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Film Review: ‘Glen Campbell … I’ll Be Me’



photo's by Ray Tharaldson all rights reserved 2014

by Alissa Simon
A poignant look at country singer-songwriter Glen Campbell's 'Goodbye Tour' and his battle with Alzheimer's disease.

In 2011, while country crooner and legendary guitarist Glen Campbell prepared to tour in support of his latest album, his family revealed that he had received a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Remarkably, the Campbells not only proceeded with a “Goodbye Tour,” but also allowed filmmaker James Keach to document the progression of Glen’s illness and its effect on their lives and work. “Glen Campbell … I’ll Be Me” blends intimate and unflinching medical details, poignant performance footage and a survey of its subject’s place in musical history through well-chosen archival footage and interviews with other iconic performers. A limited release through U.S. distributor Area23a begins Oct. 24 and will expand in the weeks to come, while festival kudos at Nashville and Vancouver could spell more awards attention down the road.

Just as the “Goodbye Tour” repped the last chance for Campbell’s multitudes of fans to see him live, this observational docu offers a final opportunity to witness the singer in lucid moments, with his artistry movingly intact. He was moved into a specialized Alzheimer’s treatment facility in March 2014, three years after filming began in 2011. At that time, Campbell was 75 years old and had been married for nearly 30 years to his fourth wife, Kim, a bedrock of strength 23 years his junior. The couple has three children, talented musicians Cal, Shannon and Ashley, all of whom are in his backup band.
Kim’s commentary about what’s going on (sometimes directly to the camera) functions in lieu of narration. In one early scene, Glen and Kim watch documentary footage chronicling his salad days and superlative achievements — among them five Grammys; induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame; his own TV series, “The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour”; and a co-starring role in the original “True Grit.” When Kim has to tell Glen who’s who, the moment not only epitomizes the sad losses of an Alzheimer’s sufferer and the patience required of a caregiver, but also cleverly provides background about the musician’s life and career.

As members of their medical team explain to Glen and Kim, Alzheimer’s is a progressive type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior as the hippocampus shrinks and atrophies. Yet the doctors can only marvel at the extraordinary wiring of Glen’s brain, which allows him to continue performing complicated guitar solos and sing with perfect pitch even while he suffers more typical symptoms.

Although Glen quickly becomes, in the words of Kim, “unrehearseable,” the family and band members decide to go on the road for as long as the good outweighs the bad. We see the strain this causes every member of the tour, not least Kim, but it’s is trumped by the palpable love that surges from the audience toward the stage. Even if Glen at times doesn’t appear to know where he is or what he’s doing, he feels the emotion and gains energy and focus.

Even as they go through the emotional and professional wringer, Campbell’s offspring don’t regret participating in the tour. Son Cal notes, “When he connects to something that gave him joy, it’s like he’s himself again.” Daughter Ashley, who performs a lively dueling guitar/banjo riff with her father onstage, also accompanies her parents to Capitol Hill and makes a touching appeal before a Congressional committee for more funding to fight the disease, which is growing exponentially. Director Keach also recruits a slew of top musicians, including Bruce Springsteen, the Edge, Chad Smith and Kathy Mattea, whose own lives have been touched by Alzheimer’s, to comment on Campbell’s courage.

As the tour extends over nearly two years to 151 concerts, we begin to observe its diminishing returns, particularly as Campbell moves into the later phases of the illness, characterized by frustration, anger and paranoia. But even as he suffers a complete meltdown onstage, the audience is with him and for him. A scene of Campbell’s final recording with members of his former crack session band, the Wrecking Crew — the song his “Not Gonna Miss You,” a ballad he wrote for Kim — heartbreakingly demonstrates the man’s profound understanding of the disease, something that does not always come across in the filmed footage.

Stylistically, “Glen Campbell … I’ll Be Me” is nothing special; indeed, the homevideo shots are mostly pedestrian. Yet the sheer joy, even magic, captured in the concert footage preserves the artist’s sublime musicianship and the ineffable relationship between performer and audience. In the end, his family’s willingness to document his decline, in the hope that it will draw more attention and resources to fighting the disease, burnishes and extends Campbell’s legacy in enduring fashion.


