The rescue of ‘Westerdam’ crew and passengers recalls 1970s

The excessive fear around Novel Coronavirus has turned a glamorous vista class Westerdam into a pariah vessel sailing aimlessly between ports searching for entry. She was denied permission to enter Hong Kong, the Phillipines, Taiwan, the US overseas territory of Guam, Japan and Thailand despite having no confirmed cases of infection since departure at the time. However, an 83-year-old female passenger who flew on to Malaysia was diagnosed with the disease upon arrival at Kuala Lumpur, imposing quarantine strictures on other passengers. The brave action of Cambodian Prime Minster Hun…

HSBC braces for massive overhaul, Banking & Finance

Mon, Feb 17, 2020 – 5:50 AM London FROM its headquarters near the Thames to its Asian hub by the South China Sea, HSBC Holdings Plc is abuzz. With days to go before the bank unveils a restructuring, trading desks and back offices are bracing for scenarios that could see the announcement of another reshuffle of senior management, a surprise new chief executive, withdrawals from businesses and job reductions across the globe. It will be the London-based lender’s third major overhaul in a decade, and it will be announced on…

The politics of racism as the Philippines struggles with coronavirus

It would almost seem nothing could further divide politics and society in the Philippines – and then the coronavirus arrived. Only three cases have been confirmed in the country, but rampant fears and unchecked anxieties are playing into the existing division. The first half of President Rodrigo Duterte’s term consistently forced that gap wider, with disputes over the deadly war on drugs, attacks on the media, the judiciary, and more recently with the collapse in US relations. A public health crisis joins an already crowded set of headlines. The Philippines…

Senators to pursue VFA case before SC

MANILA, Philippines — Senators are pushing through with their bipartisan plan to question before the Supreme Court (SC) President Duterte’s decision to terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between the Philippines and the United States without the concurrence of the chamber. Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon over the weekend said he would join Senate President Vicente Sotto III and other administration senators in filing a petition that will question in the SC the President’s move to abrogate the military pact that lawmakers and defense officials have warned could seriously undermine…

US reveals warship that transited Taiwan Strait

The US warship that sailed through the Taiwan Strait on Saturday was likely the USS Chancellorsville. “The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville CG-62 conducts normal underway operations transiting from the East China Sea to the South China Sea,” the US Seventh Fleet said on Facebook late on Saturday. The post has four photographs showing the warship and its crew. However, it did not specify when the transit was made and if it was made via the Strait. The information was made public after the Ministry of National Defense said on…

South China Sea: Taiwan scrambles jets as Chinese military planes encircle island | World | News

China has often infringed on the territories of several countries in the South China Sea under its ‘nine-dash line’ policy. Under the policy, China claims several islands and waters that are within the territorial boundaries of states such as Taiwan, the Philippines and Indonesia. According to Taiwan’s Defence Ministry, the jets shadowed the Chinese aircraft out of the airspace. In a statement, the ministry said: “The Chinese Communist Party’s long-range far-out-at-sea missions have impacted regional security and stability and endanger the peace and welfare shared by all parties in the…

Coronavirus causes Greenburgh couple to be stuck on cruise ship near Asia

CLOSE Instead of touring Asia, a married couple from Greenburgh have been stranded at sea for 12 days. Glenn Eisen and Barbara McNear are two of 1,455 guests aboard Holland America’s MS Westerdam cruise ship, which departed from Hong Kong on Feb. 1, and has been barred from docking anywhere in the region due to concerns over the coronavirus. Their 14-day cruise was scheduled to visit Japan, the Philippines and Taiwan, but has been turned away from each.  The pair, who have lived in Hastings-on-Hudson since 2008 and take frequent cruises, wrote…

Ottawa couple stuck on cruise ship in South China Sea because no port will accept them over coronavirus fears

OTTAWA — What started as an “ideal vacation” for an Ottawa couple on a cruise from Hong Kong has come to an abrupt end with the ship “wandering” the South China Sea because several countries have denied disembarkation to the more than 1,400 passengers on board. “A lot of passengers are anxious,” says Pierre Boucher. “Anxious to go, concerned about their health…anxious really to get a final answer about what could happen.” The 14-day cruise left Hong Kong on Feb. 1 and was scheduled to arrive in Yokohama, Japan on…

Myanmar’s support amid epidemic solidifies its deep China ties

Chinese research vessel Xiangyanghong 06 arrives at Myanmar’s Thilawa port in Yangon on Thursday to conduct a joint research in Myanmar’s waters. Photo: Xinhua As China goes all out to contain the novel coronavirus epidemic and some countries had evacuated their citizens, suspended flights and exaggerated the crisis, a launch ceremony for the China-Myanmar 2020 joint scientific survey of Myanmar’s waters was held on Thursday, at Myanmar’s Thilawa port in Yangon. This is the first major bilateral cooperation project launched by the two sides since President Xi Jinping’s successful visit…