MANILA, Philippines (AP) - The Philippine's defense chief says the government has signed separate contracts worth 163 billion pesos (about $39 million) with Italian and South Korean companies to supply helicopters and trucks as part of efforts to modernize its poorly equipped military. Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said Thursday the Philippines will purchase three multi-purpose AW 109 helicopters for its navy from AugustaWestland SPA of Italy amounting to 1.33 billion pesos ($32 million).
He says Kia Motors Corp. will supply 60 field ambulances and 12 trucks all worth 300.78 million ($7.33 million) pesos. Gazmin says the purchases show the country's "louder and clearer" intent to modernize its military. The Philippine military is fighting a decades-long communist insurgency and battling Islamic militants while facing increasing tension over territorial disputes with China in the South China Sea.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - North Korea's trade with China surged 62 percent in 2011, a sign of deepening dependence on Pyongyang's biggest ally. South Korea's Statistics Korea said Thursday that North Korea's exports and imports with China reached $5.63 billion in 2011, compared with $3.47 billion in the previous year.
China accounted for 70 percent of North Korea's annual trade in 2011, higher than 57 percent in 2010. South Korea was North Korea's second-biggest trade partner after China. It accounted for 21 percent of annual trade of its northern neighbor last year. Statistics Korea said the volume of North Korea's annual trade reached $6.32 billion last year, up 51 percent from 2010. It said its figures are gathered from official statistics figures in overseas countries through KOTRA, the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Four national retailers have agreed to recall more than 150,000 Nap Nanny baby recliners after at least five infant deaths and dozens of reports of children nearly falling out of the recliners.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission says the four retailers - Amazon.com, Buy Buy Baby, Diapers.com and Toys R Us/Babies R Us - agreed to voluntarily participate in the recall of the Nap Nanny because its manufacturer is unable or unwilling to participate. The manufacturer, Baby Matters LLC of Berwyn, Pa., told The Associated Press that it had gone out of business. CPSC is warning that the Nap Nanny contains dangerous defects in its design, warnings and instructions. The recall covers Nap Nanny Generations One and Two, and the Chill model infant recliners sold between 2009 and 2012.
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