Cambodia election: ‘Democracy is at stake’ as country prepares to go to the polls

Hun Sen’s Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) is expected to win a one-sided race, despite 19 political parties standing in opposition, but none are strongly critical of the Prime Minister or the Government.

The events of this years election campaign are in stark contrast to what happened 12 months ago during the local elections, when opposition rallies drew crowds from across the country.

Now, other than campaign posters plastered across the capital of Phenom Penh and the occasional car shouting ruling party propaganda through a bullhorn, there is little sign that a general election is taking place.

The main challenge to Hun Sen, who has been in power for 33 years and is the world’s longest-serving Prime Minister, should be the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), which narrowly lost the last general election in 2013.

But following last year’s local elections, Hun Sen launched a crackdown on dissidents, the media and rights organisations that he accused of trying to overthrow the Government.

By the end of 2017, the CNRP had been dissolved by the Supreme Court, with many of its lawmakers banned from politics for five years.

Due to the lack of real opposition, Sunday’s elections have already been declared a “sham” by Cambodia’s main opposition politicians, while campaigning group Human Rights Watch has labelled the elections “fundamentally flawed” and has warned that banning the main opposition makes the vote makes it “meaningless”.

CNRP vice president Mu Sochua told US-based National Public Radio (NPR): “Democracy for Cambodia is at stake,” and also told Reuters: “Any country supporting, or that is hesitant to denounce the election as a sham, should not call itself on the side of democracy.”

She has been living in exile in Portugal since she and several other opposition leaders fled the country last October, after their party’s co-founder, Kem Sokha, was arrested for alleged treason a month earlier, leaving Hun Sen with no significant opponent.

Voting in the election isn’t mandatory, but authorities have warned that anyone who boycott it will be seen as a “traitor”.

Despite the controversy and lack of interest surround it, Dim Sovannarom, a spokesman for the National Election Committee, told reporters he still expects more than 60 percent of registered voters in Cambodia to cast their ballot.

This would compare to 70 percent from the election in 2013.

Cambodian National Election Committee (NEC) officials carry ballot boxes

Astrid Norén-Nilsson, associate senior lecturer at the Centre for East and south-East Asian studies at Lund University believes that Cambodia is going through a political transformation.

She thinks the main point of Sunday’s election is for Hun Sen to introduce fewer democratic freedoms, something that is unpalatable to many Cambodians.

The politics expert told NPR: "I think ordinary Cambodians, almost without exception, want Cambodia to be a democracy, even though there may not be even a minimal agreement in society about what democracy means.”

See today's front and back pages, download the newspaper, order back issues and use the historic Daily Express newspaper archive.

 

July 28, 2018

Sources: Daily Express

Related news

  • Maryland football players discuss team's culture, defend coach DJ Durkin

    Maryland football players discuss team's culture, defend coach DJ Durkin

    ation WUSA9 about the culture of the Maryland football program — a topic that is also the core of one of two investigations the University System of Maryland is now leading. </p><p>Defensive lineman Oseh Saine confirmed certain aspects of an ESPN report that alleged a culture of intimidation and humiliation created by head coach DJ Durkin and members of his coaching staff.  </p><p>"Yeah, I mean, that happens," Saine said when asked by WUSA about coaches verbally belittling players, though it should be noted Saine may have been implying it happens throughout football. </p><p>More definitively, Saine confirmed a detail from the ESPN report, saying he saw a player who was forced to eat candy bars while watching his teammates work out as a humiliating form of punishment. </p><p>"I believe in their minds it was their way of motivating him to work towards the right direction. Maybe they were a little excessive in that area." </p><p>Punter Wade Lees, the other player interviewed by WUSA, was adamant that Maryland does not have a culture problem, and said views expressed supporting that claim are in the minority. </p><p>"I think it could be disgruntled, they could have reasons to not be happy with the program whether it's — I got no idea — it could be playing time, it could be because they've had beef with coaches," Lees said. </p><p>"Just because there's two or three current players and there's past players, there's probably seven total out of 150 pretty much speaking for the whole consensus of the program, which is absolutely fabricated and false."</p><p>Saine also was asked about the intensity of workouts, specifically if anyone had passed out during or after workouts. </p><p>"We've had some tough workouts over the years, I've seen some guys go down," Saine said. </p><p>It was clarified that these were different incidents from the Jordan McNair situation. McNair died in June after suffering heatstroke during a May workout where he did not immediately receive the proper medical treatment. The university accepted "legal and moral responsibility" earlier this week.</p><p>Both players remained supportive of their coach, who is on leave. </p><p>"I like the guy, I think he's a great coach, but I understand there's a process to be taken," Saine said.  </p><p>"I just hope his name and reputation doesn't get tarnished out of all this because he doesn't deserve any of the things people are saying about him."</p><p>"These accusations are false, so I really hope that Coach Durkin does come back and coach us because he deserves too," Lees said.  </p><p>"He's laid the foundation, he's done all the hard work to get us to where we are, and we're so close to succeeding."</p>

