#AceWorldNews – HONG KONG – September 30 – Hong Kong’s leader said China won’t back down from its decision to limit voting reforms in the Asian financial hub as pro-democracy protesters set a Wednesday deadline for a response from the government to meet their demands.
The unequivocal statement from Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying on Tuesday dashed hopes that the stand-off between demonstrators and authorities could be resolved quickly through negotiations.
It does not come as a surprise given that showing a willingness to talk would have made the Chinese leadership appear weak, which could embolden dissidents, critics and separatists on the mainland.
As the student-led protests that have snarled traffic and disrupted public transport entered a fifth day, Leung urged demonstrators to show consideration toward other residents and stop the unprecedented show of civil disobedience.
Leung, a Beijing appointee who is deeply mistrusted by Hong Kongers, also said that mainland communist leaders would not reverse their stance requiring a pro-Beijing panel screen candidates in the territory’s first direct elections, scheduled for 2017, adding he wouldn’t resign before then.
“The central government will not rescind its decision,” Leung said.
#AceNewsServices – UNITED STATES- September 27 – There are many things one might expect people to smuggle across the American border and into other countries inside of their pants, but dozens of aquatic reptiles?
That’s exactly what one man was found hiding near Detroit.
Canadian citizen Kai Xu was trying to return to Windsor when he was caught with 51 turtles inside his sweat pants last month, according to recently unsealed court documents, the Detroit Free Pressreports.
The reason for stuffing his pants with this many animals is not clear at this point, but officials investigating the incident believe that he was trying to sell the turtles to markets in Asia, where the reptiles are a popular treat.
“There’s now a burgeoning Asian market,” said Gavin Shire of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, who helped authorities investigate the incident. He also told the newspaper there is “a lot of both illegal and unregulated turtle consumption.”
At the same time, the criminal complaint filed in court does not state whether or not Xu tried to clarify why he had more than 50 turtles in his pants.
What authorities do know is that they spotted Xu picking up a package in Detroit that was from Alabama and marked “live fish keep cool.”
The complaint says that after Xu opened the box, he was seen carrying a pair of scissors, tape, and bags to a spot in between two UPS semi-trailers, only to walk back to his car with no bags – instead, there were bulges under his pant legs that could be seen.
As Xu made his way to the border and tried to enter Canada, he was stopped in a search that uncovered eastern box turtles, red-eared sliders and diamondback terrapins in his pants.
Law enforcement officials have levied three charges against Xu: smuggling goods from the United States, trading in specimens illegally, and exporting fish or wildlife illegally.
#AceWorldNews – MANILA/BEIJING – May 07 (Reuters) – Philippines police seized a Chinese fishing boat in the disputed South China Sea on Wednesday, an official told Reuters, the latest flare-up of tensions in the oil and gas-rich waters that are claimed wholly or in part by six Asian nations.
Chief Superintendent Niel Vargas of the Philippine National Police Maritime Group said a maritime police patrol apprehended a Chinese fishing boat around 7 a.m. on Tuesday off Half Moon Shoal.
The boat has 11 crew and police found about 500 turtles in the vessel, some of which were already dead, he said, adding that a Philippine boat with crew was also seized, and found to have 40 turtles on board.
Several species of sea turtles are protected under Philippine law.
Maritime police are now towing the boats to Puerto Princesa town on the island of Palawan where appropriate charges will be filed against them, Vargas said.
The incident is bound to raise the ire of Beijing, which claims almost the entire South China Sea, rejecting rival claims from Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei.
Ace Related News:
1. Reuters – May 07 – http://tinyurl.com/lg23c84
#AceNewsServices – MOSCOW – April 22 (Interfax) – The upcoming trip by the United States President Barack Obama to the Pacific region will only intensify the confrontation and instigate a nuclear arms race, said a spokesman for the North Korean Foreign Ministry ahead of the U.S. leader’s visit to Japan and South Korea.
This trip, along with the growing intensity and scale of the joint U.S.-South Korean drills in the region, aims “to artificially keep the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) in tension and push it towards having to strengthen its nuclear deterrence forces and respond with military steps,” the North Korean Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson said.
“Washington needs that in order to stick a belligerent-nation label onto the DPRK and find a justification for its own military policy,” Pyongyang said.
“The DPRK does not intend to make a slightest concession on the fundamental issues of its national security or leave anything to a chance in the fear of baseless U.S. accusations of belligerence,” the spokesperson said.
“As long as the U.S. continues to remain on hostile terms with us, the DPRK will double its efforts to strengthen its deterrence forces for self-defense purposes so as to give a resolute response to this policy,” the spokesperson said.
During his Asian tour Obama will visit Japan and South Korea on April 23 – 26.
Meanwhile, Seoul notes signs of Pyongyang’s preparations for another nuclear test.
North Korean specialists may indeed be holding preparations for another test of a nuclear weapon, the South Korean Defense Ministry spokesperson Kim Min-seok said at a briefing in Seoul.
“Our military have noted increased activities in the Phunggyere site and in the immediate vicinity from it,” he said.
Earlier North Korea’s possible preparations for a nuclear test were reported by South Korean media outlets which cited unnamed military sources.
Nor has Seoul ruled out the possibility that Pyongyang could stage a provocation timed to coincide with Obama’s two-day visit to South Korea which begins on Friday.
North Korea held nuclear tests in 2006, 2009 and 2013.
Interfax – DPRK –
Contributions on Editorial – kk cm
#AceWorldNews – TOKYO – April 12 – (RT) – Yoshitaka Shindo, Japan’s minister for internal affairs and communications, have visited the Yasukuni shrine, Japanese Jiji Press service and the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper said.
The temple honours Japan’s war dead, including several high-level officials executed for war crimes after World War II.
Chinese and South Korean authorities see the shrine as a reminder of Tokyo’s imperialist past and wartime aggression as over 1,000 war criminals from World War II are also buried there.
Japan is undergoing a period of distancing itself from its post-war pacifist policies.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made his first visit to the Yasukuni shrine in his present capacity in December over protests from some other Asian nations.
#AceWorldNews – HAGUE – March 25 – Japan on Wednesday hailed the first summit between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Park Geun-hye as a chance to build a rapport after more than a year of back-biting, AFP said.
The talks in The Hague were hosted by US President Barack Obama, as Washington is increasingly frustrated by tensions between its two major Asian allies.
South Korean media said Park appeared unimpressed by Abe’s attempts to speak Korean during a photo opportunity, and Seoul has yet to make an official statement about the meeting itself.