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Is now the time to start talking about a republic?



King Charles III has become the head of state across 14 Commonwealth realms following his mother’s death

In the depths of the Caribbean lies an archipelago, which was born in 1981 after it received autonomy from Britain.

Since then, the nation known for its beaches and rainforests has become the home to nearly 100,000 people.

But the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda has announced his country will soon take its independence one step further, as it casts a vote on whether to become a republic within the next three years.

Gaston Browne made the announcement following the death of Queen Elizabeth II last week.

“This is not an act of hostility, or any difference between Antigua and Barbuda and the monarchy,” he said.

Instead, Mr Browne added it is “a final step to complete the circle of independence to become a truly sovereign nation”.

Queen Elizabeth II meets the Governor-General of Antigua and Barbuda, Sir Rodney Williams.

During her reign, Queen Elizabeth II visited the three islands, which make up Antigua and Barbuda on three separate occasions in 1966, 1977 and 1985.

The Queen’s state visits were guided by a group of nations known as the Commonwealth.

The political association, which groups 56 member states, are mainly former territories of the British Empire. It spans from Cyprus in Europe, to Tuvalu in the depths of the Pacific.

How many countries did the Queen rule?

During her reign, Queen Elizabeth II visited at least 117 countries.

In 14 of these, the late monarch remained as their head of state. This includes Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Solomon Islands.

But her death is stirring the motion towards independence, or a republic for some of these states.

In Australia, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said his country will not vote on a republic in this current term of government, which expires in 2025.

“Now is the time for commemorating and recognising the life and service of Queen Elizabeth and also for welcoming our new head of state in King Charles III.”


The Prime Minister believes constitutional change is “very difficult to occur in this country”, and has instead focussed his attention towards an Indigenous voice to Parliament.

Australia voted on whether to part ways with the monarchy in 1999, when nearly 61 per cent chose to not alter the constitution.

Jacinda Ardern is the Prime Minister of New Zealand, who said her country will become a republic at some stage in her lifetime.

But she has stopped short of putting forward a timeline for this to take place.

This is also the case in Canada, where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau described the late monarch as one of his “favourite people in the world”.

“She was our Queen for almost half of Canada’s existence. And she had an obvious deep and abiding love and affection for Canadians.”


Queen Elizabeth II spent 70 years on the throne, where she met a dozen Canadian, 15 British, and 16 Australian prime ministers.

Where is the republican movement strong?

Like Antigua and Barbuda, Queen Elizabeth II’s reign was prominent across the Caribbean; including The Bahamas, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, Belize, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Saint Lucia.

Another country in which Queen Elizabeth II remained head of state—also known as a Commonwealth realm—is Jamaica, which has paved its way for a shift towards a republic.

In fact, questions around the republican movement were raised earlier this year.

In March, the then-Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited Jamaica. However, Prime Minister Andrew Holness told the Royal couple the country was “moving on” with its vision to become “independent”.

Queen Elizabeth II on one of her six visits to Jamaica.

Similar to other Commonwealth realms, Queen Elizabeth II was represented by Governor-General, who is appointed on the advice of Jamaica’s Prime Minister.

The Governor-General represents the monarch and gives formal approval to any laws passed before those they come into effect.

Many Caribbean states tend to associate the British Empire’s colonial legacies with exploitation and slavery.

On his visit to Jamaica, Prince William said acts of slavery “should never have happened” and “forever stains our history”.

“While the pain runs deep, Jamaica continues to forge its future with determination, courage and fortitude.”

William, Prince of Wales

In the Pacific, Tuvalu, Solomon Islands, and Papua New Guinea are all part of the Commonwealth realms. But the shift towards a republic is less prominent.

In recent days, these three states have proclaimed King Charles III as their new sovereign.

When was the last time a country ditched the monarchy?

Barbados is the most recent country to separate from the British Empire by removing Queen Elizabeth II as their head of state.

However, it still remains part of the Commonwealth like other former British colonies including India, Singapore, and Kenya.

In a visit last year, then-Prince Charles acknowledged the country’s history of slavery, which he described as an “appalling atrocity”.

