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Gaza's Hamas premier, Brotherhood chief talk

CAIRO (AP) -- Gaza's Hamas premier was in Egypt on Monday for his first trip outside the blockaded territory since the Islamists overran it in 2007.

Ismail Haniyeh discussed Mideast politics with the leader of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, which has emerged as the biggest winner in the first parliamentary elections in post-uprising Egypt, capturing nearly half of the seats so far. Hamas is considered an offshoot of the Brotherhood.

Brotherhood leader Mohammed Badie met Haniyeh at the group's newly inaugurated headquarters in a Cairo suburb.

"The Brotherhood center has always embraced issues of liberation, foremost the Palestinian issue," Badie said, according to Egypt's state Middle East News Agency.

The Brotherhood renounced violence in the 1970s, but it supports Hamas in its "resistance" against Israel.

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Death toll nearly 1,500 in flooding from storm

MANILA, Philippines (AP) -- The death toll from flash floods that swept away entire villages in the southern Philippines climbed to nearly 1,500 today, as authorities widened their search for bodies.

The Office of Civil Defense's latest tally listed 891 dead in Cagayan de Oro and an additional 451 in nearby Iligan city. The rest came from other provinces.

"The search will continue as long as we are recovering bodies," said Civil Defense director Benito Ramos.

He said decomposing remains were retrieved floating in the sea as far as 60 miles from the two cities where a Dec. 16 tropical storm unleashed more than a month's worth of rainfall in 12 hours, sending walls of water gushing into homes.

Meanwhile, the United Nations launched an urgent appeal for $28 million to help the more than 60,000 people left homeless by the flooding.