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‘Slow-moving crisis’ as Beijing bolsters South China Sea war platform

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US thinktank reveals satellite images showing new munitions depots, radar systems and fighter jet deployments to disputed region in 2017

China has created military facilities about four times the size of Buckingham palace on contested islands in the South China Sea, a new report has said, calling the build-up a “slow-moving crisis” in one of the world’s most dangerous flashpoints.

China built about 29 hectares (290,000 square metres) of new facilities on contested islands in 2017, including munitions depots, sensor arrays, radar systems and missile shelters, according to an analysis by US thinktank the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

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Source: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/dec/15/militarisation-beijing-south-china-sea-islands

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In phone call, Trump thanks Putin for praise, looks for help on North Korea

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Monster Sharks: Four Fierce Giants That Rival Greenland’s Ancient Beast

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Man Burned Down City’s $40,000 Christmas Tree, Police Say

(MESA, Ariz. ) — Police in the city of Mesa near Phoenix say a man has been arrested on suspicion of arson and criminal damage for allegedly burning the city’s $40,000 Christmas tree.

The nearly four-story tall tree is the focal point of Mesa’s annual Christmas celebration.

It was destroyed by a fire early Wednesday that police say was intentionally set.

Police say 34-year-old Samuel Antone Johnson was found nearby and allegedly admitted to setting the “Merry Main Christmas Tree” on fire with a book of matches. Police say the man did not disclose a motive.

Johnson has been booked into jail on two felonies. It’s unclear if he has a lawyer yet.

City officials say they’re trying to quickly find a replacement tree to erect for the rest of the holiday season.

Source: http://time.com/5065225/mesa-christmas-tree-burned-arrest/