    1 August 18, 2018
  • Man steals cop car and school bus, gets jumped by students: cops

    Man steals cop car and school bus, gets jumped by students: cops

    sion.</p><p>SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A man who allegedly stole a California Highway Patrol car, drove it onto a college campus and used it to commandeer a school bus was arrested Friday after students on the bus jumped him, authorities and witnesses said.</p><p>The 35-year-old Vallejo man was taken into custody by Sacramento police.</p><p>A CHP officer was investigating a two-car crash on Highway 50 at about 12:30 p.m. when one driver jumped into the patrol car and drove off, the agency reported.</p><p>The thief drove the cruiser to California State University, Sacramento, where he used it to pull over a bus containing 10 student government participants from San Joaquin Delta College.</p><p>The bus driver, Mary Speck, thought the man was an officer.</p><p>&#8220;He got a little aggressive and he demanded that I get out of the bus now, so he jumped in and took off with my bus,&#8221; Speck told KTXL-TV.</p><p>The man drove the bus off campus and onto Avenue J, where authorities managed to pull him over.</p><p>&#8220;When he stopped one of the guys grabbed him and choked him. When he choked him, I just started hitting him, took the keys, turned it off and threw the car in park,&#8221; San Joaquin Delta College student Marsha Fernando told the station.</p><p>The students fled while bystanders held the bus doors closed so the suspect couldn&#8217;t escape.</p><p>The bus passengers were passing through Sacramento State on their way to a student-government retreat at Lake Tahoe, Delta College officials told KCRA-TV.</p><p>&#8220;We are relieved that there were no injuries, and we are thankful for the brave actions of our students in reportedly subduing the driver,&#8221; said a college email to the station. &#8220;We are also thankful for the prompt response of law enforcement.&#8221;</p><p> News Corp. is a network of leading companies in the world of diversified media, news, and information services. </p>

    1 August 18, 2018
  • Ex-prosecutor who helped drug dealers for sex gets probation

    Ex-prosecutor who helped drug dealers for sex gets probation

    sion.</p><p>Bill Higgins repeatedly apologized for his actions during sentencing in the Bedford County Courthouse where he used to work.</p><p>He pleaded guilty in May in a deal with prosecutors that guaranteed him no jail time and no additional felony counts. He was officially disbarred earlier this month.</p><p>Higgins also pleaded guilty to disclosing the identity of confidential informants at least nine times.</p><p>President Judge Thomas Ling ordered him to perform over 1,100 hours of community service and pay fines of nearly $10,000, despite Higgins&#8217; lawyer telling the court he was &#8220;asking for justice tempered with mercy.&#8221;</p><p>Ling let members of the public make statements before the sentencing, saying the public itself was a victim in this case.</p><p>Roughly half of people argued that Higgins should get a tougher sentence, while others — including his mother and uncle — talked about the good he&#8217;s done for the community, and how he has a wife and daughters, WJAC reported.</p><p>Attorney General Josh Shapiro charged Higgins in April, calling his behavior a betrayal of the community.</p><p>Charging documents said one woman performed oral sex on Higgins about a month after he told a state trooper not to charge her with drug delivery. The police affidavit said another woman claimed that after she performed oral sex on Higgins, he told her that her cousin could thank her for not getting arrested.</p><p>Shapiro said the state police probe into Higgins began in 2015 as a drug investigation and involved an investigative grand jury.</p><p>Prosecutors and the judge on Friday explained to the court their reasoning for accepting a plea deal. Ling said it would have taken action by the state Senate and governor to force Higgins to resign without the deal. He also said it would have paralyzed the county&#8217;s criminal justice system to have a sitting district attorney fighting criminal charges for years while receiving a state salary.</p><p>&#8220;(Higgins) did more to damage this county&#8217;s law enforcement community than any other person in the county&#8217;s history,&#8221; Ling said.</p><p> News Corp. is a network of leading companies in the world of diversified media, news, and information services. </p>

