Up to five Philippine military bases will be made available for U.S. forces to rotate aircraft, ships, equipment and troops, Manila's chief negotiator of a new security pact said on Friday, as the Philippines looks to counter China's rising power in the region. A new 10-year military agreement, which also covers storage of equipment for maritime security and humanitarian assistance, was signed with the United States last week, hours before President Barack Obama arrived for a two-day visit to Manila. "Right now, the discussions would be ranging from three to five Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) bases," said Pio Lorenzo Batino, a defense undersecretary and head of the negotiating panel, told a news conference. "That's not final." He said the army's jungle training base in Fort Magsaysay, north of Manila, was "ideal location" for the United States because the two oldest allies in the region regularly hold joint exercises there.
By Phil Stewart JUBA (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry flew into South Sudan on Friday to push for a halt to more than four months of fighting in Africa's newest nation, a message he was expected to deliver in talks with President Salva Kiir. Kerry's trip to South Sudan, his first as Secretary of State, came a day after he renewed U.S. threats of sanctions and held out hope for the rapid deployment of more peacekeepers. "Secretary Kerry will reiterate the need for all parties to respect the cessation of hostilities agreement, to immediately cease attacks on civilians, and to fully cooperate with the United Nations and humanitarian organizations," said State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki. More than 1 million people have fled their homes since fighting erupted in December between troops backing Kiir and soldiers loyal to his sacked deputy, Riek Machar.