“Historically one of the staunchest US allies, the Philippines is pivoting to China, as President Rodrigo Duterte prepares for his first state visit to Beijing, and has proposed not just an economic, but a military partnership with the country’s giant neighbor.
“”We are not interested in allowing another country to talk. I just want to talk to China,” said Duterte. Duterte has announced that the country would no longer stage joint war games with the US, the country that has several bases inside the country, and supplies almost all of its military equipment.
“I have given enough time for the Americans to play with the Filipino soldiers,” Duterte told Hong Kong-based Phoenix Television. “This will be the last. It has been programmed. I do not want my soldiers to be humiliated.”
““Some other countries know we are short of money, but instead of helping us, all they had to do was just to criticize. China never criticizes. They help us quietly. And I said that’s why it’s part of the sincerity of the people,” Duterte told Xinhua.”
Al-Nusra must either leave Aleppo or be defeated – Russia’s UN envoy (related link about the 10-20 ceasefire, here)
“Speaking in the wake of the UN Security Council meeting on Monday, Russia’s permanent ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, said that Russia is ready to grant Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, formerly known as Jabhat Al-Nusra, fighters in eastern Aleppo an opportunity to leave the city unharmed if the so-called moderate rebels agree to clearly distance themselves from the hardline Islamist group. However, if they refuse to abandoned their positions in Aleppo, they should get ready to be wiped out, Churkin said.
“If that scenario is implemented, it will mean the end of bloodshed in Aleppo on condition that all other armed groups representing “moderate” opposition enter into ceasefire agreements with the Syrian government following Al-Nusra’s exit, Churkin said.
“While top Russian and American diplomats failed to put Syria’s peace process back on track, Russian and Syrian armed forces on Monday announced they would unilaterally halt all military operations on Thursday, October 20, to enable evacuation of the injured as well as the unhampered withdrawal of civilians and militants from the city.”
” WikiLeaks has dumped another collection of emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair, John Podesta. The newly released emails include campaign staff exchanges on handling media queries about Clinton “flip-flopping” on gay marriage, galvanizing Latino support and locking down Clinton’s healthcare policy.
“This morning, WikiLeaks said in a tweet that it was activating “contingency plans” after co-founder Julian Assange’s “internet link was intentionally severed by a state party”.”