    1 August 18, 2018
  • Gunman gets life in prison for deadly Florida airport shooting

    Gunman gets life in prison for deadly Florida airport shooting

    sion.</p><p>U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom accepted a plea deal in which Esteban Santiago, 28, agreed to admit to the shooting if prosecutors would not seek the death penalty. Santiago pleaded guilty in May to 11 charges of causing death and violence at an international airport.</p><p>Santiago, of Anchorage, Alaska, admitted he opened fire with a handgun in a baggage area at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport after traveling there on a one-way ticket. He retrieved a box containing a Walther 9mm handgun from checked luggage, loaded it in a restroom and came out firing 15 shots.</p><p>Judge Bloom called the rampage &#8220;85 seconds of evil&#8221; and said she found it difficult to &#8220;separate the evil of the acts from the evil in the man.&#8221;</p><p>&#8220;You destroyed families in this senseless attack,&#8221; the judge said.</p><p>An Iraq war veteran, Santiago was diagnosed after the shooting as schizophrenic but was found competent to understand legal proceedings. Doctors say he has improved with anti-psychotic medication.</p><p>Several family members of victims — many of whom were on their way to cruise ship vacations — spoke in court Friday, describing their deep sense of loss for those who died and some discussing the health struggles of shooting survivors. Among those was Melissa Beauchamp, whose mother Mary Louise Amzibel was killed in the attack and father, Edward Amzibel, was seriously wounded.</p><p>&#8220;You don&#8217;t get a chance to say one last &#8216;I love you, mom,'&#8221; Beauchamp said. &#8220;I can no longer hug her and feel her hug me back.&#8221;</p><p>Prosecutor Rick Del Toro said the family members supported the decision not to seek the death penalty for Santiago, in part to avoid what would be a lengthy, emotionally wrenching court case. Many preferred that Santiago sit in prison for decades rather than face execution, he added.</p><p>&#8220;Potential attackers need to know they will never again go free if they conduct an attack such as this,&#8221; Del Toro said.</p><p>Technically, Santiago was sentenced to five consecutive life prison sentences for the five deaths and an additional 120 years for the six people he wounded.</p><p>Prior to the shooting, Santiago was briefly treated at an Anchorage mental institution after showing up at the local FBI office claiming to be hearing voices, then was released with no restrictions on owning a gun, authorities have said. Santiago later claimed in court he was getting &#8220;messages&#8221; in his head prior to the shooting.</p><p>Santiago, a native of New Jersey, has family in Puerto Rico and a young son in Alaska, court records show. He did not speak in court Friday and no family members spoke on his behalf.</p><p>Del Toro said Santiago&#8217;s mental illness may have worsened because he had been regularly taking hallucinogenic drugs, including LSD and mushrooms. But he added that Santiago meticulously planned the attack.</p><p>&#8220;This isn&#8217;t a situation where a person with mental illness just snaps,&#8221; the prosecutor said.</p><p> News Corp. is a network of leading companies in the world of diversified media, news, and information services. </p>

    1 August 18, 2018
  • Two shot during high school football game after fight between students

    Two shot during high school football game after fight between students

    sion.</p><p>WELLINGTON, Fla. — A high school football stadium was evacuated after gunshots rang out during a practice football game in South Florida on Friday night in what authorities say stemmed from an altercation between students.</p><p>Palm Beach County Sheriff&#8217;s officials said two people were injured in the gunfire during the game at Palm Beach Central High School. The victims were not identified and their conditions were not immediately known.</p><p>Spokeswoman Teri Barbera said a group of students got into a fight during the game. One of the victims was found on school property and the second victim was taken to the hospital by a friend.</p><p>Authorities did not release any information about a possible suspect.</p><p>Lynn Monnette told the newspaper that she was watching her son play when she heard four shots fired during the fourth quarter. She said the shots were coming from the far end of the bleachers underneath where the band sits. She said chaos broke out and shoes and other personal belongings went flying as people fled the area.</p><p>The worried mom said authorities arrived on scene almost immediately.</p><p>It was not immediately clear whether the shots were fired in or near the stadium.</p><p>Authorities said they don&#8217;t have a motive or suspects but said the violent crimes division would take over the investigation.</p><p>The game was between Palm Beach Central and William T. Dwyer high schools.</p><p> News Corp. is a network of leading companies in the world of diversified media, news, and information services. </p>

