in 1965, in the middle of the Cold War, the United States signed a controversial, secret agreement with the British government to lease one of the 60 or so Indian Ocean atolls that make up the Chagos Islands to construct a military base.Related:
That deal was secret because the UK was in the process of decolonizing Mauritius, of which the Chagos archipelago was a dependency.
The Chagos Islands never got its independence day. Instead, it was cleaved from Mauritius and renamed the British Indian Ocean Territory, a move that the United Nations' highest court in 2019 ruled was illegal under international law.
Britain has now been instructed to properly finish the process of decolonization, and return the Chagos Islands, located half way between Africa and Indonesia, to Mauritius.
The ruling, though non-binding, potentially creates a huge problem for the United States. Today, Diego Garcia is one of America's most important -- and secretive -- overseas assets.
Many in Britain, including Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the country's opposition Labour Party, are now calling for the UK to return the islands to Mauritius. Should that happen experts believe the ownership of Diego Garcia could be up for negotiation -- a move that would make Mauritius a much more important country geopolitically.
Chinese ship reportedly rams and sinks a Vietnamese fishing boat in the Paracels (again). China's neighbors have become so numb to the constant exercise of low-intensity violence and intimidation that it will warrant barely a mention in regional press. https://t.co/fgumeS3MXR— Greg Poling (@GregPoling) March 7, 2019
Oh, and speaking of the UK:
I know there's a lot going on right now but it's weird nobody's talking about how the UK is blocking ALL PORN later this year. And how you'll need to upload your passport to a database of porn users to get around the block. Or buy a "porn pass" (!) from your local newsagent (!!) pic.twitter.com/zOOkbd7YuN— Charlie Lyne (@charlielyne) March 10, 2019
Theresa May’s PMQ’s “simples” was part of an elaborate bet to win tea at The Ritz.... pic.twitter.com/nQPqTcWw4v— MoS_Politics (@MoS_Politics) March 3, 2019
Shut up or Britain will vote for it https://t.co/FIi0lWutLZ— Erica Buist (@ericabuist) March 2, 2019