Press release: FCO Minister Mark Field to champion rules-based international system in Manila

first_imgMinister of State for Asia and the Pacific Mark Field is visiting Manila today (16 August) for a programme that will include a keynote speech on the rules-based international system (RBIS) and discussions on strengthening further bilateral relations with the Philippines.During his visit, the Minister will meet governmental officials including Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez, Defence Secretary Maj Gen Delfin Lorenzana, and Senator Loren Legarda.In his speech, Mr Field will join Australian Ambassador Amanda Gorley to highlight the benefits the RBIS has brought to all countries.Speaking ahead of his visit to the Philippines, Minister Mark Field said: Follow Foreign Office Minister Mark Field @MarkFieldUK Follow the Foreign Office on Twitter @foreignoffice and Facebook Follow the Foreign Office on Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn Email [email protected] Media enquiries The rules-based international system has had a hugely positive impact on global security and prosperity, protecting people and countries, and helping them to achieve their potential. This is why the UK is working so hard to cherish and protect these rules. For journalists Mr Field will also meet members of the finance and business communities, as well as green finance experts and trade officials to raise the UK’s profile in the Philippines.The Minister’s visit to Manila is the second stop on a 6-country Southeast Asia trip.Further informationlast_img read more

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Charles Bradley Covers Nirvana, Neil Young, & More In Posthumous Album [Listen]

first_imgCharles Bradley was 63 years old when his first full-length album, No Time For Dreaming, was released via Daptone Records in 2011. Despite its title, the old school soul and R&B vocalist had spent much of his life chasing dreams, including his dream of putting out a record and performing for packed audiences night after night. These aspirations were what kept Bradley going during what was often a very difficult journey to stardom. Sadly, Bradley passed away at the age of 68, having relished every moment in the limelight that eluded him for most of his life. While we won’t get to see his infectious smile on stage anymore, his music will always be here for all of us.A month before what would have been his 70th birthday, Daptone and their Dunham Records imprint announced the posthumous release of The Screaming Eagle of Soul’s final album, Black Velvet. Officially released today, Black Velvet features ten previously unreleased tracks, pulled from the recording sessions for Bradley’s three albums, including No Time for Dreaming, 2013’s Victim of Love, and 2016’s Changes.The new album includes covers of Nirvana‘s “Stay Away”, Neil Young‘s “Heart of Gold”, and Rodriguez‘s “Slip Away”, as well as a duet with LaRose Jackson called “Luv Jones”, a full-band take on “Victim of Love”, and more. The album’s title track is an instrumental by Menahan Street Band, for which Bradley never got the chance to record vocals. Listen to the full record below:Charles Bradley – Black Velvetlast_img read more

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Trump vs Biden: First it was wild–then came COVID-19

first_imgFour months ago the narratives of the 2020 election seemed clear.Touting record low unemployment and solid GDP growth, Trump promised four more years of a presidency molded on his persona of the hard-nosed businessman.Biden, milking nostalgia for the now seemingly calm years of his vice presidency under Barack Obama, vowed to end the scandals and division of Trump’s reality show-style administration and restore “the soul of America.”Biden, 77, led in polls, but many believed that Trump, 73, would seize the upper hand on November 3. President Donald Trump’s reelection battle against Joe Biden was always going to be wild — and then came the coronavirus, killing nearly 90,000 Americans, scuttling the economy and throwing the race into surreal confusion.Less than six months before election day, neither candidate can campaign normally, voters wonder whether they’ll be safe, and Trump suddenly faces what amounts to a referendum on his handling of a once-in-a-century crisis.”We really don’t know how this is going to play out,” politics professor Christopher Arterton at George Washington University told AFP. The last incumbent to lose reelection was George Bush in 1992 and, historically, presidents presiding over strong economies are almost invulnerable.Exuding macho self-confidence, Trump toured the country for political rallies with his adoring right-wing base, and delivered a seductively simple message: aggressive nationalism abroad, jobs at home.How, Trump openly wondered at his rallies, could the man he brutally insults as “Sleepy Joe” even compete?Then the coronavirus tore up the script.Trump wanted America praising his triumphs. Instead, his fate rests on how people will judge his handling of a disaster.Referendum election”This election will be primarily a referendum on President Trump,” said Allan Lichtman, a presidential historian at American University renowned for his accurate predictions of previous contests.The COVID-19 crisis poses a test of leadership at least as high-stakes as the 9/11 attacks in 2001 or the massive 2008 recession.And Trump thinks he’s more than passed.”I’d rate it at 10,” he responded when asked once to grade his performance.But many don’t agree.They don’t like his divisive political style, his only rare demonstrations of empathy, and the haphazard marshalling of federal resources on testing and treatment.According to the latest CBS poll, 57 percent of Americans think Trump has done a “bad job.” In March the number was 47 percent.This might seem a golden opportunity for Biden. Instead, like millions of Americans, he has been locked down at home.Although Trump has had to give up his beloved rallies, he still gets out occasionally on Air Force One and frequently dominates evening news broadcasts from the White House.Biden, by contrast, has gone no further than his Delaware home’s garden, while relying on amateurish video platforms to communicate.Yet ironically, Trump’s massive advantage may be working partly in Biden’s favor. Yes, Trump is in the spotlight, but what he does there enrages half the country.”It has exposed all his flaws that were apparent throughout his presidency, but are much more immediate now in the lives of Americans,” Biden spokesman Michael Gwin said.In other words, Biden doesn’t have to lift a finger.”There is an old saying,” Lichtman noted: “‘Never interrupt an opponent when he is making a mistake.'”Wild cardsMost days Biden rips the president on Twitter, as he did Thursday, saying Trump “failed the American people on every single front.”But Gwin said the Democrat is wary of trying to out-attack the attacker-in-chief. “We need to present a better alternative.” While the latest polls show Biden still ahead nationally, US presidential elections are decided by electoral college votes, meaning the result will likely come down to a handful of swing states like Florida and Wisconsin.Polling there is tighter and Trump could retain the presidency even while winning fewer votes nationally than Biden — as happened in 2016 against Hillary Clinton.And just one of a half dozen wild cards could make the difference.- Will economic recovery start in the third quarter, as Trump predicts, allowing him to sell a powerful message of renewal?- Will there be a foreign policy drama, perhaps a showdown over North Korea’s nuclear arsenal or conflict with Iran?- What role will Russia play after sowing discord and misinformation in 2016?- Will tension with China, which Trump is working overtime to make the coronavirus bogeyman, trigger a devastating new trade war?But the biggest wild card, almost certainly, will be Trump himself. How far will he go in a last-ditch fight?Already last year the Republican was impeached, though not convicted, in Congress for abusing his office to try and whip up a scandal around Biden in Ukraine.Now he’s pushing a new conspiracy theory, claiming the existence of an “Obamagate” plot involving Biden to bring down his presidency.In this atmosphere, six months will be an eternity. Ultimately, Arterton said everything still hangs on one simple question: do more people adore or loathe this ultra-polarizing president?”Is Donald Trump going to be so odious to a number of moderates…, independent voters and Democrats to drive turnout on the Democratic side as much as he’s capable of driving turnout on the Republican side?”Topics :last_img read more

