IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): After a grueling 22-hour journey by boat, Adel Siguan has finally reached her home town. And she only has one thing on her mind.

ADEL SIGUAN, MOTHER: I bring water for my son.

WATSON: Adel wants to see her eight-year-old boy who she hasn't even been able to talk to since the storm cut off ties to this remote fishing town nearly a week ago.

(on camera): Not knowing about your son, how has it felt for you?

SIGUAN: Of course, I can't sleep. I can't eat. I can't eat, I can't -- I can't really -- I don't know what to do because I'm eager to know what's happening to him.

WATSON: Adel can't believe how the typhoon devastated her town. The storm crippled the local government.

(on camera): Any phones?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No communication whatever, whatsoever, outside.

WATSON (voice over): But local officials are improvising. They set up a service to fly handwritten messages to the outside world. (on camera): Incredible. There's a note here for Cesaro Motancez (ph),and it's one sentence like a telegram. "Pedro Valdez (ph) and Herminio Badeo (ph) are OK and alive. From, Johnny Badoco (ph)."

(voice over): The typhoon brought down the roof and facade of this church the Spanish built here more than 400 years ago. But this Catholic priest calls it a blessing in disguise because no one was inside when the roof came tumbling down.

FATHER ANDY EGARGO, CATHOLIC PRIEST: The irony of this is people's faith gets stronger every time, you know, calamities like this happen.

WATSON (voice over): Certainly Filipinos here have not lost their sense of humor. They joke with a stranger even though their homes are damaged and their stomachs are empty.

(on camera): You guys -- you guys are still laughing. You can still laugh.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Laughter is the best medicine.

WATSON (on camera): It's the best medicine yes.

(voice-over): Across town, Adel Siguan has almost completed her exhausting journey. After a week of frightening uncertainty, the mother and her eight-year-old son are finally reunited.

(on camera): How do you feel right now?

SIGUAN: I am so lucky that my son is OK. Yes.

WATSON (voice over): They are both alive and OK.

Ivan Watson, CNN, Guiuan, in the Philippines.


HOLMES: CNN photographers have captured many emotional scenes in the Philippines, of course. And you can see there displaced people being transported from Tacloban to Manila.

I've got another one here of a young boy in Tacloban surrounded by the destruction. Just take a look at that. Imagine if that was your home town.

And also here, storm refugees try to sleep in Tacloban stadium, crammed in there trying to find any shelter they can.

You can find all of this and a lot more at

You're watching News Stream on CNN. Still to come, in Sri Lanka for the Commonwealth summit, British Prime Minister David Cameron makes an historic trip to the north. But is mobbed by crowds of protesters.

Also, Toronto's mayor, well guess what, raising more eyebrows as his words get him in trouble again. Stay with us.


HOLMES: Now we're going to tell you why the British Prime Minister Cameron was mobbed in Sri Lanka. Have a look at this.

All right, we're going to get that for you a little bit later on David Cameron in Sri Lanka. Having a bit of difficulties with that.

Meanwhile, those changes that we mentioned at the top of the program in China. We are learning that the government has decided to relax that decades old one child policy and it appears some other major reforms involving crime and punishment and human rights are also planned.

David McKenzie joins us now from Beijing. And David, first of all, the significance of this.

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's very significant, Michael. Two major policy announcements just days after a party meeting here in Beijing. Probably the most significant is this announcement of a relaxing of the dreaded one child policy here in China. It's been in place since at least the late 70s where couples could only in many instances have one child, particularly in urban areas. It's been the cause, say activists, of many human rights abuses, according -- including force sterilization and abortion and it has had major economic impacts as well as just social economic impacts.

So they say now that they will allow children who are one child children, as it were, to have two children if they want. There are big reasons to do this. This has been, economists included, have been saying that this should have been relaxed for some time.

China has an aging population. They need a strong labor force. And so this will be as much about the economics as it might be about trying to win favor with the population. So certainly very significant.

