Government and politics
MANILA, Philippines - Communist rebels launched a series of attacks in southern Davao del Sur province's Matanao township Monday, killing 10 government troops and wounding nine, officials said. At least two guerrillas were killed and nine captured.
Army Maj. Jake Obligado, a civil military operations battalion commander in the area, said some 50 New People's Army rebels in camouflage uniforms first stormed the town's police station before dawn, trading fire with five policemen. Two officers were killed on the spot while a third died in hospital. Two others were wounded.
MASNA, Lebanon - Rebels in Syria freed more than a dozen Greek Orthodox nuns on Monday, ending their four-month captivity in exchange for Syrian authorities releasing dozens of female prisoners.
The release of the nuns and their helpers, 16 women in all, is a rare successful prisoner exchange deal between Syrian government authorities and the rebels seeking to overthrow the rule of President Bashar Assad.
EILAT, Israel - Israel's military said Sunday that a cargo ship it intercepted in the Red Sea last week carried 40 rockets with a range of up to 160 kilometres (100 miles).
Israel has alleged the shipment was orchestrated by Iran and was intended for Islamic militants in Gaza, a claim denied by Iran and the rockets' purported recipients.
KIEV, Ukraine - Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday defended the separatist drive in the disputed Crimean Peninsula as in keeping with international law, but Ukraine's prime minister vowed not to relinquish "a single centimetre" of his country's territory.
WASHINGTON - Federal safety officials say a team of experts is en route to Asia to be ready to assist in the investigation of a Malaysia Airlines jetliner that disappeared with 239 people on board.
The team includes accident investigators from National Transportation Safety Board, as well as technical experts from the Federal Aviation Administration and Boeing.
The Boeing 777-200 went missing on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8.
SEVASTOPOL, Ukraine - 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.
MILAN - Foreign ministry officials in Rome and Vienna confirmed Saturday that names of two nationals listed on the manifest of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight match passports reported stolen in Thailand.
Neither European was on the plane, which disappeared Saturday less than an hour after it took off from Kuala Lumpur bound for Beijing, officials said. The Italian was travelling in Thailand and the Austrian was located in his native country.
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Connecticut could become the first state to curb loud movies under proposed legislation that's drawing opposition from the Motion Picture Association of America.
The legislature's Public Safety and Security Committee is considering the bill, which would prevent theatres from showing a film or preview that exceeded 85 decibels. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health recommends noise should be kept below 85 decibels for workers for eight hours to minimize hearing loss.
CAIRO - Egypt's interim president on Saturday issued a much-anticipated decree governing an upcoming presidential election that clears the way for a vote many expect will be won by the country's military chief.
Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has not yet officially announced he will run for president, but it is a widely expected move. After the Interim President Adly Mansour's legal adviser, Ali Awad, announced the move on state television, the election commission is expected to set the date for the vote in April, opening the door for candidates to run.
KATMANDU, Nepal - An Indian jetliner caught fire while landing in Nepal's capital on Saturday, but there were no casualties reported among the 170 people on board, officials said.
The right wheels of the Airbus 320 caught fire while landing in Kathmandu after a flight from the Indian capital of New Delhi, said Rishikesh Sharma, head of Tribhuwan International Airport.
As the plane was landing, passengers complained of a "rubber burning-like smell," said Nepalese businessman Satish Shrestha, who was aboard the flight, which was operated by budget airline Indigo.