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Australia and the United States jointly develop hypersonic missiles to respond to China and Russia

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Australia and the United States jointly develop hypersonic missiles to respond to China and Russia

Australian Defense Minister Linda Reynolds stated on December 1 that Australia will strengthen cooperation with the United States to jointly develop hypersonic cruise missiles against China and Russia, which are also developing similar weapons.

 

According to a Reuters report on December 1, Australia’s Minister of Defense Linda Reynolds issued a statement that day, stating that Australia will continue to invest in upgrading weapons and equipment to provide more possibilities for its armed forces to confront various challenges that threaten Australia’s interests.

However, the details of the investment amount, project progress, and final delivery time of the weapon were not mentioned in Linda Reynolds’ statement. According to Reuters news, the Australian government has invested about 7 billion U.S. dollars in weapons development this year for the development of long-range high-speed anti-missile systems and hypersonic weapons.

Hypersonic weapons have powerful maneuverability and can fly at speeds exceeding 5 times the speed of sound, which is difficult for traditional air defense systems to intercept.

Last year, Russia developed the first hypersonic missile that can carry a nuclear warhead, and the United States has tested its hypersonic weapon in 2017 and plans to put it into active service in the near future. China has already demonstrated hypersonic missiles that can carry conventional warheads.

Australia and the United States jointly develop hypersonic missiles to respond to China and Russia

According to a report by the US Defense News Weekly on November 30, the US Department of Defense issued an announcement on the same day that it is cooperating with Australia to develop an air-launched hypersonic cruise missile project, code-named Southern Cross Comprehensive Flight Research Experiment. On the same day, Australian Prime Minister Morrison issued a speech asking the Chinese government to apologize for the relevant Twitter by the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

It is reported that following the HiFire series hypersonic flight test of the U.S. and Australia at the Vummela Proving Ground in southern Australia in July 2017, the two defense chiefs have already drawn up a further cooperation plan during the meeting in Washington in July this year. The joint development plan between the two countries this year will continue for more than 10 years, focusing on combustion ramjet engines, sensors, and materials, and launch a new air-to-surface missile that exceeds the speed of sound at least 5 years later. This missile can be carried by combat aircraft equipped by the Australian and US armed forces, including F/A-18F “Super Hornet” fighter jets, EA-18G “Growler” electronic warfare aircraft, F-35A “Lightning II” fighter jets, and P-8A “Poseidon” maritime patrol aircraft.

Australia and the United States jointly develop hypersonic missiles to respond to China and Russia

The Australian government also announced that it will increase military spending by 40% in the next 10 years. These investments are aimed at building the Australian army’s long-range air, sea, and land strike capabilities and expanding its influence in the Pacific and Indo-Pacific regions.

Reuters commented that Australia’s cooperation with the United States on missile development may lead to increased tensions between China and Australia.

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A court in India ruled that touching a child’s body through clothes does not constitute sexual assault, causing national outrage

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According to a CNN report on the 26th, an Indian court ruled that touching a child’s body through clothes does not constitute a sexual assault. The ruling aroused anger throughout India.

In this judgment last week, Mumbai High Court Judge Pushpa Ganediwala ruled that a 39-year-old man was not guilty of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl because he did not take off the girl’s clothes, which means that there is no skin contact.

According to court documents, the man brought her home in December 2016 under the pretext of giving her child guava. There, he touched her breasts and tried to take off her underwear.

The man was convicted of sexual assault in the lower court and sentenced to three years in prison, but then he appealed to the High Court.

Judge Ganediwala held in his judgment on January 19 that the man’s behavior “does not fall within the definition of ‘sexual assault’”. The judge wrote: “Considering the severe punishment for this crime, in this court’s view, stricter evidence and serious charges are needed.”

The report pointed out that sexual assault requires at least three years’ imprisonment for the offender and up to five years. However, India’s 2012 “Protection of Children from Sexual Assault Act” does not clearly stipulate that skin contact must occur to constitute a crime of sexual assault.

Although the judge ruled that the crime of sexual assault was not guilty, the man was convicted of a lesser crime of indecency and sentenced to one year in prison. Ganediwala said: “The penalty for a crime should be proportional to the severity of the crime. This is the basic principle of criminal law.”

After the decision of the Mumbai High Court was announced, Indians questioned the logic of the court’s decision on social media, which is equivalent to setting a new precedent. Other high courts and lower courts across the country now need to follow the decision of the Mumbai High Court.

The National Women’s Council of India stated that it plans to challenge the verdict by law, saying that the verdict will “have a knock-on effect on the regulations concerning women’s safety and security”.

Ranjana Kumari, director of the non-profit Centre for Social Research advocating women’s rights in India, said the verdict was “shameful, outrageous, shocking, lacking judicial prudence. of.”

