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Venezuela official: Military quashes attack at base

CARACAS — Ruling party chief Diosdado Cabello said Venezuelan troops quashed a "terrorist" attack at a military base yesterday, shortly after a small group o.....»»

Category: newsSource: philstar philstarAug 7th, 2017

Venezuela troops quash anti-Maduro attack on military base

VALENCIA, Venezuela — Soldiers battled for three hours Sunday morning against a small band of anti-government fighters who snuck onto a Venezuelan army base,.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 7th, 2017

Islamic State claims air base attack in Egypt s North Sinai

Islamic State has claimed an attack on an Egyptian military airport that killed one officer and wounded two near the town of Arish in North Sinai on Tuesday, the group’s Amaq news agency said in a statement. Source link link: Islamic State claims air base attack in Egypt's North Sinai.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsDec 20th, 2017

2 dead as Moro rebs attack Army base in Maguindanao

SHARIFF AGUAK, Maguindanao — A 60-year-old man and his 13-year-old grandson were killed as members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) fired at houses and a military detachment in Barangay Timbangan here on Sunday night, police said. Unti Kamama and his grandson, Mohammad, died from bullet and shrapnel wounds after the Islamic State (IS)-inspired… link: 2 dead as Moro rebs attack Army base in Maguindanao.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsDec 4th, 2017

‘Amin Baco’ could be in Basilan, may recruit more Malaysians

MALAYSIAN MILITANT Amin Baco may be hiding in Basilan and could recruit more Malaysians for attacks in other parts of southern Philippines if he is still alive, a former hostage says. The Philippine authorities were earlier divided on whether Sabahan Amin was still alive and emir of the Islamic State (IS) in Southeast Asia, as claimed by an Indonesian militant captured in the besieged city of Marawi. But the latest statements by the Philippine military indicate that the seasoned terrorist may still be alive and is one of 10 militants who could be the new leader of the terror group’s regional arm. “Amin was definitely one of the leaders during the siege on Marawi,” college teacher Lordvin Acopio, who spent four months in captivity by the pro-IS groups which attacked Marawi, told FMT. “I can’t say how many groups were in Marawi. Amin led one of the groups. “Each group had 10-15 fighters, but the number depended on the size of the area they were guarding. “If Amin is still alive, it’s possible he’ll recruit more Malaysians to join in attack plots in other parts of southern Philippines.” Amin and others were said to be potential candidates to succeed IS’ Southeast Asia emir designate Isnilon Hapilon, who was killed last month in Marawi. Amin, who was from Tawau, was also reported to be an expert bomb-maker, recruiter and facilitator of weapons movement between southern Philippines and the east coast of Sabah. Malaysian counter-terrorism chief Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay last week revealed Amin was Isnilon’s son-in-law, which caught analysts and experts by surprise. Some analysts said Amin’s family relationship with Isnilon, as well as his leadership position, vast experience and network, could set him apart from the other candidates for the top post. “If Amin is Isnilon’s son-in-law, most probably the IS’ regional leadership position was given to him after Isnilon was killed. The possibility is high,” Lordvin said. In October, FMT broke the news about a Malaysian teenager whom Lordvin had seen fighting troops alongside his militant father in Marawi. FMT withheld the identity of the militant and his son, but last week, Ayob Khan revealed the boy’s name, adding that he was Amin’s son. Lordvin, who was kidnapped on May 23, the first day of the Marawi war, said Amin and his son had access to siege leader Isnilon. “The boy was always at Isnilon’s place if he was not at the frontline fighting with his father,” Lordvin told FMT. “All of us hostages kept getting moved around, but wherever we were held, Isnilon was always in a building nearby and we weren’t allowed to go there. “Not everyone could see Isnilon at his place or command centre unless they were high-ranking militants. “I believe Amin’s son always visited his step-grandfather Isnilon at the command centre to collect firearms or to give situational reports.” Ayob Khan had said last week that Amin’s son was still alive and probably in Basilan, the base of the Abu Sayyaf group led by Isnilon. “If the boy is now in Basilan, then most probably Amin is also there because the duo never left each other’s side in Marawi,” Lordvin said. “In fact, intelligence reported by the Philippine media says militants are planning attacks there and elsewhere as revenge for the loss of their caliphate in Marawi. “Many relatives of those militants killed in Marawi are said to be doing recruitments now.” More than 1,000 people, mostly militants, were killed in the five-month clashes between the authorities and militants who wanted to set up a so-called IS caliphate in the lake city. (By Zam Yusa – Free Malaysia Today) 1,489 total views, 1,489 views today.....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsDec 2nd, 2017

