Aircraft Carrier John F. Kennedy Christened
The U.S. Navy’s newest nuclear-powered aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN 79) was christened Saturday during a ceremony at Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Newport News Shipbuilding division.The second aircraft carrier in the Ford Class, John F. Kennedy (CVN 79) is also the second aircraft carrier built by Newport News Shipbuilding named for JFK. Like its forerunner CVN 78, Kennedy is a truly electric aircraft carrier, with many of the systems powered by steam on Nimitz-class carriers now powered by electricity.
U.S. meeting on ocean conservation nets $5.3 billion in pledges
International participants at a high-level conference on the world's oceans pledged more than $5.3 billion for conservation and designated vast areas as protected waters, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday. More than 90 countries took part in the two-day conference, the third of its kind, in an effort to galvanize attention to the dangers that pollution, climate change and over-fishing may pose to the world's oceans. "This ocean conference, in order to protect marine eco-systems…
Cambodia Urged ASEAN to Avoid Words That Escalate Tension
Cambodia advised a grouping of South East Asian nations to avoid using words that "would escalate tension between China and the Philippines" in a weekend statement, the country's foreign ministry said on Wednesday. Cambodia's support for China's position on an international court ruling denying the Asian giant's claims in the South China Sea handed Beijing a diplomatic victory when the grouping's ministers met on Sunday. The bloc, which follows an overriding principle of making decisions by consensus, omitted reference to the ruling after its first meeting following the decision by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague in favour of the Philippines.
China Asks U.S. to Support Resumption of Talks with Philippines
China's foreign minister has asked the U.S. secretary of state John Kerry to support the resumption of talks between China and the Philippines over the South China Sea, following a ruling against Beijing over the dispute earlier this month. China did not participate in and has refused to accept the July 12 ruling by The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration, in which U.S. ally Manila won an emphatic legal victory. Meeting in the Laos capital Vientiane on Monday during a summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told Kerry that China and ASEAN had agreed the dispute should get back onto the "correct" track of being resolved by direct talks with the parties concerned.
U.S. Backs S. China Sea Bilateral Talks
U.S. Secretary of State Kerry says backs bilateral talks; Philippines says dispute does not involve United States. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday he supported the resumption of talks between China and the Philippines over the South China Sea, following an international court ruling against Beijing over the dispute earlier this month. China did not participate in and has refused to accept the July 12 ruling by the U.N.-backed Permanent Court of Arbitration, in which U.S. ally Manila won an emphatic legal victory. China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi had asked Kerry to lend his support for bilateral talks to restart between Manila and Beijing in a meeting between the two in the Laos capital of Vientiane on Monday.
ASEAN Breaks South China Sea Deadlock
Manila drops request to refer to court ruling in statement. Southeast Asian nations overcame days of deadlock on Monday when the Philippines dropped a request for their joint statement to mention a landmark legal ruling on the South China Sea, officials said, after objections from Cambodia. China publicly thanked Cambodia for supporting its stance on maritime disputes, a position which threw the regional block's weekend meeting in the Laos capital of Vientiane into disarray. Competing claims with China in the vital shipping lane are among the most contentious issues for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, with its 10 members pulled between their desire to assert their sovereignty while finding common ground and fostering ties with Beijing.
ASEAN in Discord Ahead of Meeting with top China, U.S. Diplomats
Southeast Asian nations were thrown into disarray after Cambodia on Saturday blocked them from issuing a statement referring to an international court ruling against China's territorial claims in the South China Sea, diplomats said. The U.N.-backed Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague handed an emphatic legal victory to the Philippines in the maritime dispute earlier this month, denying China's sweeping claims in the strategic seaway. Foreign ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will meet for the first time since the ruling on Sunday, before hosting U.S.
Kerry to Press ASEAN meeting for talks on SCS Disputes
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will urge Southeast Asian nations in meetings in Laos next week to find diplomatic ways to launch talks with China on easing tension over the South China Sea following an international court ruling that denies China's claims in the sea. Kerry travels to Laos' capital Vientiane on Monday for meetings of foreign ministers from the 10-member Association of South East Asia Nations where tensions between China and several ASEAN members, in particular the Philippines and Vietnam, over the South China Sea is expected to dominate talks.
U.S. Accuses Russian Warship of Aggressive Maneuvers
A Russian warship carried out aggressive and erratic maneuvers close to a U.S. Navy ship in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, the second such Cold War-style incident there in a matter of weeks, the U.S. military said on Saturday. The U.S. European Command said the Russian frigate, Yaroslav Mudry, came unnecessarily close to the guided-missile cruiser USS San Jacinto on June 30 and maneuvered in its wake. In a statement, EUCOM said the U.S. ship had not been threatened and it maintained course and speed.
Russian Warship made 'unprofessional' Maneuver-U.S. Official
A Russian warship carried out "unprofessional" maritime operations in close proximity to a U.S. Navy ship in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, a U.S. Defense official said on Friday. This is the second time the same Russian vessel has come within close proximity of a U.S. Navy ship this month. On June 17, the Yaroslav Mudryy came within 315 yards (288 meters) of the USS Gravely, an incident U.S. officials called "unsafe and unprofessional," but which the Russian Defense Ministry disputed.
