James Jeggo replaced by Nathan Burns for Caltex Socceroos WCQs

Ange Postecoglou gives instructions to Nathan Burns during Australia's 2-2 draw with Thailand.

Austrian-based midfielder James Jeggo has been ruled out of the Caltex Socceroos’ two crucial 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers against Iraq (March 23 in Tehran) and the UAE (March 28 in Sydney) through injury.

The uncapped Jeggo has been ruled out with a minor glute strain and will be replaced in the squad by Japanese-based Nathan Burns.

The squad includes experienced stars Mile Jedinak, Tim Cahill, Aaron Mooy, Mat Ryan, Mathew Leckie, Massimo Luongo, Robbie Kruse, Trent Sainsbury and Mark Milligan as well as six Hyundai A-League players.

The team will begin assembling in Tehran on Sunday night ahead of next Thursday’s clash with Iraq.


Socceroos v UAE banner2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – MATCH DETAILS

Iraq v Caltex Socceroos

Thursday 23 March

PAS Stadium, Tehran (Iran)

Kick off 4.30pm (11pm AEDT)

Caltex Socceroos v United Arab Emirates

Tuesday 28 March 2016

Sydney Football Stadium

Kick off 8pm

Both matches will be broadcast LIVE on Fox Sports and the Nine Network.

TICKET DETAILS (Sydney match)

For more information regarding ticketing please visit www.socceroos.com.au/tickets



Source : Football Federation Australia

Kim Jong-un orders speedier new town construction

N.K. leader orders speedier new town construction

Accompanied by officials, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (C) tours the construction site of a new district named Ryomyong Street in Pyongyang in this photo provided by the North’s ruling party organ Rodong Sinmun on March 16, 2017. Kim called on builders to finish construction for the new town before the birthday of the country’s late founder Kim Il-sung in April. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap) (END)


Source : Yonhap News Agency

North Korean airport among world’s worst in global survey

Resultado de imagem para Pyongyang airport

SEOUL, March 18 (Yonhap) — North Korea’s only international airport in Pyongyang has been named one of the world’s worst airports in a British customer satisfaction survey released this week.

In Skytrax’s review of over 500 airports around the world, Sunan International Airport failed to make it into the 2017 World Airport Awards list in any category including cleanness, staff service, or dining and shopping facilities.

It received the lowest level of two points in a scale of 10 in customer assessment.

Sunan, which has been touted as a high-tech airport by the North’s state media, does not even have a website offering basic information on plane operations and facilities.

Skytrack has conducted the survey since 1999. Seoul’s Incheon International Airport ranked third in the world’s top 10 airport list, a notch down from the previous year. Singapore’s Changi Airport took first place for the fifth consecutive year.



Source : Yonhap News Agency

United States says ‘strategic patience’ on DPR Korea is over

Tillerson says military option is on the table, calls China’s THAAD retaliation ‘inappropriate, troubling’

With Washington taking a North Korea policy overhaul, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Friday declared that the existing “strategic patience” approach is over, saying all options including military action are on the table.

At a joint news conference with Seoul’s Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se, Tillerson also urged China to cease its economic retaliation against South Korea over its plan to host a US missile shield here, calling it “unnecessary, inappropriate and troubling.”

“Efforts for North Korea to achieve a peaceful stability for the last two decades have failed to make us safe,” the secretary said.

A North Korean soldier (right) takes a snapshot from outside the window while US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (center) listens to USFK Commander Gen. Vincent K. Brooks during his visit to Panmunjeom, the truce village on the inter-Korean border, Friday. (Yonhap)

“Let me be very clear: the policy of strategic patience has ended. We are exploring a new range of diplomatic, security, economic measures. All options are on the table.”

His remarks represent the Donald Trump administration’s strongest signal yet that it would take a much tougher stance than its predecessors including Barack Obama’s “strategic patience” policy.

“Certainly we do not want for things to get to a military conflict, we’re quite clear on that in our communications, but obviously if North Korea takes actions that threaten the South Korean forces or our own forces, then that would be met with an appropriate response,” he said.

“If they elevate the threat of their weapons program to a level that we believe requires action, that option is on the table.”

Tillerson has said his maiden Asia tour, which also took him to Tokyo and includes a stop in Beijing from Saturday, is aimed at exchanging views on a “new approach” toward Pyongyang.

Stressing the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system’s raison d’etre, he called for China to refrain from taking retaliation against Seoul and join in addressing the threat that “makes THAAD necessary.”

“We also believe it is not the way for a regional power to help resolve what is a serious threat for everyone. So we hope China will alter its position on punishing South Korea,” Tillerson said.