2 soldiers hurt in grenade attack in Masbate

LEGAZPI CITY -- Two soldiers were wounded when a grenade thrown by suspected New People's Army (NPA) rebels exploded at the municipal building in Cayawan town in Masbate province on Saturday night, report reaching the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Bicol said. Senior InspectorMaria Luisa Calubaquib, Bicol police spokesperson, said Sunday that Sgt. Dennis Orogo and Private First Class Alfie Romero, of the Army's 93rd Civil Military Operations (CMO) Company, were wounded in the attack. The report said the two soldiers were manning the CMO office at about 8:20 p.m. when two suspected NPA men on a motorcycle threw a hand grenade at the back of the building where the Army unit was base...Keep on reading: 2 soldiers hurt in grenade attack in Masbate.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsNov 19th, 2017

We won’t back a revolutionary gov’t, Defense, AFP chiefs assure Robredo

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Lt. Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero, chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), have assured Vice President Leni Robredo that the military will not support any move placing the country under a revolutionary government. On the request of the Vice President, the AFP official briefed Robredo on the ongoing rehabilitation efforts in Marawi, where the government has just ended a five-month siege by Islamic State-inspired terrorists. The security briefing was held at the Philippine Air Force headquarters at Villamor Air Base in Pasay City on Wednesday afternoon. Robredo said the military gave a "very comprehensive" briefing on the efforts...Keep on reading: We won’t back a revolutionary gov’t, Defense, AFP chiefs assure Robredo.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsNov 8th, 2017

Could North Korean, US threats of destruction cause an accidental war? – CNN News

The war of words between North Korea and the United States could be pushing the region closer to the brink of an accidental conflict. While neither country is outwardly moving towards an actual war footing, military displays of power, mixed with threats and counter threats may result in an ugly outcome, Stratfor Vice President of Strategic Analysis Rodger Baker told CNN. &'8220;The North Koreans assume that the threats will be enough to restrain US action but the US might be thinking the same thing, so you end up in a situation where a provocation from one side is seen by the other as an actual move towards war,&'8221; he said. North Korea's Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho announced on Monday that US President Donald Trump had &'8220;declared a war&'8221; on his country by tweeting that North Korea &'8220;won't be around much longer.&'8221; Ri's interpretation of Trump's tweet was roundly dismissed by the White House later that day. The South Korean government has been desperately calling for calm on both sides, as the country's citizens would be among the first to suffer in any war. Speaking in Washington on Monday, South Korea's Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said the United States has to help to reduce tensions on the peninsula. &'8220;It is very likely that North Korea will conduct further provocations,&'8221; she said. &'8220;It is imperative that we, Korea and the US together, manage the situation &' in order to prevent further escalation of tensions or any kind of accidental military clashes which can quickly go out of control.&'8221; Foreign Minister Ri told reporters Monday North Korea would shoot down any US bombers which flew near the Korean Peninsula, even if they didn't enter North Korea's airspace. &'8220;In light of the declaration of war by Trump, all options will be on the operating table of the Supreme leadership of DPRK,&'8221; Ri said, according to his official English translator. