Philippines to ‘set aside’ South China Sea tribunal ruling to avoid imposing on Beijing

The Guardian

Philippines president Duterte says: ‘I will not impose anything on China’ despite fresh report showing militarisation of disputed reefs

A satellite image of what appears to be anti-aircraft guns and other systems on the artificial island Hughes Reef in the South China Sea.
A satellite image of what appears to be anti-aircraft guns and other systems on the artificial island Hughes Reef in the South China Sea. Photograph: DigitalGlobe/Reuters

The Philippine president has said he would “set aside” a ruling by an international arbitration tribunal that invalidated Beijing’s claims to most of the South China Sea, because he doesn’t want to impose on China. Continue reading “Philippines to ‘set aside’ South China Sea tribunal ruling to avoid imposing on Beijing”

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China agrees to return seized US underwater drone

ALJAREEZA

Beijing unhappy with the US “hyping up” the situation after the underwater drone was seized from South China Sea.

The USNS Bowditch, a T-AGS 60 class oceanographic survey ship, sails in open water in this undated photo [US Navy via AP]

China’s Defence Ministry said it had been in talks with the United States about returning an underwater drone taken by a Chinese naval vessel in the South China Sea, but the US was not helping by “hyping up” the issue. Continue reading “China agrees to return seized US underwater drone”

Lawrence Colburn dies; helped end Vietnam’s My Lai massacre

I met Larry Colburn in 1998 when he and Hugh Thompson returned to Viet Nam for the first time since the war. They met with victims of the My Lai Massacre, including survivors whose lives they helped to save during those awful hours of March 16, 1968.  They were welcomed and embraced by villagers who shed tears of gratitude for their intervention that day, when they turned the guns of their helicopter against American soldiers to halt the carnage, at least temporarily, and allow life-saving evacuation of some of the victims.  The meeting was emotional.  Larry and Hugh wept as villagers thanked them for their actions that day.

At a time when the term “heroes” is misused and cheapened, Larry and Hugh, and their fellow crew member Glenn Andreotta, were true heroes in the finest sense of the word.  More importantly, they were decent human beings who clearly understood the difference between right and wrong.

Chuck Searcy

MILITARY TIMES

December 16, 2016

Lawrence Colburn dies; helped end Vietnam’s My Lai massacre

By: Chevel Johnson
The Associated Press

Lawrence Manley Colburn, a helicopter gunner in the Vietnam War who helped end the slaughter of hundreds of unarmed Vietnamese villagers by U.S. troops at My Lai, has died. He was 67.

Lisa Colburn, speaking with The Associated Press on Thursday evening, said her husband of 31 years was diagnosed with cancer in late September and died Tuesday. Continue reading “Lawrence Colburn dies; helped end Vietnam’s My Lai massacre”

China’s Liaoning aircraft carrier conducts first ever live-fire drill as Beijing shows off military might

Japan  Times

China’s Liaoning aircraft carrier conducts first ever live-fire drill as Beijing shows off military might

by

Staff Writer, Dec 16, 2016

China’s first and only aircraft carrier battle group has carried out its first-ever live-fire drills — a show of force amid ongoing tensions in the region — the Defense Ministry has announced.

The drills, which took place “days earlier,” were conducted in the Bohai Sea and involved the Liaoning carrier and dozens of ships and aircraft — including J-15 carrier-based fighter jets carrying live ammunition. Continue reading “China’s Liaoning aircraft carrier conducts first ever live-fire drill as Beijing shows off military might”

Lost lives: China’s invisible children fight to recover their missed years

Japan Times

Lost lives: China’s invisible children fight to recover their missed years

by

Thomson Reuters Foundation Dec 16, 2016

Living in Beijing for 23 years, Li Xue has never attended school, not even for a day.

China provides a free, nine-year education to every child but Li was not included. For the past 23 years, she has had no access to any form of social welfare. She has not been allowed to get married, find a job, or open a bank account.

Li was the second child born to her parents. Due to the nation’s one-child policy that ran from around 1978 until 2015 to curtail population growth, she didn’t exist in the Chinese government’s database. Continue reading “Lost lives: China’s invisible children fight to recover their missed years”

U.S. withholds aid to Philippines after Duterte boasts of looking for people to kill

Japan Times

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AP

The United States said Thursday it is withholding a major aid package to the Philippines and is deeply troubled by a boast from the nation’s leader that he used to drive around looking for criminals to kill.

It was the latest sign of strain in U.S.-Philippine relations since President Rodrigo Duterte launched a crackdown on illegal drugs has led to thousands of deaths in police gunbattles. Continue reading “U.S. withholds aid to Philippines after Duterte boasts of looking for people to kill”

Myanmar ‘Callous’ Toward Anti-Rohingya Violence, U.N. Says

Myanmar police officers patroled along the border fence between Myanmar and Bangladesh in Maungdaw, Rakhine State, Myanmar, in October. Credit Thein Zaw/Associated Press

GENEVA — The top human rights official for the United Nations condemned the Myanmar government’s handling of violence in Muslim areas bordering Bangladesh on Friday, saying it risked creating a breeding ground for violent extremism.

Continue reading on  New York Times

China seizes US naval drone in South China Sea

ALJAZEERA Dec. 16, 2016

US officials demand return of the drone they say was testing salinity and temperature in international waters.

 The Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam have competing claims in the South China Sea [AFP]

A Chinese Navy warship has seized an underwater drone deployed by an American oceanographic vessel in international waters in the South China Sea, triggering a formal diplomatic protest from the US and a demand for its return, a US defence official said. Continue reading “China seizes US naval drone in South China Sea”