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Philippine health officials say that a Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home.

The White House is focusing President Barack Obama's upcoming Asia-Pacific trip on the economic benefits of closer ties to the region, but regional security concerns are likely to be pushed higher on the president's agenda because of the tense situation between Russia and Ukraine.Hhe

Jessica "Gigi" Reyes, the former chief of staff of Senator Juan Ponce Enrile and an accused in the plunder case involving the misuse of taxpayers' money, arrived in the country early Saturday.

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Devotees in northern Philippine villages had themselves nailed to wooded crosses to re-enact the crucifixion of Jesus Christ as thousands of local and foreign spectators watched the bloody annual rites to mark Good Friday in Asia's largest Roman Catholic nation.

Two Mindanao-based legislators have filed a bill in Congress, seeking to regulate the importation, manufacture, sale, use and transport of airsoft rifles and pistols for public security and safety.

A recent spate of infections from a frequently deadly Middle East virus is raising new worries about efforts to contain the illness, with infectious disease experts urging greater vigilance in combatting its spread.