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was quick to respond, saying Monday the US had not declared war and any suggestion along those lines was &'8220;absurd.&'8221; Euan Graham, director of the International Security Program at Sydney's Lowy Institute, said while the physical threat of war had not increased, every unfulfilled threat from the US did damage to its international position. &'8220;When threats are made and not followed through US credibility suffers both in the eyes of North Korea and its allies,&'8221; Graham said. &'8220;The US is very unlikely to engage in a preventative war against North Korea, so it's more the risk of stumbling into this because the North Koreans decide they have to escalate or they believe something US is doing is a preventative strike or a decapitation attack (against the leadership).&'8221; Over the weekend, North Korea moved airplanes and boosted defenses on its east coast, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported Tuesday, quoting intelligence agencies. It followed a flyover by US bombers close to North Korea on Saturday. US B-1B bombers from Guam flew in international airspace over waters east of North Korea, according to the Pentagon, a move they said underscored the seriousness of Pyongyang's &'8220;reckless behavior.&'8221; It was the furthest north of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), the area of land between North and South Korea, which US fighters or bombers had flown in the 21st Century, the Pentagon said. Stratfor's Baker said he was concerned any moves by North Korea to shadow US planes or to engage in displays of military might could lead to accidental conflict. &'8220;There haven't been many incidents where they've engaged in this sort of behavior so they don't know how to deal with each other in this situation, they don't know how to read the way that each side is acting, so you can get accidents and the North Koreans, again, they may overestimate their hand,&'8221; he said. But Baker added it was important to note that neither side had engaged in the large movement of troops or evacuation of civilians which would precipitate a full blown war. &'8220;We don't see the US taking action to rapidly reduce the number of civilians and non military personnel in South Korea &' at the same time, rhetoric is working to increase the potential of an accident.&'8221; The latest standoff between Washington and Pyongyang came as a North Korean Foreign Ministry official flew to Moscow to meet with a representative of the Russian government. According to state media KCNA, director general at the Foreign Ministry's North American Department Choe Son Hui left for Moscow on Monday. She'll meet with Oleg Burmistrov, a &'8220;roving ambassador&'8221; with Russia's Foreign Ministry. The meeting comes amid cooling relations between Pyongyang and Beijing, with China's Ministry of Commerce announcing on Saturday it would immediately restrict petroleum exports to North Korea in line with UN sanctions. &'8220;Russia has been a supplier of petroleum products either directly or not paying attention to what it's own countries are doing in regard to North Korea,&'8221; Baker said. The latest round of sanctions, agreed to on September 11, were reportedly amended by the US after it became clear Russia and China wouldn't allow stronger restrictions. &'8220;Russia is a potential helpful card for the North Koreans to use particularly if they're worried that China is going to get more hostile and especially as secondary sanctions (from the US) come into play,&'8221; Graham said.(&'8220;Russia is a potential helpful card for the North Koreans to use particularly if they're worried that China is going to [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsSep 26th, 2017

