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60 Seconds on Earth: A Filipino tour guide's hilarious protest against the power of the Catholic church

MANILA, Philippines — Carlos Celdran may show tourists the sights of Manila, but thinks of himself as more performance artist than guide. His website warns, 'Content tends to offend people with no sense of humor nor sense of drama.'

The top court in the Philippines has approved a controversial birth control law

The Catholic Church had until Tuesday led a successful campaign for more than 15 years against any form of family planning laws in the Philippines.

Philippines signs historic peace pact with Muslim rebel group to end decades of conflict

Under the deal, Muslim rebels agreed to disband guerrilla forces, surrender weapons and rebuild their communities while the government gives them self-rule with wider powers.

The world has a new piracy hotspot

BANGKOK — Maybe God has a soft spot for pirates. That would explain the Strait of Malacca, a natural paradise for seafaring bandits. Imagine an aquatic highway flowing between two marshy coasts. One shoreline belongs to Malaysia, the other to Indonesia. Each offers a maze of jungly hideaways: inlets and coves that favor pirates’ stealth vessels over slow, hulking ships.

This 'Happy' video from typhoon-ravaged Tacloban, Philippines will put a smile on your face

Having a bad day? Well, suck it up. Unless there’s a supertanker beached in your front lawn, your life is probably better than those in Tacloban, Philippines, and the people there all seem extremely “Happy.”

On Location: Stranded cargo ships mark slow recovery in typhoon-devastated village

5 reasons why slaves still catch your seafood

BANGKOK — Seafaring slave ships didn’t vanish in the 19th century. There’s a good chance they’re catching your dinner. The dirty secrets of Thailand's $7.3 billion fishing industry have since been exposed in the past few years, by the media and international watchdogs. But men still slave away on Thai-captained trawlers under savage conditions. Implications for the US are disturbing: Thailand is America’s second-largest seafood supplier.

No, China is not the ‘Cookie Monster’ of global commodities

HONG KONG — China's coming for your water. Your food. Your oil. Your iron ore. The country has a “voracious appetite.” That's the drumbeat you've been hearing in headlines over the last several years. The reality is more complicated.  

China is playing chicken with the US military in the South China Sea

HONG KONG — As anyone who's seen “Rebel Without a Cause” knows, playing chicken is dangerous for California teenagers in hot-rods. But playing chicken with warships, cruisers, and fighter jets — well, that’s just another level of crazy. Unfortunately, vessels from the US military increasingly find themselves in such high-stakes confrontations on the East Asian seas, where China has adopted a strategy of making rivals flinch or risk collision.
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