Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Duterte Slams Trudeau: “I Only Answer To The Filipino. I Will Not Answer To Any Other Bulls**t”



Duterte Slams Trudeau: “I Only Answer To The Filipino. I Will Not Answer To Any Other Bulls**t”

Image result for duterte slams Trudeau

At the traditional news conference by the host nation at the end of the summit on Tuesday, Duterte was asked how he had responded to the Canadian prime minister raising the issue of human rights and extra-judicial executions in his anti-drugs drive.
Things Trump said in Asia: What you missed from his trip
"I said I will not explain. It is a personal and official insult," the Philippines president said in the course of a rambling answer, although he did not refer to Trudeau by name.
"I only answer to the Filipino. I will not answer to any other bullshit, especially foreigners. Lay off."
Trudeau says he voiced drug war concerns ...makes no mention of insulting Duterte
Earlier in the day, Trudeau told a news conference that during his meeting with Duterte "the president was receptive to my comments and it was throughout a very cordial and positive exchange."
Human rights activists had been hoping that leaders at the summit, including Trump, would raise the issue of the thousands of Users and Chinese Triad Pushers executed in the campaign that was launched by Duterte after he took office in mid-2016.
His government says the police act in self-defense during drug-busts, but critics say executions are taking place with no accountability.
There was no pressure from Trump on the drugs war when he met Duterte on Monday and the U.S. president later said the two had a "great relationship."
A joint statement after the meeting only said the two sides "underscored that human rights and the dignity of human life are essential, and agreed to continue mainstreaming the human rights agenda in their national programs."
Duterte cursed Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, last year for raising concerns about the war on drugs and he subsequently declared that he was breaking ties with the United States, a close ally of the Philippines since World War Two. The relationship appears to have got back on track after the bonhomie between him and Trump.
Trudeau also said that he raised the issue of the exodus of Rohingya during a meeting with Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi, another sensitive topic bypassed by most other leaders, although he did not mention the Muslim minority by name.
"This is a tremendous concern to Canada and to many, many countries around the world," he said.
The government in mostly-Buddhist Myanmar regards the Rohingya as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and does not recognize the term.
Over 600,000 Rohingya have fled to refugee camps in Bangladesh since military clearance operations were launched in response to attacks by Rohingya militants on Aug. 25.
The plight of the Rohingya has brought outrage from around the world and the United Nations has called the operations ethnic cleansing. There have been calls for democracy champion Suu Kyi to be stripped of the Nobel peace prize she won in 1991 because she has not condemned the military's actions.
Some countries in the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), particularly Muslim-majority Malaysia, have voiced strong concern over the issue recently.
However, in keeping with ASEAN's principle of non-interference in each others' internal affairs, it appeared to have been put aside at the summit, which brought Southeast Asian nations together with the United States, Russia, Japan, China, India, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
Duterte reported that China had agreed at the summit to work on a code of conduct in the South China Sea with ASEAN nations to ease tensions over disputed claims to the busy and resource-rich waterway.
The group also signed agreements on protecting migrant labor and fighting terrorism and cybercrime.
Trump skipped the plenary session of the summit because of scheduling delays, but he said his marathon trip to Asia had been a "tremendous" success.
He told reporters on Air Force One that he had delivered his prepared remarks during a lunch before the summit meeting.
Trump said at least $300 billion, possibly triple that figure, of deals had been agreed in the trip. 
"We've explained that the United States is open for trade but we want reciprocity, we want fair trade for the United States," he said.
Trade and concern about possible protectionism under Trump's "America First" agenda have come up during his visit to the region, which included stops in Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam before concluding in the Philippines.
After Trump left Manila, a group of Chinese influenced nations pursuing a separate Beijing-backed trade deal that does not include the United States agreed to "intensify efforts" in 2018 to bring their negotiations to a conclusion.
The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) appeared to have been given new impetus at the summit by Trump's withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement.
The two trade deals are not mutually exclusive.
ASEAN is joined in the RCEP talks by China, India, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea.

Report Urges Congress Require Chinese State Media to Resister as Foreign Agents

Report Urges Congress Require Chinese
State Media to Resister as Foreign Agents

By Stephen Lendman
Speech, media and academic freedom in America are threatened.

Forcing RT America to register as a foreign agent was a shot across the bow, an attempt to undermine its operations, wanting its reporting silenced.

Perhaps it signaled what’s ahead, an all-out assault on legitimate dissent, viewpoints challenging the official narrative, hard truths dark forces in America want suppressed, especially online, in RT’s case for its popular television news, information and 
Image result for The US-China Economic and Security Review Commission
Image result for The US-China Economic and Security Review Commission
Established in October 2000, The US-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC) aims to monitor, investigate, and report to Congress on the national security implications of the bilateral trade and economic relationship between the United States and the People’s Republic of China.”