And then the other issue that they have brought up is that they want to abolish the reeducation through labor system, Michael. Now that's a system that has been in place as well since even before the 70s that say a system where people can be arrested without trial, placed in detention for up to four years. It's often used for petty criminals, but also used, say human rights activists, for people who want to push up against the government.

I've spoken to several activists over the last eight months who have said that they were in that system.

So both major policy announcements. There will be, I'm sure, some more to this story as it develops.

HOLMES: Is this -- is this a softening, if you like, these reforms, a message to the outside world or as much a message to their own people?

MCKENZIE: I think in China it's a bit of both, but generally the Communist Party is most interested in playing to its domestic audience in this case. They have resisted any outside pressure to change these systems for years.

So really if they're making this decision, they're doing it for domestic reasons.

I think on the one-child policy side is very important to look at that economic issue. China's aging population is a huge problem for this country as they have a much bigger aging baby boom, as it were, for people who grew up in the decades past and a much smaller labor situation. And many critics of the one-child policy say that it really didn't have its desired effect in the long-term. What you really want to see is how they enforce it, how they relax it and how quickly.

On the issues of human rights and the labor system, there was intense criticism over the past year and even more from Chinese, journalists, activists, professors against this labor system. Many people I've talked to also say it's not really part of the modern Chinese that they're trying to put forward to their own citizens.

So ultimately, I think, it's not about how the west or others are looking at China, it's how the Communist Party wants to look in front of its own citizens.

HOLMES: Yeah. And you, you actually did a report on the labor camps, excellent report just recently. What are those places like? What are ordinary Chinese think of them?

MCKENZIE: Well, they very much hated the system. And in the past year, I think there have been several scandals that have come out about the conditions in there. Certainly, people who have been inside who I've spoken to say that torture and difficult working conditions at the very least were prevalent -- or are prevalent in these labor camps. There are hundreds of them scattered across the country.

Activists say that they are a convenient way for the Communist Party to silence dissent and it's also, you know, to get some historical context it was started in a way when the Communist Party was still in the throes of the revolutions here taking power away to really have a legal system outside of the law and then just extend it over the decades.

It has also received a great deal of criticism from intellectuals and activists here in China to say that it's a dated system, not in keeping with China wanting to take a new, modern role in the world and in the region.

There's also people who just say that it's not necessary for the government anymore. They don't need this widespread system. Though it might be too early for human rights activists to applaud this. One thing that several lawyers have said, Chinese lawyers to me, is that even if they abolish the system they'll find another way to silence dissent without trial. That tool, as it were according to these activists, is just too useful for the Communist Party when they want to maintain control.

But certainly, many human rights groups will be applauding both of these significant reforms in China today.

HOLMES: All right, David, appreciate that. David McKenzie there in Beijing.

All right, let's go back now to Sri Lanka where the British Prime Minister David Cameron was mobbed today while in his car. Here's the video.

Mr. Cameron landed in the Tamil dominated region of Jaffna early on Friday marking the first visit by a foreign leader there since Sri Lanka obtained independence from Britain some 65 years ago.

The British prime minister made the trip to push for greater rights across the region for the people there. But not long after he landed, you can see the scene, both pro and anti-government demonstrators mobbing his entourage as he left the library.

Several government leaders are currently in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo for the Commonwealth Summit. The Commonwealth heads of government, or CHOGM summit. This year, the leaders of Canada, Mauritius and India, though, have refused to take part. They and others cite allegations that the Sri Lankan government committed war crimes during the country's recent civil war.

Well, that war spanned more than a quarter of a century. The conflict began in 1983 when ethnic Tamils fought the majority Sinhalese government for independence in that northern part of the country we were just referring to.

Now a cease-fire was negotiated in 2002, but there were additional attacks after that. And violence again escalated in 2006. The government pulled out of the cease-fire in 2008. And the Sri Lankan military defeated the Tamil Tigers the year after, 2009, May actually. And that ended the war.

An estimated 100,000 people were killed, many of them dying in the final months of that conflict.

