2 Australian ministers begin 4-nation visit ending in US

Sep 8, 2021, 1:25 AM | Updated: 1:27 am

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia’s foreign and defense ministers are visiting Indonesia, India, South Korea and the United States to bolster economic and security relationships within the Asia-Pacific region, where tensions are rising with China.

Foreign Minister Marise Payne and Defense Minister Peter Dutton left Australia on Wednesday despite pandemic restrictions which continue to make overseas travel rare for government officials.

The trip will prepare for Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s visit to Washington, D.C., later this month to meet with U.S., Indian and Japanese leaders in the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue.

China has called the so-called Quad an attempt to contain its ambitions.

Payne and Dutton will have their inaugural meeting with their Indian counterparts while in New Delhi.

They will discuss economic security, cybersecurity, climate, critical technology and supply chains, Payne said in statement.

Australia wants to strike a free trade deal with Quad partner India to reduce its economic reliance on an increasingly hostile China.

Australian special trade envoy for India and former Prime Minister Tony Abbott said last month that an India-Australia free trade deal would signal the “democratic world’s tilt away from China.”

The trip by the Australian ministers “strongly reinforces Australia’s active engagement in our region,” a government statement said.

Australia’s tough quarantine restrictions for international visitors mean that Payne and Dutton will meet U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in the United States. The two countries normally take turns hosting the annual meeting, which was held in Washington, D.C., last year.

Dutton, who was infected with the coronavirus during a Washington, D.C., visit last year when he was minister for home affairs, said his upcoming U.S. trip is an important opportunity to build on an already-strong defense relationship near the 70th anniversary of the signing of their bilateral defense treaty.

Payne said one of the most pressing issues to be discussed in all four countries is cooperation on the region’s recovery from the pandemic.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Target, Krispy Kreme fall; Hill International, Lowe’s rise

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks that traded heavily or had substantial price changes Wednesday: Target Corp., down $4.85 to $175.34. The retailer’s second-quarter profit fell far short of Wall Street forecasts as it slashed prices to clear unwanted inventories of clothing, home goods and electronics. Lowe’s Companies Inc., up $1.25 to $215.37. The home improvement […]
13 hours ago
Firearms are displayed during a news conference at the Homeland Security Investigations Miami Field...
Associated Press

US officials warn of uptick in weapons smuggled to Haiti

MIAMI (AP) — U.S. investigators say they have noticed an uptick in the amount and caliber of weapons being smuggled from Florida to Haiti in recent months. Anthony Salisbury, chief of the Miami Homeland Security Investigations office, said agents are increasing their efforts to stop the trafficking, noting rising gang violence around Haiti’s capital. Salisbury […]
13 hours ago
Associated Press

Appeals rulings at odds over Confederate-themed jury room

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Two Black men who challenged their criminal convictions after jurors deliberated in a Tennessee courthouse room containing Confederate symbols have received opposite rulings from different judges on the same appeals court. One was granted a new trial. The other was denied. The conflicting decisions likely mean the matter will be appealed […]
13 hours ago
Associated Press

Medical groups, 20 states weigh in on Idaho abortion lawsuit

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A legal battle over abortion rights pitting one of the reddest states in the nation against the U.S. government has dozens of states and major medical associations seeking to weigh in. Twenty states, Washington, D.C., the American College of Emergency Physicians, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Academy […]
13 hours ago
Associated Press

Children’s hospitals harassed over transgender care programs

BOSTON (AP) — Doctors and other staffers at Boston Children’s Hospital are being threatened with violence over its surgical program for transgender youths, administrators said, and other U.S. children’s hospitals are also being harassed online. Boston Children’s is home to the first pediatric and adolescent transgender health program in the United States. It became the […]
13 hours ago
Brian Moynihan, CEO of Bank of America, is photographed during an interview at the Bank of America ...
Associated Press

BofA CEO: Struggling Americans feel they are in a recession

NEW YORK (AP) — The CEO of Bank of America said the recent debate over whether the U.S. economy is technically in a recession or not is missing the point. What matters is that current economic conditions are negatively impacting those who are most vulnerable. “Recession is a word. Whether we are in a recession […]
13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Vaccines are safe if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Are you pregnant? Do you have a friend or loved one who’s expecting?
2 Australian ministers begin 4-nation visit ending in US