Is Black History Month Simply Racists?

IS BLACK HISTORY MONTH SIMPLY RACISTS?

 

I hope that you noticed that I posed this title as a question and not as a statement. I am going to be posing this article in questioning form, I am trying to get all of us to think, to look inside ourselves to discover, what do we think about these questions. First let us start with Black History Month, is its whole concept derived off of racism? Are the politicians, mostly the Democrats simply bowing down to a group of people who normally vote about 90% for Democrats? Why is there only one non-politician (Doctor Martin Luther King Jr.) who has their birthday as a Federal Holiday? Is it because he was a Black man? In all of U.S. history is Doctor King the only person who really stands out as a special human being deserving of having a Federal Holiday in honor of them? Personally I am in favor of Doctor King being honored in this way, I feel that the man deserves it, but aren’t there others, is he the only one?

 

I have seen in the past when a business celebrates a certain ethnic day, where the company lets a certain group of their employees get the day off or throw a special lunching for just one ethnic group, it causes a lot of friction within the rank and file of their employees. To me, if we are going to do such things as a Nation then we need to vastly expand it, or end it all together. Just as there are institutions within the Black community where we have organizations like the NAACP, the Negro College Fund, Black Colleges, Black Miss America, shouldn’t we also have things like this for all of the other nationalities? Doesn’t it have to be all or none? What would be wrong with the National Association For The Advancement of Oriental People, Hispanic People or European People? Would that be racists? If we had the National White College Fund or the White Miss America Pageant, or Miss Oriental Miss America Pageant or how about the Hispanic College Fund, are these ideas racists? Is the concept of Nation Indian American Pageant or Indian College Fund racists?

 

When it is only one group which is based on skin color, to me it sure looks like the pure definition of racism. What makes it worse is when you have so-called Leaders of that Nationality group who do things like deny that the Holocaust ever happened because they want to say that they, their group, their ethnicity, is the only group that has ever been treated horribly, folks, that is racism. Should we as a Nation honor the other Nationalities? Should March be National Arab Month? Should April be National Persian Month? May National Hispanic Month? The list could go on and on, should we as a Nation do this? Should the same things be evaluated concerning the Colleges and College funds? The Miss America Pageant, should we have one for every race, for every mixed race? As I said, this article today is posed as a question to you, to get us all to think, what is okay, what is racist, what should we as a Nation say yes or no to? If you would, please leave me your thoughts in the comment section, I always do my best to answer all comments within 24 hours when ever possible. Thank you for the kindness of your time, I appreciate you stopping in.

 

 

Very Old Tools Found In India: Question Is, Who Made Them

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE WASHINGTON POST)

 

Very old, very sophisticated tools found in India. The question is: Who made them?

 February 1 at 9:40 AM 

Artifacts uncovered in the excavation at Attirampakkam. (Sharma Center for Heritage Education)

Humanity’s origin story has gotten increasingly tangled in recent years: New discoveries suggest that Homo sapiens interacted and interbred with other species and ventured out of Africa in more than one wave. Researchers have compared the ancient world to J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth — but instead of hobbits, dwarves and elves, our planet had modern humans in Africa, Neanderthals in Europe, Homo erectus in Asia.

Now, a treasure trove of ancient stone tools suggests that humans’ circuitous path to modernity also wound through India.

In a paper published Wednesday in the journal Nature, researchers described thousands of stone implements uncovered at Attirampakkam, an archaeological site in southern India. The tools span about a million years of history, they say, and illustrate the evolution of big, blunt hand axes into finely sculpted stone points. Starting about 385,000 years ago — long before modern humans are thought to have arrived in India — it appears that an advanced toolmaking culture was developing there.

How did these techniques reach India so early? “That’s the multimillion-dollar question,” said archaeologist Shanti Pappu, founder of the Sharma Center for Heritage Education and a co-author of the report.

No remains were found alongside the Indian tools, meaning it’s impossible to determine whether the tools were produced by modern humans or one of our hominin cousins. If they were produced by members of our species, it would significantly shift the timeline of human evolution. But that’s a big “if,” Pappu acknowledged.

