It Looks Identical to Another With Very Different Genes

The Kentish Plover (right) and White-faced Plover (left) are look very similar but are in fact different species. Credit: Jonathan Martinez Scientists have identified a new bird species from the Southern coast of China, that diverged from its Northern relatives around half a million years ago. New research by the Milner Centre for Evolution academics in collaboration with Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou (China) shows that Southern and Northern breeding populations of plovers in China are in fact two distinct species: Kentish plover (Charadrius alexandrinus) in the North and white-faced…

Pinoys value ties with US over China – SWS – The Manila Times

Majority of Filipinos believe that the Philippines’ relationship with its long-time ally, the United States, is more important than that with China, according to the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey released on Saturday. The poll conducted from September 27 to 30 among 1,800 Filipino adults nationwide showed that 78 percent of the respondents valued the Philippines’ ties with the US than with China while only 12 percent said they thought the country’s relationship with China was more important. On the other hand, 5 percent said the country’s relationship with…

On my bookshelf, China and dictators steal the spotlight

When my editor asked me to write about books on any of these subjects – security, foreign policy, and governance – as part of a package of year-end stories, I went over my groaning bookshelf and found 3 that I have partly read, with bookmarks still on the pages where my attention stopped and veered to other books. I returned to these trio which have one thing in common: they are all written by academics in engaging prose, appealing to a wide audience. Isn’t it good news that journalists face…

Taiwan the right choice for helping the US Navy

After the US government passed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act late last month, the Chinese government announced early this month that it would retaliate by suspending visits to Hong Kong by US military ships and imposing sanctions on five US non-governmental organizations for instigating the “anti-extradition” protests in the territory. The US Navy has a long history of making port calls in Hong Kong. Although it has military bases in the region, including the Port of Manila and Da Nang Port in Vietnam, the US still favors…

US Air Force conducts overflights at SCS

US Air Force conducts overflights at SCS Jaime Laude (The Philippine Star) – December 8, 2019 – 12:00am MANILA, Philippines — The United States Air Force (USAF) has been sending its planes and other air assets to conduct flight operations across the South China Sea to implement Freedom of Navigation Operations (FONOPS) in the region. US Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) commander Gen. Charles Brown said the air operations run parallel to the US Navy’s sustained FONOPS to ensure stability in the Indo-Pacific region. “We’ve been flying in and around the South…

Could China and America Fight a War in the South China Sea? Here’s Three Ways How

Key Point: Neither side wants war, but China’s behavior—and America’s response—makes it possible to fight on accident. It’s easy to imagine an even more serious confrontation in the SCS.  Another accidental collision would be bad enough, but if a scenario developed similar to that of the downing of KAL 007, with a Chinese fighter jock actually opening fire on an American plane, the situation could get ugly very quickly.  And if an American pilot fired upon a Chinese plane, the reaction of the Chinese public could become too much for Beijing to reasonably…

Palace welcomes ICC withdrawal of communication vs. Xi Jinping

MANILA — Malacañang on Saturday welcomed the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) ruling, which says that it lacked jurisdiction over the two former Philippine officials’ communication filed against Chinese President Xi Jinping and other Chinese officials for alleged crimes against humanity by pursuing Beijing’s sweeping claims to the South China Sea. In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the ICC’s decision complements Malacañang’s earlier stance that the communication filed by former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario and former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales against China may not prosper since the filing…

World War 3: Nuclear missile panic as Israel fires mystery rocket ‘aimed at Iran’ | World | News

Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif argued Israel’s latest military test was more concerning than they had let on and hinted at it being a nuclear missile warning. Israel’s Ministry of Defence wrote on their Twitter page yesterday: “A few minutes ago, the defence establishment conducted a test of a rocket propulsion system, from a base in central Israel. The test was pre-determined and took place according to plan.”  Mr Zarif said: “Today tested a nuke-missile, aimed at Iran.” He also lamented that the West does not complain “about the only nuclear…

China warning: USA military expansion in Asia ‘fraught with tension’, says expert | World | News

Tensions in the region have increased in recent years, with the Chinese fortifying a large number of uninhabited islands in the South China Sea, over which the country asserts a territorial claim. The US has on a number of occasions sailed warships through the waterway, much to the annoyance of Beijing. Eugene Gholz, an associate professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, who recently participated in a seminar hosted by the US-based Stimson Centre looking at possible ways forward, told Express.co.uk: “I think there is…