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  • Boyfriend Of Missing Phoenix Teen Kiera Bergman Arrested

    Golocal247.com news

    The on-again, off-again boyfriend of Kiera Bergman, a missing Arizona

    Mon, 20 Aug 2018 13:10:02 -0400
  • 'National Disgrace!': Trump escalates attack on Mueller as jury mulls Manafort's fate

    Golocal247.com news

    President Trump on Monday escalated his attack on Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, labeling the special counsel “disgraced and discredited” and Mueller's investigators a “National Disgrace.”

    Mon, 20 Aug 2018 08:53:00 -0400
  • Alligator Kills Woman Walking Dog In South Carolina: Police

    Golocal247.com news

    A woman died Monday morning in a suspected alligator attack on Hilton Head

    Mon, 20 Aug 2018 14:50:32 -0400
  • Yahoo News explains: What's the other cause impacting global warming?

    Golocal247.com news

    The authors of the study predict a 58 percent chance that the next few years will be “anomalously warm,” with a 69 percent chance that earth’s oceans will be too. The study found that that warming trend is not just the result of a steady increase in human-made climate change driven by emissions of greenhouse gases. The study used data from 10 climate-change models and found that natural variabilities were the cause of a global warming “hiatus” in the early 2000s.

    Mon, 20 Aug 2018 11:13:13 -0400
  • Pope addresses Catholic Church sexual abuse report in open letter: ‘We showed no care for the little ones'

    Golocal247.com news

    Pope Francis has condemned the “atrocities” of child sex abuse and cover-ups by the clergy in an open letter to the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics. Addressing a US Grand Jury report revealing decades of alleged sexual abuse inside the Catholic Church in Pennsylvania, the Pontiff described allegations against the Church as “crimes that inflict deep wounds of pain and powerlessness” in victims, their families and the religious community. The report detailed at least 1,000 cases of alleged sexual abuse committed by 300 “predator” priests in Pennsylvania — and what was a systematic cover-up by Church officials.

    Mon, 20 Aug 2018 12:58:00 -0400
  • Customers Rally After Yelp Reviewer Calls Cafe's Gay Pride Flag 'Disgusting'

    Golocal247.com news

    An anti-gay review on Yelp that called a restaurant in Dorchester,

    Mon, 20 Aug 2018 05:52:57 -0400
  • Crikey! Photographer gets up close with dangerous crocs 

    Alex Suh has traveled to Mexico's Banco Chinchorro reef twice in the past three years to get into the waters and capture the crocodiles in their natural habitat.

    Tue, 21 Aug 2018 15:41:38 -0400
  • Weinstein accuser Asia Argento paid teen who made sex assault claim: report

    Golocal247.com news

    Italian actress Asia Argento, who became a leading figure in the #MeToo movement after accusing powerhouse producer Harvey Weinstein of rape, paid hush money to a man who claimed she sexually assaulted him when he was 17, The New York Times reported Sunday. The $380,000 payment was made to Jimmy Bennett, an actor and rock musician, who claimed Argento assaulted him in a California hotel room in 2013, according to the Times, which cited documents sent to the paper by an unidentified party. Bennett was two months past his 17th birthday at the time of the alleged encounter, while Argento was 37.

    Mon, 20 Aug 2018 00:58:01 -0400
  • Malaysia's Mahathir cancels China-backed rail, pipeline projects

    Golocal247.com news

    KUALA LUMPUR/BEIJING (Reuters) - Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Tuesday that the Chinese-funded $20 billion East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project and a natural gas pipeline project in Sabah will be canceled for now, according to media reports. Mahathir made the comments while addressing the media in Beijing during his five-day trip to China. The Prime Minister's office confirmed the comments Mahathir made to reporters in Beijing.

    Tue, 21 Aug 2018 04:53:04 -0400
  • More Russian Hacking Uncovered Ahead Of Midterms — This Time Targeting Conservatives

    Golocal247.com news

    Microsoft announced Tuesday that it had uncovered -- and thwarted -- fresh

    Tue, 21 Aug 2018 05:25:08 -0400
  • Could soccer moms swing the House? Democrats hope so.

