Australia–United States relations

Australia–United States relations are the international relations between the Commonwealth of Australia and the United States of America. At the governmental level, Australia–United States relations are formalised by the ANZUS treaty and the Australia–United States Free Trade Agreement.

According to a 2014 BBC World Service poll, 44 percent of Australians had a "mainly positive" view of the United States and 46 percent had a "mainly negative" view, for a net rating of −2 points. No similar survey was conducted to ascertain American perceptions of Australia.[1] According to the 2012 U.S. Global Leadership Report, 55% of Australians approve of U.S. leadership, with 21% disapproving and 24% uncertain.[2] In a more recent 2016 Pew Research poll, 60% of Australians approve of U.S. leadership.[3] In 2017, a major poll conducted in Australia by the Lowy Institute showed that 77% believed an alliance with the US was important for security.[4][5] However, the survey showed that 60% of Australians had developed an unfavorable view of the US as a result of President Donald Trump.[6] The survey also showed that the US was no longer considered Australia's "best friend", a title now held by New Zealand.[7] A 2017 survey conducted by the Pew Research Center showed only 29% of Australians had confidence in current US leader President Donald Trump, in contrast to the 87% who had confidence in former US president, Barack Obama.[8] It also showed 70% of Australians had no confidence in the current US president.[9] The annual Lowy Institute survey revealed that in 2018 only 55% of Australians believed that the US could act responsibly in the world.[10] This was a drop from 83% in 2011 and a record low.[10] The survey also revealed that 70% of Australians don't think that Donald Trump could act responsibly with only 30% believing he could do so.[10]

Australia–United States relations
Map indicating locations of Australia and United States

Australia

United States
Diplomatic mission
Australian Embassy, Washington, D.C.United States Embassy, Canberra
Envoy
Ambassador Joe HockeyAmbassador Arthur B. Culvahouse Jr.

Independent foreign policy

Postcard-Australians welcome Americans
"Australians welcome Americans", postcard 1908

The political and economic changes wrought by the Great Depression and Second World War, and the adoption of the Statute of Westminster 1931, necessitated the establishment and expansion of Australian representation overseas, independent of the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office. Australia established its first overseas missions (outside London) in January 1940. The first accredited diplomat sent by Australia to any foreign country was B. G. Casey, appointed to Washington in January 1940.[12][13]

The U.S. Embassy opened in Canberra in 1943, constructed in a Georgian architectural style.

Military

FA-18 Super Hornet VFA-14
Australian frigate Newcastle alongside U.S. aircraft carrier Nimitz in the Persian Gulf in September 2005

In 1908, Prime Minister Alfred Deakin invited the Great White Fleet to visit Australia during its circumnavigation of the world. The fleet stopped in Sydney, Melbourne and Albany. Deakin, a strong advocate for an independent Australian Navy, used the visit to raise the public's enthusiasm about a new navy.

The visit was significant in that it marked the first occasion that a non-Royal Navy fleet had visited Australian waters. Many saw the visit of the Great White Fleet as a major turning point in the creation of the Royal Australian Navy. Shortly after the visit, Australia ordered its first modern warships, a purchase that angered the British Admiralty.[14]

During World War II, U.S. General Douglas MacArthur was appointed Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in the South West Pacific Area, which included many Australian troops.[15] MacArthur's headquarters were located in Brisbane until 1944 and Australian forces remained under MacArthur's overall command until the end of World War II. After the Guadalcanal Campaign, the 1st Marine Division was stationed in Melbourne, and Waltzing Matilda became the division's march.

ANZUS

After the war, the American presence in the southwest Pacific increased immensely, most notably in Japan and the Philippines. In view of the cooperation between the Allies during the war, the decreasing reliance of Australia and New Zealand on the United Kingdom, and America's desire to cement this post-war order in the Pacific, the ANZUS Treaty was signed by Australia, New Zealand and the United States in 1951.[16] This full three-way military alliance replaced the ANZAC Pact that had been in place between Australia and New Zealand since 1944.