Four years now after the end of the fighting, the Sri Lankan high commissioner to the United Kingdom calls -- referring to what he calls a proxy propaganda war, still underway. Earlier, he spoke to CNN.


CHRIS NONIS, SRI LANKAN HIGH COMMISSIONER TO UK: We've had a 28 year conflict with terrorists. And finally after 28 years we achieved peace in the country under the leadership of his excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Finally, everyone is free of (inaudible) and hegemony of terrorism.

But one has to understand that there's a tremendous influence from those who funded the terrorist conflict are now carrying out, really, proxy propaganda war.

So, no, it's not surprising at all for the proxy propaganda war is continuing. But certainly what we realize is that over the years as people realize the wonderful reconciliation, rehabilitation and reconstruction program that we are carrying out in Sri Lanka that gradually that proxy propaganda war will lose its currency.


HOLMES: Some people are calling for an independent investigation into the alleged abuses. The president, though, Mahinda Rajapaksa says the Commonwealth is not the forum for judging a country's past.

Well, it wasn't quite the big 100 that Indian cricket fans were hoping for, but Sachin Tendulkar walked away from the crease with his head held high. It was a good innings to end on, perhaps if it is the last one. We're going to bring you up to date on a historic day for cricket in just a moment.


HOLMES: Indian cricket legend Sachin Tenduklar hit 74 runs in what is likely to be his last international innings. He left the field after being caught in slips on day two of India's second test against the West Indies. There he is heading back to the pavilion.

Tendulkar is preparing to bow out after 24 years in the game, 200 test matches. A lot of people were hoping for a century, a 101st century to end it on. But, eh, not a back knock in anyone's language Alex Thomas.

ALEX THOMAS, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: No, Michael. And let's put that statistic you just mentioned of the 100 centuries. He's fallen short of his 101st, but the next best on that list, if you add up one-day international, one test match centuries, is Australia's Rickie Ponting on 69.

So, I mean, that's a huge difference -- sorry, on 71.

So, I mean, he's 29 centuries more than the next best. He's scored, you know, 30,000 runs in both forms of the game. He's the most prolific batsman in cricket history.

And there was real emotion in the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, Tendulkar's home city because people know that as far as the match is concerned, the result is not really important for India are so far ahead of the West Indies, their opponents on first innings, that probably that was the last time we'll ever see the so-called Little Master at the crease as you say around two decades at the top of the game, really no weaknesses anywhere in his game. And he will certainly vie with Donald Bradman as the best batsman the sport has ever seen. Lots of people coming out and telling our reporter on the ground Mallika Kapur about openly crying really and flags and just huge celebrations of his career in this his 200th and final test match.

HOLMES: Yeah, and cricket fans like you and I -- and who wouldn't be a cricket fan around the world, I mean, it's been -- it's just been an honor to watch this guy play. He transcends the national aspect of the game. This is a guy who was a gentleman on and off the pitch. And there is so much admiration, universal admiration, that crosses borders, isn't there?

THOMAS: Yeah, because of the longevity of his career playing for a country that is far and away the most cricket mad on this planet, you know, populations in the billions. And he's really kind of lock himself away from all that, because he couldn't walk down any Indian street without getting completely mobbed. And yet in some ways by hiding himself away, the myth of Tendulkar, Michael, has grown even greater, so much so that we hear people on the streets talking about him as a god and they're exaggerating a bit, but he is a cricket god to the people of India and to wider cricket fans as well.

HOLMES: Yeah, and as I say right around the world.

Just quickly, 100 100s, I can't see anyone doing that. Can you?

THOMAS: No. I don't think it will ever be beaten and mainly because the future of cricket probably doesn't lie so much in the test match arena where these five day games. And you're more likely to score a ton. It's more in the shorter forms of the game. Tendulkar only ever played one international 20-20 game. And of course the 20-20 format is huge in India and growing more so around the world. So I don't think any player in the future, even if they're as talented as Tendulkar, will get the chance to notch up that many centuries.

