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Still no plan to fix PH runway in West PH Sea - Rappler

Still no plan to fix PH runway in West PH Sea - Rappler.....»»

Category: newsSource: googlenews googlenewsJan 12th, 2017

Delay hits gov't plan to fix runway in West Philippine Sea

Delay hits gov't plan to fix runway in West Philippine Sea.....»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsAug 20th, 2017

Duterte adviser bares plan to fix PH runway in West PH Sea

Duterte adviser bares plan to fix PH runway in West PH Sea.....»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsApr 1st, 2017

Still no plan to fix PH runway in West PH Sea

Still no plan to fix PH runway in West PH Sea.....»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJan 13th, 2017

Duterte wants BBL 'game plan' before certifying it as urgent - Rappler

Duterte wants BBL 'game plan' before certifying it as urgent - Rappler.....»»

Category: newsSource:  googlenewsRelated NewsSep 14th, 2017

CHR hits House plan to use its budget for free education - Rappler

CHR hits House plan to use its budget for free education - Rappler.....»»

Category: newsSource:  googlenewsRelated NewsSep 14th, 2017

Bolton says he’s no longer allowed to see Trump – CNN News

A hawkish ally of Donald Trump claims he cannot see the President due to &'8220;staff changes&'8221; at the White House. John Bolton, a former US ambassador to the UN who at one point was a candidate to lead the State Department, claimed in a National Review op-ed published Monday that his plan for the US to exit the Iran nuclear deal had to be presented publicly, because staff changes at the White House have made &'8220;presenting it to President Trump impossible.&'8221; CNN has reached out to the White House for comment. His alleged snubbing is the latest development in the tug-of-war for influence over Trump's White House between firebrands such as Bolton and those who have taken a more moderate approach to foreign policy, such as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis. Bolton's op-ed comes days after Sebastian Gorka, who advocated a hawkish stance against terrorism, left his position as a White House adviser. Chief of staff John Kelly, who assumed the role in late July, has been conducting a review of the West Wing that includes assessing individual staffers' portfolios. In a memo drawn up after a July directive from Steve Bannon, the recently ousted White House chief strategist, Bolton pushes for selling the idea of leaving the Iran deal to the public in a &'8220;white paper&'8221; and lays out a strategy for the &'8220;campaign&'8221; and its &'8220;execution.&'8221; Bolton has been frustrated at the rise of more traditional foreign policy thinkers within the White House, such as Mattis and Tillerson, who have favored remaining in the deal. The agreement curbs Iran's nuclear weapons program in exchange for the lifting of sanctions. Iran remains under multiple sanctions for terrorism-related activities. &'8220;Trump can and should free America from this execrable deal at the earliest opportunity,&'8221; Bolton writes. Where proponents of the deal, including lawmakers and former Obama administration officials, see the pact as a way to get visibility on Iran's nuclear activities, and, at least for the time being, stop it's nuclear program, Bolton sees only danger. &'8220;The JCPOA is a threat to US national-security interests, growing more serious by the day,&'8221; Bolton writes, though he doesn't offer evidence. &'8220;If the President decides to abrogate the JCPOA, a comprehensive plan must be developed and executed to build domestic and international support for the new policy.&'8221; His memo, he says, fills that function. &'8220;It is only five pages long, but like instant coffee, it can be readily expanded to a comprehensive, 100-page playbook if the administration were to decide to leave the Iran agreement,&'8221; Bolton writes. He adds that there is no need to wait for the next deadline in October, when the US must next certify that Iran is sticking to the deal. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, known as the JCPOA, was an international agreement hammered out over 20 arduous months of negotiations. China, France, Germany, Russia, the UK, the US, the EU and Iran reached a deal in July 2015 and it was implemented in January 2016. The UN's International Atomic Energy Agency has regular access to nuclear sites inside Iran and verifies that it is implementing its side of the deal; in exchange, the US, UN and EU lifted nuclear related sanctions. Every 90 days, the US president must certify that Iran is keeping up its end of the deal. Trump campaigned against the deal and continues to criticize it, but because Iran is complying, he has certified it twice on the advice of his national security staff. But officials in his administration have clearly been looking for ways to find wiggle room to get out of the deal. Some, like US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, have used the line that Iran is not complying with the &'8220;spirit&'8221; of the deal, pointing to Tehran's activities in the region, including its support for Houthi rebels in Yemen and its backing of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Bolton says that Trump can bolster his case for abrogating the deal &'8220;by providing new, declassified information on Iran's unacceptable behavior around the world.&'8221; These activities, though, are not part of the JCPOA, deliberately left as a separate issue by the Obama administration and the other international negotiators, who said that to include every single gripe with Iran would make negotiations too unwieldy to resolve. Some proponents of the deal, watching the Trump administration's moves, are already campaigning to keep it. They point to the security consequences of an Iran without constraints on its nuclear weapons program and to the economic fallout as European and Asian firms would likely continue to do business with Tehran while US firms are shut out. &'8220;Accordingly,&'8221; Bolton writes, &'8220;we must explain the grave threat to the US and our allies, particularly Israel.&'8221; But many in Israel's security establishment argue for keeping the deal in place, and making sure its implementation is as rigorous as possible. Bolton makes the case for a four-step campaign that begins with &'8220;early, quiet consultations with key players such as the UK, France, Germany, Israel and Saudi Arabia, to tell them we are going to abrogate the deal based on outright violations and other unacceptable Iranian behavior, and seek their input.&'8221; That would be followed by a detailed white paper that includes declassified intelligence explaining why the deal hurts US security interests; a diplomatic campaign against the deal, especially in Europe and the Middle East; and efforts to sway lawmakers and the [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsAug 30th, 2017