“We hope they will work with us to eliminate the reason THAAD is required.”

South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se (right) and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson hold a joint press conference following their talks at the South Korean Foreign Ministry in Seoul on Friday. (Yonhap)

Upon his landing at the Osan Air Base earlier in the day, the former Exxon Mobil chief executive took a tour around the Demilitarized Zone near the inter-Korean border and had lunch with soldiers guarding the Joint Security Area. Then he paid a visit to acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn before meeting with Yun.

But Tillerson’s comments may signal a future possible friction with the next leadership of South Korea, which faces a presidential election on May 9.

Many leading contenders including frontrunner Moon Jae-in previously served in the liberal administrations that traditionally favor engagement with North Korea instead of sanctions and pressure, not to mention military measures. They also have shown a reserved stance toward THAAD, while pledging to upend or renegotiate a December 2015 deal between South Korea and Japan on wartime sex slavery, for which Tillerson expressed support in Tokyo on Thursday.

The secretary raised expectations for a “productive relationship” with the next government here, saying he hopes it will “continue to be supportive” of the THAAD deployment plan.

Yun, for his part, echoed the need for a military step against the communist neighbor, saying its threats are “unprecedented, imminent” and require “far more effective and various countermeasures.”

At a separate session with Hwang, Tillerson reaffirmed the “ironclad” alliance that serves as a “linchpin for security and stability” in response to the growing North Korean threats.

The prime minister displayed gratitude for his visit despite “domestic difficulties associated with the leadership transition,” endorsing Trump’s remarks during their earlier phone call that the allies are “100 percent together” on North Korea and other regional and global issues.

Meanwhile, Tillerson’s shortened diplomatic consultations and public events in Seoul spawned a flurry of speculation given a leadership vacuum and political uncertainties.

A joint news conference aside, Tillerson spent almost 2 1/2 hours with Japanese Foreign Minister Kishida including a dinner, and another hour with Prime Minister Abe. But his meetings with Yun and Hwang were each confined to about an hour, without a lunch or dinner gathering. Seoul officials said the US side opted not to have a meal together, citing the secretary’s “fatigue.”

By Shin Hyon-hee (heeshin@heraldcorp.com)

Source : Korea Herald

New roads to ease Dubai-Sharjah traffic congestion

Web Report/Dubai
Filed on March 18, 2017

Road construction works completed in 16 residential districts of Dubai at a cost of Dh835 million.

Mattar Al Tayer, Director General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), announced that RTA had completed road construction works in 16 residential districts of Dubai at a cost of Dh835 million on Friday.

This April, RTA will open new internal roads at Al Mamzar and Al Nahda 1 at a cost of Dh118 million.

Work is up and running in the construction of roads in Nad Al Sheba 4 at a cost of Dh89 million, which is set for completion by the end of this year.

5-Year Plan

These projects are part of the 5-Year Plan 2012-2016 endorsed by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, for constructing internal roads in several Dubai neighborhoods at a total cost of about Dh1billion.

The construction of these roads stems from the keenness of HH to improving roads network to meet the needs of residents and address the requirements of urban development & demographic expansion, which will eventually translate into happiness to people.

“Next month, RTA will open the internal roads project at Al Mamzar and Nahda 1, which comprises 4 districts: North & South of Cairo Street (District 134), and North & South of Baghdad Street (District 231) at a cost of Dh118 million,” said Al Tayer.

“The project covers the construction of single-lane & dual carriageway streets over a 20 km stretch, revamping all existing roads network in the area, and providing 30 parking slots. The project works also included the installation of a new light signal on Amman Street to streamline the flow of traffic in the entries & exits of Nahda 1 along with directional signage, ground markings and appropriate traffic signals to ensure the provision of all traffic safety means for road users.

“Works also included the lighting of all internal roads, full rainwater and sewage networks, protection of the existing utility lines and conduits for future utility lines. The opening of the project will ensure a streamlined traffic flow in all internal roads as well as in the entry and exit points of the two areas.

Completed projects

In 2013, RTA completed the construction of internal roads in 3 residential districts: Al Qusais 3, Al Quoz 4 and Hatta community at a cost of Dh61 million.

In 2014, RTA completed the construction of internal roads in 6 residential districts: Al Quoz 2 & 3, Khawneej 1, and Al Barsha 1, 2 and 3 at a cost of Dh335 million.

In 2015, RTA completed internal roads project at Al Warqaa 1, 2, 3 and 4 at a cost of Dh157 million followed in 2016 by internal roads at Muhaisna 2 and Oud Mateena 2 at a cost of Dh164 million.

Works are currently underway in constructing internal roads at Nad Al Sheba 4 at a cost of Dh89 million, which will be completed by end of this year.