HOLMES: Yes. And call me an old fogie, but I love a good test match. Do you?

THOMAS: I love it, mate.

HOLMES: I think we're just showing our age. Everyone else is going to the shorter versions of the game. Alex, always a pleasure. Good to see you.

Alex Thomas in London.

Well, Iceland with a -- sorry, so let's talk about what's coming up next on the program. Coming up on News Stream this...


HOLMES: Welcome back everyone. I'm Michael Holmes at the CNN Center, this is News Stream. And here are your world headlines to the minute.

China's state news agency Xinhua says Beijing is to relax its one- child policy. For decades, families across many parts of the country have been only allowed to have one child or face a penalty. Xinhua now says that Beijing will let couples have two children if one of the parents was themselves an only child. The news agency has also announced that China will abolish labor camps and try to improve human rights.

The Philippine government says the death toll from Super Typhoon Haiyan has now passed 3,600. Mass burials taking place as you see there and there is that death toll will continue to rise, of course, as aid workers get to areas that had been beyond their reach and when they start to sift through all that debris.

Canadian police say more than 380 children have been rescued from sexual abuse in a largescale investigation spanning three years. Police reveal that many of the perpetrators held positions of trust in their communities. The case began with a Toronto based film company, but spread to eastern Europe and beyond.

It has now of course been weeks since Typhoon Haiyan flattened large parts of the Philippines. Our Atika Shubert takes a look back at the impact and the desperation that sets in.

First, a warning, though, some of the images obviously are going to be disturbing to many.


ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The immensity of the storm could be seen from space, but only on the ground could Typhoon Haiyan's true horror be captured.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've been through a lot of typhoons before, I've been through a lot of natural disasters before, and this just is not -- is incomparable, it is just off the scale.

SHUBERT: The Philippine city of Tacloban, home to more than 200,000 people, the hardest hit by winds gusting at more than 300 kilometers an hour.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Underfoot, it is now just a deluge. And if you look behind me, I don't know if you can see it, the staircase behind me is now basically a waterfall.

SHUBERT: As residents prayed, the storm surge engulfed buildings. A CNN crew helping in the rescue of families stranded by the rising waters.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can feel electricity in the water, guys. My legs are tingling.

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This monster storm, it is so big its affecting two-thirds of the country. And President Benigno Aquino has warned his citizens that they are facing a calamity.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The devastation is -- I don't have no words for it. It's really horrific.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are fears that the death toll could soar to 10,000.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Some of our family members are dead. So it's really devastating.

UNIDENIFIED FEMALE: I am the only survivor of the family and I want to know them if they are still alive.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Really I don't. Since the storm itself, there are still bodies by the side of the road.

SHUBERT: The slow recovery effort only added to the trauma. Grief turning to anger.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get international help to come here now, not tomorrow, now. This is really, really like bad, bad. Worse than hell.

SHUBERT: And everywhere CNN reporters went in the days after the storm, the plea was the same.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Food, tents, everything. Everything is gone. So we need help.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I hope you are watching and see us on the TV. We really need help.

SHUBERT: Atika Shubert, CNN, London.


HOLMES: As we reported here, a U.S. aircraft carrier and several other navy ships arrived on Thursday. The USS George Washington, along with two cruisers and the -- that's the Antietam and Cowpens are now off the Philippine coast.

The cargo ship Charles Drew and the USS Lassen have helicopters that are bringing emergency supplies to Tacloban. The Emory S Land (ph) is also working ship to shore service to Tacloban.

And the survey ship Bowditch is also nearby in the Leyte Gulf while another cruiser, the Mustan (ph), was traveling to Ormoc.

Well, the USS George Washington has some 5,000 crew aboard. Rear Admiral Mark Montgomery is the commander of the carrier's strike group, joins us now on the phone.

We spoke to you a day or so ago when the carrier had just arrived and we talked about your order of business. What has happened since then?