    1 August 18, 2018
  • Ex-teacher arrested for sex with student admits there were others: cops

    Ex-teacher arrested for sex with student admits there were others: cops

    sion.</p><p>AZTEC, N.M. — Authorities in New Mexico say a former high school teacher accused of having sex with a student admitted to doing so with several other girls while a teacher in Aztec.</p><p>Police say 31-year-old James Dee Coulter had sex with a student when she was 17-years-old and that he told police following his arrest on Friday that there were more.</p><p>Police say their investigation began in June after the state&#8217;s Public Education Department contacted them about allegations against Coulter.</p><p>PED turned over evidence and statement indicating the former math and philosophy teacher had an illicit sexual relationship with at least one girl.</p><p>Coulter told police on Friday that he had several more sexual relationships with other girls Aztec High School, where he previously taught.</p><p>He faces four counts of criminal sexual penetration of a minor.</p><p> News Corp. is a network of leading companies in the world of diversified media, news, and information services. </p>

    1 August 18, 2018
  • I’m Pablo Escobar’s first son who was kept hidden from the world

    I’m Pablo Escobar’s first son who was kept hidden from the world

    uo; in Madrid in 1989, he had no idea just how much his world was about to be turned upside down.</p><p>Phillip, then 24, had always known the couple he called mum and dad had adopted him as a baby in Colombia, but the identity of his biological father had always remained a secret.</p><p>Phillip&rsquo;s father Patrick calmly informed him that he was in fact the eldest son of the world&rsquo;s most notorious drug lord, Pablo Escobar.</p><p> To be honest I hadn&rsquo;t really heard of him &ndash; we didn&rsquo;t have the internet in those days, the only things I knew was whatever was in my local paper, or what I saw on TV. We weren&rsquo;t international citizens of the world, we simply didn&rsquo;t have access t </p><p> See today's front and back pages, download the newspaper, order back issues and use the historic Daily Express newspaper archive. </p>

    1 August 18, 2018
  • Cops Taser grannie, 87, cutting leaves...because she had a knife

    Cops Taser grannie, 87, cutting leaves...because she had a knife

    down, she was held at gunpoint before collapsing to the floor when one officer fired his Taser at her chest.</p><p>She was then dragged to her feet, handcuffed and charged with criminal trespass and obstructing an officer last Friday.</p><p>Relatives of the pensioner, who comes from Syria, said she had been cutting leaves to eat in a salad.</p><p>Police chief Josh Etheridge insisted she had posed a threat and he had no choice but to deploy the weapon in Georgia.</p><p> In my opinion, it was the lowest use of force we could have used to simply stop that threat at the time. </p><p>United Sates In a video statement, he said: &ldquo;An 87-year-old woman with a knife still has the ability to hurt an officer. She came walking towards the officer.</p><p>&ldquo;After multiple commands, he told her to stop several times. She continued walking at which time we deployed the Taser.&rdquo;</p><p>Mr Etheridge claimed he pulled out his pocket knife and threw it on the ground to demonstrate.</p><p>He said: &ldquo;I threw my knife down on the ground, trying to make her understand what we wanted her to do. There was no anger, there was no malice in this.</p><p>&ldquo;In my opinion, it was the lowest use of force we could have used to simply stop that threat at the time.&rdquo;</p><p>Mr Etheridge responded with the other officers after a member of the public called 911 to report that a woman was walking around with a knife and a bag cutting down vegetation.</p><p>But Ms Al-Bishara&rsquo;s angry family said the officers should have shown more patience.</p><p>Her great-nephew Solomon Douhne said: &ldquo;If three police officers couldn&rsquo;t handle an 87-year-old woman, you might want to consider hanging up your badge.&rdquo;</p><p>Her grandson, 24-year-old medical student Timothy Douhne, called the incident &ldquo;ridiculous&rdquo;.</p><p>He said: &ldquo;She told us she was smiling at them to tell them that she wasn&rsquo;t a threat and she was trying to get closer to them to communicate with them and that&rsquo;s when they Tasered her.&rdquo;</p><p>Martha Douhne, a great-granddaughter, said she is still suffering after the distressing drama.</p><p>Martha said: &ldquo;She is still repeating the incident over in her mind and telling us she didn&rsquo;t mean for this to happen and apologising that she didn&rsquo;t want to bring this on us. She is having trouble sleeping and is stressed.&rdquo; Police chief Etheridge said: &ldquo;I felt like everything was handled by the protocol.&rdquo;</p><p>He added: &ldquo;Of course, we will still be reviewing this to see if there is anything we could have done differently, anything we could have done better.&rdquo;</p><p> See today's front and back pages, download the newspaper, order back issues and use the historic Daily Express newspaper archive. </p>

