CP World Report: Philippines Typhoon, Fiscal Cliff, Belgium Christmas Tree Petition

The death toll from the deadly typhoon that struck the Southern Philippines has climbed to about 350. At least 400 others are missing. The International Red Cross has issued an urgent appeal for $4.8 million to help people directly affected by the typhoon.

Four weeks to go until America falls off the so-called fiscal cliff, and talks are going nowhere.
Some Republicans are now speaking out against their own party's counter-proposal, presented by House Speaker John Boehner. That proposal calls for 800 BILLION in tax hikes; and its causing major dissension in the ranks. Now the "Conservative Heritage Action Network" has sent out an alert to supporters, saying to "call your representative and tell him or her that tax hikes are not part of the solution". House GOP sources are hoping the conservative backlash is proof to the White House that Boehner is trying to compromise.

155 people were reportedly killed in a single day in Syria in fighting. In one incident, say 30 people died when rockets hit a school in a refugee camp on the outskirts of Damascus. It is not clear who was behind the attack, as opposition terror groups are now in the mix of the civil war, as the Al Assad regime continues to battle opposition forces.

Meanwhile, NATO foreign ministers have approved Turkey's request for Patriot missiles to defend its borders from the war in Syria, in what is described as a spilling over of the Syrian civil war into Turkey. Errant Syrian artillery shells struck a border town and killed five Turkish civilians in October.
The United States, Germany and Netherlands, which all have Patriot capabilities, have signaled they would be willing to contribute missiles.

Despite international pressure, Israel insists it will not abandon plans for new settlements on the West Bank. Around the construction zone itself, there are who are for it, and those against.

Citizens of Brussels, Belgium are protesting an 82-foot abstract tree of lights because it replaced the traditional 65 foot pine Christmas tree at the town center. And they've signed an online petition demanding that the abstract one be removed. More than 11,000 signatures have already been gathered . Many have said that the real reason for this new tree is because the mayor's office doesn't want to offend non-Christians and Muslims who don't celebrate Christmas. While the majority of religious people in Belgium are Christians, a recent estimate by "Belgian newspaper" says Muslims make up 22 percent of the population in Brussels.

The U.K Scout Association is consulting members on whether to introduce an alternative oath for atheists. Members joining the 105-year-old movement are required to make the Scout Promise, which includes reference to their "duty to God". The Association said that a revision would enable the movement to increase its diversity and embrace more communities than ever before. The movement as a whole now attracts twice as many teenage members as it did a decade ago and Female membership has increased by 69% in the same period.

Put down the cell phone while driving... and now the breakfast sandwich.
The city of Huron in South Dakota has approved a tough new ban on "distracted driving." The new law makes texting while driving a primary offense. But you can also get a ticket if you're eating, reading the paper or putting on make-up in the mirror while driving.