US-China tensions

This file handout picture from US Navy dated February 21, 2007, shows the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis as it conducts operations in the Persian Gulf. ©AFP

These are some of the headlines we are tracking for you in this episode of On the News Line:

US-China tensions

Tensions in the South China Sea appear to be escalating again. Reports say China has denied permission to a US carrier group led by USS John C. Stennis to make a port visit to Hong Kong. This is the first such incident since 2014 and some believe could lead to the deterioration of Washington-Beijing ties. But China has been quick to act to prevent this by saying that port calls by US ships are decided on a case by case basis. Yet this has not helped prevent speculations that Beijing has adopted a new policy that seems to have meant to respond to US’s provocation in the region.

NATO testing Russia

New tensions are in the offing between Russia and NATO as the Western military alliance is preparing to put four battalions, which is a 4,000-storng contingent in Poland and the Baltic countries. NATO says the move is aimed at reinforcing its border with Russia amid stepped up military activities by Moscow in the region.

Anti-Israeli remarks

London’s former popular mayor, Ken Livingstone has hit the headlines, and that is because of his remarks on the collusion between Adolf Hitler and Zionist leaders. Livingstone made those remarks while defending another labor MP, Naz Shah, over her critical remarks on Israel. And since then, right-wing politicians and Blairite Labour MPs, as Livingstone describes them, have unleashed a massive media campaign to silence him. Livingstone is a victim of a widespread campaign to disqualify all critics of Israel as being “anti-Semitic.” But does criticizing Israel equal to being “anti-Semitic”?

 


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