Monthly Archives: November 2018
Picture: Jake BadiorA NEWCASTLE army musician will herald the dawn in Villers-Bretonneux this Anzac Day.
Shaun Manning admits playing The Lament from the Australian National Memorial over more than 2000 World War I soldiers’ graves will be an emotional moment.
“From the top of the tower, I’ll be looking out over the Western Front and thinking about those young guys who lived through such terrible times in the trenches,” he said.
“The place is so peaceful and beautiful now, it’s hard to imagine what it would have been like during the war.”
Musician Manning, who works at the University of Newcastle as a chemical engineer and has been an army reservist for 31 years, travelled to France as part of the Australian Army Band.
“Now that I have seen the Somme, I feel very strongly about having the opportunity to be here and pay my respects to these guys, who answered the call, volunteered, and gave up their lives for the cause of freedom,” he said.
“I have been surprised to see all the Australian flags flying throughout the towns and how much regard the people in this part of France still have for our diggers and what they did during World War I.
The father of three said it was confronting to see memorials to servicemen who had died for their country in their early 20s, the same stage of life as his three children Cameron, Bianca and Duncan were now.
“Walking through the Commonwealth cemeteries in this area has opened my eyes to the fact that the average age of the people who came here, and died here, is the same as my own children,” Musician Manning said.
CHEERS: Braddon Archer from the Thirsty Crow Brewery has spent a month perfecting the Anzac Biscuit Beer, available at Wagga RSL on Anzac Day. Picture: Stephen Mudd.The mad scientist brewers at the Thirsty Crow have come up with a fitting tribute for Anzac Day, infusing the flavours of golden syrup, oats and coconut into a beer.
The Anzac Biscuit Beer, available at Wagga RSL on Anzac Day, is slightly heavier than you’d expect, a full-bodied beer, with a sweet aftertaste that’s reminiscent of its namesake.
That sweetness means it’s not the sort of thing people could drink all afternoon, but it’s worthy to sit alongside the Thirsty Crow’s vanilla milk stout as a beer that has to be tasted to be believed.
Brewer Braddon Archer spent a month working on the golden drop, using the Thirsty Crow’s experimental techniques to get the flavours right.
“I reckon it’s bloody beautiful,” Mr Archer said. “We do small batches for our experiments and we’ve come up with a few shockers, but this is pretty good.”
Jo Thomas from Wagga RSL was impressed with the finished product.
“I love it,” Ms Thomas said. “I think it tastes like an Anzac bickie, with the oats and the syrup. It’s really good.”
French President Emmanuel Macron is on a state visit to Washington for talks with Donald Trump.A sit-down between United States President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron followed by a joint news conference highlight the business portion of the French leader’s second day in Washington.
The pageantry of Macron’s official state visit, the first of the Trump presidency, will come on Tuesday night with a lavish state dinner at the White House which is expected to be attended by about 150 guests.
Monday night was a more relaxed affair, featuring a helicopter tour of Washington landmarks and a visit to the Potomac River home of George Washington with their wives for dinner.
The private dinner came one night before the leaders sit down for talks that will include security, trade and the Iran nuclear deal.
“This is a great honour and I think a very important state visit given the moment of our current environment,” Macron said on Monday after his plane landed at a US military base near Washington.
Macron’s pomp-filled three-day state visit to Washington underscores the importance that both sides attach to the relationship: Macron, who calls Trump often, has emerged as something of a “Trump whisperer” at a time when the American president’s relationships with other European leaders are more strained.
Trump, who attaches great importance to the optics of pageantry and ceremony, chose to honour Macron with the first state visit of his administration as he woos the French president.
But Macron and Trump disagree on some fundamental issues, including the multinational nuclear deal, which is aimed at restricting Iran’s development of nuclear weapons.
Trump, skeptical of the pact’s effectiveness, has been eager to pull out as a May 12 deadline nears. Macron says he’s not satisfied with the situation in Iran and thinks the agreement is imperfect, but has argued for the US sticking with it in the absence of a “Plan B.”
The Trumps and Macrons helped plant a tree on the White House grounds before boarding Trump’s Marine One helicopter for a tour of monuments built in the capital city designed by French-born Pierre L’Enfant as they flew south to Mount Vernon, the first US president’s home along the Potomac River.
The young oak is an environmentally friendly gift to the White House from Macron, and one that also bears historical significance. It sprouted at a World War I site in France, the Battle of Belleau Wood, that became part of US Marine Corps lore.
After Trump’s helicopter landed at Mount Vernon, the two presidents, each holding his wife’s hand, walked a short distance and posed for pictures before they boarded golf carts that ferried them to the front door of Washington’s plantation house.
Australian Associated Press
Malcolm Turnbull and NATO’s Jens Stoltenberg have discussed boosting the rules-based global order.Malcolm Turnbull has met with NATO to discuss the security situation in Russia, North Korea and a potential new commitment in the Middle East.
He met NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels on Tuesday and the pair also talked about strengthening the rules-based international order in the face of authoritarian governments.
Mr Stoltenberg said NATO and Australia had been allies in the Middle East, especially providing security in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“At our summit in July, we expect to launch a new training mission in Iraq,” Mr Stoltenberg said in a statement.
“This could be another area where NATO and Australia could join forces.”
The prime minister said Australia has been one of the largest non-NATO contributors to the war in Afghanistan.
“We must never again let that country become a haven for terrorists,” Mr Turnbull said.
He said the pair discussed the response to the poisoning attack on a former Russian agent in the United Kingdom.
Australia expelled two Russian spies from its Canberra embassy.
“Australia is the only country outside the EU and NATO to take this action,” Mr Turnbull said.
The pair talked about the importance of NATO in countering rising authoritarianism.
“More than at any time since the end of the Cold War, NATO is central to that task of maintaining the security and compliance to rule of law that is the foundation of our freedom,” Mr Turnbull said.
He said sanctions must be maintained against North Korea until it abandons its nuclear weapons program.
Mr Turnbull also said Australia this week joined the NATO co-operative cyber defence centre of excellence in Estonia.
Australian Associated Press
Egypt’s former anti-graft chief Hesham Genena has been found guilty of insulting the armed forces.Egypt’s military court has convicted former anti-graft chief Hesham Genena of insulting the armed forces and sentenced him to five years in prison, a defence lawyer says.
Genena was arrested in February following incendiary comments he made in a television interview in which he claimed that the former chief-of-staff Sami Annan was in possession of documents incriminating the country’s “leadership”.
Annan was arrested in January shortly after he announced his intention to challenge President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi in a March presidential election. He was accused of incitement against the military and forgery.
El-Sissi ran virtually unopposed, winning the election with 97 per cent of the vote.
Defence lawyer Hossam Lotfy says Tuesday’s verdict against Genena will be appealed.
Another defence lawyer, Ali Taha, confirmed the verdict in a Facebook posting.
Australian Associated Press