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Posts Tagged ‘military

[ISL] “China close to finishing buildings on South China Sea islands that could house missiles, US says”

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This is great. The Guardian carries Reuters’ report from the South China Sea.

China, in an early test of US President Donald Trump, is nearly finished building almost two dozen structures on artificial islands in the South China Sea that appear designed to house long-range surface-to-air missiles, two US officials told Reuters.

The development is likely to raise questions about whether and how the United States will respond, given its vows to take a tough line on China in the South China Sea.

China claims almost all the South China Sea, which carries a third of the world’s maritime traffic. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims. Trump’s administration has called China’s island building in the South China Sea illegal.

Building the concrete structures with retractable roofs on Subi, Mischief and Fiery Cross reefs, part of the Spratly Islands chain where China already has built military-length airstrips, could be considered a military escalation, the US officials said in recent days, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“It is not like the Chinese to build anything in the South China Sea just to build it, and these structures resemble others that house SAM batteries, so the logical conclusion is that’s what they are for,” said a US intelligence official.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 22, 2017 at 6:00 pm

[BLOG] Some Friday links

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  • blogTO looks at deserted Mirvish Village.
  • Crooked Timber reenages with the Rachel Carson and DDT myth.
  • The Crux looks at the Mandela Effect, exploring false memories.
  • Dangerous Minds makes the case for the musical genius of Bobbie Gentry.
  • From the Heart of Europe’s Nicholas Whyte recounts his visit to Albania’s bunker museum.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes Brazil’s retirement of its only aircraft carrier.
  • The LRB Blog looks at the extent and speed of events in the Trump Administration.
  • Marginal Revolution engages with a book examining France’s carving out a “cultural exception” in international trade agreements.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw reports on the passing of rulership of the Australian micronation of Hutt River.
  • Peter Rukavina shares good advice for visiting museums: visit only what you can take in.
  • Window on Eurasia looks at Russian Orthodox Church opposition to a certain kind of Russian civic nationality, and argues Russia is losing even its regional superpower status.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell reports on how local councils in the United Kingdom are speculating on commercial property.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

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  • blogTO notes that a waterfront LCBO is set to become another Toronto condo development.
  • Centauri Dreams looks at the difficulties involving with slowing down a light sail launched at relativistic speeds towards an extrasolar destination.
  • Dangerous Minds looks at a 1972 mail-order catalogue from a German retailer, full to the brim with retro-ness.
  • The Dragon’s Tales reports on the discovery of a hot Jupiter orbiting T Tauri star V830 Tauri.
  • Language Log looks at Trump’s odd phrasing regarding Frederick Douglas, while Marginal Revolution notes the man’s opposition to racist immigration bars.
  • Marginal Revolution looks at how some children at Cambodian orphanages are not actual orphans, but are merely taking advantage of foreign funding.
  • The Planetary Society Blog looks at a proposal for a new probe to study Enceladus and Titan for signs of habitability.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer notes Trump’s command responsibility for a failed military raid in Yemen.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog shares a map looking at the word for “church” in different European languages.
  • Towleroad notes a court ruling in the United Kingdom barring an Orthodox Jewish transgender woman from interacting with her children in real time, and reports on a Russian website that purports to warn users how many gay people are in any given city.
  • Understanding Society describes the problems with implementing ideologies and even policies in a very complex world.
  • Window on Eurasia notes one Russian parliamentarian’s call for taking northern Kazakhstan, and reports on new border controls between Russia and Belarus.

[LINK] “In a ‘humiliating’ and ‘threatening’ tone, Trump lambasted Mexico’s president during a phone call”

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Business Insider‘s Christopher Woody reports on what sounds like a disastrous first phone call between Trump and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, filled with insults and threats up to and including a threat to invade Mexico. I would hope that someone around Trump would prevent him from going nearly so far, but I fear that some people want something catastrophic to happen to US-Mexican relations.

During a phone call with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on Friday, US President Donald Trump disparaged Mexico and threatened to use military force against the drug trade, according to Dolia Estevez, a journalist based in Washington, DC.