Australia, along with New Zealand, has been involved in most major American military endeavors since World War II including the Korean War, Vietnam War, Gulf War and the Iraq War—all without invocation of ANZUS. The alliance has only been invoked once, for the invasion of Afghanistan after the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and The Pentagon.

War on Terror

Following the September 11 attacks, in which eleven Australian citizens were also killed, there was an enormous outpouring of sympathy from Australia for the United States. Prime Minister John Howard became one of President George W. Bush's strongest international supporters, and supported the United States in the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 and the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

In 2004 the Bush Administration "fast tracked" a free trade agreement with Australia. The Sydney Morning Herald called the deal a "reward" for Australia's contribution of troops to the Iraq invasion.[17][18]

However, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd indicated that the 550 Australian combat troops in Iraq would be removed by mid-2008. Despite this, there have been suggestions from the Australian government that might lead to an increase in numbers of Australian troops in Afghanistan to roughly 1,000.[19]

In 2011, during US President Obama's trip to Australia, it was announced that United States Marine Corps and United States Air Force units will be rotated through Australian Defence Force bases in northern Australia to conduct training. This deployment was criticised by an editorial in the Chinese state-run newspaper People's Daily and Indonesia's foreign minister,[20] but welcomed[20][21] by Australia's Prime Minister. A poll by the independent Lowy Institute think tank showed that a majority (55%) of Australians approving of the marine deployment[22] and 59% supporting the overall military alliance between the two countries.[23]

In 2013, the US Air Force announced rotational deployments of fighter and tanker aircraft through Australia.[24]

Political

Secretary Tillerson Chats With Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, Senator Payne and Secretary Mattis During a Garden Walk at the NSW Government House (34293937393)

US and Australian Defence and Foreign Affairs ministers at the AUSMIN summit in Sydney, June 2017.

US Vice President Mike Pence Meeting with Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop

Vice President Pence and Foreign Minister Bishop meet for the first time in the White House, February 2017.

President Donald Trump meets with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull for a bilateral meeting aboard the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, Thursday, May 4, 2017, in New York City.

President Trump and Prime Minister Turnbull meet aboard the USS Intrepid to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea, April 2017.

Since 1985, there have been annual ministerial consultations between the two countries, known as AUSMIN. The venue of the meeting alternates between the two countries. It is attended by senior government ministers such as the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Australian Minister for Defence, US Secretary of Defense and US Secretary of State.[25]

Australian tours by U.S. presidents

The first Australian visit by a serving United States President[26] was that of Lyndon B. Johnson in 1966 to seek support for Australia's ongoing involvement in the Vietnam War. Australia had previously sent advisers and combat troops to Vietnam. In 1992, George H. W. Bush was the first of four US presidents to address a joint meeting of the Australian Parliament.

Dates President Cities visited Reason
20–23 October 1966 Lyndon B. Johnson Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Townsville State visit; met with Governor-General Lord Casey and Prime Minister Harold Holt. First US president to visit Australia.[27]
21–22 December 1967 Lyndon B. Johnson Melbourne Attended memorial service for Prime Minister Harold Holt and conferred with other attending heads of state.
31 December 1991
– 3 January 1992
George H. W. Bush Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne Met with Prime Minister Paul Keating and senior Australian officials; addressed a joint meeting of the Australian Parliament.
19–23 November 1996 Bill Clinton Sydney, Canberra, Port Douglas State visit. Addressed joint meeting of Parliament and visited the Great Barrier Reef.
22 October 2003 George W. Bush Canberra Met with Prime Minister John Howard and addressed joint meeting of Parliament.
2–5 September 2007 George W. Bush Sydney Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Conference.
16–17 November 2011 Barack Obama Canberra, Darwin Met with Prime Minister Julia Gillard and addressed joint meeting of Parliament.
15–16 November 2014 Barack Obama Brisbane G20 economic summit.