Shadowy group calls for Duterte’s ouster

MANILA – A shadowy group called Patriotic and Democratic Movement or PADEM, composed of disgruntled military and police officers and members, has called for the ouster of President Rodrigo Duterte and cited 10 reasons for its action. It accused Duterte of treating the military and police as his private armies and for betraying and violating public trust. It also urged Filipinos to join PADEM in condemning and fighting Duterte and his administration and to stage mass actions and demand the President’s ouster. In a manifesto, Antonio Bonifacio, who claimed to be PADEM’s spokesman, called on members of the military and police to also join the people in demanding Duterte’s resignation and also his administration. It said the group is working for the withdrawal military and police support for Duterte.  “We urge all Filipinos as individuals and as groups in whatever social sector, field, institution or organization to exercise their right of assembly and expression to undertake mass actions demanding the ouster of Duterte and his administration. We call on our fellow officers and members of the AFP and the PNP to join the people in demanding the resignation or ouster of Duterte and his administration.” “We pledge to work for the withdrawal of military and police support for Duterte and his administration in conjunction with mass mobilization of the Filipino people in millions to manifest their demand for the resignation or ouster of Duterte and his administration. Upon the change of administration, we pledge to follow the principle of civilian supremacy and support a new civilian administration, in accordance with the 1987 Constitution and the rule of law,” the manifesto, released by Bonifacio &'' believed to be a nom de guerre – said. PADEM also condemned and holds accountable for gross crimes in betrayal of public trust and in violation of national sovereignty and democratic rights of the Filipino people. It cited the following reasons as alleged crimes of Duterte:   Treating the AFP and the PNP as these were his private armies and practising favoritism and violating professional and service standards in the promotion and assignment of officers; Corrupting the PNP and the AFP with a system of monetary awards for the extrajudicial killing of alleged illegal drug users and of NPA suspects; Condoning and protecting top-level illegal drug lords; Emboldening/inciting police officers to engage in extrajudicial killings of poor suspected illegal drug users and pushers by publicly telling officers to plant evidence and by guaranteeing their pardon and promotion in case of conviction; Aggravating corruption in government and criminality through the collusion of Duterte trustees and crime syndicates; Allowing China to occupy maritime features in the West Philippine Sea and to violate Philippine sovereign rights upheld by decision of the Arbitral Tribunal in accordance with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea; Bungling the operations in Marawi City and indiscriminately destroying lives and property through aerial bombings, artillery and mortar; Favoring certain Chinese businessmen and Duterte relatives and cronies in the award of projected infrastructure projects using loans from China; Betraying the sovereign rights of the Filipino people by making the Philippines a debt vassal of China and offering to China the oil and gas resources under the West Philippine Sea as collateral for Chinese loans; and Seeking to replace the partnership with the United States in matters of national security with an even more lopsided relationship with China and Russia.  Television network GMA reported that the military has reiterated its support for the administration of Duterte and strongly denied PADEM’s allegations. Military spokesman Brigadier General Restituto Padilla said the entire Armed Forces of the Philippines, along with all the men and women of the uniformed services and all their civilian personnel, stand by the government and support Duterte, their commander-in-chief. Padilla said the accusations and issues cited by the group are unfounded and uncalled for. “Such issues are clearly politically motivated and a matter that the AFP does not and will not subscribe to,” GMA quoted him as saying, adding, they are the constitutionally mandated protectors of the people and will stand by law-abiding citizens whenever and wherever they are needed. “Having affirmed this, the AFP, however, will not hesitate in acting against forces who shall undermine the stability and security of our country and those who wish to destabilize our nation thru unconstitutional means,” he said. Communist rebels had previously said that the Central Intelligence Agency is plotting to oust Duterte alongside the plan to assassinate Jose Maria Sison, founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines. Sison, in a statement he issued in May, said those who continue to support him assert that performance in a year is not enough basis for a final judgment and that there is more than enough time ahead for him to accomplish promises that have most impressed them, such as the eradication of the drug problem, criminality, and corruption. He said Duterte has, in fact, pleaded that he needs three or four more years to bring about the significant changes that he previously thought would be done in six months’ time. His promised campaign against the pork barrel and other forms of corruption of the Aquino regime has not yet materialized. “Where he has been most successful at, projecting himself as a strong leader by calling on the police and the public to kill drug addict-pushers, he has attracted the most severe and sustained condemnation by institutions, the [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsAug 23rd, 2017

