China says reports of it setting up a military outpost in Cambodia's port city are not true. The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that China and Cambodia signed a secret pact allowing Beijing exclusive use of a naval base in Sihanoukville in the Gulf of Thailand.
Nearly one year after the election that brought Imran Khan to power in Pakistan, the cricket-hero-turned-prime-minister faces growing anger as he chases an elusive target: how to right the South Asian nation's teetering economy. Pakistan has been staring down the barrel of a balance of payments crisis since before last year's July 25 vote, and analysts have long warned that the new government must act quickly. "The price of tomatoes is touching the skies," 30-year-old Shama Parveen, who walked several kilometres through Karachi's sweltering heat to find cheaper produce, told AFP.
On April 14, 1988, the frigate USS Samuel B. Roberts struck an Iranian mine while escorting tanker ships through the Persian Gulf. The carrier USS Enterprise led a retaliatory raid.Tensions have escalated in the Persian Gulf region in the aftermath of U.S. president Donald Trump’s decision unilaterally to withdraw the United States from the agreement limiting Iran’s nuclear program.The U.S. military has implicated Iranian agents in several summer 2019 attacks on civilian ships sailing near Iran. The U.S. Navy sent the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln and her strike group to the region. The U.S. Air Force deployed B-52 bombers and F-22 and F-35 stealth fighters.If war breaks out, American forces could target Iran’s small navy as well as the vessels belonging to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps militia.(This first appeared in July 2019.)The battle could be brief. Iran’s fleet has a long history of waging losing fights with the United States and other Western powers.During World War II, the Allied powers worried that Iran, while technically neutral, might sympathize with and aid the Nazis, potentially depriving the Allies of the country’s oil. On Aug. 25, 1941, Commonwealth and Soviet forces invaded.British and Australian warships steamed into Abadan Harbor as part of a surprise attack. HMS Shoreham opened fire first, striking the Iranian warship Palang. Soon virtually the entire Iranian fleet was in ruins and commander-in-chief Adm. Gholamali Bayandor lay dead.The British and Soviets divided up Iran and deposed its shah. In the two decades following the war, the new regime rebuilt the navy with mostly British-made ships, some of which remain in service today.
FacebookA University of Mississippi student has been arrested and charged for allegedly murdering a 21-year-old sorority sister whose bullet-riddled body was found near a lake about 20 minutes away from campus.Brandon Theesfeld, a 22-year-old senior, was arrested Monday afternoon and is currently in custody at the Lafayette County Detention Center, the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department confirmed to The Daily Beast. He was charged Tuesday at the Lafayette County Courthouse, just days after Alexandria “Ally” Kostial, an Alpha Phi sorority sister and rising senior at Ole Miss, was found dead by a deputy during his Saturday morning patrol near Sardis Lake.The University of Mississippi said Theesfeld, a student in the School of Business Administration, has been suspended.Lafayette County Sheriff's Dept.“I think that he should be processed to the fullest extent of the law,” her childhood friend, Claudia Swyres, told The Daily Beast on Tuesday. “What he did to Ally was just terrible.” According to her father, Keith Kostial, the sorority sister was attending summer school and teaching fitness classes on campus before she became “the victim of a homicide.” Kostial was last seen Friday night outside a bar near campus. Surveillance footage outside the car allegedly shows the 21-year-old stopping at the bar door before going inside, turning around, and walking out of the camera’s view. The 21-year-old’s roommates said she returned home around midnight, according to WLBT. At some point, Kostial left the house again, unbeknownst to her friends. It was not immediately clear why Kostial left her house.Man Charged With Murder in Disappearance of Mackenzie LueckOn Saturday, one officer was completing his routine patrol at Buford’s Ridge, a remote area with a fishing camp both locals and college students frequent to ride their ATVs when the lake’s water is low. There, according to authorities, the deputy found Kostial’s body, which had eight bullet wounds. Lafayette County Coroner Rocky Kennedy previously told The Daily Beast that an autopsy for Kostial had “been requested” but the results have not been made public yet.The University of Mississippi confirmed Kostial was studying marketing at the college’s school of business administration and minoring in management information systems. Set to graduate next spring, Kostial was a member of the school’s Alpha Phi sorority chapter and Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity. “She quite possibly was the nicest human being that I’ve ever met,” Anna Pasco, one of Kostial’s friends, told WMC. “It’s just hard for me because all I can think about when I see her face is what she went through, what she was thinking, what she was saying. It’s hard.”The 21-year-old was also one of the founding members of the school’s golf club and served as its president, a school spokesperson confirmed to The Daily Beast.Body of Slain University of Utah Student Mackenzie Lueck Was Found Bound in Shallow Grave“From road tripping down to Oxford to being my Alpha Phi sister I will cherish all the memories we had together,” Kassidy Desnoyer, her longtime friend and sorority sister wrote on Facebook Sunday. “She was the brightest light and always had a smile on her face. She truly was a ray of sunshine.”According to his Facebook, the 22-year-old is originally from Fort Worth, Texas. “I know my son is innocent. And I have reasons to believe that I can’t share anything now,” his father, Daniel Theesfeld, said in a statement to The Daily Beast. “But I would ask everybody to please give him the presumption of innocence until proven otherwise.”University of Mississippi Student Found Dead in Apparent Homicide: PoliceRead more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
The Philippines is considering inviting tourists to its biggest and most strategically important outpost in the South China Sea, part of efforts to assert its claim to sovereignty over some of the world's most contested islands. Thitu island in the Spratly archipelago is in the midst of major upgrades to its dilapidated facilities, playing catch-up with China and Vietnam, which have been developing facilities on islands they either occupy or have built from scratch on top of submerged reefs. "We are on track in rebuilding or repairing our runway in Pagasa," said Philippine Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, referring to Thitu, some 280 nautical miles off the Philippine coast.
