Tag Archives: Pacific

‘Strong deterrent signal’ US Air force sends dozens of F-22s to Pacific amid China tension

The stealth fighters, which arrived in Guam on Sunday, will take part in a military exercise near the Tinian islands for Operation Pacific Iron 2021. Pacific Air Forces in Hawaii confirmed approximately 25 F-22 Raptors from the Hawaii Air National Guard and from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, have been deployed.

General Ken Wilsbach, Pacific Air Forces commander, told CNN the deployment of F-22s will be the US’s largest joint deployment.

He said: “We have never had this many Raptors deployed together in the Pacific Air Forces area of operations.”

Operation Pacific Iron 2021 will focus on deploying, operating, manoeuvring, sustaining and generating forces from smaller and dispersed bases.

The operation is meant to project forces into the US Indo-Pacific Command area of responsibility showing the US to be “a more lethal, adaptive, resilient force”.

Images of the F-22s arriving at Andersen Air Base in Guam were shared on the Defence Visual Information Distribution Service (DVIDS).

According to a statement from Pacific Air Forces, other aircraft from Idaho and Japan will join the F-22s for what the Air Force calls an Agile Combat Employment operation.

The Agile Combat Employment operation will distribute the combat aircraft to other airfields across the region to increase survivability from enemy missile strikes.

Carl Schuster, a Hawaii-based defence analyst and a former director of operations at the US Pacific Command’s Joint Intelligence Center, said the deployment of the Stealth fighters is sending a strong signal to China.

READ MORE: China threatens US with retaliation as Beijing officials ‘set off’

Experts fear that a strike on those bases could seriously endanger an American attempt to retaliate to enemy threats.

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This post originally posted here Daily Express :: World Feed

‘China is closing the gap!’ Beijing seeks to control Pacific with new aircraft carrier

Satellite imagery of the PLA’s new asset – the Type 003 carrier – suggests China is making “considerable progress” on the naval vessel, with its flight deck and superstructure showing signs of completion. The vessel being developed in the Jiangyan shipyard near Shanghai is set to level up Beijing’s naval capabilities and will be the largest and most technologically advanced vessel to be constructed outside the US for decades.

Pentagon officials believe the new US Gerald R. Ford class supercarriers would dominate any conflict with China but said the ship marks a leap forward in Beijing’s military power.

Rear Adm. Mark Montgomery, a retired commander of the Japan-based USS George Washington carrier strike group, told The Washington Times China was moving closer to matching US capabilities.

He said: “China is closing the gap technologically with the United States, with the exception of nuclear propulsion.”

Not much is known about the new carrier, but reports suggest the Chinese vessel is around 318 metres in length – only a few metres short of similar US ships.

Eric Sayers, former adviser to the commander of U.S. Pacific Command, said China is building two navies simultaneously: one for the “near seas” and the other for open ocean operations.

He told Foreign Policy: “The trend is that China is attempting to build a blue water navy, and that’s what this third carrier and plan beyond that represents.

“That’s more for projecting power into the Indo-Pacific and beyond.”

Mr Sayers added: “It’s certainly enough to keep the U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander awake at night.

READ MORE: Beijing’s post-Covid economic bounce grinds to halt

Wu Qian, a spokesperson for China’s ministry, threatened that any incursion into Chinese airspace would trigger “serious consequences”.

Speaking about what the development of the new carrier means for China’s military actions in the South China Sea, Jerry Hendrix, a retired Navy captain and former U.S. Defense Department official, believes China will become more aggressive.

“I think they’re going to become more confrontational,” he said.

“With their carriers, they may think that they’re going to be able to establish sea control for long enough that they can pull off an amphibious assault.

“They’re moving beyond having aircraft carriers as just prestige platforms, and they’re moving to something much more complex.

“They’re moving to a power projection platform that can throw ordinance a longer distance.”

