Diary from Indonesia’s Natuna: Tents, health checks and communal games in COVID-19 quarantine centre

JAKARTA: It was the early dawn on Feb 2 but Ms Zakia Ayu Alvita Abidin Putri was fully awake, eagerly waiting with her luggage at Wuhan’s airport. The 20-year-old Indonesian student had been anticipating her departure from Wuhan, the epicentre of the deadly COVID-19 outbreak. Advertisement Advertisement With 237 others, most of whom were students, Ms Putri belonged to a group of Indonesian citizens who were about to be evacuated from Hubei province to Indonesia on a Batik Air flight. READ: Garuda grounds aircraft after passenger on Bali-Shanghai flight tested positive…

Arctic ‘security vacuum’ increases risk of regional conflict, EU ambassador warns

The Arctic is becoming a key battleground because of a lack of international rules on security and the increasingly aggressive push to tap its mineral riches, the EU’s first ambassador to the region said. The Arctic is warming two to three times faster than most of the rest of the world. Most of that heating is not caused by the 4 million people living there, but from countries outside the region. While climate change is an increasing concern, the EU ambassador to the Arctic, Marie-Anne Coninsx, told The National that…

S’pore, Germany eye new areas of defence collaboration, Singapore News & Top Stories

Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen met German Federal Minister of Defence Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer on Sunday to explore new areas of defence collaboration, including in cyber security and the tackling of disinformation. The two ministers’ first meeting took place on the sidelines of the 56th Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany. The annual three-day, high-level security conference brings together more than 500 heads of government, defence and foreign ministers, parliamentarians, military leaders and security experts from around the world. During the meeting, Dr Ng thanked Germany for supporting the Singapore…

Bang for buck: Offsetting sub program costs and building the fleet we need?

With continued concerns regarding the multibillion-dollar Attack Class submarine program raising further questions about the program, could buying a foreign-built, modified ‘off-the-shelf’ design enable Australia to build the fleet it needs to ensure national security, while supporting the naval shipbuilding plan. It is shaping up to be one hell of a labour and birthing process for Australia’s multibillion-dollar SEA 1000 Attack Class submarine program as government, Defence and Naval Group move to allay the fears of Australia’s strategic policy community and the public.  Despite repeated rebuffs by senior Defence uniformed personnel,…

Ahead of Trump’s visit, Navy warship takes fuel supplies from US ship near South China Sea

ANI | Updated: Feb 17, 2020 19:20 IST New Delhi [India], Feb 17 (ANI): Ahead of US President Donald Trump‘s visit to India, an Indian Navy warship was seen taking fuel supplies from US Navy warship near the South China Sea during a recent overseas deployment where the Indian fleet travelled to ports in countries including Japan, Indonesia and Philippines, according to Indian Navy sources.Trump will pay a two-day state visit to India from February 24 at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.According to the Ministry of External Affairs…

NST Leader: Guerilla geopolitics | New Straits Times

WE used to know when a war starts. We no longer do. That is because wars come dressed as geopolitics. National interest, it appears, is no longer border-bound. Mercenaries and proxies see to it that it is the case. But one thing hasn’t changed. The end game of this new war is the same as before: divvying up territories among victors. The first Great Game of the 18th century between Britain and Russia did just that. Current and future great games will do the same, but with proxies as in…

VFA fallout » Manila Bulletin News

Published February 18, 2020, 12:32 AM CHAFF FROM THE GRAIN By HECTOR R. R. VILLANUEVA     “China sees itself as fixture of the universe: It always was; it will always be.” — Graham Allison, Harvard University Hector R. R. Villanueva China is gaining influence in the Philippines without trying. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte serves it on a silver platter. Foreign affairs advisers must have whispered into the President’s ears that the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) was dispensable compared to EDCA and MDT (Mutual Defense Treaty) to assuage the President’s…

ADF reduces footprint in potential Philippines ‘caliphate’

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has scaled back its presence in the Philippines, two years after Islamic State affiliated rebels executed a bloody siege of Marawi that left 1100 dead. At its peak, the ADF had deployed two spy planes, two navy patrol boats, a team of special forces and more than 100 ADF personnel to counter the spread of Islamic extremism. Philippine Marines detonate a target as they train with Australian Defence Forces. (AP) As Operation Augury transitions into its next phase, nine.com.au has confirmed the ADF has withdrawn…

Donald Trump India visit: F-16 and F-35 fighter jet maker Lockheed Martin’s new offer to IAF for Tejas

The American aerospace giant has also shared its willingness to cooperate with India to develop Indian-built Tejas into a much more effective fighter plane. Ahead of the US President Donald Trump’s much-anticipated visit to India, Lockheed Martin has offered a helping hand to India in developing next-generation advanced aircraft equipped for multi-role combat, according to a PTI report. Lockheed Martin manufactures powerful fighter jets such as F-16s and F-35s. The American aerospace giant has also shared its willingness to cooperate with India to develop Indian-built Tejas into a much more…