    Golocal247.com news

    Remember the “soccer moms”? That 1990s term for politically moderate suburban women has fallen out of usage lately, but they’re still around, and a key voting bloc in the upcoming midterms. Frustrated with Washington and turned off by President Trump, they could deliver Congress to the Democrats in November. Or not.

    Mon, 20 Aug 2018 10:29:00 -0400
  • Pregnant Woman Suspected Husband Might Be Cheating Before He Allegedly Killed Her: Friend

    Golocal247.com news

    A pregnant woman found dead in Colorado last week had suspected her husband,

    Mon, 20 Aug 2018 10:36:15 -0400
  • Ohio State trustees set Wednesday meeting on Meyer's future

    Golocal247.com news

    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio State trustees set a private meeting for Wednesday to talk about the future of coach Urban Meyer as the university seeks to quickly move past a scandal that has consumed the football program for nearly a month.

    Mon, 20 Aug 2018 15:52:18 -0400
  • Flash flood kills 10 hikers in Italian mountain gorge as rescuers say it hit like 'a tsunami'

    Golocal247.com news

    An eight-year-old girl survived a devastating flash flood in a canyon in southern Italy but was found next to a body that rescuers believe may be one of her parents. The girl, named as Chiara, was semi-conscious, covered in thick mud and suffering from hypothermia when she was found in the gorge in Calabria after it was hit by a “tsunami” of muddy water following a severe storm. The seven-mile-long canyon, located in Pollino national park, has 2,300ft-high sheer rock walls which in some places are just 13ft apart. At least two groups of hikers were caught up in the disaster on Monday. While some were able to scramble to higher ground, others were engulfed by the flash flood and drowned. Ten people were killed, with some bodies washed up to three miles downstream by the force of the torrent. Eleven people were injured, five of them seriously. Four children lost either one or both of their parents. A rescue helicopter in the gorge that was hit by a flash flood Credit: Francesco Arena/Ansa “She was semi-conscious but clearly in a state of shock. We found her next to a corpse and from what we know, her parents are almost certainly among the victims,” said Pasquale Gagliardi, a doctor with the local helicopter rescue service. The little girl, who had swallowed mud and debris, was flown by helicopter to a hospital in Naples, hundreds of miles to the north. A girl is helped by a member of the National Alpine and Caving Rescue Squad as they (right) descend the gorge Credit: ANSA/AP “You’re going to make it, little one,” Dr Pasquale wrote on Facebook under a photograph of the girl’s hand, covered in mud, on the shoulder of an alpine rescue specialist. The hand of the eight year old girl on the shoulder of an alpine rescue specialist Credit: Twitter The victims included a volunteer rescue worker who helped pull people alive from a hotel in central Italy that was hit by a deadly avalanche in January 2017. Antonio De Rasis, 32, was guiding hikers through the gorge when it was hit by the 8ft-high wall of water. “With his experience, he would definitely have tried to help the group as much as possible,” said Antonio Carlomagno, the mayor of the town where Mr De Rasis came from. The flash flood also claimed the lives of two models, Miriam Mezzolla, 27, and Claudia Giampietro, 31, who were said to be inseparable and shared a passion for burlesque dancing. Rescuers work in the gorge of the Raganello stream in Civita Credit: WENN.com  An investigation has been launched into the disaster, with questions asked about why people were allowed into the gorge when bad weather was forecast. “It was a real tsunami. These are events that happen once in a lifetime,” said Giacomo Zanfei, a senior official with the mountain rescue service. Italy has experienced strange weather this summer, with torrid heat building up in the mornings and then giving way to thunder, lightning and torrential rain. Rescuers and citizens wait in the central square of Civita, a village in the Italian Calabria southern region  Credit: AFP Climate experts say the summer is becoming less dry and more “tropical”, with higher rainfall than before. “It is a shocking tragedy, linked to the terrible weather we’ve had this summer,” said Mimmo Lo Polito, a local mayor. The canyoning disaster comes just a week after the collapse of the Morandi bridge in Genoa, which killed 43 people. Raganello gorges in Pollino National Park, Calabria Credit: DEA/V. GIANNELLA  "Italy is tired of crying for the dead. Enough," said Sergio Costa, the environment minister, during a visit to the scene. "If what happened is the result of negligence, sloppiness or a lack of awareness of the risks, we are facing a serious situation that we need to get to the bottom of." “The whole country is deeply saddened by this new tragedy, which has caused many deaths and injuries in Pollino national park,” said Sergio Mattarella, Italy’s president.

