Philippine president orders virus lockdown of capital – SE Asia

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced plans Thursday for a sweeping lockdown of the capital’s 12 million people, including a halt to domestic travel, in a bid to contain the deadly new coronavirus. Though the nation has detected a fraction of the cases seen in hotspots such as China and Italy, officials hope to arrest the spread before it takes firm root in Manila’s densely packed neighbourhoods.  During a nationally televised address, Duterte also announced a month of school closures, ban on mass gatherings and a prohibition on the entry of…

Nuechterlein: Knowledge of history essential to understand the world we live in. | Commentary

“Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it,” is a phrase used by statesmen, among them Winston Churchill, to urge a study of history to better understand our complicated world. For example, to understand China’s current expansive policies in East Asia, one should read Henry Kissinger’s seminal work “On China.” This scholar and former secretary of state describes humiliations China suffered during the European colonial occupation in the 19th century. The Communist regime, which came to power in 1949, is determinate to recoup China’s territories and…

The Submarine Spy Drone Captured By North Korea

15 years ago the North Koreans may have got themselves some (then) cutting edge U.S. Navy hardware. When an underwater drone washes up on a beach there usually isn’t a queue of navies wanting to admit it’s theirs. There is a suspicion that it may have been involved in covert operations. Even in peacetime navies may conduct intelligence gathering missions off potential adversaries’ coasts. Uncrewed Underwater Vehicles (UUVs) are playing an increasing part of these operations. The original (low resolution) photos shared in 2006 cut off the nose of the…

Government cancels cancellation of visa-on-arrival, visa-free travel

The spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus prompted tourism industry leaders in Phuket this week to support moves to cancel or postpone mass events across the island. All official Songkran Thai New Year festivities in the southern resort island’s Patong district have already been cancelled, along with the annual Phuket Bike Week, usually the biggest motorcycle event in Asia. Even the popular Lard Yai Phuket Walking Street ‘night market’ in Phuket Town (in Thalang Road on Sunday nights) was not spared. In a move sure to rattle working parents, school “summer…

Dead Stealth: What Happens if Fighters Like the F-35 Are Obsolete?

At a recent US Air Force Association conference, Elon Musk, creator of the SpaceX reusable rocket, told thousands of fighter pilots that ‘the fighter jet era has passed’. This declaration on the future of unmanned autonomous systems from one of the world’s most innovative thinkers generated a lot of debate, but it isn’t entirely correct. Rather than crewed aircraft being replaced completely by unmanned systems, we’ll see a partnership of piloted and autonomous systems. The unmanned aircraft will have various levels of trusted autonomy depending on the operational and tactical circumstances they operate in.…

The Thai Tourism Ministry hopes for Covid-19 to abate

The spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus prompted tourism industry leaders in Phuket this week to support moves to cancel or postpone mass events across the island. All official Songkran Thai New Year festivities in the southern resort island’s Patong district have already been cancelled, along with the annual Phuket Bike Week, usually the biggest motorcycle event in Asia. Even the popular Lard Yai Phuket Walking Street ‘night market’ in Phuket Town (in Thalang Road on Sunday nights) was not spared. In a move sure to rattle working parents, school “summer…

The Clipper Race Leg 6

The Clipper Race Leg 6 – Race 9, Day 4: The end is in sight by Clipper Round the World Race 14 Mar 07:10 PDT 14 March 2020 The Clipper Race Leg 6 – Race 9, Day 4 © Clipper Race Race 9: The WTC Logistics Tri-Race has been a short but fast challenge for the Clipper Race teams and the racing fleet has remained incredibly close throughout. As the fleet approaches the end of the triangular 750nm course, tension is high amongst front runners while they close…

Covid-19 reaching ‘stage 3’ in Thailand

The spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus prompted tourism industry leaders in Phuket this week to support moves to cancel or postpone mass events across the island. All official Songkran Thai New Year festivities in the southern resort island’s Patong district have already been cancelled, along with the annual Phuket Bike Week, usually the biggest motorcycle event in Asia. Even the popular Lard Yai Phuket Walking Street ‘night market’ in Phuket Town (in Thalang Road on Sunday nights) was not spared. In a move sure to rattle working parents, school “summer…

Virus foils China’s wooing of Japan

China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee on Feb. 24 announced that the annual assemblies of the National People’s Congress and the People’s Political Consultative Conference would be postponed until further notice. This means that it is not possible to say with certainty that the spread of COVID-19 will be contained in the short term and that Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) cannot legitimately make any international visits. Whether considered from the perspective of the epidemic or domestic Japanese dissatisfaction with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Xi, it also means…