With this in mind, here is our ‘summer round-up’ to ensure that you are on top of the notable events in global politics.
Starting here at home, Australia has been chiefly focussed on the large number of bushfires ravaging the country, with a number of lives lost and millions of hectares of land burnt out. The situation has become so dire that 3,000 army reservists have been drafted in to fight fires across the country. In addition, the Government has already started looking forward to the recovery process with its commitment to establish a $2 billion National Bushfire Recovery Agency to assist with the rebuilding of communities affected by the fires. Former Australian Federal Police Chief, Mr Andrew Colvin has been appointed as the head of the new National Bushfire Recovery Agency for an initial two-year term.
In addition, there has been a worldwide response to the bushfires, with celebrities, including those from outside of Australia, donating to the recovery efforts. So far, Nicole Kidman, Keith Urban and Pink have all donated to the recovery efforts. In addition, a variety of sports stars are donating to the recovery efforts, with Australian tennis stars, Nick Kyrgios and Ash Barty, spearheading the efforts by donating every time they serve an ace.
The most notable fundraiser so far has been Australian comedian Celeste Barber, who has over $41 million through her Instagram post on Friday 3 January 2020. She launched her fundraising effort with footage of her NSW South Coast-based mother-in-law, Joy Robin, who was caught up in the fires. If you would like to donate to the bushfire recovery efforts, News.com.au has published an excellent article outlining all the charities that are working to help the volunteer firefighters, victims of the fire and those looking to help the wildlife. You can read this article here.
Tensions are currently rising between the United States and Iran, with the United States killing Iranian General, Qasem Soleimani, in a drone strike. US President, the Right Honourable Donald Trump has defended the US’s action, stating that the General was ‘plotting imminent and sinister attacks’. The Iranian Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has indicated that there will be repercussions following the US’s attack, stating that ‘severe revenge awaits the criminals’. World leaders, including Australian Prime Minister, the Hon Scott Morrison MP have called for calm between the US and Iran. At this time, it is unclear as to what this will mean for Australian soldiers currently stationed in Iraq, who are reportedly close allies of Iran, with troops likely to either be withdrawn or see our commitment in the Middle East further increase.
The tensions in Hong Kong failed to quell over the Christmas break, with protesters clashing with police during protests on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Following the clashes, China has replaced its Hong Kong envoy, with Luo Huining being appointed as the head of China’s liaison office in Hong Kong. Despite this, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, continues to have support from mainland China. This means that it is likely that the protests will be continuing well into the New Year.