BEIJING: China will work with all parties to play a constructive role in the Arctic, the foreign ministry said on Tuesday (May 7), as the United States warned about Beijing's involvement in the region.US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said Russia was behaving aggressively in the Arctic and China's actions there had to be watched closely as well, amid growing divisions in the polar region over global warming and access to minerals.Speaking as he arrived in northern Finland for a meeting of nations with territory in the Arctic, Pompeo said China appeared to have national security aims there, and Russia's activities, including plans for new shipping channels from Asia to northern Europe, deserved a closer look.In Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Pompeo's criticisms "were totally out of sync with the facts".He told a daily news briefing: "It is inconsistent with the general trend of peaceful cooperation in the Arctic, completely confuses right with wrong, … [Read more...] about China says it will play constructive role in Arctic
News in brief
SpaceX has confirmed that its Crew Dragon capsule was destroyed during an engine test last month, possibly causing a drag to the company's plan to bring astronauts into space this year. On April 20, an anomaly occurred during a testing of the Crew Dragon's abort engines at a landing zone of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, but the private space company had not clarified whether the capsule, launched successfully into space in an unmanned mission in March, was destroyed or not, until Thursday. Before firing the abort engines, "there was an anomaly and the vehicle was destroyed," said Hans Koenigsmann, vice president of Build and Flight Reliability at SpaceX at a press conference to brief the company's planned cargo launch mission on Friday, Xinhua reported. Koenigsmann said initial data indicated that the anomaly occurred during the activation of the engine SuperDraco, but he said he did not believe the engines themselves caused the accident. He also said it's too early to identify the … [Read more...] about Crew Dragon capsule destroyed in ground test: SpaceX
MANILA - The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has raised the alert level to 4 in Libya following intensive fighting around the capital. On Twitter, DFA Secretary Teddy Locsin Jr. said he briefed President Rodrigo Duterte about raising the alert level in Tripoli on Tuesday. "More mortar fire, more Filipino hurt," he tweeted. However, no other details were given about the injured Filipinos. Locsin said Alert Level 4 calls for a mandatory evacuation of Filipinos there. "But we cannot compel--and rightly so. What is mandatory is that DFA stays in Tripoli until last OFW goes--& then it stays," he said. Chargé d’Affaires Elmer Cato has also taken to Twitter to update Filipinos about the situation in Libya. He tweeted on Tuesday that the ability of the Philippine Embassy to assist Filipinos in distress "becomes more difficult or even impossible to carry out" as fighting gets closer. "That's why this early we ask our kababayans to let us help lead them out of harm's way," he … [Read more...] about News DFA raises Alert level 4 in Libya
CARACAS—Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido said on Tuesday he had begun the "final phase" of his plan to oust President Nicolas Maduro, calling on Venezuelans and the military to back him to end Maduro's "usurpation." A Reuters journalist later saw security forces firing tear gas at Guaido and around 70 mostly young armed men in military uniform outside the La Carlota air force base in Caracas. Hundreds of civilians also joined the group. But around two hours after Guaido tweeted his announcement, there was no sign of any other military activity, and the government dismissed any suggestion of an insurrection. "We reject this coup movement, which aims to fill the country with violence," said Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino. He said the armed forces remained "firmly in defence of the national constitution and legitimate authorities," and that all military units across Venezuela "report normality" in their barracks and bases. The move was Guaido’s boldest effort yet to … [Read more...] about News Venezuela’s Guaido says troops join him to oust Maduro; gov’t says it is in control
By Bruce Campion-Smith Ottawa Bureau Mon., April 29, 2019 OTTAWA—How to visit a disaster zone without a creating a public relations disaster? It’s a question politicians juggle with each wildfire, flood and tornado strike. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was reminded of the perils of such visits Saturday when he visited an Ottawa neighbourhood hit by record floodwaters and got berated by one volunteer who accused him of tying up relief efforts. “You know how long you’ve held up people picking up bags?” the volunteer said to the prime minister. “While you’re here, no one can pick up sand. You held people up. All your RCMP and security held people up,” he said. Trudeau replied that he understood his frustrations with security, but said he was happy to speak with those on site and hopefully encourage others to volunteer. The prime minister had been briefed on emergency efforts to help homeowners and had spent time … [Read more...] about Did Trudeau help or hinder flood-relief efforts in an Ottawa neighbourhood?