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Biden aces G7 exam with flying colours | TICKER VIEWS

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President Joe Biden accomplished what he wanted to do in his first outing as America’s leader on the world stage:  to demonstrate that America is back and that the United States is again the principal leader of Western democracies.  

“BIDEN WANTED TO GO INTO THE G7 TO SHOW AMERICA IS BACK” WOLPE TOLD BRITTANY COLES ON TICKER NEWS.

Biden was warmly welcomed, and all the heads of government – from G7 host Boris Johnson to Japan’s Prime Minister Suga – were clearly in concert and at ease with Biden’s embrace of a renewed agenda to make the world healthier, safer, more secure and more prosperous.

In his press conference at the conclusion of the meeting, Biden said:

“Over the past few weeks, the nations of the G7 have affirmed that democratic values that underpin everything we hope to achieve in our shared future, that we’re committed to put them to work: One, delivering vaccines and ending the pandemic. Two, driving substantial, inclusive economic recovery around the world. Three, in fueling infrastructure development in places that most badly need it. And four, in fighting climate change.”

Biden called out the threats and challenges posed by both Russia and China.  In his upcoming meeting with Vladimir Putin, Biden will not be intimidated by Russian provocation. Where the US and Russia can work constructively together, they will. 

Where they face divergent interests, those will be contested.

Biden brings in Western allies to have competitive stance towards China

With respect to China, Biden is determined that the Western allies be competitive with China on global infrastructure and meet China’s challenges on and actions on human rights and forced labour – Xinjiang and Hong Kong were explicitly mentioned – and the ongoing tensions in the South China Sea.

WOLPE ON THE CALL OUT OF CHINA’S HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUES AT THE G7 SUMMIT.

Biden believed it was essential to have in place these extensive consultations and the convergence on views that emerged before seeing Putin this week.  This process will continue at NATO tomorrow.

However, it has also served as a predicate for a meeting with China’s President Xi, and we can now expect movement towards a Biden-Xi summit later this year. 

Biden is intent to have in hand – and to use – the leverage of this alignment for the US with all the Western leaders in his discussions with Russia and China.

Behind the smiles, is America’s democracy under continuous pressure?

Behind the smiles and arm-in-arm walks Biden enjoyed with his colleagues, there remain significant doubts about how enduring America’s renewal as the indispensable Western leader will be. 

“THEY’RE GOING TO CLASH ON RUSSIAN BEHAVIOUR AND PUTIN WILL HAVE THE LAUNDRY LIST OF HIS OWN,” WOLPE SAYS ON PUTIN AND BIDEN MEETING.

The G7 and NATO leaders know that the forces of Trump and Trumpism – its isolationism, nativism, and nationalism – remain potent, and that America’s democracy is under continuous pressure.  

COMPARISON BETWEEN TRUMP AND BIDEN.

Biden made the most of the moment, “I noticed there was a lot of coverage of my individual comments made by my colleagues about how we were all getting along together.

But the truth of the matter is: We did.

It wasn’t — I felt it wasn’t about me, but it was about America. I felt a genuine sense of enthusiasm that America was back at the table and fully, fully engaged.”

For the balance if his presidency, this is Biden’s road.

Bruce Wolpe is a Ticker News US political contributor. He’s a Senior Fellow at the US Studies Centre and has worked with Democrats in Congress during President Barack Obama's first term, and on the staff of Prime Minister Julia Gillard. He has also served as the former PM's chief of staff.

Tech

TICKER NEWS is available on podcast apps

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For the first time, TICKER NEWS is now available on podcast apps, allowing you to hear the latest news, plus special programs

TICKER NEWS is now available as a podcast.

You can catch up on the latest news, or programs devoted to special topics including U.S. politics and TICKER AIR.

TICKER CEO Ahron Young says:

“TICKER always puts the story first. Video is in our DNA, but we want TICKER content to be available however our audience wants to enjoy it.”

“We are putting significant resources into TICKER content to make sure we get to the heart of the stories we cover.”

TICKER AIR is one of the podcasts available from TICKER

The first podcast to air is TICKER AIR, cohosted by Ahron Young and Geoffrey Thomas from Airlineratings.com

Every day, two full world news bulletins will be available, as well as three special documentary programs.

TICKER podcasts are available daily on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts. Just search TICKER NEWS to subscribe.

APPLE PODCAST – https://podcasts.apple.com/au/podcast/ticker-news/id1632145760

SPOTIFY – https://open.spotify.com/show/3iidnXUXPDVWG2QMEhN0Kt?si=e2e195a8ee584fa6

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Tech

Five reasons it’s so expensive to travel right now

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We’ve been waiting years to go on holiday, but wow it’s expensive to fly. Here are the five reasons it’s so expensive to travel right now

Remember the good old days of competition in the travel industry? Those were the days. Now every time you look to book a flight, the prices are soaring. Even if you want to use your points.