Film Review: ‘Glen Campbell ... I’ll Be Me’
Reviewed at Vancouver Film Festival (Arts & Letters), Oct. 1, 2014. Running time: 105 MIN.  
Production

(Documentary) An Area23a release of a PCH Films production in association with Volunteers of America. Produced by Trevor Albert, James Keach. Executive producers, Scott Borchetta, Susan Disney Lord, Jane Seymour, Stanley Schneider, Julian Raymond. Co-producer, Kayla Thornton.

Crew
Directed by James Keach. Camera (color, HD), Alex Exline; editor, Elisa Bonora; music, Julian Raymond; sound (5.1 surround), Milos Zivkovic, Logan Aries, Alex Exline, Dwight Chalmers, Marianna LaFollette, Cody Peterson, Carlos Pulido; associate producers, Jeff Pollack, Debra Pearl, Carl Jackson, Cindy Sinclair.

With
Glen Campbell, Kim Campbell, Ashley Campbell, Cal Campbell, Shannon Campbell, T.J. Kuenster, Ry Jarred, Siggy Sjursen, Kiefo Nilsson, Dr. Ronald Petersen, Bobbie Gale, Jay Leno, Jimmy Webb, Brad Paisley, The Edge, Clancy Fraser, Bill Maclay, John Carter Cash, Sheryl Crow, Kathy Mattea, Scott Borchetta, Dr. Hart Cohen, Chad Smith, Keith Urban, Steve Martin, the Band Perry, Blake Shelton, Paul McCartney, Bill Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Hal Rogers, Chris Smith, Richard Shelby, Bruce Springsteen, Richard Landers, Stanley Schneider, the Wrecking Crew, Gerald Campbell, Jane Campbell, Sandy Campbell, Kelli Campbell, Debby Campbell-Cloyd, Sandie Gillard, Richard Landers.



I met with Glen after photographing his concert during the summer of 2012. We talked about how the tour was going and his plans to meet with his friend George H. Bush the following week. Glen could not have been more down to earth and gracious with his time.

FILED UNDER:     Glen Campbell   Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me   James Keach

Oscar de la Renta, Who Clothed Stars and Became One, Dies at 82

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By  & 

Legendary fashion designer Oscar de la Renta died on Monday at the age of 82, ABC News reported. The cause of death was complications from cancer, his wife confirmed to The New York Times.
De la Renta was born in the Dominican Republic in 1932. He left home at the age of 18 to study painting in Madrid, Spain but decided instead to pursue fashion design. He eventually worked as an apprentice to Cristobal Balenciaga, Spain's most celebrated couturier.
The young designer made a name for himself when he dressed former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in the 1960s. After launching his own line, de la Renta became known for creating elaborate, feminine gowns that were often worn by first ladies including Nancy Reagan, Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton. He dressed socialites in his couture creations, and his gowns were red carpet staples as celebrities including Oprah, Sarah Jessica Parker and more wore his designs year after year. Most recently, de la Renta collaborated with Amal Clooney on her wedding gown, which was accompanied by a spread in the November issue of Vogue.
"Style begins by looking good naked," he told The Telegraph in a 2013 interview. "It's a discipline. And if you don't dress well every day, you lose the habit. It's not about what you wear, but about how you live your life."
De la Renta was married twice. His first wife, Françoise de Langlade, was a former editor of French Vogue. She died of bone cancer in 1983. The couple had been married for 16 years. The designer adopted a son soon after his first wife's death and married socialite Annette Engelhard Reed in 1989. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2006.
De la Renta presented his Spring 2015 collection at New York Fashion Week in September. When reviewing the show, New York Times fashion director and chief fashion critic Vanessa Friedman wrote of the designer and his collection, "He has a respect for the classic forms (lunching suits, tea dresses, straight trousers — even full-blown ball gowns) that is almost palpable, not to mention an appreciation of the power of decoration and the allure it can bestow."
Last week, the fashion house announced that it had named Peter Copping as creative director.
In a tribute film recorded by friends in 2013, de la Renta said, "I feel very privileged, lucky, that I have had a wonderful life. And that I have been always been allowed to do what I loved."
sjpinoscar

Ana's advance slows as storm grows


Weather loop image

By Craig Gima
Hurricane Ana further intensified this afternoon with winds around 80 mph as it approached Hawaii.