In an interview with the Mexican news outlet Aristegui Noticias, Estevez, who cited sources on both sides of the call, said, “It was a very offensive conversation where Trump humiliated Peña Nieto.”

[. . .]

“I don’t need the Mexicans. I don’t need Mexico,” Trump reportedly told the Mexican president. “We are going to build the wall and you all are going to pay for it, like it or not.”

Trump hinted that the US would force Mexico to fund the wall with a 10% tax on Mexican exports “and of 35% on those exports that hurt Mexico the most,” Estevez wrote in Proyecto Puente.

Before the call, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Trump was considering a tax on imports from Mexico to pay for the wall.

[. . .]

Trump “even suggested to [Peña Nieto] that if they are incapable of combatting [narco trafficking] he may have to send troops to assume this task,” she said.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 1, 2017 at 10:00 pm

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

  • blogTO notes that Uniqlo will be giving away free thermal clothing tomorrow.
  • James Bow shares his column about the importance of truth.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly shares with us her mid-winter walk.
  • Centauri Dreams reports about cometary water.
  • Dangerous Minds shares German cinema lobby cards from the 1960s.
  • Language Hat talks about dropping apostrophes.
  • Language Log reports about lexical searches on Google.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money reports on the latest from Trump.
  • The NYRB Daily shares a review of an Iranian film on gender relations.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer notes the ongoing gas price protests in Mexico.
  • Spacing links to some articles about affordable housing around the world.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy notes Germany’s abolition of a law forbidding insults to foreign heads of state.
  • Window on Eurasia suggests that stable Russian population figures cover up a wholesale collapse in the numbers of ethnic Russians, and looks at the shortages of skilled workers faced by defense industries.

[BLOG] Some Sunday links

  • Beyond the Beyond links to a US military science fiction contest.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly notes that journalism is meant to offer criticisms of the president.
  • Crooked Timber has an open forum about the inauguration.
  • Dangerous Minds shares photos from seminal 1980-era London club Billy’s.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper reporting on a superflare on brown dwarf EPIC 220186653.
  • A Fistful of Euros’ features Doug Merrill’s meditations on 2009 and 2017.
  • Language Log looks at the etymology of the Vietnamese name “Nguyen.”
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money looks at Donald Trump’s desire for a military parade.
  • The LRB Blog looks at Donald Trump as a winner.
  • Marginal Revolution links to a book on the economics of skyscrapers and notes a skyscraper boom in China.
  • Steve Munro looks at buses and their distribution on TTC networks.
  • Transit Toronto looks at how Exhibition Place work will complicate multiple bus routes.
  • Window on Eurasia notes low levels of Russian productivity, shares a Russian argument as to why Russia and the United States can never be allies in the long term, looks at counterproductive Russian interference in Circassian diaspora institutions, and shares argument suggesting Trump’s style of language explains why he wants to forego complicated multilateral negotiations for bilateral ones where he can dominate.

[LINK] “Canada will have to do more for NATO if Trump follows through on threat to withdraw from alliance”

The National Post carried Mike Blanchfield’s Canadian Press article reporting that, if Trump lived up to his rhetoric and did withdraw from NATO, Canada will have to increase its spending and its presence significantly. Canada’s development into a larger military power would certainly be a major shift.

Canada will have to contribute more to NATO if the U.S. follows through on president-elect Donald Trump’s musings on withdrawing from the alliance, says the head of the House of Commons foreign affairs committee.

Liberal MP Bob Nault cautions that Canada and its NATO partners need to see how U.S. foreign policy formally takes shape after Trump’s Friday inauguration.

But he says Canada remains committed to the 28-country alliance and can’t let it become weakened if the U.S. — its largest financial and military contributor — scales back its involvement.

“That means countries like ours will have to step up to the plate,” Nault said in an interview Monday.

Nault said the upcoming defence policy review will help Canada decide where and how it should deploy its military resources. With a federal budget coming this winter that could mean an increase in defence spending, he added.

Written by Randy McDonald

January 20, 2017 at 6:30 pm

Posted in Canada, Politics

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