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Australians head to the polls to choose their new leader

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In less than 24 hours’ time, Australian residents will head to the polls for the nation’s federal election, as the Prime Minister and Opposition leader make their final election pledges

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is promising leadership of change, vowing to be less of a “bulldozer” if he retains the top job.

Opposition and Labor leader Anthony Albanese says Australians deserve better and it’s time for a new government.

So what issues are at the forefront of this election?

The economy is currently close to breaking point, with the nation’s budget soaring to almost 1 trillion dollars in debt.

A debt that will ultimately have to be paid back, but which leader is best to drive this economic recovery? A question on voters’ minds as they cast their vote.

“The conventional mechanisms for growing the economy aren’t available to leaders in the same way.”

Prof. anne tiernan, political analyst

Cost-of-living is also rapidly rising, with fuel and food prices causing havoc to Australians everyday life.

Both Governments are facing pressure to come up with a solution to not only the rising costs of homes but also to deal with the lack of available housing.

Both parties are making housing affordability a priority.

The government is promising a Super Home Buyer Scheme if re-elected, which will allow first-home buyers to tap into their superannuation to purchase a property.

Some say this will only fuel further inflation and cause more economic turmoil for Australians in the future.

Labor has unveiled plans to subsidise up to 40 percent of a new home and up to 30 percent of an existing home, under their ‘Help to Buy Scheme’.

When it comes to national security, there are no real major policy differences between the two major parties.

Many have raised concerns that Morrison has been politicising the issue, by accusing Albanese of being the “Chinese government’s pick at this election”.

“We’ve got low unemployment, we’ve got stagflation… Some things we haven’t seen since the 1970’s”

A federal integrity commission has also been a hot topic, with both the Coalition Government and Labor proposing two different models.

The Coalition’s Commonwealth Integrity Commission proposal was first released in 2021 and met with widespread criticism.

Meanwhile, Labor has proposed its own National Anti-Corruption Commission by the end of 2022, which the party says will have “teeth”.

Ticker News spoke with Political Analyst Anne Tiernan for a full analysis of the fight for the top job.

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India’s ban on single-use plastics comes into effect

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India is banning many single-use plastics in a bid to tackle pollution

India produces around four million tonnes of plastic waste each year. But authorities will begin cracking down on usage and production of single-use plastics from Friday.

India’s Government believes 60 per cent of plastic waste is recycled. But a survey by the Centre for Science and Environment found the figure was 12 per cent in 2019.

When plastic waste is not recycled correctly, it creates fire hazards and air pollution, which blankets India’s major cities. It can also enter local waterways, which poisons wildlife.

New Delhi is the world’s most polluted city.

Some plastic bags and multi-layered packaging are exempt from these latest changes.

Millions of people are employed in the country’s plastic industry, with many pushing the government to delay the ban.

Street vendors are also expressing concerns around the changes.

The nation’s capital, New Delhi is the world’s most polluted city.

The Air Quality Institute found 510 million people who live in northern India “on track” to lose 7.6 years off their lives if pollution levels remain as they are.

Local authorities are set to decide the penalties for people in breach of the single-use plastics ban.

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U.K. Government in crisis as Tory whip resigns over sexual assault allegations

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Boris Johnson’s government is in crisis as the Tory whip resigned over allegations he groped two men while drunk

In his resignation letter, Chris Pincher admitted he “drank far too much” and embarrassed himself and other people.

“I think the right thing to do in the circumstances is for me to resign as Deputy Chief Whip. I owe it to you and the people I’ve caused upset to, to do this.”

CHRIS PINCHER

According to sources from Downing Street, it is unlikely Pincher will face any further action, and he will remain as a Conservative MP.

The Sun newspaper first reported the resignation, saying he was drinking at the Carlton Club when he is accused of assaulting two other male guests.

Reports suggest several concerned Tory MPs contacted the Conservative whips’ office to complain about Pincher’s behaviour.

Prime Minister is yet to comment on the matters.

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Beijing issues a stark warning to Canberra

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Beijing is warning Australia will “bear the consequences” if there are any military disputes in the South China Sea

China’s Defence Ministry says Australia is engaging in “risky” behaviour, as surveillance jets fly near the disputed Paracel Islands.

“What is the duty of a soldier? That is to defend the homeland,” says Colonel Tan Kefei.

The islands are claimed by China, Vietnam and Taiwan.

It comes just weeks after an Australian Air Force was challenged by a Chinese J-16 fighter in the disputed territory.

A Chinese J-10 fighter, similar to the one involved in the incident.

Australia’s Defence Minister Richard Marles says some aluminium chaff was drawn into the engines of the P-8A Poseidon.

“The J-16 then accelerated and cut across the nose of the P-8 settling in front of the P-8 at a very close distance,” he said.

The aircraft made its way back to its base, and Marles said the crew responded “professionally”.

It’s believed the Chinese jet also fired flares and chaff as a countermeasure.

The Defence Minister said he had communicated his concerns to Chinese authorities over the incident.

But China’s defence spokesperson, Colonel Tan says “those who come uninvited shall bear the consequences.”

Canada has also been in the firing line, as they reportedly carry out U.N. missions near North Korea.

But Chinese authorities believe the jets were monitoring China “under the pretext of enforcing U.N. Security Council resolutions”.

“No matter what the name or excuse is, it is completely unreasonable to send military planes to the door of others to provoke and jeopardise the national security of other countries,” says Colonel Tan.

Australia’s Prime Minister met with Canada’s leader, Justin Trudeau on the sidelines of the NATO Summit in Madrid this week.

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