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Australia investigates Chinese lease on nation’s ‘northern gateway’ for Australasian trade

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The Australian Government is reviewing the ownership of a port owned by a Chinese company.

It’s questioning whether the controversial lease of the Darwin Port should be scrapped.

A 99-year-lease contract that has unsettled Australia’s security officials, could be torn up… escalating further tensions with China.

The Australian Government is reviewing the ownership of a port owned by a Chinese company.

The port is in a calculated position, located in the top end of Australia in the city of Darwin.

It’s used as a base of US Marines.

The port has been leased by Landbridge for the past six years, but there are still security concerns about the $500 million arrangement.

The nation’s defence officials are now investigating whether the company should give up its ownership for the sake of national interests.

Australia’s Defence Minister Peter Dutton

It comes on the back of China accusing Australia of economic coercion.

China slammed Australia’s decision last month, to use new laws to cancel the Belt-and-Road agreements with the Victorian state government.

Now there is speculation that Prime Minister Scott Morrison may use the same laws, to scrap long-term leases held by Chinese companies at ports in Darwin and Newcastle.

TWO-WAY TRADING PARTNERS

China is Australia’s largest trading partner for goods and services

The lease of the Darwin Port is still valid for another 93 years.

So should land-bridge be forced to give up its ownership of the port… there is no doubt relations between the nations will shrivel even further.

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Big tech caught in political drama

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Nine Google employees were escorted out of company offices in New York and Sunnyvale, California, following a sit-in protest against a cloud contract with Israel’s government.

The protest in Sunnyvale targeted Thomas Kurian’s office, CEO of Google’s cloud division, while in New York, it occupied a common area on the tenth floor.

Videos showed Google security staff and local police involved in the removal. Four workers in New York and five in Sunnyvale were reportedly detained, but details of any charges remain unverified.

 

The protest aimed to pressure Google to drop a $1.2 billion cloud computing contract known as Project Nimbus, citing concerns about its involvement with the Israel Defense Forces.

The protesters included software engineers and activists from groups opposing tech contracts with Israel. This incident reflects ongoing activism within tech companies regarding political issues, such as Israel’s actions in Gaza.

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Antitrust concerns arise for streaming sports venture

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U.S. lawmakers Jerry Nadler and Joaquin Castro expressed competition concerns regarding the planned sports streaming joint venture involving Walt Disney, Fox, and Warner Bros Discovery.

They addressed these concerns in a letter to the CEOs of the media companies, questioning the impact on access, competition, and choice in the sports streaming market.

Voicing apprehension about potential consumer price hikes and unfair licensing terms for sports leagues and distributors, they requested responses by April 30, urging the companies to also send their replies to the Department of Justice.

Despite the companies’ announcement in February of launching a joint sports streaming service in the autumn to attract younger viewers, the deal faces DOJ scrutiny and an antitrust lawsuit from FuboTV. While Disney and Warner Bros remained silent on the matter, Fox declined to comment.

The joint venture encompasses a broad range of professional and collegiate sports rights, including NFL, NBA, MLB, FIFA World Cup, and college competitions, offering non-exclusive access to sports networks such as ESPN, Fox Sports 1, and TNT via a new streaming app.

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Trump trial: will the jury selection impact the trial’s outcome?

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The Trump hush money trial has progressed with the selection of the first seven jurors, marking a significant step in the legal proceedings.

  • Seven jurors were selected

  • Defense and prosecution lawyers questioned potential jurors for impartiality

  • The judge warned lawyers he would not tolerate disruptions after he said Former US President Donald Trump audibly muttered during a prospective juror’s questioning

The selection of jurors is a crucial step in ensuring a fair trial, as they will ultimately decide Formers US President Donald Trump’s fate in this legal battle, as reported by Reuters.

The process of jury selection involves careful vetting of potential jurors to ensure impartiality and fairness.

Each juror’s background, beliefs, and potential biases are scrutinised to ensure they can render an impartial verdict based solely on the evidence presented in court.

With seven jurors already chosen, the selection process is expected to continue as both the prosecution and defence seek individuals who can objectively weigh the evidence.

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