At about 5 p.m., the storm's winds held at 80 mph, slightly above the category 1 hurricane status of 74 mph winds. The storm was 185 miles south-southwest of Kailua-Kona, and 310 miles south-southeast of Honolulu, moving to the west-northwest at 13 mph. The tropical storm force winds extend 105 miles — 20 miles farther out than earlier Friday afternoon — from the center and hurricane force winds extend out 25 miles. 

The storm is expected to pass 150 miles southwest of the Big Island Friday night and about 175 miles southwest of the rest of the island chain this weekend. The storm is also expected to take more of a northwest turn — closer to Hawaii — Friday into Saturday and slow down as it passes south of Oahu and Kauai Saturday night and Sunday.

Hurricane Ana could continue to strengthen Friday night before windshear gradually weakens it Saturday and Sunday.



"The window for intensification will close on Saturday," forecasters said. "But Ana will remain a dangerous tropical storm."

A tropical storm watch and flood watch is in effect for the Big Island. Forecasters expect heavy rains with the chance of thunderstorms, gusty winds, and rough surf as the storm passes the island Friday night.

The National Weather Service also posted tropical storm watches for Oahu, Maui and Kauai counties and surrounding waters.

Forecaster said the storm should be far enough south that winds will not reach tropical storm strength on the main Hawaiian islands. 

But, they caution that "only a small change in the track of Ana could result in higher winds on Saturday. ... It is still too soon to try to nail down details."

All islands will get high, rough surf on southern shores. Gusty winds that could down trees and cause power outages, and heavy rains with the potential for flooding and mudslides are also possible.

The storm will pass closest to Maui County on Saturday and should move south of Oahu Saturday night. Kauai will see the storm's greatest impact on Sunday.

The storm could dump up to 12 inches of rain in some areas of the Big island. But most areas should see 6 to 8 inches. Surf of 10 to 12 feet from the storm was reported at South Point Friday and foreasters expect waves of up to 20 feet in Kau and Puna as the storm makes its closest pass to the island. The Kona Coast could also get 12-foot surf after the center of the storm moves west.

Oahu and Kauai County may also see 10 to 20-foot wave faces on Saturday on south shores and 3- to 7-foot surf on west and east shores. A northwest swell is also arriving, boosting north shore surf to 10 to 15 feet Saturday into Sunday.

South shores of Maui County could see 10- to 15-foot surf Saturday and Sunday.

The 11 a.m. forecast track puts Ana's path further south, with all islands except Niihau out of range for a direct hit. 

But foreasters caution that people should not focus on the exact track of the storm.

"Only a slight shift to the right (closer to the Hawaiian islands) in the forecast track could mean signficant differences in the potential impacts to the main Hawaiian islands," forecasters said.

A high pressure ridge developing near Oahu and Kauai is likely to cause Ana to slow down and turn to the west, keeping the storm south of the islands.

But if the storm slows or stalls, the potential for more rain increases.

"The timing and extent of this turn has significant implications as to the potential impacts in the islands this weekend," foreasters said.

As of Friday morning, forecasters predicted some areas of Maui, Kauai and Oahu could get up to 8 inches of rain over the weekend. Most areas of Maui County should get between 2 to 4 inches and 3 to 6 inches could fall on Oahu and Kauai.

The forecast for southern shores of Oahu, including Honolulu, calls for a 50 percent chance of rain and potentially heavy rain, including thunderstorms Friday afternoon into Friday night as Ana's outer rain bands reach the island.

Saturday will bring frequent showers and the chance of thunderstorms through Sunday. Winds of 20 to 25 mph, with 35 mph gusts are possible through Sunday night as Ana passes south of the island. The chance of rain is 90 to 100 percent through Monday.

Maui and Kauai counties can expect similar weather, with the timing sooner for Maui and later for Kauai, as Ana makes its closest approach to those islands.

Ana will likely leave muggy Kona weather and showers in its wake as it moves northwest away from the state. The humidity and rainy weather could stick around through the middle of next week.

National Weather Service meteorologist Eric Lau said the winds can still down power lines and cause a lot of damage and rains, especially if they stall, could create flooding. The storm surge can also cause damage along the coast.

