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.
Four months ago, Obama hailed Yemen as a model for "successful" partnerships however earlier on Friday had said that some counterterrorism operations had been halted in the wake of the takeover.
Obama said the two countries had made progress on two issues holding up commercial civil nuclear cooperation, one of the major irritants in bilateral ties.
The kidnapping of Armel Ningatoloum Sayo follows the kidnapping earlier this week of a U.N. staff member and a French charity worker
Military says victim abducted by suspected kidnap-for-ransom gang with possible Abu Sayyaf links.
Hundreds of families were on Sunday trying to move into safer areas of Maiduguri, the provincial capital of Nigeria's northeastern Borno state
The death toll in pro-democracy protests in Egypt on Sunday climbed to 11, security sources said. Tight security in Cairo and other cities failed to contain protests marking the anniversary of the 2011 uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak.
Kerry's visit, in which he held talks with two candidates, highlights the stakes for Washington in what is expected to be Nigeria's closest election since its 1999 transition from military rule.
"We decided not to approve this government because it does not represent all the political classes and it breaks with the consensual way we have worked recently," Ennahda leader Sahbi Atig said
The Socialist Party denounced a Houthi attack earlier on a protest in capital Sanaa by a group of party student members.
Rebel leader Alexander Zakharchenko said on Saturday the separatists planned to encircle Debaltseve, which has a population of around 26,000.
Dutch UN peacekeeping force was stationed six kilometers from Srebrenica during 1995 massacre.
The 14-year-old girl was detained by Israeli forces on December 31 of 2014 on her way back home from school in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
Kidnappings have become frequent in the North African country, where two governments and parliaments, allied to different armed factions, are vying for legitimacy and control
European leaders eye the results fo the elections closely as a Syriza victory may generate a clash with the Troika -- the EU, European Central Bank and the IMF -- which could possibly start a new crisis between the nation and its creditors, with the euro in the balance.
Media images of the top diplomats from old adversaries strolling together in a foreign land provoked an outcry among Iranian hard-liners deeply wary of rapprochement with the "Great Satan".
Islamic Front military commander issues ultimatum to Bashar al-Assad regime calling it to stop attacks on suburb of capital Damascus or else opposition fighters would attack regime positions with rockets