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  • Philippine economic growth slows to three-year low
    Philippine economic growth slows to three-year low

    Philippine economic growth in the first quarter slowed to a three-year low of 5.2 percent, well below forecasts, due to lethargic government spending and weak exports, officials said Thursday. "While growth in the private sector remains robust, the slower than programmed pace of public spending, particularly the decline in public construction, has slowed down the overall growth of the economy," Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan told reporters. "Exports were the other source of the …

  • US affirms 'ironclad' promise to defend Philippines
    US affirms 'ironclad' promise to defend Philippines

    US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told his Philippine counterpart on Wednesday that Washington's pledge to defend the Pacific nation remains "ironclad" and called for an end to land reclamation in the South China Sea, officials said. In talks in Hawaii with Voltaire Gazmin, Philippine secretary of national defense, the Pentagon chief "reaffirmed" the strong ties between the two countries and discussed territorial disputes in the contested waters of the South China Sea, where Beijing has been …

  • Philippine, Vietnam troops play sports on disputed island
    Philippine, Vietnam troops play sports on disputed island

    Filipino and Vietnamese troops played football and tug-of-war on a disputed South China Sea island on Wednesday, officials said, closing ranks as their rival China ramps up construction of artificial islands. The games took place on Philippine-held Northeast Cay, just 2.7 kilometres (1.7 miles) from Southwest Cay which is controlled by Vietnam, where a similar contest was held last year. "It was a navy-to-navy confidence-building engagement," Vice Admiral Alexander Lopez, the Philippine …

  • White House vow to veto fishing law changes sparks fight

    PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A White House pledge to veto proposed changes to federal fishing laws has divided fishermen over whether the rule changes should be saved or scrapped. …

  • Hastert rose to speakership among the scandals of others
    Hastert rose to speakership among the scandals of others

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Dennis Hastert's career as House speaker both arose and ended amid the sex-related scandals of others. …

  • Canadian diplomat's son in court in drug-related killings

    MIAMI (AP) — A senior Canadian diplomat has testified that a son charged in a fatal drug-related shootout was never in trouble and was strongly influenced by his older brother, who was slain. …

  • France's UMP party changes name to The Republicans
    France's UMP party changes name to The Republicans

    PARIS (Reuters) - France's conservative UMP party backed former president Nicolas Sarkozy's proposal to change its name to "The Republicans" with an 83 percent majority on Friday, improving Sarkozy's chances of challenging socialist Francois Hollande in 2017 elections. The strong majority makes it more likely Sarkozy will win the party's nomination to run for president and weakens the position of his main challenger, former prime minister Alain Juppe. "We call on all Republicans to rally around …

  • General Motors, Subaru models added to Takata air bag recall

    General Motors and Subaru are adding vehicles to the growing list of models being recalled by 11 automakers due to potentially exploding air bags. The U.S. government's National Highway Traffic Safety ... …

  • News media oppose gag order in Baltimore's Freddie Gray case

    BALTIMORE (AP) — The Associated Press and 18 other news organizations asked a judge Friday to deny prosecutors' request for a gag order in the case against six Baltimore police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray, who sustained a severe spinal injury in police custody. …

  • 2 charged in kidnap-for-ransom plot against businessman

    OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Two Northern California men have been charged with kidnapping a businessman who was found alive bound and blindfolded in the trunk of a car. …