Venezuela says it repelled paramilitary attack on army base

Venezuela says it repelled paramilitary attack on army base.....»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsAug 7th, 2017

Venezuela army repels attack on base, hunts assailants

Venezuela army repels attack on base, hunts assailants.....»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsAug 7th, 2017

Venezuela army repels attack on base, hunts assailants

Venezuela army repels attack on base, hunts assailants.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsAug 7th, 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

Assad tours Russian military base in Syria

BEIRUT — The Latest on the White House saying it has "potential" evidence that Syria's government is preparing another chemical weapons attack (all times loc.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJun 27th, 2017

Clashes as Venezuela protesters target military base

Clashes as Venezuela protesters target military base.....»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsMay 27th, 2017

Over 100 killed, wounded in Taliban attack on Afghan military base – gov't

Over 100 killed, wounded in Taliban attack on Afghan military base – gov't.....»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsApr 23rd, 2017

Afghan official: Massive US bomb death toll rises to 94

KABUL — The number of militants killed in an attack by the largest non-nuclear weapon ever used in combat by the US military has risen to 94, an Afghan offic.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsApr 15th, 2017

White House blames Obama admin for suspected Syria chemical attack – ABC News

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said on Tuesday that a suspected chemical attack in a Syrian town was a &'8220;consequence of the past administration's weakness and irresolution.&'8221; &'8220;Today's attack is reprehensible and cannot be ignored by the civilized world,&'8221; Spicer told reporters. &'8220;These heinous actions by the Bashar al-Assad regime are a consequence of the past administration's weakness and irresolution. President Obama said in 2012 that he'd establish a red line against the use of chemical weapons and then did nothing. The U.S. stands with our allies across the globe to condemn this intolerable act.&'8221; U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who was meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan at the State Department in Washington, ignored questions from reporters about the chemical weapons attack. The Department of State later released an official statement condemning it. &'8220;While we continue to monitor the terrible situation, it is clear that this is how Bashar al-Assad operates: with brutal, unabashed barbarism,&'8221; Tillerson said in the statement. &'8220;Those who defend and support him, including Russia and Iran, should have no illusions about Assad or his intentions. Anyone who uses chemical weapons to attack his own people shows a fundamental disregard for human decency and must be held accountable.&'8221; Tillerson also called upon Russia and Iran to &'8220;exercise their influence over the Syrian regime and to guarantee that this sort of horrific attack never happens again.&'8221; And Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., tweeted that the Security Council will hold an emergency meeting Wednesday morning. &'8220;Assad must be held accountable for these barbaric attacks against his own people,&'8221; she wrote. The alleged Syrian government airstrike, in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in northern Syria, killed at least 58 civilians, including 19 children, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a U.K.-based monitoring group. The Syria Civil Defense and the Health Directorate in Idlib said that more than 50 people were killed and 300 injured. Syria's military denied using chemical weapons against civilians, saying it is too &'8220;honorable&'8221; to carry out such &'8220;heinous&'8221; crimes while the Syrian Foreign Ministry said Damascus is committed to its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention it joined in 2013, denying its military has used such agents in today’s attack. If confirmed the incident would be the deadliest chemical attack in Syria since sarin gas killed hundreds of civilians in the Damascus suburb of East Ghouta in August 2013. Today's attack appeared to involve a gas that caused victims to choke and faint, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Syria Civil Defense, medics and residents. Warplanes later struck the town again, hitting a hospital where some of the victims were being treated and a Syria Civil Defense center. &'8220;What moved us most was when we entered a house and saw a whole family — a father, a mother and four children — killed because of the chemical attack,&'8221; Abdullah al-Hussein, a Syria Civil Defense volunteer who was at the scene, told ABC News in a voice recording in Arabic. &'8220;They had been asleep. They were in their beds. The truth is that what happened today was painful in all meanings of the word.&'8221; He said that many residents were still asleep when the attack happened in the early morning. He saw more than 100 injured people and at least 20 bodies of children, women and men at one of the hospitals tasked with treating victims, he said. US reviewing airstrikes in Iraq and Syria that may have killed 100s of civilians Syria struggles with shortage of drugs for young cancer patients Muneer, a schoolteacher who lives in Khan Sheikhoun, said he was alone at home when he heard the attack. &'8220;I hid in the corner of the room,&'8221; Muneer, who asked that his last name not be published, out of security concerns, told ABC News via a messaging app in Arabic. He said he lives in the center of the town and the attack took place in the northern part. When he later tried to approach the area that was struck, people told him not to go any farther. &'8220;They warned me that I would faint if I came close,&'8221; he said, &'8220;so I stopped walking.&'8221; He said schools were closed today. Doctors in Syria who treated some of the victims told ABC News that they saw patients with pinpoint pupils, foaming at the mouth, loss of consciousness, slow breathing, running noses and other neurological symptoms consistent with chemical weapons. &'8220;The hospital in Khan Sheikhoun was filled with injured children, women and men, and a smell of chlorine was filling the place,&'8221; Mohammad Alshagel, a media activist with the Aleppo Media Center who visited the hospital, told ABC News. &'8220;The injured had heavy choking symptoms, and some of them died five minutes after arriving, even though medical staff tried to help them.&'8221; He said the hospital was attacked after he left. He has witnessed the aftermath of several chemical attacks in Aleppo and they were not as bad as this one, he said. &'8220;It was a horrible scene. Children were crying, asking for their parents who had died, and women were screaming,&'8221; he said. Raed al-Saleh, the head of the volunteer Syria Civil Defense, or White Helmets, told ABC News that five rockets hit the group's center in the town, destroying equipment. The attack comes as world leaders and diplomats gather in Brussels for talks [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsApr 5th, 2017

Japan mulls more aggressive military stance as North Korean threat looms – CNN News