United States tours by Australian Prime Ministers

Dates Prime Minister Cities/countries visited Reason
April and May 1944[28] John Curtin San Francisco, Washington, Warm Springs, New York City Meeting with President Roosevelt and travel to and from the Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Conference in London.
9 May 1946[29] Ben Chifley Washington Met with President Truman for 15 minutes.
28 July 1950[30] Robert Menzies Washington Met with President Truman for half the day.
19 May 1952[30] Robert Menzies Washington Met with President Truman.
20 December 1952[30] Robert Menzies Washington Met with President Truman for informal dinner.
2 October 1960[31] Robert Menzies Washington Met with President Eisenhower and Prime Minister Harold MacMillan of the United Kingdom.
24 February 1961[32] Robert Menzies Washington Met with President John F. Kennedy and discussed SEATO, ANZUS and Laos.
20 June 1962[32] Robert Menzies Washington Met with President Kennedy and discussed West New Guinea, Vietnam, ANZUS and the European Union.
8 July 1963 [33] Robert Menzies Washington Met with President Kennedy.
24 June 1964[34] Robert Menzies Met with President Lyndon B. Johnson.
7 June 1965[35] Robert Menzies Met with President Johnson.
June 1966[36] Harold Holt Met with President Johnson and endorsed the USA's Vietnam policy. His speech included the words "All the way with LBJ".
27 to 30 May 1968 [37] John Gorton Washington and LBJ ranch Met with President Johnson and discussed Vietnam.
6 May 1969 [38] John Gorton Washington Met with President Richard Nixon and discussed Vietnam.
2 November 1971 [39] William McMahon Washington Met with President Nixon and discussed bilateral issues and commitment to the ANZUS treaty.
NA[40] Gough Whitlam No visit. Nixon had not extended an invitation due to irritation over a letter from Whitlam criticising bombing in North Vietnam. Whitlam was prepared to visit in June 1973 without an official invitation ("Official invitations are not necessary in these circumstances").[41]
27 July 1977[42] Malcolm Fraser Met with President Jimmy Carter.
30 June 1981[43] Malcolm Fraser Met with President Ronald Reagan.
17 April 1986[44][45] Bob Hawke US/Australian relations Met with President Reagan. US offered a $5M gift for Australia's bicentennial celebrations for the proposed Australian Maritime Museum.[46]
22–24 June 1988[45] Bob Hawke Washington, D.C. Met with President Reagan and other government officials.
14 September 1993[47] Paul Keating Seattle, Washington APEC meeting - met with President Bill Clinton.
7–15 July 2000[48] John Howard Japan and USA
4–8 September 2000[49][50] John Howard Millennium Summit and Commonwealth High Level Review Group.
8–14 June 2001[51] John Howard
8–14 September 2001[51] John Howard State visit. Address a joint sitting of the US Congress on 12 September. Was the first world leader to support the USA in its response to the September 11 attacks.
28 January
– 8 February 2002[51]
John Howard
8–16 February 2003[52] John Howard
1–10 May 2005[53] John Howard New York City, Washington, D.C. State visit. Addressed the 60th anniversary session of the United Nations in New York City.
8–14 May 2006[54] John Howard
March/April 2008[55] Kevin Rudd Washington DC Part of 17-day world tour to China, the US, the UK and Europe. Met with President George W. Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.[56] Also met with several presidential candidates.[57]
24 March 2009 Kevin Rudd Washington DC Met with President Barack Obama.
7 March 2011 Julia Gillard Washington DC Met with President Barack Obama and addressed joint sitting of Congress.
12–13 November 2011 Julia Gillard Honolulu, Hawaii APEC meeting - met with President Barack Obama.
24–28 September 2012[58] Julia Gillard New York City Addressed the 67th session of the United Nations in New York City.
12 June 2014 Tony Abbott Washington DC Met with President Barack Obama.
19 January 2016 Malcolm Turnbull Washington DC Met with President Barack Obama.
4 May 2017 Malcolm Turnbull New York City Met with President Donald Trump.
23 February 2018 Malcolm Turnbull Washington DC Met with President Donald Trump.

