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Australia won't host U.S. missiles, prime minister says
SYDNEY (Reuters) - U.S. intermediate-range missiles will not be deployed in Australia, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Monday, after the United States revealed ambitions to site missiles in the Asia-Pacific region.
Officials from both governments held talks in Sydney over the weekend that ended with a joint statement in which the two allies pledged to strengthen opposition to Chinese activities in Asia-Pacific, as both sides have become increasingly concerned about China's spreading influence.
During the talks, U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper spoke of hopes to deploy missiles in the Asia-Pacific region in coming months following Washington's withdrawal from a landmark arms control treaty last week.
Esper's comments prompted speculation that Australia had been asked to host the missiles, but Morrison denied that any request had been made and said Australia would decline if it was asked in the future.
"It's not been asked to us, not being considered, not been put to us. I think I the rule a line under that," Morrison told reporters in Brisbane, the state capital of Queensland.
A recent increase in tensions between Washington and Beijing, both over trade and rights of navigation in both the South China Sea and Taiwan Strait, has put Australia in an awkward spot, as the United States is its biggest ally, while China is its biggest export market.
Beijing last week described Australian efforts to improve the bilateral relationship as "unsatisfactory".
Australia worries China is using foreign aid to secure greater influence over small Pacific countries which control vast swathes of resource-rich ocean.
Australia, traditionally the major power in the South Pacific, has promised up to A$3 billion ($2.03 billion) in grants and cheap loans to counter what Washington describes as China's "payday loan diplomacy".
(Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)
The Army is almost doubling its purchase of new bolt-action Precision Sniper Rifles as its primary anti-personnel sniper system of choice, according to budget documents.
Air Force officials are investigating the death of a man near the north gate of the U.S. Air Force Academy on Saturday night after the NHL Stadium Series hockey game between the Avalanche and the Los Angeles Kings, military officials said Sunday.
‘That cavalier misdirection cannot stand’ — Washingtonians ask judge to reduce ‘extremely noisy’ Navy Growler flights
The Citizens of Ebey's Reserve (COER) is asking a federal judge to require the Navy to roll back the number of EA-18G Growler practice flights at Outlying Field Coupeville to pre-2019 levels until a lawsuit over the number of Growler flights is settled.
COER and private citizen Paula Spina filed a motion for a preliminary injunction Thursday.
According to the motion, since March 2019 the Navy has increased the number of Growlers at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island and shifted most of its Growler operations to Outlying Field Coupeville, which is near the Reserve and the town of Coupeville.
"The result is a nearly fourfold increase in Growler flights in that area. Now the overflights subject residents in and near Coupeville to extreme noise for several hours of the day, day and night, many days of the week," said the court document.
A 26-year-old man died after he failed to surface from waters off Molokai while participating in a scuba diving tour over the weekend.
He has been identified as Duane Harold Parsley II and was stationed at Hickam Air Force Base, according to the Maui Police Department.
LOS ANGELES — For decades, Japanese American activists have marked Feb. 19 as a day to reflect on one of the darkest chapters in this nation's history.
On that date in 1942, during World War II, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt authorized the forced removal of over 120,000 Americans of Japanese descent from their homes and businesses.
On Thursday, the California Assembly will do more than just remember.