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US finalizes sale of 66 F-16 fighters to Taiwan as China tensions escalate



US finalizes sale of 66 F-16 fighters to Taiwan as China tensions escalate

The offer finalized on Friday will come as China has been growing stress on the island, which Beijing considers to be an inseparable element of its territory.

Friday’s announcement was designed on the web-site of United States Defense Section, underneath the contacts current portion. The publishing stated the US Air Power was awarding a contract to Lockheed Martin, the maker of the F-16, for 90 of the planes as part of US international military services profits.

No shopper for the buy was named, but a US State Office supply confirmed that an get from Taiwan authorized by the Trump administration a yr in the past was part of the deal.

The other 24 aircraft are predicted to go to Morocco. Last deliveries are envisioned by 2026.

The new F-16s, recognised as the F-16V or Viper, will be manufactured at Lockheed Martin factories in Greenville, South Carolina, and Fort Worthy of, Texas. They will be the latest, upgraded designs of the one-engine aircraft which to start with flew with the US Air Power in the late 1970s. They will be a part of about 140 some others previously in the Taiwanese fleet.

When the deal was formally approved final yr, it was greeted with potent bipartisan backing from Congress, which includes from the Democratic chairman and the top Republican on the Dwelling International Affairs Committee.

“The sale of F-16s to Taiwan sends a solid information about the US determination to safety and democracy in the Indo-Pacific,” Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel of New York and Republican Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas said in a joint assertion past August.

That announcement a calendar year back arrived at a time of raising tensions involving Washington and Beijing above Taiwan, a democracy of all over 24 million people, and items have only gotten worse given that, hitting a new lower stage very last week when US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar frequented the island for talks with its leaders. Azar was the greatest rating US formal to check out Taiwan in 4 a long time.
Beijing responded by condemning the visit although sending its fighter jets past the median issue in the Taiwan Strait, the fairly slender extend of water separating Taiwan from mainland China. It was only the 3rd time since 1999 that Chinese warplanes purposely crossed that line, in accordance to Taiwanese and US govt studies.

Then later in the 7 days, the People’s Liberation Army announced it had staged military services drills at each the northern and southern conclusion of the Taiwan Strait. The workout routines had been “a required transfer responding to the present-day protection scenario in the Taiwan Straits and had been meant to safeguard countrywide sovereignty,” reported spokesperson for the PLA’s Jap Theater Command, Senior Col. Zhang Chunhui.

Four US-made F-16 fighter jets cross the sky during a drill near the Suao navy harbour in Yilan, eastern Taiwan, on April 13, 2018.

And on Saturday, China’s condition-owned World wide Occasions tabloid revealed a critique of the F-16 sale.

“When the deal was approved by the Trump administration previous year and a formal signing was predicted to just take put quicker or later on, its announcement at this individual time is believed to be nevertheless one more US provocation and a phase on the purple line of the Taiwan dilemma, which even further risks confrontation,” the World wide Situations report explained, citing Chinese navy analysts.

The “crimson line” is any Taiwanese move for independence from Beijing.

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But Drew Thompson, a former US Defense Division formal now at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Community Policy in Singapore, explained Friday’s announcement was procedural more than provocative, as Lockheed Martin experienced to line up subcontractors to get the unique components to make the airplanes to Taipei’s requirements.

“It’s a bit like shopping for a vehicle. This was finalizing the choices that Taiwan wished,” Thompson explained.

A situation for stabilization

Australian armed service analyst Peter Layton of the Griffith Asia Institute explained the F-16 sale could basically assistance stabilize the Taiwan problem, at minimum from a army standpoint.

“The sale will act to broadly manage the air beat equilibrium” among Taiwanese (ROCAF) and Chinese (PLAAF) air forces, Layton said.

“The PLAAF has drastically extra air combat aircraft than the ROCAF, but in a conflict the ROCAF will be defending and the PLAAF attacking. The change in roles and that the ROCAF will be working more than its personal airfields compensates for the distinction in numbers,” he claimed.

“The additional F-16s will just keep the harmony into the early 2030s,” Layton stated.

Although the US has extensive supplied arms to Taiwan as part of the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act, Beijing has regularly chafed at those profits, protesting them as a violation of China’s sovereignty regardless of the Chinese Communist Occasion obtaining under no circumstances governed the island.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian on Monday reiterated all those promises.

“The act severely ruined China’s sovereignty and protection interests and significantly violated the norms of worldwide relations,” Zhao explained.