Kyoto Protocol

Australia's Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, ratified the Kyoto Protocol on 3 December 2007, leaving the United States and Canada as the last major industrial nations not to ratify the agreement.[19] Australia's previous government, led by Liberal John Howard, refused to ratify the Kyoto Protocol citing, along with the United States, that it would "damage their economies".[59]

Trump administration

The first phone conversation between the United States President Donald Trump and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull took place in February 2017 and lasted around 25 minutes.[60] During the call, Trump disagreed with Turnbull on a deal that had been made during President Barack Obama's presidency. The agreement aims to take about 1,250 asylum seekers into the United States, who are currently located on Nauru and Manus Island by Australian authorities.[61] The deal will involve a swap of the 1,250 refugees located on Nauru and Manus with several thousand refugees originating in Honduras, Guatemala, and other Central American nations. Though the details of the trade were not made transparent to the public, a public briefing announced the deal would be applied only to existing refugees and that they would be resettled in America in the coming year.[62][63]

On Twitter, February 2, 2017, Trump tweeted that the refugee agreement was a "dumb deal".[64] Notwithstanding the disagreement, Vice President Mike Pence, while on a visit to Australia in April 2017, stated the United States will abide by the deal.[65] In August 2017, the Washington Post released the full transcript of the meeting. In it, President Trump described the refugee deal as "ridiculous", "rotten", and "stupid". The President, angered by the discussion about refugees, said "I have had it. I have been making these calls all day and this is the most unpleasant call all day. Putin was a pleasant call".[66] As at 16 November 2018 about 300 refugees have been resettled from Nauru under the refugee swap deal, some of whom want to return to Nauru.[67]

In a video released by Channel Nine on 14 June 2017, Turnbull is seen mocking Trump at the Midwinter Ball.[68]

In response to the growing threat of North Korea developing nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles, Prime Minister Turnbull, in August 2017, emphasized the alliance between Australia and the United States and his nation's commitment to aiding the United States with possible conflict stating, "So be very, very clear on that. If there's an attack on the US, the ANZUS Treaty would be invoked and Australia would come to the aid of the United States, as America would come to our aid if we were attacked."[69]

In May 2018, the United States granted Australia a permanent exemption from the United States' worldwide 25% steel tariff, making Australia one of only four nations worldwide to be exempted.[70] Several other countries generally considered to have close relationships with the United States, such as Canada, Mexico, and the European Union, have not received permanent exemptions.

On 2 January 2019, Washington lawyer Arthur Culvahouse was confirmed US Ambassador to Australia, filling a post that had been vacant since John Berry left the post in September 2016.[71]

Trade

ABS-5368.0-InternationalTradeInGoodsServicesAustralia-MerchandiseExportsCountryCountryGroupsFobValue-UnitedStatesAmerica-A1829220T
Monthly value of Australian merchandise exports to the United States (A$ millions) since 1988
ABS-5439.0-InternationalMerchandiseImportsAustralia-CountryCountryGroupsCustomsValue-UnitedStatesAmerica-A1829536L
Monthly value of US merchandise exports to Australia (A$ millions) since 1988

Trade between the United States and Australia is strong, as evidenced by the Australia–United States Free Trade Agreement. The United States is Australia’s fourth largest export market and its second largest source of imports.[72] The United States is also the largest investor in Australia while Australia is the fifth largest investor in the US.

Australia and the United States also provide significant competition for each other in several third-party exports such as wheat, uranium and wool and, more recently, in the information technology sector. Although the US has a sizable sheep population, American imports of lamb meat from Australia and New Zealand remain stronger than the domestic output.

See also

References

Inline

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  66. ^ March, Stephanie (4 August 2017). "Donald Trump told Malcolm Turnbull 'you are worse than I am' on refugees during call, leaked transcript reveals". ABC News (Australia). ABC. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  67. ^ Reports some refugees resettled in US want to return to Nauru
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General

External links

2018 FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup Final

The 2018 FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup Final was a basketball game which took place on 30 September 2018 at Tenerife Sports Pavilion Santiago Martin in San Cristóbal de La Laguna, Spain, to determine the winner of the 2018 FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup.

