Philippine military attacks Muslim rebels
Military planes and helicopters pounded the hills of southern Jolo island today where Muslim rebels are holding 19 foreign and Filipino hostages.
Thousands of troops and elite police arrived on ships to join the rescue attempt. People stood in the streets of Jolo's capital watching the attack in the distance.
On Friday night, the military ordered all boats to leave the capital's port to clear the way for the arrival of military ships.
Support for an assault has grown since last Sunday, when an Abu Sayyaf faction abducted three more people from a Malaysian diving resort despite their earlier pledge not to seize more hostages while negotiations are under way.
On Thursday, a rebel spokesman threatened they would attack southern Philippine cities if there is a military assault.
The status of the hostages was not immediately clear.
Ecuador's 'dollarization' closely watched
D-Day came quietly to Ecuador. At the stroke of midnight last Saturday, the country formally abandoned its moribund currency, the sucre, and embraced American greenbacks as official tender.
The next day, street performers in the capital of Quito staged mock funerals for the old money, named after the 19th century national hero Antonio Jose de Sucre.
Yet despite scattered protests and grumbling, public reaction has been surprisingly muted.
Ecuador is the first to do what a number of Latin American countries have only muttered about, officially dumping its currency in favor of the dollar.