The -- we've had a busy day today. I was in at both Guiuan and Tacloban myself, but our -- went out about 23 helicopters. And our helicopters were very busy today distributing supplies that are coming in -- international relief supplies coming in to Tacloban. We move them to Guiuan as a hub and from Guiuan move them around the eastern coast of Samar.

So we spent most of our day doing that.

As you mentioned, several of my ships are also in the Leyte Gulf and so they're pulling supplies out of Tacloban and moving them to the remote areas around the edges of Leyte Gulf.

And additionally, as you mentioned, the mustin Musten (ph) is in Ormoc and there the Musten (ph) is working the local officials to move supplies around as well, because helicopters are one of the best means for getting to remote or stranded personnel.

And one other thing we've done is pick up quite a stranded or survivors on -- there are about seven small islands coming off of the island of Samar. And we've picked up several hundred people and brought them into Tacloban or Guiuan in order to get medical treatment or food or water.

HOMES: It's fair to say that the victims of this typhoon must be mightily glad that you guys are there because it just seems to me -- it was memories of Haiti really. There was all this aid that is starting to pile up and none of it actually getting out to those who need it.

Are you happy with the pace and effectiveness of distribution?

MONTGOMERY: Well, I was at Tacloban today. And you could see quite a bit coming in on Philippine air force C-130s, U.S. air force C-130s, U.S. air force C-17, a fairly big plane came in as well, along with the U.S. Marine Corps MD-22 Osperys. And then Republic of Korea, I saw three c-130s bring in.

So these are all supplies coming from their original placement in Manila down to Tacloban, which serves as a hub. And hten from there, it's being taken out by the helicopters such as mine, but other ones as well -- Filipino air force.

So I think that's starting to flow. I did not see a significant backup of supplies there. I did see things that, like I say, a flyaway medical hospital. That takes a little time to move, because you have to get in a specific type and you have to get the doctors aligned with it and things like that. So that might sit at the runway a little bit.

But in reality, the food, the tarps, the water, that's all moving pretty quick.

HOLMES: All right, good to hear. And again doing an effective job no doubt there.

Rear Admiral Mark Montgomery, thanks so much.

MONTGOMERY: Thank you, Michael.

HOLMES: Well, row upon of row of bodies are lined up at a makeshift morgue in Tacloban waiting for loved ones to come and identify them. And Nick Paton Walsh now reports for us, the dead are being buried in mass graves outside the city.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDNET: This is where it ends for so many without ceremony or even their names spoken softly. The corpses that have littered Tacloban, so much of the city leaves come to rest here and tell parts of the horror of how they must have died.

But they leave many questions, too, among the overpowering smell of looming disease.

It's a cold, but necessary process, the accounting of the dead that happens here. And the condition they arrive in after days in the open and the impact of flood waters gruesome, sometimes unrecognizable. But for the relatives who come here in search of their loved ones, it's here that they hear the toughest answers.

Some endure the search for mothers or brothers but just find more not knowing. These had ways of identification, cards, witnesses. These, didn't.

(inaudible) came here to look for her son Gerald (ph). On the night of the storm, they shared cake and soda before he said the rain wasn't that bad and went out.

His brother, George, has a more gruesome tasks along the roads. And it's clear they'll have no answers here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): That's all I want. Even if it's a corpse, I'd like to see my son. That's why I'm here every day looking.

WALSH: The death toll officials give may vary, but this tortuous process won't. Bodies brought in, some then taken away, driven to the outskirts of town where young police hesitate over their grim job.

About 100 already here.

The mayor said the grave is just temporary, but the holes they leave in the families' hearts and homes of Tacloban is permanent.

Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Tacloban.


HOLMES: Well, adding to the misery, aid groups in the Philippines say the chaos in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan could make children targets for predators. The deputy director of the charity Save the Children says at least 100 children have been separated from their families, probably many more than that. And several cases of rape have already been reported.


