Top Asian News 3:08 a.m. GMT

US, Australian and Philippine forces sink a ship during war drills in the disputed South China Sea

LAOAG, Philippines (AP) — Military force from the United States, Australian and the Philippines launched a barrage of high-precision rockets, artillery fire and airstrikes to sink a ship Wednesday as part of largescale war drills in waters facing the disputed South China Sea that have antagonized Beijing. Military officials and diplomats from several countries, along with journalists, watched the display of firepower from a hilltop along a sandy coast in Laoag City on Wednesday in Ilocos Norte, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s northern home province. More than 16,000 military personnel from the United States and the Philippines, backed by a few hundred Australian troops and military observers from 14 countries were participating in annual combat-readiness drills called Balikatan, Tagalog for shoulder-to-shoulder, which started on April 22 and will end on Friday.