militarys enhanced presence in the region. China has set off several land claim disputes with neighbors in the East and South China Seas that threaten to draw in the United States because of its treaty obligations to Japan and South Korea. Washington has had a fine line to tread in some of the disputes. Japans nationalization of the Senkaku Islands provoked protests across China, and trade declined between the two mercantile nations. Last month Japanese officials said they had not ruled out stationing officials on the rocky islands. China warned in response that Japan must be prepared to bear the consequences of this provocation. Last years election of nationalist Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe deepened the dispute. Since then, Abes government has increased defense spending for the first time in a decade and is contemplating changing the Japanese constitution to loosen restrictions on its military. The United States considers the Senkaku islands under Japanese administration and subject to the American treaty obligations to defend Japan, but does not take a position on the eventual ownership of the islands. Japan would like a firmer statement of U.S. support, but a joint U.S.-Japanese statement issued Thursday does not address the issue. Hagel mentioned it during a press conference, but repeated standard U.S. policy to oppose any unilateral or coercive action that seeks to undermine Japans administrative control. Japan also announced that it would pay up to $3.1 billion to help relocate 9,000 U.S. Marines from bases on the southern island of Okinawa, where many Japanese are opposed to their presence. Under an agreement reached last year, most of the Marines will transfer to Guam over the next decade while others will move to Hawaii.
United States roster falling to pieces ahead of remaining 2014 World Cup qualifiers
Credit: Reuters/Larry Downing By Diane Bartz WASHINGTON | Tue Oct 1, 2013 5:15pm EDT WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Department of Justice, fighting a proposed merger of US Airways Group Inc (LCC.N) and American Airlines parent AMR Corp (AAMRQ.PK), lost a bid to delay the case on Tuesday, and share prices for both companies jumped on perceptions that prospects for the deal had brightened. In Dallas, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said his state was dropping out of a U.S. Justice Department lawsuit seeking to block the merger, a move some experts called a crack in the united front of those opposing the creation of the world’s largest airline. US Airways shares closed up 3.9 percent at $19.69 on Tuesday, while AMR closed up 8.3 percent at $4.45. Texas was online blackjack one of several states that joined the Justice Department lawsuit, filed in August, that has sought to stop a deal it said would lead to higher airfares and less competition. The other states are Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia. The District of Columbia also opposes the deal. One airline expert called the Texas decision good news for the deal’s prospects of completion. “This is a positive development for American and US Airways,” said George Hamlin, an airline consultant in Fairfax, Virginia. “The suit was presented as a united front between the federal government and a number of states. The front is no longer united.” In Washington, developments in the long-running merger case met head-on with the day’s biggest news – the shutdown of the U.S. government in a partisan dispute over healthcare reform.
Even if Dempseys condition improves, Seattle is likely to lobby for keeping him, for playoff positioning and Supporters Shield pursuits next week. Considering Dempsey is Major League Soccers top wage earner, it seems like a reasonable request. (MORE: U.S. Soccer and Jones refute reports of injury) Jermaine Jones status may be up in the air; reports out of Germany say surgery will have Jones on the shelf for a few weeks. But Jones and U.S. Soccer are refuting those reports, so stay tuned on this one. Either way, if Jones has a knee issue, its fair to wonder if Schalke will be excited about extra travel and matches that are, officially speaking, meaningless. U.S. center back Clarence Goodson was a scratch from Sundays match at Chivas USA after suffering a bone bruise on the knee in the Earthquakes previous contest. Goodson, recall, was the starter alongside Omar Gonzalez as the United States clinched its spot earlier this month with the win over Mexico. Goodson may have slipped lately on the depth chart (blame young up-and-comer Anthony Brooks for that), but his steady night against El Tri reminded everyone that a tested, reliable veteran is great to have around. Word came Monday that Fabian Johnson has an ankle injury and may not be available for Hoffenheims match Saturday at Mainz 05. If Johnson does not play there, expect some reluctance from Hoffenheim to release their left-sided defender-midfielder for international duty. Landon Donovan (pictured below) was back on the field for the Galaxy on Sunday in Seattle, so he is likely to be on Klinsmanns list when the team gathers next week in Kansas City. But whether the Galaxy man will be at full-fitness (and therefor full effectiveness) is another matter.