Lebanon’s special day a time for solidarity: PM Morrison
(See Translation in Arabic section)
Canberra - M E Times Int'l: “We stand in solidarity with the people of Lebanon, and their friends and family here in Australia,” Australian PM Scott Morrison
On this day each year, we recall the historic events of 1943 when Lebanon, a rich trading and cultural centre, entered a new era as an independent Republic.
Australia’s relations with Lebanon have deepened over generations, and been strengthened by ongoing people-to-people links.
Australians of Lebanese descent have enriched our nation with creativity, generosity and dedication. Their contributions have helped to make our home the most successful multicultural nation on Earth.
In the wake of the tragic explosion in Beirut in August and the ongoing global health crisis, I appreciate this year’s Independence Day will be muted by sorrow, and spent in commemoration.
We stand in solidarity with the people of Lebanon, and their friends and family here in Australia.
In times like these, people draw from the well of compassion, peace and respect, values which are so firmly lived out by Lebanese Australians. This is why I have great confidence the Lebanese people will get through these challenges, as they have done throughout history.
On this day, the Lebanese Australian community can reflect with pride – on their resilience and unity in the face of adversity; with appreciation – for their enduring values of family and community; and with hope – that collective strength will be found to rebuild.
The Hon Scott Morrison MP
Prime Minister of Australia
Melbourne airport to get rail link route by 2029
Melbourne: The Melbourne Airport Rail Link route will take travellers into the heart of the CBD in less than 30 minutes following an historic agreement announced today between the Australian and Victorian governments
Prime Minister Scott Morrison joined Premier Daniel Andrews to announce the route for the project, which will connect Victoria’s regional and metropolitan rail networks to the airport for the first time.
From 2029, Victorians will be able to catch a train directly from the CBD to the airport.
“The airport link is a nationally significant project and Victorians have been waiting a long time for it to become a reality. With construction to start in 2022, the agreement will support up to 8,000 jobs during construction,” the Prime Minister said.
Construction will begin in 2022, with a target completion date of 2029 – subject to business case and relevant approvals.
Victoria resumes international arrivals on December 7
Melbourne: Victoria's hotel quarantine program will receive international arrivals in less than three weeks after being banned for five months.
A state government spokesman said intake would commence from December 7 to “allow the final preparations for Victoria's reset quarantine accommodation program for returned travellers to take place”.
The state has requested an initial cap of 160 passengers per day which will help return Australians stranded abroad get home faster. Victoria has recorded no new cases for 21 consecutive days.
China attacks Australia’s ties with US in Global Times article
Wine the latest victim in China-Australia trade tensions
China has taken another swing at Australia, this time over its ties with North America.
Tabloid newspaper the Global Times has published an editorial piece titled “If Australia wants to remain Australia, it must tell the US”.
The publication hit back after comments made by Prime Minister Scott Morrison earlier this week that the country’s democracy was not up for trade.
“For most Chinese people, Australia is no longer the original Australia, but has become a vassal of the US in recent years,” it claimed.
The article then went onto quote anonymous readers.
“Australia looks only to the US and bites where the US points,” one said.
The Global Times pointed to Mr Morrison’s visit to Japan this week and his signing of a defence agreement of expanding Washington’s influence in the Asia-Pacific region.
“Australian politicians seem not to understand what national interests are, and view values as a pale excuse to follow the US,” it wrote.
Pfizer submits request for emergency use authorisation of COVID-19 vaccine
American pharmaceutical company Pfizer is seeking approval for the emergency use of its coronavirus vaccine in the US.
Early results show the vaccine appears 95 per cent effective at preventing mild to severe cases of COVID-19.
The company says it should qualify for emergency use authorisation before final testing is fully complete.
It's already started "rolling" applications in Europe and the UK.
Meanwhile, US officials have warned Americans not to travel ahead of Thanksgiving.
A resurgence of COVID-19 cases across the country has forced some states into lockdown, closing businesses and schools.
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Canberra: Defence Minister Linda Reynolds has spoken publicly for the first time since the Chief of the Defence Force yesterday released the redacted findings of a four-year investigation into alleged war crimes by SAS soldiers.
"I got the report two weeks ago and it made me physically ill and it was a very distressing read.
We have to accept it for what it is. This is not 'fog of war'; these are allegations of absolute, clear cut, murder, and war crimes," Ms Reynolds said.
Justice Paul Brereton recommended 19 current and former SAS soldiers face potential criminal charges over the unlawful killings of 39 individuals.
The Chief of Army Rick Burr took one of the first actions in the wake of the findings, striking the SAS 2nd Squadron off the army's Order of Battle.
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“Here's the deal: Because President Trump refuses to concede and is delaying the transition, we have to fund it ourselves and need your help,” Mr Biden said on Twitter.
“If you're able, chip in to help fund the Biden-Harris transition.”
Each incoming president is entitled to $10 million in public funding to help with the changeover. But the General Services Administration must approve the election win before the money can be accessed.