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Philippines Warship, Chinese Vessels in Standoff

A Philippine naval ship, two Chinese vessels and at least eight fishing boats are in a standoff near a shoal in the South China Sea that the Philippines says is well within its territory. However, China says the fishermen are in its sovereign waters. Both sides say they are trying to come to a diplomatic solution.

Illegal poaching discovered

Mali Political Parties Support Transitional Government

Photo: Runanira Gahima
Cheick Traore is leader of the African Convergence for Renewal (CARE), a political party in Mali.

A prominent politician in Mali says a majority of political parties have agreed to support a transitional government tasked with organizing elections to restore constitutional rule.

Cheick Traore, leader of the African Convergence for Renewal (CARE) party and son of former President Moussa Traore, said Malians want a peaceful restoration of democracy in spite of the military overthrow of former President Amadou Toumani Toure.

North Korean Rocket Readied for Expected Launch

Analysts say the close-up view of a North Korean rocket on the launch pad and the satellite it is supposed to carry into space has allowed them to make some fresh conclusions about the reclusive and impoverished country's technical capabilities.

Video images and photographs taken during a media viewing of what North Korea is calling the Unha-3 rocket have given defense analysts and the intelligence community a fresh opportunity to assess the state of Pyongyang's ballistic missile development.

Egypt Court Suspends Constitutional Assembly

An Egyptian court has suspended an Islamist-dominated panel that has the job of rewriting the country's constitution.

The ruling issued Tuesday follows complaints from lawyers and liberal political parties who say the Islamist majority in the new parliament abused its powers by allocating a majority of the panel's seats to themselves and like-minded individuals.

Immigration Tensions Grow as Far Right Plots Pan-European League

Far-right groups from across Europe gathered in Denmark last week for a meeting that some analysts are describing as a watershed moment. It comes at a sensitive time on the continent after a series of deadly extremist attacks and rising tension over immigration.

Around 200 members of far-right movements from across Europe came together in Aarhus, Denmark last Saturday.

India Inducts Nuclear-Powered Submarine into Navy

India has introduced a nuclear-powered submarine into its navy, becoming the sixth country in the world to operate such a warship.The submarine has been leased from Russia.

Defense Minister A.K. Antony formally commissioned the 8,140-ton nuclear submarine into the navy at a ceremony Wednesday in the eastern port of Vishakhapatnam. He says the ship will bolster the security and sovereignty of the country.

Iraq's Kurdistan Region Halts Oil Exports to Baghdad

A dispute between the Iraqi central government and the Kurdish autonomous region is gaining momentum after Kurdistan halted oil exports to Baghdad.

Iraq's Kurdish regional government has stopped exporting oil to the central government in Baghdad, drawing a sharp rebuke from officials in the capital.

The Kurdish Regional Government reached an accord with Baghdad in 2011 that it would export its oil to the central government, which would sell it and return half of the revenues.

South Sudan Says Khartoum Stalls Peace Talks While Waging War

South Sudan has accused the Khartoum government of rejecting peace overtures while its forces bomb targets in the south. As a result, African Union-mediated talks in Addis Ababa are in danger of collapse.

South Sudan chief negotiator Pagan Amum says Sudanese warplanes bombed southern positions for a seventh day Sunday, while Khartoum's defense minister spurned scheduled security talks. He said the minister's absence for a meeting of a Joint Political and Security Mechanism (JPSM) shows Sudan is rejecting the AU-mediated peace process.

China Warns Against Joint Exercises in South China Seas

Chinese officials in Beijing are warning against any joint military patrols or exercises between Vietnam and the Philippines in the disputed South China Sea.

Vietnam and Philippines military officials have discussed conducting joint exercises in the disputed region in meetings earlier this month. The exercises could include joint patrols of the Spratly Islands, which both countries and China claim as their own.

In Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei warned against any exercises in the Spratlys, which China calls Nansha.

Inquest Finds No Foul Play in Zimbabwe General’s Death

An inquest into the death of Zimbabwe's most decorated army general, Solomon Mujuru, has found there was no foul play, despite speculation to the contrary.

State media Thursday published comments from Attorney General Johannes Tomana, who said he agrees with the investigation's findings, and declared Mujuru's case a “closed and completed matter.”

Mujuru, who was the husband of Zimbabwe's vice president Joice Mujuru, died in a mysterious fire at his home last August. The judge who conducted the investigation found the general died of smoke inhalation.

Mali’s Deposed Leader Speaks

Mali's deposed leader Amadou Toumani Touré finally broke his silence Wednesday, reassuring the public that he is not in detention.

In phone calls with reporters from an undisclosed location, Touré said he is in Mali and is free. He told the French news agency that he is in the capital, Bamako. He said it is important that the country's political crisis come to an end.

Leaked Letter Reveals Indian Army Weaknesses

The head of India’s army says obsolete defense equipment and a shortage of weapons have weakened the country’s defense capabilities.

The comment, reflecting tense relations between the army and the government, was made in a letter written to the prime minister in which army chief V.K. Singh described the state of major fighting forces such as the artillery and infantry “alarming.”

On Wednesday, the Indian DNA newspaper published excerpts of the leaked letter dated March 12.

Burma Military Chief Defends Army’s Political Role

The commander of Burma's armed forces has defended the army's role in national politics and says he will protect the Southeast Asian nation's pro-military constitution.

General Min Aung Hlaing spoke Tuesday to more than 10,000 troops at an annual parade marking Armed Forces Day.

He said unelected members of the military, who fill 25 percent of seats in the 440-member lower house of parliament, are acting in the national interest and performing a national duty.

South Sudan, Sudan Clash Along Tense, Disputed Border

South Sudan is accusing Sudan of launching a second day of airstrikes on oil-rich territory along their disputed border, one day after a rare direct military confrontation between the two rivals.

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir said the north's air force bombed two areas in the south's Unity state. After the bombing he says South Sudanese forces were attacked by Sudanese armed forces and the militia, but were able to repel them.

South Sudan Minister of Information Barnaba Benjamin earlier quoted the president as saying the south would not be dragged into a senseless war with Sudan.

US, Allies Considering 'Non-Lethal' Aid for Syrian Rebels

The White House says President Barack Obama is considering providing Syrian rebels with "non-lethal" aid in their year-long uprising against the country's autocratic leader Bashar al-Assad.