    Tue, 21 Aug 2018 06:19:51 -0400
  • Families Separated Since Korean War Reunite In North Korea

    Golocal247.com news

    Families divided during the Korean War tearfully reunited for the first time

    Mon, 20 Aug 2018 07:44:38 -0400
  • 58 people shot in Chicago over weekend as police hit out at 'cowardly' violence

    Golocal247.com news

    Chicago police have hit out at "cowardly" and "senseless" gun crime after at least 58 people were shot in another violent weekend across the city. Six people were killed from the shootings that took place from Friday to Sunday night, Chicago Police Department (CPD) Superintendent Eddie Johnson said at a press conference. Tom Ahern, the assistant director of news affairs and communications at CPD reported that a three-year-old boy was among those wounded as a result of the shootings from the weekend.

    Mon, 20 Aug 2018 20:46:51 -0400
  • Pope condemns 'atrocities' of US clerical child abuse

    Golocal247.com news

    Pope Francis condemned Monday the "atrocities" revealed by a far-reaching US report into clerical child sex abuse in the state of Pennsylvania issued last week. "In recent days, a report was made public which detailed the experiences of at least a thousand survivors... the abuse of power and of conscience at the hands of priests," the pope said in a letter made public by the Vatican. A devastating US grand jury report published last week decried a systematic cover-up by the Catholic Church.

    Mon, 20 Aug 2018 07:54:31 -0400
  • Friends in Bay Area devastated after body found in search for University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts

    Golocal247.com news

    "Our family is heartbroken, really heartbroken for the family." Friends who knew Mollie Tibbetts and her family during their time in the Bay Area are stunned after a body was discovered in connection with the search for the missing 20-year-old University of Iowa student.

    Tue, 21 Aug 2018 15:05:27 -0400
  • U.S. deports accused former Nazi guard to Germany

    Golocal247.com news

    The White House said Jakiw Palij had served as a guard at the Trawniki Labor Camp, where about 6,000 Jewish men, women and children were shot dead on Nov. 3, 1943, in one of the single largest massacres of the Holocaust. The United States had been trying to get Palij out of the country since the issue of a 2004 deportation order, but after talks with top members of Chancellor Angela Merkel's government Germany agreed to take him in. Born in what was then Poland but is now Ukraine, Palij emigrated to the United States in 1949, becoming a United States citizen eight years later, the White House said.

    Tue, 21 Aug 2018 13:13:22 -0400
  • Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's trial in Alexandria, Va.

    The jury began a fourth day of deliberations Tuesday in the trial of Donald Trump's former campaign chief Paul Manafort, the first resulting from the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

    Tue, 21 Aug 2018 11:00:58 -0400
  • Famously Thicc, High-Maintenance Cat Finds New Human As Extra As He Is

    Golocal247.com news

    Bruno is off the market, guys.

    Tue, 21 Aug 2018 17:43:01 -0400
  • No One Lost the South China Sea (And No One Will)

    Golocal247.com news

    America's excessive involvement in the South China Sea has forced China to deploy more defensive equipment in the area. What happens now?

