Obama, Duterte Meet Despite Filipino Leader's Crude Language | NBC New York
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

Obama, Duterte Meet Despite Filipino Leader's Crude Language

The brief meeting seemed to cool tension between the leaders that was caused by Duterte's profanity

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    AFP/Getty Images
    President Barack Obama and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, shown in these file photos, met briefly in Laos Wednesday to ease the tension caused by Duterte's insult.

    President Barack Obama and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte met informally on Wednesday in a holding room before attending a gala dinner at a regional summit in Laos, Philippine officials said.

    The brief meeting took a little sting out of the soured relations caused by Duterte's intemperate language in referring to Obama earlier this week. That had caused Obama to cancel a formal meeting scheduled for Tuesday.

    New Orleans to Remove Confederate-Era Monuments

    [NATL] New Orleans to Remove Confederate-Era Monuments

    The city of New Orleans will remove four statues of Confederate-era events and figures in an effort to divorce itself from symbols that some see as problematic. The first statue, the Liberty Place Monument, was taken down early Monday morning. 

    (Published Monday, April 24, 2017)

    There was no immediate confirmation from the White House.

    Philippine Foreign Secretary Pefecto Yasay told The Associated Press that the leaders had met.

    "They met at the holding room and they were the last persons to leave the holding room. I can't say how long they met. It all springs from the fact the relationship between the Philippines and the United States is firm, very strong. The basis for this relationship is historical and both leaders realize this. And I'm very happy that it happened."

    Obama and Duterte are in the Laotian capital along with other regional leaders for the summit. All of them made their way through the holding room before heading to the banquet hall.

    Driver Flees Traffic Stop, Dragging Police Officer

    [NATL-DFW] Driver Flees Traffic Stop, Dragging Police Officer

    Body camera footage shows a Florida police officer being dragged by a driver attempting to flee a traffic stop.

    Police said Frank Wetzel, 61, was pulled over after blowing through a stop sign. Police said he started fidgeting with something next to him, making the officer suspicious. He was allegedly later found with a machete and handgun.

    (Published Monday, April 24, 2017)

    On Monday, hours before arriving in Laos, Duterte told Philippine reporters he wouldn't accept questions from Obama about extrajudicial killings that have occurred during his crackdown on suspected drug dealers and users. More than 2,000 people have been killed in the crackdown since he took office on June 30.

    "I do not have any master except the Filipino people, nobody but nobody. You must be respectful. Do not just throw questions. Putang ina, I will swear at you in that forum," Duterte said, using the Tagalog phrase for "son of a bitch."

    On Tuesday, Duterte expressed regret over the remarks, but the damage was done.

    A Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman, Charles Joe, also said Obama and Duterte met in the holding room. He said it was a mutually agreed meeting, but that he had no details of what was discussed.

    Obama and Duterte entered the dinner venue separately, and were seated far apart and did not interact with each other during the dinner that lasted an hour and 20 minutes.