Typhoon Melor: 700,000 evacuated from central Philippines

Hundreds of thousands of people were evacuated from the central Philippines on 14 December as Typhoon Melor made landfall with winds of up to 95mph, dumping heavy rain that could cause flooding, landslides and storm surges, authorities warned. About 40 domestic flights were grounded, while 73 ferries and hundreds of fishing boats were ordered to remain in port as Melor hit the village of Batag on the northern tip of Samar island. Dec 14, 2015

China: Beijing issues first ever red smog alert

Chinas capital Beijing issued its first ever red alert, the highest of a four-colour warning system for pollution, late on 7 December, as the city government warned that Beijing would be shrouded in heavy smog for three days starting from the following morning. Chinas leadership has vowed to crack down on environmental degradation, including the air pollution that blankets many major cities, following decades of unbridled economic growth. Dec 8, 2015