At the very least, she said, the discovery suggests “complex interactions” between the mystery hominins in India and their relatives around the world.

“It shows that simple linear narratives of dispersal only at certain time periods is incorrect,” Pappu said.

Modern humans evolved in Africa, and the oldest known bones that could feasibly belong to our species were found in a Moroccan cave and dated to 300,000 years ago. The recent discovery of human fossils in an Israeli cave suggests that we may have ventured into other continents as early as 194,000 years ago.

 0:54
Early humans coexisted with human-like species 300,000 years ago in Africa

Scientists in South Africa unveil the first evidence that early humans co-existed with a small-brained human-like species thought to have been extinct in Africa at the time. 

Upon leaving Africa, Homo sapiens would have encountered an array of distant relatives. Paleoanthropologists believe the first hominins left Africa about 1.7 million years ago, although there’s some dispute about what species those early migrants belonged to.

With so few fossils available, reconstructing the story of human evolution and migration is a bit like trying to solve a jigsaw puzzle when you have just a handful of middle pieces and no edges or corners. Often, scientists must trace the movements of our ancestors through the stone tools we created.

The first hominins to leave Africa — whoever they were — carried with them oval- and pear-shaped hand axes used to pound and scrape food — a technology called Acheulean. The oldest tools found at Attirampakkam, which are more than 1 million years old, were crafted in this tradition.

But in a second batch of implements uncovered from a rock layer that spans 385,000 to 172,000 years ago (plus or minus about 50,000 years on either end), those heavy hand axes give way to smaller, more sophisticated points. One of the points even appears to have a groove that would allow it to be affixed to some kind of projectile, like a spear.

This kind of technology has long been associated with Neanderthals and Homo sapiens in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and it wasn’t thought to have arrived in India until humans reached south Asia about 100,000 years ago. Known as Levallois, this technique is associated with significant advances in human cognition, because such tools can’t be crafted without the ability to think abstractly and plan ahead.

Alison Brooks, a paleoanthropologist at George Washington University, said she’s not convinced that the smaller tools described by Pappu and her colleagues are true Levallois points.

“It’s still basically a single point in a giant continent,” she added — more discoveries are required to give context to this find.

That’s what Pappu hopes for, too. She noted that relatively few paleontology resources have been invested in India. The tools collected at Attirampakkam are among the first discoveries from India for which scientists even have a date.

“We hope this will be a jumping-off point for a new look at regions like India,” she said. “They also have a story to tell.”

Read more:

Oldest Homo sapiens fossils discovered in Morocco

Scientists discover the oldest human fossils outside Africa

Archaeology shocker: Study claims humans reached the Americas 130,000 years ago

With China: You Had Better Look The Gift Horse In The Mouth; Or Die

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE GUARDIAN AND OF THE GOOGLE PLUS WEBSITE OF ANDY TAI)

 

The Guardian view on China’s spreading influence: look in the gift horse’s mouth

There is growing concern about Beijing’s attempts to shape the thinking of politicians and the public overseas
Donald Trump meets the Chinese president, Xi Jinping in Florida in April last year

The arrest of a former CIA agent this week is the stuff of a classic murky spy tale. Though he is charged with unlawfully retaining national defence information, the US reportedly suspects that he leaked the names of informants. An earlier report alleged that China imprisoned or killed multiple US sources between 2010 and 2012. Both countries have plans for tackling espionage. But analysts, intelligence agencies and politicians are now debating how to handle the subtler challenge of Chinese influence activities: a “magic weapon” neither cloak-and-dagger nor transparent.

China says it does not interfere in other countries’ domestic affairs. Yet all nations seek to sway foreign governments and citizens towards their own priorities, interests and perspectives. The question is how they do so, and how far they go. (No one should pretend that western nations always act above board.)

