Why US-China Competition Is Heating Up in the Pacific
Competition between the US and China is escalating in the Pacific, with both rushing to cement their influence. They have reached out to Pacific nations, offering loans, security aid and development assistance. The stakes rose in April when the Solomon Islands signed a security accord with the Chinese government, Beijing’s first such deal in the region. Since then Australia and China have ramped up diplomacy. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi made a rare eight-day trip to the region in May whilewashingtonpost.com
Australia talks down prospect of having nuclear subs by 2030
Australia’s new defense minister on Wednesday talked down the prospect of Australia acquiring U.S. nuclear-powered submarines by the end of the decade, describing such a timetable as “optimistic in the extreme.” Defense Minister Richard Marles, whose party came to power at elections last month, said his priority was closing a naval capability gap that is expected to open when Australia’s aging fleet of six Collins-class diesel-electric submarines begins to retire from 2038. The United States and Britain have agreed to provide Australia with a fleet of submarines powered by U.S. nuclear technology.news.yahoo.com
Alabama police say "hero" subdued gunman in deadly church shooting
Authorities called one man a "hero" after he was able to stop the gunman who opened fire at a church in Vestavia Hills, a Birmingham suburb, on Thursday. They shared updates about their investigation during a press conference Friday morning.news.yahoo.com
China's foreign minister starts Pacific tour in the Solomons
China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi and a 20-strong delegation have arrived in the Solomon Islands at the start of an eight-nation tour that comes amid growing concerns about Beijing’s military and financial ambitions in the South Pacific region.
Albanese elected Australia's leader in complex poll result
Australians awoke to a new prime minister in Anthony Albanese, the center-left Labor Party leader whose ascension to the nation’s top job from being raised in social housing by a single mother on a disability pension was said to reflect the country's changed fabric.
Australia's next prime minister came from humble beginnings
Australia's Prime Minister-elect Anthony Albanese is a politician molded by his humble start to life as the only child of a single mother who raised him on a pension in gritty inner-Sydney suburbia. The previous administration had stuck with the same commitment it made at the Paris Agreement in 2015: 26% to 28% below 2005 levels by 2030.news.yahoo.com
Australia’s Labor Party Probes Prime Minister’s Taiwan Policy Confusion
CANBERRA, Australia — Australia’s Labor Party is questioning why Scott Morrison refused to admit he was wrong after twice mistaking Australia’s policy towards Taiwan for the government’s position on Hong Kong. The prime minister last month referred to a “one country, two systems” approach towards Taiwan in two interviews. He used the wrong phrase.”Foreign Minister Marise Payne said Australia’s “one China” policy on Taiwan had not changed. Senator Wong asked the foreign minister if the prime minister usually acknowledges mistakes. Australia has for many decades maintained a “one country” policy on Taiwan.thewestsidegazette.com
Jobs Secure Despite Submarine Delays: Australian Submarine Corporation
SYDNEY — A decision on upgrading the Royal Australian Navy‘s Collins Class submarines will be made next month, a parliamentary hearing has been informed. The decision on the life-of-type extension will be made in June, chief executive of government shipbuilder Australian Submarine Corporation Stuart Whiley said on May 25. But Finance Minister Simon Birmingham did not commit to a date for a decision on full-cycle docking for the submarines. The program of works is expected to contribute an extra AU$600 million ($466.8 million) to the Western Australian economy each year and bring on thousands of jobs. The new Attack Class submarines aren’t expected to be delivered until 2035, which means the current Collins Class submarines must be kept in service for much longer than planned.thewestsidegazette.com
Australian prime minister stands by minister accused of rape
Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks to the media in Sydney, Monday, March 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Monday stood by an unidentified Cabinet minister against calls for him to step down over an allegation he raped a 16-year-old girl more than 30 years ago. The allegation was contained in an anonymous letter sent to the prime minister’s office and to three female lawmakers last week. The letter contained a statement from a complainant that detailed her allegation of a rape she said occurred in New South Wales state in 1988. Hammond and opposition Labor Party Sen. Penny Wong also received anonymous letters about the 1988 rape allegation.