Wartorn South Sudan's army chief dies

Wartorn South Sudan's army chief diesBy Denis Dumo JUBA (Reuters) – South Sudan’s army chief died on Friday, the government said, in a development that further complicates the running of President Salva Kiir’s administration amid a four-year-old civil war. General James Ajongo died in Cairo after a short illness at the age of 64. “It is with a heavy heart that I announce the untimely death of Gen. James Ajongo Mawut, SPLA army’s chief of defence force,” government spokesman Michael Makuei Lueth said.


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Chinese military 'challenged Australian warships in the South China Sea'

Chinese military 'challenged Australian warships in the South China Sea'Malcolm Turnbull, the Australian prime minister, asserted his country’s rights to conduct patrols in the South China Sea after reports of a confrontation with China amid rising tensions in the disputed waters. China’s navy was said to have been involved in a “robust” but polite confrontation with three Australian warships in the strategically important sea, according to Australian Broadcasting Corp (ABC). The broadcaster, which first reported the incident, said it was “believed to have occurred earlier this month as China was conducting its largest ever naval exercises”. Mr Turnbull, who is in London on a visit, did not comment on the specific confrontation, which is said to have taken place off the coast of Vietnam. But when prompted by reporters, he said: “We maintain and practice the right of freedom of navigation and overflight throughout the world and, in this context, we’re talking about naval vessels on the world’s oceans, including the South China Sea, as is our perfect right in accordance with international law.” Australian defence officials did not confirm the confrontation took place, but said three warships had arrived in Ho Chi Minh City on Thursday. They are making a three-day goodwill visit to Vietnam. Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a speech during China’s drills last week  Credit: Xinhua/Reuters On the same day, Chinese President Xi Jinping presided over huge exercises in the South China Sea in an unmistakable show of force to Beijing’s regional rivals. The drills involved 48 ships, among them China’s sole operating aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, along with 76 helicopters, fighter jets and bombers, and more than 10,000 personnel. ABC said the HMAS Anzac, HMAS Toowoomba and HMAS Success were challenged by China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy. China claims almost all of the South China Sea, where more than $5 trillion (£3.8 trillion) of trade passes every year.  Much of the sea is also claimed by several south-east Asian nations, including the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, and Vietnam. Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Success prepares to dock at Saigon port in Ho Chi Minh City last week. Credit: Van Khoa/Thanh Nien News Observers say China is developing its military capabilities by fortifying and building infrastructure on what were previously reefs and partially-submerged islets. The US Navy has been confronting China in the region with ‘freedom of navigation’ exercises. It sent the aircraft carriers Theodore Roosevelt and Carl Vinson through the South China Sea in recent months, angering Beijing. Washington has also called on Australia to carry out similar patrols.


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South Sudan says head of army has died

South Sudan says head of army has diedSouth Sudan’s army chief General James Ajongo died in Cairo on Friday following a short illness, government spokesman Michael Makuei Lueth said. “It is with a heavy heart that I announce the untimely death of Gen. James Ajongo Mawut, SPLA army’s chief of defense force,” Lueth said. Ajongo joined the Sudan People’s Liberation Army, the formal name of the South Sudanese military, in 1983, when the SPLA was still a rebel group fighting for independence from Sudan.


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China challenged Australian warships in South China Sea, reports say

  1. China challenged Australian warships in South China Sea, reports say  CNN
  2. Australia Has a ‘Perfect Right’ to Sail in South China Sea, Says PM  Bloomberg
  3. China challenged Australian warships in South China Sea: Australian media  Reuters
  4. China eyes Vanuatu military base in plan with global ramifications  The Sydney Morning Herald
  5. Australia’s alarm at Chinese base in the Pacific is justified  The Australian Financial Review
  6. Full coverage


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Australia Defends South China Sea Presence Amid Challenge Report

  1. Australia Defends South China Sea Presence Amid Challenge Report  Bloomberg
  2. The Chinese navy challenged Australian warships in the South China Sea as it conducted its largest-ever naval parade  Business Insider
  3. Australian opposition leader accuses govt of Pacific fail  Radio New Zealand
  4. Australia’s alarm at Chinese base in the Pacific is justified  The Australian Financial Review
  5. Full coverage


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Pyongyang calling: North and South Korean leaders get hotline as stage set for summit

  1. Pyongyang calling: North and South Korean leaders get hotline as stage set for summit  The Guardian
  2. North Korea Drops Withdrawal of US Troops as a Condition of Nuclear Disarmament  TIME
  3. Is North Korea ready to scrap its nuclear weapons?  PolitiFact
  4. Trump is taking a smart calculated risk with North Korea talks  Chicago Tribune
  5. Wells Fargo, North Korea, Cuba: Your Thursday Evening Briefing  New York Times
  6. Full coverage


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Australia Has a 'Perfect Right' to Sail in South China Sea, Says PM

  1. Australia Has a ‘Perfect Right’ to Sail in South China Sea, Says PM  Bloomberg
  2. The Chinese navy challenged Australian warships in the South China Sea as it conducted its largest-ever naval parade  Business Insider
  3. Australian, Chinese ships face off in South China Sea — report  Philippine Star
  4. China challenges three Australian warships in South China Sea  The Australian
  5. Australia’s alarm at Chinese base in the Pacific is justified  The Australian Financial Review
  6. Full coverage


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China challenged Australian warships in South China Sea: Australian media

China challenged Australian warships in South China Sea: Australian mediaAustralian warships were challenged by the Chinese military in the disputed South China Sea earlier this month, the Australian Broadcasting Corp reported on Friday, citing Australian defense officials. The Australian Defence Department confirmed that three ships had recently traveled to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam but declined to comment on “operational details related to ships transiting the South China Sea”. “The Australian Defence Force has maintained a robust program of international engagement with countries in and around the South China Sea for decades,” the Defence Department said in a statement emailed to Reuters.


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South Korean president says North isn't insisting on American troop withdrawal

  1. South Korean president says North isn’t insisting on American troop withdrawal  Washington Post
  2. Is North Korea ready to scrap its nuclear weapons?  PolitiFact
  3. Trump Is Moving in the Right Direction on North Korea  Foreign Policy (blog)
  4. Trump is taking a smart calculated risk with North Korea talks  Chicago Tribune
  5. What’s next for Japan’s forgotten prisoners in North Korea?  USA TODAY
  6. Full coverage


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Stabbing of popular student devastates South El Monte High School; teen friend suspected in slaying

  1. Stabbing of popular student devastates South El Monte High School; teen friend suspected in slaying  Los Angeles Times
  2. Arrest Made After Teen’s Body Found in South El Monte Riverbed  NBC Southern California
  3. Teenager arrested in stabbing death of 17-year-old friend in South El Monte  KABC-TV
  4. Full coverage


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