Pompeo on ICC: U.S. won’t be threatened by ‘kangaroo court’

UNTV News   •   June 12, 2020   •   407

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday (June 11) that Washington would not allow Americans to be threatened by “a kangaroo court,” after President Donald Trump authorized sanctions against an International Criminal Court investigation into whether U.S. forces committed war crimes in Afghanistan.

Pompeo told a news conference sanctions could extend to family members of ICC officials to prevent them from visiting the United States.

“We cannot, we will not stand by as our people are threatened by a kangaroo court,” Pompeo said. (Reuters)

(Production: Vanessa Johnston)

US temporarily bans dog imports from PH, 112 other countries due to rabies risk

Robie de Guzman   •   June 23, 2021

The United States government has temporarily suspended the importation of dogs from the Philippines and other countries classified as high risk for dog rabies, its embassy said.

On Twitter, the US embassy in the Philippines said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a notice of suspension on the importation of dogs from 113 countries starting July 14, 2021.

“NOTICE: @CDCgov has suspended the importation of dogs to the U.S. from countries, including the Philippines, classified by the CDC as high risk for dog rabies,” the embassy said.

@CDCgov also suspended the importation of dogs from countries that are not at high risk if the dogs have been in high-risk countries during the previous 6 months,” it added.

The US CDC said the notice of temporary suspension, which was issued last June 14, is necessary to “ensure the health and safety of dogs imported into the United States and to protect the public’s health against the reintroduction of canine rabies virus variant (dog rabies) into the United States.”

The agency said in 2020, it identified a significant increase compared with the previous 2 years in the number of imported dogs that were denied entry into the United States from high-risk countries. Due to reduced flight schedules, dogs denied entry are facing longer wait times to be returned to their country of departure, leading to illness and even death in some cases.

The CDC estimates 6 percent of all dogs imported into the Unites States arrive from countries at high risk for dog rabies.

“Inadequately vaccinated dogs are not protected against rabies and are a public health threat. Rabies is fatal in both humans and animals, and the importation of even one rabid dog could result in transmission to humans, pets, and wildlife. Dog rabies has been eliminated from the United States since 2007,” it added.

The agency said it has the authority to issue advance written approval or a dog import permit to bring a dog from a high-risk country.

The permits, however, will not be issued upon arrival and that dogs that arrive from high-risk countries without a CDC Dog Import Permit will be denied entry and returned to the country of departure at the importer’s expense, the CDC said.

“If you wish to import a dog from a high-risk country, you need to request advance written approval from CDC by emailing CDCanimalimports@cdc.gov at least 30 business days (6 weeks) before you intend to bring the dog into the United States,” the agency said.

All dogs from high-risk countries granted permits must enter the United States at a port of entry with a live animal care facility with a US Customs and Border Protection (CBP)-issued Facilities Information and Resource Management System (FIRMS) code.

Before entering or re-entering the United States with a dog, the CDC said importers should continue to check other federal regulations as well as rabies vaccination requirements of state and local governments at their final destination.

PH military receives P183-M worth of new weapons, equipment from US

Robie de Guzman   •   June 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has received weapons and equipment amounting to $3.8 million, equivalent to P183 million from the US government.

In a statement, the US Embassy in the Philippines said on Tuesday that officials from the Joint United States Military Assistance Group-Philippines (JUSMAG-P) delivered the weapons and equipment to the AFP at the Clark Air Base.

The delivery, funded by both Philippine national funds and U.S. grant assistance, included nine M3P .50 caliber heavy machine guns, 10 mortar tubes, and other equipment.

This is intended to enhance the AFP’s counterterrorism and maritime security capabilities, the embassy said.

“The United States will continue to support the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ capacity-building efforts through joint training and key military equipment transfers,” JUSMAG-Philippines Chief and Senior Defense Official to the Philippines Col. Stephen Ma said in a statement.

“Our mutual security collaboration remains a cornerstone of a free and open Indo-Pacific,” he added.

The United States and the Philippines are commemorating the 70th year since the signing of the Mutual Defense Treaty, and this delivery continues the United States’ longstanding commitment to our Filipino allies, the embassy said.

Since 2015, the United States has provided more than Php48.6 billion ($1 billion) in security assistance to the Philippines, it added.

PH to get up to 1 million donated COVID-19 vaccine doses from US in July — envoy

Robie de Guzman   •   June 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Around 800,000 to 1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be delivered to the Philippines from the United States (US) next month, Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez said Tuesday.

The vaccine doses are part of the 80 million excess jabs, which the US has pledged to donate to several countries.

“Doon sa 80 million na yun, we are going to get close to 800 to one million na doses, either Astrazeneca or Moderna from their stockpile,” Romualdez said in a Palace press briefing.

The envoy said this is apart from the 500 million vaccine doses that the US government will also donate to low-income countries, including the Philippines.

“We were getting quite a substantial amount of doses of vaccines coming from the United States aside from what we have already negotiated,” Romualdez said.

The said jab supply is on top of the 20 million doses that were secured by the Philippines from the US firm Moderna and some 40 million doses from Pfizer.

Romualdez said a small portion of Moderna shots will be delivered as the first batch on June 27.

Pfizer doses, on the other hand, are expected to arrive starting in August or September this year.

“We’re in good shape as far as our vaccines are concerned,” Romualdez said.

The Philippines has so far received more than 14 million COVID-19 vaccine doses and has administered over 8.5 million since its vaccination drive started in March. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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