NED ONLEY, SAVE THE CHILDREN: It's critical at the earliest moment, and we're talking in the first few days of a disaster, that systems are put in place first to identify the children that have been separated from their families, to identify all the children that have been displaced from their communities. We know that millions of people lost their homes, but 10 percent of that population, about 217,000 children, have been displaced from their communities. And those are the ones that are particularly vulnerable.


HOLMES: The United Nations and partner agencies are working to establish what they call child friendly spaces, that's where parents can drop their children off and they'll be looked after as the parents look for loved ones, food or water.

In the United States, President Obama admits the White House fumbled in rolling out the new healthcare law. Ahead on News Stream, what Mr. Obama is proposing now to fix the problem?


HOLMES: When U.S. President Barack Obama went before the media on Thursday, he wanted to talk about a fix for the botched rollout of his signature health care law. He did that first and then he went on to accept a lot of the blame and promise a lot of changes. Brianna Keilar with that.


BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A remarkable admission from President Obama.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We fumbled the rollout on this health care law.

KEILAR: As he unveiled his plan to help Americans who have been kicked off their health insurance policies stay on them for another year.

OBAMA: This fix won't solve every problem for every person, but it's going to help a lot of people.

KEILAR: After mounting political pressure, he took the blame head-on.

OBAMA: That's on me.

KEILAR: Trying to deflect criticism from vulnerable Democrats in Congress, saying he feels deeply responsible.

OBAMA: There is no doubt that our failure to roll out the ACA smoothly has put a burden on Democrats, whether they're running or not, because they stood up and supported this effort through thick and thin.

KEILAR: The president admitted he overpromised and was uninformed.

OBAMA: I'm accused of a lot of things, but I don't think I'm stupid enough to go around saying this is going to be like shopping on Amazon or Travelocity a week before the website opens if I thought that it wasn't going to work.

KEILAR: He did not dismiss a suggestion that the insular nature of his White House contributed to the failure.

OBAMA: There's going to be a lot of evaluation of how we got to this point and I assure you that I've been asking a lot of questions about that.

KEILAR: And he addressed his personal credibility as polls show it's at an all-time low.

OBAMA: I'm not a perfect man and I will not be a perfect president. My pledge to the American people is that we're going to solve the problems that are there. We're going to get it right. And the Affordable Care Act is going to work for the American people.

KEILAR: But the political battles over the president's most significant domestic policy achievement are far from over. The insurance industry is raising questions about how the president's proposed fix will be carried out warning that it may destabilize the markets and result in more expensive insurance premiums for many Americans.

Brianna Keilar, CNN, the White House.


HOLMES: Let's turn to the weather now as the devastation in the Philippines from Typhoon Haiyan was becoming more evident, another storm was pounding East Africa. It kind of got lost in the headlines. Mari Ramos at the World Weather Center with more on what has become really one of the deadliest cyclones in that part of the world.

You know, there was information about it, kind of, but not much. It sort of got swallowed up by the Philippines.

MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Right, because in comparison, you know, the Philippines, of course, stole the headlines, and rightly so, because it was such a massive storm affecting millions and millions of people there.

But this storm that was off the coast of Africa was also a killer.

This is the aftermath of that storm. And in the area of course not as densely populated, but cyclones in this part of the world are relatively rare, Michael, especially to have such a strong storm.

Now there are thousands of people that have been displaced. And it has become the deadliest storm in Somalia since they've been keeping records. More than 115 people have been killed as many were swept out to the ocean when this storm approached this area.

You can see it right over here. It's over the fifth storm to hit Somalia since 1966. So you can see the lack of experience that they would have with tropical cyclones in this area, very dray terrain in many cases. The part that was hit the hardest really not accustomed to seeing such heavy rainfall and the kind of winds that they had also.

The livestock was also pushed out into the ocean.

As we headed into more higher terrain, away form the coastline, there were reports of mudslides. And so this was a pretty significant storm in this region. And this is a picture from earlier.

This is another image back on November 10 when the storm made landfall. And you can see how large it was and what an impressive storm system in itself, bringing some extremely heavy rainfall over this area.

