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Newly arrived from Moscow, just hours after cutting short his diplomatic visit to Russia, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte stepped behind a lectern to explain his decision to declare martial law in the southern island of Mindanao.

With his right hand raised, Duterte made a stark pledge.

"If I think you should die, you will die. If you fight us, you will die. If there's an open defiance, you will die. And if it means many people dying, so be it," Duterte said at the news conference Wednesday. "That's how it is."

Taiwanese laws that prohibit same-sex couples from marrying violate their personal freedom and equal protection, the island's Constitutional Court ruled Wednesday. The justices called sexual orientation an "immutable characteristic that is resistant to change."

"The judges have today said yes to marriage equality," said Amnesty International's Lisa Tassi, who directs campaigns in East Asia. "This is a huge step forward for LGBTI rights in Taiwan and will resonate across Asia."

It's a simple, frequently recurring phrase: "The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack." But it raises some questions: Is the claim credible or just an empty assertion, and if it's true, what does "responsibility" actually entail?

Experts who closely follow the Islamic State say that in general when it comes to attacks in the West, an ISIS claim of responsibility usually means there was some sort of connection. But the attack might have been planned, funded and directed by ISIS — or it could just have been inspired by the group's propaganda.

Thousands of people in Manchester, England, defied a terror warning and poured into the streets Tuesday for a vigil honoring the victims of the Manchester Arena bombing.

A bombing the night before at an Ariana Grande concert killed at least 22 people and wounded dozens more. Authorities identified the attacker as 22-year-old Salman Abedi and have arrested several people in connection with the blast.

Conflicts across the Middle East and North Africa are putting over 24 million children at risk, according to alarming new research by the U.N. Children's Fund.

"Beyond the bombs, bullets and explosions, countless children are dying in silence from diseases that could easily be prevented and treated," says Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

His staff put together some staggering statistics.

Whales are the largest animals on the planet, but they haven't always been giants. Fossil records show that ancient whales were much smaller than the currently living behemoths.

So when did whales get so big, and how?

A new study suggests it might be due to changes in climate that affected the food that some whales eat: krill and small fish. Instead of being spread throughout the ocean, lots of krill started being packed into a small area. Bigger whales were simply more efficient at eating the dense pockets of krill, and they beat out their smaller cousins.

Leaders of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence say they have issued subpoenas for documents from two businesses operated by former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Committee Chairman Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., and Vice Chairman Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., in remarks to reporters, said the subpoenas were sent to Flynn Intel LLC and Flynn Intel, Inc. with a specific list of documents they are seeking. The senators did not say what to what those documents relate.

A remarkably complete fossil of a young child suggests that key elements of the human spinal structure were already in place in an ancient human relative 3.3 million years ago.

The child, about three years old, likely died suddenly and quickly drifted into a body of water, where she was covered in sediment that eventually hardened to sandstone, Zeray Alemseged of the University of Chicago tells The Two-Way.

One day after a bombing claimed at least 22 lives at a concert venue in Manchester, England, Prime Minister Theresa May has announced that the U.K. is raising its terror threat level. The move, declared Tuesday evening, means members of the British military will be deployed throughout the country to supplement its police forces.

When the Trump administration previewed its budget last March, it called it the "hard power" budget. The latest details show that it greatly increases spending on defense, veterans and homeland security, and it slashes funding for major social safety net programs such as Medicaid and SNAP (also known as food stamps).

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