Pentagon freaks creep into "China's backyard"
Singapore: "No US troops Here"
WASHINGTON: Singapore is not considering plans to host troops from the United States, visiting Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said at a forum here.
As the first batch of US Marines began arriving in Australia this week as part of the Obama administration’s strategic “pivot” to the Asia-Pacific, Ng was asked if Singapore would consider a similar request from Washington.
“No, we are not considering the deployment of troops from the United States,” the minister said unequivocally, adding that Singapore’s scarce land resources and growing population made it ill-suited for such initiatives.
A far better option, he stressed, was to give US military ships and aircrafts access to Singapore’s facilities, which the republic has done since 1990 when it signed a memorandum of understanding with the United States.
The question surrounding possible US troop deployment to Singapore is not new, having also surfaced in the early 1990s when many wondered whether Singapore could be an alternative to the Subic Bay US naval base in the Philippines as it faced imminent closure.
The revisiting of this old question is also sparked in part by a recent Washington Post report suggesting that the Pentagon was looking to move its forces closer to South-East Asia.
Meanwhile, the United States has made a formal request to deploy more of its cutting-edge Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) to Singapore.
Ng discussed the proposal when he met his US counterpart Leon Panetta at the Pentagon on Wednesday.
Singapore is currently evaluating the new proposal, which could see up to four LCS vessels deployed to Singapore by 2016.
The United States had earlier requested to deploy one to two such ships to Singapore by next year.
An LCS is similar in size to a frigate and has about 75 crew members.
Those deployed to Singapore would live onboard the LCS vessels as the ships would not be based in Singapore.
“The deployment of the LCS signals the US commitment to the region and enhances its ability to train and engage with regional partners,” Ng and Panetta said in a joint statement after their meeting.
Ng, who arrived here on Tuesday, is on a four-day introductory visit to the United States in his capacity as Defence Minister. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network
__A CORPORATE governance survey has shown that America's CEOs enjoyed pay hikes of up to 40 per cent last year – with one chief executive earning US$145m.
The British Guardian Newspaper looked at the CEO pay survey from corporate governance group GMI Ratings. It is expected to further fuel debate about America's widening income gap. The survey, the most extensive in the US, covered 2,647 companies, and offers a comprehensive assessment of all the data now available relating to 2010 pay.
Chief executive pay has roared back after two years of stagnation and decline. America's top bosses enjoyed pay hikes of between 27 and 40 per cent last year, according to the largest survey of US CEO pay. The dramatic bounceback comes as the latest government figures show wages for the majority of Americans are failing to keep up with inflation. America's highest paid executive took home more than $145.2m, and as stock prices recovered across the board, the median value of bosses' profits on stock options rose 70 per cent in 2010, from $950,400 to $1.3m. The news comes against the backdrop of an Occupy Wall Street movement that has focused Washington's attention on the pay packages of America's highest paid. more...
_Syria: Yet Another Misconception
SYRIA is the heart of the Middle East, sharing borders with Iraq, Lebanon (where it has bases), Israel, Turkey and Iran, with which it has a strong alliance. Iranian President Ahmadinejad stated Iran would not permit any foreign injustice in Syria. more...
- A Different Perspective
"The incomplete and distorted reporting about North Korean leader Kim Jong Il is not fair to him, the people of North and South Korea who long for peace and reconciliation, or to the American people"_
Dorothy Ogle is a former missionary to South Korea, visitor to North Korea in 1984, and in 1987-1988 the legislative affairs co-ordinator for the 1986 National Council of Churches Policy Statement: "Peace and Reunification of Korea." She provides a point of view about the state of North Korea not readily reflected in the Western media.
_Report From Detention
_Guardian reporter Geoff Turner filed this report shortly before Christmas.
"YESTERDAY I visited my friend Iyoub Khan Mohammed Ramees in Villawood Detention Centre to find him anxious and depressed. During the last week of November ( Ramees was confused on the exact day) Federal Agent Marc Dib from the Australian Federal Police Sydney Office interviewed Ramees about an interview with ABC Radio.
The interview was conducted after the death by suicide of another detainee Jayasenga Dayarathna (“Shooty” to his friends) and Ramees was responding from the heart.
Federal Agent Dib concentrated on the exact words that Ramees had used in the interview saying that he held a recording of the interview and either Ramees or the ABC was lying. He told Ramees that he would be returning next week with a letter for Ramees to sign.
I am not aware of any legislation or rules that prohibit detainees in immigration detention centres from talking to the media. Like other detainees Ramees has a great fear of the police. As a refugee he is fleeing police and military states: the very reason he seeks asylum.
Ramees fears that interest by the Federal Police will have bearing on his chances of remaining in Australia. Ramees has a history of instability whilst held in detention. He has suffered some very serious periods of depression and hopelessness leading to self harm and mutilation.
If detailed clinical records are not held by the Department of Immigration or Serco that would advise caution regarding any interview by the Federal Police or any official body with Ramees it is truly scandalous.
For the Federal Police to interview Ramees with such history of unstable behaviour, after the suicide and funeral of his close friend, beggars belief.
Corporate Push to Control Web
The corporations lobbying for Sopa know exactly what they want: control of online information for profit. This is a crossroads. more...
_Undercover Cops had Kids With Activists
TWO British undercover police officers secretly fathered children with political campaigners they had been sent to spy on and later disappeared completely from the lives of their offspring, the UK Guardian has revealed. more...
_ Silence After
THE discharge of 10,000 litres of saline water at a coal seam gas project in north-western New South Wales was not reported to the State Government for six months. more...
_NORTHERN Territories Aboriginal man Terrance Briscoe's death in police custody is no isolated tragedy. more...
_EMPLOYER groups are on the offensive to make it even harder for trade unions to take strike action and organise in the workplace. more...
for Dental Plan
PRESSURE is mounting on the federal government to establish a national dental care scheme, because of an alarming report presented to the government last week by the National Advisory Council on Dental Health. more...
_A Broader World View
The CPA Brisbane branch website features a mixture of information about our branch, events, as well as news and opinion from a wide variety of sources. Our intention is to devote time to locating and presenting local, national and international news, opinion and information while providing you with an informed world-view. We hope you enjoy this site and become more informed about the Communist Party.
"For Aboriginal people, and for Mr Briscoe in particular, it's the usual story of a casual drink with friends, then being taken into protective custody by police, conflicting reports of a bashing or a fall in custody, no medical care, and a one way trip to the cemetery."
Terrance Briscoe's uncle