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Why contraception might be a way out of poverty for Filipino families, BBC/PRI's The World

The Philippines has one the highest birth rates in Asia. That may start to change because the government recently won a long battle with Catholic Church over birth control. Now the government will fund free contraception and sex education. It could make a huge difference for millions of people in the Philippines.   

Aurora Almendral recently spoke with one woman in Manila about what it may mean for her family. 

An American and his dog help bring closure to survivors of Typhoon Haiyan, PRI's The World and BBC World Service

It's a horrifying thought, but nearly four months after Typhoon Haiyan hit in the Philippines the bodies of the dead are still turning up nearly every day. It's hard to imagine what that's like but one thing is for sure, it makes it really hard for people to put the storm behind them.

Reporter Aurora Almendral joins them on a search.

Turning a million cubic yards of post-typhoon trash into jobs, NPR News

Tim Walsh has a unique job: after a major natural disaster, he's the man who shows up to disaster zones to clean up the debris and put people to work. We'd like to call him the disaster garbage man, but he prefers waste management specialist.

Is the Catholic Church's influence in the Philippines fading? BBC News

The Catholic church plays a powerful role in the Philippines but last month it lost a significant battle in its bid to prevent a government-backed family planning programme. Aurora Almendral asks if the church is losing its grip on the islands.

Typhoon Haiyan felled this man's trees and uprooted his life, BBC/PRI's The World 

In the Philippines, the coconut palm is called the tree of life. This country is the world’s largest producer of coconuts. People here use every part of the tree — to make brooms, soap, fishing nets, charcoal, paper and lots of traditional foods. When Typhoon Haiyan struck the country last November, it took down 33 million coconut trees. About 160 of them belonged to farmer Felipe Parado, Jr. "Now, there's nothing,” he says. “Everything's gone.”


The slum that became Manila's recycling champ, Next City

After two consecutive typhoons and the constant deluge of the seasonal monsoon, on July 10, 2000, Payatas, the massive mountain of garbage in northern Metro Manila, collapsed. At least 300 people — men, women and children who lived and worked on the mountain — were buried alive in the avalanche of garbage.

It’s the sort of horrifying tragedy that inspires quick legislative action.