Japan is considering a further step away from its long-held pacifist stance with a proposal which would allow it, for the first time since World War II, to strike overseas targets. The proposal from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) advocates adopting new measures to address missile threats from North Korea, including ramping up Japan's missile defense capabilities and, in a departure from its postwar constitution, developing the &'8220;capacity to counterattack enemy bases&'8221; in the event of a missile attack on the country. Hiroshi Imazu, chair of the Research Commission on Security for the LDP, and former Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera, submitted the proposal on missile defense to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Onodera, who led the panel, told press after the meeting that Japan's current systems might not be able to cope with a barrage of attacks. &'8220;There are limitations (of our) ballistic missile defense (BMD) if several missiles are fired,&'8221; he said. &'8220;Neutralizing an enemy base (and preventing the launch of) the second and third missiles is within the range of self-defense. It is not a preemptive strike,&'8221; he added. Anxiety in Japan follows a recent string of North Korean missile tests. Earlier this month, Pyongyang fired four intermediate-range ballistic missiles, three of which landed less than 200 nautical miles off the Japanese coast. Abe said that his government would seriously consider the proposal. &'8220;We assess that the threat (from North Korea) has advanced to a new stage, we take it seriously. This assessment is shared by the United States,&'8221; he said Thursday. &'8220;We intend to grasp today's proposal firmly.&'8221; Jeff Kingston, director of Asian studies at Temple University in Tokyo, told CNN Abe is in a &'8220;pretty good position&'8221; to push the changes through the Diet, Japan's parliament. &'8220;In many different ways Abe is pushing the envelope against postwar norms and values,&'8221; Kingston said. However, &'8220;recent (North Korean) tests put wind in his sails and given that he controls both houses of the Diet he's in a pretty good position.&'8221; Japan has not launched an attack on foreign soil since World War II. Currently, any Japanese counterattack on North Korea would need to come from US forces because Tokyo doesn't have all the equipment needed to carry out long-range strikes, analysts said. &'8220;They can bomb anyone landing on one of Japan's main islands&' but they can't strike Chinese or North Korean air bases or missile sites,&'8221; said Carl Schuster, a former director of operations at the US Pacific Command's Joint Intelligence Center. Schuster points out that Japanese warplanes don't carry the equipment necessary to suppress enemy air defenses. &'8220;They can defend. but they can't punch back,&'8221; he said. Renho Murata, the leader of the opposition Democratic Party of Japan, said she was concerned the new proposals indicated that &'8220;the cornerstones of the peaceful nation of Japan&'8221; were &'8220;falling down.&'8221; The politician, who is universally known in Japan by her given name, Renho, added that what constituted a &'8220;counterattack&'8221; would need to be carefully considered. The LDP proposal also suggests Japan ramp up its current defense systems, including the introduction of the US-developed THAAD and Aegis missile defense systems, and accelerate early warning satellite development. It also suggests that Japan's government clarify its legal ability to intercept threats to vessels operating in its 200 kilometer (124 mile) exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Japan mulls more aggressive military stance as North Korean threat looms By Euan McKirdy and Junko Ogura, CNN Updated 0235 GMT (1035 HKT) March 31, 2017 Now PlayingJapan prepares for&' Source: CNN Japan prepares for potential N. Korea attack 02:39 Story highlights Shift would enable targeting overseas 'enemy bases' in the event of a strike on Japan Proposed changes to Japan's military stance come on the heels of 2015 reinterpretation of pacifist constitution Tokyo (CNN)Japan is considering a further step away from its long-held pacifist stance with a proposal which would allow it, for the first time since World War II, to strike overseas targets. The proposal from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) advocates adopting new measures to address missile threats from North Korea, including ramping up Japan's missile defense capabilities and, in a departure from its postwar constitution, developing the &'8220;capacity to counterattack enemy bases&'8221; in the event of a missile attack on the country. Hiroshi Imazu, chair of the Research Commission on Security for the LDP, and former Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera, submitted the proposal on missile defense to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Onodera, who led the panel, told press after the meeting that Japan's current systems might not be able to cope with a barrage of attacks. &'8220;There are limitations (of our) ballistic missile defense (BMD) if several missiles are fired,&'8221; he said. &'8220;Neutralizing an enemy base (and preventing the launch of) the second and third missiles is within the range of self-defense. It is not a preemptive strike,&'8221; he added. Anxiety in Japan follows a recent string of North Korean missile tests. Earlier this month, Pyongyang fired four intermediate-range ballistic missiles, three of which landed less than 200 nautical miles off the Japanese coast. Abe said that his government would seriously consider the proposal. &'8220;We assess that the threat (from North Korea) has advanced to a new stage, we take it seriously. This assessment is shared by the United States,&'8221; he said Thursday. &'8220;We intend to grasp today's proposal firmly.&'8221; Jeff Kingston, director of Asian studies at Temple University in Tokyo, told CNN [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsMar 31st, 2017

