World China accuses US of 'navigation bullying' in South China Sea
North Korea warns of 'undesirable' consequences as the US and South Korea get ready for bigger war games
North Korea has conducted a flurry of missile tests this year, and there are growing expectations it will conduct a nuclear test.Choe Jin, the deputy director of North Korea's Institute of Disarmament and Peace, a state-run organization operated by the North Korean foreign ministry, told the Associated Press this week that the US-South Korean military drills are "driving the Korean Peninsula to the brink of war.
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — China blasted a top U.S. Navy official Friday after he criticized Beijing’s increasingly aggressive actions in the South China Sea, saying it's America’s military deployments in the disputed waters — which it called “navigation bullying” — that could spark confrontations.
The Chinese Embassy in Manila said it strongly deplored U.S. Secretary of the Navy, which were “unfounded accusations against and maliciously smeared China” and inflated the “China threat.”
In the waters off Mexico, fishing this vital sea creature is banned. It's still happening.
Sea cucumbers, which clean the bottom of the sea, are endangered from intense overfishing, yet criminal networks still sell it in the U.S., China and Asia.“The sea cucumber was not something special, until the prices began to rise a lot,” Cano, 47, told Noticias Telemundo. “Many people then came from other [Mexican] states and settled in Yucatán for the cucumber. And they continued fishing, despite the ban.
In an interview Tuesday with The Associated Press while on a visit to Manila, Del Toro underscored how Beijing has encroached in sovereign waters of its Asian neighbors in violation of international law.
U.S. military focus in the Asia-Pacific region, particularly in the disputed South China Sea, would never slacken and, in fact, has intensified despite the war in Ukraine, he said in an, including the Philippines.
China has had increasingly tense territorial spats in recent years with the Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia in the South China Sea, which China claims virtually in its entirety on historical grounds. Brunei and Taiwan also have claims in the contested waters.
Washington lays no claims to the strategic waters but has said the peaceful resolution of the disputes — along with freedom of navigation and overflight in the waterway where a bulk of world trade transits — are in the U.S. national interest.
Risks, mined waters slow rush to extract grains from Ukraine
Shipping companies are not rushing to export millions of tons of trapped grain out of Ukraine, despite a breakthrough deal to provide safe corridors through the Black Sea. That is because the waters are mined, ship owners are still assessing the risks and many still have questions over how the deal will unfold. The complexities of the agreement have set off a slow, cautious start, but it's only good for 120 days — and the clock began ticking last week.The goal over the next four months is to get some 20 million tons of grain out of three Ukrainian sea ports blocked since the Feb. 24 invasion.
Beijing rejected a 2016 international arbitration ruling that invalidated its claims and continues to defy the landmark decision on a case brought up by the Philippine government.
Del Toro renewed assurances by President Joe Biden that the U.S. would honor its obligations under a 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty in case Philippine forces, ships and aircraft come under attack in the contested waters.
“As President Biden has said, if one country violates one inch of Filipino sovereignty, whether it be at sea or on shore or an offshore island, we will be there to support the Filipino nation and the Filipino people in every possible way,” Del Toro said.
China’s move to transform seven disputed reefs into missile-protected island bases in the Spratlys, the most hotly contested section of the South China Sea, “is very concerning” and prompted the U.S. and other Western nations to press on with freedom of navigation patrols around the Chinese-claimed territories.
Ukraine’s southern counteroffensive ‘gathering momentum,’ leaving some Russian troops ‘highly vulnerable,’ says UK intel
‘GATHERING MOMENTUM’: The latest British intelligence concludes Ukraine's long-awaited effort to retake the southern city of Kherson, which fell to Russian forces in early March, is having some initial success. “Ukraine’s counter-offensive in Kherson is gathering momentum,” said the U.K. assessment, posted on Twitter, which notes Ukrainian forces have established a “bridgehead” south of the river that forms the northern boundary of Russian-occupied territory and have effectively used U.S.-supplied HIMARS to disable a key resupply route leaving a group of Russian troops cut off.
But the Chinese Embassy said the U.S. military deployments “from half a globe away” aimed to “to flex muscles, make military provocations and create maritime and air tensions," conducting “navigation bullying” in the name of freedom of navigation.
“In an attempt to preserve its hegemony, the U.S. keeps intensifying power projection in this region, and deliberately seeks to widen differences and provoke tensions," it said.
Pentagon Outlines Strategy to Counter China After Beijing Aerial Aggression
A top Biden administration official has explained how the U.S. plans to contain Chinese aggression in the Pacific in coordination with American allies.Chinese warplanes have repeatedly violated Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ) in recent months, with Beijing considering the island a breakaway province.
China and other rival claimants “have exercised restraint, kept their differences and disputes in a proper place, and got them on the track of consultation and management,” the embassy said.
However, rival claimant states, including the Philippines and Vietnam, have filed numerous diplomatic protests over the years amid China’s increasingly assertive actions, including its transformation of seven disputed reefs into what are now.
Diplomatic talks have eased occasional confrontation but not ended them.
“The South China Sea is not a 'hunting ground' for countries outside the region, still less should it be a 'wrestling ground' for big powers,” the Chinese statement said. “We staunchly support all efforts that are conducive to peaceful settlement and management of disputes, and unequivocally reject words and actions that aim to stoke tension and confrontation in the region.”
Del Toro told the AP that potential aggressors in the region should learn from the current troubles of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has faced sanctions from Western nations and their allies, which also provide weapons and humanitarian support to Ukrainians battling Russia’s invasion forces.
If such level of aggression is ever committed in the Asia-Pacific, “I’m convinced that allies and partners will come together to do the same thing here in the Pacific,” Del Toro said.
Guardians of the Galaxy Visual Effects Artist Shares Experience Working With Marvel: 'Bullying is a Problem' .
Guardians of the Galaxy VFX artist Joe Pavlo says Marvel has a bullying problem.The MCU just received another complaint, this time from Guardians of the Galaxy VFX artist and Emmy Award winner Joe Pavlo, according to reports from The Guardian. The GOTG movie was applauded for its fantastic visuals when the film was released in 2014. But, of course, nearly every scene in the film was shot with a green screen, relying on the VFX artist to meticulously craft the settings and backdrop for the film.