China’s influence work is strategic and multifaceted. Some of it is distinctive mainly for lavish resourcing. The National Endowment for Democracy recently described other aspects as “sharp power”: the effort by authoritarian states not just to attract support but to determine and control attitudes abroad. It seeks to “guide” the diaspora and enlist it for political activity. It embraces foreigners, appointing those with political influence to high-profile roles in Chinese companies. Chinese-language media overseas have been bought by entrepreneurs with ties to Beijing. Partnerships with universities shape research and limit debate.

Last month, Australia’s prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, introduced a bill banning foreign donations as he warned of “unprecedented and increasingly sophisticated” attempts to influence politics. It follows a senator’s resignation after allegations that he tipped off a Chinese donor that his phone was probably tapped by security agencies; the case has reportedly prompted the Trump administration to open an investigation into Beijing’s covert influence operations in the US. In New Zealand, a Chinese-born MP denied being a spy after it emerged that he had spent years at top Chinese military colleges. A leading scholar on China has alleged that its “covert, corrupting and coercive political influence activities in New Zealand are now at a critical level”.

Chinese state media has complained of “hysterical paranoia” with racist undertones in Australia. In an era of populism, there is good reason to worry that members of the diaspora, in particular, could face unfair suspicion. Citizens have the right to listen to the views of a foreign government, be persuaded and share them. But to speak for them, on their order, is different. Is someone acting spontaneously, or have they been prodded, coerced or bought? What links or leverage does Beijing enjoy? Establishing the answers is hard – and proving self-censorship even tougher. But it is essential to at least attempt to distinguish between legitimate, improper and illegal activities.

Casting light on the issue is by far the most important step. Democracies must delve into areas that may prove embarrassing. They need the capability to do so – starting with language skills. Working together would help. In places, laws may need to be tightened, though with care: banning foreign political donations is a basic step. For this issue says as much about the west as China. Beijing’s keenness to control speech is manifest, while influential figures and institutions in democracies proclaim lofty ideals – then fall prey to gullibility or greed. China’s influence would not go very far without the western hunger for its cash.

Burmese military admits soldiers killed Rohingya found in mass grave

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE WASHINGTON POST)

 

In a first, Burmese military admits that soldiers killed Rohingya found in mass grave

 January 10 at 4:23 PM

Burmese troops and villagers were behind the killing of 10 Rohingya Muslims whose bodies were found in a mass grave in Rakhine state’s Inn Din village, the military’s commander in chief, Min Aung Hlaing, said Wednesday in a statement on Facebook.

The admission marks the first time that Burma’s powerful military has acknowledged wrongdoing in the violence that gripped Rakhine last year. In just a few months, more than 650,000 members of the Rohingya minority fled across the border into Bangladesh. The crisis was labeled a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing” by the United Nations’ top human rights official.

The military statement may also offer further hints to help address one of the most urgent questions in a crisis that is thought to have left thousands dead: Where are the bodies? Late last year, the humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders estimated that at least 6,700 Rohingya had died violently during the exodus last year, mostly from gunshot wounds. The government of Burma, which is also known as Myanmar, has blocked numerous attempts by outside groups to investigate on the ground.

“It’s not as though there are human remains lying around everywhere,” said John Sifton, Asia advocacy director at Human Rights Watch. “We have reason to suspect that authorities have disposed of human remains, whether maliciously to hide evidence or for other reasons.”

With access to the area limited, proof of killings has been hard to establish. U.N. human rights investigators and others have been denied access to the areas hit hardest by violence, while two Reuters journalists who were reported to be investigating evidence of a mass grave at Inn Din are on trial in Rangoon. Prosecutors are seeking charges that could impose a maximum prison sentence of 14 years, according to the reporters’ attorney.

Matthew Smith, chief executive officer of the human rights group Fortify Rights, said it was noteworthy that the grave referenced on Wednesday was the same being investigated by the Reuters journalists. “The authorities appear to have arrested them in order to halt the investigation while also sending a chilling message to other journalists and would-be truth tellers,” Smith wrote in an email.

After numerous accounts of massacres emerged from survivors, human rights groups resorted to using commercial satellite imagery to look for evidence of violence. Matt Wells, senior crisis adviser at Amnesty International, said that although it was difficult to find mass graves using that technique, images seen by Amnesty had made it clear that Rohingya homes in the Inn Din area were burned down in what appeared to be a coordinated campaign.