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A Pentagon report in Might 2019 warned that Taiwan’s classic army rewards around Beijing in the party of a cross-strait conflict were being eroding in the facial area of China’s ongoing endeavours to modernize its armed forces.

But considering the fact that then the Trump administration has been stepping up arms revenue to Taiwan, which include Abrams key fight tanks, Stinger anti-plane missiles and before this calendar year, new torpedoes.

Then last month the US State Section authorised a ask for by Taipei to upgrade its Patriot surface-to-air missiles at an believed charge of $620 million, according to Taiwan’s authorities-run Central News Company.

Layton mentioned Monday the Patriot missile up grade is effective alongside with the F-16 sale to maintain steadiness across the Taiwan Strait.

“The Patriot and F-16V revenue fit jointly perfectly to aid Taiwan’s air defenses without having staying confrontational to China,” he reported.

A pilot favorite

Thompson claimed the F-16s will be a morale booster for Taiwanese pilots who would very likely be the very first to face fight in opposition to the PLAAF in any doable conflict.

He famous that the fighter can function in lots of roles, which includes launching missiles at ships, taking out enemy radar, as effectively as in air-to-air confrontations.

“This is a pretty capable aircraft. It truly is small, it can be nimble, it really is simple to fly. Pilots enjoy it,” Thompson reported.

And whilst it is not a stealth fighter, it does have a scaled-down radar cross section than earlier versions of the F-16, producing it tougher to goal, he said.

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The deal does depart Taipei with a gap to fill in its forces — pilots, explained Meia Nouwens, investigate fellow for China protection policy at the Worldwide Institute for Strategic Research in London.

“This sale will involve Taiwan recruit 107 further pilots. And in the earlier 9 several years Taiwan has only increased its F-16 pilots by 21 officers,” she reported. “We are going to need to have to preserve an eye on this in the up coming couple of several years.”

The finalization of the sale is also not likely to get Beijing any far more upset with Taipei than it already is, Thompson reported.

In past arms revenue, “China has not punished Taiwan. China seeks to punish to United States,” he mentioned.

“I you should not see why this would be any various.”

CNN’s Zachary Cohen, Ryan Browne, Shawn Deng and Sherisse Pham contributed to this report.

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The former FIFA employee says she was the victim of harassment and still does not know if Miguel Macedo was punished.



The young man, whose name has not been released, filed two complaints against Miguel Macedo over a year ago. FIFA mediator says he has evidence of abuse, but agent remains in body

A former FIFA employee, whose identity is unknown, told The New York Times whether Miguel Macedo, who is in charge of the FIFA Legends program, was punished for sexually harassing her.

According to the North American newspaper, the claims of a young woman who filed a complaint more than a year ago were confirmed by a FIFA mediator who had access to details of the behavior of the Portuguese, who maintains good relations with President Gianni Infantino.

In 2018, the former employee joined the legal department of the organizations of the governing body of world football, under the tutelage of Miguel Macedo, in charge of the FIFA Legends project, which is dedicated to the creation of activities carried out by former – world famous footballers.

That same year, according to The New York Times, the woman was subjected to several acts of sexual harassment by Miguel Macedo, who instructed what clothes to wear and sent sycophant messages to the young woman.

The victim said that one day she was asked to go to the room of the accused agent early in the morning. In another situation, on evaluation, a young woman was groped by Miguel Macedo and became the object of provocative comments. “It was one of the worst days,” said a young woman quoted by the NYT.

Despite a complaint filed by FIFA head of human resources Kimberly Morris, the organization did not take it into account, and the Portuguese agent ignored the investigation or even possible punishment.

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The former FIFA official then met with the head of FIFA’s member associations, Joyce Cooke, who launched an investigation process, but months passed with no action. “I want to let you know that Miguel Macedo unexpectedly returned to the office today, and it’s becoming unbearable for me to be here. I don’t know how we can continue to stay in this unhealthy environment,” the victim emphasized in an email. addressed, later to Joyce Cook.

However, Nirmala Diaz, FIFA’s mediator, has produced a report stressing that there is sufficient documentary evidence to address the woman’s complaints against Miguel Macedo (Figo’s former agent), who is still employed by FIFA.

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Europa tem alternativas para substituir parcialmente o gás russo, defendem especialistas – Atualidade



Em declarações à France-Presse (AFP), especialistas consideraram “improvável” a interrupção total do abastecimento de gás natural russo, mas apontaram alternativas.

