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Beyond the Front Pages

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With typhoon Haiyan but a distant memory for most people outside the Philippines, reports emerged this week of a stand-off on one of the islands most seriously affected, which is keeping thousands from being re-housed. There are still 50,000 people in Tacloban whose homes were destroyed or are unsafe to live in.

Despite a pledge from the mayor to re-house everyone by December, the necessary funds to make that happen have not been forthcoming from the Philippine government. Why? A decades-old feud between two political families. On one side the current president, Benigo Aquino, whose father was assassinated in 1983, while Ferdinand Marco was in power. On the other side sits the Tacloban mayor Alfred Romualdez - the nephew of Ferdinand's wife, Imelda Romualdez. Whatever the politics, it's the people still living under canvas who suffer.

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Sochi this week dominates both the front pages and the back, although away from the politics (and the sport), it's the quirky fight-back from the LGBT community that's created the most shared content of the past few days.

Google's brilliant homepage graphic led the way on Friday, while the Canadians poked fun in the most humorous take on proceedings. If you haven't yet watched this video from The Canadian Institute of Diversity and Inclusion, please do.

Random fact for sporting fans: this will be the first Winter Olympics in which women are allowed to compete in ski jumping. Originally banned as part of the Games due to the sport being seen as potentially damaging to a woman's reproductive organs, there's a great quote from US ski-jump champion Lindsey Van who points out: "My baby-making organs are on the inside. Men have an organ on the outside. So if it's not safe for me jumping down, and my uterus is going to fall out, what about the organ on the outside of the body?"

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Some good news for George Osborne; Brazil loves him! Writing in the newspaper Folha de S Paulo this week, the highly respected Nizan Guanaes described our Chancellor as a "playmaker who debates with strong opinions", while also raving about his "English rosy cheeks". We checked in with our colleagues at The Brasil Post, who confirmed that the vast majority of Brazilians definitely don't have a clue who Guanaes was talking about.

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Facebook's 10-year anniversary made plenty of headlines this week, while its 'look back' movies cluttered up just about everyone's personal feeds. Thankfully, comedy duo Tripp Crosby and Tyler Stanton were on hand to deliver the real version everyone should have seen. Meanwhile, Washington Post reporter Jean McGregor, discovered what founder Mark Zuckerberg had challenged himself to for 2014: writing a thank-you note each day. Zuckerberg is famous for his yearly personal challenges, which in the past have included learning Mandarin, and only eating meat he had killed himself. This year's pledge sounds almost easy in comparison to previous ones, although for a digital mogul to put down his phone and switch to pen and paper, won't be half as simple as it sounds.

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There's been plenty of chat about books and reading recently. First of all we had the great news that more parents than ever before are reading to their kids at bedtime. Then the worry that Christian tales, like Noah and his ark and Adam and Eve, could die out, because while parents are reading to their kids, they're not reading them the Bible.

The tech sector might have a solution to keep reading relevant: sensory fiction! MIT's famous Media Lab has created a book that, via a special vest, allows the reader to literally feel what they're reading, whether that's shivers when it's supposed to be cold, or a pinch of pressure at a scary moment. No word yet on how they'd translate Noah's floods.

Self-help books probably don't need to come with a sensory overload, but we think we've found a future writer of them anyway. Check out 'how to understand women'. Yep, 'Cem', we think you've nailed it.

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