“It is one of the most striking examples of how targeted the burning has been in the military’s campaign,” Wells said in a phone call. “The Rohingya portion of the village has been completely burned to the ground, whereas non-Rohingya buildings very nearby have been completely untouched.”

In Wednesday’s military statement, the office of the Burmese military’s commander in chief said that villagers and security forces had acknowledged that they killed “10 Bengali terrorists” — a reference to the Rohingya whose bodies were found in Inn Din last year. The statement went on to claim that the soldiers involved were responding to provocations but added that they would be dealt with.

“The army will take charge of those who are responsible for the killings and who broke the rules of engagement,” the statement continued, according to an Associated Press translation. “This incident happened because ethnic Buddhist villagers were threatened and provoked by the terrorists.”

The Rohingya have been established in Burma for generations, but the government refuses to recognize members of the minority community as citizens and refers to them as Bengalis, implying that they are immigrants from Bangladesh who live in Burma illegally.

Though limited in scope, Wednesday’s message appears to contradict previous denials of a Burmese military involvement in violence against the Rohingya. In a report released in November, the military exonerated itself of accusations involving several atrocities, including rape and killings.

The government has strongly denied suggestions of “ethnic cleansing” in Rakhine. It has estimated that 400 Rohingya died last year but said that 376 of them were terrorists involved in an armed insurgency. Last year, a group of foreign journalists was flown into the country to see a mass grave in northern Rakhine that authorities said contained the bodies of Hindu villagers who had been killed by Rohingya insurgents.

Rights groups said that Wednesday’s acknowledgment of involvement showed the need for Burma to allow outside investigators into Rakhine.

“This grisly admission is a sharp departure from the army’s policy of blanket denial of any wrongdoing,” James Gomez, Amnesty International’s regional director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, said in a statement. “However, it is only the tip of the iceberg and warrants serious independent investigation into what other atrocities were committed amid the ethnic cleansing campaign.”

Human Rights Watch’s Sifton said of the Burmese military: “This is not an institution that has any credibility. That is precisely why you need international observers and investigators involved now.”

Thailand’s PM Leaves a Life-Size Cardboard Cut-Out to Answer Questions

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME NEWS)

 

By LAIGNEE BARRON

2:50 AM EST

Thailand’s junta leader Prayuth Chan-ocha has come up with a novel way to deflect journalists’ questions: just pass them off to a cardboard likeness.

At a press conference in Bangkok, Prayuth, who serves as prime minister of the country’s military-run government, briefly addressed a crowd of reporters and families, according to the BBC. It appeared as if he was going to finish the event by taking questions, but Prayuth had something else in mind; supervising the installation of a life-sized cardboard cut-out of himself.

“If you want to ask any questions on politics or conflict, ask this guy,” the Prime Minister said before walking away. Social media users were quick to respond.

Since Thailand’s military seized power in a 2014 coup, Prayuth has had an openly antagonistic relationship with the media. In 2015, he boasted that he would execute journalists who “did not report the truth” about his government, which has often used draconian defamation laws to prosecute critics and activists. Under his tenure the country has restricted media freedoms, forced television networks off the air and dropped from 129 to 140 out of the 180 nations ranked by Reporters Without Border’s annual Press Freedom Index.

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South Korea seizes ship it claims transferred oil to North Korea

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

South Korea seizes ship it claims transferred oil to North Korea

Seoul (CNN)South Korea has seized a Hong Kong-registered ship that allegedly transferred oil to a North Korean vessel in violation of United Nations sanctions.

The South Korean Foreign Ministry said the Lighthouse Winmore left the port of Yeosu in South Korea carrying refined oil which was then transferred to a North Korean ship in international waters on October 19.
The US Treasury Department released satellite imagery in November of two ships allegedly performing an illegal ship-to-ship transfer in international waters on the same day.

Satellite imagery the US says shows a ship-to-ship transfer, possibly of oil, between two vessels in an effort to evade sanctions on North Korea.

