Showing posts with label USA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label USA. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Obama Urges Europe to Address Its Debt Crisis

Leaders should favor growth over austerity in response to rising populism, president says

The Washington Post

Updated Nov. 15, 2016 12:14 p.m. ET
ATHENS—President Barack Obama urged Europe to resolve lingering issues from its debt crisis, saying on Tuesday that leaders should favor growth over austerity, as part of their response to the rising populism in Western countries exemplified by the election of Donald Trump.
Mr. Obama made the appeal after meeting with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who said it is time for Greece to receive significant debt relief from Europe.

Obama Keeps Hope Alive for Crisis-Ridden Greece


 Marcus Bensasson

 Eleni Chrepa


When a U.S. president last visited Greece, the economy was booming, Athens had been awarded the Olympics and the country was preparing to join the euro.
That was in 1999, and as Barack Obama gives his keynote speech on Wednesday defending democracy in its birthplace, the spotlight will inevitably fall on Greece’s deterioration. Its journey to the brink of bankruptcy, dragging down financial markets worldwide, was among the defining international events of Obama’s eight years in office and few places better show the ensuing forces of populism that ultimately brought in Donald Trump to replace him.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Trump sees Japan's Abe as ally in push back against China: adviser

 Fri Nov 11, 2016 | 2:16am EST


By Tim Kelly | TOKYO
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's meeting next week with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe may mark the start of talks to garner Japan's support for a push back against China's growing influence in Asia, a security adviser to Trump said.

Trump's campaign comments, including a demand Japan pay more for the upkeep of U.S. forces on its soil, have worried Tokyo about a rift in a security alliance with Washington, in the face of a rising China and a volatile North Korea, that has been the bedrock of its defense since World War Two.

A tougher stance against China, however, and a call for Japan to play a bigger security role through a Trump-Abe axis would however fit with Abe's hawkish policies that include allowing the military to operate more freely overseas.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Mosul battle: 'IS leader Baghdadi' urges no retreat


The so-called Islamic State group has released an audiotape which it says is from its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
If true, it would be the first public message from him in about a year and would dispel rumours that he is dead.
The voice on the audio calls on Iraqis to defend the city of Mosul against the Iraqi army, which is attempting to re-take it from the militants.
Baghdadi's whereabouts remain unknown. Some officials have said he may be inside Mosul alongside IS fighters.
It has not been independently verified that the voice in the audio belongs to Baghdadi. There have been repeated rumours of his death through the years, including last year when the Iraqi military said it had hit his convoy.
Mosul, the last IS urban stronghold in Iraq, is where Baghdadi declared a caliphate two years ago.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Greece Defies EU, U.S. on Sanctions for Iran’s Bank Saderat

Athens bucks allies by vetoing renewal of sanctions against bank U.S. accuses of financing terrorism

The Wall Street Journal

Updated Nov. 1, 2016 4:28 p.m. ET

Greece has defied its European allies and Washington by blocking European Union sanctions on an Iranian bank the U.S. accuses of financing terrorism, officials familiar with the move say.

Athens’s action last month marked the first time a European country has picked apart the sanctions regime meant to remain in place following the July 2015 nuclear accord with Tehran. The regime is designed to constrain Iran’s ability to resume illicit activities and pressure it to stick by the agreement.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Greece awaits Obama trip amid tough bailout talks

The Washington Post

By Derek Gatopoulos | AP October 25 at 12:08 PM
ATHENS, Greece — Greece’s government says it was facing pressure from the International Monetary Fund to aggressively scale back union powers and employment rights, as the White House confirmed Tuesday that U.S. President Barack Obama will pay a post-election visit to Athens.

Obama’s Nov. 15 trip could boost efforts by the left-wing government in Athens to press for debt relief from European bailout lenders, as the country’s national debt approaches 180 percent of Greece’s stagnant gross domestic product. Obama will travel on to Germany after his Greek visit.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Rodrigo Duterte’s impetuous pivot

Image result for south china sea map claims

Is the Philippines, until now a staunch American ally, falling into the Chinese camp?
Oct 19th 2016 | Asia

The Economist

EVEN in a year of extraordinary reversals, few would have expected it. In July China reacted with fury when an international tribunal upheld a complaint from the Philippines and rubbished China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea. This week it is rolling out the red carpet for the mercurial Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte. He is being feted in a four-day state visit, with 400-odd businessmen in tow. Rub your eyes: America’s strongest ally in South-East Asia appears to be plopping like a ripe mango into China’s hands.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

U.S. says foreign forces in Iraq should be there with Baghdad's approval

Tue Oct 11, 2016 | 4:36pm EDT


Foreign military forces in Iraq should be there with the approval of the Baghdad government and under the umbrella of the anti-Islamic State coalition, the U.S. State Department said on Tuesday.

