TODAY'S WORLD HEADLINES

China finishing South China Sea buildings that could house missiles - US officials Wed, Feb 22, 2017, 5:37 PM | A Reuters Exclusive by Idrees Ali

ASEAN unsettled by China weapon systems, tension in South China Sea Tue, Feb 21, 2017, 7:22 PM | Manuel Mogato, Reuters

Japan’s crown prince ready to be emperor, will model self after Akihito Thu, Feb 23, 2017, 12:05 PM | Elaine Lies, Reuters

China reports more severe form of bird flu, threat to poultry - WHO Thu, Feb 23, 2017, 6:56 AM | Stephanie Nebehay and Dominique Patton, Reuters

‘NOBODY’S GOING TO MESS WITH US’ | Combative Trump vows ‘greatest military buildup’ 8:25 am | Andrew Beatty with Michael Mathes in Oxon Hill, Agence France-Presse President Donald Trump promised a massive military buildup and put a staunchly nationalistic stamp on Republican politics in a fiery address to supporters Friday.

News organizations barred from White House briefing News organizations barred from White House briefing 8:09 am | Ayesha Rascoe, Reuters The White House excluded several major US news organizations, including some it has openly criticized,…

Deadly US heroin overdoses quadrupled in five years - study Deadly US heroin overdoses quadrupled in five years - study 7:36 am | David Beasley, Reuters The number of deadly heroin overdoses in the United States more than quadrupled from 2010…

IS car bomb kills more than 50 in northwest Syria IS car bomb kills more than 50 in northwest Syria 7:04 am | Angus McDowall and Humeyra Pamuk, Reuters An Islamic State car bomb killed more than 50 people on Friday in a Syrian…

Malaysia warns N. Korea envoy: quit lying or face expulsion Malaysia warns N. Korea envoy: quit lying or face expulsion 1:38 am | Agence France-Presse Malaysia warned North Korea's outspoken ambassador Friday he would be thrown out of the country…

BUSINESS NEWS

WALL BRAWL | Defiant Mexico warns of retaliation vs US border tax WALL BRAWL | Defiant Mexico warns of retaliation vs US border tax An emboldened Mexico hardened its opposition to President Donald Trump on Friday by saying it would retaliate if the United States imposed a border tax…

Philippine Stock Exchange nets P701 million in 2016 Philippine Stock Exchange nets P701 million in 2016 The Philippine Stock Exchange Inc. (PSE) on Friday said its profit surged by 3 percent to P701.54 million in 2016 on the back of higher…

Peso ends week flat at P50.21 as PSEi succumbs to profit-taking Peso ends week flat at P50.21 as PSEi succumbs to profit-taking The Philippine peso finished the week flat at P50.21 from P50.22 Thursday, partly due to the dollar's retreat following US President Donald Trump's comment that…

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Trump attacks FBI on leakers of Russia reports: 'FIND NOW' 12:15 am | Susan Heavey, Doina Chiacu and Emily Stephenson, Reuters Trump attacks FBI on leakers of Russia reports: \US President Donald Trump criticized the FBI on Friday for failing to stop leaks of national security information to the media and directed the agency to find those who pass on classified information.

North Korea lashes ally China over coal import ban 10:01 pm | Agence France-Presse North Korea lashes ally China over coal import banNorth Korea denounced its chief ally and diplomatic protector China for "dancing to the tune of the US" after it banned coal imports in apparent punishment for a missile launch.

Duterte says China misunderstood Yasay's remarks on South China Sea 7:30 pm | Martin Petty and Neil Jerome Morales, Reuters Duterte says China misunderstood Yasay\President Rodrigo Duterte said on Friday he was not sure why China's commerce minister had canceled a trip to his country, and that Beijing misunderstood his foreign minister's comments about its militarization in the South China Sea.

US reverses move to phase out private prisons 1:48 pm | Reuters US reverses move to phase out private prisonsThe US Justice Department has reversed an order by the Obama administration to phase out the use of private contractors to run federal prisons.

VX nerve agent found on Kim Jong-Nam's face - Malaysian police 9:56 am | Frederick Attewill, Agence France-Presse VX nerve agent found on Kim Jong-Nam\North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un's half brother was assassinated with a lethal nerve agent manufactured for chemical warfare, Malaysian police said Friday.

NEW ARMS RACE? | Trump wants to make sure US nuke arsenal 'top of the pack' 8:52 am | Steve Holland, Reuters NEW ARMS RACE? | Trump wants to make sure US nuke arsenal \President Donald Trump said on Thursday he wants to ensure the US nuclear arsenal is at the 'top of the pack,' saying the United States has fallen behind in its weapons capacity.

Pope suggests 'better to be atheist than hypocritical Catholic' 11:25 pm | Philip Pullella, Reuters Pope suggests \Pope Francis delivered another criticism of some members of his own Church on Thursday, suggesting it is better to be an atheist than one of "many" Catholics who he said lead a hypocritical double life.

Malaysia requests Interpol alert on four North Koreans over airport murder 9:15 pm | Rozanna Latiff, Reuters Malaysia requests Interpol alert on four North Koreans over airport murderMalaysia has requested Interpol to put an alert out to apprehend four North Korean suspects in the murder of the estranged half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Malaysia's police chief said on Thursday.

Japan’s crown prince ready to be emperor, will model self after Akihito 12:05 pm | Elaine Lies, Reuters Japan’s crown prince ready to be emperor, will model self after AkihitoJapanese Crown Prince Naruhito turned 57 on Thursday saying he is ready to become emperor after his father Akihito, who could abdicate as soon as next year, and that like him, he will be an emperor who 'shares the pain and joy of the people.'

North Korea blames Malaysia for assassination of Kim half-brother 11:42 am | Agence France-Presse North Korea blames Malaysia for assassination of Kim half-brotherNorth Korea's state media broke a 10-day silence Thursday on the murder of Kim Jong-Un's half brother, launching a ferocious assault on Malaysia for 'immoral' handling of the case and for playing politics with the corpse.

Trump govt revokes landmark guidelines on transgender bathrooms 9:08 am | Daniel Trotta, Reuters Trump govt revokes landmark guidelines on transgender bathrooms(UPDATE - 9:30 a.m.) President Donald Trump's administration on Wednesday revoked landmark guidance issued to public schools in defense of transgender student rights, reversing course on a signature initiative of former President Barack Obama.

White House pushes back release of new immigration order to next week 8:38 am | Reuters White House pushes back release of new immigration order to next weekThe White House has pushed back the release of a new executive order to replace its directive suspending travel to the United States by citizens of seven mostly Muslim countries, a White House official said on Wednesday.