It identified one of the ships as a sanctioned North Korean vessel, the Rye Song Gang 1, but did not name the other. South Korean officials could not confirm Friday if the second ship was the Lighthouse Winmore.
“UN Security Council sanctions prohibit the transfer of anything to a North Korean ship,” a South Korean Foreign Ministry official told CNN, adding the Lighthouse Winmore was seized when it re-entered Yeosu on November 24.
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President Trump said Beijing had been “caught red-handed,” after the satellite images were republished in South Korean media earlier this week.
South Korea said the Lighthouse Winmore and its crew were still in South Korean custody and under investigation. There were 23 Chinese nationals and two Burmese nationals on board the ship, officials said, adding they would be permitted to leave only when the investigation was concluded.
China has denied breaching UN sanctions on North Korea.
The Lighthouse Winmore was one of 10 ships the US asked the UN to ban from international ports this month over its alleged dealings with North Korea, according to Reuters.
That move came after the UN blacklisted four ships in October, including one that was caught smuggling 30,000 North Korean-made rocket-propelled grenades in 2016.
According to South Korea, the Lighthouse Winmore was being leased by a Taiwanese company, the Billions Bunker Group, and was en route to Taiwan when it made a ship-to-ship transfer of its oil cargo to four ships, including one North Korean ship.
“This is one of the main ways in which North Korea uses an illegal network to circumvent UN Security Council sanctions,” the South Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman said. It is customary in South Korea that officials do not give their names.
The Hong Kong government said in a statement Friday it had noted media reports that the Lighthouse Winmore had been seized. “We are liaising with the Korean parties concerned to obtain further information about the incident, and will take appropriate actions as necessary,” the statement said.

‘Very disappointed’ in China

China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying on Friday reiterated that Beijing is enforcing all UN Security Council sanctions against North Korea, aimed at curbing Pyongyang’s missile and nuclear weapons development.
In an interview with the New York Times published Thursday, Trump claimed “oil is going into North Korea” and appeared to blame China, saying if Beijing fails to put pressure on Pyongyang then the US may take punitive economic actions against Beijing.
“China on trade has ripped off this country more than any other element of the world in history has ripped off anything,” Trump said.
“If they don’t help us with North Korea, then I do what I’ve always said I want to do. China can help us much more, and they have to help us much more.”
He added: “China’s hurting us very badly on trade, but I have been soft on China because the only thing more important to me than trade is war.”

Trump: 'disappointed' China allowing oil into NK

Trump: ‘disappointed’ China allowing oil into NK
A senior US State Department official told CNN Thursday the US is “aware that certain vessels have engaged in UN-prohibited activities, including ship-to-ship transfers of refined petroleum and the transport of coal from North Korea.”
“We have evidence that some of the vessels engaged in these activities are owned by companies in several countries, including China,” the official said. “We condemn these acts and hope that any UNSC members, including China, work more closely together to shut down smuggling activities.”
Pyongyang has for years used deceptive shipping practices to help bring in revenue for the country’s regime, analysts say, and the US has called for more to be done to crackdown on ships transporting goods to and from North Korea.
UN Security Council resolutions passed this year stipulate “all Member States shall prohibit the entry into their ports of such designated vessels,” save for some circumstances, including in emergencies or if they are granted humanitarian exceptions by the UN.
Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the date of the seizure as December 24.

Tropical Storm Tembin Heads to Vietnam

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE WEATHER CHANNEL)

 

Hundreds of Thousands Evacuated as Deadly Tropical Storm Tembin Heads to Vietnam

By Associated Press
Dec 24 2017 09:15 AM EST
weather.com

Story Highlights

Hundreds of thousands in Vietnam have been forced to evacuate ahead of Tropical Storm Tembin’s arrival.

More than 160 people are dead and over 160 are missing in the Philippines due to the storm.

Tembin caused deadly flash floods and landslides in the Philippines.

It s expected to strengthen as it tracks westward.

Hundreds of thousands of residents in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam were told to evacuate Monday as deadly Tropical Storm Tembin tracks westward from the Philippines.

