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Philippines leader's visit to S. Korea on again as storm departs
by Staff Writers
Manila (AFP) Dec 09, 2014

Egypt's Sisi to visit China
Cairo (AFP) Dec 09, 2014 - Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is to travel to China for the first time since he won a May election, in the wake of European and US tours, his office said Tuesday.

Sisi has made several overseas trips as president, aiming to rebuild Egypt's damaged international standing after he toppled his Islamist predecessor Mohamed Morsi last year.

The former army chief, who has overseen a deadly crackdown targeting Morsi's supporters, will be in China on December 23-24, his office said.

It said Sisi will hold talks on the means to boost economic and tourism ties between the two countries.

Several Chinese officials including Foreign Minister Wang Yi have visited Egypt since Sisi's election.

Morsi himself visited China in 2012, and he signed agreements to procure Chinese-made police vehicles and a $200 million loan for the National Bank of Egypt.

Egypt's trade with China touched $ 8.8 billion in 2011, up 40 percent from 2008.

President Benigno Aquino will go ahead with a visit to South Korea this week after the Philippines weathered its latest typhoon better than expected, his spokeswoman said Tuesday.

Aquino had earlier cancelled his December 11-12 attendance at the South Korea-ASEAN summit so he could better deal with the damage caused by Typhoon Hagupit which struck last weekend.

However spokeswoman Abigail Valte said reports on efforts to minimise the storm's effects had "consistently been encouraging".

She credited government preparations which included evacuating more than a million people from vulnerable areas before the storm hit.

"It is in light of this that President Aquino has decided to push through with the original plan to attend the... ASEAN-Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit" in Busan, she said.

She cited the growing relations between the Philippines and South Korea as well as the country's commitment to its fellow members in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Aquino will continue monitoring relief and rehabilitation efforts while in South Korea, Valte added.

Hagupit, the strongest storm to hit the Philippines this year, left at least 27 people dead and devastated towns in the central islands before it departed the country on Tuesday.

But its toll has been remarkably light compared to other storms that hit the country. Super Typhoon Haiyan killed over 7,350 when it struck in November last year.

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How an anti-graft squad is rooting out corruption in Ukraine's army
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It must rank as one of the world's most daunting jobs: tackling corruption in Ukraine's military. But with support from the president, a patriotic volunteer unit and a polygraph test, one man thinks he has the answer. David Arakhamia knew the corruption he would unearth in Ukraine's notoriously graft-ridden ministry of defence would be bad, but he was still shocked. "It is huge," he said ... read more

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