US reveals joint patrols in South China Sea with Philippines

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — In a military buildup certain to inflame tensions with China, the United States said Thursday it has been conducting joint South China Sea patrols — and eventually will conduct air patrols — with the Philippines, while dispatching U.S. troops and combat aircraft there on more frequent rotations.

  • Written by LOLITA C. BALDOR, Associated Press

Powerful earthquake hits south Japan; no reports of damage

TOKYO (AP) — A powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.4 struck southern Japan on Thursday, but there was no danger of a tsunami or any immediate reports of casualties or damage.

  • Written by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Despite court ruling, China gay rights movement makes gains

CHANGSHA, China (AP) — For years, Chen Tiantian could only read about the gay rights movement in faraway places. She knew that there were activists in Beijing and a vibrant community in Shanghai, and that in San Francisco, a distant mecca, gay pride parades took up entire streets.

  • Written by GERRY SHIH, Associated Press

Families of Germanwings crash victims sue US flight school

WASHINGTON (AP) — The families of victims killed last year when a suicidal pilot flew an airliner into a mountainside in the French Alps are suing the U.S. flight school where the pilot was trained.

  • Written by JOAN LOWY, Associated Press