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This post originally posted here Daily Express :: World Feed

Kansas City Southern sticks to Canadian National after Canadian Pacific fails to raise bid

Kansas City Southern sticks to Canadian National after Canadian Pacific fails to raise bid© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A freight train of the Kansas City Southern (KCS) Railway Company is pictured in Toluca, Mexico October 1, 2018. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido/File Photo

(Reuters) -Kansas City Southern on Friday reiterated that Canadian National Railway’s offer was “superior” after Canadian Pacific (NYSE:) Railway refused to raise its bid, moving a step closer to creating the largest ever merger of North American railways by transaction value.

The Canadian rivals have been locked in a takeover battle for the U.S. railroad operator for two months to create the first railway spanning the United States, Mexico and Canada, as they stand to benefit from a recent pick-up in trade.

Kansas City Southern (NYSE:) last week accepted Canadian National’s $ 33.6 billion offer, upending a $ 29 billion deal with its competitor Canadian Pacific.

The U.S. railroad on Friday said it paid Canadian Pacific a breakup fee of $ 700 million, which would be reimbursed by Canadian National.

Canadian Pacific said on Friday it was willing to re-engage with Kansas City, hoping that the rival bid would be shot down by the U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB), a regulator that oversees railroad companies.

Canadian National’s deal has recently run into regulatory hurdles, with the STB having denied its motion for approval of a voting trust earlier this week. The U.S. Department of Justice had also said last week that Canadian National’s bid for Kansas City appears to pose greater risks to competition.

Canadian National and Kansas City said they expect to gain all the required regulatory approvals, including that from STB.

Kansas City said the deal is expected to close in the second half of next year, following which its shareholders will own 12.6% of the combined company.

Author: Reuters
This post originally appeared on Stock Market News

Xbox Celebrates Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

We started the Asians at Xbox community two years ago, hoping to provide a space for our community to connect and support each other. We also wanted to contribute to the important mission of creating a safe place where everyone on the planet can experience the joys of gaming, while advocating for and amplifying the stunning, groundbreaking content made by our community. Today, we are celebrating AAPI Heritage Month at Xbox for the first time. We are grateful for the platform, and for being part of a gaming community that promotes inclusivity and representation.

You may wonder, why the first time? Why now? The horrifying events that have taken place in recent months targeting our Asian American and Pacific Islander community have deepened our efforts to support and celebrate the community. Asian xenophobia is not new, but in 2020 we began to see many COVID-19-related hate crimes against members of the AAPI community, particularly targeting the elderly and women. These attacks are frightening and reprehensible, but we remain strong and vigilant in our efforts to raise awareness, take action, and celebrate our heritage and contributions with the support of our Xbox family. The fight against systematic racism is one we all face, and we remain united in strength and partnership with our allies to advance efforts to prevent and ultimately eliminate all forms of bias, discrimination, and racism, including anti-Asian hate.

Xbox will be supporting the Asian American and Pacific Islander community, including employees and players, through partnerships and initiatives that address issues that historically and uniquely impact the AAPI community. We will continue to champion content and causes that reflect the diversity of today’s gamers and empower those across the industry. We echo the sentiment of a quote from actress Sandra Oh: “I’m #ProudToBeAsian”

We invite you to join us in this celebration of culture and contributions from the Asian American Pacific and Islander community. Here are some of the ways Xbox plans to honor these communities this month:

Xbox Plays

Xbox will be dedicating our livestreaming content in celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month by featuring Asian and Pacific Islander protagonists in games, developers, and content creators/streamers! Follow us at Twitch.tv/Xbox so you don’t miss any of the action!

  • Week of May 3 – AAPI Community Appreciation Week
  • “Let’s play and watch games with the AAPI community at the forefront”
  • Week of May 10 – AAPI Community Takeover Week
  • “Meet new & familiar faces in the AAPI gaming community”
  • Week of May 24 – AAPI Community Appreciation Week
  • “Let’s play and watch games with the AAPI community at the forefront”

Xbox Ambassadors

AAPI Heritage Month Hero

In the Xbox Ambassadors community, we are dedicated to sharing and amplifying community voices. So, in celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we asked those who identify as Asian and Pacific Islander in the Xbox Ambassadors community how games with diverse representation have impacted them and to share their stories about being a member of a gaming community.