    Mon, 20 Aug 2018 16:23:00 -0400
  • Good Samaritans rescue two people, dog from sinking car

    Golocal247.com news

    Witnesses say the vehicle crashed through a marina railing in Long Beach, California, and into the water.

    Mon, 20 Aug 2018 07:21:09 -0400
  • Elizabeth Warren’s Far-Reaching New Bill Aims To Actually Drain The Swamp

    Golocal247.com news

    WASHINGTON ― Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) unveiled a sweeping plan on

    Tue, 21 Aug 2018 15:26:38 -0400
  • A Mexican Official Says a Man Detained in the U.S. While Taking His Pregnant Wife to the Hospital Is Wanted for Murder

    Golocal247.com news

    His lawyer says authorities might have mistaken him for his brother

    Mon, 20 Aug 2018 23:31:53 -0400
  • Eight hikers die as flash flood hits Italy's Calabria

    Golocal247.com news

    Eight hikers died when a mountain river suddenly flooded in Italy's southern Calabria region, with five people still missing, local emergency services said on Monday. "We have eight dead but we can't rule out the toll increasing," the local civil protection unit told AFP. It also said there were two groups of 18 hikers at the site.

    Mon, 20 Aug 2018 16:46:06 -0400
  • Man Forced to Choose Between Meth and Wife Makes Wrong Call

    Man Forced to Choose Between Meth and Wife Makes Wrong Call There is no wrath like a woman scorned Don't do drugs, m'kay? If you do, be ready to deal with the consequences. I'm not talking about justice or prison here, I'm talking about an angry wife, which

    Tue, 21 Aug 2018 09:06:24 -0400
  • Irish abuse survivors await Pope's arrival with scepticism

    Golocal247.com news

    Over the next 15 years floods of similar stories followed as harrowing state investigations unearthed endemic sexual abuse and cover-up that rocked the church's standing in the once staunchly Roman Catholic country. When Pope Francis makes the first papal visit to Ireland in nearly 40 years this weekend, Madden, a Dubliner, will be a long way away. To see that institution being cheered on when there are so many unanswered questions, I would find it sickening," said Madden, who will be in Rome when the Pope addresses an expected 500,000 people in Dublin on Sunday.

    Mon, 20 Aug 2018 10:35:16 -0400
  • Trump Praises Border Patrol Agent Who 'Speaks Perfect English’ At Immigration Event

    Golocal247.com news

    President Donald Trump introduced a border patrol agent at the White House on

    Mon, 20 Aug 2018 17:11:47 -0400
  • A look at the verdicts on 18 counts in Paul Manafort's case

    Golocal247.com news

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Paul Manafort's 16-day trial ended Tuesday with the former Trump campaign chairman convicted of eight felony counts and prosecutors facing a choice of whether to retry him on 10 other charges.

    Tue, 21 Aug 2018 19:53:28 -0400
  • Imran Khan to scrap hundreds of  staff and move to three-bed home as he pledges new austerity drive for Pakistan

