The world is less safe when leaders videoconference

TOKYO — The strict travel bans that countries have put in place to contain the spread of the new coronavirus have halted cross-border interchanges in unprecedented ways. Not even during the Cold War days did countries shut their borders to outsiders to this extent. The isolation prevents national leaders and senior officials from meeting face to face, creating a precarious situation for world peace. The Korean Peninsula, the Middle East and the South China Sea remain powder kegs. The U.S., Japan, Australia and Europe need to work closely together to…

Chinese Coast Guard Patrols Near Philippine-occupied Second Thomas Shoal

A Chinese Coast Guard ship that was deployed during recent pressure campaigns in the South China Sea in Malaysian and Indonesian waters is now patrolling near land features claimed by the Philippines, ship-tracking data shows. The deployment of the ship, which has the call-sign “Chinacoastguard 5302,” near the Philippine-occupied Second Thomas Shoal and two other features claimed by Manila underscores China’s willingness to press its expansive territorial claims, despite a diplomatic détente with the Southeast Asian nation. It also comes as China provides medical aid to the Philippines to help…

Prepare for War or Fight Coronavirus? U.S. Military Battles Competing Instincts

WASHINGTON — One of the hallmarks of the United States military is its ability to project power around the world, often under the banner of slogans intended to strike fear in its adversaries. “Ready to fight tonight” for U.S. troops in South Korea; “America’s 911” for the Marine Corps expeditionary units at sea; the list goes on. But now the foe is a novel coronavirus, and it has struck deep. More than 1,200 military personnel and their family members are affected, disabling a talisman of American military might — a…

The world is less safe when leaders video conference

TOKYO — The strict travel bans that countries have put in place to contain the spread of the new coronavirus have halted cross-border interchanges in unprecedented ways. Not even during the Cold War days did countries shut their borders to outsiders to this extent. The isolation prevents national leaders and senior officials from meeting face to face, creating a precarious situation for world peace. The Korean Peninsula, the Middle East and the South China Sea remain powder kegs. The U.S., Japan, Australia and Europe need to work closely together to…

Could COVID-19 Reshape Global Leadership?

As U.S. COVID-19 cases double every few days and the death toll mounts, the U.S. seems to be caught in a “worst of both worlds” predicament: daily life and much of the U.S. economy is shut down, but no real progress has been achieved in its efforts to contain or eradicate the virus.  Meanwhile, the 11 million people of Wuhan in China, where the pandemic began, are starting to return to a more normal life, with the city’s subway system running again and businesses reopening. In the province of Hubei…

Watch Asia’s Security Flashpoints Closely Amid the Coronavirus Challenge – The Diplomat

Asia Defense | Diplomacy | Security | East Asia | South Asia | Southeast Asia Managing Asia’s key flashpoints could prove challenging – in some senses even more so – as governments are managing the continued fallout from COVID-19. Advertisement A series of developments in recent weeks across Asia’s key security flashpoints reinforces an important reality: Even as key regional governments are understandably consumed by the global coronavirus pandemic which ought to foster a more collaborative environment, managing key conflicts and tensions is likely to continue to prove challenging and at times even more so in the coming months. While…

The Day – Captain of US Navy aircraft carrier seeks crew isolation as virus spreads

WASHINGTON — The captain of a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier facing a growing outbreak of the coronavirus is asking for permission to isolate the bulk of his roughly 5,000 crew members on shore, which would take the warship out of duty in an effort to save lives. In a memo to Navy leaders, the captain of the USS Theodore Roosevelt said the spread of the disease is ongoing and accelerating, and said that removing all but 10% of the crew is a “necessary risk” in order to stop the spread…

Trump tries to channel Churchill

“In war: resolution; In defeat: defiance; In victory: magnanimity; In peace: goodwill,” — former British prime minister Winston Churchill. US President Donald Trump says the US is fighting a war on “an invisible enemy — the war is against the virus.” He sees himself as “a wartime president,” implicitly invoking images of former US presidents Franklin Roosevelt during World War II or George W. Bush after Sept. 11, 2001. War is an apt description of the national mobilization effort being waged in the US against the coronavirus pandemic by the…

Herd immunity could keep coronavirus-afflicted carriers in the fight, former Navy captain says – Pacific

Stars and Stripes is making stories on the coronavirus pandemic available free of charge. See other free reports here. Sign up for our daily coronavirus newsletter here. Please support our journalism with a subscription. TOKYO — The Navy should encourage herd immunity for crews on aircraft carriers in the western Pacific, rather than quarantine sailors ashore who need to be ready for action in the South China Sea, a defense expert and former Navy warship captain said Wednesday. The San Diego-based USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier, which has been operating…

March’s warm weather to continue in April but with more showers expected: Weatherman, Environment News & Top Stories

SINGAPORE – The warmer than usual weather in March is expected to continue in April, but there could be some relief as more rain is also forecast for the next two weeks. The weatherman said on Wednesday (April 1) that April is typically one of the hottest months of the year, with high lightning activity, and that the first half of the month is likely to see short thundery showers across many parts of Singapore on most afternoons. On one or two days, thundery showers could extend into the evening.…