Cebu Pacific plane overshoots runway, other flights diverted - Rappler

Cebu Pacific plane overshoots runway, other flights diverted - Rappler.....»»

Category: newsSource:  googlenewsRelated NewsAug 4th, 2017

Marines facing ‘discouraging’ challenges in Afghanistan – CNN News

The plume of smoke and dust rose over the runway, high above the now-deserted but once costly and vital control towers. Then a second rocket slammed into the tarmac just feet away from where a C130 cargo plane would imminently land to ferry us out. The Marines with us at first appeared unfazed. Some were perhaps young and new to it all, while the older ones stood tall, not flinching. I crouched behind a wheel until those tires were used to race us back toward a shelter. Seven years ago, it would have been mere minutes before that Taliban rocket team was bombed in retaliation by US forces protecting a thousands-strong base. But in 2017, the US Marines here &'8212; all 300 of them &'8212; seem oddly vulnerable. They don't leave the wire much, mostly just to train and advise, leaving the fighting to the Afghans. Yet all the same, three separate rocket attacks hit their bases in three days &'8212; two near us &'8212; one injuring 10 Afghan soldiers, and another an 8-year-old boy. This is the painful reality of Afghanistan 2017. The country is in one of the most violent periods of its recent history, and its challenges are deepening. But the sense of exhaustion, of solutions long having lost their sparkle, pervades. And as President Trump weighs his first move in America's longest war, its 15 years make it absolutely nothing new to many of the Marines currently at its sharp end. Here's how one hardened, normally optimistic Marine commander, Col. Matthew Reid, talked about lost friends. &'8220;I don't think I've ever bothered to count. Too many, between here and Iraq,&'8221; he said. &'8220;A lot of blood in the ground.&'8221; Born on September 11, Reid is back in Afghanistan's Helmand Province for the second time. He quips that the 300 Marines he works with now are the number that &'8220;ran the chow hall&'8221; when he was last there in 2010. I asked: How does it feel to have to go at it all over again? &'8220;Discouraging,&'8221; he said. &'8220;There is a definite feeling of a sense of obligation to get this right because of those who have gone before us.&'8221; The Helmand district of Nawa was retaken last week by Afghan National Security Forces, yet at about the same time nearby Gereshk district was attacked by the Taliban, with multiple checkpoints hit, and at one point six overrun. Things are better, but not good. Helmand will probably never be good any time soon, but the Marines' presence and massive aerial firepower have arguably stopped the entire opium-rich region from being swallowed by the Taliban But the Marines are only one part of the picture in a country where, according to the US government's own auditors, the Taliban influence or control about half the land. ISIS too, intermittently rises, and then, after coalition airstrikes, falls &'8212; competing to be the most extreme actor in a crowded marketplace. The government in Kabul is weak, ridden by conflict and rivalry between senior players. And the West's ideas for stabilizing the country are running out But really it is the mood in the capital which tells you things are still slipping, yet again. Long-term Afghan friends discussing for the first time how they might leave. A top executive saying his employees are leaving their large, high-profile Afghan company to protect themselves from possible attack at their central offices. This is not a time for optimism. There is no sign the Taliban are weakened, even though one Afghan official told me hundreds of mid-level leaders have been taken out in raids over the past year. Their leadership is more radical than ever, and they are likely to see handsome funds from a productive opium harvest, possibly boosted by a new poppy seed that blooms more quickly, massively increasing production. Afghanistan's bleed is slow, and perhaps hidden or ignored by much of the world, but happening all the same. Take this final anecdote from our visit to Helmand, when the Marines took us to a remote outpost where they were advising the Afghan army. We were there to see them pull out, removing themselves from a flat stretch of what Colonel Matthew Grosz called &'8220;Taliban country&'8221; &'8212; a main thoroughfare between insurgent strongholds. But their advisory mission seemed to have run into one issue: There weren't many Afghans to advise. A US Marine stands at the back of a Chinook helicopter en route to Shorsharak. On paper there were 500 Afghan troops, and 45 US marines. But as Grosz told me: &'8220;There's 200 assigned right now.&'8221; By &'8220;assigned,&'8221; he meant that there were 200 who had existed, physically at the base. But even that was optimistic, as another hundred had never shown up while the Marines were there. In fact, of the hundred they had seen, some were on operations or on patrol. So really there were fifty to a hundred Afghan soldiers at the base, almost enabling one-to-one Marine mentoring sessions. As we sat in the Helmand runway bomb shelter, waiting for the &'8220;all clear&'8221; after the rocket attack, I overheard two young Marines chatter about 9/11 as though it was a moment of historical import rather than something they had seen live on TV. That's because for them, it is something their parents mourned when they were probably five or six. Fifteen years of war sounds exhausting until you remember that for Afghans, [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsJul 24th, 2017