This was the first time the United States and Australia played against each other in a World Cup Final. Their last game against each other at World Cup level came in 2014, with the United States taking a 82–70 victory.

Team USA won again, this time 73–56, to win their third straight and tenth overall title.

American Australians

American Australians are Australian citizens who are of American descent, including immigrants and residents who are descended from migrants from the United States of America and its territories. This can include people of European, African American, American Indian, Hispanic or Latin American, Asian, or Pacific Islander backgrounds.

Australian Americans

Australian Americans are Americans who have Australian ancestry.

Australian–American Memorial

The Australian–American Memorial is in Canberra, the national capital of Australia, and commemorates the help given by the United States during the Pacific War.

Bakers Creek air crash

The Bakers Creek air crash was an aviation disaster which occurred on 14 June 1943, when a United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress aircraft crashed at Bakers Creek, Queensland. The aircraft took off from Mackay and crashed approximately 8 kilometres (5 mi) south of the airfield. Forty military service personnel on board were killed; one person survived the crash. The crash was Australia's worst aviation disaster by death toll and was the worst accident involving a transport aircraft in the south-western Pacific during World War II.

Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs

In the United States Government, the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs (EAP, originally the Office of Chinese Affairs) is part of the United States Department of State and is charged with advising the Secretary of State and Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs on matters of the Asia-Pacific region, as well as dealing with U.S. foreign policy and U.S. relations with countries in that area. It is headed by the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, who reports to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs.

CAC Sabre

The CAC Sabre, sometimes known as the Avon Sabre or CA-27, is an Australian variant of the North American Aviation F-86F Sabre fighter aircraft. The F-86F was redesigned and built by the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation (CAC). Equipping five RAAF squadrons, the type saw action in the Malayan Emergency in the late 1950s, and was employed for air defence in Malaysia and Thailand in the 1960s. Ex-RAAF models also saw service with the Royal Malaysian Air Force and the Indonesian Air Force.

Contents of the United States diplomatic cables leak (Australia)

Content from the United States diplomatic cables leak has depicted Australia and related subjects extensively. The leak, which began on 28 November 2010, occurred when the website of WikiLeaks — an international new media non-profit organisation that publishes submissions of otherwise unavailable documents from anonymous news sources and news leaks — started to publish classified documents of detailed correspondence — diplomatic cables — between the United States Department of State and its diplomatic missions around the world. WikiLeaks was releasing documents each day since the initial release date, but published the entire collection unredacted following the partially accidental publication of the passphrase to the symmetrically encrypted GPG file WikiLeaks had placed online and provided to The Guardian. The journalists had published the passphrase as the title of a chapter in a book on the process of investigating and publishing the stories believing that the encrypted file had only been provided to them with that passphrase and not realising the entire encrypted file was still online.

Embassy of Australia, Washington, D.C.

The Embassy of Australia in Washington, D.C. is the diplomatic mission of the Commonwealth of Australia to the United States. The chancery is located on Embassy Row at 1601 Massachusetts Avenue NW, at Scott Circle in Washington, D.C.The current ambassador of Australia to the United States is Joe Hockey, former Treasurer of Australia, who succeeded

Kim Beazley in 2016. He resides at the Australian ambassador's residence located at 3120 Cleveland Avenue, NW. The current Deputy Head of Mission is Katrina Cooper, a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. In addition to the embassy, Australian consulates are located in New York City, Chicago, Honolulu, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

Embassy of the United States, Canberra

The Embassy of the United States in Canberra is the embassy of the United States to Australia. It is one of the largest embassies in the Australian capital of Canberra, located in the centrally-located suburb of Yarralumla. It is situated close to The Lodge, the official Canberra residence of the Prime Minister of Australia, and is equally close to Parliament House, the centre of Australia's government. Built in the Georgian style of architecture, it was founded in 1942 and occupied by the end of the next year. The mission has also been subjected to multiple security threats.

