Oceanía (Continuación)

Solemos ser muy reacios a dejarnos distraer, a la hora de abordar estos hebdomadarios billetes, por la gayumba mediática que convierte anécdotas en fenómenos morbosos que arman la mundial. Nos referimos, en este caso, al sainete Djokovic, que es un tenista de leyenda, pero, para este plumilla, nada más (y nada menos). Sin embargo, una vez acabada la ópera bufa que ha montado en tierra de wallabies, creemos detectar una reflexión de cierta enjundia, para inquietos ciudadanos españoles.

Veamos los hechos relevantes en su desnudez. Un señor no australiano ni residente en Australia quiere pasar unos días en Melbourne, invitado a participar en un torneo de tenis, porque es jugador profesional… Democráticamente tiene los mismos derechos fundamentales y las mismas obligaciones que un zapatero de Andorra invitado por unos familiares a pasar el cotillón.…  Seguir leyendo »

Novak Djokovic descansa en una práctica del Abierto de Australia en Melbourne, el 14 de enero de 2022. El tenista serbio ha tenido problemas por negarse a ponerse la vacuna contra el COVID-19. Tendrá que enfrentar la misma situación en el torneo Roland Garros en Francia. (Diego Fedele/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

Novak Djokovic, el tenista masculino número uno del mundo, ha ganado 20 torneos de Grand Slam, un récord que comparte junto a sus legendarios colegas Roger Federer y Rafael Nadal. Este mes tuvo la oportunidad perfecta para distanciarse de sus rivales: pudo haber ganado su Grand Slam número 21 en el Abierto de Australia, donde ya ha sido campeón nueve veces. Pero eso ya no sucederá. Djokovic ha sido deportado de Australia, y, por mucho que reclame y patalee, él es el único culpable de esa situación.

A diferencia de 97% de sus compañeros en el circuito de tenis masculino, Djokovic se niega a vacunarse porque está hipnotizado por disparatadas ideas new age sobre la salud.…  Seguir leyendo »

Novak Djokovic, the No. 1 men’s tennis player in the world, has won 20 Grand Slam tournaments — a record he shares with his fellow greats Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. He had a perfect opportunity to separate himself from his rivals this month by winning a record 21st Slam at the Australian Open, where he has already been the champion nine times. But now that won’t happen. Djokovic has been deported from Australia — and, however much he might wail and rage, he has no one but himself to blame.

Unlike 97 percent of his peers on the men’s tennis tour, Djokovic refuses to be vaccinated because he is in thrall to wacky New Age ideas about health.…  Seguir leyendo »

Novak Djokovic Got the Boot. Australians Are Thrilled

Update: A panel of judges ruled on Sunday that Australia’s immigration minister was within his rights to cancel the tennis champion Novak Djokovic’s visa. The judges’ ruling is final; the Australian Open begins Monday.

Novak Djokovic has had his visa to stay in Australia revoked — not once but twice. After a successful appeal of his apprehension at the border by authorities, our immigration minister has affirmed the initial refusal. The world’s No. 1 men’s singles tennis player is out of the Australian Open (at least for now).

It’s a move that the local papers have claimed will “undoubtedly prove popular with the Australian public.”…  Seguir leyendo »

Police personnel watch pro-refugee protesters rally outside the Park Hotel, where Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic is believed to be held while he stays, in Melbourne, Australia on Jan. 10. (Sandra Sanders/Reuters)

Tennis star Novak Djokovic’s detention by Australian border authorities has cast a much-needed spotlight on the Australian immigration system. Djokovic was held in the Park hotel in Melbourne, alongside 32 refugees who had sought asylum in Australia and have been indefinitely detained ever since — some for up to nine years.

If you are only just hearing this story, you may be shocked. But the arbitrary and ongoing detention of people, including children, indefinitely is tolerated and normalized in Australia.

This part of the story begins in July 2013, when the Labor Party announced that anyone who came to Australia by boat seeking asylum would be sent offshore to Manus Island, Papua New Guinea or Nauru, a tiny island nation in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.…  Seguir leyendo »

This was not part of Novak Djokovic's plan. The tennis star who posed with a big grin Tuesday, planes on the tarmac behind him, announcing that he'd been granted a medical exemption to play at the Australian Open and was about to fly Down Under, was instead about to embark on a saga of epic proportions.