Military knew as early as April the Marawi attack plan – Calida - Rappler

Military knew as early as April the Marawi attack plan – Calida - Rappler.....»»

Category: newsSource:  googlenewsRelated NewsJun 13th, 2017

WATCH: On Independence Day, artists' group raises PH flag in West Philippine Sea - Rappler

WATCH: On Independence Day, artists' group raises PH flag in West Philippine Sea - Rappler.....»»

Category: newsSource:  googlenewsRelated NewsJun 12th, 2017

WATCH: On Independence Day, artists' group raises PH flag in West Philippine Sea - Rappler

WATCH: On Independence Day, artists' group raises PH flag in West Philippine Sea - Rappler.....»»

Category: newsSource:  googlenewsRelated NewsJun 12th, 2017

IN PHOTOS: On Independence Day, artists' group raises PH flag in West Philippine Sea - Rappler

IN PHOTOS: On Independence Day, artists' group raises PH flag in West Philippine Sea - Rappler.....»»

Category: newsSource:  googlenewsRelated NewsJun 12th, 2017

Bulk of Duterte's massive infra plan to be funded via local financing - Rappler

Bulk of Duterte's massive infra plan to be funded via local financing - Rappler.....»»

Category: newsSource:  googlenewsRelated NewsMay 31st, 2017

Top PH security officials visit disputed island in West PH Sea - Rappler

Top PH security officials visit disputed island in West PH Sea - Rappler.....»»

Category: newsSource:  googlenewsRelated NewsApr 21st, 2017

PH security officials visit disputed island in West PH Sea - Rappler

PH security officials visit disputed island in West PH Sea - Rappler.....»»

Category: newsSource:  googlenewsRelated NewsApr 21st, 2017

ASEAN Summit in Manila to tackle West PH Sea - Rappler

ASEAN Summit in Manila to tackle West PH Sea - Rappler.....»»

Category: newsSource:  googlenewsRelated NewsApr 19th, 2017

Duterte administration details 'ambitious' infra plan - Rappler

Duterte administration details 'ambitious' infra plan - Rappler.....»»

Category: newsSource:  googlenewsRelated NewsApr 18th, 2017

Duterte administration details 'ambitious' infra plan - Rappler

Duterte administration details 'ambitious' infra plan - Rappler.....»»

Category: newsSource:  googlenewsRelated NewsApr 18th, 2017

Ex-DFA chief hits Duterte over 'selling' West PH Sea islands - Rappler

Ex-DFA chief hits Duterte over 'selling' West PH Sea islands - Rappler.....»»

Category: newsSource:  googlenewsRelated NewsApr 11th, 2017