Australia has said it is ready to join the US-led coalition to protect shipping in the Strait of Hormuz. On Wednesday, August 21, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said his country plans to join the US-led international coalition in the Persian Gulf and protect oil tankers and merchant ships “against threats posed by Iran.”
On Wednesday, hundreds of Chinese students at the University of Queensland in Australia got physical during a rally in support of Hong Kong. Pro-China and pro-Hong Kong Chinese students clashed verbally with sporadic physical violence. Students at the school believe that this conflict may lead to more confrontation between the two sides.
A month and a half of ODIs, centuries, and washouts have come down to this. Defending champions Australia (6-5) take on hosts England (4-6) in Thursday morning’s second semifinal for the right to play in Sunday’s 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup Final. The winner will face New Zealand, who withstood India— and the weather— in the first, two-day semifinal. England have never won the World Cup, but are once again favorites (11-8) to do so this year.
At around 9:30 p.m. Saturday night on Australia’s east coast, Antony Green, chief elections analyst at the ABC, made his announcement to a half-stunned, half-delirious nation. “At this stage, we think the Morrison Government has been reelected.” Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s conservative Coalition, widely expected to lose to Bill Shorten’s Labor Party after six turbulent years (and three Prime Ministers), instead won a majority government in the House of Representatives. For Labor, it was a crushing and baffling defeat in an election many thought un-losable. For the polling industry, however, the Coalition’s triumph was catastrophic, the latest high-profile miss over an abysmal and embarrassing three-year span.
Australians will be voting for a new Parliament, and possibly, their fourth Prime Minister in six years this weekend. Liberal incumbent Scott Morrison and Labor leader Bill Shorten have been neck and neck throughout the campaign. However, Aussies don’t seem to like either one of them, with up to a quarter unable to state a preference in the polls. Yet, voting is compulsory Down Under, so they’ll have to vote for one of them.
Australians go to the polls much more often than in other Westminster democracies, at every three years. Still, the frequent changes in party and national leadership have made the country something of an international joke.
- Tennis’ first major tournament, the Australian Open, concludes this weekend. For two weeks, tennis fans (and North American night owls) have been following the drama, and the heat, in Melbourne. Of the two singles events, the women’s final will be on Saturday, and the men’s on Sunday.
- The women’s final is set. Eighth-seeded Petra Kvitová and fourth-seeded US Open champion Naomi Osaka will each play for their first Australian Open championship on Saturday.
- A pair of name brands appear in Friday’s semifinals, and experts are predicting a Novak Djokovic-Rafael Nadal final on Sunday. Numbers 1 and 2 on the men’s side will face Lucas Pouille and Stefanos Tsitsipas, respectively.
- Perhaps the biggest name not appearing in the last four is Serena Williams, who was eliminated by Plíšková. Williams dropped six games in a row, and four match points, in Wednesday’s quarterfinal. Her attempt to tie Margaret Court’s 24 major titles will have to wait until May.
- Has the dominance of the Big Four— Djokovic, Nadal, defending champion Roger Federer, and Andy Murray— held back the men’s singles game? No one under the age of 30 can claim a major title, and with the ATP Tour promoting a new crop of stars under 21, many are left wondering if the game has skipped a generation.