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Showing posts from November 24, 2014

‘Biased US won’t affect construction’: China counters criticism of artificial island project

AFP Photo / Rolex Dela Pena

China has cautioned that US warnings to halt construction of a massive artificial island and airfield will not deter it from completing the project in disputed waters of the South China Sea. This is the fourth such undertaking in the last 12-18 months.

China’s top general has defended the construction of the 3,000-meter island as “justifiable” in a scornful response to swift American criticism that followed evidence of large-scale military construction on the Fiery Cross Reef in the Spratly Islands area.

China currently claims almost all of the South China Sea, with some claims being leveled by Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei, Taiwan and the Philippines. However, its land reclamation projects have been causing the West and its strategic partners in the area a headache, owing to the already-tense political situation in the region.

Despite this, of all the claimants in the South China Sea, China is the only one currently not occupying an island with an airfield.


Iran nuclear talks extended till end of June

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius (3rd L), EU envoy Catherine Ashton (6th L), U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (3rd R) and Britain's Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond (front L) sit a a table during talks in Vienna November 21, 2014. (Reuters/Heinz-Peter Bader)

Iran’s nuclear talks with the six world powers will carry on till the end of June, according to British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, confirming earlier reports that negotiations would not reach a conclusion by the deadline of November 24.

An Iranian official confirmed Hammond's comments shortly afterwards.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated that “considerable progress” had been made but there was no final agreement. Meanwhile, the Geneva agreement remains in place, he added, and he expressed expectations that the "basic principles" of a final agreement would be made within three or four months.

Hammond also commented that “significant progress” was achieved.

As of yet, the site of next month’s …

100 suspected al-Shabaab members killed

Nairobi - Kenyan security forces have killed more than 100 suspected members of the Islamist terrorist group al-Shabaab who were pursued into Somalia after massacring 28 people on a bus, Deputy President William Ruto said on Sunday.

At least 28 people were killed on Saturday in the bus attack, in which al-Shabaab later claimed responsibility.

Insurgents of the al-Qaeda-linked group hijacked a passenger bus in the village of Arabia in Mandera county and shot dead everyone who failed to read verses of the Koran. The hijackers drove the bus, which was bound for Nairobi, towards the Somali border, where they shot the victims in the head, authorities said.

Somali passengers were separated from non-Somali passengers before the killings, after which the insurgents fled into Somalia on foot.

"Our security responded swiftly," Ruto said in a press conference, the Daily Nation newspaper reported online. "They identified, followed and struck the perpetrators of the heinous crime."