Here are their stories: https://blog-ambassadors.xbox.com/ 

Microsoft Rewards on Xbox

Microsoft Rewards Members in the United States can earn and donate points to Asian American Advancing Justice | AAJC and Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council (A3PCON) through Xbox. All Microsoft Rewards donations will be matched by Microsoft throughout the month of May in commemoration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. 

Xbox gamers can earn Microsoft Rewards points in various ways, such as playing or purchasing games after downloading the Microsoft Rewards app on Xbox. Earn points and redeem them for real rewards. Join today and donate through Xbox.

Minecraft

Mojang Studios shared support for the AAPI community with a $ 100,000 donation to Advancing Justice | AAJC and will be highlighting AAPI community voices later this month.

Xbox Game Club


The Xbox Community Game Club is a weekly way to play, share, and discuss games together as a community. In celebration of AAPI Heritage Month, for the entire month of May, we are featuring games starring or created by individuals who identify as Asian or Pacific Islander. Check in weekly to discover your next favorite game and use #XboxGameClub to tell us about some of your favorite games featuring members of this community.​

Collections Curated by Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities


During May and beyond, we are highlighting games, movies, and TV selected by Asian and Pacific Islander communities at Microsoft that celebrate the vast diversity of East Asian, South Asian, Southeast Asian, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander identities.

Check out a few highlights from the full games collection featuring creators, protagonists playable characters, and character creation options:

  • Outer Wilds – Check out this otherworldly open world mystery from Japanese American Mobius Digital founder Masi Oka. You might recognize him from Heroes!
  • Raji: An Ancient Epic – This unique adventure game designed by Archival Singh is set in ancient India and inspired by Hindu and Balinese mythology.
  • Prey Play as a masculine or feminine version of Asian protagonist Morgan Yu in this futuristic space adventure as you uncover the secrets of a space station orbiting the moon.
  • Marvel’s Avengers – Kamala Khan finally makes the jump from comics to gaming as a star of the story, and we celebrate the groundbreaking visibility she and her story arc brings to Pakistani American and Muslim identities.

Standouts from the full movies and TV collection featuring creatorsleadseducational views, and  family entertainment include: 

  • “Moana” – Disney’s first movie with a strong Pacific Islander young woman and protagonist shines as the product of research and partnership with anthropologists, cultural practitioners, historians, and more from Polynesia.
  • “Crazy Rich Asians” – An incredible milestone for Asian American and Asian representation on camera and behind the scenes. The talented international cast expands visibility of a range of Asian identities not often seen and is directed by John M. Chu.
  • “Minari” – This Oscar-nominated film directed by Lee Isaac Chung tells the story of Korean immigrants in rural Arkansas and we appreciate its exploration of Asian American identity and experience.

View the complete collections on the Microsoft Store on Xbox, the Microsoft Store on Windows, and the Xbox App on Windows in the United States and Canada. After May 31, visitors to both the Xbox and Windows Stores can find APPI community picks by searching for “AAPI Heritage Month” and related terms. 

Play. Connect. Impact: Learn more about all that Xbox and Microsoft are doing in celebration of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month at our Xbox Community Hub and Microsoft’s AAPIHM Community Hub.

Author: Irene Zhu and Michael Fu, [email protected] Community Co-Leads
This post originally appeared on Xbox Wire

VIDEO: Streak of lights over Pacific Northwest was burning space debris from SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket

SEATTLE — Burning debris from a rocket lit up Pacific Northwest skies Thursday night, the National Weather Service in Seattle said.”The widely reported bright objects in the sky were debris from a Falcon 9 rocket 2nd stage that did not successfully have a deorbit burn,” the service said in a tweet about the astral occurrence that the Seattle Times reported was seen shortly after 9 p.m.

There were no reports of damage or other impacts on the ground.The rocket delivered Starlink satellites, built in Redmond, Washington, into orbit earlier this week, the Times reported.

SpaceX said Wednesday that the Falcon 9’s first stage returned to Earth and landed as planned on its ocean-going barge off the coast of Florida.RELATED: SpaceX Mars prototype rocket nails landing, but then explodes[1]

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