    1 August 18, 2018
  • 
	BEL MOONEY: How can I cope with a girlfriend who keeps wallowing in self-pity?

    BEL MOONEY: How can I cope with a girlfriend who keeps wallowing in self-pity?

    )</p><p>This week, Bel Mooney advises a reader who is having relationship difficulties because his partner is stuck in a job she hates</p><p>You are in a tremendously difficult domestic and economic situation which would put a strain on any relationship.</p><p>It must be especially hard when (a) one of you is not from this country so has to cope with different ways, (b) the other is trying to finish a demanding piece of academic work which requires peace and concentration, and (c) in truth you do not really know each other very well and have different temperaments.</p><p>I have nothing but sympathy for your girlfriend’s employment frustration — a situation thousands of people find themselves in every single day.</p><p>There is nothing to be done (as you imply) but to keep trying — and I agree that perhaps she needs to think hard about how she presents in interviews. But it sounds as if she is bad at listening to suggestions.</p><p>Your end-of-August deadline will be here quite soon, meaning you have to do some very serious thinking.</p><p>Let’s focus on you for a moment. You seem willing to take responsibility for this whole situation which feels unfair.</p><p>Yes, it would be better all round if you were able to control your temper.</p><p>For a start, have a look at wikihow.com/Control-Your-Temper — and use the pictures for guidance.</p><p>I suspect you rise to your girlfriend’s negativity because you feel trapped by her — imprisoned in that one room with somebody you don’t, in truth, really understand. You say you think the situation could be ‘worked out’ if you were ‘a better person’ but is it helpful to blame yourself?</p><p>Do you feel guilty because she came to this country for your sake? You insist you ‘feel affection’ for your unhappy, difficult girlfriend — but it seems to me you need to ask yourself (and her) whether this is enough to build a future.</p><p>It’s noble that you are willing to move to your girlfriend’s country. But before you do so — and perhaps make a mistake in creating a child before you are ready — you must ask yourself if this is how you see the next stage in your life. Sometimes the wisest course of action is the one that seems the saddest. Sometimes, when the romance has died, (as it has between you two?) ending a relationship is the bravest thing.</p><p>While it’s easy to understand how you feel, I suggest it might make you happier if you take these feelings of hurt and give them a little shake.</p><p>It would be terrible if you allowed them to spiral unchecked, like the bindweed that chokes a flower. You and your husband shared so much even before you met. You each experienced the sorrow of watching a beloved spouse of 40 years die in pain. You were both devastated and sought help in a counselling group — where you met.</p><p>Looking at the timing of your marriage you didn’t rush into the new relationship — no doubt wary of that inevitable feeling of betraying the beloved dead.</p><p>So here you are now . . . with a second shot at happiness in a peaceful older age. How fortunate you are — how blessed, to be able to take care of each other at this time in life.</p><p>But do we cast off our pasts like a butterfly’s chrysalis? Slough off our memories like the skin the snake leaves behind in the undergrowth? Of course not. We carry the past with us, always.</p><p>I cherish the photograph of my ex-husband and me at our daughter’s graduation that stands tucked in the corner of one room, and I also have a picture of him with others in my Filofax pocket. Why wouldn’t I — after 35 years of marriage?