Turkey and Iraq disagree over the presence of about 2,000 Turkish troops at a base in northern Iraq, as the coalition prepares for an attack on the Islamic State-held city of Mosul.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Did Hillary Clinton just make her own ‘47 percent’ gaffe?

The Washington Post

By Aaron Blake September 10 at 2:11 PM

Update: Clinton has expressed "regret" for using the word "half." See her statement at the bottom of this post.

Hillary Clinton said Friday night in New York that half of Donald Trump's supporters are racist, sexist, xenophobic, homophobic and/or Islamophobic.

At an "LGBT for Hillary" fundraiser, where Barbra Streisand performed, Clinton expanded on previous comments about many Trump supporters falling into a "basket of deplorables" that includes the groups listed above.

Monday, September 5, 2016

U.S., Russia not yet eye-to-eye on possible resumption of Syrian cease-fire

The Washington Post
By William Wan, Karen DeYoung and Liz Sly September 4 at 2:05 PM

HANGZHOU, China— Efforts by the United States and Russia to forge a deal for a cease-fire in Syria and to coordinate their counterterrorism operations there faltered again Sunday, even as a major new Syrian-Russian offensive in the besieged city of Aleppo appeared to undermine key components of the proposed agreement.

After an anticipated news conference did not take place, Secretary of State John F. Kerry told reporters that his negotiations here with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov snagged on “a couple of tough issues” — nearly identical to the language he used when the two failed to reach agreement in their last meeting, just over a week ago in Geneva. Officials said they would meet again Monday.

Friday, September 2, 2016

China Will Try to Deflect G-20 Complaints at Hangzhou Summit

Amid backlash against globalization, Beijing casts itself as victim—not cause—of ‘trade protectionism’
The Wall Street Journal
Updated Sept. 1, 2016 12:31 a.m. ET
BEIJING—A summit of major economies meant to be a moment of glory for China coincides with a world-wide backlash against globalization—and much of it is blamed on China.

Beijing sees gatherings of world leaders as its chance to emphasize China’s ascending role on the world stage, and spares no effort to ensure outsize pomp—or blue skies—for the occasion. But as President Xi Jinping prepares to welcome leaders of the Group of 20 economies to the ancient city of Hangzhou, keeping China from being singled out as a hindrance to global growth is increasingly emerging as a goal.

Britain’s post-Brexit warning for Americans seduced by Trump

The Washington Post
By Sebastian Mallaby September 1 at 11:58 AM

Donald Trump’s ungainly back-and-forth on immigration has a parallel in Britain, which is struggling to make sense of its own impetuous resolution to take control of its borders. Indeed, if Britain after the Brexit referendum is anything to go by, a Trump presidency would be dominated by zigzagging: sometimes to dilute past promises, sometimes to double down. In the terrifying event that Trump actually became president, you’d hear supporters grumbling bitterly about treachery — even as critics wondered furiously why impractical campaign pronouncements were so seductive for so long.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

China charges American with espionage ahead of Obama’s Asia trip

The Washington Post

By Emily Rauhala August 30 at 10:37 AM
BEIJING — An American consultant who has been detained in China for more than a year has been formally charged with spying — news that could further complicate U.S.-China ties ahead of President Obama’s trip to Asia.

Sandy Phan-Gillis, 56, of Houston was arrested in March 2015 while traveling in southern China with a trade delegation and has been held without charge since.

“Based on our understanding, Phan-Gillis, because of suspected espionage, has been charged according to law by the relevant Chinese department,” Hua Chunying, a spokeswoman for China’s Foreign Ministry, said in a news conference Tuesday.

India and U.S. deepen defense ties with landmark agreement

By Rama Lakshmi August 30 at 4:30 AM
NEW DELHI — After nearly a decade of painstaking discussions, India and the United States signed a landmark defense agreement Tuesday that will increase the military cooperation between two of the world’s largest democracies.