How Trump’s health care loss will shape his presidency – CNN News

The fate of Donald Trump's presidency may hinge on what he does next. His failure to convert the core campaign promise of repealing and replacing Obamacare &'8212; even with a GOP monopoly on power in Washington &'8212; has left the White House reeling. Trump and his advisers must now regroup and try to figure out how to avoid another legislative debacle on their next big issue, tax reform. They will do so knowing that a second failure could throttle his presidency. Once, Trump's aides viewed health care reform, presumably an easy early win, as a way to deliver momentum to his presidency and to build toward more sweeping change picked from his ambitious agenda. But the effort's ignominious defeat Friday has severely weakened the President, electrified Democrats and left Trump's declarations that he is the ultimate dealmaker who can change Washington looking increasingly hollow. Trump surprised some of those close to him with his reaction to Friday's health care collapse. He did not vent or rage. Instead in the Oval Office afterward Trump was &'8220;sullen and quiet&'8221; as he contemplated his first blow, dealt by the Washington swamp he had vowed to drain, one insider source said. The President was well aware he failed to deliver on an issue that stirs the passions of his political base. He was also mindful that the health care disaster would make his quest to tackle a behemoth tax package that much more difficult, the source said. Indeed, the early failure means that hundreds of billions of dollars in federal savings that the White House had earmarked to bankroll a tax code overhaul are nowhere to be seen. &'8220;It makes everything harder moving forward,&'8221; one Trump adviser said. Another senior administration official told CNN's Gloria Borger that tax reform could now have to be a &'8220;smaller version,&'8221; than originally planned and the problem would be explaining to the public that because the repeal of Obamacare didn't happen, there's &'8220;a trillion dollars less to deal with.&'8221; Already casting an eye toward the midterm elections, which typically hurt the President's own party, some of Trump's advisers fear Obamacare's underdog survival will provide a rallying point for their political foes. &'8220;Democrats will feel emboldened and their base will feel emboldened,&'8221; a senior administration official said. As the White House grasps for a bounce back strategy, his team must take another look at one of the most important questions that Trump faced when he took power, one lent more urgency by his humiliation over health care. They must consider whether his brand as an outsider &'8212; with broad strokes politics that exacerbates grievances, has little time for dissenters and is anchored around his imposing, unpredictable personality &'8212; can actually prosper in Washington. Ironically, it was the same forces of inertia and division in the capital that soured Trump's voters on the political establishment and helped elevate him to power that combined to defeat him in his first legislative venture. &'8220;I think what happened is that Washington won,&'8221; said Trump's budget director Mick Mulvaney, in a frank moment Sunday on NBC's &'8220;Meet the Press.&'8221; &'8220;I think the one thing we learned this week is that Washington was a lot more broken than President Trump thought that it was,&'8221; said Mulvaney, adding &'8220;the status quo wins and, unfortunately, the folks back home lost.&'8221; Mulvaney's comments marked a stunning admission, given that he works for a President who brashly predicted he knew politics better than the politicians and would soon bring the city to heel with his negotiating flair and mastery of sealing a deal. Instead, two-thirds of the way through his crucial First 100 days, Trump is nowhere near any significant legislative victory. And health care reform's failure is not his only problem. His travel ban on citizens on a list of predominantly Muslim nations has twice been turned back by the courts. His budget, which features steep cuts in diplomacy spending to finance an increase for the military, is facing stiff resistance in Congress. A building intrigue over his campaign's ties to Russia is clouding the White House's mood. It now appears that the most tangible success of Trump's first months in office will be the expected confirmation of his Supreme Court pick, Judge Neil Gorsuch &'8212; though even that will further polarize Washington. Republicans are vowing to invoke the &'8220;nuclear option&'8221; by changing Senate rules so that Gorsuch can be confirmed with 51 votes, along party lines, rather than with the super-majority traditionally required for nominees to the nation's top bench. In one sense, it should not be surprising that Trump is struggling. He is the most inexperienced new president in history, and lacks the political networks and insider contacts that most commanders-in-chief take for granted when they take office. Capitol Hill sources report that the President appeared unfamiliar with the in-depth details of the health care bill, as he tried to move votes in meetings with holdout Republican lawmakers. And while his processor, Barack Obama, spent months marshaling Obamacare through Congress, Trump tried to ram through the repeal bill in a matter of weeks. That was part of a White House strategy to get a fast start in the First 100 Days to create a shock-and-awe sense of momentum. But the tactic appears to have backfired &'8212; especially in the case of Obamacare and the travel ban where too little time was spent assessing the political and [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsMar 27th, 2017