</p><p>The point is, my second husband doesn’t mind in the least. He and I had a ‘new start’ — building on the past, no denying it.</p><p>When you told your second husband you didn’t like him gazing at his late wife’s image (and he hid the picture behind his driving licence), that act probably tore him up with sadness and guilt — as if he had suddenly denied all she was to him.</p><p>So when you gave him a picture of yourself, and he put them side by side, he was able to honour the past and the present. It must have given him a feeling of immense relief.</p><p>You mention his moods — not easy to deal with, especially if (perhaps) your first husband was easygoing. But why not listen to what he told you when he said his first wife ignored him then made him laugh?</p><p>Rein in your heavy-handed need to sit him down for a serious talk about ‘how much his mood is affecting our relationship’. It won’t help. You need to be lighter, to smile, to distract.</p><p>Tell me, how can there be ‘three of you in this marriage’ if one of that trio can no longer smell the air after rain, feel the sunlight or enjoy a cup of tea in front of the TV? Surely (and I say this with utmost gentleness) it is not sensible to feel jealous of a poor ghost?</p><p>I’m afraid I can’t see what harm it does you that he still wishes to treasure a picture of his first wife in his wallet, because by doing so, and keeping yours there too, this lucky man celebrates all that he has had — and has. That seems to be to be right and proper.</p><p>If I were you I would put a picture of both my husbands in my purse — and be thankful for all the love you have known.</p><p>Have you ever thought about surprise? Not presents or treats, but surprise in relationships. How marvellous it is when somebody you love does something unexpected, making you think of them in a new light.</p><p>For example, after lunch last Sunday, my father (96) suddenly said: ‘We watched a good programme last night all about an American lady, a poet who killed herself. Very sad . . .’</p><p>Now I had been utterly gripped by the BBC2 documentary about Sylvia Plath (called Inside The Bell Jar, it’s available on catch-up), because the poet was a life-changing influence when I was young.</p><p>And Plath’s daughter, Frieda Hughes, (an accomplished poet and painter in her own right) happens to be my friend, which made her appearances in the film all the more moving. I treasure my books, pictures and memorabilia of the late poet laureate Ted Hughes and his brilliant, doomed wife Sylvia.</p><p>Now my parents had no idea about any of that, and I would never, ever have expected them to watch the programme. Yet Mum chimed in with how interesting it had been — and when I then showed her my precious collection she was fascinated.</p><p>But why had I never done so before? Simply because I had put my parents in a ‘box’, while the poets were in my own literary ‘box’. It’s what we do when we take people for granted.</p><p>This was an important lesson for me. I felt proud that in their 90s my parents showed such lively curiosity to watch something unexpected. And I wondered whether, at a similar age, I would choose (say) a documentary on space exploration or science.</p><p>There is so much good television (Sky Arts, BBC4, The History Channel, National Geographic etc) to broaden the mind and expand the imagination. So let’s not watch the same old things, but emulate the nonagenarians, try something different and surprise ourselves.</p><p>To quote Sylvia Plath, this truly can make the heart ‘grow green again’.</p><p>Sorry we are not currently accepting comments on this article.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday &amp; Metro Media Group</p>

