26 October 2016   Leave a comment

For a number of years, many states have been pushing for a whale sanctuary in the South Atlantic.  The International Whaling Commission was created in 1946 in order to protect whales and other cetaceans which were in danger of extinction due to hunting.  The proposal was defeated–38 countries voted yes and 24 against–but the Commission requires a 75% affirmative vote to make the recommendation binding. The opposition to the sanctuary was led by Japan some of whose citizens regard whale meat as a delicacy.  Hunting continues under the rubric of “scientific research” but that loophole is disingenuous.

Image result for whale sanctuary

The Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, has announced that he wants all foreign troops out of the Philippines.  The US currently has 5 military bases in the Philippines which are regarded as centrally important to maintain a US role in Pacific affairs.  Duterte made the announcement during a stop in Japan from his meetings in China and the announcement undoubtedly rattled the Japanese who regard the US presence in the region as critically important.

Image result for map US bases in the pHilippines

The Russian naval fleet en route from Severomorsk, Russia to the coast of Syria has decided not to re-fuel at the Spanish facilities in Ceuta, off the Strait of Gilbraltar.  The initial Russian request placed Spain, a NATO member, in an awkward position since NATO countries are uncomfortable with the Russian role in Syria, particularly the suspicion that the Russians are committing war crimes.  Ordinarily a request to re-fuel is not considered a military act among states that have peaceful relations, but the pressure on Spain was probably quite intense.

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Posted October 26, 2016 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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