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.
Abdiqadir Mohamed Sidii, governor of Lower Shabelle region in southern Somalia, said he believed Godane and other senior al Shabaab members had been killed.
Although fighters have been prevented from taking central Damascus, President Bashar al-Assad's forces are worried they will reach it by digging tunnels from the sprawling suburbs and outlying towns under their control.
The soldiers were part of a contingent from Chad, said a U.N. official who asked not to be named.
The UNHCR said the total includes 814,000 Ukrainians now in Russia with various forms of status, as well as compatriots who have fled to Belarus, Moldova, the three Baltic states and European Union.
The doctrine was last updated in 2010, when Russia identified NATO enlargement as a national threat and reaffirmed its right to use nuclear weapons if its existence was endangered.
The Saudi security source said the fire started after a "stray" bullet hit the pipeline after shots were fired at security forces patrolling the oil-rich Eastern Province
The volatile situation in Tripoli has been exacerbated by separate clashes in the eastern port city of Benghazi
Former Israeli army chief-of-staff Gabi Ashkenazi faces charges of breach of trust and passing classified information to an unauthorized source.
Hadi had dismissed the government and planned to cut petrol and diesel prices, partly meeting demands of Houthi protesters who have poured into the capital.
Fifteen more Ukrainian servicemen were killed in fighting in the past 24 hours
The militants launched an attack on the town of Bama, 70 km (45 miles) from the Borno state capital of Maiduguri
The discussions with Kerry will focus on establishing "a timeframe for ending Israel's occupation to be agreed as soon as possible and not after the end of this year", said a Palestinian official
President Toomas Hendrik said "yes" when asked at a news conference if he wanted permanent NATO bases in Estonia.
By convening a joint session of parliament, where Sharif has a solid majority, the prime minister seeks to reaffirm that he is fully in control of the situation.
The relatives of soldiers taken by the militant group from Tikrit north of Baghdad had been scheduled to address parliament about the fate of their loved ones
Organisers bemoan that their human rights now being abused following military's 11th hour intervention.