23 April 2014
US President Obama is expected to announce an agreement with the Philippines, that would offer American ships and planes the most extensive access to bases in the region, since 1992, when the US relinquished its naval installation at Subic Bay. The agreement would be the centerpiece of Obama’s visit to Asia this week.
The New York Times reports that such an agreement could antagonise China, which is locked in a dispute with the Philippines over Scarborough Shoal, a fishing ground now occupied by Chinese vessels. Like the 2011 agreement to deploy Marines to Darwin, Australia, such a presence would theoretically give America more capacity to help its allies in territorial disputes with the Chinese. (more…)
Source: The New York Times | Obama’s Strategic Shift to Asia Is Hobbled by Pressure at Home and Crises Abroad
7 March 2013
At the Conference of the Parties of the of the Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), eight states (Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and China) were identified as key to the trade in ivory and were threatened with trade sanctions if they do not address failures in protection against poaching, and failures in seizing illegal ivory trade.
Six of these states are states which most ivory passes through (Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Malaysia, Philippines and Vietnam), the other two are the states were most ivory is bought (China and Thailand).
The news of threat of trade sanctions coincides with the publication of a report that details the increase in levels of poaching. The report concludes that illicit ivory trade activity and the weight of ivory behind this trade has more than doubled since 2007, and is over three times greater than it was in 1998.
Source: The Guardian | Two-thirds of forest elephants killed by ivory poachers in past decade
Source: UNEP, CITES, IUCN, TRAFFIC | Elephants in the Dust - The African Elephant Crisis | A Rapid Response Assessment
Source: The Miami Herald | Ivory trade nations face threat of sanctions