Connect with us

World

China and Australia pushing the Pacific’s pulse

Published

on

China’s Foreign Minister is on his seventh stop in Pacific, as tensions continue to rise

Wang Yi has travelled to Papua New Guinea, which is the seventh stop in his diplomatic push in the Pacific.

PNG is heading into a national election, and local media is reporting Beijing’s plans for a regional security deal are causing conflict in the island-nation.

The nation’s former Prime Minister Peter O’Neill is on the campaign trail and has criticised the timing of Wang’s visit.

O’Neill believes no agreements should be signed with China before the election.

Meanwhile, Yi has been on a diplomatic tour of the Pacific, as he seeks to drum up support for greater security cooperation among island states.

The Chinese foreign minister will travel to eight countries, with Timor-Leste next on his list.

His tour has sparked concern among the U.S., New Zealand and Australia, who are fearful of China’s growing dominance in the region.

Allan Behm from The Australia Institute describes China’s strategy as “noticeable, big [and] highly theatrical”.

Australia’s foreign minister Penny Wong, who recently returned from Fiji, is visiting Samoa and Tonga.

Australia is focussing on humanitarian support, and action on climate change.

Senator Wong has laid out an eight-year deal with Samoa to address human development and maritime support.

“China is focussed on security, and I think in the circumstances in which the Pacific countries find themselves, they’re more likely to be attracted to the options that Senator Wong is putting forward.”

ALLAN Behm, THE AUSTRALIA INSTITUTE

China is seeking a security and trade deal with 10 Pacific nations. Its foreign minister has so far signed a dozen bilateral agreements.

But Senator Wong says Australia is also seeking greater relations with its close neighbours.

“We understand that we need to work together like never before, for our peoples and for generations to come.”

“We want to make a uniquely Australian contribution to help build a stronger Pacific family,” she says.

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.

Continue Reading

World

Japan farewells its longest serving prime minister

Published

on

Leaders from around the world are in Tokyo as Japan farewells former leader Shinzo Abe

The 67-year-old was Japan’s longest-serving prime minister. He was gunned down at a campaign rally in July.

Security is tight at the event, where 20-thousand police officers are believed to have been deployed.

The event is estimated to cost over 1.65 billion yen and has received mixed opinion in Japan.

Protesters have been urging the government to stop spending taxpayer’s funds on the state funeral.

Of course, this comes as Japan’s currency slides to a 24-year-low against the U.S. dollar.

Continue Reading

World

The polls are open in America | TICKER VIEWS

Published

on

The polls are open in America and in six Tuesdays from today, America will vote.  In several states across the country, early voting has begun in the most consequential midterm elections for Congress in 12 years.  

Midterm elections are a referendum on the president, and this year is no different.  Biden’s future is on the line no less than the control of Congress.

However, the current President is painting an optimistic future.

In 2010, President Barack Obama lost 63 Democrats in the House, giving Republicans control in that chamber, and six Senate seats but keeping Democratic control over the Senate.  

It was a big setback. That result meant that Obama’s ability to pass his legislative agenda came to a halt for the balance of his presidency.

President Obama, 2010 midterms.

For the next six years, there were no significant new legislative initiatives in health care and the environment or any other major domestic policy issues.

As of today, the outlook for the November 8 midterm elections for Congress looks like a replay for President Joe Biden.

Republican gains that will give them control of the House, and continued, but very narrow, Democratic control over the Senate. 

This would be a better-than-expected outcome for Biden and the Democrats than many thought just three months ago. 

At the end of June, Biden’s popularity was plummeting.

Petrol prices reached record highs; inflation had erupted and there was sticker shock on groceries; supply chains were a mess; there were no legislative victories.

U.S. gas prices reach an all time high.

Now to mention the nightmare of women losing their constitutional rights becoming all too real with the decision by the Trump Supreme Court to repeal the landmark Roe decision. 

Biden had slumped to the mid-30s in approval.  Republicans seemed in easy reach of matching the average historical benchmark of gaining 26 seats from the president’s party in these midterms – and taking the Senate too. 

But momentum shifted in August to the Democrats.  Women across the country are furious about what the Supreme Court did to their reproductive health rights – with the Republican Party all-in with the Court. 

Protests following the overturning of Roe V. Wade

Biden started getting big legislation through Congress, especially on health care costs, clean energy and climate change, and high-tech manufacturing for the future.

Donald Trump’s legal challenges mounted, from FBI raids to get back the classified documents he took from the White House to state officials in Georgia and New York moving against him. 

Former U.S. President Donald Trump

Biden regained some popular approval, and the Republicans were on the defensive – especially on abortion with their candidates for the Senate on the wrong side of the anger from women voters.

In the 1992 presidential campaign, Bill Clinton’s team kept reminding him, and the county, that “it’s the economy stupid.” Clinton won the White House in the wake of a painful recession on President George H.W. Bush’s watch. 

This economy is hurting Biden and the Democrats.  The gut punch last Friday of the Fed’s raising interest rates by 75 basis points – with mortgages now the highest in over a decade and no end in sight to further sharp interest rate rises – and the markets tanking as a result, has left the mood of many deeply anxious and uncertain about the future. 

Inflation is still too high and most Americans believe the country is already in a recession.

“People are seeing their wage increases eaten up by inflation.”

federal reserve chair jerome powell
Fed reserve chair jerome powell

This plays to the Republicans, who are already pounding the culture war buttons on high crime in the cities, “out-of-control” immigration on the southern border and putting more control from parents back into the classroom particularly on gender and racial issues.

The essence of Donald Trump as a major factor in American politics and what America’s experience with him means about the future of America’s democracy is crystallizing. 

As many as two thirds of American believe that their democracy is on the brink, and they are worried about it.  Together with an extremist Supreme Court that has repealed fundamental rights for women, this makes Trump-supported Republican candidates – especially in the Senate – vulnerable.

If the Republicans take the Senate thanks to the Trump-endorsed candidates winning in key states like Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona, Nevada, and New Hampshire, that will be a big win for Trump as he moves to declare for the 2024 presidential campaign. 

The converse is also true:  If Democrats beat Trump candidates this year, then they are more likely to beat Trump and the Republicans again in 2024.

There are two possible shock outcomes:  a sweep of both chambers by either party.  A Republican Congress will move aggressively against Biden, his policies and his government.  Expect big investigations. 

Expect Biden to be impeached by the House Republicans. A Democratic Congress, especially if they gain one or two more Senators, would present a complete reversal of fortune, making it possible to enact crucial legislation on abortion rights and voting rights and cement a historical place for Joe Biden as a truly great president.

The stakes are huge.  We’ll know the final verdict in 8 weeks.

Continue Reading

World

A spacecraft has successfully smashed into an asteroid

Published

on

A spacecraft has successfully smashed into an asteroid – this could one day protect Earth from catastrophe

NASA’S  Double Asteroid Redirection Test spacecraft, known as DART, set out moments ago to deliberately collide with the asteroid Dimorphos. This is the first mission of its kind.

The 700-kilogram Hera spacecraft slammed into a small asteroid at a speed of 14,000 kilometres per hour.

The high-speed impact is designed to create an artificial crater on the surface of the rock.

Over the next two years, Hera will study the artificial crater using its suite of cameras and sensors.

In particular, it will search for signs that the impact has altered the orbit around its larger, sister asteroid.

This information could help scientists better understand how to deflect an asteroid in the future.

Continue Reading

Trending Now

Copyright © 2022 The Ticker Company PTY LTD