    Golocal247.com news

    Imran Khan has said he will forego the lavish lodgings normally used by Pakistan's prime ministers and instead live in a three-bedroom house, with only two servants rather than hundreds, as he prepared the country for an austerity drive. The newly sworn-in leader used his first address to the nation to rail against waste as his country faces a severe economic crisis. The former cricket hero said it was shameful that the sprawling prime minister's house had 524 staff and a fleet of 80 vehicles, 33 of them bulletproof.  The cars are to be sold off with only two kept for the new prime minister. “ I want to tell my people, I will live a simple life, I will save your money,” he said. The 65-year-old will live in a three-bed residence normally reserved for the military secretary. Pakistani men watch a television broadcasting Imran Khan's speech Credit: ABDUL MAJEED/AFP Pakistan's new prime minister Imran Khan speaks to the nation in his first televised address in Islamabad Credit: REUTERS He also used his Sunday evening address to call on the rich to start paying taxes and for Pakistani's living overseas to send their money back to domestic banks to help the country's foreign currency crisis. In a 70-minute speech he repeated many of his populist campaign talking points, but offered little detail of how he will stave off an impending economic crisis which his own finance minister has said is dire. Opposition parties also complained that he failed to mention how the country would deal with growing extremism, which Mr Khan has been accused of emboldening by invoking hardline issues like blasphemy on the campaign trail. Pakistan is said to need an urgent bailout of around $12bn to stave off a looming crisis. Loans from China, Saudi Arabia or the International Monetary Fund are all understood to be under consideration. But he complained that the country was in a spiral of debt, borrowing to pay off the interest on earlier loans, and would lose respect by begging elsewhere for money. Instead, he called on Pakistani expats to send their money back home. He said: “I want you to bring your money to Pakistan. To keep your money in Pakistani banks. Right now we are short on dollars. There is a huge trade gap right now.” Mr Khan also spoke of his country's need to tackle poverty and malnutrition and promised to reduce some of the world's highest maternal death rates and infant mortality rates. He said Pakistan was in severe danger from climate change and spoke about the need to educate the 22.8 million Pakistani children who are out of school. Meanwhile his new foreign minister said on Monday that he wanted talks with neighbouring India and Afghanistan. Shah Mahmood Qureshi, also stressed that the civilian government would determine foreign policy, potentially putting Mr Khan's new administration on a collision with the powerful military. Pakistan's generals have ruled the country for much of its history and view policy on national security, India and Afghanistan as their realm. Mr Qureshi said that "the foreign policy of Pakistan will be formed here at the foreign office."

    Mon, 20 Aug 2018 06:31:57 -0400
  • Argentine Police Officer Breastfeeds Malnourished Baby in Kind Gesture

    Golocal247.com news

    She went above and beyond the call of duty.

    Tue, 21 Aug 2018 08:57:29 -0400
  • Democrats Suing To Stop GOP Congressman Calling Himself A ‘Farmer’ On Ballot

    Golocal247.com news

    A California Democrats group wants to stop Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) from

    Mon, 20 Aug 2018 18:17:27 -0400
  • Missouri Teen Killed On Birthday Just An Hour After ‘I Made It To 17’ Facebook Post

    Golocal247.com news

    A Missouri teenager was senselessly killed after posting to Facebook about how

    Tue, 21 Aug 2018 18:19:24 -0400
  • Tesla shares fall again on doubts about go-private deal

    Golocal247.com news

    Tesla Motors dropped in early trading on Monday due to rising doubts about Chief Executive Elon Musk's plans to take the electric carmaker private. Shares fell 2.6 percent to $297.55 about 20 minutes into trading, continuing the company's downward trajectory after Musk surprised markets on August 7 by announcing on Twitter he wanted to take Tesla private. Musk said at the time he planned to take Tesla private at $420 a share.

    Mon, 20 Aug 2018 11:27:31 -0400
  • Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Had a Glamorous Weekend with the Clooneys in Lake Como

    Golocal247.com news

    George and Amal are known for inviting their A-list pals to indulge and relax at Villa Oleandra, their private getaway in Lake Como

    Tue, 21 Aug 2018 16:37:25 -0400
  • Some Venezuelans, alarmed by Maduro's measures, speed up plans to flee

    Maduro on Friday stunned the South American nation by announcing a 96 percent devaluation and vowing to peg the bolivar currency to Venezuela's new 'petro', a cryptocurrency that experts have cast doubt on as a functional financial instrument. "I am looking for flights to leave on Wednesday, any way I can," Narvaez said in Venezuela's western oil hub of Punto Fijo, home to massive but deteriorated oil refineries. "I am sure this is going to get worse because the man's ideas lack all logic." Maduro, who argues that he is the victim of a Washington-led "economic war" designed to sabotage his administration through sanctions, said that using the petro will abolish the "tyranny" of the dollar and lead to an economic rebirth in Venezuela, an OPEC member state home to the world's biggest crude oil reserves.