Officials say several hundreds of thousands fled their homes, a majority of which are made of tin sheets and wooden panels. In Vung Tau city, thousands of fishing boats were forced to halt their several-month-long trips to return to the shore.

Tembin caused more than 160 deaths and left 171 missing after it lashed the southern Philippines, triggering flash floods and landslides.

Most of the deaths from Tropical Storm Tembin were in the hard-hit provinces of Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur and on the Zamboanga Peninsula, according to an initial government report on storm casualties.

It’s the latest disaster to hit the Philippines, which is battered by about 20 typhoons and storms each year, making the archipelago that lies on the Pacific typhoon belt one of the world’s most disaster-prone countries.

(MORE: Southern California’s Thomas Fire Now Largest in State History)

A search and rescue operation was underway for more than 30 people swept away by flash floods in the fishing village of Anungan, Mayor Bong Edding of Zamboanga del Norte province’s Sibuco town said by phone. Five bodies have been recovered so far in the village.

The rest of the deaths were reported in Lanao del Norte, where floodwaters from a mountain also swept away several riverside houses and villagers, and Lanao del Sur, police and officials said.

Lanao del Norte officials reported the highest death toll at 64 with 139 missing followed by Zamboanga del Norte province, where officials reported at least 29 storm deaths with 19 others missing. The storm left 21 dead and one missing in the lakeside province of Lanao del Sur, according to the Department of Interior and Local Government.

More than 97,000 people remain in 261 evacuation centers across the south, while nearly 85,000 more people are displaced and staying elsewhere as of Monday.

An inter-island ferry sank off northeastern Quezon province last week after being lashed by fierce winds and big waves, leaving at least five people dead. More than 250 passengers and crewmen were rescued.

Tembin, known locally as Vinta, strengthened and picked up speed late Saturday, packing maximum sustained winds of 105 kilometers (65 miles) per hour and gusts of up to 145 kph (90 mph). It struck the southern section of western Palawan province late Saturday and is forecast to blow away from the southern Philippines on Sunday toward the South China Sea.

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The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.

Tropical Storm Tembin Leaves At Least 75 Dead In Philippines

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

Tropical Storm Tembin hit the southern island of Mindanao in the Philippines on Fridaykilling at least 75 people, authorities said.

At least 58 people have been reported missing, according to spokeswoman Mina Marasigan of the Philippines National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
More than 70,000 people have been affected by Tembin, called “Vinta” in the Philippines. At least 30,000 people were taken to shelters, Marasigan said.
Heavy rain from the storm led to the collapse of artificial dams, which prompted widespread flooding and triggered landslides in the mountains.
Most of the deaths occurred in Lanao del Norte, with additional ones in several other towns, including Payao and Lanao del Sur, the affiliate reported
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Rescue workers evacuate flood-affected residents in Davao on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao after Tropical Storm Tembin dumped torrential rains across the island.

Other fatalities included a 4-year-old who died after being trapped in a landslide in Payao and a prisoner killed when the jail’s roof collapsed due to strong winds and rains in Butuan City, CNN Philippines reported, citing the Philippine Red Cross.

Police officers evacuate a baby in Cagayan city after Tropical Storm Tembin hit.

By Saturday morning, Tembin was packing maximum sustained winds of 80 kph (50 mph). The storm is headed toward the island province of Palawan, according to Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration.

Trump strategy brands China, Russia as ‘revisionist’ powers

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE ‘NIKKEI ASIAN REVIEW’)

December 19, 2017 3:39 am JST  (Updated December 19, 2017 5:56 am JST)

Trump strategy brands China, Russia as ‘revisionist’ powers

President aims to project power under his ‘America First’ security policy

TSUYOSHI NAGASAWA, Nikkei staff writer

President Trump says “extraordinary strength” will lead to “long and extraordinary peace.” © AP

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump promised Monday to protect American interests against foreign rivals that challenge them, including the “revisionist” powers of China and Russia seeking to change the global status quo.

“Our new strategy is based on a principle, realism, guided by our vital, national interests and rooted in our timeless values,” Trump said in a speech laying out his first national security strategy.