“The Commission is required to issue an annual report of its evaluation and findings.” Its latest report was wide-ranging.

Recommendations included, urging congressional “strengthen(ing) (of the) Foreign Agents Registration Act to require the registration of all staff of Chinese state-run media entities, given that Chinese intelligence gathering and information warfare efforts are known to involve staff of Chinese state-run media organizations and in light of the present uneven enforcement of the Act.”

Media in China and Russia aren’t “intelligence gathering and information warfare” operations - unlike US-led Western ones, functioning as press agents for wealth, power and privilege.

USCC accused Chinese state media of involvement in spying and propaganda. Forcing them to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) will be another body blow to media freedom.

Xinhua with offices in New York, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston and San Francisco is notably targeted, the report saying:

“Xinhua serves some of the functions of an intelligence agency by gathering information and producing classified reports for the Chinese leadership on both domestic and international events.”

In testimony to the USCC, CIA/connected Freedom House said a “loophole” prevents requiring Xinhua and the People’s Daily staff from registering as foreign agents.

Bipartisan neocon US lawmakers are working on overhauling FARA in the wake of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manfort’s indictment on 12 counts, including operating as an unregistered foreign agent and false and misleading FARA statements - charges unrelated to Russia.

A previous article explained AIPAC has been an unregistered agent for Israel since 1953 - no charges ever brought for operating illegally, nothing holding  it accountable for decades of deplorable actions, including support for Israeli high crimes, along with malicious lying, fear-mongering and promoting naked aggression against its adversaries.

Things in America are heading toward outlawing dissent, calling it a threat to national security, even treason, equating it to terrorism.

It’s a fundamental freedom, the hallmark of free societies, the highest form of patriotism - constitutionally guaranteed.

Yet it’s endangered by administration and congressional efforts to compromise it - perhaps heading toward eliminating the most fundamental of all rights.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Andrew Robb did not breach code of conduct by taking $880k consultancy role with Chinese billionaire, Scott Ryan says

Andrew Robb did not breach code of conduct by taking $880k consultancy role with Chinese billionaire, Scott Ryan says

Updated 6 Jun 2017, 9:49pm
Special Minister of State Scott Ryan has defended former trade minister Andrew Robb, who took an $880,000 part-time job as a consultant to a Chinese billionaire days after the 2016 federal election.
"We have to be careful where someone has a broad portfolio — particularly someone like Andrew who was a senior businessman before he came into parliament — isn't prohibited completely from work after they leave public work," Senator Ryan said.
His comments come after a Four Corners-Fairfax investigation revealed ASIO warned political leaders that the Chinese Communist Party may be influencing the Australian political system through multi-million-dollar donations by influential businessmen.
One of those businessmen was property developer Huang Xiangmo, who along with associates donated $50,000 to Mr Robb's campaign financing vehicle, the Bayside Forum, on the day the Free Trade Agreement was signed in 2014.
In a separate development, the investigation found Mr Robb began working as a consultant to yet another Chinese billionaire, Ye Cheng, on July 1, 2016 — the day before the federal election.
He had previously announced he was resigning from the Melbourne seat of Goldstein and ceased to be an MP on May 9.

No claim Robb breached code: Ryan

Senator Ryan said the former trade minister's $880,000 part-time position with the Landbridge Group did not breach ministerial code of conduct rules, describing the situation as "a complex issue".
"There is no claim that Andrew Robb has in any way breached the code because it does prohibit dealing with officials that you dealt with as a minister, on issues that you dealt with as a minister, or on knowledge you had as a minister," Senator Ryan said.
"There has been no claim about that."
When asked whether Mr Robb's position was "appropriate", Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said "that is really a question that Mr Robb should answer".
"I think it is only fair and reasonable that people are curious enough to want to know the answer and if further discussions need to be held in regards to people's roles, then I will always back in our nation," Mr Joyce said.
"I believe absolutely that there should never be any even implied undue influence."
Mr Huang also reneged on a $400,000 pledge to Labor in June last year, after its defence spokesman took a hard line on China's militarisation of the South China Sea.
The next day, Senator Sam Dastyari appeared with Mr Huang at a press conference exclusively for Chinese media, where he echoed Beijing's line on the disputed waters.
Senator Dastyari later lost his shadow cabinet position over revelations that Mr Huang and a second Chinese donor had paid for some of the Labor figure's expenses.