Somalia now also asking for international aid to cope with the loss and the damages across this region, the weather much more benign now as you can see from this satellite image, but very hot and very humid also this time of year in that part of the world.

Let's go ahead and move on and head back to Southeast Asia. I want to take you to Vietnam. Remember that area of low pressure that moved over the Philippines just a couple of days ago? Well, it's made landfall across Southeast Asia here and particularly Vietnam getting hit with some very heavy rainfall. In the last 24 hours, 345 millimeters of rain. It's a slow mover, it's kind of meandering around here, not going anywhere. So it's dumping some very heavy rain across this region.

Look at Hanoi, also 135 millimeters of rain. And unfortunately it's not done quite yet. You can see all that moisture there. And then now we can see another 130 millimeters of rain not out of the question, farther south 150. So the threat for flooding and mudslides remains across this region as that rain continues to spread farther to the east.

So that's the -- the west, excuse me.

That's there. And this is the Philippines. Looking much dryer, much better weather in the last couple of days. Take advantage of that. They get about 25 rainy days in November and 25 in December. So we're getting to the rainy season across some of these central islands here hardest hit by the typhoon.

Another story that's come up today -- with my last 30 seconds I want to tell you about that. Look at this, Michael, did you hear about this? This oil spill. This is in one of those hard hit areas in the western Vasaiya (ph), west of Tacloban and a little bit farther to the north. This is on Elo Elo Province (ph). And this is an area that also had the super typhoon winds. So this area devastated by the storm and the storm surge as you can see from these pictures. And a tanker that was just there off the coast now began spilling oil, about half a million liters of oil have already spilled out into the ocean. They have been able to contain it, they said, but in some cases they are using buckets and their own hands to just try to get this oil out of the water as you can see from these pictures right there really dramatic images coming out of this region.

But there are still 800,000 gallons of oil left, of bunker oil very thick, sludgy oil that is left on that ship. And so the coastguard working very hard -- and you can imagine the limited resources here -- working very hard to try to contain this other disaster in that area.

Back to you.

HOLMES: That is just horrible those pictures. All right, thanks Mari. Mari Ramos there. Full of good news.

Well, video gamers in the United States have been camping out hoping to get their hands on the latest version of the Sony Playstation. Some stores selling the PS4 opened at midnight.

Sony Computer Entertainment chief Andrew House told our Richard Quest why the PS4 is more than just a gaming device.


ANDREW HOUSE, PRES. AND GROUP CEO, SONY COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT INC: There are two things that have happened is that we're seeing consoles move from being gaming devices to fully multifunctional entertainment devices.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: What does that mean, multifunctional entertainment devices?

HOUSE: Well, it has music, it has video, it has streaming video services, it has live events that you can watch in addition to all of the games. And I think what they means is that there's a broader family appeal for these devices than ever before.


HOLMES: It's not the only one out there either. The PS4 out just one week before the latest Microsoft Xbox, Playstation's arch rival. The Xbox One goes on sale November 22. Sony and Microsoft will go heat to head in the run-up to Christmas. Here's what they're offering consumers.

A Playstation 4 costs just under $400, $399. 16 games currently on the market. The live sports streaming services NBA gametime and NHL game center live (that's ice hockey for those who don't know) are available.

So, too, Sony's music and video app.

Now the Xbox One, well, that's going to cost $100 more. 23 games will be on offer when it hits the shelves. Apps, including HBO Go and Watch ESPN can be accessed. Xbox Music and Xbox video will also be on offer.

There are some overlaps between the two. Both are going to support popular video apps including Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Instant, popular in the U.S. And both have 8 gigabytes of memory, about 500 gigabytes of storage.

So, if you've got kids you know what you're getting for Christmas.

Toronto mayor Rob Ford determined to cling to power as we have been reporting here. A lot of city officials still have other ideas on that. We're going to have a live report on what the future could hold for the controversial mayor in just a moment.


HOLMES: Toronto Mayor Rob Ford refusing to step down. Well, now the city council is preparing to discuss a plan that would effectively then remove most of his power.

