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Anthony Albanese, Australia’s new Prime Minister, will deliver a climate message to Tokyo

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Anthony Albanese, Australia’s new Prime Minister, will deliver a climate message to Tokyo

Anthony Albanese, Australia’s new prime minister, took office on Monday, hours before flying to Tokyo to deliver a “message to the world” that his country is ready to engage on climate change.

Before taking the oath of office in a brief, publicly televised ceremony at Government House in Canberra, the 59-year-old Labor Party leader told reporters that he wants to “bring people along on the journey of change.”

In a rushed post-election schedule, he was leaving a few hours later to attend the Quad summit, which brings together the leaders of the United States, Japan, and India.

The Tokyo summit is “an absolute priority” for Australia, according to Albanese, and an opportunity “to send a message to the world.”

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He warned international partners to expect major changes, “particularly in terms of climate change and our engagement with the world on those issues.”

‘Hope and optimism’

Albanese has often reflected on his path to the nation’s highest office, beginning with his upbringing in Sydney public housing by his struggling single mother.

The new leader has stated that he, too, wishes to transform his country.

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“Albo” said shortly before being sworn in that he wanted to lead a government based on “optimism and hope, which I believe defines the Australian people.”

Foreign Minister Penny Wong, who will join the prime minister in Tokyo, Treasurer Jim Chalmers, and Finance Minister Katy Gallagher were among the new members of Albanese’s team to take office.

Albanese has pledged to adopt more aggressive emissions reduction targets in order to transform the sun-drenched continent-nation into a renewable energy superpower.

Coal and natural gas

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Images of smouldering eucalypt forests, suffocating cities, and bleached-out coral reefs have made Australia a poster child for climate-related devastation in recent years.

Under conservative leadership, the country has become synonymous with playing the spoiler at international climate talks, despite already being one of the world’s largest gas and coal exporters.

This track record allowed a slew of climate-conscious independent candidates to wrest once-safe conservative urban seats, assisting Labor in gaining power.

It’s still unclear whether Albanese’s Labor Party will win enough parliamentary seats to form an outright majority, or if he’ll need to rely on independents or smaller parties.

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Albanese said he would return to Australia the next day after the summit and bilateral meetings with Quad leaders on Tuesday.

He said, “Then we’ll get down to business.”

Foreign leaders from Australia’s Pacific Island neighbours, whose very existence is threatened by rising sea levels, have been vocal in their support for Albanese’s election.

“Of all your promises to support the Pacific, none is more welcome than your plan to prioritise the environment — our people’s shared future depends on it,” Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama said.

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Albanese was also congratulated by US Vice President Joe Biden.

The White House said in a statement that “President Biden expressed deep appreciation for… (Albanese’s) early commitment to the alliance, as evidenced by his decision to travel almost immediately to Tokyo to attend the Quad Summit.”

Earthquake in politics

Others will be watching to see if Albanese’s presidency results in a less hawkish tone toward China, and if ministerial meetings with Beijing resume after a two-year hiatus.

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Official results showed Labor winning 75 seats, putting it close to the 76 seats needed for a majority in the 151-seat lower house. Another few races are still too close to call.

However, it is clear that the election resulted in a political earthquake in Australia.

For many Australians, the election was a referendum on former Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who has polarised the country.

Voters overwhelmingly rejected his Liberal-National coalition, removing top ministers from parliament and effectively expelling the party from major cities.

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The defeat has already sparked a battle for the party’s soul among Morrison’s conservative allies.

Informally, a leadership contest is underway, with moderates blaming the loss on a rightward shift.

Hollywood

Review of the spy thriller “Heart of Stone”: Alia Bhatt shines.

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Review of the spy thriller “Heart of Stone”: Alia Bhatt shines.

In a realm where intrigue and suspense collide, Bollywood’s beloved star Alia Bhatt has once again proven her mettle in the enthralling spy thriller “Heart of Stone.” Directed by the visionary Raj Mehta, this cinematic marvel takes audiences on a roller-coaster ride through espionage, deception, and unrelenting action, with Bhatt’s luminous performance at its epicenter.

A Glimpse into the Plot

“Heart of Stone” delves into the shadowy world of espionage, where nothing is as it seems, and allegiances can crumble in an instant. Bhatt’s character, Maya Verma, is a compelling enigma—a resolute intelligence operative navigating a labyrinth of covert operations and intricate deceptions. As the layers of the narrative peel away, Maya finds herself ensnared in a high-stakes game where trust is elusive and danger lurks in every frame.

The Resplendent Alia Bhatt

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Alia Bhatt’s portrayal of Maya Verma is nothing short of a revelation. Known for her remarkable versatility, Bhatt imbues Maya with a potent mix of strength and vulnerability. With every expression, every gesture, she breathes life into a character that resonates on both emotional and cerebral levels. Bhatt’s artistry reaches its zenith as Maya grapples with inner demons while outwitting her adversaries—a captivating dance that only an actress of her caliber could orchestrate.

Raj Mehta’s Directorial Panache

Raj Mehta, celebrated for his directorial finesse, orchestrates the tapestry of “Heart of Stone” with masterful precision. Seamlessly weaving heart-thumping action sequences and labyrinthine plot twists, Mehta keeps the audience on the edge of their seats. His meticulous attention to detail manifests in every scene, painting a cinematic canvas that’s as thrilling as it is visually arresting.

Supporting Cast: A Tapestry of Brilliance

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The constellation of talent in “Heart of Stone” goes beyond Alia Bhatt. The ensemble cast, featuring Rajkummar Rao, Aditi Rao Hydari, and Vicky Kaushal, contributes to the film’s tapestry with their impeccable performances. The chemistry between the characters adds depth to the narrative, amplifying the emotional resonance and enriching the overall storytelling.

A Symphony of Cinematic Excellence

“Heart of Stone” is an embodiment of cinematic finesse. The film’s production values, from picturesque locations to evocative cinematography, envelop the viewer in a sensory feast. The musical score, composed with an acute understanding of the narrative’s ebbs and flows, elevates the tension and emotions, further ensnaring the audience in the movie’s spellbinding aura.

A Triumph of Genre Fusion

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Critics and audiences alike have bestowed “Heart of Stone” with effusive praise for its seamless fusion of espionage, action, and drama. The film’s ingenious plot twists, coupled with Alia Bhatt’s extraordinary performance, thrust it into the echelons of standout espionage thrillers. It’s a symphony of storytelling that resonates long after the credits roll.

In a year replete with cinematic treasures, “Heart of Stone” stands tall as an embodiment of brilliance. Alia Bhatt’s luminosity shines with unparalleled intensity, solidifying her place as one of Bollywood’s brightest stars. This cinematic tour de force is a must-watch, an experience that unearths the magic created when remarkable talent converges to craft an indelible cinematic journey.

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