Receive Breaking News updates as they occur
China on Thursday urged the United States to cut back on, or even stop, its close surveillance of the Asian giant using patrol aircraft, if it seriously seeks to repair damaged bilateral ties. Ties between the world's two largest economies have been strained by competing territorial claims between China and its neighbors, some of them U.S. "If the United States really hopes to avoid impacting bilateral relations, the best course of action is to reduce or halt close surveillance of China," Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said in a statement on the ministry's website.
Ebola-hit nations met for crisis talks on Thursday as the death toll topped 1,500 and the World Health Organization warned that the number of cases could exceed 20,000 before the outbreak is stemmed. Nigeria meanwhile announced the virus had reached its oil-producing hub, dashing hopes that the country had successfully contained its spread outside its biggest city, Lagos. Health ministers from member states of the West African regional bloc ECOWAS were meeting in the Ghanaian capital, Accra, to discuss how to strengthen its response to the devastating outbreak. As of August 26, 1,552 people had died from the virus in four countries -- Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria -- while 3,062 had been infected, the WHO said in Geneva.