U.S. Justice Department files new lawsuits in renewed push to pressure ‘sanctuary cities’

By Sarah N. Lynch and Makini Brice WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department ramped up its fight on Monday against states and municipalities that adopt “sanctuary” policies to protect illegal immigrants from deportation, with Attorney General William Barr announcing new lawsuits against the state of New Jersey and King County, Washington, where Seattle is located. The lawsuit against New Jersey asks a court to stop the state from enforcing a law that prohibits state and local law enforcement from sharing information about criminally charged illegal immigrants. The lawsuit against…

Why war for wealth has fallen out of fashion

As the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq drag towards their third decade, and Syria’s civil war ticks towards 400,000 dead, it may seem trite to observe that nobody really “wins” a war. But it nonetheless represents a significant historic change, and one that can help account both for the fact that the number of wars is declining as well as the type and location of wars that remain. War always has been “negative sum,” in that any resource gain to the victor was matched by an equal loss to the…

Militant group targets supply convoy south of Baghdad

BAGHDAD, Feb 10 (Reuters) – Militants on Monday targeted a convoy carrying food supplies south of Baghdad using an explosive device, the Iraqi military said in a statement, leading to only material losses. Lebanese pro-Iranian TV channel al-Mayadeen reported that the explosion targeted a convoy carrying military equipment to a base hosting U.S. forces south of the capital. The channel said there was damage to one vehicle but no casualties. The report comes amid heightened tension between Iran-backed paramilitary groups and the United States in Iraq. Washington killed top Iranian…

Virus Death Sparks Filipinos’ Anger Toward China

MANILA, Philippines—On Feb. 2, the Philippines announced the first death outside China from the coronavirus, which originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year. The news set into motion a considerable public outcry targeting popular Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and pried open the wounds of a long history of racist treatment toward those of Chinese heritage. Duterte’s perceived reluctance to respond quickly to the virus, which critics saw as tied to his administration’s warm relations with the Chinese government, led the hashtag #OustDuterte to trend on Twitter.…

Fractures in the US-South Korea Alliance – The Diplomat

Advertisement With U.S.-North Korea talks at an impasse and Pyongyang sticking to a tactically ambiguous line, attention has moved away from the Korean Peninsula. However, policymakers should not lose sight of ongoing developments within the U.S.-South Korea alliance. Although the Trump administration refers to the alliance as the “linchpin” of its Indo-Pacific strategy, and Congress passes resolutions in support of Asian allies, it is unclear whether U.S. policymakers fully appreciate the extent to which U.S. and South Korean perspectives diverge on fundamental bilateral and strategic issues. Whether or not diplomacy…

Thailand Touted for Rare Move to Drop Chinese Plan for Mekong River

Rights groups and researchers have welcomed Thailand’s decision to cancel a Beijing-backed project to dredge and blow open a shallow and rocky stretch of the Mekong River along the Thai-Lao border. The move is a rare victory for groups and communities fighting to save southeast Asia’s most important river from overdevelopment. Beijing’s plan — endorsed by Laos, Myanmar and Thailand in 2000 — was to make the stretch of rapids navigable for larger cargo ships hoping to ply the Mekong between China’s landlocked Yunnan province and the busy trade routes…

Maritime expert says VFA helped deter China from building more structures in WPS

MANILA, Philippines — The country’s Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the United States had prevented China from building structures in Scarborough Shoal in the West Philippine Sea in 2016. China had been prepared to start the reclamation before the South China Sea arbitration ruling was issued in July 2016, maritime expert Jay Batongbacal said in an interview with ABS CBN News Channel on Monday (Feb. 10). “The VFA did deter the transformation of Scarborough Shoal into an artificial island,” Batongbacal said. He added that Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana even acknowledged…

3 Political Hotspots Causing Significant Global Economic Issues

Dublin, Feb. 10, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The “Global War Zones: 3 Political Hotspots Causing Significant Global Economic Issues” report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com’s offering. Through international trade and globalization, there are certain regions that have become absolutely critical to functioning of the global economy. As goods, energy and services move around the world they often pass through certain choke points in which any political instability or fighting would block a huge portion of world trade. Often these areas are highly unstable due to the significance of the value…

Global War Zones: 3 Political Hotspots Causing Significant Global Economic Issues

Dublin, Feb. 10, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The “Global War Zones: 3 Political Hotspots Causing Significant Global Economic Issues” report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com’s offering. Through international trade and globalization, there are certain regions that have become absolutely critical to functioning of the global economy. As goods, energy and services move around the world they often pass through certain choke points in which any political instability or fighting would block a huge portion of world trade. Often these areas are highly unstable due to the significance of the value…