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Australia & Pacific

France's President Emmanuel Macron shakes hands with crew members before boarding his Presidential plane to travel to the Pacific archipelago of New Caledonia in an attempt to resolve a political crisis, at the Orly airport, a suburb of Paris on May 21, 2024.


French President Emmanuel Macron is making a surprise trip to New Caledonia, the French Pacific territory gripped by deadly unrest among young people from the Indigenous Kanak community. The violence has renewed discussions about France’s colonial past, which have largely focused on Africa until now.

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Members of the Indian Navy on board the vessel INS Kadmatt (F29) (L) and INS Satpura (F48) arrive for a four-day goodwill visit which aims to strengthen ties between India and the Philippines, at the Pier 15 in Port Are, metro Manila, Philippines October 3, 2017.

REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

When Indian warships steamed into Manila Harbor on Monday, they sent a message to Beijing. With its land borders cut off by archrival Pakistan, wartorn Myanmar, and an increasingly hostile Beijing, New Delhi is committed to becoming a world-class naval power. The port call in the Philippines followed similar stops in Singapore, Vietnam, and Malaysia as India attempts to build stronger bonds with Southeast Asian partners, many of whom share anxieties about China’s territorial ambitions.

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Violent riots have been taking place in Noumea since yesterday evening. Numerous shops and a number of houses have been set alight, looted or destroyed by young independantists, who reject the reform of the electoral freeze. In photo: view of Noumea, where many buildings are under fire. New Caledonia, Noumea, May 14, 2024.

Delphine Mayeur / Hans Lucas via Reuters Connect

France declared a 12-day state of emergency and banned TikTok in its South Pacific territory of New Caledonia on Thursday after at least four people were killed and hundreds more injured in riots that broke out Monday. Members of the indigenous Kanak people are reacting to a new law passed over 10,000 miles away in Paris that would give some French citizens from the metropole local voting rights and potentially dilute Kanak sovereignty.

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Enrique A. Manalo

The Philippines wants closer military and commercial ties with Canada as a means of balancing its position in the world – particularly between the United States and China. The country’s foreign minister, Enrique Manalo, hit up Washington, Ottawa, Toronto, and Vancouver in April and May as the Philippines seeks to move beyond the “great power” rivalry that marked the Cold War era.
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Displaced Palestinian woman Mai Anseir stands with children at a school where they shelter as they prepare to flee Rafah after Israeli forces launched a ground and air operation in the eastern part of the southern Gaza City, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip May 13, 2024.

REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

500,000: Over half a million people have been displaced in Gaza by recent Israeli military operations in Rafah and the northern part of the enclave, according to the UN. As the Israel-Hamas war rages on, over a million people in Gaza are on the verge of starvation, and a “full-blown famine” is occurring in the north.

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FILE PHOTO: Chinese Coast Guard vessels fire water cannons towards a Philippine resupply vessel Unaizah on May 4 as it made its way to the Second Thomas Shoal in the South China Sea, March 5, 2024.

REUTERS/Adrian Portugal//File Photo

A flotilla of Philippine fishing vessels was put to sea Wednesday to assert sovereignty over the disputed Scarborough Shoal — where China has dozens of ships waiting for them. Chinese vessels have injured sailors with water cannons over disputed shoals in the South China Sea before, so Manila has dispatched Coast Guard vessels and an aircraft to monitor the situation.

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Members of Philippine Marines is pictured at BRP Sierra Madre, a dilapidated Philippine Navy ship that has been aground since 1999 and became a Philippine military detachment on the disputed Second Thomas Shoal, part of the Spratly Islands, in the South China Sea March 29, 2014. Picture taken March 29, 2014.

REUTERS/Erik De Castro

20: Manila filed a diplomatic protest on Thursday — its 20th in 2024 — against Chinese harassment of its vessels in the South China Sea. That’s a rate of more than one a week, as Beijing seems little deterred by US and Japanese efforts to bolster the Philippines’ military capacities.

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