"Even a 40 mph wind is pretty strong," Lau said. "Torrential rains would be cause for flash flooding, especially for people in low-lying areas."

The weather service and civil defense officials say people should have their emergency kits stocked and be ready for the storm.

"People should be prepared for potential impacts," Lau said. "It could potentially be a dangerous storm."

Top 10 millionaires' paradise islands: where the rich and famous go to get away from it all


By 

Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook Chief Executive, this week upped his status even further by joining the millionaire paradise club. The 30-year old bought a 700-acre piece of land on Kauai, the fourth largest of the Hawaiian islands, for a cool $100 million (£63 million).

With its pristine beaches, old sugar plantation buildings and land on which there are plans for an organic farm, Zuckerberg and his family will be able to enjoy private vacations on one of the most beautiful places on earth.


It has long been customary for the super-wealthy to spend some of their riches on a private island, a tradition which Zuckerberg is clearly embracing to the full.
Here are some more of the world’s most fabulous millionaire playgrounds:

Necker Island (Alamy)
1. Necker Island, British Virgin Islands, Sir Richard Branson
The Virgin entrepreneur bought his 74-acre private paradise for $180,000 (£113,000) in 1978 and, as a condition of sale, agreed to build a luxury resort. It now sleeps 28 people in 10 rooms, and rents for $62,000 (£39,000) a day. For that, guests can enjoy two private beaches, pools, tennis courts, a personal chef and team of 60 staff.
2. Blackadore Caye, Belize, Leonardo DiCaprio
Bought by the Wolf of Wall Street and Titanic star in 2005 for $1.75 million (£1.1 million), DiCaprio, a keen environmentalist, is planning to build an eco-friendly resort on the 104 acre island near the famous barrier reef off the coast of Belize. He has said the resort will be open to the public as an example of sustainable tourism, complete with eco-tours of the island.
3. Little Hall’s Pond, Bahamas, Johnny Depp
The actor is said to have paid $3.6 million for the 45-acre island in 2004 and renamed it after his daughter, Lily Rose. The island has six beaches and uses solar power for its energy supply. In 2009, Depp told Vanity Fair: “I don’t think I’d ever seen any place so pure and beautiful. You can feel your pulse rate drop about 20 beats. It’s instant freedom.”
4. Musha Cay and the Islands of Copperfield Bay, Bahamas, David Copperfield
One private island not enough for you? How about a whole chain. Magician David Copperfield owns a string of 11 islands including the largest, Musha Cay, 85 miles from Nassau in the Bahamas. A favourite with celebrities including Oprah Winfrey and Bill Gates, up to 24 guests can be accommodated at a time. Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem were married there in 2010.

Celine Dion's island château
5. Ile Gagnon, Quebec, Celine Dion
Situated on the Iles River, in her home state of Quebec in Canada, the singer had a stone mansion custom built for her on the 19-acre island in 2001. Ile Gagnon was put on the market for $29.6 Canadian dollars (£18.6) two years ago but has yet to find a buyer.
6. St Phillips Island, South Carolina, Ted Turner
Bought by the media mogul for $2 million (£1.3 million) in 1979, the year before he launched CNN, the 5,000-acre St Phillips Island has two miles of beaches, maritime forests and lagoons. He also owns a 298-acre landing area on the neighbouring St Helena island.
7. Mago Island, Fiji, Mel Gibson
At 8.5 square miles, Mago is one of the largest private islands in the South Pacific. It was bought by the actor for $15 million (£9.4 million) in 2005 from a Japanese company. Descendants of the native inhabitants, who were relocated in the 19th century, have protested about his ownership.
8. Rooster Cay, Bahamas, Eddie Murphy
The comedian paid $15 million (£9.4 million) for the 15 acre island situated five minutes off the coast Nassau in 2007. He had previously owned another cay in the Bahamas, Pearl Island.

Hulopoe & Manele Bay, Lanai (Alamy)
9. Lana'i, Hawaii, Larry Ellison
Since 2012, 98 per cent of Lana’i, the sixth largest of the Hawaiian islands, has been owned by Larry Ellison, the head of Oracle. Also known as Pineapple Island, given its past history as a pineapple plantation, at 140.5 square miles, the remaining two per cent of Lana’i is held by the state of Hawaii. Ellison is said to have paid between $500 million (£314 million) and $600 million (£377 million) for it and is planning to invest another $500 to improve its infrastructure.

