World Bulletin / News Desk
Washington declared Afghanistan a major non-NATO ally on Saturday, a status that grants US an opportunity to be able to sell Afghans weapons.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced the decision, made by President Barack Obama, during her unannounced visit to Kabul where she met President Hamid Karzai on the eve of a major donors' conference in Tokyo which will draw pledges for aid.
The status upgrade may help US sell Afghanistan its defence supplies and train Afghan troops.
Clinton told a press briefing with Karzai before jetting off to Tokyo.
Obama's decision meets an announcement he made on a visit to Afghanistan this year to upgrade Kabul to a special security status given to only a limited number of U.S. partners -- including close allies like Israel and Japan -- which are not members of NATO.
Participants at the Tokyo meeting are expected to commit just under $4 billion annually in development aid for Afghanistan at Sunday's meeting, though the central bank has said the country needs at least $6 billion a year to foster economic growth over the next decade.
This is on top of the $4.1 billion committed annually by NATO and its partners for Afghanistan's security forces, pledged at a Chicago summit in May.
U.S. officials with Clinton declined to say how much aid the United States would pledge, which has significantly reduced aid since the peak year of 2010 when more than $6 billion was given, two thirds from Washington.
Under questioning, the 37-year-old admitted he had a dozen chunks of gold weighing 1.4 kilograms, or three pounds, stashed in his rectum.
The North's official Korean Central News Agency said Kim "watched the test of a new-type anti-aircraft guided weapon system", which was aimed at "detecting and striking different targets flying from any direction".
The plane, which had departed from Kathmandu, broke into three pieces when it crashed in heavy fog while trying to land at Lukla airport on Saturday.
Tensions between the two economic superpowers have risen in recent years over the disputed waterway, which China claims almost in full despite counter-claims from other Asian nations.
"Until the police and the armed forces say the Philippines is safe, this martial law will continue. I will not listen to others. The Supreme Court, congress, they are not here," Duterte told soldiers on Saturday.
Floodwaters were receding in some areas after a break in the rain, giving authorities a chance to deliver much-needed supplies to victims who lost everything as torrents of water swept away their homes.
Senior rebel negotiator Luis Jalandoni said that despite the government's ultimatum, the guerrillas' attacks would continue.
Sabzar Ahmed was close aide to separatist rebel Burhan Wani whose killing last July sparked uprising against Indian rule
Tehran blames Islamabad for sheltering a Sunni militant group which claims responsibility for attacks on Iran
Schapelle Corby was convicted and jailed for 20 years for trying to smuggle marijuana into the tourist island of Bali
Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since the end of British rule in 1947 but both claim the territory in its entirety.
The Taliban have vowed to intensify attacks in the Muslim holy month of Ramadan
Deadly incident echoes deaths a week ago of 11 family members in roadside bomb blast
More than 7,000 people affected by bad weather, hundreds evacuated from southern districts
Cattle will only be sold in the open market for agricultural purposes, Environment Ministry says
Since troops recaptured Palmyra from the ISIL group in March, the UNESCO World Heritage site had been accessible via Syria's third city Homs, about 150 kilometres (95 miles) to the west.