CNN pointed out that sexual assault is a huge problem in India. In India, sex crimes are often cruel and common, but under the country’s judicial system, they are often not handled properly. According to official data in 2018, a woman is raped every 16 minutes in India.

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With two resignations in two years, can Giuseppe Conte make a successful return three times?

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According to the Italian President’s Office, on January 26, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte had submitted his resignation to President Mattarella. This is Conte’s resignation again a year and a half later.

It is reported that the Italian ruling coalition is composed of four political parties, namely the populist party Five Star Movement, the center-left party Democratic Party, and the Vigor Party, and the Freedom and Equality Party.

On January 13, Italian Vigor Party leader Renzi was dissatisfied with the management and use of the EU Recovery Fund by the Conte government and announced that his party members would withdraw from the coalition government, causing the ruling coalition led by Conte to lose the majority of seats in the parliament.

Although the Conte government won a vote of confidence in the Senate and the House of Representatives with 156 votes in favor, 140 votes against, and 16 abstentions on the 19th, there is still a lack of an absolute majority in the Senate, which will cause the annual budget report to fail to pass. The Senate voted on the 27th.

Based on this, the two main parties in the ruling coalition, the Five-Star Movement Party and the Democratic Party, recommended that Conte resign, hoping to regain the right to form a cabinet and establish a broader ruling coalition.

According to Agence France-Presse, President Mattarella will start consultations with Italian political parties to resolve the government crisis.

 

There are currently four possibilities:

  1. Mattarella does not accept Conte’s resignation and can request the current coalition government to continue to govern;
  2. If Mattarella believes that Conte can get the necessary support to form a new government, he will give Conte a few days to finalize the list of new cabinets;
  3. If Conte fails to form a cabinet, Mattarella will have to choose an alternative candidate who is capable of forming a viable alliance;
  4. If the above plans fail, Italy will hold general elections two years in advance.

 

CNN analysis believes that Conte is one of the most popular politicians in Italy. In the first wave of the epidemic in Italy, he was praised for announcing the nationwide blockade measures very early and has maintained high support of more than 50% among the masses. rate. Conte’s resignation is actually a “tactical action.” The most likely scenario is that Conte will get the opportunity to reorganize the government.

According to the US media CNBC, the frequency of the downfall of the Italian government is very high. Since the Second World War, there have been 66 governments.

If Conte succeeds, this will be the third government he has formed since 2018.

In June 2018, the Five-Star Movement and the far-right coalition party formed a ruling coalition. Conte, who has no party affiliation, was nominated as the prime minister of Italy, which became the “product of compromise” between the two parties.

In August 2019, the coalition party leader and then deputy prime minister Salvini launched a no-confidence vote on Conte. Conte announced his resignation and the first cabinet under his leadership collapsed. In September of the same year, after negotiations with the opposition Democratic Party and others, Conte succeeded in forming a cabinet again.

Currently, the Italian epidemic is still severe. According to statistics from Johns Hopkins University, as of press time, over 2.47 million people in Italy have been infected with the new crown virus and over 85,000 have died. Due to the “reduction” of Pfizer vaccine and AstraZeneca vaccine, the two vaccine companies that Italy mainly depends on have experienced delays in delivery, and the universal vaccination plan will have to be postponed.

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The U.S. and Russia reach an agreement on extending the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty

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On January 26, US President Biden had a telephone conversation with Russian President Putin for the first time after taking office. The Russian Kremlin stated that the two sides agreed to extend the arms control agreement “New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty,” and the US White House also said that the two sides will work on extending the treaty.

Russian Satellite News Agency quoted the Kremlin News Service on the 26th as saying that Putin and Biden reached an agreement on extending the “New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty” during a telephone conversation. The source said: “In the near future, both parties will complete all necessary procedures to ensure that this important international mechanism for mutual restriction of nuclear weapons continues to take effect.”

Reuters reported on the 26th that the White House did not immediately confirm the Kremlin’s statement. However, the White House issued a statement saying that the leaders of the United States and Russia agreed to let their working groups urgently start work on the extension of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.

The United States and Russia signed the “New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty” in 2010, which aims to limit the number of strategic nuclear warheads and delivery vehicles deployed by the two countries. After the US-Russia “China-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty” expired in 2019, the “New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty” became the only arms control treaty between the two countries. The treaty will expire on February 5, 2021, but the validity of the treaty can be negotiated between the two countries It will be extended at most 5 years later. In 2020, the United States and Russia launched several rounds of negotiations on the extension of the treaty. In October of that year, the two sides proposed to extend the treaty for one year but ultimately failed to finalize the details.

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