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China to project its military further and stronger

Tue, 05/26/2015 - 09:39

China said Tuesday it would project its military power further beyond its sea borders and more assertively in the air, defending the construction of artificial islands which sparked concern in Washington. The People's Liberation Army navy will put greater emphasis on "open seas protection" rather than "offshore waters defence" alone, the State Council or cabinet said in a white paper. The paper was released with China and the US at loggerheads over Beijing's rapid island-building in contested parts of the South China Sea, which the country claims almost in its entirety.

Taiwan proposes plan to ease South China Sea tensions

Tue, 05/26/2015 - 09:33

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou proposed a plan Tuesday to ease tensions in a vast, resource-rich Asian ocean where China has chafed against its neighbors by using landfill to expand islets to solidify its claims in the region.

China breaks ground on lighthouse project in South China Sea

Tue, 05/26/2015 - 08:47
China hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the building of two lighthouses in the disputed South China Sea, state media said on Tuesday, a move that is likely to escalate tensions in a region already jittery about Beijing's maritime ambitions. China's Ministry of Transport hosted the ceremony for the construction of two multi-functional lighthouses on Huayang Reef and Chigua Reef on the disputed Spratly islands, state news agency Xinhua said, defying calls from the United States and the Philippines for a freeze on such activity. The reefs are known in English as Cuateron Reef and Johnson South Reef.

Japan to join U.S., Australia war games amid growing China tensions

Tue, 05/26/2015 - 08:06

By Matt Siegel SYDNEY (Reuters) - Japan will join a major U.S.-Australian military exercise for the first time in a sign of growing security links between the three countries as tensions fester over China's island building in the South China Sea. While only 40 Japanese officers and soldiers will take part in drills involving 30,000 U.S. and Australian troops in early July, experts said the move showed how Washington wanted to foster cooperation among its security allies in Asia. The Talisman Sabre biennial exercises, to be held in locations around Australia, will encompass maritime operations, amphibious landings, special forces tactics and urban warfare.

Taiwan offers South China Sea peace plan to avert "major conflict"

Tue, 05/26/2015 - 08:01

By J.R. Wu TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan proposed a peace initiative on Tuesday to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea that it says will reduce tensions that have put Beijing at odds with its neighbours and the United States. The South China Sea Peace Initiative announced by President Ma Ying-jeou called on claimants to temporarily shelve their disagreements to enable negotiations on sharing resources. Ma's plan is similar to a 2012 proposal for the East China Sea, which allowed Taiwan and Japan to jointly fish in the contested waters.

SE Asia Stocks - Thai, Philippine indexes weak after trade data

Tue, 05/26/2015 - 06:01
BANGKOK, May 26 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose in line with the rest of Asia on Tuesday but the Thai index pared early gains after weak trade data in April, while the Philippine benchmark ...

Southeast Asia maritime build-up accelerates, raising risks in disputed seas

Tue, 05/26/2015 - 05:52

By Siva Govindasamy SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Southeast Asian nations are prioritising spending on their navies and coastguards amid rising tensions in the South China Sea, but as their capabilities grow, so does the risk that any confrontation in the contested waterway will be harder to contain. Annual defence spending in Southeast Asia is projected to reach $52 billion by 2020, from an expected $42 billion this year, according to IHS Janes Defence Weekly. The 10 nations of Southeast Asia are expected to spend $58 billion on new military kit over the next five years, with naval procurement comprising a large chunk, it said.

Japan to join major US-Australia military drill

Tue, 05/26/2015 - 04:55

Japanese troops will take part in a major US-Australian military exercise for the first time in July, as Washington looks to bolster links among its allies in the face of an increasingly assertive China. Japan's Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) -- its army -- will send 40 personnel to participate in Talisman Sabre, a two-yearly drill that begins on July 7, which will involve around 27,000 servicemen, a spokesman told AFP. "We will participate in joint exercises with the US Marines, rather than operating directly with the Australian military," he said.

Taiwan proposes plan to ease South China Sea tensions

Tue, 05/26/2015 - 04:05

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou laid out a plan Tuesday to ease tensions in a vast, resource-rich Asian ocean where China has chafed against its neighbors by expanding islets with landfill to solidify its claims in the region.

Century Properties tops off Roxas East

Tue, 05/26/2015 - 03:29

The 21-story Roxas East was topped off by developer Century Properties Group (CPG) this May.The tower stands as the fourth in The Residences at Commonwealth, the company's flagship residential project in Quezon City. Previous towers include Osmena West, Quezon North, and Osmena East. The development is set to have eight towers in total, all of which are designed by architectural firm Broadway Malyan. Located in a 2.4-hectare lot along Don Antonio drive, The Residences promise "uncommon" beauty, spaces, and amenities, among others. ...

Is your home on top of a faultline?

