WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump met on Tuesday (May 21) at the White House with the leaders of the tiny, but strategic states of Micronesia and other Pacific island nations to underline the leading US role in the region.The brief but symbolic meeting demonstrated US support at a time when Washington is pushing back against expanding Chinese influence in the Pacific.Trump hosted the presidents of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands.After, they issued a joint statement to "jointly reaffirm our interest in a free, open, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.""It is in our mutual interest that the Pacific Ocean remains an important and vibrant corridor for maritime trade," the statement said in a possible message to China, which is projecting naval power further into previously US-dominated waters.A senior White House official said "President Trump has been directing an unprecedented level of focus on the Pacific Islands, in recognition of the … [Read more...] about Trump meets Pacific islands leaders to boost US ties
Joint mathematics meetings
Who owns and runs this ‘meet-me’ room? The glitches and bugs that conked the vote counting machines (VCMs) out and the ensuing almost seven hours of data outage in the transparency server when the national canvassing started right after the polling precincts closed were just a few but biggest reasons why our fourth automated elections last Monday came under fire anew. A few days before the midterm elections, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has repeatedly given public reassurances of an “all systems go” to conduct on May 13 the national and local elections all over the country. In a press conference held on May 2, Comelec spokesman James Jimenez was even quoted saying that the poll body was 95% ready. So we take it to mean the balance of 5% accounted for all these problems that the Comelec must address. But this 5% have caused all of these hullaballoos on the glitches, bugs and data outage of the transparency server casting … [Read more...] about Who owns and runs this ‘meet-me’ room?
North Korea says weapons test involved 'long-range' capability SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea said Friday it had tested a long-range weapon, a claim that was likely to raise tensions on the peninsula and contradicted accounts from the South and in the US that Pyongyang had fired short-range missiles. The state-run Korean Central News Agency said leader Kim Jong Un had overseen Thursday's weapons test, the second in less than a week amid tensions with the US over their fitful drive to reach an agreement under which North Korea would give up its nuclear weapons in exchange for sanctions relief. "At the command post, Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un learned about a plan of the strike drill of various long-range strike means and gave an order of start of the drill," KCNA said, adding that the drill was successful. KCNA did not say what kind of weapon was fired. It avoided using the words missile, rocket or projectile. The update came amid … [Read more...] about North Korea says weapons test involved ‘long-range’ capability
Malaysia will follow up on a proposal made to Singapore last month that the two neighbours seek a joint listing of their hawker culture under Unesco.Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik told The Straits Times yesterday that although he has not received a formal request from the Penang state government on a joint nomination as reported last week, he had already raised the idea in a meeting with Singapore's Deputy High Commissioner to Malaysia three weeks ago. Please subscribe or log in to continue reading the full article. Learn more about ST PREMIUM. Enjoy unlimited access to ST's best work Exclusive stories and features on multiple devicesIn-depth analyses and opinion piecesePaper and award-winning multimedia content Subscribe Now … [Read more...] about KL to follow up with Singapore on idea of joint Unesco listing
Malaysia will follow up on a proposal made to Singapore last month that the two neighbours bid for a joint listing of their hawker culture under Unesco. Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik told The Straits Times yesterday that although he has not received a formal request from the Penang state government on a joint nomination as reported last week, he had already raised the idea in a meeting with Singapore's Deputy High Commissioner to Malaysia three weeks ago. "So far, I don't have any requests from Singapore to do a joint nomination. I highlighted this to Singapore's Deputy High Commissioner when he visited me but he didn't come back to me. So I take it that they will go on their own," he said. Mr Bakhtiar plans to take up the issue again with his counterpart at the Asean Socio-Cultural Community Council meeting on May 17. 'CASUALLY ASK' "Maybe if I can see Sim Ann, then I will casually ask her and convey to her," he said, referring to Singapore's … [Read more...] about Malaysia proposes joint Unesco bid for hawker culture