The embassy has several functions, including communicating and collaborating with Australian media, issuing passports and visas, assisting US citizens living in Australia, and presenting forums with visiting American experts. The mission has also helped prepare food for needy Australians in co-operation with the Our Big Kitchen organisation of Sydney. The staff also organises and arranges for key figures and thinkers in Australia to visit the United States to share ideas with American counterparts.The office of the United States Ambassador to Australia is currently held by Arthur B. Culvahouse Jr., appointed with effect from March 13, 2019.

Exercise Talisman Saber

Exercise Talisman Saber (also spelled Talisman Sabre, the spelling alternating between US and Australia) is a biennial joint Australia-United States military exercise. Talisman Saber involves joint exercises performed by the Australian Defence Force and the United States Military across six locations in northern and central Australia, the Coral Sea, and in Honolulu, Denver, and Suffolk, Va., though the bulk of the exercises are concentrated at the Shoalwater Bay Military Training Area and other locations in northern and central Australia and Australia's territorial sea and exclusive economic zone.To reflect its bilateral nature, leadership of the exercise switches between Australia and the US every 2 years; primary leadership is reflected in the varied spelling of Saber/Sabre. The exercise focuses on crisis-action planning and contingency response, enhancing both nations’ military capabilities to deal with regional contingencies and the War on Terrorism. Seven exercises have been held in the years 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017.

List of ambassadors of the United States to Australia

The position of United States Ambassador to Australia has existed since 1940. U.S.–Australian relations have been close throughout the history of Australia. Before World War II, Australia was closely aligned with the United Kingdom, but it has strengthened its relationship with the United States since 1942, as Britain's influence in Asia has declined and the United States' influence has increased. At the governmental level, United States–Australia relationships are formalised by the ANZUS treaty and Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement.

The embassy in Canberra has always been regarded as a desirable posting and hence has become a patronage position. U.S. Ambassadors to Australia have traditionally been friends, political allies, or former business associates of the President of the day. Some have been major donors to the President's election campaign or political party. Few have been career diplomats (Marshall Green was a conspicuous exception). The two ambassadors during the Bush Administration, for example, were Tom Schieffer, a former business associate of President Bush, and Robert McCallum Jr., a Bush college friend. The actor Fess Parker was offered the post in 1985 by Ronald Reagan, after representing Reagan at an event in Australia. Parker considered it, but turned it down.This arrangement has suited Australian governments, which welcome the ability of such Ambassadors to gain direct access to the President, bypassing the State Department. The United States was without an ambassador to Australia from September 2016 until February 2019.

Major non-NATO ally

Major non-NATO ally (MNNA) is a designation given by the United States government to close allies that have strategic working relationships with the US Armed Forces but are not members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). While the status does not automatically include a mutual defense pact with the United States, it still confers a variety of military and financial advantages that otherwise are not obtainable by non-NATO countries.

Pine Gap

Pine Gap is the commonly used name for a U.S. satellite surveillance base or Australian Earth station approximately 18 kilometres (11 mi) south-west of the town of Alice Springs, Northern Territory in the centre of Australia which is operated by both Australia and the United States. Since 1988, it has been officially called the Joint Defence Facility Pine Gap (JDFPG); previously, it was misleadingly known as Joint Defence Space Research Facility.Partly run by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and U.S. National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), the station is a key contributor to the NSA's global interception effort, which included the ECHELON program. The classified NRO name of the Pine Gap base is Australian Mission Ground Station (AMGS), while the unclassified cover term for the NSA function of the facility is RAINFALL.

Shooting of Justine Damond

On July 15, 2017, Justine Ruszczyk, also known as Justine Damond, a 40-year-old Australian-American woman, was shot and killed by Mohamed Noor, a Somali-American Minneapolis Police Department officer, after she had called 9-1-1 to report the possible assault of a woman in an alley behind her house. Noor was ultimately arrested and charged with second-degree manslaughter and third-degree murder following an eight-month investigation by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the Hennepin County Attorney's Office. On April 30, 2019 he was convicted of third-degree murder and manslaughter but acquitted of intentional second-degree murder. Three days later, the City of Minneapolis awarded $US20 million to the family of Damond for violation of her civil rights.Occurring weeks after a high-profile manslaughter trial acquittal in the 2016 police shooting of Philando Castile, also in the Twin Cities metro area, the shooting exacerbated existing tensions and attracted national and international press.

