Good morning. We’re covering a change of power in Australia, President Biden’s trip to Asia and catastrophic floods in India and Bangladesh.
Australia’s incoming Labor leader
Prime Minister Scott Morrison conceded defeat in the election to Anthony Albanese (incoming Labor prime minister), ending nine years under conservative leadership.
The opposition Labor party made the election a referendum on Morrison’s conduct. Albanese, whose campaign was gaffe-prone and light on policy, promised a more decent form of politics, running as a modest Mr. Fix-It who promised to seek “renewal, not revolution.”
Our bureau chief in Sydney Damien Cave writes in an analysis that voters were most focused on cost of living issues. However, the election was also about climate changes. Australians rejected Morrison’s deny-and-delay approach, which has made the country a global laggard on emission cuts, for Albanese’s vision of a future built on renewable energy.
Details:Australia is a country where mandatory voting results in a high level of turnout. However, voters didn’t just give Labor a clear victory. They delivered a larger share of their support to minor parties and independents who demanded more action on climate change — a shift away from major party dominance.
Food: Elections in Australia come with a side of “democracy sausage” hot off the barbecue, a beloved tradition that acts as a fund-raiser for local groups and makes the compulsory trip to the voting booth feel less like a chore and more like a block party.
President Biden visits Asian allies
On his first trip to Asia as president, Joe Biden attempted to strengthen ties with allies rattled by Donald Trump’s erratic diplomacy and wary of Beijing’s growing influence.
In Seoul on Saturday, he met with President Yoon Suk-yeol, who was inaugurated 11 days prior, and criticized Trump’s attempts to cozy up to Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s dictator. Biden will meet with Yoon to discuss ways to increase joint military exercises, which Trump attempted to curtail in a concession for Kim.
Biden will present a revised trade agreement today in Tokyo. It seeks to coordinate policies without tariff reductions or market access of the Trans-Pacific Partnership that Trump abandoned five years back. Some in the region are skeptical about the less expansive framework’s value.
Context: Russia’s war in Ukraine snarled Biden’s original strategy of pivoting foreign policy attention to Asia. This trip is an effort by Biden to reaffirm his commitment and show a strong focus on countering China.
Floods in India and Bangladesh caused by heavy rains
More than 60 people were killed and millions more were left homeless after heavy pre-monsoon rains swept away train stations, towns, and villages.
As climate change continues to intensify, extreme weather is becoming more common in South Asia. The country has recently experienced devastating heat waves.
Parts of central and northern India saw their highest average temperatures in April this year. Last year, severe rainfall and landslides washed away large refugee camps in Bangladesh. In 2020, torrential downpours submerged at most 25% of the country.
Context: Because of their proximity to the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean, India and Bangladesh are especially vulnerable to climate change. The tropical waters are increasingly experiencing heat waves, which have led to dry conditions in some places and “a significant increase in rainfall” in others, according to a recent study.
Details: The Brahmaputra, one of the world’s largest rivers, has inundated vast areas of agricultural land, villages and towns in India’s remote, hard-hit northeast.
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Why is Haiti so poor
The world often looks at Haiti and feels sympathy for its suffering, but it is often overshadowed when they complain about corruption or mismanagement.
France is responsible for many of the country’s problems. France demanded ransom after Haitians led an unsuccessful slave rebellion in 1791. France also established an independent nation in 1804. France made Haiti take out a loan from French banks in order to pay the bills.
Because of this “double debt” — the demand and the loan to pay it off — Haiti is the poorest country in the Americas. The Times calculated that the payments to France cost Haiti from $21 billion to $115 billion in lost economic growth over time, as much as eight times the size of Haiti’s entire economy in 2020.
That debt hamstrung Haiti’s economy for decades, eventually luring Wall Street and delivering big margins for the institution that ultimately became Citigroup.
France’s betrayal also led to political upheaval. In 2003, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the country’s first democratically elected president after decades of dictatorship, tried press France for reparations. He was quickly removed from power by the U.S. and France.
Here are some examples Six takeawaysFrom The Times series an explanationHow journalists conducted their research.
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Source: NY Times