The agreement was finalized during a visit to Washington by Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar, and it was touted as a symbol of deeper defense ties between the two nations in an increasingly tense part of the world.

Friday, June 24, 2016

China Is Not Trying to ‘Rule the Waves’

 06/23/2016 02:10 pm ET

The Huffington Post

Liu Xiaoming
China’s ambassador to Great Britain

LONDON — “Rule, Britannia! Rule the waves!” This was the patriotic chant of the British Royal Navy when the British Empire was taking shape. That naval power was the force that enabled Britain to rise to world dominance 250 years ago.

Today, some suggest that China is singing a 21st-century version of this famous song with new verses: “China rule the waves“. These commentators imply China is turning the South China Sea into a “South China Lake“ by building military bases and blocking the freedom of navigation.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

U.S. warns China against provocations once court rules on sea claims

Wed Jun 22, 2016 6:43pm EDT



The United States warned China on Wednesday against taking "additional provocative actions" following an impending international court ruling on the South China Sea that is expected to largely reject Beijing's broad territorial claims.

A senior State Department official voiced skepticism at China's claim that dozens of countries backed its position in a case the Philippines has brought against Beijing and vowed that Washington would uphold U.S. defense commitments.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

What Donald Trump Gets Pretty Much Right, and Completely Wrong, About China

Neil Irwin  @Neil_Irwin MARCH 17, 201

The New York Times

If there is one thing Donald Trump seems sure about, it is that the United States is getting a raw deal from China.

To people who spend time studying the United States’ economic relationship with China, Mr. Trump’s accounting of its dysfunctions contains both legitimate, accurate complaints and elements that completely misstate how things work between the world’s largest and second-largest economies.

“They’re killing us,” Mr. Trump has said in many debates, rallies and television appearances. He has threatened to put a 45 percent tax on Chinese imports “if they don’t behave.”

If you take Mr. Trump’s comments at face value, as president he would try to renegotiate a complex set of ties that has pulled hundreds of millions of Chinese out of dire poverty, made a wide range of goods available to American consumers at more affordable prices and contributed to the decline of American manufacturing.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Forget fracking. Choking and lifting are latest efforts to stem U.S. shale bust

Thu Mar 10, 2016 2:32am EST Related: GLOBAL ENERGY NEWS


Something is awry in the beleaguered U.S. shale patch: older wells, which normally gush oil or natural gas in their first few months before rapidly depleting, are not petering out as quickly as they should.

When oil prices began falling a year and a half ago in the deepest rout in a generation, many analysts expected U.S. crude production, especially from fracking in the new shale plays that contributed to a global supply glut, to follow quickly.

America's B-2s Sent To Deter China While B-52s Take On ISIS

By Tyler Rogoway
Yesterday 6:46pm
Washington is moving around its heavy bombers like chess pieces as it attempts to deal with growing threats around the globe. B-52s are already deployed to Spain, but others will also take over for the B-1 as the U.S. Air Force’s ISIS pounding precision bomb truck. In the Indian Ocean, B-2 stealth bombers will be heading to American island outpost Diego Garcia to project power across Asia.

Diego Garcia, which is located with the British Indian Ocean Territories, was a bustling epicenter for USAF bombers and tankers during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Today its airfield is far less active but the island remains a strategic outpost for the US and its allies.

The B-2s’ deployment to Diego Garcia comes as tensions are higher than ever in the South China Sea. Just last week the U.S. Navy sailed a carrier strike group into the heart of the disputed body of water, once again challenging Beijing’s blanket claim on the territory.

North Korean saber rattling has also come to a crescendo with proclamations that the rogue nation is readying its nuclear arsenal for a preemptive strike on South Korean and American forces taking part in the annual bilateral “Foal Eagle” war games.

Opinion: China's military is gearing up to compete with the U.S.

By Yvonne Chiu
Updated 0206 GMT (1006 HKT) March 10, 2016


Hong Kong (CNN)China's military is sending strong signals that it's gearing up to compete with the U.S. as a global superpower, engaging in a multi-faceted reform effort to modernize and professionalize its military.

One of the most significant developments is China's plans to establish an overseas military base—which would be contemporary China's first—in Djibouti. Construction started last month.