Source : Khaleej Times

Philippines urged to rethink China ties

Archivo:Flag of the Philippines.svg

The Philippines should rethink relations with China following reports Beijing was planning to build a radar station on Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal off the coast of Zambales, Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said on Saturday.

Carpio said China’s move could escalate militarization in the disputed South China Sea to back its excessive maritime claims in the region.

The planned environmental monitoring station on Panatag Shoal may just be an initial step in a creeping occupation, as seen in previous Chinese incursions at Kagitingan (Fiery Cross) Reef, he said.

Eventually, China may declare an air defense identification zone (Adiz), through which Beijing may impose restrictions on flights, including the interception of foreign aircraft, Carpio said.

“These developments call for a national debate, and consensus, on how the nation should proceed with its bilateral relations with China,” said Carpio, who has been a leading voice urging the government to assert its sovereignty over the West Philippine Sea, its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) within the South China Sea.

President Rodrigo Duterte has been careful not to antagonize China, and has made efforts to improve bilateral relations dampened by the territorial wrangling.

He has also publicly rebuked China’s rival the United States, the country’s longtime security ally that has warned against perceived Chinese provocation in the sea region.

In October, Mr. Duterte said he asserted to Chinese President Xi Jinping the Philippines ownership of Panatag Shoal, located just 230 kilometers off the Zambales coast and is well within the Philippines’ EEZ.

While China also reiterated its ownership of the shoal, it subsequently allowed Filipino fishermen to return to their fishing activities in the traditional fishing grounds.

Kagitingan Reef

The shoal has been under China’s control since a standoff between its ships and Filipino vessels in 2012, but a United Nations-backed arbitral tribunal ruled in favor of the Philippines last year.

Beijing has rejected the ruling, but has appeared to soften following Mr. Duterte’s peace overtures.

Carpio cited how China had turned Kagitingan Reef from a meter-high outcrop in the Spratlys into a naval base in 2015 through reclamation.

Today, China is able to deploy flights to and from the reef.

“In 1987, the Chinese erected a radar weather station on Fiery Cross Reef (an outcrop in the Spratlys just a meter above water) ostensibly to help Unesco’s (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) global oceanic survey,” he said.

“In 2014 to 2015, the Chinese turned that weather station into a 270-hectare military air naval base,” Carpio said.

He said China may well be doing the same on Panatag Shoal. A radar station on the shoal would complete China’s radar coverage over the expanse of the South China Sea.

“Now it’s the turn of Scarborough Shoal,” Carpio said.

“China will install an environmental monitoring station (aka radar station) on Scarborough Shoal. A radar station on Scarborough Shoal will immediately complete China’s radar coverage of the entire South China Sea. China can then impose an Adiz in the South China Sea,” he said.

Through an Adiz, China, the most weaponized nation among claimants to the disputed waters, may utilize missile silos it had earlier built over its bases on South China Sea islands.

“China will use its HQ-9 surface to air missiles to enforce the Adiz. These missiles are now installed on Woody Island in the Paracels. China also just completed building on  Zamora (Subi) Reef, Panganiban (Mischief) Reef and Fiery Cross Reef concrete hexagonal structures, with retractable roofs, to house HQ-9 missile batteries,” Carpio said.

The Philippines also protested China’s missile deployment on Woody Island in February last year, saying it violated the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea and earlier declarations between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations against aggressive action in the disputed waters.

Carpio said China will use these military installations “to enforce the nine-dash lines as China’s national boundaries in the South China Sea.”

“That means China will grab 80 percent of Philippine EEZ and 100 percent of Philippine extended continental shelf in the West Philippine Sea,” he said.

Apart from the Philippines and China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan also lay claim to parts of the South China Sea.


Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the government was aware of the reports and that it was seeking clarification from Beijing. But he did not say what the government would do after that.

“We are seeking information from Chinese authorities to clarify the accuracy of the report,” Abella said.

The reports came as President Duterte met with Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang in Davao City on Friday.

In that meeting, both leaders reaffirmed their countries’ “stronger bilateral ties” with Mr. Duterte underscoring the importance of the peaceful settlement of disputes.

Reports of China’s latest plan to build new structures in the area came shortly after the country’s defense chief expressed concern over the presence of a Chinese survey ship on Benham Rise, which belongs to the Philippines according to a 2012 United Nations ruling.

China has since said it was only exercising innocent passage in the area and would respect the country’s rights over it.

Mr. Duterte had downplayed the issue, and said he had an agreement with China to allow its research ships in the area. —With a report from Leila B. Salaverria


Source : globalnation.inquirer.net