The airline industry is complex, so a total shut down of the industry was always going to have long term effects. The long hangover from the shutdowns and lockdowns are with us.

So let’s break down the five key reasons your flight is so expensive.

“Revenge travel”

It’s not just you who wants to go overseas and change up the scenery. Everyone else is thinking the same thing.

And as the northern hemisphere enjoys its first lockdown free summer in years, everyone is clamouring to use all that saved up cash, topped up with government assistance, to spend on flights.

The simple supply versus demand philosophy means it’s become an airline’s dream to push up prices while often pushing down the value of the ticket. How bad are those airline meals at the moment?

Big planes are grounded

Remember the good old 747 and A380s? Well you’re doing well to find a 747 in the skies these days. The last remaining airlines that were operating them used the cover of COVID to either reduce their fleet of the ageing Queen of the Skies, or retire them altogether.

Then there’s the A380, which is integral to huge airline flees like Emirates.

They were first to go into storage in the desert in 2020 as the pandemic hit. Airlines noticed its often cheaper to fly two 787s on the same route as an A380. So they are begrudgingly bringing the super jumbo back, but only once all their 787s are back in service first.

Don’t you just long for the days of extra space on a plane?

Rocketing fuel prices

In some cases, spot prices for aviation fuel has soared to 80 per cent! Airlines usually rely on hedging fuel prices (as in locking the price in in advance). But not many carriers in Asia do that, meaning they are at risk of fluctuating oil prices.

Airlines have a simple strategy for dealing with rising fuel prices – passing the cost on to consumers. Some passengers flying out of Asia are finding that a flight to London in economy is now $5000, five times the price.

The war in Ukraine hasn’t helped matters either, with Russian oil now missing from the global supply chain. That’s pushing up the cost of resources everywhere, and there’s no sign that’s about to end.

Lack of staff

Airline staff get COVID too, and in some (hilarious) cases, front line staff are returning to stop working from home!

Airlines have rules in place regarding how many flight attendants and pilots need to be on board an aircraft. And with so many different types of planes in service, some flight attendants can only work on certain aircraft types.

That severely limits the capability of airlines to quickly man aircraft in an emergency. And one cancellation snowballs into a travel nightmare.

Airports are struggling too. Lack of maintenance at baggage carousels and airport equipment means some airports are relying on just one vehicle to help every plane back out of a gate.

Remember when the pandemic hit and airlines sacked thousands of workers? The airlines didn’t think they would need them all back so quickly, and highly skilled pilots went on to find other, perhaps more stable jobs.

Accountants taking over

Airlines are big businesses with gigantic overheads. Think of the cost of a plane, which often reaches over $300 million.

Then add the cost of airports, fuel and staff.

Qantas had a debt bomb of $6.5 billion at the height of the pandemic, and while governments have been throwing money at airlines to stay in business, they still are a business.

Airlines need to make a profit, they need to return value to shareholders, and they need to pay down debt to stay financial. Not to mention cashflow.

So regardless of the airport queue, or the soggy sandwich you’re eating in business class, think of the balding accountants praying for good news.

And keep your eye out for some bargains. It’s not all doom and gloom. Some airlines are even allowing you to burn your points on upgrades. So why fly economy?

And if you can hang on a few months longer, you might enjoy cheaper fares. But no promises.

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Media

Disney vs Netflix – who will win the streaming revenue raise?

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Netflix and Disney shares fall as the streaming companies fight to stay on top of their game

Investors to evaluate Walt Disney’s shift from cable television to subscription service as the company’s shares fall by 31 percent.

This comes after Netflix announced its first ever decrease in subscribers last month. The company reported a loss of 200,000 subscribers in its first quarter while predicting more losses ahead.

Netflix’s decision to suspend its services in Russia also led to a loss of 700,000 subscribers. It’s shares have also fallen by a staggering 71 percent this year, a bigger loss than its competitor Disney.

While Netflix struggles with its subscriber count, FactSet Estimates predicts Disney+ to have attracted 5.3 million new subscribers through march leading to a total of about 135.1 million subscribers.

Disney also predicts it will have amassed more than 230 million subscribers by September 2024.

Netflix is reportedly considering adding an advertisement-based subscription option by the end of the year as the company looks at how to stay competitive in the increasingly saturated streaming market.

In a previous statement, Netflix’s chief executive said they were looking to introduce advertisements in a year or two but a leaked internal note to the employees has revealed the company is introducing it as early as October 2022.

The note also says Netflix will begin cracking down on password sharing by monetizing it.

All of this has resulted in Netflix being sued by shareholders who argue they have been mislead about the state of the company and future prospects.

Rijul Baath contributed to this report

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