Good morning. It is Tuesday 28 June, and here is a wrap of the latest news.
Anthony Albanese arrives in Spain for NATO summit
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese arrived in Madrid for a meeting of the NATO summit.
Australia is not a member, but the prime minister has been invited as part of the first formal Asia Pacific delegation to attend – alongside the leaders of New Zealand, Japan and South Korea.
On the way, Mr Albanese made a brief stop in Dubai to thank Australian troops for their service in the Middle East.
He said the war in Ukraine and Indo-Pacific relations are expected to be high on the agenda.
“Russia’s aggression in Ukraine is a reminder of the unsafe world that we live in and that our values of maintaining international rule of law, of maintaining a sense of order in the global environment, is one that can’t be taken for granted,” Mr Albanese said.
“It does have to be defended.”
Australia has permanent observer status with NATO, allowing the country to have transparency on its security co-operation.
Census shows a more cultural diverse population
Data for the 2021 Census has been released, showing Australia is becoming more multicultural, and has doubled its population over the last 50 years.
In the past five years, the nation has welcomed more than one million residents from overseas – the vast majority arriving before borders closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020.
The largest increase in the country of birth outside Australia was India, which is now also the third largest country of birth overall, after Australia and England, and followed by China and New Zealand.
Mandarin continues to be the most widely spoken language at home other than English, but Punjabi had the biggest increase in speakers since 2016.
There were also substantial changes in the religious profile of the population, with Christianity seeing a significant decrease over the last decade. It fell from around 52 percent of respondents in 2016 to just under 44 percent.
The number of people reporting “no religion” has increased from just over 30 percent to near 39 percent.
Tanya Plibersek addresses oceans summit
Australia’s environment minister has addressed a United Nations summit in Europe, telling the gathering that the environment was back to being ‘front and centre’ under the country’s new leadership.
Tanya Plibersek’s comments were met with applause at the UN Ocean Conference in the Portuguese capital of Lisbon, which over 120 countries are attending.
The conference is urging world leaders to take stronger action on climate change.
The United Nations’ Secretary General Antonio Guterres told the summit that the ocean connects us all.
“Sadly we have taken the ocean for granted, and today we face what I would call an ocean emergency. We must turn the tide,” he said.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta (left), United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa attend the UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon, Portugal. Source: AAP / Armando Franca
“Global heating is pushing ocean temperatures to record levels, creating fiercer and more frequent storms.
“Sea levels are rising. Low-lying island nations face inundation, as do many major coastal cities in the world.”
Gas leak in Jordan kills 10 people
Ten people have died and hundreds more injured in a toxic gas leak at a port in Jordan.
The leak is understood to have happened at the Aqaba port, after a tank filled with 25 tonnes of chlorine gas being exported to Djibouti fell as it was being transported.
A still from a CCTV video shows the chlorine gas explosion in the port of Aqaba, Jordan. Source: AAP / AP
Jordan’s state television is broadcasting video that shows a crane hoisting a large tanker from a truck and then dropping it on the deck of a ship, causing an explosion of yellow smoke and sending dock workers racing away.
City health authorities have called on nearby residents to close their windows and stay in their homes as specialised teams deal with the leak.
Quade Cooper credits England coach
Australian fly-half Quade Cooper credits England coach Eddie Jones for key parts of his development as a player.
Jones, an Australian who coached the Australian national side between 2001 and 2005, has been coach of the England team since late 2015.
Mr Cooper is facing the prospect of opposing Mr Jones’ England side, with the three-match series between Australia and England starting in Perth this Saturday.
But Mr Cooper and Mr Jones were once on the same team – when Mr Jones coached Mr Cooper’s Queensland Reds side, early in his career, and he says he and other players really benefited from Mr Jones’ faith in them.
“I have nothing but respect and gratitude to Eddie for – especially the way he brought us through from a mental standpoint,” Mr Cooper said.
“He was always looking for ways to test you… The Reds, when we got to 2010/11, we were in a great space because we had kind of been thrown in the deep end and it was a matter of sink or swim.
“And a lot of the boys really stepped up. And that’s all to Eddie seeing something in us.”