    Mon, 20 Aug 2018 17:51:45 -0400
  • Fox News Regular Claims Trump's Omarosa 'Dog' Comment Was A Compliment

    Golocal247.com news

    Need proof that Donald Trump apologists will come up with any crazy excuse to

    Tue, 21 Aug 2018 15:36:16 -0400
  • 15 of the Coolest Obscure Cars You Can Buy

    No description related. Click here to go to original article.

    Mon, 20 Aug 2018 11:00:00 -0400
  • 2 detained after shots are fired at US Embassy in Turkey

    Golocal247.com news

    ISTANBUL (AP) — Shots were fired from a moving car at the U.S. Embassy in Turkey before dawn Monday, an attack that came during heightened tensions between the two NATO allies. Officials said two people with criminal records were detained.

    Mon, 20 Aug 2018 14:59:46 -0400
  • China and Russia are Building Lots of Ship-Killer Missiles. The Navy Has Plans to Counter Them.

    Golocal247.com news

    The Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile Block II, or ESSM, is a new version of an existing Sea Sparrow weapons system currently protecting aircraft carriers, destroyers, cruisers, amphibious assault ships and other vessels against anti-ship missiles and other surface and airborne short-range threats to ships.

    Mon, 20 Aug 2018 07:31:00 -0400
  • Trump on Mollie Tibbetts: US immigration laws are a disgrace

    Golocal247.com news

    Speaking at a rally in West Virginia, the president says the death of the Iowa student by an illegal immigrant suspect should never have happened.

    Tue, 21 Aug 2018 20:12:07 -0400
  • Muslim pilgrims climb Mount Arafat for peak of hajj

    Golocal247.com news

    Muslim pilgrims on Monday began ascending Mount Arafat for the climax of the annual hajj which brings together more than two million people from around the world. A sea of worshippers scaled the rocky hill southeast of the holy city of Mecca for a day of prayers and reflection where Muslims believe Prophet Mohammed delivered his final sermon. The ritual begins in earnest on Tuesday as Muslims observe the first day of Eid al-Adha, or Feast of Sacrifice, which marks the end of the hajj.

    Mon, 20 Aug 2018 03:10:49 -0400
  • Simone Biles Becomes First Woman To Win 5 U.S. All-Around Titles

    Golocal247.com news

    Simone Biles won a record-breaking fifth U.S. all-around title at this

    Mon, 20 Aug 2018 10:27:38 -0400
  • 2019 Best Colleges Rankings Coming Sept. 10

    In three weeks, on Monday, Sept. 10, prospective students and parents can explore the 2019 U.S. News Best Colleges rankings on usnews.com. In addition to the rankings, U.S. News will provide extensive statistical profiles for each school, a comprehensive college search and detailed explanations of the ranking methodologies. Users can sign up for the U.S. News College Compass to receive access to the My Fit custom ranking, additional data and other exclusive interactive tools.

    Mon, 20 Aug 2018 09:00:00 -0400
  • Russia says U.S. refusal to rebuild Syria a ploy to slow refugee return

    Golocal247.com news

    Russia will help Lebanon return refugees to neighboring Syria, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday, accusing the United States of impeding the general repatriation process by declining to assist in Syria's reconstruction. Lavrov also called on opposition groups in the rebel-held Syrian province of Idlib to distance themselves from the Nusra Front group, formerly the local branch of al Qaeda.

    Mon, 20 Aug 2018 09:35:42 -0400
  • Melania Trump's Anti-Cyberbullying Tweet Does Not Go Over Well

    Golocal247.com news

    Melania Trump's "Be Best" campaign continues to receive an icy reception.

    Tue, 21 Aug 2018 04:42:16 -0400
  • Plane forced to make emergency landing in Peru after landing gear fails

    Golocal247.com news

    Footage shows the plane making an emergency landing in Peru. The Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 was flying between Lima and Ayacucho when the landing gear failed as it approached the airport on Sunday. The pilots decided to return to Jorge Chavez International Airport in the capital, Lima, where the plane made an emergency landing.

