Posted by: Chuck | October 7, 2013

Floods in Zamboanga City, the Chinese in the South China Sea – the straight scoop from Uncle Chuck

Hello friends I haven’t up to speed for you all. I hate Facebbook because everyone seems to be a nosy body. Our Internet sever has had hiccups for the past 3 or  4 days, yesterday we had a brownout from dawn to 5 PM and today anther one, oh happy days. I prefer Yahoo messenger over Facebook, it seems to more private. Recently, my health has taken a nose dive and I am unable to walk but somehow I’m still hanging in there. Thanks to God and helping hands of my wife – she is my one & only sweetheart.

There is an unmistakable sense of unease of growing in the world as the U.S. government looks increasingly befuddled. America is shirking from a military confrontation in Syria, stymied at home by a gridlocked Congress and in danger of defaulting on sovereign debt, which could plunge the world’s financial system into chaos. I am not sure what is going on in modern Russia, but what is in place is not functional either with massive corruption and an economy dominated by cronies of the ‘elected’ officials. My own view is that the Tea Party elements of the Republicans are much extreme than people realize. It is a real education to have twitter and get the feeds from people like Donald Trump and Michelle Bachman. Senate rejects House amendments to spending bill as shutdown looms30 Sept. 2013 The Senate rejected House amendments to a short-term spending bill Monday, killing a provision that would delay President Obama’s health-care law and moving the U.S. government closer to its first shutdown in nearly two decades. The Senate vote came shortly after Obama said he was not resigned to a shutdown and plans to continue talking to congressional leaders.

The United States stumbled to within hours of a government shutdown, as a budget duel between President Barack Obama and Republicans threatened America with a self-inflicted economic wound. As a mood of crisis enveloped Washington, three hours before a midnight deadline (0400 GMT), there were no signs of compromise to head off the first such disaster in 17 years. Instead, the Democratic-led Senate and Republican House of Representatives played a futile game, sending funding bills between them that were doomed to fail. The US Senate late Monday swiftly killed the latest House measure to delay Obama’s health care law. Obama accused Republicans of holding America to ransom with their “extreme” political demands, while his opponents struck back at his party’s supposed arrogance. Around 800,000 government workers faced being sent home, government services were to be slashed and monuments such as the Statue of Liberty and national parks were to be closed. The crisis is rooted in an attempt by “Tea Party” Republicans in the House of Representative to make passage of a new government budget conditional on thwarting Obama’s signature health reform law.

A U.S. bid to run unilateral counter-terrorism operations in Afghanistan after 2014 is threatening to derail a security pact between the two countries, an Afghan spokesman said, underlining Afghanistan’s tenuous ties with its main backer. Most foreign combat troops are due to leave by the end of 2014, and the United States has been putting pressure on Afghanistan to finalize a bilateral security agreement by the end of this month.

China said on Monday the United States, Australia and Japan should not use their alliance as an excuse to intervene in territorial disputes in the East China Sea and South China Sea, and urged them to refrain from inflaming regional tensions. On Friday, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry raised the maritime disputes during a trilateral strategic dialogue in Bali, Indonesia. Relations between China and Japan, the world’s second- and third-largest economies, have been troubled in recent years by a row over tiny, uninhabited islands in the East China Sea known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China. In the South China Sea, Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia, Brunei and China are involved in long-standing sovereignty disputes over the potentially oil- and gas-rich island chain. A joint statement from the U.S.-Japan-Australia meeting opposed “coercive or unilateral actions” that could change the status quo in the East China Sea and called on claimants to maritime disputes in the South China Sea to refrain from destabilizing actions, according to the State Department website.

Fighting protectionism and pushing through difficult reforms are critical to the global recovery as the world’s biggest economies struggle with their own internal obstacles to growth, Asia-Pacific leaders gathered for an annual summit said Sunday. With U.S. President Barack Obama bogged down in the domestic drama over the national budget and government shutdown, national leaders at the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum were watching to see how the biggest economies fare. Obama canceled his trip to the APEC meeting on the Indonesian resort island of Bali because of the budget impasse.–finance.html 

Talks on a Pacific trade pact are forging ahead with hopes of meeting a year-end deadline still intact, officials said Saturday, despite President Barack Obama’s absence due to the government shutdown. Obama had intended to thrash out issues with leaders of the 11 other trans-Pacific Partnership member countries on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific regional summit in Bali on Monday and Tuesday. Instead he ended up shelving the trip to focus on resolving the standoff over funding the U.S. government. Still, U.S. and other senior officials sought to downplay the potential loss of momentum in the trade talks known as TPP.–finance.html

Heavy rains flooded evacuation centers in the southern Philippines, adding more misery for thousands of people displaced by a bloody Muslim rebel siege, officials said Saturday. Almost a month after followers of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) leader Nur Misuari besieged Zamboanga; over 116,000 people — around one tenth of the port city’s population — are still sheltering in evacuation centers, where there is a shortage of toilets and medicine.

China has to learn to “play by the rules” and the Philippines must sharply boost its defenses to keep South China Sea territorial spats from escalating, two former US officials said Friday. The Philippines has consistently accused China of aggressively pressing its claim to most of the South China Sea, even up to the coasts of neighbors like the Philippines, raising tensions in the Asia-Pacific region. Speaking at the sidelines of a maritime security forum in Manila, ex-US defense undersecretary Walter Slocombe stressed that no one wanted to see a confrontation with China over territory.

More than 300 families were evacuated from their homes in Zamboanga City Saturday due to bad weather conditions, the city government said. In a post on its Twitter account, the city government said bad weather conditions caused floods in the San Jose Gusu and Tugbungan areas. Of the 337 families evacuated, 150 were from Tugbungan and 187 from San Jose Gusu. Tugbungan was one of the areas deemed critical during last month’s crisis involving a standoff between government and Moro National Liberation Front forces. Also on Saturday, bad weather conditions forced the cancellation of flights between Manila and Zamboanga.


Thanks for your visit, Uncle Chuck



%d bloggers like this: