South China Sea: artificial-island building accelerates to fill in holes on atolls

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China has responded to an international outcry over its construction of artificial islands in the South China Sea by accelerating the building program, according to analysis of the latest aerial surveillance.

Australia, the United States and most recently the G7 group of rich nations have all warned China to stop its frenetic sand-dredging activities, fearing that it is creating airstrips, ports and battlements that will dramatically alter the balance of regional military power. Continue reading

U.S. Patriot Missiles Begin Arriving In Turkey

“The deployment started early this morning into Incirlik” Air Base in southeastern Turkey, Peter Woodmansee, missile defense chief of the U.S. European Command, told AFP. “Several aircraft landed very early this morning with the advance party personnel from 3-2 Air Defense Artillery (ADA) — the Patriot unit — arriving as well.”

The deployment comes as violence rages across Turkey’s southern border, with the United Nations estimating that at least 60,000 people have been killed in Syria since the revolt against President Bashar al-Assad erupted in March 2011. Continue reading