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Biden has come through his first foreign policy crisis | TICKER VIEWS

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By Bruce Wolpe. Senior Fellow at the United States Studies Centre and Ticker News US political contributor

Biden has officially handled his first foreign policy crisis – but what does this tell us?


President Biden successfully brought the war in Gaza to an end – at least for now.  How did he do it?  What does it mean for his foreign policy going forward? 

First and foremost, the past two weeks showed us how much Bide’s deep expertise – decades of it in the Senate  as chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, and eight years as vice president under Barack Obama – and he brought it fully to bear on Gaza. He has seen war in Gaza before.   He knew what to do.  He knows the players.  He knew how he wanted to get there.

Biden operates more inside than outside.  He worked the phones – and not the UN.   His language with Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu was very measured – in public.  It was much harder in private.  And he ratcheted it up each day — from “Israel has a right to defend itself” to “De-escalate” to “Ceasefire” – to the point where, when the moment was ripe late last week, he said: “Ceasefire. Now”.  

He will do more for Palestine but in the context of a press for a two-state solution to the conflict.

Biden stands with allies.   In the Gaza crisis, He supported Israel.  He worked with Egypt’s al-Sisi, and the Palestinian’ Authority’s Mahmoud Abbas.   And those alliances paid off.

In his broader foreign policy agenda, Biden is going forward with a “New Realism”:  the projection of American values — democracy, human rights —  together with the US  engaging with anyone in good faith to get done what can be achieved by reaching the best working relationship without compromising US values.  So this will guide what happens with Russia and China and North Korea and Iran.

With Biden, Asia is at parity with US attention to Europe and the Middle East.  The first two White House visitors were the leaders of  Japan and South Korea.

The top priorities are clear:  Rebuild US alliances.  

China:  re-engage and demand clear rules for conduct in Asia.  In fact, push back as needed –  US allies alongside pushing with Biden.  

Climate:  make decisive  progress possible. 

Iran: a deal if it can be done.  

Russia: Ukraine; cyber security; the fate of dissident Navalney.  

North Korea:  a deep effort to get Kim to roll back his nuclear arsenal.  

What Biden accomplished last week showed us how he wants to advance US interests through his presidency.

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Global Politics

New body-cam footage from Capitol riots released

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New footage has been released from the January 6th Capitol riot after legal action from major new networks.

The body cam footage and shows ex-NYPD officer Thomas Webster, he is the one wearing the red jacket, wielding a flagpole, rushing at police and tackling a cop to the ground.

Prosecutors say that the minute long clip shows the retired cop in a crowd of pro-Trump rioters, screaming profanities at officers.

The department of Justice released this after legal action by CNN and other media outlets.

“Democracy under stress”

Meanwhile, this follows a derailed inquiry into U.S Capitol riots dividing republicans in recent weeks.

t’s been described as “democracy under stress” and US Republicans are divided after the GOP derailed an inquiry into the deadly assault on the Capitol by former President Donald Trump’s supporters.

Democrats and some moderate Republicans had called for a commission to probe the events up to the incident.

The violence left five people dead including a Capitol Police officer.

Republican Madeline Dean says many of her colleagues are scared.

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Global Politics

The impact closed International borders is having on your wage

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Australia’s Reserve Bank Governor has voiced concerns about the country’s closed international borders and the impact this is having on the local labour market.

The governor’s concerns centre around the fact that Australia cannot “tap global labour markets”, meaning there are increasing worker shortages in a number of sectors.

This is starting to result in pockets of wage increases in the economy, which is worrying business owners.

The governor says prior to the pandemic “if there was very strong demand for workers with a particular skill, the wage didn’t really move very much.. because you could go and get workers overseas.”

However, despite the lack of global talent, employers are still broadly trying to avoid any wage growth.

The governor says that “even in those pockets where firms are finding it hardest to hire workers… wage increases are mostly modest.”

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Global Politics

Press freedoms in Hong Kong “hanging on by a thread”

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A pro-Democracy newspaper has been raided again, and the editorial team warns press freedoms in Hong Kong are under threat like never before.

Nine months after the Apple Daily newsroom was raided, hundreds of officers again swept the office and arrested five top executives under national security charges.

The paper and its jailed owner Jimmy Lai have long been a thorn in Beijing’s side with unapologetic support for the financial hub’s pro-democracy movement.

Five hundred police sifted through reporters computers and notebooks.

Hong Kong police said 500 officers raided the anti-government tabloid’s Tseung Kwan O office,, going through reporters’ documents and notes.

Apple Daily streamed the event live online.

Police raid the Apple Daily newsroom

Dawn operation

More than 500 officers conducted a dawn operation which authorities said was sparked by articles Apple Daily had published “appealing for sanctions” against Hong Kong and China’s leaders.

Pictures published by Apple Daily showed police sitting at reporters’ desks and using their computers.

A person streaming a live feed for Apple Daily’s Facebook page said reporters were prevented from accessing certain floors or getting their equipment or notebooks.

In a message to readers, Apple Daily warned Hong Kong’s press freedoms are “hanging by a thread”.

Police say at least 30 articles published in 2019 may have breached national security by calling for foreign sanctions against the Hong Kong government.

This is the first time where authorities said news articles could potentially violate the security law.

Supt Li, who heads the police force’s national security department, said Secretary for Security John Lee had issued  an order to freeze HK$18 million worth of assets.

Five people were arrested and money seized during the raids.

After the raid, reporters returned to a semi-gutted newsroom with the paper saying 38 computers were taken away.

Five executives of Apple Daily and Next Digital – editor-in-chief Ryan Law, chief executive Cheung Kim Hung, Chief Operating Officer Chow Tat Kuen, Deputy Chief Editor Chan Pui Man and Chief Executive Editor Cheung Chi Wai were detained.

The raid is the latest blow to media tycoon Jimmy Lai, the tabloid’s owner and a staunch Beijing critic.

Security Secretary John Lee describes the newsroom as a “crime scene” and says the operation is aimed at those who use reporting as a “tool to endanger” national security.

“We are talking about a conspiracy in which these suspects try to make use of journalistic work to collude with a foreign country or external element to impose sanctions or take hostile activities against Hong Kong and … China,” Mr Lee said. 

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