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Solomon Islands leader rules out Chinese military base

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The Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands has ruled out a Chinese military base on the Pacific archipelago

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has confirmed he has no intentions of a Chinese military base in the Solomon Islands, after signing an historic security pact with Beijing.

In an interview with The Guardian, Sogavare says a military base with Beijing would make Solomon Islands an “enemy” and “put our country and our people as targets for potential military strikes”.

Sogavare met with Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on the sidelines of the Pacific Islands Forum, which is taking place in Fiji.

“We are family, there are issues [but] that makes family strong.”

PRIME MINISTER Manasseh Sogavare

The meeting reportedly lasted 15 minutes, where Albanese said the pair spoke about “our common interests that we have of climate change, dealing with the challenge but also regional security issues”.

Leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum gather in Fiji.

It follows Australia’s Former Prime Minister Scott Morrison opting out of talking to Sogavare because of advice from “security and intelligence agencies”.

Sogavare has previously branded threats as an “invasion” following its tightened security arrangements with China.

Placing a pulse on the Pacific

China was denied an invitation at this year’s Pacific Islands Forum. However, U.S. Vice-President Kamala Harris gave a virtual address.

The Biden Administration will commit USD $600 million to support an envoy to the forum, infrastructure in local fisheries, and brining peace corps volunteers back to the region.

Harris conceded the U.S. has been missing when it comes to the Pacific but has vowed to “change that”. She says the U.S. wants to “significantly deepen our presence in the Pacific region”.

As part of its Pacific push, the U.S. will open embassies in Tonga and Kiribati. The latter is the closest Pacific island nation to the U.S.

However, Kiribati itself is not attending this week’s forum because of tensions over the secretary-general position. But opposition leaders believe China has also influenced this decision, something that Beijing denies.

TICKER NEWS spoke to Ebony Bennett from The Australia Institute, who says the U.S. is “going to re-engage strongly in the Pacific region”.

“The Prime Minister [Manasseh Sogavare] is making the point that they would ever only call on China if Australia can’t fill that security gap, and that Australia remains the security partner of choice for the Solomon Islands.”

Ebony bennett, the australia institute

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi recently toured the region, where he failed to reach a security and trade deal with 10 Pacific nations.

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.

Climate Change

‘Orgy of destruction’ – A 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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Climate Change

Why ‘zombie viruses’ could be the next biggest public threat

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A new report reveals the world will see an increase in so-called ‘zombie viruses’ that are emerging beneath us

A new report by scientists at the French National Center for Scientific Research has revealed the global threat of ‘zombie viruses.’ As climate change continues to take effect, the earth is undeniably getter hotter.

Global warming essentially means significant areas of permafrost are now melting. Permafrost is a frozen layer on or under the Earth’s surface, holding beneath it millions of ‘zombie viruses’ not seen in millions of years.

The now melting permafrost means it is lifting the veil on potentially dangerous microbes that human kind isn’t prepared for.

In Siberia, the scientists uncovered a ‘zombie virus’ which they believe is 50,000 years old. This would be the oldest age of a frozen virus returning to life and able to infect.

Researchers are concerned about the global health impact if the earth continues to warm at its current rate.

 

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Climate Change

Australia warned to brace for more extreme weather events

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From wild floods, to raging fires. Australia has experienced it all

And that’s not changing anytime soon.

The country is getting warmer and residents are being warned to prepare for the worst.

From an increasing number of extreme heat days to flash flooding, wild bushfires and rising sea levels – the Bureau of Meteorology says we need to buckle up and brace for impact.

This comes as the New South Wales flood crisis is ranked as the most expensive natural disaster in Australia’s history.

$5.5 billion worth of insurance claims have been lodged right across the state and now residents as residents are being told their policies won’t be renewed.

So is there anything we can do and is there any hope for our environment?

Meanwhile, say goodbye to those cloudy skies – Weatherzone predicts Australia will flip from the current wet La Nina weather system to its hot and dry cousin, El Nino next year.

If this is true, residents can expect a long period of warm conditions, including reduced rainfall, warmer temperatures and less tropical cyclones.

So how likely is this prediction?

But don’t celebrate just yet.

While the weather system means more days to lie by the pool, spare a thought for those living amongst the trees.

As the risk of severe wildfires skyrockets.

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