Scorpios (Alamy)
10. Scorpios, Greece
Bought by the shipping billionaire Aristotle Onassis in the 1960s, and scene of his wedding to Jacqueline Kennedy, Skorpios is now owned by his granddaughter, Athina. She attempted to sell it to the Russian heiress Ekaterina Rybolovleva for $300 million (£188 million) last year but the sale has been held up by the Greek government, as under the terms of Aristotle’s will it must be in the Onassis family or pass into public ownership.


Muhammad Ali health: Boxing legend misses own premiere because he is 'so ill he can barely speak'



JENN SELBY
photos by Ray Tharaldson
Muhammad Ali’s battle with debilitating Parkinson’s disease has reached the point at which he can barely speak, his brother has revealed.

The legendary boxer, 72, was too ill to attend the premiere of a film about his life last week – or to take part in any of the production for it.

 "I have not been able to talk to my brother about this because he is sick," Rahman, 71, told the Sunday People at a screening of I Am Ali in Hollywood.

"He doesn’t speak too well. But he is proud that we are here for him. He has given this film his blessing."

"He has not seen the film yet, but I am very excited for him to see it," Ali’s 46-year-old daughter, Maryum, also said at the screening.

"He is going to love it. I know he is. He is going to cry, he is going to laugh. He will be very proud."

The documentary focuses on the family life of Ali – the three-time world heavyweight champion famed for his quick wit and lightning speed in the ring.

Director Clare Lewins pieced the feature-length together using Ali’s own audio journals, as well as oral histories from rival boxers, like Mike Tyson and George Foreman.


Muhammad’s son, Ali Jnr, said in January he believed there was "no chance" his father would survive until the end of 2014.

"I just want, hope and pray to God that this awful disease takes my dad sooner rather than later," he said.

"Take him away from all the suffering he’s in."

I Am Ali will be released  in cinemas across the UK from 28 November. Muhammad Ali will finally get to see the film himself when he is shown by his daughter Hana, 38, at his home in Arizona at the end of the month.

Middle Eastern Prince to rescue Euro Disney


11:25AM BST 12 Oct 2014



Saudi billionaire, Prince Alwaleed, says that he will keep his 10pc stake and support the indebted Disney resort's rights issue


Saudi billionaire investor Prince Alwaleed is to back the multi-million rescue deal of Parisian theme park Euro Disney.
Disneyland Paris last week revealed that it needed €1bn (£784m) bail out to help tackle its crippling debt pile.
Walt Disney Company, which owns a 39.8pc stake in the business, said that it would back the €420m rights issue which will improve the cash position of the Paris business by €250m (£196m). In addition, around €600m (£470m) of the group’s debt owed to Walt Disney will be converted into equity.
Prince Alwaleed, who is the second largest investor in Euro Disney, said that he will also support the rights issue. The Saudi billionaire owns a 10pc stake in the theme park on the outskirts of Paris through his Kingdom Holdings investment company.

