With a focus on international politics and business, Geraldine Doogue talks to expert commentators about the things that matter to Australians.
John McCarthy on how diplomacy should be used
Former diplomat John McCarthy discusses past achievements in diplomacy and how the politics of the day can make all the difference. He also elaborates on his objection to superfluous statements at the political level that causes damage including creating phobias. Instead diplomacy needs to look at the national interest in a calm and considered way.
John McCarthy has held many Ambassadorship roles during his career including to Vietnam, Mexico, Thailand, the US, Indonesia and as high commissioner to India.
War talk: Australia's more militaristic China rhetoric
Militaristic rhetoric about 'drums of war', regarding China, raises questions about what can be achieved with that sort of language, and what's brought it on. Does it strengthen our position with China, or create a whole new set of problems.
We asked four commentators to give their different takes on the recent 'war talk' from Michael Pezzullo, secretary of DFAT, and Defence Minister Peter Dutton.
Israel and Gaza update
The latest on the sudden eruption of large scale violence in Israel and Gaza.
The Budget and aid, trade and diplomacy
In the 2021-22 Budget the federal government boosted funding for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and invested in trade diplomacy by offering Australian businesses strategic and political risk analysis. But there were no major new commitments to foreign aid, despite calls from the sector.
COVID-19 and the great oxygen divide
Oxygen supplies around the world are dangerously low. And the health infrastructure in many developing countries is not equipped to distribute large amounts of oxygen. Around the world, oxygen is often diverted to industry rather than public health.
Can you trust a historical site to be factual?
Bricks and mortar surely can't lie. How can a historical site like Angkor Wat or the site of Abu Simbel not reveal the accurate story about their creation? How do you restore, re-build or re-locate and keep the authenticity of the site and the history? Does it matter? And importantly, who decides? John Darlington is an archaeologist, the Executive Director of the British affiliate of the World Monuments Fund and Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. His book Fake Heritage: Why we rebuild monuments is published by Yale University Press.