TUESDAY, April 10
At last, Bronte Campbell has had her moment. And absolutely no-one in Australia is going to begrudge her of it.
The younger of the Campbell sisters, for so long in the immense shadow of Cate, chalked up a win in Australia’s most famous swimming sibling rivalry on Monday night.
And what a win it was. A Commonwealth-record triumph in the showpiece event you really want to snare — the women’s 100 metres freestyle final.
Bronte last beat Cate in the 100m final at the Olympics in 2016, while she prevailed ahead of her sister at the 2015 World Championships in Kazan, in both the 50m and 100m freestyle deciders.
But any other success for her has come in relay events. On her own, she’s been forced to play a very gracious bridesmaid to Cate Campbell’s stunning successes.
But in Southport, right at the turn, Bronte seized a bit of history for herself, in personal-best time.
The Pacific nation of Vanuatu has been approached by China with the view to establishing a military base there, according to Fairfax Media.
Fears over China’s growing influence in the Pacific have increased after reports Beijing wants to establish a permanent military base in Vanuatu, in what’s considered Australia’s backyard.
However, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is confident of Australia’s strong relationship with the island nation 1750km east of northern Australia.
Initial talks have already begun with Vanuatu, which could result in China establishing a major military presence and upsetting the delicate strategic balance in the region, Fairfax Media reported on Tuesday.
Chinese money has already helped finance a new wharf on the north island of Espiritu Santo, alongside an upgrade to the international airport.
The ability for China to dock warships and refuel on what would be their first Pacific base has rung alarm bells among Australian security chiefs, as well as New Zealand and US officials, who are said to be monitoring the situation, Fairfax says.
Ms Bishop said while China was investing in infrastructure around the world, in had to date only established one military base – in Djibouti in northern Africa.
“I’m not aware of a military offer being made by China to Vanuatu,” she told ABC radio on Tuesday, noting the government of Vanuatu had also said there was no such proposal.
US President Donald Trump says he plans to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un next month or in early June and hopes the discussions would ultimately lead to an end of the North’s nuclear weapons program.
“We’ll be meeting with them sometime in May or early June and I think there’ll be great respect paid by both parties and hopefully we’ll be able to make a deal on the de-nuking of North Korea,” Trump told reporters at the beginning of a Cabinet meeting.
“They’ve said so. We’ve said so,” Trump said.
“Hopefully, it’ll be a relationship that’s much different than it’s been for many, many years.”
Trump’s comments came just a few hours before North Korea mentioned talks with the United States and South Korea for the first time.
North’s state media said Kim Jong Un chaired a party meeting on Monday in which he assessed future talks with Washington and his upcoming summit with South Korea on April 27.
“(Kim Jong Un) set forth the strategic and tactical issues to be maintained by the Workers’ Party of Korea including the future policy of international relations and the orientation corresponding to them,” the North’s central news agency said on Tuesday.
Any meeting between Kim and Trump would come after the two Koreas hold their first summit in more than a decade later this month.
North Korea has told the United States it is prepared to discuss the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula when Kim meets Trump.