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Tensions grow as US bombers fly over the South China sea

A US military official told CNN on Friday that the two bombers flew between two Chinese claimed features in the Spratly Islands, claims unrecognized by China's neighbors and the US government.

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Officials told CNN that the Chinese military did not intercept the US aircraft during their mission.
South China Sea, Pixabay
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US Air Force B-52 Stratofortress bombers flew over the South China Sea earlier this week on a training mission, according to the American military.

The bombers took off on Tuesday from Andersen Air Force Base on the island of Guam, according to a statement from US Pacific Air Forces, which oversees air operations in the region.

The flight also involved additional training with F-15 Strike Eagle jets in the vicinity of Okinawa, Japan. The training mission was part of the US Air Force’s routine “Continuous Bomber Presence” in the region.

A US military official told CNN on Friday that the two bombers flew between two Chinese claimed features in the Spratly Islands, claims unrecognized by China’s neighbors and the US government.

China has long claimed the South China Sea as their own
Representational Image

China has used these geographic features in the Spratlys to build man-made islands, some of which Beijing has equipped with military facilities.

Officials told CNN that the Chinese military did not intercept the US aircraft during their mission.

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Asked about the purpose of these islands, the Trump administration’s nominee to head the US military’s Pacific Command, Adm. Phillip Davidson told Congress this month that China was using these islands to exercise control over the South China Sea.

“China has long claimed the Sea as their own,” he said.

“It is my belief that they intend to establish the military structure that will help them control the air and sea lanes through that region of the world.” (IANS)

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US, Britain Step Up In Order to Tackle Female Genital Mutilation

The mutilation of girls’ external genitals for non-medical reasons is practiced across Africa, the Middle East and Asia. It also affects immigrant communities in Europe and the U.S.

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Female Genital Mutilation
A badge reads "The power of labor against FGM" is seen on a volunteer during a conference on International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Cairo, Egypt, Feb. 6, 2018. (VOA)

Authorities in the U.S. and Britain are stepping up cooperation to tackle female genital mutilation, staging joint operations at airports in London, New York and elsewhere to raise awareness of an issue that affects millions of girls and women worldwide.

Police and border security agencies on both sides of the Atlantic have signed a new agreement to share intelligence about when and where victims may be taken for the procedure, known as FGM, and help identify perpetrators.

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In the past week, officials also targeted travel hubs including Heathrow, JKF airport and Eurostar stations, approaching people traveling from countries where the practice is common and encouraging them to report any concerns.

The mutilation of girls’ external genitals for non-medical reasons is practiced across Africa, the Middle East and Asia. It also affects immigrant communities in Europe and the U.S. (VOA)

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