Presidential Trump – CNN News

President Donald Trump reached for poetry and conjured a vision of common national purpose Tuesday during his first address to Congress, shifting his tone from the dark, searing approach of his previous big speeches to the nation. Trump adopted a statesmanlike cadence, hitting notes of inspiration. For once, this most unorthodox of politicians struck a conventional presidential posture as he sought to stabilize his administration after a tumultuous five weeks in office. Though his language was more lofty and unifying than normal, Trump gave little quarter on the substance of his policies on issues ranging from trade, defense, immigration and counterterrorism. The result was a populist, nationalistic prescription that he said would yield &'8220;a new chapter of American greatness.&'8221; &'8220;From now on, America will be empowered by our aspirations, not burdened by our fears, inspired by the future, not bound by failures of the past, and guided by a vision, not blinded by our doubts,&'8221; Trump said, from the Speaker's rostrum in the House of Representatives. During a vitriolic campaign and a raucous start to his term, Trump has done little to reach beyond his base of deeply committed voters who revile the kind of political elites that the President was staring down as he spoke on Tuesday. But, beset by the lowest approval ratings of any new commander-in-chief of modern times, Trump made a palpable effort to court voters who didn't support him with an offer to lay down the battles of the past. In fact, his address ticked almost all the boxes of a traditional State of the Union style appearance. &'8220;I am asking all citizens to embrace this renewal of the American spirit. I am asking all members of Congress to join me in dreaming big, and bold, and daring things for our country,&'8221; Trump said. &'8220;I am asking everyone watching tonight to seize this moment. Believe in yourselves. Believe in your future. And believe, once more, in America.&'8221; It was an uplifting and unifying message that many Americans have rarely heard from Trump, who argued &'8220;the time for trivial fights is behind us.&'8221; While Trump is not solely responsible for the coarsening of political life, his brash, Twitter-fueled approach has rocked the nation's politics. The question now is whether the President was previewing a new, more sober political persona or whether he will return to his old habits. The change in his tone was evident from the first moments of his speech when he condemned the recent spate of threats against Jewish community centers, vandalism at Jewish cemeteries and the shooting of two Indian men in Kansas. He said the violence was a reminder that &'8220;while we may be a nation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all its very ugly forms.&'8221; The comment followed heavy criticism of Trump for not addressing such violence. The new President entered the House chamber to thunderous applause and spoke of the &'8220;renewal of the American spirit.&'8221; A senior White House official said Trump wrote the speech himself with input from almost every member of his presidential team of advisers. In the emotional high point of the speech, Trump turned to the first lady's box and acknowledged Carryn Owens, the widow of a US Navy Special operator, William &'8220;Ryan&'8221; Owens, who was killed in an anti-terror raid in Yemen in the first major military engagement of the new administration. His less explosive presentation style was welcomed by many lawmakers. &'8220;Donald Trump did indeed become presidential tonight, and I think we'll see that reflected in a higher approval rating,&'8221; Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said on CNN after the speech. &'8220;The Donald Trump I heard tonight was a lot more focused and disciplined and subdued, and it was a lot more uneventful in a good way,&'8221; moderate House Republican Charlie Dent told CNN's Tom LoBianco. &'8220;There were not a lot of distractions tonight, this speech was much better than the inaugural speech.&'8221; North Dakota Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, who is up for re-election next year in a state that Trump carried, said the President delivered a &'8220;very good speech.&'8221; &'8220;It was delivered with a sense of 'this is who I am, this is what I want to accomplish' and I think the goals are great,&'8221; she said. &'8220;How we get there is the $10,000 question.&'8221; Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said on CNN that Trump's &'8220;speeches and the realities are very, very far apart.&'8221; &'8220;Until his reality catches up with his speeches, he's got big trouble,&'8221; Schumer said. The looks on lawmakers' faces during Trump's speech Though his rhetoric was soaring, Trump still struck hardline notes. He overruled national security adviser H.R. McMaster, according to a senior administration official, to warn of &'8220;radical Islamic terrorism.&'8221; Hitting themes familiar from his campaign, Trump vowed to restore &'8220;integrity and the rule of law to our borders.&'8221; &'8220;We will soon begin the construction of a great, great wall along our southern border,&'8221; Trump said, drawing Republican cheers even as he didn't mention his earlier promise that Mexico would pay for construction. &'8220;As we speak tonight, we are removing gang members, drug dealers, and criminals that threaten our communities and prey on our very innocent citizens. Bad ones are going out as I speak, and as I promised throughout the campaign&'8221; While such language could please conservatives, Trump sent shockwaves through Washington earlier Tuesday [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsMar 1st, 2017

NPA planned to raid Philex Mining, says Army official

LA TRINIDAD, Philippines – Thursday’s rebel attack could have been more damaging than mere torching of two Volvo trucks, the military said......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsFeb 11th, 2017