AUSTRALIA LOCKED ON ITS OWN CITIZENS ON COVIDATED FEARS
Would you like to spend five years in prison or pay a fine of $ 51,000 for attempting to enter your own country? This is what 9,000 Australians in India are now facing if they attempt to return home during India’s horrific Covid outbreak.
The new border policy, announced as part of the country’s biosafety law without public consultation, may have ramifications for what it means to be a citizen in a democracy. After all, the fundamental allegiance of a democratic government is to its own citizens. But if you can’t return home as a citizen, what can you do?
While many countries have imposed restrictions on foreign arrivals during Covid, Kim Rubenstein, a citizenship law expert from the University of Canberra, told Global Translations that “no other democratic country has imposed such extreme measures on its citizens” – most of whom are already banned from leaving the country .
The policy was announced without detailed justification on Saturday at midnight and is already in effect. The National Cabinet, which met on Friday, did not discuss the issue and the Prime Minister Scott Morrison has not faced reporters since the decision was made.
Critics say the government is abandoning its citizens and violating its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. By comparison, the United States still allows Americans and aid workers to enter from India, although restrictions on others attempting to enter the United States from India begin on Tuesday.
Numbers game: The Australian government’s political calculation is that the 25 million Australians already at home will be grateful that their government passes strict regulations to protect them from the out-of-control Covid outbreak in India, and that Australians stranded in India – ranging from dual citizenship returning to India for family funeral, with top sports stars competing in the Indian Premier League cricket competition – are too few to create a political backlash.
Australia has only seen an average of three new cases of Covid per day in April, almost all of them caught in the country’s strict hotel quarantine system, meaning there is no community transmission of the novel coronavirus. in Australia. Local television reported that 47 Covid cases of Australians recently returned to India were behind the emergency policy.
Tim Soutphommasane, a former head of the Australian Human Rights Commission, told Global Translations the policy was discriminatory, but was likely to be popular. “The Australian public has rewarded governments that have taken tough action to respond to Covid-19, as we have seen in the abrupt return of many state governments over the past year,” Soutphommasane said. This includes the right-wing Tasmanian state government on Saturday and the left-wing government of Western Australia in March.
Second-class citizens: The policy leaves Australians in India with second-class citizenship papers – and leaves India with the impression that it has been singled out, despite a lower per capita infection and death rate than in the United States , the UK and many other white majority countries in Canada. peak of their Covid outbreaks.
Last month, the United Nations Human Rights Committee already criticized Australia for its arrival cap policy limiting overseas arrivals to between 3,000 and 6,000 per week, leaving around 35,000 Australians stranded in the city. foreigner despite registering with the government as wishing to return home.
HERMIT NATION – AUSTRALIA BEATS COVID, BUT NORMAL LOSER
Political consultant Parnell Palme McGuinness says Australia fully embraces “isolationist nationalism”. Australian state governments announce border closures with alarming regularity, sometimes catching unconscious domestic travelers in mid-flight. Contact tracing remains strict: all public stores and other places require QR code registration to enter, despite the lack of community Covid transmission. Nationally, the federal government has banned almost all departures from the country and has no concrete plan to open the back.
No global elite here: The needs of people with international family or professional connections are pushed to the bottom of the Australian political pile. Two of Australia’s three biggest export industries – international tourism and international university students – have been wiped out by the year-long lockout.
Americans also pay a price: Australians and permanent residents of the country must apply for an exemption to leave, except to travel to neighboring New Zealand. The policy traps at least 4.4 million foreign passport holders – including US citizens – and Morrison says he’s “in no rush” to change the system.
IN THE MEANTIME IN EUROPE … The European Commission has proposed to end its one-year ban on non-Europeans from entering the Union. National governments have yet to approve the plan and the new entry requirement is vaccination.
GLOBAL RISKS AND TRENDS
INDIA – THE FAILED STATE IN ITS COVID TEST: If your Twitter feed looks like mine, you see a constant stream of Indians sharing health details – oxygen stats, blood pressure, and more. – relatives, asking for advice, equipment or a hospital bed. This is because in the absence of a strong and competent Indian government, whether you live or die depends largely on who is in your phone book, writes Mihir sharma. “Denial of the magnitude of the problem is official policy. Ministers, bureaucrats and even government lawyers insist that there is no shortage of oxygen or hospital beds, although everyone can clearly see that there are.