“We will fully subscribe to the rights issue because we support France and we support Disney,” Prince Alwaleed told theMail on Sunday. “They will not take our stake, we will maintain 10pc”, he said.
Prince Alwaleed famously sued Forbes magazine for suggesting in its world’s billionaire richlist that he was worth only $20bn (£12.5bn).
The grandson of the founder of Saudi Arabia has not made his wealth from oil or inheritance but instead has built up significant stakes in trophy assets such as tech giant Apple, US banking group Citi and the Savoy Hotel in London through a large stake in Canary Wharf developer Songbird Estates.
Prince Alwaleed said that he had flown into Euro Disney, which recently built a Ratatouille themed ride, and said that he still believed it was a “top-notch tourist destination”.
Shares in Euro Disney plunged over 16pc last week on news of the €1bn refinancing.
Although Euro Disney is Europe's most-visited tourist attraction attendance slipped 6.9pc last year to 14.9m - still nearly as many visitors as the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre combined. The French comprise 51pc of all the visitors to Euro Disney, followed by 14pc from the UK.
However, the decrease in attendance left Euro Disney with a €27.5m (£21.5m) operating loss on a revenue of €1.3bn (£1bn) last year.
Euro Disney runs seven hotels and two theme parks, including Disneyland Paris. Soon after it opened, the French theatre director, Ariane Mnouchkine, famously described it as a “cultural Chernobyl”. The French were initially put off by high ticket prices and a ban on alcohol sales, which has since been reversed.
Euro Disney’s next major boost is expected to come in 2016 when it will open a new leisure complex, Villages Nature, in partnership with France’s leading holiday apartment rental company Pierre et Vacances.
• Family: Grandson of founder and first ruler of Saudi Arabia, King Abdulaziz Alsaud
 Born: Riyadh, 1955
• Assets: stake in global financial Citigroup. Owns George V hotel in Paris, New York Plaza and London’s Savoy
• Other investments: stakes in News Corp, Time Warner, Disney and Apple. Portfolio includes Saks Inc, parent of upmarket US department stor
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Vongfong Weakens; Dozens Injured, Evacuations Advised After High Winds, Rain Lash Okinawa

UPDATE
weather.com


As of 11 p.m. EDT on Saturday, Vongfong was downgraded to a tropical storm. 
Just days after Typhoon Phanfone left three American servicemen dead on Japan's Okinawa Island, Typhoon Vongfong battered its shores once again with ferocious winds and drenching rain before weakening overnight on Sunday local time. At least 31 people were injured in the storm, according to Japanese News Network NHK. 
About 50,000 American troops are stationed in Japan, and nearly half of them are on Okinawa at Kadena Air Base, the Associated Press reports. 
NHK reported that 53,000 households in Okinawa and more than 50,000 in Kagoshima were experiencing blackouts as of Sunday morning. Authorities also advised the evacuation of 90,000 households in Okinawa and 2,700 in Kagoshima Prefecture due to the possibility of flooding and mudslides. 
On Saturday, huge waves lashed the shores of Okinawa as the initial rain bands of the storm moved ashore. A man in his twenties had his fingers severed when high winds slammed a door shut. Several elderly people In Okinawa City and Uruma sustained injuries in falls, according to the Okinawa Times. More injuries were reported in Ginowan, Yomitanson and Yaese-cho. 
Officials at Kadena Air Base raised the Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness, or TCCOR, to level 1. All non-emergency personnel will remain inside until the storm has passed, according to a post on the air base's Facebook page.
According to Stars and Stripes, servicemen and women at Kadena Air Base were told to discontinue all outdoor activities with Vongfong nearby. Many base facilities have closed to hunker down for the storm, the report added.
Areas of Japan have received massive amounts of rainfall in past months, and the slow, plodding nature of Vongfong could raise the risk of deadly landslides and flooding yet again, Reuters added.
Preparations took a serious tone after last week's tragedy on the base. Three airmen were killed by the raging seas off the coast of Okinawa in the wake of Typhoon Phanfone. The bodies of all three men have been recovered.

UPDATE:
Japan's Ryukyu Islands, including Okinawa, were still getting hammered by heavy winds before the storm's eye passed over. At least 22 people were injured late Saturday night (Saturday morning ET) by winds that reached 100 miles per hour in areas over Okinawa, according to Stars and Stripes. About 25,000 American troops are at Okinawa's Kadena Air Base, which raised its tropical cyclone readiness to a level 1 — meaning all service members should stay inside, according to a post on the base's Facebook page. Three American servicemen were killed in Okinawa Sunday when they were washed away while taking photos during Typhoon Phanfone, which made landfall as a Category 1.
The eye of Vongfong was 40 miles southeast of Okinawa, moving north-northwest at 10 mph at 11 a.m. ET Saturday, according to the U.S. military's Joint Typhoon Warning Center. When the storm passes over Okinawa, it is expected to bring relentless winds and rain, and likely produce flash flooding and mudslides in an area already over-saturated by Phanfone, according to Weather.com. Winds are expected to surpass 125 mph — the strongest measured at Kadena Air Base since 2009, Weather.com reported.

US Air Force Base in Super Typhoon's Path

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