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Malaysian forces are “committed” to continue plying the inky waters between Malaysia and Vietnam until rescue efforts are officially called off.
The Philippines is to upgrade a navy base facing disputed South China Sea waters to serve the extra ships being acquired to protect its territory, the military said Thursday. Navy spokesman Lieutenant-Commander Gregory Fabic said the military would build a 500-million-peso ($11.2 million) port at Ulugan Bay, the Philippine military base nearest to the Spratly Islands. President Benigno Aquino is set to visit the base on May 20 to launch the upgrading, Fabic added. In recent years, the Philippines has been locked in an increasingly tense standoff with China involving disputed reefs and islands in the Spratlys and other areas of the South China Sea.
SEVASTOPOL, Ukraine (AP) — Dozens of military trucks transporting heavily armed soldiers rumbled over Crimea's rutted roads Saturday as Russia reinforced its armed presence on the disputed peninsula in the Black Sea. Moscow's foreign minister ruled out any dialogue with Ukraine's new authorities, whom he dismissed as the puppets of extremists.
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Vietnamese air force planes spotted two large oil slicks Saturday in the region where a Malaysia Airlines jetliner disappeared, the first sign that the Boeing 777 with 239 people aboard had crashed.
TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement department has confirmed that 750 detainees at the Northwest Detention Center have refused to eat and say they are on a hunger strike.
Saudi Arabia and Qatar are supporting militant groups in Iraq and have effectively declared war on the country, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said as nationwide violence left 15 dead Saturday. The rare direct attack on the Sunni Gulf powers, with Maliki also accusing Riyadh of supporting global terrorism, comes with Iraq embroiled in its worst prolonged period of bloodshed since 2008, with more than 1,800 people killed already this year, ahead of parliamentary elections due next month. The bloodletting in Iraq, which shares a long border with Saudi Arabia, has been driven principally by widespread discontent among the country's Sunni Arab minority and by the civil war in neighbouring Syria. Maliki, a Shiite, has in the past blamed unnamed regional countries and neighbours for destabilising Iraq.
KEY LARGO, Fla. (AP) — President Barack Obama got out on a Florida golf course Saturday with two former professional athletes and the cousin of one of his top advisers.
The Malaysia Airlines plane that went missing Saturday on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing was a Boeing 777, a model which up to now has seen only one fatal crash. The planes are often used in flights of 12 hours or longer, across wide stretches of ocean from one continent to another, and have largely replaced the older Boeing 747 models. In the sole fatal crash involving the planes, a Boeing 777-200 operated by South Korea's Asiana Airlines skidded off the runway upon landing at San Francisco's international airport in July 2013. In the days after the crash aviation experts publicly praised the Boeing 777's safety features for preventing further loss of life.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Delivering his case for a second term, California Gov. Jerry Brown says the state is leading the nation into a prosperous future.
President Barack Obama placed a series of calls to six world leaders on Saturday as tensions rose in Ukraine's Russian-occupied Crimean region, the White House said. Obama made his third call this week about the crisis to British Prime Minister David Cameron and his second call in a week to French President Francois Hollande. Obama, who is on a weekend vacation with his family at a lush Florida resort, also called Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, his first call about Ukraine to the NATO member, the White House said.
Vietnam said its search planes spotted oil slicks in the sea near where a Malaysia Airlines jet carrying 239 people mysteriously vanished on Saturday, in the first hint at the aircraft's possible fate. The announcement came more than 18 hours after flight MH370 slipped off radar screens somewhere between Malaysia's east coast and southern Vietnam, triggering an international search effort. "Two of our aircraft sighted two oil slicks around 15 to 20 kilometres (10-12 miles) long, running parallel, around 500 metres apart from each other," the army's deputy chief-of-staff, Vo Van Tuan, told state-run VTV. "We are not certain where these two oil slicks may have come from so we have sent Vietnamese ships to the area." Air search operations were halted at nightfall, though ships continued searching, the airline said.
FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — The career criminal whose participation in a notorious murder spurred California's so-called three strikes law has been arrested again.
OXON HILL, Md. (AP) — She was not on the speaking program, but Hillary Rodham Clinton had presence at the nation's largest annual gathering of conservative activists on Saturday, as high-profile Republicans launched a dual effort to attack the prospective Democratic presidential candidate and improve the GOP's longstanding struggle with women voters.
Thousands rallied in Spanish cities on Saturday to mark International Women's Day with noisy demonstrations for equality at work and against the government's bid to curb abortion rights. The annual awareness day drew particular attention this year with campaigners defending women's labour rights as Spain struggles with a 26-percent unemployment rate despite exiting recession in 2013. It also reflected anger at a plan by the conservative government to end a right for women to abort on demand up to 14 weeks of pregnancy -- a reform that has yet to reach parliament. Protesters denounced the abortion plan and the government's 2012 crisis labour reform, which they say is making it harder for working mothers to hold down a job.
KEY LARGO, Fla. (AP) — Vacationing in Florida, President Barack Obama continued his telephone consultations with world leaders on Ukraine, speaking one on one Saturday with the leaders of three European powers and collectively with the heads of the three Baltic states, White House said.
Pro-Kremlin militia fired warning shots as unarmed foreign observers tried to enter Crimea on Saturday while Russia stepped up its standoff with the West over Ukraine by threatening to keep Washington from checking on its nuclear arms. The dangerous escalation in the Black Sea peninsula that Russia effectively seized last week saw 40 gunmen in balaclavas and military fatigues fire shots above a convoy with 54 civilian and military observers from 29 countries of the Organisation of Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). It was the third successive day that the OSCE buses attempted to enter the tension-wracked peninsula to check on the frozen conflict that has pitted overpowered Ukrainian troops against Russian forces and Kremlin-backed militias. Ukraine's border guards service added to the tinderbox atmosphere by reporting that one of its light patrol planes came under fire from "extremists" in the same area but was unscathed.
BERLIN (AP) — Yulia Tymoshenko, Ukraine's former prime minister, has begun medical treatment at Berlin's Charite hospital, but the doctors caring for her said Saturday it's too soon to say how long the treatment will take and what lasting damage the 53-year-old might have from three slipped discs she suffered while in prison.
KIEV (Reuters) - Here is a timeline of the fall of Ukraine's government and Russia's subsequent incursion into Ukraine's Crimea region. The crisis began in November when Ukraine's then president, Viktor Yanukovich, under Russian pressure, turned his back on a trade deal with the EU and accepted a $15 billion bailout from Moscow. That prompted three months of street protests, leading to the overthrow of Yanukovich on February 22. Moscow denounced the events as an illegitimate coup and refused to recognise the new Ukrainian authorities. ...
By Peter Graff and Andrew Osborn KIEV/SEVASTOPOL, Ukraine (Reuters) - Shots were fired in Crimea to warn off an unarmed international team of monitors and at a Ukrainian observation plane, as the standoff between occupying Russian forces and besieged Ukrainian troops intensified. Russia's seizure of the Black Sea peninsula, which began 10 days ago, has so far been bloodless, but its forces have become increasingly aggressive towards Ukrainian troops, who are trapped in bases and have offered no resistance. Tempers have grown hotter in the last two days, since the region's pro-Moscow leadership declared it part of Russia and announced a March 16 referendum to confirm it. A spokeswoman for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said no one was hurt when shots were fired to turn back its mission of more than 40 unarmed observers, who have been invited by Kiev but lack permission from Crimea's pro-Russian authorities to cross the isthmus to the peninsula.