Southern Cross Cable

The Southern Cross Cable, operated by Bermuda company Southern Cross Cables Limited, is a trans-Pacific network of telecommunications cables commissioned in 2000.

The network has 28,900 km of submarine and 1,600 km of terrestrial fiber optic cables, operated in a triple-ring configuration. Initially, each cable had a bandwidth capacity of 120 gigabit/s, but was doubled in an upgrade in April 2008, with a further upgrade to 860 gigabit/s at the end of 2008. Southern Cross upgraded the existing system to 1.2 Tbit/s in May 2010. After successful trials of 40G technology the first 400G of a planned 800G upgrade has been completed in February 2012, with the remaining 400G completed in December 2012. An additional 400G was deployed utilising 100G coherent wavelength technology in July 2013, taking total system capacity to 2.6Tbit/s, with an additional 500Gbit/s to be deployed per segment by Q2 2014, increasing total system capacity to 3.6Tbit/s.

The latest augmentation will also deploy Ciena FlexiGrid technology, increase Southern Cross potential capacity to 12 Tbit/s. Southern Cross offers capacity services from STM-1 to 100Gbit/s OTU-4, including 1G, 10G and 40G Ethernet Private Line services.

U.S./Australia Parliamentary Friendship Group

The US/Australia Parliamentary Friendship Group is a group of elected members of the Parliament of Australia whose aim is to "foster even stronger relations between the two countries (Australia and U.S.) and their elected representatives".

The Chairperson is Michael Danby MP (Melbourne Ports, Australian Labor Party) in the Australian House of Representatives.

The membership encompasses around 40% of the elected representatives, across most political parties, blocks, and groups.

The corresponding group in the U.S. Congress is the Friends of Australia Congressional Caucus.

United States Studies Centre

The United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney aims to increase understanding of the United States in Australia and enrich the Australia-United States relationship. The centre teaches undergraduate and postgraduate students, conducts policy-focused research, and hosts public events on a range of issues.

United States presidential visits to Australia and New Zealand

Several United States presidents have made presidential visits to Australia and New Zealand. The first visit by an incumbent to these Australasian nations was made in 1966 by Lyndon B. Johnson. His three-day five-city visit to Australia was intended as a show of gratitude to the Australian nation for its then emphatic support for the Vietnam War. Four presidents have traveled there since. Prior to arriving in Australia, Johnson visited New Zealand. He went primarily to shore up support for the war in Vietnam. Only one sitting president has visited since.

 Australia  United States
Coat of Arms Coat of Arms of Australia Greater coat of arms of the United States
Flag Australia United States
Population 25,369,400[11] 324,894,500
Area 7,692,024 km2 (2,969,907 sq mi) 9,629,091 km2 (3,717,813 sq mi)
Population density 2.8/km2 (1.74/sq mi) 34.2/km2 (13.2/sq mi)
Government Federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy Federal presidential constitutional republic
Current leader Elizabeth II (head of state)
Represented by Governor General Peter Cosgrove

Scott Morrison (Prime Minister)

Donald Trump (President)

Mike Pence (Vice President)

Main language English English
Main religions 52% Christian
30% non-religious
18% other
74% Christian
20% non-religious
6% other
GDP (nominal) US$1.259 trillion US$18.569 trillion
GDP (nominal) per capita US$51,850 US$57,436
GDP (PPP) $1.137 trillion $17.528 trillion
GDP (PPP) per capita US$48,899 $57,436
Real GDP growth rate 2.50% 1.80%
Military expenditure $24.48 billion $640.0 billion
Military personnel 77,399 2,927,754
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