World Bulletin/News Desk
The Philippines has pulled back two vessels from a group of rocks disputed with China because of bad weather, a foreign ministry spokesman said on Saturday, ending a two-month standoff between the two sides, at least for now.
Lightly armed Philippine coast guard ships had since April taken turns to escort a civilian fisheries boat guarding the mouth of Scarborough Shoal, a group of rock formations about 124 nautical miles west of the Philippines' main island of Luzon.
At one time, China had nearly 100 civilian surveillance ships, fishing vessels and smaller utility boats in the area, raising tension in the South China Sea, threatening trade, tourism and political relations between the two sides.
On Friday, the Philippines said China still had 26 ships and fishing boats in Scarborough against the two from the Philippines - one a coast guard vessel and the other a fishing boat.
"Last night, President (Benigno) Aquino ordered both of our ships to return to port due to increasing bad weather," spokesman Raul Hernandez told reporters, quoting Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario.
"When weather improves, a re-evaluation will be made."
China has territorial disputes with the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan across the South China Sea, each searching for gas and oil while building up their navies and military alliances.
Typhoon Lan, described as "very large and very strong" by Japan's meteorological agency, was packing gusts up to 216 kilometres (134 miles) per hour Sunday night in the Pacific south of Japan.
Airstrike hits militants in eastern Nangarhar province which borders Pakistan
Abe's conservative coalition was on track to win 311 seats in the 465-seat parliament, according to a projection published by private broadcaster TBS, putting the nationalist blue blood on course to become Japan's longest-serving leader.
Huge mounds of earth slipped off a hillside Saturday morning and buried the men as they worked on two apartment blocks of affordable housing on the island, which is popular with tourists.
Daily average of 26 killings is lower than 31 killings average during former administration’s final year
No hidden agenda behind Russia's weaponry donation to Philippines, assures envoy
Psychologists say braid-chopper who reportedly targets women is figment of imagination of people struck by conflict
DNA test confirms Isnilon Hapilon was killed in Marawi on Monday
Suicide attack at Kabul mosque kills at least 22, while bombing in central Ghor takes some 50 lives
Philippines' military begins pulling out troops from Marawi
Russian navy ships part of military cooperation between two countries.
Vows to enforce the law equally to protect people and the republic
US diplomatic cables become new evidence of 1965 mass killing in Indonesia
In two back to back suicide attacks aimed at the Shia community mosques in Afghanistan on Friday, close to 59 people were killed, officials have confirmed.
The group were among 11 employees of a state-run transport company, including bus drivers and cleaners, who were sleeping in the 60-year-old, two storey office block near a bus depo when a portion of it caved in.
Third corruption case involving Nawaz Sharif is related to ownership and partnership in several offshore companies