Unrest in Sri Lanka, new monkeypox cases in ACT and anger over Uvalde shootings response

Good morning. It’s Thursday 14 July, and here’s a round-up of the latest news.

National curfew imposed as Sri Lanka state of emergency declared

Sri Lanka’s government has imposed a national curfew in response to widespread protests that have led to a storming of several official buildings.

The nation’s ousted President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has yet to fulfil a promise to give his formal resignation, which was expected Wednesday, despite fleeing with his family to the Maldives and naming an acting successor.

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His decision to leave his ally Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in charge as acting president triggered more demonstrations, with Mr Wickremesinghe declaring a state of emergency and imposing a curfew across Sri Lanka in response.
Protesters breached the prime minister’s office walls in the capital Colombo, waving the country’s flag and demanding his immediate resignation.

Mr Wickremesinghe says he has instructed the military and police to restore order in the country and claims demonstrators are seeking to seize power.

Anthony Albanese seeks to strengthen bilateral ties

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese while meeting in face-to-face talks for the first time.

The PM has held several bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the Pacific Islands Forum in Fiji as he looks to strengthen diplomatic ties.

Composite image of Albanese and Sogavare hugging and shaking handsComposite image of Albanese and Sogavare hugging and shaking hands

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese hugs his Solomon Islands’ counterpart Manasseh Sogavare amid strained tensions between the two nations. Source: Supplied

It is the first time the Forum has met in person since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It follows a concerted effort from China to increase its influence in the region after signing a security deal with the Solomon Islands.

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Mr Albanese says the new Australian government has changed its stance on various issues, including climate change, which the Pacific has welcomed.

Video shows police delay at school shooting

A new wave of anger has swept through the Texas town of Uvalde following the release of a video showing the where 19 children and two teachers were killed.

The video is a disturbing and at times graphic 80-minute recording showing police officers in body armour – some with rifles and bulletproof shields – milling in the hallway of the school as a gunman continues to fire inside a fourth-grade classroom where the teachers and children were located.

The officers waited more than an hour before going inside the classroom and stopping the massacre.
The video has led to renewed and a full account of what happened that day.

But Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin has told a city council meeting releasing the video was a cowardly act because he believed the families of the victims should have seen it first after being debriefed by investigators.

Former chancellor leads race to succeed Boris Johnson

Former United Kingdom chancellor Rishi Sunak has won the most votes in the first round of voting to as leader of the Conservative Party and prime minister, as two candidates were eliminated.

Mr Sunak scored 88 votes, ahead of junior trade minister Penny Mordaunt on 67 and foreign minister Liz Truss on 50.

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MP Kemi Badenoch received 40 votes, Tom Tugendhat received 37 and Suella Braverman received 32.

Finance minister Nadhim Zahawi, with 25 votes, and former cabinet minister Jeremy Hunt, 18 votes, were eliminated.

Monkeypox detected in ACT

Two cases of the have been recorded in the ACT.

It is the first time the disease has been identified in the nation’s capital.

ACT health authorities said both of the cases had travelled to Europe and recently returned to Canberra.

Both are isolating at home and have reported mild symptoms.

Darren Chester requests security review

A federal MP is calling for a review of security arrangements for Australian parliamentarians following the assassination of former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe.

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Nationals MP Darren Chester has written to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese requesting the review to ensure Australian MPs, their families and staff are safe.

Mr Chester says he is concerned Australian politicians are sometimes vulnerable, and now is an appropriate time to “coolly and calmly” assess the risks.

Maroons overcome early carnage to win State of Origin decider

A brutal opening to the State of Origin decider hurt both teams but it was Queensland who defied the carnage to claim the series with a remarkable 22-12 win.
NSW’s Cameron Murray was the first casualty as three players were knocked out of the game in the opening four minutes at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday night.
“It was a unique game … I don’t know if I’ve seen a start to a game like that before,” coach Billy Slater said.

“It was courageous … that’s as good a Queensland victory as I’ve ever seen.”

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