By Manuel Mogato MANILA (Reuters) - Defense officials from the Philippines and Vietnam will meet this week to explore possible joint exercises and navy patrols, military sources said, shoring up a new alliance between states locked in maritime rows with China. Ties have strengthened between the two Southeast Asian countries as China's assertiveness intensifies with a rapid buildup of man-made islands in the Spratly archipelago, to which Vietnam and the Philippines lay claim. Both states are also on the receiving end of a renewed charm offensive by the United States, which is holding joint military exercises in the Philippines to be attended this week by U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter. Vietnam and the Philippines would discuss patrols and exercises, but a deal this week was unlikely, a senior military official told Reuters. "These are initial discussions," he said. "These may take time but we would like to move to the next level." The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. The information was confirmed by another defense ministry source in Manila. Naval patrols between the Philippines and United States were proposed by Manila in January. They could happen within a year, a foreign ministry official said. "The two sides are still talking about this," the official told Reuters. The exploratory talks between Vietnam and the Philippines come as ships from the United States and Japan, which has its own maritime wrangles with China, have visiting ships currently docked at Subic Bay in the Philippines, which hosted Washington's main naval base during the Vietnam War. CHANGING DYNAMIC The regional dynamic has shifted substantially since then, with the United States now engaging Vietnam's military having eased a lethal arms embargo in 2014. Japan is also working closely in defense issues with Manila and Hanoi, and two of its guided-missile destroyers are currently on a rare visit to Vietnam's strategic base at Cam Ranh Bay. Vietnam and the Philippines agreed on a strategic partnership in November to boost security relations as China expands its presence in the strategic waterway and deploys military equipment in the Spratly and Paracel islands. Their closer ties mark a bold step in a region where China's economic influence has made some countries reluctant to take a joint stand against its maritime maneuvering. Joint exercises would be one of the biggest steps taken by the two countries' militaries since signing a defense agreement six years ago. The meeting between Vietnam's vice defense minister, Nguyen Chi Vinh, and Honorio Azcueta, the Philippine undersecretary of defense, is scheduled for Thursday and comes as a court in The Hague nears a decision in an arbitration case lodged by Manila. The ruling in the case, which seeks to clarify parts of a United Nations maritime law, could dent China's claim to 90 percent of the South China Sea, parts of which Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei also claim. The South China Sea will figure in the talks between the two countries, as will bilateral exchanges, information-sharing, military logistics and defense technology, the sources said. Vinh would tour Philippine bases, including a major naval facility. Vietnam's state media has not reported the visit. Two Vietnamese frigates made port calls to Manila in 2014 and a Philippine warship may do the same in Vietnam this June. Troops from both sides have played sports together twice since 2014 on disputed islands they occupy. On Monday, Philippine Foreign Minister Jose Rene Almendras was the first foreign dignitary to meet Vietnam's new prime minister, Nguyen Xuan Phuc. (Reporting by Manuel Mogato; Editing by Martin Petty and Nick Macfie)
- The Daily Beast
Mario Anzuoni/ReutersAlec Baldwin and Rosanna Arquette are among a number of celebrities who have been slammed for sending thoughts and prayers to Anne Heche after the A-lister’s high-speed crash into a Mar Vista house while allegedly drunk.Baldwin took to Instagram on Saturday to send “my best wishes and all my love” to Heche, who is reportedly in stable condition in a hospital after suffering severe burns in the incident. According to a statement from the Los Angeles Fire Department, it took 5
They were together for nine months.
Pete Davidson wore a T-shirt with a cryptic message a day after announcing his split from Kim Kardashian
The former "SNL" star was photographed while filming on location in Cairns, Australia, where he appeared to make an interesting fashion statement.
- The Hill
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) clinched a victory on Wednesday when the Senate — including 48 of the chamber’s 50 Republicans — voted overwhelmingly to admit Finland and Sweden to NATO. The resolution, which cleared the chamber in a bipartisan 95-1 vote, was a top priority for the Republican leader, who wanted to send a signal…
- The Hill
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) received a warning early Sunday morning to follow the Senate’s decorum rules after he accused Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) of being “deceitful” and “dishonest” and vowed “we’re going to call you out.” “This gives phony and cynical a bad name,” Graham exclaimed when Hassan introduced her amendment. Graham’s outburst at Hassan…
Queen Elizabeth II Reportedly Begged Prince William To Stop a Hobby That Could ‘Threaten the Line of Succession’
While Queen Elizabeth II is okay with many of Prince William’s hobbies, like motorcycles and sailing, there’s one that she “stays up at night” worrying about. And truthfully, we don’t blame her. It’s reported by Daily Mail that the Queen has repeatedly asked William not to fly helicopters, especially to not pilot them himself in […]
- The Courier
Tim Trahan, a Houma native living in Arcadia, caught the new State Record Bluegill out of a neighbor's pond in Arcadia.
- The Hill
A power tool and hand tool manufacturer issued a recall for almost 1.4 million saws on Thursday following reports of consumer laceration injuries while using the product. DeWALT issued the recall for the 12-inch sliding compound miter saws after the company learned that the rear safety guard can break or detach, according to the U.S.…
- E! News
One day after the news broke that Kim Kardashian and Pete Davidson called it quits, the former SNL star was spotted on set in Australia wearing a t-shirt with an interesting message on it.
- The Daily Beast
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/GettyA wave of COVID infections caused by the BA.5 subvariant has crested. All over the world, daily new cases, hospitalizations and deaths are going down.But the SARS-CoV-2 virus is almost certainly here to stay. Another wave is all but inevitable as new variants and subvariants mutate, compete for dominance, and find new transmission pathways.How fast that wave comes, and how bad it gets, probably comes down to a genetic competition between different mutat
- Ukrayinska Pravda
VALENTYNA ROMANENKO - MONDAY, 8 AUGUST 2022, 07:58 Aerial reconnaissance and artillery units of the National Guard of Ukraine and the Ukrainian Armed Forces, supported by tanks, destroyed a subversion and reconnaissance group of Russian special forces and a Russian ammunition point in the north of Kharkiv Oblast.
The fast-food chain teased its biggest fans on Twitter, but now it has actually brought back a much-requested item.
New video shows a chaotic crash of a stolen rental car involving four teens. Traffic cameras captured police trying to stop the vehicle on 35-E in Little Canada. The car crashes into the median twice and four people come running out and across the busy highway. All four were arrested.
11-year-old who saved up money for a lemonade stand was scammed by a man who gave him fake $100 bill and asked for exact change
Jeremy, who lives in Washington state, used his allowance to set up a lemonade stand but was stiffed by a man using a fake $100.
Elizabeth Banks is turning up the heat this summer with a show-stopping, untouched video of herself living her best life by the pool. On Aug 4, Banks uploaded a cheeky video of herself going from the airport in her casual ensemble to lounging by the pool in a cherry-printed bikini. She posted it with the […]
- Steelers Wire
Najee Harris has missed a week with a foot injury.
"A kind and generous person, Lynne is always first to offer help to others," neighbors wrote in a GoFundMe for Lynne Mishele, the woman who lost her home in Anne Heche's recent car crash
- Patriots Wire
This may not go over well.
- The Tennessean
The country entertainer honored his wife and injured gospel icon during night three of his Ryman residency
- Consequence of Sound
Part of the latest capsule from Ocean's luxury goods company Homer. Frank Ocean Selling $25,000 Luxury Cock Ring Alex Young