Barbados’ Presidential Inauguration Ceremony marks the birth of a new republic.

The Caribbean island has a stained history of slavery in which captured Africans were used in plantation fields.

It was first declared part of the United Kingdom in 1625 and became part of the transatlantic slave trade.

Under the current arrangement, Barbados’ Parliament chooses a president. The then-Governor-General of Barbados Sandra Mason, became the country’s inaugural president last year.

“The time has come to fully leave our colonial past behind. This is the ultimate statement of confidence in who we are and what we are capable of achieving.”

sandra mason, president of barbados

Barbados became the first country to remove the British monarch as its head of state in nearly three decades.

It follows Mauritius choosing to part ways with its colonial past in 1992.

Sierra Leone, Malawi, Guyana, Uganda and Nigeria are also part of a suite of African countries to leave the monarchy from the 1960s onwards.

Costa is a news producer at ticker NEWS. He has previously worked as a regional journalist at the Southern Highlands Express newspaper. He also has several years' experience in the fire and emergency services sector, where he has worked with researchers, policymakers and local communities. He has also worked at the Seven Network during their Olympic Games coverage and in the ABC Melbourne newsroom. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts (Professional), with expertise in journalism, politics and international relations. His other interests include colonial legacies in the Pacific, counter-terrorism, aviation and travel.

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“TikTok represents two national risks to Australians”: should you delete the app?



Democracies continue to ban popular video-sharing app TikTok over national security concerns

Australia recently banned TikTok from all federal government owned devices over security concerns.

Canberra is the latest in a string of U.S.-backed allies to take action against the popular video-sharing app.

The ban centres around concerns China could use the app to trace users’ data, and undermine democratic values.

Senator James Paterson is the Australian Shadow Minister for Home Affairs and Cyber Security, who said TikTok poses a risk to Australians.

“They can get access to awful amount of information on your phone.

“Because it’s beholden to the Chinese Communist Party, there’s no guarantee it won’t fall into their hands,” he said.

Senator Paterson said there are “six or seven million Australians who use the app.”

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Cyber attacks are on the rise, so what is being done to combat them?



Australia experienced two of its worst cyber attacks on record last year, as the world braces for cyber warfare to rise

Ukraine has suffered a threefold growth in cyber-attacks over the past year.

Viktor Zhora is leading Ukraine’s State Service of Special Communications and Information Protection agency, who said cyber attacks are occurring at the same time as missile strikes at the hands of Russia.

Mr Zhora said in some cases, the cyber-attacks are “supportive to kinetic effects”.

On the other side of the planet, Russian hackers were responsible for Australia’s Medibank scandal.

“This is a crime that has the potential to impact on millions of Australians and damage a significant Australian business,” said Reece Kershaw, who is the Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police.

Australian Shadow Minister for Home Affairs and Cyber Security is James Paterson, who said Australia can learn from cyber warfare in Ukraine.

“Ukraine is a lesson for the world.

“They are fighting a hybrid war, one on the ground and one online. If there is to be future conflict including in our own region, in the Indo-Pacific, it’s highly likely that the first shots in that war will occur cyber domain not in the physical world,” Senator Paterson said.

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America focused on “dominance, leadership and primacy” in China spat



Former Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr says the United States relationship with China is focused on dominance, leadership and primacy.

“Mind your own business” – it’s the stinging message to the West from China’s defence minister.

Li Shangfu told a security conference that China has “one of the best peace records” among major countries.

He lashed out at the so-called rules-based system. Asking – “who made the rules?”

The world is watching China amidst heightened international anxiety.

But while China’s Defence minister says Beijing’s preference is “peaceful unification” with Taiwan, he added that China will never “promise to renounce the use of force.”

Delegates from the Philippines, Vietnam, the Netherlands, the United States and Germany asked about the “apparent disconnect between China’s words and actions”.

But in some of those countries, there is growing concern about America’s increasing level of unpredictability.

Australia’s former Foreign minister Bob Carr is concerned that Canberra had mismanaged the relationship with America under successive governments. #featured #world #china

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