Thứ Sáu, 21 tháng 11, 2014

China building South China Sea island big enough for airstrip: report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Satellite images show China is building an island on a reef in the disputed Spratly Islands large enough to accommodate what could be its first offshore airstrip in the South China Sea, a leading defense publication said on Friday.
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The construction has stoked concern that China may be converting disputed territory in the mineral-rich archipelago into military installations, adding to tensions waters also claimed by Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Brunei.

IHS Jane's said images it had obtained showed the Chinese-built island on the Fiery Cross Reef to be at least 3,000 meters (1.9 miles) long and 200-300 meters (660-980 ft) wide, which it noted is "large enough to construct a runway and apron."

The building work flies in the face of U.S. calls for a freeze in provocative activity in the South China Sea, one of Asia's biggest security issues. Concern is growing about an escalation in disputes even as claimants work to establish a code of conduct to resolve them.

Dredgers were also creating a harbor to the east of the reef "that would appear to be large enough to receive tankers and major surface combatants," it said.

Asked about the report at a defense forum in Beijing on Saturday, Jin Zhirui, a colonel with the Chinese air force command, declined to confirm it but said China needed to build facilities in the South China Sea for strategic reasons.

"We need to go out, to make our contribution to regional and global peace," Jin said. "We need support like this, including radar and intelligence."

The land reclamation project was China's fourth in the Spratly Islands in the last 12 to 18 months and by far the largest, IHS Jane's said.

It said Fiery Cross Reef was home to a Chinese garrison and had a pier, air-defense guns, anti-frogmen defenses, communications equipment, and a greenhouse.

Beijing has rejected Washington's call for all parties to halt activity in the disputed waters to ease tension, saying it can build whatever its wants in the South China Sea.

Hong Kong media have reported that China plans to build an air base on Fiery Cross Reef. In August, the deputy head of the Chinese Foreign Ministry's Boundary and Ocean Affairs Departments said he was unaware of any such plans.

(Reporting by David Brunnstrom; Additional reporting by Ben Blanchard in BEIJING; Editing by G Crosse)

Thứ Năm, 20 tháng 11, 2014

Mùa Thu với Nhật Ký Trên Biên Giới Việt-Trung 1885-1887 (Nhật Ký)

Những CD cho tác phẩm Nhật Ký giờ đȃy sắp hoàn tất.

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Từng mỗi chapter Nhật Ký quý vị có thể nghe trên CD mà tưởng như nghẹn lại trong tim vì những biến chuyển hồi hộp của từng mẫu chuyện. Chúng ta rất biết ơn bác sῖ Paul Neis người đã vô tình viết lại một giai đoạn lịch sử quý báu cho dȃn tộc Việt Nam và ông đã chết trong vô danh tại Nice, chúng ta lại càng không thể quên đi công trình gần trọn một năm dài Nam Dao đã đọc tác phẩm để lưu lại ngàn sau từ sau nhiều tuần lễ chị cố gắng vượt qua cơn bệnh trong mùa giá lạnh tại Úc. Giờ đȃy những CD Nhật Ký đã trở thành hiện thực vào chính mùa Thu California. Những CD Nhật Ký đã trở thành những chiếc lá rụng xuống giòng sông với giòng chữ Lê Lợi Vi Quȃn Nguyễn Trãi Vi Thần mà Nguyễn Trãi đã viết bằng mật ngọt  trên những chiếc lá rừng vào mùa Hè ấm áp trong những ngày tụ nghῖa tại Lũng Nhai. Những CD Nhật Ký sẽ trở về không gian và thời gian của tổ quốc, sẽ mãi mãi in dấu bóng hình của tổ quốc Việt Nam xa xôi đang ngập trong rên xiết và oằn oại gông cùm và trên vùng biển thȃn yêu của tổ quốc tràn ngập những con tàu của ngoại bang hung hãn.

Nhật Ký Trên Biên Giới Việt Trung 1885-1887 là ánh sáng là sự sống mãi mãi hòa cùng nhịp đập trái tim của toàn dȃn Việt.
Hoàng Hoa 11/20/2014

