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  • Philippines hits back at Beijing over South China Sea
    Philippines hits back at Beijing over South China Sea

    The Philippines on Saturday shot back at Beijing's criticism of its activities in the South China Sea, saying they were "in no way comparable to China's massive reclamation activities" in the waters. It also said accusations that Manila was being "hypocritical" would not distract people from Beijing's own actions which were raising regional tensions. "The Philippines' possible undertaking of necessary maintenance and repairs on its existing facilities in the West Philippine Sea... is in no …

  • Boxing hero Pacquiao is top tax-payer in Philippines: govt
    Boxing hero Pacquiao is top tax-payer in Philippines: govt

    Boxing hero Manny Pacquiao, who faces his biggest fight against unbeaten American Floyd Mayweather, already holds top spot as the number one taxpayer in the Philippines, government records showed Saturday. A list of top individual tax-payers for 2013, posted on the Bureau of Internal Revenue website, put the boxer-turned-congressman at number one with 163.84 million pesos ($3.72 million) in taxes paid. Internal revenue chief Kim Henares confirmed that Pacquiao topped the list but stressed …

  • Philippines says China rushing construction in disputed sea
    Philippines says China rushing construction in disputed sea

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippines' top diplomat said Thursday that China has been rushing construction projects, including massive land reclamation, in the disputed South China Sea in hopes of forestalling any legal moves against its vast territorial claims. …

  • Lights out in Australia as Earth Hour kicks off
    Lights out in Australia as Earth Hour kicks off

    The Sydney Harbour Bridge and the sails on the nearby Opera House went dark Saturday, as lights on landmarks around Australia were switched off for the global climate change awareness campaign Earth Hour. Millions are expected to take part around the world in the annual event organised by conservation group WWF, with hundreds of well-known sights including the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Seattle Space Needle set to plunge into darkness. "It's almost like the thing vanished," said Tony …

  • Iran nuke talks expand as deadline for deal looms
    Iran nuke talks expand as deadline for deal looms

    LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Negotiations over Iran's nuclear program picked up pace on Saturday with the foreign ministers of France and Germany joining U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in talks with Iran's top diplomat ahead of a looming end-of-March deadline for a preliminary deal. …

  • Iran talks go into top gear in battle of wills
    Iran talks go into top gear in battle of wills

    Tortuous negotiations aimed at laying to rest fears that Iran will acquire nuclear weapons moved into top gear Saturday with each side demanding the other give ground ahead of a looming deadline. "We're at that point in the negotiations where we really need to see decisions being made," a senior US State Department official said late Friday at the talks in Lausanne, Switzerland. The other side needs to choose between pressure and a political accord," countered Iranian Foreign Minister …

  • Yemen's president calls Shiite rebels 'stooges of Iran'
    Yemen's president calls Shiite rebels 'stooges of Iran'

    SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (AP) — Yemen's embattled president has called Shiite rebels who forced him to flee the country "stooges of Iran," directly blaming the Islamic Republic for the chaos there. …

  • Yemen's president calls Shiite rebels 'stooges of Iran,' directly blaming country for ch …

    SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (AP) — Yemen's president calls Shiite rebels 'stooges of Iran,' directly blaming country for chaos. …

  • Alps crash pilot told ex 'everyone will know my name': report
    Alps crash pilot told ex 'everyone will know my name': report

    The Germanwings co-pilot who crashed his Airbus in the French Alps, killing all 150 aboard, told his ex-girlfriend that "one day everyone will know my name", according to German newspaper Bild. In an interview, the 26-year-old flight attendant known as Maria W told Bild that when she heard about the crash she recalled Andreas Lubitz telling her last year: "One day I'm going to do something that will change the whole system, and everyone will know my name and remember." The black box voice …

  • Azerbaijan insists European Games safe despite violence

    MOSCOW (AP) — Azerbaijan insists its hosting of the European Games in June will be safe despite clashes over the separatist Nagorno-Karabakh region last week which left at least three dead. …