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Joe Biden to travel to Asia for critical quad meeting

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U.S President Joe Biden’s first tour of Asia is expected to be dominated by discussions on China, North Korea and Taiwan

U.S leader Joe Biden will travel to Asia this week for the first time in his presidency.

Countering China sits atop President Biden’s list of priorities, as the U.S moves to allay fears their focus in the area has slipped during the current conflict in Ukraine.

Biden’s arrival comes amid a background of simmering tensions in the area. Beijing’s influence over Taiwan will be at the forefront of discussions, as will North Korea’s military capabilities, after reports of a North Korean missile test surfaced this week.

Japan and South Korea will both host the U.S president, who will also meet with leaders of India and Australia at a quad nations summit.

Quad nations meeting

The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue is a strategic alliance between the U.S, Australia, India and Japan. Various iterations of the dialogue have existed since 2007.

While not a military alliance like NATO, the U.S regards the grouping as key to cementing pro-democratic values throughout Asia.

Reports suggest Biden will highlight issues including COVID vaccines, humanitarian aid, infrastructure development as well as climate, space and cyberscurity.

China’s influence throughout Asia will also be at the forefront of discussions after a tense year of relations between Beijing and the West.

In January this year, Beijing officials threatened to clash with the U.S over Taiwanese independence, and more recently condemned U.S military for sailing through the Taiwanese straight. Which they claim disturbs peace in the area.

Australia-China relations have also come under friction in recent weeks. Last month, Beijing signed a controversial security pact with the Solomon Islands, raising fears China could set up a de-facto military base off Australia’s east coast.

However Australia’s stance with China could be impacted by the impending federal election, which could see a change of government on Saturday.

North Korea

President Biden is also expected to address concerns over North Korea, after the nation conducted another missile test during the week.

Dr. Tillman Ruff told Ticker NEWS North Korea “has embarked on an enormous acceleration of its missile testing.”

“There have been 15 tests so far this year.” He says

Dr. Ruff says it is likely these test were timed to coincide with the election of a new conservative president in South Korea, and while global attention’s were focused on the war in Ukraine.

However, Human Rights Watch has called on Biden and newly elected Korean President Yoon Seok-youl to address North Korea’s human rights record as well as its nuclear capabilities.

North Korea is currently experiencing its first major COVID-19 outbreak, and there are fears the nation, which has not administered vaccines, could be facing a catastrophic death toll.

In a statement on the Human Rights Watch website, Lina Yoon urged the U.S and Korea to persuade Kim Jong-un’s regime to accept foreign aid.

“North Koreans are facing a uniquely acute catastrophe, and the world should make every effort to address it” she says.

Bryan Hoadley Contributed to this post.

Climate Change

‘Orgy of destruction’ – UN’s stark climate warning

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Humanity has become ‘weapon of mass extinction’  according to UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres

At the biodiversity COP15 conference in Montreal, Canada Guterres opened the meet with a brutal reality.

“Humanity has become a weapon of mass extinction...

This conference is our chance to stop this orgy of destruction.”

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

Guterres called for an end to destruction of nature saying our “land, water and air are poisoned by chemicals and pesticides, and choked with plastics.”

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also took to the stand to urge countries to protect their precious land and waters.

The leader also took the opportunity to announce Canada’s $350m biodiversity finance fund.

“There are lots of disagreements between governments.

But if we can’t agree as a world on something as fundamental as protecting nature, then nothing else matters.”

Justin Trudeau – Canada’s Prime Minister
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivers remarks during the opening ceremony of the COP15 UN conference on biodiversity in Montreal on Tuesday, December 6, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

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World

Should a non-strike rule apply to UK emergency staff?

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Thousands of UK emergency workers are preparing to walk off the job, just days before Christmas

Thousands of UK Ambulance workers are preparing to go on strike, just days before Christmas, on December 21.

All over a pay dispute, 25,000 emergency staff are expected to walk off the job.

Hospital bosses are warning the strikes will put lives at risk and make wait times significantly longer.

“Our priority is to ensure emergency services continue to operate for those who need it.

People should continue to use NHS 111 online for urgent healthcare advice and call 999 if it is a life-threatening emergency.”

STEVE BARCLAY, Health Secretary
FILE PHOTO: Downing Street Chief of Staff Steve Barclay arrives at 10 Downing Street, in London, Britain May 25, 2022. REUTERS/Toby Melville

UK PM Rishi Sunak was pressed about the potentially fatal outcome, but Downing Street says it’s important not to ‘speculate.’

“Our focus now is on mitigating any potential detrimental impact these strikes could have.”

UK Prime minister’s office

Speaking on behalf of the workers, the health Union says the Government needs to start “genuine conversations about pay.”

“The Government will only have itself to blame if there are strikes in the NHS before Christmas.
“Ambulance staff don’t want to inconvenience anyone but ministers are refusing to do the one thing that could prevent disruption — start genuine talks about pay.”

Sara Gorton, head of health at Unison
UNISON’s Sara Gorton. Unison Centre, London, UK.

“Patients’ lives are already at risk but this government is sitting on the sidelines.
“Fail to act now to avert these strikes and the blame will rest firmly at the Government’s door.”

SHAron graham, Unite general secretary

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World

Bella Hadid named Model of the Year 2022

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At The Fashion Awards 2022, American Bella Hadid has been crowned Model of the Year

At The Fashion Awards 2022, American Bella Hadid has been crowned Model of the Year.

In London, the 26-year-old was named winner of the prestigious award.

A title that runs in the family, with her sister Gigi claiming the win in 2016.

Unable to attend in person, Hadid sent a pre-recorded video message, with a special thanks to her refugee father and immigrant mother.

“Being the daughter of a refugee father from Palestine, and an immigrant mother from Holland, there’s a sort of work ethic that runs in our blood…

It’s not to be the best. It’s not to be better than others. It’s just to be able to succeed because our ancestors have never had an opportunity like this in their lifetime. This is for the Palestinian children. This is for the Dutch children. This is for any child, immigrant or refugee.”

bella hadid – american model

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