The mayor, who has already admitted to smoking crack cocaine and going on alcohol binges caused more shockwaves Thursday when he used crude, to put it mildly, language in front of reporters. Senior international correspondent Nic Robertson now with the latest from Toronto.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The crush of news cameras following troubled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford as he battles to keep his job. Late Thursday, another call for him to step aside. According to a city council source, this time it's from his brother, one of his staunchest defenders now urging him to take a leave of absence after allegations of heavy drinking, drugs, and escorts.

ROB FORD, MAYOR OF TORONTO: That is outright lies, that's not true. It hurts my wife when they're calling a friend of mine a prostitute. Helene (ph) is not a prostitute. She's a friend, and it makes me sick how people are saying this.

ROBERTSON: Digging the hole deeper, Ford made this vulgar remark about allegations he wanted to have oral sex with a former staffer.

FORD: Olivia Ganda (ph) says that I (EXPLETIVE DELTED). I've never said that in my life to her. I would never to that. I'm happily married.

ROBERTSON: Not long after, another Mayor Ford apology.

FORD: The revelations yesterday of cocaine, escorts, and prostitution has pushed me over the line, and I used unforgivable language. And again, I apologize. I wish you to know I'm receiving support from a team of health care professionals.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): All this coming after Toronto's city council called Mayor Ford out.

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

ROBERTSON: For his admitted use of crack cocaine.

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

FORD: Yes, I have.

ROBERTSON: And this mea culpa.

FORD: I really f'd up and that's it.

ROBERTSON: The council which can't fire the mayor will be meeting Friday and Monday to consider ways to strip his powers. For now, council members settled for turning backs on him as he spoke. The mayor whose drunken profanity laced tirades have brought him international notoriety denied allegations of driving drunk issuing this challenge.

FORD: None of you guys have ever, ever had a drink and got behind the wheel?

ROBERTSON: Still, the mayor insists he's here to stay.

FORD: I'll be doing everything I have done for the last 13 years, returning calls, watching every dime, going to people's homes and fighting for the little guy in the city.


HOLMES: And Nic Robertson joins us now on the phone from Toronto. Nic, you know, I know that I think in Canada the mayors don't have the same powers that they have in the United States, for example, but what powers might they remove to really make his position untenable or have no power?

ROBERTSON: Well, what they're trying to do at the moment is really sort of isolate the mayor into a position where he has no power. They're starting off today the first motion due to start in about half an hour suspend the power of the mayor to a point and dismiss the deputy mayor and the standing chairs of committees.

The next hour they -- or 11:00 pm, 11:00 am for us and just after that they'll be voting again on another power to strip away from him, that's his emergency management powers. They want to give those to deputy mayor.

They need a two-thirds majority. Look, they already voted 37-5 to ask him to step down, remove himself from office. So it seems that these motions are going to pass with ease here. And if that doesn't do the job today, there are other powers they're going to strip away from him. On Monday, they plan to take away some of his budgets. They plan to take away essentially his ability to do the job.

Now he's said on the record, you know, if I'm the last one here on the ship I'll continue sailing the ship, so to speak.

The ship is getting mighty small right now for him to sailing on, Michael.

HOLMES: Yeah, and very briefly, Nic, I haven't got long, but if this could get more bizarre, reality television?

ROBERTSON: He's been offered a reality TV show. I mean, look, reality TV show, what's that about? It's about having a camera follow you through the day. I'm looking at the journalists here watching the elevator come up from the basement where he's expected to arrive, around 20 cameras there. Every step of his life is being followed right now. It doesn't get more real than that.

No doubt about it, this guy has got the ability to turn a sound bite, if you will, and get people's attention. But really, reality TV? He seems to be almost there already, Michael.

HOLMES: Yeah, it does, doesn't it. Nick, thanks so much. Appreciate that.

Nic Robertson there in Toronto.

That is News Stream for the moment, but of course the news always continues here at CNN. World Business Today is coming up next.