Canberra’s had enough of trade embargoes and Chinese grievances—and is ready to draw a line.
Canberra, May 4.– Australian defense officials and politicians alike are striking an increasingly hawkish tone on China. This week, it was revealed that a former top general warned his troops last year of the “high likelihood” of war with China. This comes just days after Australian Defense Minister Peter Dutton raised eyebrows with his assessment that Chinese bullying of Taiwan could lead to a regional conflict.
Canberra’s more muscular posture, coupled with an increase in defense spending even amid the pandemic, spells an unusually confrontational approach toward China for a country that once tried to balance its economic relations with its largest trading partner against its decades-old defense commitments to the United States. Washington is repaying Canberra’s efforts, redoubling diplomatic and military engagement with Australian counterparts to jointly plan any response to Chinese aggression toward Taiwan.
Major city sealed off by protesters, clashes claim 25 lives
Bogotá, May 5.– Eight days of protests have left 25 people dead, a major city cut off from food supplies and Colombia’s conservative government scrambling to assert control as it fights the country’s worst Covid-19 surge.
The nationwide unrest was triggered by a proposed tax-collection overhaul and stringent pandemic lockdowns that have been blamed for causing mass unemployment and throwing some four million people into poverty. Colombia is experiencing its third coronavirus surge, with nearly 500 deaths a day on average over the past week, a higher per-capita rate than India’s.
Vienna, May 2.– Lawlessness swept over the streets of Paris on Saturday, with left-wing protesters smashing windows and lobbing stones and fireworks at riot police. The cops have responded in kind, charging and clubbing the rioters.
May Day protesters took over the streets of multiple French cities, with the worst of the early clashes happening in the city of Lyon. By mid-afternoon, however, Paris was the epicenter of unrest, as ‘black bloc’ anarchists marching alongside the traditional trade unionists and workers’ groups started smashing banks and shops in the capital.
New York, May.2 (DP.net).– In recent days, the London-based news channel “Iran International” obtained audio of a private conversation Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had with an economist serving the Iranian government. A few days later, on Sunday, April 25th, The New York Times revealed the details of that conversation proving a previous conversation between the Iranian Foreign Minister and former Secretary of State John Kerry.
The audio revealed that Zarif acknowledged that Kerry had confided him with information that Israel attacked Iranian assets in Syria “at least 200 times.”
Excerpts taken from Politico.com summarize the encounter as follows:
“According to the audio, Zarif added that he was surprised that Kerry would reveal that sensitive information to him ... Kerry — the former secretary of state, Massachusetts senator and Democratic presidential nominee — serves as Biden’s climate envoy on the NSC and was a chief negotiator of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal ... His remarks to an Iranian academic were leaked by a London-based media outlet ... Kerry denied Zarif’s account in a tweet later Monday, writing: “I can tell you that this story and these allegations are unequivocally false. This never happened — either when I was Secretary of State or since.”
Such revelation by Politico.com is noteworthy because this is a traditionally moderate web site founded on a commitment to reporting the facts and only the facts, but leaning more and more since 2018 in favor of the radical socialist ideology. They also print a newspaper with a circulation of approximately 40,000, distributed for free in Washington, D.C. and Manhattan.