World Bulletin / News Desk
American soldiers said goodbye to the Philippines on Friday following the conclusion of 10 days of joint military exercises.
United States officials hailed "Balikatan" -- a Tagalog word meaning "shoulder-to-shoulder" -- as another milestone in the two countries' relationship.
Joni Scandola, acting deputy head of the U.S. mission, called the exercises -- which finished Thursday -- a manifestation of their commitment to their Philippine allies.
"We are standing with you side-by-side not just for an annual exercise but for whenever our partnership is truly needed," The Philstar quoted Scandola as saying.
Armed Forces chief Gen. Gregorio Catapang Jr. has said that the U.S. spent $15-million on the 10 days of exercises, which involved more than 11,000 servicemen from both countries.
The U.S. deployed 76 aircraft and three naval vessels and the Philippines sent 15 planes and one ship, while the number of Filipino participants increased to 5,023 from 3,000 last year.
They kicked off April 20 amid concerns over China’s construction activities in disputed areas in the South China Sea, which the Philippines calls the West Philippine Sea.
Officials, however, clarified that the event was not intended as a show of force against China, which has been accused of occupying disputed areas of the seaway to assert territorial claims.
The exercises also took place amid an ongoing standoff between Philippine and Chinese vessels at the disputed Scarborough Shoal to the west of the Philippine island of Luzon.
Since mid-2009, the Obama administration has been engaged in an aggressive drive to strengthen alliances and strategic partnerships with countries throughout Asia.
Some 6,500 Palestinians are currently being held in Israeli prisons
'Texas honors all the men and women who protect and serve our communities, and justice will be served,' Texas governor says
Police said the suspect, 25-year-old Alek Minassian, was not known to them before Monday's carnage in Canada's most populous city, which also left 15 people injured.
At least 41 Palestinians were martyred by Israeli gunfire on Gaza border since March 30
Talks are expected to tackle the possibility of U.S. troop withdrawal from war-torn Syria
Plans to roll out an appeals process globally in coming months came as Facebook provided a first-ever look at internal standards used to decide what posts go too far in terms of hateful or threating speech.
John Bolton led Gatestone Institute from 2013 until he took his White House position earlier this month
Attack ‘not part of a wider plot and there is no threat to national security’, says public safety minister
That vote, scheduled to take place at about 5:00 pm (2100 GMT), would not end the nomination, but would put a negative recommendation in the hands of the closely-divided full Senate -- where his approval is not guaranteed.
The company said in a message to customers that the attack was detected on January 14, at a time when the app had 14 million users in the Middle East, North Africa, Pakistan and Turkey, according to the economic news website Arabian Business.
We hope everyone remains fully committed to implementation and long-term preservation, says UN under-secretary-general
Obama, who met with Mandela in 2005 and who made an emotional address at his funeral, will speak at the lecture marking 100 years since the anti-apartheid icon was born.
A total of 41 Gazans have been martyred by Israeli gunfire since March 30
On Thursday, Iraqi F-16 fighter jets struck ISIL positions in Syria
On Thursday, Iraqi F-16 fighter jets struck ISIL locations in neighboring Syria