    Tue, 21 Aug 2018 15:59:00 -0400
  • The Latest: German official: Holocaust justice 'obligation'

    Golocal247.com news

    BERLIN (AP) — The Latest on the deportation of former Nazi death camp guard Jakiv Palij from the U.S. to Germany (all times local):

    Tue, 21 Aug 2018 13:28:07 -0400
  • Taiwan loses third diplomatic ally this year as El Salvador defects to China

    Golocal247.com news

    Taiwan lost another ally to Beijing on Tuesday when diplomatic ties with El Salvador were severed, in another political victory for China as it attempts to isolate the self-ruled island on the global stage. The break with the Central American nation leaves Taiwan now with formal relations with just 17 countries worldwide, many of them poor nations in Central America and the Pacific like Belize and Nauru.  Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu on Tuesday said his government was refusing to compete with China in buying diplomatic support, condemning what he called Beijing’s campaign of luring away Taiwan’s allies with promises of vast financial aid and investment. “It is irresponsible to engage in financial aid diplomacy or compete with China in cash, or even in providing illegal political money. My government is unwilling to and cannot do so,” he said in comments reported by the AP.  In a separate announcement, Salvador Sanchez Ceren, El Salvador’s president, whose party faces presidential elections in February, announced in a televised speech that the country was switching diplomatic allegiance to Beijing.  Presidents Tsai Ing-wen and Salvador Sanchez Ceren are no longer diplomatic allies Credit: Marvin Recinos/AFP El Salvador is the third country to defect to China this year, and the fifth since President Tsai Ing-wen came to office in 2016. It follows Burkina Faso, the Dominican Republic, Sao Tome and Principe and Panama.  China, which claims the island as its own territory, has aggressively tried to lure or pressure Taipei’s diplomatic allies to cut ties since Ms Tsai’s election, suspicious that her government will try to push for formal independence.  Some analysts believe Beijing’s relentless push to isolate Taipei internationally and exclude it from global forums is part of a determined strategy by Xi Jinping, the Chinese president, to bring Taiwan under his control during his tenure.  Taiwan’s population of 23 million meanwhile operates like any other democratic nation with its own elections, government, currency, military and foreign policy and the majority of citizens identify as Taiwanese. The news broke as President Tsai wrapped up a high-profile trip to Latin America, including stops in the United States that took in an unprecedented visit to Nasa’s space centre in Houston, drawing broad criticism from China. “Taiwan would not bow to pressure. Pressure would only make us more determined and united. It would only boost our determination to go abroad,” she said as she arrived at Taiwan’s international airport late on Monday after the nine-day trip.  The Pacific island of Palau is being punished economically by China for its ties to Taiwan Credit: Farah Master/Reuters Informally, Taiwan still enjoys strong relations with the US, UK and other Western nations, despite a lack of formal recognition. However, both China and Taiwan have engaged in chequebook diplomacy in the competition for official allies over the years, with Taipei offering generous aid and economic development packages, and once paying for a Taiwanese chef to cook for the King of Swaziland. But the island’s recovering economy is now struggling to compete with China’s larger wallet and the considerable political pressure it can exert.  Reports have emerged that tourism on the tiny Pacific island of Palau, one of Taiwan’s allies, has been decimated after Beijing branded it an illegal destination last year and banned tour groups from going there.  Prior to the ban, Chinese tourists accounted for about half the visitors to Palau. Of the 122,000 visitors in 2017, 55,000 were from China and 9,000 from Taiwan, official data showed. “There is an ongoing discussion about China weaponising tourism,” Jeffrey Barabe, owner of Palau Central Hotel and Palau Carolines Resort in Koror told Reuters. “Some believe that the dollars were allowed to flow in and now they are pulling it back to try and get Palau to establish ties diplomatically.” 

    Tue, 21 Aug 2018 01:03:56 -0400
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