India’s starting position was bad: Delhi has only 5,000 usable intensive care beds for its roughly 20 million citizens, but the treatment has been appalling. The government does not have the capacity to monitor even the bases of the virus in real time, and apparently also the will. Whatever blame and flaws can be attributed to Beijing’s handling of Covid, there is a clear jurisdictional contrast between China and India.
Reality – There are probably a million cases of Covid per day in India. There is no way to know the real number, we only know that the official statistics (400,000 cases per day and rising) are vast undercounts.
EUROPE – THE FOURTH WAVE WILL CAUSE A POPULIST SURGE: Europe has slipped back into recession, a stark contrast to the booming US economy. The EU economy shrank 0.6% in the first quarter of the year, according to data released on Friday.
The bottom line: The European government and the traditional political parties should be very nervous.
NEW ZEALAND – AN INDEPENDENT COURSE ON CHINA: As Democratic allies begin to privately question whether New Zealand is embarking on a policy of appeasement with Beijing, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern directly criticized China’s human rights record and its refusal to engage with other countries on this subject, in a speech from Auckland.
Freed from its previous need for a coalition compromise, the New Zealand Labor government had marked an independent foreign policy course in recent months. He declined to join with other members of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance, for example, in criticizing Beijing over Hong Kong interference and the origins of the Covid pandemic. Minister of Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta also with challenge outlined his vision for the United States as a security and defense partner and China as a trading partner. New Zealand has a long tradition of circumventing the foreign policy of major powers, including the United States and France, when the country declared itself a nuclear-free zone in 1987.
MIDDLE EAST – CLUBHOUSE (AND FREE CONVERSATION) IS ON: The audio application experienced a brief boom in China, before being banned due to the open discussion of normally censored topics. Thais have also used the app to fight digital authoritarianism. It is now the turn of the Middle East.
Kim Ghattas here explores what Arab protesters have learned in the 10 years since the Arab Spring uprisings.
TECH – THE EPIC COURT BATTLE THAT CAN IMPROVE APPLE: Three days after the European Commission accused Apple of abusing its control over the App Store to harm competing music streaming services, Apple is set to face city-based video game company in court of Cary, North Carolina. Epic Games, the creator of the popular Fortnite video game, has caught the attention of regulators in Washington and Brussels with an antitrust lawsuit that could shake up the way app developers reach 1.5 billion iPhone users or iPad in the world.
CLIMATE – BRAZILIAN AMAZON RELEASES MORE CARBON THAN IT ABSORBES: What do you mean? A surprising report published in Nature Climate Change concludes that between 2010 and 2019, Brazil’s Amazon basin emitted 2.7 billion tonnes more carbon dioxide than it absorbed, thanks to logging and burning.
INCLUSIVE RECOVERY PROJECTOR
JAMIE DIMON, MCDONALD’S AND WALMART PROMOTE TO HIRE EX-CONVICTS: More than 70 million Americans have criminal records of one type or another, according to the Second Chance Business Coalition, co-chaired by Dimon. It’s a huge pool of talent that companies can tap into as they embrace the idea of a more diverse workforce.
It is complicated: Dating back 50 years, employment programs for ex-offenders have had a very uneven track record in America, according to a Department of Justice study.
BEAM HER UP: KAMALA HARRIS TO CHAIR NATIONAL SPACE COUNCIL
BIDEN STOCKS HIS WHITE HOUSE WITH IVY LEAGUERS: Joe Biden, who boasted of going to a public school, supplied its top White House staff with nearly twice as many Ivy League graduates as Trump’s White House debut, according to one POLITICO analysis. Forty-one percent of Biden’s top or mid-level White House staff – or 82 out of 201 assistants analyzed – have Ivy League degrees.
IS BORIS JOHNSON’S FRIEND CARRIE ANTOINETTE – OR A VICTIM OF SEXISM? What goes up must go down in the UK media world, and this week it’s the turn of Carrie Symonds, partner of the Prime Minister ravaged by the scandal Boris Johnson. Over there in Paris, Brigitte Macron presents itself as a real power of the Élysée, in a new biography.
AMERICAN OLYMPIC ATHLETES ARE DIVIDED FOR PROTEST: A survey of several thousand Olympians revealed that a majority opposed the use of the Games platform for political or social protest. Americans were more supportive of such expressions of opinion than the average athlete, but like the rest of the country, there are deep divisions.
IMF RETIREMENT: Alexander Werner, Director of the Western Hemisphere Department of the Fund. Werner, originally from Mexico, will leave on August 31.
Thank you to the editor Ben Pauker.