Philippines security officials said on Thursday they had uncovered a plot by Islamic militants linked to the al-Qaeda network to assassinate President Gloria Arroyo. Her security chief, Brigadier General Romeo Prestoza, said Arroyo had been informed of the threat, which forced her to cancel a scheduled trip on Friday to the northern resort city of Baguio.
Ricardo Sibunga works tirelessly under a steady downpour, his sweat and tears mixing as he and 20 men and women race against time to finish a small chapel on a muddy patch that was once a thriving farming village in the central Philippines. They work with manual tools, hauling sand and bricks from a river bed 1km away, a token sacrifice for a monument to honour over 1Â 000 of their friends.
Relief agencies battled bad weather to deliver supplies to storm-ravaged areas of the Philippines on Monday as the toll of dead and missing from two storms in one week exceeded 1 400, officials said. Three towns were hit by flash floods, mud, rocks and thousands of fallen logs that cascaded down the mountains.