• 2,000 trapped as fighting rages in Philippine city: govt

    Two thousand fearful civilians were trapped on Sunday inside a southern Philippine city where troops are battling Islamist militants, authorities said, as the death toll from almost a week of fighting neared 100. The military intensified a bombing campaign on parts of Marawi on Mindanao island, one of the biggest Muslim cities in the mainly Catholic nation, as it accused the gunmen of atrocities including murdering women and a child. The initial fighting prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to declare martial law on Tuesday across the southern third of the Philippines to quell what he said was a fast-growing threat from terrorists linked to the Islamic State (IS) group.

  • China 'strongly dissatisfied' with G7 statement on East, South China Seas

    China is "strongly dissatisfied" with the mention of the East and South China Sea issues in a Group of Seven (G7) statement, and the G7 allies should stop making irresponsible remarks, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said. China is committed to properly resolving disputes with all nations involved through negotiations while maintaining peace and stability in the East China Sea and South China Sea, spokesman Lu Kang said in a statement on Sunday. China hopes the G7 and other nations would refrain from taking positions, fully respect the efforts of countries in the region in handling the disputes, and stop making irresponsible remarks, Lu said.

  • Trump girds for defense of top aide in Russia row

    Donald Trump, just back from his first international trip as US president, geared up to combat concerns Sunday over aides' ties to Russia including explosive reports that his son-in-law sought a secret communications line with Moscow. The latest furor was stirred up after The Washington Post reported late Friday that Jared Kushner -- arguably Trump's closest White House aide, and husband to the president's eldest daughter Ivanka -- made a pre-inauguration proposal to the Russian ambassador to set up a secret, bug-proof link with the Kremlin. The report, if confirmed, would raise new questions about the Trump team's relationship with the Russians, who US intelligence agencies say tried to sway the November election in Trump's favor.

  • 'Freak': meet Cuba's last self-infected HIV punk rebel

    Like many young punks, Gerson Govea saw himself as a misfit. Beyond the rum, free love and forbidden rock 'n' roll music, they took their rebellion a stage further: infecting themselves in order to get into the relative safety and comfort of a state AIDS clinic.

  • Young Chinese in the red as easy credit drives up debt

    When Wu Qi and her husband traded in their Mazda 3 for a more expensive Mercedes Benz sedan, they applied for a 200,000 yuan ($29,000) bank loan to help pay for it. Quick and easy access to credit has encouraged many young Chinese to go into the red to buy cars and apartments they could not otherwise afford. "It is very easy -- the car company encourages you to borrow the money and enjoy the car," said Wu, 39, adding the couple is also paying off a one million yuan mortgage for a three-bedroom flat in Beijing.

  • Wenger in the dark as Arsenal verdict looms

    Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said he remained in the dark about his future after steering his side to a magnificent 2-1 victory over Chelsea in the FA Cup final. Chelsea were chasing a Premier League and FA Cup Double, but instead the double was Arsenal's: a record 13th FA Cup success and an unprecedented seventh triumph in the competition for Wenger. Let's enjoy the win tonight and not worry about the future." Wenger was also dismissive of the notion that his record-breaking FA Cup success, after previous wins in 1998, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2014 and 2015, might have an impact on the talks about his position.

  • Bodies of civilians dumped near Philippines city besieged by Islamists

    By Tom Allard MARAWI CITY, Philippines (Reuters) - Bodies of what appeared to be executed civilians were found in a ravine outside a besieged Philippine city on Sunday as a six-day occupation by Islamist rebels fending off a military onslaught took a more sinister turn. The eight dead, most of them shot in the head and some with hands tied behind their backs, were labourers who were stopped by Islamic State-linked militants on the outskirts of Marawi City while trying to flee clashes, according to police. The discovery confirms days of speculation that Maute rebels had killed civilians during a takeover of Marawi, that the military believes is aimed at winning the Maute recognition from the Islamic State as a Southeast Asian affiliate.