Had things gone according to Djokovic's plans, he would have arrived in Australia Wednesday night and be out on Rod Laver Arena in the Melbourne summer sun by Friday at the latest, working out the kinks from the flight and preparing for the Australian Open.…  Seguir leyendo »

F-35A survolant la Corée du Sud. 2014. — © Keystone

L’Asie-Pacifique se militarise à une vitesse foudroyante depuis plusieurs années, et la tendance s’accélère. Le Japon transforme actuellement deux porte-hélicoptères en porte-avions pouvant transporter des F-35B américains, et son nouveau premier ministre envisage de doubler le budget de la défense; la Corée du Sud prévoit de déployer son propre porte-avions en 2033 et a testé son premier missile mer-sol balistique stratégique, lancé d’un sous-marin, en septembre dernier; l’Australie a décidé mi-décembre de renouveler sa flotte d’hélicoptères et, quelques jours plus tard, signe un contrat d’armement de plus de 700 millions de dollars avec… la Corée du Sud.

Sans surprise, la Chine et la Corée du Nord sont pointées du doigt comme sources principales de cette militarisation régionale: Pékin continue de moderniser ses forces armées, entretient des conflits territoriaux avec une dizaine de pays, dont le Japon et la Corée du Sud, et étend son influence dans le Pacifique Ouest, aux portes de l’Australie; Pyongyang persiste dans le développement d’armes nucléaires et de missiles balistiques, menaçant Séoul et Tokyo.…  Seguir leyendo »

This weekend, Novak Djokovic should have been warming up for yet another grand slam.

But instead the world No 1 tennis champion – and noted vaccine sceptic – is cooling his heels in an Australian quarantine hotel, while an international row rages over whether he should be kicked out of the country altogether. Djokovic had boasted on social media of securing an exemption, for medical reasons he has not explained, to the rules that all players in the Australian Open must be double-jabbed. But hours later he was stopped at the airport, his visa cancelled, and he was unceremoniously threatened with deportation.…  Seguir leyendo »

No, Australia Is Not Actually an Evil Dictatorship

Ron DeSantis, the Republican governor of Florida who has made a name for himself as an extreme opponent of vaccine mandates, announced at the end of last month that Australia was “not a free country.” This was surprising news — most of all to Australians.

We have mostly spent pandemic lockdowns alternating between boredom, frustration, wine, a lot of Netflix and trying to locate our trousers before Zoom meetings. Recently, we’ve also become aware of a disturbing myth that appears to be enthusiastically fostered on the American right: Our experience of the pandemic, apparently, has been that of a violent police state.…  Seguir leyendo »

An orphaned joey that was rescued during the bushfires in Wytaliba, New South Wales in 2019. Photograph: Jorge Silva/Reuters

In November 2019 I wrote about the bushfires and burnoffs and calling for better political leadership. A few weeks ago we lit the first hazard reduction burn around our house since those fires. It brought up a few memories and feelings.

It’s two years now since the first fires came. They had been near Armidale and Tenterfield for a couple of weeks; then they were much closer. A hot day, a big wind and an ember from kilometres away landed high on the Leather Jacket Ridge that runs through the middle of Wytaliba, our 3,500-acre community. Over the next week, with calmer and cooler conditions that fire burned slowly downhill to our settlement areas.…  Seguir leyendo »

French President Emmanuel Macron and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull stand on the deck of HMAS Waller, a Collins-class submarine operated by the Royal Australian Navy, in Sydney in 2018. (Brendan Esposito/AFP)

The new AUKUS security partnership led to an immediate diplomatic fallout between France and the United States. But beyond the concerns about NATO and the Western alliance, or questions about great-power competition in the Pacific, some analysts see another worry: Will sharing nuclear submarine propulsion technology with Australia set back the nuclear nonproliferation regime?

What does this deal mean for nonproliferation? Have such transfers of nuclear submarine technology occurred in the past? Here are four things to know.

1. What does the deal involve?

The first major AUKUS initiative will help Australia acquire a conventionally armed submarine fleet that’s powered by nuclear reactors.…  Seguir leyendo »

A Queensland-New South Wales border sign in Australia on Sept. 2. (Jono Searle/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

“State against state, mate against mate” is the slogan of State of Origin, an annual rugby league tournament held between the states of Queensland and New South Wales. As the slogan suggests, the matches are fiercely contested, but the banter between the states’ political leaders is traditionally light-hearted.

After all, we’re all Australians.

Well, that was up to the arrival of covid-19. The past 18 months have reinvigorated the tribalism of Australian politics. Even the “footy” league series quickly became mired in unpleasantness, as the two state premiers argued over pandemic border restrictions.

As covid-19 continues to rise in Australia, so has parochialism.…  Seguir leyendo »

Does YouTube, that great repository of cat videos and plumbing tips, have more exacting standards of journalism than Australia’s official media regulator?

That was the conclusion some have drawn after YouTube introduced a temporary ban on Sky News Australia — the channel controlled by media baron Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.

While YouTube declined to identify the at-fault programs, the platform deleted a series of Sky News videos promoting hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin as treatments for covid-19.