Undersea cable deal with PNG inked amid concerns over Chinese influence in the Pacific

Undersea cable deal with PNG inked amid concerns over Chinese influence in the Pacific

Updated 13 Nov 2017, 11:44am
Media player: "Space" to play, "M" to mute, "left" and "right" to seek.
VIDEO: Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells discusses the undersea cables with Beverley O'Connor (The World)
Australia will deliver a new undersea, high-speed telecommunications cable from Australia to Papua New Guinea, the Federal Government has announced.

Key points:

  • Australian and PNG leaders meet on sidelines of APEC summit
  • Australia also in discussions with Solomon Island for similar cable
  • Analysts say the deal helps Australia maintain its regional presence
The announcement came as the prime ministers of the two countries met on the sidelines of the APEC summit currently underway in Vietnam.
Australia's Government also said it was in "close discussions" with Solomon Islands to lay a similar cable.
That decision throws into doubt an agreement between Solomon Islands and private Chinese company Huawei, which announced in July it had signed a contract to construct a cable from Sydney to Honiara.
Solomon Islands' caretaker Prime Minister Manasseh Sogovare has backed the Australian deal, but his influence may be lessened after the election of a new prime minister on Wednesday.
The prospect of Huawei plugging into Australia's communications network had raised eyebrows within Australia, as the company had been banned from tendering for the National Broadband Network in 2012 because of security concerns.
Director of the Pacific Islands Program at the Lowy Institute, Jonathan Pryke, said the decision to build the cables was a way for Australia to maintain its presence and counter the growing influence of China in the Pacific region.
"There's some really pointy security issues around the cable," Mr Pryke told the ABC's Pacific Beatprogram.
"We saw in Solomon Islands a few months ago Huawei announced that they would be delivering a cable from Solomon Islands into Australia's cable network.
"That results in some really significant national security issues for Australia.
"Having a Chinese state-owned enterprise connecting up to a piece of critical domestic infrastructure is pretty unpalatable for the Australian Government."
But Mr Pryke said he did not believe Papua New Guinea or Solomon Islands had placed much weight on Australia's national interest when making their decisions.
"They just want these cables for the benefits of their private sector and their economy," he said.
Anti-corruption activists and commentators welcomed talk that an Australian company may replace a Chinese one in building the cable between Australia and Solomon Islands.
"There was no public tender but instead Huawei got the right … this is where the big questions of governance comes," Solomon Islands Business Magazine publisher Robert Iroga said.
The executive director of Transparency Solomon Islands, Ruth Liloqula, said there were growing concerns about the influence of Chinese companies in the Pacific nation.
"There are allegations … that they're paying under the table to make sure that their applications and other things are on top of the pile," she said.

Cable to provide 'significant improvements' to PNG internet

The Federal Government said it was in discussions with an experienced Australian telecommunications infrastructure specialist about delivering the cable between Australia and PNG.
It said the cable would provide significant improvements in internet reliability and quality in PNG.
"Australia's firm support for this project is a reflection of our strong relationship with Papua New Guinea, and our desire to build an even closer economic partnership into the 21st century," Prime Minister Malcolm's Turnbull's office said in a statement.
The project was set to be well underway ahead of next year's APEC summit, which PNG is hosting in November.
"[This project] is very important for ongoing economic development," Prime Minister Peter O'Neill said in a statement.
"We are continuing to expand the use of the internet in education, as well as the application of digital technologies in the delivery healthcare."