In a national defense white paper released Wednesday, China listed among its top priorities its resolve to contain "Taiwan independence" and combat what it considers separatist forces in Tibet and the far west region of Xinjiang. The paper, published every few years, is an outline of China's national defense policy. Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian said the threat of Taiwan separatism is growing and warned that those who are seeking Taiwan independence will meet a dead end.
A US warship may have brought down two Iranian drones during a stand-off in the Gulf last week, the commander of American forces in the region said on Tuesday. "We are confident we brought down one drone, we may have brought down a second," US Central Command chief General Kenneth McKenzie told CBS news in an interview aboard the USS Boxer, the vessel at the center of the incident.
Few places so mesmerising carry the pain of Kashmir. The Himalayan region, contested for seven decades by India and Pakistan, has been a hideout for Islamabad-backed militants; witnessed the forced expulsion of a Hindu community as authorities did nothing; and seen a Muslim-majority area become home to 500,000 Indian troops reportedly responsible for widespread abuses. It is place burdened both by history and the desire for something better. Into this mix now steps Donald Trump. Meeting this week in the Oval Office with Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan, Trump offered to act as a mediator between the two neighbours. He claimed was asked to perform such as role by India’s Narendra Modi. “I was with prime minister Modi two weeks ago and he actually said, ‘Would you like to be a mediator, or an arbitrator?’ And I said, 'Where?' And he said ‘Kashmir’,” said Trump. “If I can help, I would love to be a mediator.” For those with any knowledge of India or Pakistan, it was a moment when jaws dropped. Why would India, which since 1972 has insisted the status of Kashmir can only be resolved by the two countries alone, have asked Trump to become involved? Within an hour, Delhi made clear it had not requested Washington’s assistance after all. Immediately, scorn was heaped on Trump. What did this joker know about Kashmir/cashmere, other than the fitted sweaters worn by the First Lady? Why would Trump risk antagonising a democratic Asian giant the US wants as a counterweight to China? And what in heaven’s name could Donald Trump actually do about Kashmir anyway? There’s another way to view this, and it starts with a record of failure. For 70 years, India and Pakistan have mutually obsessed over this region, with its mountains, apple orchards and walnut trees. Three times they have gone to war. At the same time, both have largely ignored the concerns of the people of Kashmir, of which there are five distinct areas, not one. On the Pakistan side, Islamabad has dismissed the requests of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, which want to become full provinces and secure more rights. On India’s part, in the late 1980s Delhi did nothing as countless thousands of Hindu Pandits were forced from the Kashmir Valley while an insurgency against the state by the Muslim community, furious over a fixed election, gathered force. http://players.brightcove.net/624246174001/default_default/index.html?videoId=6011646175001Military convoy in the streets of Srinagar, Kashmir Since then, half a million troops and paramilitaries have set up razor wire and bunkers across towns such as Srinagar, frequently killing stone-throwing youths. The military is protected by a shameful piece of legislation, the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), which effectively gives them a free hand. Attendant to this, Delhi and Islamabad have used Kashmir as a strategic pawn — Pakistan in its appeals to the UN about alleged Indian human rights abuses; and India by choosing to ignore local demands for greater autonomy by writing them off as Pakistan-produced propaganda. It’s not a great record. Up to 75,000 soldiers, civilians and police officers have lost their lives, in attacks, explosions or cross-border bombing. All this in a land of houseboats and poetry, that until the mid-1980s was a tourist’s dream, as well as the location for numerous Bollywood movies. It is not as though large numbers in both countries do not want peace. In 2001, Pakistan’s Pervez Musharraf and India’s Atal Bihari Vajpayee almost brokered a deal that would have seen demilitarisation in Kashmir, free movement, and the recognition of what is currently termed the Line of Control as the recognised border. We have seen @POTUS's remarks to the press that he is ready to mediate, if requested by India & Pakistan, on Kashmir issue. No such request has been made by PM @narendramodi to US President. It has been India's consistent position...1/2 — Raveesh Kumar (@MEAIndia) July 22, 2019