Tue, 05/26/2015 - 03:17

The Philippine Institute of Volcanoly and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) recently issued an updated and high-resolution "atlas" of the East Valley Fault and West Valley Fault, two major faultlines that run through sections of Metro Manila. Metro Manila may be due for a 7.2-magnitude earthquake within this lifetime, say experts from the institute, among them PHIVOLCS director Dr. Renato Solidum, Jr. According to records, the last major earthquake caused by the West Valley Fault took place 357 years ago, in 1658.

Asia's migrant domestic workers rally to fight low pay and abuse

Tue, 05/26/2015 - 02:40

By Alisa Tang BANGKOK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Suay Ing was nine when she was first employed as a domestic worker, cleaning for a family and sleeping in their laundry room in the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai for $10 a month. The eldest of four children of migrant construction workers from Myanmar, Ing was 14 when she was trafficked to Bangkok by a broker who promised her a job and abandoned her. Two years ago, she plucked up the courage to leave her abusive boss, turning again to domestic work, but this time, armed with greater knowledge of her rights, she got decent pay, days off and reasonable hours.

Filipina maid photographs "modern slavery" in Hong Kong

Tue, 05/26/2015 - 02:39
By Emma Batha LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A Filipina maid in Hong Kong has published stark photographs of burned and beaten domestic workers to highlight the "modern slavery" she says has long been the city's shameful secret. "Hong Kong is a very modern, successful city but people treat their helpers like slaves," said Xyza Cruz Bacani, whose black and white portraits won her a scholarship from the Magnum Foundation to start studying at New York University this month. It's common but no one talks about it, so I want to tell their stories, I want to tell people it's not OK to treat your domestic workers that way." Bacani is one of the 330,000 domestic workers in the former British colony, most of them from the Philippines and Indonesia.

Want to buy a brand new car?

Tue, 05/26/2015 - 01:57

Tired of fixing your old car? Maybe this is the best time for you to invest in a brand new one. BPI Family Savings Bank, the country’s leading consumer bank, is extending its newest campaign “Bagong Kotse, 1-Month Libre” promo until June 30, 2015 which allows potential car buyers to avail of a car loan term […] The post Want to buy a brand new car? appeared first on Carmudi Philippines.

BPI Family Savings extends auto loan promo

Tue, 05/26/2015 - 00:54

BPI Family Savings Bank, the country’s leading consumer bank, is extending its newest campaign “Bagong Kotse, 1-Month Libre” promo untilJune 30, 2015 which allows you to avail of a car loan with a loan term of at least 36 months. The promo, which includes free 1-month free loan amortization, gives every customer an ease when […] The post BPI Family Savings extends auto loan promo appeared first on Carmudi Philippines.

Saudi executes 88th person this year, topping 2014 total

Tue, 05/26/2015 - 00:40

Saudi Arabia on Tuesday carried out its 88th execution so far this year, surpassing the total for all of 2014 despite activists' concerns that trials are not conducted fairly. The interior ministry identified the latest to be put to death as Saudis Awad al-Rowaili and Lafi al-Shammary, who were convicted of smuggling amphetamines. Jakarta summoned Riyadh's ambassador over her case, a rare diplomatic incident linked to Saudi Arabia's executions, around half of which involve foreigners.

China lodges complaint with US over spy plane flight

Tue, 05/26/2015 - 00:00

China said yesterday it had lodged a complaint with the United States over a US spy plane that flew over parts of the disputed South China Sea in a diplomatic row that has fuelled tension between the world’s two largest economies. Friction in the region has grown over China’s land reclamation in the Spratly islands. China last week said it was “strongly dissatisfied” after a US spy plane flew over areas near the reefs, with both sides accusing each other of stoking instability.

Tuition hike approved for 1,200 elementary, high schools

Tue, 05/26/2015 - 00:00

The Department of Education (DepEd) approved the applications of more than 1,200 private elementary and high schools to increase tuition and other fees, just days after the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) approved tuition hike in 313 private higher education institutions (HEIs). As of yesterday, DepEd said 1,246 out of 1,556 private elementary and high schools were allowed to impose tuition hike. DepEd said the highest request for tuition increase is pegged at 29 percent, while the lowest is at 1.25 percent.

‘Kentex owners still in Phl’

Tue, 05/26/2015 - 00:00

The daughter of one of the Kentex Manufacturing Corp. owners has assured the government that the businessmen are still in the Philippines, contrary to some reports that they have fled the country. Barbara Ang, daughter of Kentex shareholder Veato Ang, said her father and his business partners have no plans of leaving the country despite the razing of the Valenzuela slipper factory, which killed 72 workers on May 13. Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian also stood by his promise to punish any local official who issued the business permit to Kentex even without a fire safety inspection clearance.

Gasoline prices up, diesel down

Tue, 05/26/2015 - 00:00

Oil companies announced yesterday a price hike of 50 centavos per liter for gasoline and a rollback of 50 centavos per liter for diesel effective at 6 a.m. today.