Russia’s Foreign Ministry has condemned massacre in the town of Adra, 20 kilometers north of Damascus. Survivors say jihadist rebel groups executed dozens of civilians, including children, beheading them or burning them alive.
Abductions, torture, killing, sharia courts, secret prisons with “inhuman” conditions – that’s what an Al-Qaeda-linked jihadist group in Syria is accused of in the latest report by Amnesty International.
Libyan coastguard catches 195 migrants. Tripoli, 17 December 2013: The Libyan coastguard picked up two boats of migrants bound for Europe yesterday, one of which was discovered during a routine patrol.
"It happened now and it will happen again: a near-collision between an American and a Chinese naval vessel in the South China Sea.
The USS Cowpens, a 10,000-ton guided-missile cruiser, got "too close" to a drill involving the Liaoning, China's first aircraft carrier, and its carrier task force, according to the Global Times.
The US Pacific Fleet stressed that the cruiser had to take emergency measures to avoid a collision. Yet the Global Timesaccused the cruiser of "harassing" the Liaoning formation by taking "offensive actions".
The paper spelt it loudly; "If the American navy and air force
always encroach near China's doorstep, confrontation is bound to take place."
Quociente Cultural 's insight:
« It will be helpful to remember that as early as the XVth century the Celestial Empire had much more massive presence on the seas than the Europeans. Those were the years of admiral Zheng He's expeditions throughout South Asia Southeast Asia, East Africa and the Middle East with a fleet of two hundred ships, some of which were said to be as long as one hundred meters. He himself, was an intrepid navigator, a Muslim and a eunuch, representing the amazing standard reached by the Ming civilization: rich, complex, technologically advanced, with a much higher GDP than the whole Europe at that time . Yet China stopped maritime expansion - the only real amazing African merchandise brought to the court was a giraffe that the admiral gave to the emperor - and forgot Admiral Zheng. The Celestial Empire feeling was it did not need anything more than it already had and China spent the next centuries to consolidate its borders in a system of "Tributaries States", which recognized the superiority and the centrality of China in exchange for redistributed benefits. The Silk Road - actually a network of trails and paths already tested for centuries - became once more the natural gateway to the West. China had to regret it. The development of maritime mercantilism favored the subsequent European industrial power, allowed the West to get back to China in the nineteenth century with a few gunboats, imposing territorial concessions which also enjoyed extraterritoriality (they were exempted from the laws and control of Beijing) and a shocking " century of humiliation " through two opium wars. In China this is still an issue. » Gabriele Battaglia
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