While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Sept 17

A reporter asks a question during a news conference with (from left) Australian Defence Minister Peter Dutton, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and US.Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin in Washington.
A reporter asks a question during a news conference with (from left) Australian Defence Minister Peter Dutton, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and US.Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin in Washington.PHOTO: REUTERS

Australia agrees to increased US air deployments after sub deal

Australia and the United States announced expanded military cooperation on Thursday, including rotational deployments of all types of US military aircraft to Australia, a day after announcing a submarine deal denounced by China as intensifying a regional arms race.

Speaking after meetings between the US and Australian foreign and defence ministers, Australian Defence Minister Peter Dutton said the two sides would be "significantly enhancing our force posture cooperation, increasing interoperability and deepening alliance activities in the Indo-Pacific."

On Wednesday, the United States and Britain said they would provide Australia with the technology and capability to deploy nuclear-powered submarines.

The United States and its allies are looking for ways to push back against China's growing power and influence, particularly its military buildup, pressure on Taiwan and deployments in the contested South China Sea.

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France lambasts Australia, US after 'stab in back' on subs

France on Thursday accused Australia of back stabbing and Washington of Donald Trump-era behaviour after Canberra scrapped a huge submarines deal with Paris for US-made nuclear subs.

"It's really a stab in the back. We had established a relationship of trust with Australia, this trust has been betrayed," Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told France Info radio.

"I'm very angry today, and bitter... this is not something allies do to each other," he said, noting that Australia would now have to explain how it would exit the contract.

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Pelosi predicts 'what's his name' would fail in a 2024 White House run

Former US President Donald Trump might make another White House run in 2024, but if he does, he will take his place in American history as a two-time loser, House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi predicted on Thursday.

Visiting England for a meeting of parliamentary leaders from Group of Seven (G-7) countries, the Democratic leader was asked during a forum to reflect upon the two impeachment proceedings she initiated against Trump late in 2019 and in January 2021.

Seizing an opportunity to score a political point against the man who continues to be the most powerful force in the Republican Party, Pelosi proclaimed, "I don't ever talk about him." However, she continued to talk about Trump, though not by name.

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'Crazy dream': Macron inaugurates Wrapped Arc de Triomphe

French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday inaugurated a posthumous installation conceived by the late artist Christo that envelops Paris' Arc de Triomphe monument in 2,500 square metres of silvery blue, recyclable plastic wrapping.

"This is the achievement of a 60-year-old dream, a crazy dream come true," said Macron, who was accompanied by his wife Brigitte and officials.

Macron said he was particularly happy the installation took place at the Arc de Triomphe because the monument had "suffered so much at the end of 2018", alluding to the looting and vandalism at the Arc de Triomphe during an anti-government "yellow vest" protest that degenerated in December 2018.

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Chelsea defender James' medals stolen in burglary at home

Chelsea defender Reece James had his Champions League winners' medal and Euro 2020 runners-up medal stolen during a robbery at his home this week while he was away playing for the club, the player said on Thursday.

The 21-year-old right back posted a series of clips from his security cameras on Instagram that showed a group of four hooded burglars breaking into his house.

James said no one was home at the time.

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