could this lead to war? It is about more than the Philippines: it is about sea lane and air lane access for a lot of folks who use these international channels, not to mention hinting to other countries that they will push them around:
This (the court case that said China was wrong) was a major disappointment for China which used lots of bribes and threats since the case was filed in 2013 to organize international opposition
If China makes more claims or goes through with threats to declare the air space over its illegal artificial islands to be restricted anyone who challenged China would be within the law and Chinese use of force would be an outlaw act....
If China goes to war it loses. If it violates the court decree it risks international sanctions and the kind of economic slump that will threaten the authority of the current Chinese government.
In the meanwhile, Duterte's war on the drug cartels and pushers is in high gear, keeping the courts busy and the people happy.
And Duterte is mad at China, since the Chinese cartels are the big guys behind the local drugs, and he suspects that their government is taking bribes (best case scenerio) or helping them to run their businesses here and elsewhere (we are a transit for sending drugs to other countries and China is infamous for laundering drug money. Theoretically it is illegal, but one suspects a small gift will allow the Chinese officials to ignore the problem). China the government pulls a Sargent Shultz and says "I see nothing" and says they will cooperate.
lJazeerah reports on China's involvement with the drug trade, made worse by the manufacture of designer drugs.
In related news, our lovely ex president Gloria has gotten a "get out of jail free" card by the SC here: Not enough evidence... they were indicted, but to get them convicted is hard: it's easy to scare witnesses and hide money.
but the actual case being tried in court was about the local charity lottery funds being misused.
then there was the ZTE money, (the deal fell through after the press reported the problems):
Macapagal-Arroyo is fending calls for her resignation amid allegations that her husband, Jose Miguel, and former Commission on Elections Chairman Benjamin Abalos took millions of dollars in kickbacks from the alleged overpricing of the $329 million contract between the Philippine government and China's ZTE Corp. for the network project.
But rich people have connections: George Clooney's wife filed a case with the UN crying that poor Gloria was being treated badly.
This was because the gov't wouldn't let her get medical treatment abroad (i.e. letting her flee: the care is excellent here in Manila).
Hillary was also worried about her
This was not the only suspected corruption against her. But kickbacks and bribes under the table are hard to prove in court.
This is alas business as usual here, and yes there are laws and good people trying to stop the problem..
How do frauds and kickbacks and "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" work?
This is a political site, but explains how the Clinton foundation made rich people rich.
Polifact says that most of the money given to the foundation went to charity, but a closer look would find the problem: Kickbacks and delivering sub standard goods.
Tip of iceburg of course.
My beef is not that they stole the money: It is that they didn't deliver what they promised. The houses were substandard and other projects were useless.
There is a special place in hell for those who take money from poor people, either directly or by fraud and corruption and kickbacks.
This is often overlooked in the west, where at least you overpay or bribe but get decent goods and products in return for your money.
But apparently scamming money supposed to be used for Haiti's earthquake victims is okay: Look! Plagerism!
As if anyone cared. But one has to admire that someone noticed it so fast. Reminds me of when a local politician opposed the birth control bill and quoted an obscure speech by Bobby Kennedy: The facebook/tweeter trolls destroyed him.
Reminds me of the punctuation police: They are ever on alert to find a misplaced semicolon.
What is that phrase? Plank/mote?
oh yes: And the next victim will be Drudge. How dare he oppose the will of the Republican establishment!
as Lolo often said: They're all crooks...