Russia, US Blame Each Other for Maritime Incident
Russia and the United States gave contradictory accounts on Tuesday of an incident involving the two countries' navies in the Mediterranean Sea on June 17, each blaming the other for what they said were unsafe manoeuvres. The Russian Defence Ministry said a U.S. destroyer had approached dangerously close to a Russian warship, and protested at what it said was a flagrant U.S. violation of rules to avoid collisions at sea. However, a U.S. Defense official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the Russian warship had carried out "unsafe and unprofessional" operations near two U.S. Navy ships. Recent months have seen a number of similar Cold War-style incidents at sea and in the air…
Amid Melting Arctic Ice, Kerry sees Looming Climate Catastrophe
Standing near Greenland's Jakobshavn glacier, the reputed source of the iceberg that sank the Titanic over a century ago, U.S Secretary of State John Kerry saw evidence of another looming catastrophe. Giant icebergs broken off from the glacier seemed to groan as they drifted behind him, signaling eventual rising oceans that scientists warn will submerge islands and populated coastal region. Briefed by researchers aboard a Royal Danish Navy patrol ship, Kerry appeared stunned by how fast the ice sheets are melting.
Iran Releases US Sailors after Brief Detention
Iran released 10 U.S. sailors on Wednesday after holding them overnight, bringing a swift end to an incident that had rattled nerves days ahead of the expected implementation of a landmark nuclear accord between Tehran and world powers. Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said it had freed the sailors after determining they had entered Iranian territorial waters by mistake. The sailors had been detained aboard two U.S. Navy patrol boats in the Gulf on Tuesday. "Our technical investigations showed the two U.S.
John Kerry Off to Asia to Address Maritime Issues
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is pressing for peaceful resolutions to increasingly tense maritime disputes in Asia, reports AP. Kerry arrived in the Laotian capital Sunday and will travel to China late Tuesday for meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and other senior officials, the State Department said. Laos is the current head of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, whose members are becoming more vocal in complaints about China's growing assertiveness over competing claims in the South China Sea.
China Says Will Protect South China Sea Sovereignty
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Wednesday that China has a right to protect its territorial sovereignty in the disputed South China Sea and that Beijing and Washington should manage the issue in a constructive way. Wang was speaking to reporters after meeting U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who is visiting Beijing. Reporting by David Brunnstrom and Megha Rajagopalan
Kerry Sees 'Very Serious' US-China Talks on South China Sea
The United States expects to have "very serious" talks with China after reports Beijing deployed an advanced surface-to-air missile system to a disputed island in the South China Sea, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Wednesday. "There is every evidence, every day that there has been an increase of militarization of one kind or another. It's of serious concern," Kerry told reporters when asked about the reported deployment.
China: No S.China Sea Retreat as U.S. Visit Looms
China's South China Sea military deployments are no different from U.S. deployments on Hawaii, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Monday, striking a combative tone ahead of a visit by Foreign Minister Wang Yi to the United States this week. The United States last week accused China of raising tensions in the South China Sea by its apparent deployment of surface-to-air missiles on a disputed island, a move China has neither confirmed nor denied. Asked whether the South China Sea, and the missiles, would come up when Wang is in the United States to meet Secretary of State John Kerry, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Washington should not use the issue of military facilities on the islands as a "pretext to make a fuss". "The U.S.
Kerry: Militarization Does Not Help South China Sea Resolution
The militarization of facilities in the South China Sea does not help efforts to resolve maritime claims in the South China Sea, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said before he was to meet Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Tuesday. The United States is "encouraging the peaceful resolution of competing maritime claims in the South China Sea - a goal that is definitely not helped by the militarization of facilities in that region," Kerry told lawmakers in congressional testimony. (Reporting By Arshad Mohammed)
US Warship Sails near Chinese-claimed Reef
China scrambled fighter jets on Tuesday as a U.S. navy ship sailed close to a disputed reef in the South China Sea, a patrol China denounced as an illegal threat to peace which only went to show its defence installations in the area were necessary. Guided missile destroyer the USS William P. Lawrence travelled within 12 nautical miles (22 km) of Chinese-occupied Fiery Cross Reef, U.S. Defense Department spokesman Bill Urban said. The so-called freedom of navigation operation was undertaken to "challenge excessive maritime claims" by China…
US Eases Sanctions on Myanmar
The United States eased some sanctions on Myanmar on Tuesday to support political reforms and economic growth in the country, the Treasury Department said. The moves include easing restrictions on the country's financial institutions, removing seven state-owned companies from the U.S. blacklist and extending a measure allowing shipments to go through ports and airports, Treasury said in a statement. The announcement came before a visit to the Southeast Asian nation by Secretary of State John Kerry on May 22. (Reporting by Yeganeh Torbati and Joel Schectman)
NATO to Boost Effort to Stop Mediterranean Smugglers
NATO agreed on Thursday to broaden its operations in the Mediterranean to help the European Union stop criminals trafficking refugees from North Africa but will not act until the fate of rescued migrants is cleared up. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said a meeting of NATO foreign ministers supported the wider role as Europe struggles with failing states on its fringes and said NATO should link up with the EU's "Sophia" naval mission in the area. This could be a step towards NATO helping stabilise Libya by patrolling coastal waters to uphold a U.N. arms embargo and counter the growing presence of Islamic State, a step that would likely need U.N. Security Council support, diplomats said.
China to "Pressure" U.S. on Maritime Issues
China will "pressure" the United States on maritime issues at talks in Beijing next week because of Chinese concern about an increased U.S. military presence in the disputed South China Sea, a major state-run newspaper said on Tuesday. China has been angered by what it views as provocative U.S. military patrols close to islands China controls in the South China Sea. The United States says the patrols are to protect freedom of navigation. "Beijing will pressure Washington over maritime issues during the upcoming Strategic and Economic Dialogue, as the United States' increasing military presence in the South China Sea is among China's major concerns," the official China Daily said, citing unidentified officials.
China Tells US to Play Constructive South China Sea Role
China told the United States on Tuesday that it should play a constructive role in safeguarding peace in the disputed South China Sea, as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called for talks and a peaceful resolution. China claims most of the South China Sea, through which $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei have overlapping claims, as well as close military ties with the United States. China has been angered by what it views as provocative U.S. military patrols close to islands China controls in the South China Sea.