    1 August 18, 2018
  • 
	Royal Navy's new £3m aircraft carrier Big Lizzie prepares to set sail for the US

    Royal Navy's new £3m aircraft carrier Big Lizzie prepares to set sail for the US

    to set sail for the US where it will land fighter jets on its flight deck for the first time - and chiefs have pledged they will be wary of Russian threat. </p><p>The landmark moment will come eight years since a fast jet last flew from a British aircraft carrier.</p><p>Commodore Andrew Betton, commander of the UK Carrier Strike Group, said: 'We need to protect the ship from any threats that may be out there, it is the Atlantic, it is broadly home waters, but we do need to maintain our readiness clearly.' </p><p>HMS Queen Elizabeth, as final preparations are made prior to her setting sail for the US to undergo flight trials with the F35B for the first time. The landmark moment will come eight years since a fast jet last flew from a British aircraft carrier</p><p>HMS Queen Elizabeth at its home base of Portsmouth. The UK's largest ever warship towers over buildings on the seafront</p><p>During its trip to North America, the warship will embark two US F-35B test aircraft based at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, which are expected to carry out 500 landings and take-offs during the carrier's 11 weeks at sea.</p><p>Captain Jerry Kyd, the carrier's commanding officer, said: 'This deployment to the United States will be another first for my ship.</p><p>'Crossing a major ocean with 1,500 sailors, aircrew and marines embarked and the spectre of the first F-35B Lightning landing on the deck in September is very exciting for us all.</p><p>A worker paints the body of the HMS Queen Elizabeth as final preparations ready her for her trip to North America where the warship will embark two US F-35B test aircraft based at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland</p><p>HMS Queen Elizabeth being readied last week in Portsmouth Naval Base. She is expected to leave the base at 6pm Saturday</p><p>Contractors make their way past HMS Queen Elizabeth docked in its base in Portsmouth on Monday August 13</p><p>'It has been an incredible journey since we left Rosyth just over a year ago and we are all looking forward to this next seminal chapter in HMS Queen Elizabeth's life.'</p><p>He added: 'People are looking forward to seeing the jets because we have been talking about them for flipping years. There's a lot of excitement on board.'</p><p>On the Russian threat, Captain Kyd said: 'The increase in Russian activity we have seen in the last couple of years is frightening and for national security reasons it just underlines why we need to maintain a balanced strong and capable fleet.</p><p>'It's been quite eye-watering what we have seen in recent years.'</p><p>Defence secretary Gavin Williamson was quick to praise the seminal moment in British naval history, outlining his excitement for the ship's transit. </p><p>Able Seaman Ryan Whatmore, polishes the name board of HMS Queen Elizabeth, as final preparations are made prior to her setting sail for the US to undergo flight trials with the F35B for the first time</p><p>Ryan Whatmore, polishes the name board of HMS Queen Elizabeth. Commodore Andrew Betton, commander of the UK Carrier Strike Group said represent 'an iconic moment for the modern Royal Navy'</p><p>Commanding officer of HMS Queen Elizabeth, Captain Jerry Kyd, on board the 65,000 tonne ship in Portsmouth </p><p>He said: 'HMS Queen Elizabeth is a true statement of our national power and the whole country can be proud to see this magnificent symbol of our engineering prowess and international ambition leaving port to sail on to the world stage.</p><p>'Her voyage to America not only shows her global reach but strengthens our special relationship with the US forces who we have worked hand-in-hand with on this iconic programme.</p><p>'As she sails along the east coast of the USA, she will signal our determination to keep fighting alongside our allies in all corners of an ever more complex and uncertain world.'</p><p>The honour of landing the first of the training jets on to the carrier will go to one of three British pilots taking part in the US deployment.</p><p>They are a Royal Navy commander, a RAF squadron leader and a civilian test pilot accompanied by a major from the US Marine Corps.</p><p>Commodore Andrew Betton, commander of the UK Carrier Strike Group, said: 'These first F-35B embarked trials in a UK aircraft carrier are not only key to future operational success but represent an iconic moment for the modern Royal Navy.'</p><p>A Royal Navy rating jet washes the deck of HMS Queen Elizabeth in its base in Portsmouth. She is setting sail to the US to carry out flight trials with the supersonic F-35B Lightning II</p><p>Ryan Whatmore polishes the name board of the 65,000-tonne carrier at Portsmouth Naval Base where it's due to depart from on Saturday at around 6pm in an 'iconic moment for the modern Royal Navy' </p><p>A view of the flight deck of HMS Queen Elizabeth, Portsmouth. She will carry jets that measure 51.2ft (15.6m) in overall length</p><p>Speaking aboard the 65,000-tonne carrier at Portsmouth Naval Base, Captain Jerry Kyd said The Royal Navy would struggle 'to remain credible as a first-class sea power' without the capability of its new aircraft carrier to fly fighter jets, according to the commanding officer of HMS Queen Elizabeth.</p><p>Captain Kyd said the capability provided by the giant warship, and its sister ship HMS Prince of Wales which is still being fitted out, brought the Royal Navy into the 'top league'.