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Clippers plan to push tempo, be more versatile in post-Chris Paul Era

first_imgChris Paul controlled the ball for six seasons in a Clippers uniform. He pushed the tempo or slowed it down, as he saw fit. He took the big shots when time was short, or decided who else would. He directed almost everything his teammates did as the consummate floor leader.There was no debating the regular-season results.The Clippers won 50 games or more for five consecutive seasons with Paul as their point guard, and it probably would have been six in a row if not for the NBA lockout that shortened the 2011-12 season to 66 games, down from the standard 82.Paul averaged 18.8 points on 47.5 percent shooting, plus 9.8 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 2.2 steals in 409 career games with the Clippers after six seasons with similar statistics in 425 games with the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “Again, you go into camp and you look at your team and you’ll find the pace that want to play at. I think we should be an up-tempo team, an early-strike team. We should be a very physical team. (But) you have to get your team and see what you really have when you get to camp.”Training camp started Tuesday at the University of Hawaii.There will be new roles for new players, and for the old ones, as well.Adapting won’t be all that difficult, according to guard Austin Rivers, the coach’s son.“We’re just going to hoop,” he said.In fact, there’s not likely to be a normal guard rotation. Austin Rivers might assume the shooting guard position, playing alongside Patrick Beverley at the point. Beverley was the key piece in the Paul trade, arriving with a gritty style of play the Clippers lacked.Lou Williams, a shooting guard who also came from Houston, could be the Clippers’ new sixth man, replacing the departed Jamal Crawford. Milos Teodosic, a dynamic playmaker from Serbia, also could be the starting point guard.Doc Rivers said he plans to mix and match his guards.Up front, things are settled.Or so it would seem.Danilo Gallinari, acquired from Denver in a trade will start at small forward. Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan will take their usual spots as power forward and center. But Doc Rivers said all but Jordan might play in different positions from time to time.“Blake will play a lot of positions,” Doc Rivers promised. “We don’t really get into positions, but there will be times when Blake is the tallest guy on the floor. There will be times when he’ll be more of a (small forward) or (power forward). We want him to be an aggressive player, an attack player. He’ll bring the ball up at times. He’ll be one of the guys we use as a facilitator.”All will be revealed in time, Doc Rivers promised.For now, with so many new faces on the court, continuity is the buzzword for training camp.“This camp will be different in that I think we’re going to have to play a lot,” Doc Rivers said. “A lot of camps you can get into your execution and drill work and it all falls into place. This group, we just have to play a lot to catch up.“There’s teams that have been together and have played tons of games together. We’ve played zero games together. So, I think that will be the biggest thing, and then everybody kind of figuring our their roles and accepting their roles. Anybody can figure it out. Accepting it is another thing.“That would be the challenge.”center_img Paul is gone now, traded to the Houston Rockets in a blockbuster offseason deal that enabled the Clippers to overhaul their roster for a fresh start for 2017-18. His departure created new opportunities, but new questions, too, including the most obvious one:How will the Clippers get along without him?Certainly, their style of play must change.Dramatically so, if everything goes as planned.“It mandates a change in style, probably the style I’m more familiar with,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said when asked about changes in the wake of Paul’s departure. “I’ve always been a ball-movement coach. We can get back into that. I do want to play at a higher pace.last_img read more

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