YouTube’s speedy action has been contrasted to the approach of Australia’s broadcasting regulator, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). The authority is tasked with enforcing broadcast standards, but critics say its powers are limited and often not enforced.…  Seguir leyendo »

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison removes his mask before speaking at a conference following a national cabinet meeting, at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia on July 2. (Lukas Coch/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

Most people know someone who did well in life when young, only to fail later. Beguiled by their early success, they took their foot off the accelerator, believing that fate would always be kind.

Welcome to the story of Australia. The country has enjoyed great success in the battle against covid-19, but now finds itself falling victim to complacency.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison deserves some of the blame. Back in March, he declared that the vaccine roll-out was “not a race.” Four months later, it seems clear that he was wrong.

With fewer than 6 percent of the population fully vaccinated, Australia is now dead last among Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries, according to the latest calculations by the website Our World in Data.…  Seguir leyendo »

An aerial view of coral bleaching taking place along the Great Barrier Reef on Australia's northwestern coast. (ARC Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies)

Score one for the Tasmanian devils.

Or rather, score seven — since that’s the number of the squirmy little marsupials that conservationists discovered inside the pouch of a mother devil last week, making them the first of their kind to be born in the wild in mainland Australia in more than 3,000 years.

The accomplishment — the result of a decade of work to “rewild” parts of the continent’s ecosystem — is certainly worth celebrating. But I hesitate.

Don’t get me wrong; I feel a rush of excitement watching videos of the toothy little carnivores skulking about their ancestral habitat. Yet news such as this always comes with a heavy dose of sadness.…  Seguir leyendo »

Teela Reid and her grandmother. (Teela Reid)

Australia has earned a lot of misplaced praise for its response since covid-19 hit our shores. The real success story is how First Nations prioritized people over politics to pull through the pandemic.

Australia is a sacred place that belongs to more than 250 sovereign First Nations. In February 2020, before the Australian government had grasped the gravity of the pandemic, the response from Indigenous communities was swift and the message was clear: Keep our Elders safe!

Our First Nations’ Elders are the heartbeat of our Ancestors. They are the cornerstone of our kinship circles. Elders connect us to our past, ground us in the present and empower us into the future.…  Seguir leyendo »

A sign warns people at a beach in Sydney on Dec. 19. (Mark Baker/AP)

Last week, Anthony S. Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, singled out Australia’s response to the covid-19 pandemic as an example of success. “They really do get the cases almost to nothing,” he said. “We’ve never had that in the United States.”

Indeed, local transmission in Australia is limited to the occasional, isolated case. There are just 43 people in hospital. With 909 total deaths since the pandemic began, the rate of death per 100,000 in Australia stands at 3.6, compared with 163 in the United States and 188 in Britain.

Australia is hardly a perfect country.…  Seguir leyendo »

‘What if another Tarrant decides to show up?’ writes Ramia Abdo Sultan. Photograph: Vincent Yu/AP

As the news on the Christchurch massacre unfolded in 2019, I was at work, ironically dealing with a different type of aggression, namely that of a client detailing the injustices she was experiencing at the hands of her partner, and the exit plan she would soon take. Being safe was the most important thing in all of this. It didn’t matter where she and her children would end up - being safe was all that mattered.

As she left my office, I wondered how humans could ever come to be so inhumane - why did certain people feel it was OK to inflict harm on others and potentially get away with it.…  Seguir leyendo »

People are tested for covid-19 on March. 4 in Otara in Auckland, New Zealand. (Phil Walter/Getty Images)

Life in New Zealand is almost back to normal. While the United States has seen more than half a million deaths from covid-19 — with a death rate of more than 160 per 100,000 of population — New Zealand has lost only 26 people at a rate of 0.53 per 100,000.

Two months ago, one of us, Richard, went to a New Year’s festival with more than 12,000 fellow revelers — something barely imaginable in the United States, where most concerts are online-only. Meanwhile, teachers, including Matthew’s parents, have been instructing in person since May without requiring masks or social distancing measures.…  Seguir leyendo »

Facebook and Google have negotiated with the Australian government about a new law that will require tech companies to compensate news sites for their content. Credit Dado Ruvic/Reuters

Last week Facebook carried out what may have been the single largest content takedown in its history. Any content that looked vaguely like news, even if it very much was not, disappeared from the platform in Australia. The company was demonstrating its opposition to a law now passed by the Australian Parliament that could require technology companies to compensate news organizations for their content.

The action was a high-stakes tactic designed to improve Facebook’s bargaining position with Australian lawmakers, and it worked: The company quickly negotiated amendments to the legislation and has now committed to restoring news sharing to the site.…  Seguir leyendo »