“Os gasodutos vêm da Noruega, Argélia e Azerbaijão, mas esses países não têm capacidade de produção adicional”, indicou Thierry Bros, professor da Sciences Po Paris.

Assim, prosseguiu, a Europa está de olhos postos no fornecimento de gás natural liquefeito (GNL), que pode chegar por navio, proveniente de qualquer parte do mundo.

Do outro lado do Oceano Atlântico, os Estados Unidos anunciaram que estão a trabalhar em “fornecimentos alternativos, que cobrem uma maioria significativa de potenciais cortes” no fornecimento de gás russo à Europa.

Nesse sentido, o Presidente Joe Biden tem já uma reunião agendada com o Emir do Catar, o maior exportador mundial de GNL, na próxima semana.

Também a Australia disse estar pronta para enviar gás natural para a Europa.

“Em termos de volumes [de GNL], os três gigantes, atualmente, são o Catar, a Austrália e os Estados Unidos”, indicou Vincent Demoury, delegado-geral do Grupo Internacional de Importadores de Gás Natural Liquefeito (GIIGNL).

“São sobretudo aqueles três países que teriam flexibilidade para produzir mais, ou redirecionar para a Europa volumes tradicionalmente direcionados para outros mercados”, acrescentou.

No entanto, “não é possível substituir todo o gás russo por GNL”, advertiu Thierry Bros.

As capacidades de regaseificação na Europa (incluindo o Reino Unido) são de cerca de 19 mil milhões de metros cúbicos (bcm) por mês, dos quais cerca de 8 bcm, em média, já estão utilizados, sobrando cerca de 11 bcm de capacidade para uso.

Aquele valor, apontou o especialista, nãoé suficiente para compensar os cerca de 14 bcm por mês vindos da Russia.

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Este inverno, as reservas de gás na Europa estão baixas e os suprimentos da Rússia atingiram um nível historicamente baixo este mês.

Ainda assim, os especialistas duvidam que a Russia chegue ao ponto de fechar completamente a torneira.

“A suspensão total das exportações de gás continua a ser o menos provável dos cenários”, considerou o Eurasia Group.

Para o grupo de consultoria e pesquisa de risco político, “isso acarretaria sérios riscos de longo prazo para a estabilidade financeira e influência política da Rússia na Europa, já que a União Europeia, provavelmente, responderia agressivamente, diversificando o seu suprimento de energia”.

“Os russos não têm interesse em interromper as entregas”, realçou Thierry Bros.

Além do interesse financeiro, apontou, a manutenção das suas entregas “permite criar discordância na Europa”, uma vez que a Rússia poderia continuar a abastecer alguns países (Alemanha, Grécia, Hungria, por exemplo), mas outros não (Polónia, Lituânia) .

Perante uma crise que ilustra a forte dependência energética da Europa em relação ao seu vizinho russo, os 27 Estados-membros da União Europeia (UE) estão a ponderar soluções a médio prazo.

O primeiro caminho, que acaba de ser discutido numa reunião informal dos ministros da energia europeus, em Amiens, França, passa por estabelecer “regras mais rígidas sobre armazenamento de gás”, conforme indicou a ministra francesa para a Transição Ecológica, Barbara Pompili.

O modelo francês, que garante o preenchimento das reservas para o inverno, poderia, assim, ser ampliado.

Também o Luxemburgo sugeriu a assinatura de contratos de fornecimento de longo prazo com paises produtores considerados mais fiáveis ​​do que a Russia.

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A six-month-old baby was mistakenly vaccinated with six doses of Pfizer’s Covid vaccine.



The case occurred in Brazil and led to the hospitalization of a child


In the Brazilian state of São Paulo, a six-month-old baby was mistakenly inoculated with a whole vial of Pfizer’s coronavirus drug.

According to the newspaper Condition of the mines, the child has received the equivalent of six doses of the vaccine. In Brazil, the vaccination of children under the age of five is not yet allowed, so the case concerned specialists and medical workers.


According to the family, who told Brazilian media, the baby should have been vaccinated against meningitis, tetanus and hepatitis.

The child’s mother stated that the dosing nurse contacted the health monitoring team and the child was later admitted to the Hospital das Clínicas in Ribeirão Preto.

The case occurred on 17 January and the child was observed for three days with symptoms of an abscess in the leg, fever and pain. However, the symptoms did not improve significantly and the child was discharged after being treated in the hospital.




To the Brazilian press, the child’s mother said: “Do not hold a grudge” and praised the behavior of the medical worker for immediately reporting the incident.

The child is at home and receiving medical care.

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