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Handshake but no friendship: Biden and Putin meet in Geneva

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Well the meeting didn’t go for 6 hours like some suggested, but the meeting the whole world was watching under a microscope, has officially taken place.

US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin convened in Geneva, Switzerland just hours ago, in what is the first face-to-face meeting between the two and the first meeting of its kind since 2018.

The summit is being viewed as a milestone event for the two nations, with relations between Russia and the US at an all-time low.

Biden says “it’s always better to meet face-to-face”

When the meeting wrapped up, both leaders praised the talks, but it is seen as just a small step towards mending the fractured diplomatic relationship.

Putin says Biden is “an experienced statesman” and believes the two leaders “spoke the same language”.

Biden says Russia does not want “another cold war”, and there is now a genuine prospect to improve relations.

What issues did the leaders talk about?

They began with discussions about nuclear arms control and agreed that they would both return ambassadors to each other’s capitals.

The Russian and American envoys were withdrawn in March following allegations that Russia meddled in the US election.

However, there was little sign of movement from either party on the issues of human rights, Ukraine, cybersecurity and Russian opposition leader Alexi Navalny.

Biden says his agenda is “not against Russia” and the President is working to defend the American public and America’s democracy.

Global standing “diminished’?

Biden also believes that Russia’s alleged interference in previous US elections has resulted in the country’s global standing being “diminished”

Putin did hint at the prospect of exchanging prisoners, believing that compromises could be found.

Cyber threat: What President Biden told Putin was ‘off-limits’

President Joe Biden told Vladimir Putin that certain critical infrastructure should be “off-limits” to cyberattacks.

Putin says his talks with President Biden were “quite constructive,” and that they reached an agreement on cyber security.

Lester Munson, a Senior Fellow at the National Security Institute told TickerNEWS LIVE that following recent ransomeware attacks, cyber security is one of America’s biggest threats.

Putin says most hackers are based out of the United States, with Biden responding by saying that his country’s critical infrastructure, like water and energy, is “off-limits”.

Biden says Russia is in a “very difficult spot right now”

When discussing the fate of Alexi Navalny, Putin says the Russian opposition leader “ignored the law” and denied accusations that he was poisoned by Russian officials.

Biden was also asked why he thought Russia would have any desire to cooperate with the US.

On this, Biden says Russia is in a “very difficult spot right now”, and the country is trying to stay relevant and remain a major power.

Biden challenges CNN reporter

The US president was also pressed by reporters who asked why he is so confident that Putin’s behaviour will change.

Russia is “being squeezed by china”

Biden believes Russia is “being squeezed by china” and it is in Putin’s best interest to engage in a productive relationship with America.

Putin wanted to make it clear that Russia remains a world leader and is an important country with an economy that still matters to the United States and to the world… and that was why President Biden arranged the meeting.

Global Politics

Travel bubble bursts between Australia and NZ

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New Zealand has suspended its travel bubble with Australia

The nation has halted its travel bubble arrangements for at least eight weeks as Australia continues to battle against the delta variant of COVID-19.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern fronted the media and stated that “the Delta variant has materially changed the risk profile”. 

From 11:59pm tonight, Australians will be unable to travel to New Zealand on a quarantine-free flight

This restriction will be in place for at least the next eight weeks.

The trans-tasman route is already closed to travellers flying into New Zealand from New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia as those states battle COVID-19 outbreaks. 

“For New Zealanders in Australia, we are absolutely committed to getting you home,” Ms Ardern said. 

Jacinda Ardern has paused the trans-Tasman arrangement with Australia.

Constant disruption to trans-Tasman travel bubble

Flights to New Zealand inside the bubble have been paused and restarted as different Australian states have experienced COVID-19 outbreaks. 

“For the next seven days, we will have managed return flights for New Zealanders from all states and territories. 

“Only New Zealand citizens and those ordinarily resident in New Zealand will be able to fly home.” 

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Global Politics

“National emergency” – Sydney in crisis as COVID cases rise

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Sydney has declared a national emergency as COVID-19 cases rise across the Australian city

Sydney and the state of New South Wales is calling on the Australian Federal Government to “refocus the national vaccination strategy”.

As the delta variant of the virus spreads throughout the city, Premier Gladys Berejiklian and her government have declared a national emergency.

New South Wales Government officials say that the spreading of the virus is “threatening the safety of other states.”

“This is not just a challenge for New South Wales – it’s a challenge for Australia”

They’ve encouraged people in virus-ravaged south-western and western Sydney to urgently “do their duty” and get vaccinated against coronavirus.

“The national emergency, every citizen has a duty to do what they can to defeat whatever is happening to us – in this case, it is a Delta variant of a virus,”

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said.

The Premier has stressed the importance of getting vaccinated as NSW records its highest daily number of COVID-19 cases today.

“We need to vaccinate younger people, between that 20 and 40-year-old age group,”

The Premier said.

Meanwhile, Chief Health Officer Dr. Kerry Chant says Australia urgently needs to “correct the mythology about AstraZeneca”.

“There is no doubt that if we want to contain this virus and stop it seeping out to other parts of Greater Sydney, stop it impacting our freedom and our economy, but also stop it spreading to other states, we need to have a discussion about refocusing the national vaccination strategy,” Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.

The issue will be addressed at today’s National Cabinet, she said.

At least 53 of today’s NSW cases were infectious in the community

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Business

Is a $52 billion boost enough to end a global chip shortage?

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As the race to combat the global chip shortage continues the Biden administration is big to end the crisis

US President Joe Biden is preparing to spend $52 billion to boost the worsening shortage of semiconductor chips.

The White House is still waiting for congressional approval on the big spend but is pushing ahead with plans of how to invest the money wisely.

The Commerce Secretary says America “needs to incentivise the manufacturing of chips” if the country wants the crisis to end.

She added that officials have been speaking with the impacted industries on a daily basis which has helped address the shortage from the ground up.

Whilst there have been reports that the sector is gradually improving, but the car manufacturing sector may still be impacted by delays.

Biden recently called for Semiconductor chips to be produced locally in the US, but this company is ignoring his plea.

Semiconductor manufacturer ‘Global Foundries’ has ignored US President Joe Biden’s request for new plants to be built locally amid the global chip shortage.

Construction will begin on the $4 billion Asian plant in 2023. This goes against the Biden administration’s wishes to return chip manufacturing to American soil.

The company will join rivals including ‘Samsung’ and ‘Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’ which are all also trying to address the current chip shortage.

The President has been under increasing pressure to secure a constant supply of this crucial tech that is used in so many modern devices.

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