</p><p>But he conceded that the navy was only a 'medium-sized' force in terms of 'mass' of assets.  </p><p>He said: 'This capability genuinely will probably mean we are a country with a medium-sized sea power again. This is a strategic output at the top-end scale.</p><p>A view of the badge of HMS Queen Elizabeth on the side of the ship, as final preparations are made prior to her setting sail</p><p>All hands on deck on the the UK's largest ever warship. Royal Navy ratings re-paint white lines on the flight deck</p><p>HMS Queen Elizabeth, currently undergoing sea trials, is one of two new warships being built for the UK, which together are expected to cost £6.2 billion</p><p>HMS Queen Elizabeth has had a traditional British pub built on board in time for her maiden voyage on Saturday at 6pm</p><p>(L-R) Commander Darren Houston, Chris Welham CEO of Wadworth and Capt Jerry Kyd of HMS Queen Elizabeth which has had a traditional British pub built on board in time for her maiden voyage. It's called the Queen's Head </p><p>(L-R) WO2 Cozzie Costema, PO Dan Young and CPO (PTI) Sticky Vercoe, at the floating Queen Elizabeth pub on board the ship</p><p>Commander James Blackmore, Air Commander for HMS Queen Elizabeth, in his seat inside FLYCO (Flying Control)</p><p>Commodore Andrew Betton concluded: 'This is the first small-scale iteration of that and frankly everyone wants to be a part of it and if you're in Royal Navy uniform why wouldn't you want to be.'</p><p>On leaving Portsmouth Naval Base, HMS Queen Elizabeth will carry out tests in UK waters before heading across the Atlantic to the US where as well as the tests, it will visit New York.</p><p>It will be joined by support ship RFA Tiderace and Plymouth-based Type-23 frigate HMS Monmouth as well as Merlin MK2 helicopters from 820 Naval Air Squadron, RNAS Culdrose, Mk 4 Merlins from 845 Naval Air Squadron, RNAS Yeovilton, and Royal Marines from 42 Commando, Plymouth.</p><p>The first of the UK's joint Royal Navy and RAF F-35B supersonic jets arrived from America in June and are based at RAF Marham in Norfolk.</p><p>Testing with these British aircraft is expected to take place onboard HMS Queen Elizabeth next year.</p><p>It has already undergone training with helicopters which have carried out more than 1,000 take-offs and landings.</p><p>The carrier is expected to embark on its first operational deployment in 2021.</p><p>Bags of onions are stacked in the hangar of HMS Queen Elizabeth as preparations are made for its cross Atlantic journey</p><p>Running machines and cross trainers inside HMS Queen Elizabethwhich will sail with 1,500 sailors, aircrew and marines</p><p> - The jet measures 51.2ft (15.6m) in overall length, has a wingspan of 35ft (10.7m) and a height of 14.3ft (4.36m).</p><p>- It has a top speed of 1.6 Mach or 1,200 mph, a Max G rating of 7G, and a combat radius of 518 miles (833km).</p><p>- Lockheed Martin, the American company building the jet, describes its stealth capabilities as 'unprecedented'. Its airframe design, advanced materials and other features make it 'virtually undetectable to enemy radar'.</p><p>- Britain has committed to a £9.1 billion programme to buy 48 of the jets by 2025 - with a pledge to purchase 138 - they will be jointly operated by Royal Air Force and Royal Navy pilots.</p><p>- The F-35B jets are built from more than 300,000 individual parts.</p><p>- The UK's supersonic aircraft have been based in the US since their manufacture.</p><p>- There are six distributed aperture system sensors around the jet - two underneath, two on top of the aircraft and one either side of the nose. These infrared cameras feed real-time information and images into the pilot's helmet, allowing them to see through the airframe.</p><p>- All variants of the jets are mainly constructed on Lockheed Martin's mile-long production line in Fort Worth, Texas.</p><p>- The F-35 can launch from land, and will take off from HMS Queen Elizabeth via the skip jump ramp, which has been designed to optimise the launch.</p><p>- Maximum thrust tops 40,000lb and the jet has a range of 900 nautical miles.</p><p>- The jet is capable of two types of ship landing - vertically on to the deck, and also through the shipborne rolling vertical landing, which using forward air speed, allows the aircraft to bring back several thousand pounds of extra weight to the ship.</p><p>- The warplanes will carry out missions from the two Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers - HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales.</p><p>- Lockheed Martin said across the 3,000 jets being built, 15% of each one is comprised of parts from British companies.</p><p>- Some of the UK companies with contracts to produce parts of jets includes Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems, Ultra Electronics, Selex, Cobham and GE Aviation.</p><p>- Lockheed Martin UK chief executive Peter Ruddock said that, to date, the F-35 programme has generated 13.5 billion dollars in contracts for British suppliers.</p><p>- HMS Queen Elizabeth weighs 65,000 tonnes and has a top speed of 25 knots, its flight deck is 919ft (280m) long and 230ft (70m) wide - enough space for three football pitches.</p><p>£3b, not £3m. Bit of proofreading might be a goo...</p><p> The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. </p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday &amp; Metro Media Group</p>

    1 August 18, 2018

Comments

Earn free bitcoin