US Navy – Hagel: Navy to Lay Up 11 Cruisers, Carrier Cut Decision Delayed until 2016 Budget

- USNI News – The U.S. Navy will “lay up” half of the service’s fleet of Ticonderoga-class missile cruisers under the President’s fiscal year 2015 budget proposal. “Half of the Navy’s cruiser fleet— or 11 ships —will be ‘laid up’ and placed in reduced operating status while they are modernized, and eventually returned to service with greater capability and a longer lifespan,” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told reporters during a briefing at the Pentagon on Monday.

Philippine Navy – For South China Sea claimants, a legal venue to battle China

- Reuters – When Philippine President Benigno Aquino compared China to the Germany of 1938 and called for global support as his country battles Beijing’s claims in the South China Sea, he put the focus on a case that Manila has filed in an international court. The Philippines has taken its dispute with China to arbitration under the United Nations’ Convention on the Law of the Sea and its lawyers say that the tribunal has discretionary powers to allow other states to join the action. China is refusing to participate and has already warned Vietnam against joining the case being heard at the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague, sources have said. Hanoi has so far kept its options open. Any final ruling by the court on the dispute, one of the most tense flashpoints in Asia, cannot be enforced but will carry considerable moral and political weight, analysts say.