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Endless torment for Philippine typhoon widow

Jennifer Pulga endured the depths of helplessness as she pumped the last air her husband would breathe into his typhoon-battered body, and her life since has felt barely any more in control. A coconut tree crashed through the thatched roof of the Pulga's tiny home in an isolated farming village of the central Philippines during Super Typhoon Haiyan in November, crushing Richard and igniting a torturous passage to death.

Typhoon hits Philippine coconut oil exports

Philippine coconut oil exports fell 35 percent at the start of this year, driving up global prices, after a super typhoon destroyed millions of trees, an industry group said Tuesday. In normal times the Philippines accounts for more than 40 percent of world exports in the oil, which is used in daily items such as detergents, bath soap and margarine, according to the United Coconut Association of the Philippines.

New York mourns end of hot dog classic

No more "Recession Specials," neon lights and cheap bites washed down with papaya juice: New York has lost one of its most iconic hot-dog joints after three decades. "Gray's Papaya" in Greenwich Village, a reputed favorite of late rocker Lou Reed, has fallen victim to the near daily roll call of New York institutions crushed by exorbitant rent increases. Shops, bars, cafes and restaurants that for generations are considered integral to the world's most exciting city suddenly disappear overnight, no longer able to pay the rent.

Haiyan to hit Philippine coconut oil exports: industry official

Global coconut oil supplies will likely fall next year, an industry official said Friday, after the killer typhoon that struck leading exporter the Philippines last month destroyed millions of trees used to produce the commodity The Philippines provides more than 40 percent of the world's coconut oil and the areas hit by Super Typhoon Haiyan account for 10-15 percent of the country's output, said Yvonne Agustin, executive director of the industry group United Coconut Association of the Philippines (UCAP).

Coconut farmers face ruin after Philippine typhoon

The super typhoon that slammed through the central Philippines laid waste to a vast region of coconut farmland, eradicating in one fell swoop the livelihoods of tens of thousands of smallholders. "It's all gone," Glen Mendoza said, gesturing towards the collection of snapped and toppled trees that used to be the small but reliable grove that fed and supported his family. "My daughter might have to stop going to college," he said. "These coconut trees are our only hope and now they're gone."

NYPA activates power reduction program in New York due to heat

(Reuters) - The state-owned New York Power Authority (NYPA) on Monday activated its program to reduce electricity use in New York City for the first time this summer as consumers crank up their air conditioners to escape the hot, humid weather. NYPA said it may also activate the so-called peak reduction program on Tuesday. The power company said it can activate the program for up to 15 days between June 1 and September 1.

Human coconut peeler in Panama claims he is Guinness-worthy

With jaws of steel that have earned him the nickname "Coconut Peeler," Andres Gardin, at the tender age of 64, is hell-bent on gnawing his way into the Guinness Book of World Records. Sure, lots of gents his age might be thinking about retirement or whiling away time at the bar. But when you have a set of vice-like teeth, you have a duty, don't you?

Demand for exotic pets pushes species to the brink

Poisonous frogs, long-necked turtles, bears and chimpanzees may not be everyone's idea of an animal companion, but experts warn that demand for exotic pets is pushing some species closer to extinction. With high price tags luring criminal gangs, conservationists are calling for increased efforts to crack down on the illegal trade, fuelled by the demands of collectors including in Europe, the United States and Asia.
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