The dark side of Asia's gambling Mecca

The dark side of Asia's gambling Mecca

Macau has transformed itself from a sleepy backwater to Asia's gambling capital

Story highlights

  • Macau home to three dozen casinos and six times bigger than Las Vegas
  • Locals are questioning whether growth has been too fast and furious
  • A gaming lawyer claims he was attacked in broad daylight in an intimidation attempt
  • Macau's gaming sector is thought to retain deep ties to organized crime
Triad attacks. Prostitute calling cards. Illicit money flows.
This is the dark underbelly of Macau -- Asia's gambling capital. The only Chinese territory where casinos are permitted, the city has transformed itself in little more than a decade from a sleepy backwater to a neon-lit monument to China's passion for gambling.
Gambling revenues in the city surpassed Las Vegas in 2006 and are now six times greater. But the former Portuguese colony's dramatic rise has come at a cost, with many in Macau questioning whether growth has been too fast and furious.
"You really don't know whether society as a whole has benefited," said Samuel Huang, an associate professor in gambling studies at the Macau Polytechnic Institute.
Portuguese lawyer Jorge Menezes, 47, has experienced first hand the city's more brutal side.
Jorge Menezes, a Portuguese gaming industry lawyer based in Macau, says he was attacked in intimidation attempt linked to his work.
Last month, he was attacked in broad daylight by two men as he walked his five-year-old son to pre-school in what he believes was an intimidation attempt linked to his work as a lawyer.
"I was walking with my son and suddenly I felt a huge blow on the back of my head," he told CNN from his office just a block away from where the attack took place.
"I turned around, already bleeding, and he threw another blow toward my head and then a second guy came at me from behind.
"I couldn't run away because my son was there. I needed to protect him."
Menezes, who injured his wrist and required stitches to his head, said the two assailants each had a brick tied to one of their hands.
"I was told it's a technique used by mafioso in mainland China, because they can carry it without being seen as a weapon."
A spokesman for Macau's Public Security Police, confirmed that the lawyer was attacked by two Chinese men brandishing hard objects who later fled. They added the case was under investigation.
'Broken Tooth' released from prison
'Broken Tooth' released from prison 01:58
Macau's motorcycles are going electric
Macau's motorcycles are going electric 03:04
Going green at Asia's biggest resort
Going green at Asia's biggest resort 02:52
Starwood's biggest gamble in Macau
Starwood's biggest gamble in Macau 03:25
In the run-up to the city's return to China, gang violence was commonplace, claiming the lives of some 37 people in 1999 alone -- though violent crime became rarer as the city's gaming market boomed.
However, some recent cases have unsettled residents. In 2012, a longtime operator of VIP casino junkets, Ng Man-sun, was beaten by six men in his hotel in what was reportedly a dispute with his ex-lover.
The city also feared a return to violence after the release of a notorious gangster known as Wan Kuok-kio or "Broken Tooth" in December after 15 years in prison.
Menezes says he rarely goes out to socialize and he cannot think of a personal motive for the attack: "I have no doubt that it's linked to work. It is definitely an attempt to intimidate me or put me out of action for a few months.
"I was working on cases that could bring direct or collateral damage -- collateral in the sense that there are third parties that are affected by what I am doing," he said, declining to say who he thought was behind the attack.
As a precaution, he has recruited a security guard cum secretary, but Menezes says he intends to stay put and continue representing his clients.
Steve Vickers, a former intelligence officer with the Hong Kong police and a specialist in triad activities, claimed Macau's gaming sector retains deep ties to organized crime.
"The scene has changed over the past 10 years as the pie has vastly increased," said Vickers, who now runs a specialist risk mitigation and corporate intelligence consultancy SVA. "It's not the cowboy town it was when Broken Tooth was running around.
"The big boys have moved in ... and they do not want visible street fights, with people being beaten up because it's bad for business and brings attention."
By and large, Macau remains a safe place with 182 violent crimes reported in the first three months of this year, up one from the same period a year earlier, according to figures from the Secretary for Security. The city is home to 500,000 people, while Macau's three dozen casinos attract more than 28 million visitors a year.
Vickers says that while the city's big casinos, some owned by U.S. tycoons Steve Wynn and Sheldon Adelson, operate correctly and legally, they work in a "messy environment."
They are reliant on income from high rollers and these VIPs are usually brought in from China by junket operators.
"The junkets are an integral part of the gaming scene and they facilitate the transfer of funds, the finding of the high rollers and they facilitate the breaching of Chinese capital controls.
"You won't find their names on the front (door) but the hard reality is that Chinese junkets are largely controlled by triad societies."
China tightly controls the amount of money individuals can take out of the country, with a limit of 20,000 yuan ($3,262) per day and citizens traveling to Macau, which is considered a special administrative region, are subject to these limits.
However, China has turned a blind eye to the abuse of capital controls, said Vickers although he added, this could change as the country's new leaders look to crack down on corruption amid worries about officials funneling money through the city.
Macau government officials did not immediately respond to a request from CNN for comment.
The triads are also said to be involved in prostitution rings, another bone of contention for local Macau residents -- although prostitution is not illegal.
Macau is on a U.S. State Department watch list for human trafficking and according to the 2012 report, criminal syndicates are involved in recruitment.
It says many women fall prey to false advertisements for casino jobs but upon arrival are forced into prostitution.
Many of the city's sidewalks and underpasses are littered with prostitutes' calling cards and fliers for saunas and pole dancing clubs.
"I don't know how to explain this to my children," said Huang at the Macau Polytechnic Institute.
Authorities are keen to diversify Macau's appeal and turn the city into a broader entertainment destination that attracts families and not just casino goers.
New resorts boast attractions like wave pools, fake beaches and high-class dining but there's little evidence that sales of spa treatments and slap-up meals will ever begin to approach revenue from the gambling tables.
"I don't think promoting a more family-friendly environment will be easy," said Huang.