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Climate change heating up Australia’s federal election



Australians are heading to the polls in less than 24 hours to decide their next Prime Minister, with environmental concerns expected to be a decisive issue, the incumbent Liberal party is facing significant swings in historically safe seats

As the campaign nears its final hours the candidates have made their final pitches to Australian voters.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has pledged to change his leadership style, while opposition leader Anthony Albanese has offered his vision for a Labor led government, including the future of the economy and child and aged care services.

Issues such as the economy, cost of living, housing affordability and corruption have been dominating election discussion. But Richie Merzian, a political and environmental expert at the Australian Institute, has told Ticker NEWS he expects global warming to be a decisive issue when voters hit the polls.

He says a big point of difference is how the two parties will “address the climate crisis”, with the Labor Party (ALP) proposing stronger action and greater international engagement on climate change.

Australia votes on climate change

“Polls done in Australia show that climate is one of the top priorities,” Merzian says.

The current Liberal-National government (LNP) under Morrison has received criticism from environmental bodies for its lack of action on climate change.

And Merzian says the government has little ambition to change these targets.

“It’s the same target they’ve had for seven years.” He says.

In 2017, Morrison brought a lump of coal to parliament to demonstrate his support for the fossil fuel industry. PHOTO: Courier Mail

According to Merzian, if all countries set similar targets to Australia, the world would be facing three to four degrees of global warming.

An increase which would be catastrophic for the planet. The goal of the Paris Climate agreement is to limit global warming to below two degrees compared to pre-industrial levels.

Instead of increasing emission targets, the LNP is proposing more investment in technology to help combat the climate crisis.

In contrast the opposition “has a stronger target more in line with the U.S and Canada and Japan,” says Merzian.

“They want to see a serious transition in the electricity sector, they want to have over 80% renewable energy, higher EV uptake, and also they want to see Australia host a U.N climate conference.”

Richie Merzian, Australia Institute

Rise of independents and the battle for Kooyong

The current government is locked in a bitter battle to reclaim power in traditionally safe Liberal seats.

Merzian says safe seats the government “has taken for granted” are suddenly being challenged by centrist independents who want greater action on climate change and anti-corruption.

This challenge has been typified by treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s dwindling popularity in the seat of Kooyong.

Historically a LNP stronghold, Kooyong has been held by a member of the Liberal party for the entirety of its 121 year existence, barring a four year interval in the 1920’s. And has been the electorate for significant party figures such as former PM Sir Robert Menzies.

Dr. Monique Ryan is challenging Treasurer Josh Frydenberg in the seat of Kooyong

But this year, independent candidate Dr. Monique Ryan has emerged as a genuine contender for the seat.

“That’s the real novel part of this election.” Merzian says.

“If they win, you could see the federal government lose seats that I don’t think it’s ever lost, including its own treasurer and deputy of the Liberal Party.”

Richie Merzian, Australia Institute

And while Merzian concedes the election is still too close to call, he believes it will be “very hard” for Morrison’s LNP to win the 76 seats it needs to form a majority government.

“It’s far more likely that the Labor Party will get closer to their mark and you will probably have Anthony Albanese as prime minister on Monday.” He says

Polls suggest this may be the case. But the outlook was similar in 2019 when Morrison defied expectations to win the election.

Bryan Hoadley contributed to this post.

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Are U.S. voters rebuking Joe Biden over his Israel policy?



The Israel-Hamas War is entering a sixth month.

During a recent trip in New York, President Joe Biden was asked when a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas might start.

He said he hopes a pause in hostilities can take effect in the coming days to allow for remaining hostages to be released.

Jonathan Tobin, the editor-in-chief of Jewish News Syndicate joins Veronica Dudo. #IN AMERICA TODAY #featured #IsraelHamas #war #Israel #Hamas #ceasefire

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Putin threatens West with nuclear strike



Russian President Vladimir Putin has issued a direct threat to employ nuclear weapons against the West, accusing NATO and the United States of preparing to strike Russia.

Putin delivered this ominous warning during his annual address to the nation, raising global tensions to unprecedented levels.

During his speech, Putin accused NATO and the US of deceptive maneuvers, alleging their intentions to launch an attack on Russian territory.

He emphasised Russia’s readiness to defend itself, boasting of its modernized nuclear arsenal and asserting the capability to defeat any potential aggressors on their own soil.

The Russian leader’s words carried a chilling reminder of the destructive power at his disposal, stating, “They have to understand that we also have weapons, weapons that can defeat them on their own territory.”

Such rhetoric underscores the grave risk of escalating conflict and the potential catastrophic consequences of nuclear warfare.

Nuclear war

Putin warned that the deployment of troops to Ukraine by NATO countries could lead to a real risk of nuclear war.

He emphasised Russia’s determination to strengthen its military presence in response to perceived threats from neighboring nations aligning with Western alliances.

In addition to military concerns, Putin criticized Western efforts to engage Russia in an arms race, vowing to bolster Russia’s defense capabilities while accusing the West of attempting to weaken the country economically and politically.

Despite escalating tensions and global condemnation of Russia’s actions in Ukraine, Putin sought to rally support domestically, praising Russian unity and resilience in the face of adversity.

He portrayed Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine as a defensive measure to safeguard national interests and protect Russian citizens.

Putin’s aggressive stance towards the West underscores the deepening rift between Russia and Western powers, raising fears of a potential conflict with far-reaching consequences.

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FAA gives Boeing 30 days to fix 737 MAX program



The Federal Aviation Administration has issued Boeing a 90-day deadline to devise a comprehensive plan for enhancing quality control procedures after a recent incident involving a 737 Max aircraft.

Less than two months following an alarming occurrence where a door plug blew out of a 737 Max aircraft just nine minutes into an Alaska Airlines flight, the FAA has demanded Boeing to present a thorough strategy to address quality control deficiencies.

The incident, which took place on Flight 1282, revealed that essential bolts required to secure an unused door panel on the nearly new aircraft were missing, according to a preliminary investigation conducted earlier this month.

The door plug had been removed and reinstalled at Boeing’s Renton, Washington, factory where the 737 Max is manufactured.

This incident adds to a string of production issues plaguing Boeing’s flagship aircraft.

Action plan

In response to the FAA’s directive, Boeing affirmed its commitment to developing a comprehensive action plan with measurable benchmarks.

The aerospace giant assured that its leadership is fully dedicated to meeting this challenge head-on.

FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker emphasized the need for Boeing to implement substantial and enduring improvements, emphasizing that foundational changes will necessitate ongoing commitment from the company’s leadership.

The FAA intends to hold Boeing accountable at every stage of the process, ensuring that mutually agreed milestones and expectations are met.

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