Good morning. We are talking about a change of power in Australia, President Biden’s trip to Asia and catastrophic flooding in India and Bangladesh.
Australia’s incoming Labor leader
Prime Minister Scott Morrison admitted his defeat to Anthony Albanese, the new Prime Minister of Labor, ending nine years of Conservative leadership.
The opposition Labor party turned the election into a referendum on Morrison’s behavior. Albanian, whose campaign was blunder-prone and light on policy, pledged a more decent form of politics, acting as a humble Mr. Fix-It who promised to seek “renewal, not revolution.”
Voters were most focused on the cost of living, but the election was also about climate change, Damien Cave, our Sydney bureau chief, writes in an analysis. Australians rejected Morrison’s deny-and-delay approach, which puts the country globally behind in reducing emissions, for Albanian’s vision of a renewable energy future.
Details: In Australia, where compulsory voting means an unusually high turnout, voters did not just award Labor a clear victory. They delivered a greater share of their support to small parties and independents demanding more action on climate change — a shift away from major party dominance.
Food: Elections in Australia are accompanied by a side of “democracy sausage” fresh off the barbecue, a beloved tradition that acts as a fundraiser for local groups and makes the mandatory trip to the polling booth feel less of a chore and more of a block party.
President Biden visits Asian allies
On his first trip to Asia as president, Joe Biden sought to bond with allies disrupted by Donald Trump’s erratic diplomacy and wary of Beijing’s growing influence.
In Seoul, he met on Saturday with President Yoon Suk-yeol, who had been inaugurated 11 days earlier, and criticized Trump’s attempts to establish friendly relations with North Korea’s dictator Kim Jong-un. Biden and Yoon will explore ways to expand joint military exercises Trump tried to curtail in a concession to Kim.
Today in Tokyo, Biden will unveil an updated trade deal that aims to coordinate policies, but without the market access or tariff cuts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which Trump left five years ago. The less intrusive framework has some in the region skeptical of its value.
context: Russia’s war in Ukraine stifled Biden’s original strategy to focus foreign policy on Asia. The trip is an effort to reaffirm that commitment and show a focus on countering China.
Severe floods in India, Bangladesh
More than 60 people were killed and millions more were left homeless as heavy rains washed away train stations, towns and villages before the monsoon.
Extreme weather is becoming more common in South Asia, which has recently suffered devastating heatwaves, as the effects of climate change mount.
This year, parts of northern and central India recorded their highest average temperatures for April. Last year, extreme rainfall and landslides washed away sprawling Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh overnight, and in 2020 torrential rains submerged at least a quarter of the country.
context: India and Bangladesh are particularly vulnerable to climate change due to their proximity to the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal. The tropical waters are increasingly experiencing heat waves, which, according to a recent study, have led to dry conditions in some places and “a significant increase in rainfall” in others.
Details: The Brahmaputra, one of the world’s largest rivers, has flooded vast expanses of farmland, towns and cities in remote, hard-hit northeast India.
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ART AND IDEAS
Why is Haiti so poor?
When the world looks at Haiti, sympathy for its endless suffering is often overshadowed by scolding about corruption and mismanagement.
But many of his problems go back to France, which ransom demand after the Haitians led a successful slave revolt in 1791 and established an independent nation in 1804. France forced Haiti to take out a loan from French banks to make the payments.
Because of this “double debt” – the demand and the loan to pay it off – Haiti is America’s poorest country. The Times calculated that payments to France cost Haiti over time from $21 billion to $115 billion in lost economic growth, a staggering eight times the size of Haiti’s entire economy in 2020.
That debt crippled Haiti’s economy for decades, eventually luring Wall Street and giving huge margins to the institution that eventually became Citigroup.
France’s betrayal also sparked political unrest. In 2003, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the country’s first democratically elected president after decades of dictatorship, tried to pressure France for reparations. The US and France quickly ousted him from power.
Be here six takeaways from The Times series and an explanation how journalists conducted their research.