Two women who kicked to death another woman outside a bar

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — Two women who kicked to death another woman outside a bar were sentenced Friday to six years in prison by a judge who chastised them for not walking away and denounced bystanders who shot cell phone video rather than break up the melee.
Candace Brito, 27, and Vanesa Zavala, 26, cried softly as the judge also ordered them to pay $5,000 each in fines and a combined $3,500 in funeral costs to the family of 23-year-old Annie Kim Pham, an aspiring writer and newlywed who was taken off life support and died two days after the fight earlier this year.
Family members of the two defendants and Pham fought back tears as Orange County Superior Court Judge Thomas M. Goethals said the case was a horrible tragedy for all involved. He decried bystanders who shot cell phone video of the January fight but did not intervene. The footage was key evidence at trial.
"Why didn't you two walk away? You're not gang members. You're not fighters. You had been essentially law-abiding, nice young women," the judge said, raising his voice. "And yet ... you were all in the fight up to your elbows. If any of you had just swallowed your pride and walked away none of us would be sitting here."
Brito and Zavala had been charged with second-degree murder, which would have carried a possible life term, but a jury in July opted for the lesser conviction of voluntary manslaughter. The two faced a minimum of three years and a maximum of 11 years in prison.
Katie Nguyen, Pham's stepsister, recalled holding Pham's hand as she lay in a coma in the hospital. Pham's family later donated her organs according to her wishes.
"I remember crying so much my eyes were unable to produce any more tears," Nguyen said. "She needed to grow old, have kids and see me get married — but that would not happen."
Brito said she prays each day to Pham, asking for forgiveness, and Zavala — who has a 4-year-old son — said as a parent herself she can't imagine Pham's father's pain.
"I will live with this for the rest of my life. I know that you will never forget this, but I hope someday you can forgive," Brito said shortly before the sentence was read.
According to trial testimony, the fight began as Pham and her friends waited in line to get into a hotspot in downtown Santa Ana called The Crobsy. Brito, Zavala and their friends were leaving the bar and the two groups bumped into one another.
According to testimony, Pham and Emilia Calderon, a friend of Brito and Zavala's, exchanged words and then Pham swore and threw the first punch, starting a fight that quickly turned into a chaotic melee involving dozens of people. As Pham and Calderon wrestled on the sidewalk, prosecutors said Brito and Zavala kicked her in the head.
Calderon was not charged in the case.
Zavala's attorney, Kenneth Reed, argued that his client didn't kick Pham and that punches from other people might have killed her.
Brito's attorney, Michael Molfetta, argued his client reacted in self-defense because she thought her friend was in danger.
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  • Elle 3 days ago
    Diane... There are people in jail for less than murder... with more time than these two. What is justice to you? What is the difference between victimless crimes (and jail) and crimes with victims who are dead (and jail) for murder... ? Fair? Justice? Let me know your "opinion" on laws where punishment matches the crime? Very interested! Also: NFL Rice... Who knocked out his now wife and dragged her lifeless body out of a elevator and did nothing: a battery charge for most anyone, jail time for the no name , yet him: not serving one day of jail time. Why? Umm... Justice is interesting.
    Expand Replies (4) Reply
  • JoyceE 3 days ago
    The Asian people have always taken care of their elderly. I feel for the father of the victim as he might have been depending on help in his old age. I think the murders should kick in money for his retirement and have money taken out of their earnings when they get out for the rest of the father's life. Just like child support. If they don't work, which is highly likely, take it out of their welfare check or their husbands wages. Maybe that will make some man think twice about marrying them if he knows that is the price he has to pay. I'm guessing that the state of California is raising the child of one of the murderers.
  • Redneg 5 days ago
    Kenneth Reed give me a break, I know you have to defend your clients but please, do not try and diminish what your clients really did, the video show what they did and I believe they are lucky to just get manslaughter. These two can cry all they want, but they have poor decision making skills, and poor judgement, maybe a few years in prison will make them realize that life is precious and the life you take will effect others.
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  • Starlee 4 days ago
    I honestly never understood anyone who would have to prove themselves by fist fighting, I am the same age as one of the these lady's and I have honestly never gotten in a fist fight in my whole life, if someone wants to fight like an animal then I just walk away or call the police, who has time for that? Whats really sad is people rather take out their cell phones and record then try to stop anything or try to help, I don't know if people are becoming worse but it sure feels like it.
    Expand Replies (12) Reply
  • blah 4 days ago
    More example of lives being ruined because one party or the other couldn't walk away.
    The judge put it best when he said, "If any of you had just swallowed your pride and walked away none of us would be sitting here."

    Now 2 people will be in jail and have a criminal record for the rest of their lives and 1 is dead, never to have gone to college, get married, travel, raise a family, and so on...

    So who really won?
    I guess the 2 girls going to jail can take solace in the fact that they won, even as they sit in jail.
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  • a;lskdjf;alskdjf;alskdfj 4 days ago
    In this case, a 3 vs 1 tipped the disparity of force towards the attackers. You cannot argue self defense if there were 3 women vs one lady- who did not have any weapons or spectacular combat skills. These two ladies got lucky the jury went with the lower sentence. In most cases, if it's not self defense it will be either a manslaughter or murder charge. The two ladies, their attorneys and jury need a review on the laws of deadly force and penalties.
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  • Richard 3 days ago
    Santa Ana where it is 99.9% hispanic. I am not surprised it wasn't ruled aggravated assault and the two women get probation. Good lesson to all the cute little Asians out there, know your territory and don't pretend to be a wannabe cholo. Expect the family members to rally/picket/demonstrate, a lot of that goes on in the area. Residents complain that there is no police presence, police start hanging out, then banger's parents complain that their son's are being profiled, picked on. Don't get me started on the undocumented residents in Santa Ana.
  • Tracy 4 days ago
    ^ years for killings someone?I have seen people get more for stealing food to feed there hungry family's.I just do not understand how it could be dropped from 2nd degree to manslaughter? This is what happens when people have been drinking they become super man and can whip the world.Alcohol takes over a persons ability to think no matter who you are.Alcohol is the number 1 Killer of drugs but yet it is legal this case here shows exactally how alcohol takes over a persons ability to think.
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  • WTH 4 days ago
    Step back and look at it this way. You went to a bar to have fun and relax. You get into an argument with someone. Instead of leaving the situation with a few words, you beat that person and she dies. In the end, those few minutes of stupidity cost you the heartache of knowing that you killed someone over something so stupid, $5000 in fines, and 6 years in prison.

    Now I ask you, was it worth it? You couldn't just tell the victim off and walk away, and go on with your life? You had to beat her to death and ruin your own life? It can take less than a second to ruin the rest of one's life. It took these girls a few minutes to do the same.
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  • Jack 5 days ago
    6 years?! For killing someone with witnesses and caught on tape?! No wonder why there's so much violence. People have been in jail longer for possession...
    Expand Replies (81) Reply