Maraming salamat, Vietnam! One of my ASEAN colleagues who made an extra effort to attend our Philippine Independence Day diplomatic reception held at the Kennedy Center (see photos in This Week on PeopleAsia at the Allure section of the Philippine STAR today) was Vietnamese Ambassador to Washington Ha Kim Ngoc, who stayed long enough to greet me and listen to my speech. He had to leave shortly because his foreign minister was due to arrive in Washington. I expressed our country’s sincere gratitude to Ambassador Ngoc for what his countrymen did – rescuing 22 Filipino fishermen whose boat was rammed from behind by a Chinese vessel near Recto Bank well within our economic zone in the West Philippine Sea. Ambassador Ngoc responded by firmly telling me: “We are brothers – ASEAN brothers. We should help each other.” In fact, the charismatic Vietnamese ambassador is literally my neighbor. The Vietnam ambassador’s … [Read more...] about Maraming salamat, Vietnam!
North star mutual
By Vinay Menon Entertainment Columnist Mon., May 13, 2019 You know who believes the Drake Curse is real? Drake. On Sunday night, as the Toronto Raptors advanced to the conference final with that preposterous Kawhi Leonard buzzer-beater — if this game were a pitched screenplay, even Lifetime execs would laugh you out of the boardroom while dismissing the climactic scene as too unbelievable — Toronto exploded into jubilation. You could feel it in the damp air. You could hear it on the streets. This was not a basketball game. It was a shot of adrenalin into the mangled heart of a city longing for heroes. With the score knotted at 90-90 and the clock ticking down to zero, the ball left Leonard’s da Vinci fingers and arced toward the basket as the ghosts of past doom twitched from above. It ricocheted off the rim — bounce, bounce, bounce — and then incredibly, improbably, miraculously, fell through the hoop. The Raps had won. Bring on … [Read more...] about Drake rescues Raptors by staying away
By Jill Colvin And Deb Riechmann The Associated Press Fri., May 3, 2019 WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday about nuclear weapons, the possibility of getting China into a three-party arms control pact and the ongoing crisis in Venezuela where Moscow is propping up the current government over the U.S.-backed opposition. During their conversation, which lasted more than an hour, they also discussed North Korea, Ukraine, U.S.-Russia trade and “very, very briefly” special counsel Robert Mueller’s just completed report on Moscow’s interference in the 2016 election, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said. “Had a long and very good conversation with President Putin of Russia,” Trump tweeted after the call. “As I have always said, long before the Witch Hunt started, getting along with Russia, China, and everyone is a good thing, not a bad thing. “We discussed Trade, … [Read more...] about Trump and Putin discuss nuclear weapons, Mueller report
By Thomas Walkom National Affairs Columnist Mon., April 29, 2019 Vladimir Putin has just made the North Korean situation more complicated. But the Russian president may have also opened up a new pathway to sidestep the current impasse between North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and America’s Donald Trump. Putin has done this by the simple action of reinserting himself into the middle of the on-again off-again Korean nuclear crisis. His first-ever meeting with Kim last week in the Russian city of Vladivostok served as a signal that Moscow expects to be a part of any negotiations involving the Korean Peninsula. Up to now, Putin has lain low and let others take the lead. Russia has supported, in theory at least, U.S.-led sanctions aimed at forcing North Korea to end its nuclear missile program. At the same time, Moscow has supported Chinese efforts to try and end the conflict between Washington and Pyongyang on a step-by-step basis in which each side agrees to … [Read more...] about Will Putin help or hurt situation with North Korea?