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A generational, strategic defence pact

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AUKUS Alliance has aim of ensuring peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region

The recently-formed AUKUS alliance between the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia is considered to be on of the biggest strategic defence pacts of this generation.

At its core, AUKUS has the aim of ensuring peace and stability across the Indo-Pacific region.

On top of this, Australia will be getting a fleet of eight high-tech nuclear-powered submarines over the three decades, at a cost of over $350 billion dollars.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, China isn’t happy by these developments, noting the Western nations are heading “further down the wrong and dangerous path for their own geopolitical self-interest”.

To unpack this further, Bruce Wolpe, a Senior Fellow at the U.S. Studies Centre, joins us.

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Hush money: Trump’s criminal trial finally begins

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Jury selection has commenced in the criminal trial of former President Donald Trump, focusing on allegations related to hush money payments made to women who claimed to have had affairs with him.

  • Donald Trump became the first former U.S. president to stand trial
  • He faces charges stemming from a hush-money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels
  • At least 50 prospective jurors were dismissed after saying they could not be impartial

The former U.S. president said, “It’s a scam trial. If you read all of the legal pundits, all of the legal scholars today, there’s not one that I see that said, this is a case that should be brought or tried. It’s a scam. It’s a political witch hunt.”

Trump must attend the trial, which is expected to last through May, as reported by Reuters.

Criminal charges

Prosecutors allege that Trump orchestrated payments to silence Stormy Daniels, who claimed to have had extramarital affairs with him, ahead of the 2016 presidential election

Trump has denied any wrongdoing, maintaining that the payments were not campaign-related and therefore not subject to campaign finance laws.

However, the prosecution contends that the payments were made to influence the election, constituting a violation of federal law.

The trial is expected to delve into Trump’s involvement in the payments and his knowledge of their purpose.

 

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Latest Sydney church horror: Stabbing rocks Wakeley community

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A man has been arrested after a bishop was stabbed at Christ the Good Shepherd Church in Wakeley.

Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel was preaching at Christ The Good Shepherd Church in Wakeley in Sydney’s west on Monday just after 7pm when a man dressed in black walked up to the altar and allegedly stabbed him multiple times.

Eyewitnesses described scenes of chaos and terror as an assailant approached the altar where Bishop Emmanuel was delivering a sermon.

Chstbrl Saliba, the Deputy Mayor of Fairfield, told Sky News that after the attack, the Bishop got to his feet, and placed his hand on the head of the assailant and began praying for him.

NSW Police said in a statement:

“A police operation is underway in Wakeley, following reports of a stabbing. Officers attached to Fairfield City Police Area Command attended a location on Welcome Street, Wakeley following reports a number of people were stabbed. Officers arrested a male and he is assisting police with inquiries.”

2GB Radio host Ben Fordham says the situation is so chaotic outside the church that police have had to use capsicum spray outside of the church. One woman has been treated.

 

Fordham says police are concerned about the volatile situation outside the church.

Without warning, the attacker unleashed a flurry of stabs, targeting the bishop and several worshippers in a frenzied assault.

Horrifying footage captured the moment of the attack, as the live broadcast on the church’s social media pages captured the unfolding tragedy.

Bishop Emmanuel’s expression of astonishment turned to one of sheer horror as he became the primary target of the assailant’s vicious blows.

NSW ambulance has confirmed at least one person has been taken to hospital.

The assault at Christ the Good Shepherd Church echoes previous instances of mass violence that have rocked Sydney in recent years, after six people were killed by a man at Bondi.

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Eisman identifies infrastructure as key investment opportunity

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Famed investor Steve Eisman, has shifted his focus to infrastructure, citing three main reasons.

 

The pandemic-induced shift towards onshore investment, the rise of AI necessitating data centre expansion, and the global push towards greener energy.

Eisman believes these trends offer a decade-long opportunity for investors, with Australia presenting ample opportunities for market participation.

Notable companies to consider for exposure include BlueScope and James Hardie Industries for building materials, Macquarie Technology and Goodman Group for data centres, and Worley, AGL Energy, and Origin Energy for electricity grid upgrades and green infrastructure.

However, Eisman cautions investors to approach utility investments carefully, considering their capital expenditure budgets in renewable energy and grid upgrades.

 

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