The roughly 70-page document, released that day, is centered on four pillars: protecting the homeland, promoting American prosperity, preserving peace through strength, and advancing American influence. It reverses predecessor Barack Obama’s focus on dialogue and diplomacy and promotes a world order backed by military power.

“Whether we like it or not, we are engaged in a new era of competition,” Trump said.

“The American people rejected the failures of the past,” he said. “You rediscovered your voice and reclaimed ownership of this nation and its destiny.”

The document brings foreign policy back closer to the neoconservative vision advocated in the 2000s by then-President George W. Bush. Bush embraced such moves as pre-emptive strikes on terrorist groups, as well as unilateral military action.

The concept of peace through strength lies at the heart of Trump’s approach. Cold War-era Republican President Ronald Reagan also sought to counter the Soviet Union and other threats to the U.S. by bolstering its military and ramping up pressure. The Trump administration plans to fatten the defense budget by more than 10% in fiscal 2018 to roughly $700 billion.

On the list of potential threats against U.S. interests are international terrorist organizations, “rogue” regimes like North Korea and Iran, and Russia and China, which are branded as “revisionist” powers that seek to alter the status quo. North Korea, for example, is working on an intercontinental ballistic missile that could reach anywhere in the U.S. China is militarizing the South China Sea, while Russian involvement in Ukraine continues. Trump looks to curb such threats through military might and to boost the American presence in the Chinese and Russian spheres of influence.

On promoting prosperity, Trump promises to reduce the U.S. trade deficit through increased pressure on China and other trading partners. The document identifies “economic aggression,” a likely reference to China, as a threat to the country and promises efforts toward fair and mutually beneficial trade relationships.

To advance American influence, the Trump administration is focusing on such principles as the rule of law and human rights. It sees the travel ban on certain Muslim-majority nations and a planned wall on the Mexican border as key aspects of protecting the homeland and will work to prevent terrorist attacks and improve public safety.

 

Strong earthquake strikes Indonesia; 2 dead

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

Strong earthquake strikes Indonesia; 2 dead

Motorists in Cilacap, Indonesia, are stuck in traffic as they try to reach higher ground amid fears of a tsunami after an earthquake. A tsunami warning was canceled.

(CNN)Two people were killed and seven others were injured when a strong earthquake hit Indonesia late Friday, authorities said.

The 6.5-magnitude quake was centered in Cipatujah, in the western part of Java, the US Geological Survey said, at a depth of 91.9 kilometers (about 57 miles).
Residents felt the quake about 190 miles away (305 kilometers) in the capital of Jakarta, where people briefly evacuated to the ground floor of their high-rises.

Residents gather outside their apartment blocks in Jakarta after the earthquake.

Tremors were also felt in the cities of Bandung, more than 63.5 miles away (102.1 kilometers) and Yogyakarta, more than 211 miles away (339.9 kilometers), authorities said.
A tsunami alert was issued after the quake, which Indonesian authorities recorded at 11:47 p.m. as 6.9 magnitude, according to Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for Indonesia’s National Disaster Management and Mitigation Agency
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The two victims were buried in rubble, one in Ciamis, in West Java, and the other in Pekalongan, in Central Java, emergency officials said.
A few hundred homes and buildings were destroyed or damaged, the officials said. Several hospitals were damaged. Seventy patients from Banyumas Hospital were moved to tents and another temporary shelter.

Patients are evacuated outside a hospital in Banyumas overnight after an earthquake.

Fears of a tsunami prompted people to evacuate their homes for higher ground, but there were no reports of tsunamis occurring along the southern coasts of western, central and eastern Java and the city of Yogyakarta.
The alert was lifted at 2:30 a.m., the spokesman said.
Most residents returned to their homes on Saturday and they were advised to seek temporary shelter if their dwellings aren’t safe. Several aftershocks continue to be felt in the areas hit by the quake, emergency officials said.
An earthquake on December 7, 2016, struck Indonesia’s Aceh province in Sumatra and killed at least 100 people.
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