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Nearly 90 dead in Philippine mudslides, flooding as storm hits: officials

MANILA: A tropical storm in the Philippines triggered mudslides and flooding that killed nearly 90 people, while dozens are missing, police and disaster officials said on Saturday. The casualties, most of them inflicted late on Friday, were all on the main southern island of Mindanao, they said. “We’re are still trying to confirm reports of a farming village buried by a mudslide,” said Ryan Cabus, an official in Tubod town. He said power and communication lines to the area had been cut, complicating rescue efforts.…

Trump offers to mediate on South China Sea

HANOI: U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday he was prepared to mediate between claimants to the South China Sea, where five countries contest China’s sweeping claims to the busy waterway. Trump was speaking in Vietnam, which has become the most vocal opponent of China’s claims and its construction and militarization of artificial islands in the sea. About $3-trillion in goods passes through the sea each year. “If I can help mediate or arbitrate, please let me know,” Trump said in comments at a meeting in Hanoi…

US joins battle as Philippines takes losses in besieged city

MARAWI CITY, PHILIPPINES: U.S. special forces have joined the battle to crush Islamist militants holed up in a southern Philippines town, officials said on Saturday, as government forces struggled to make headway and 13 marines were killed in intense urban fighting. The Philippines military said the United States was providing technical assistance to end the siege of Marawi City by fighters allied to Islamic State, which is now in its third week, but it had no boots on the ground. "They are not fighting. They are just…