Julie Bishop slams North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un in UN speech

Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop has used her address to the United Nations General Assembly to call out North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, and keep up pressure on China and Russia to enforce sanctions on the rogue nation.

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Ms Bishop’s harsh words on Friday in response to North Korea’s nuclear and missile ambitions came after Mr Kim described US President Donald Trump as a “mentally deranged US dotard” and his foreign minister suggested the regime could test a nuclear weapon over the Pacific Ocean.

Mr Trump responded on Twitter by saying Mr Kim was “obviously a madman”.

Ms Bishop said North Korea has challenged, undermined and ignored the authority of the UN Security Council and she called on the council’s five permanent members – China, Russia, the United Kingdom, France and the United States – to ensure sanctions against the regime are enforced.

0:00 North Korea threatens a powerful hydrogen bomb test in the Pacific Share North Korea threatens a powerful hydrogen bomb test in the Pacific

“It is crucial that all United Nations member states and especially the permanent five, who have a particular responsibility, strictly implement these sanctions to compel North Korea to abandon its illegal programs,” Ms Bishop told the General Assembly in New York.

“The authority of the council must be defended and upheld.

“Australia will play our part in helping to resolve this crisis.”

Ms Bishop said Australia would consider strengthening its sanctions on North Korea if the regime continued its flagrant disregard for the international community and the Security Council.

The UN’s 193 member states each have an opportunity to address the General Assembly this week, with North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho scheduled to speak later on Friday (11.30am Saturday AEST).

Outside the UN, he told reporters North Korea could react to Mr Trump’s stiff new sanctions and personal barbs at Mr Kim with “the strongest hydrogen bomb test over the Pacific Ocean”.

0:00 North Korea may test a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific Ocean Share North Korea may test a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific Ocean

Ms Bishop also used her speech to talk up Australia’s bid for a 2018-2020 seat on the UN Human Rights Council.

Australia would help empower women, girls and indigenous groups to reach their full potential if elected.

“Australia is proud to be home to the world’s oldest continuous culture and will strive to advance the human rights of indigenous peoples around the globe,” she said.

Ms Bishop, who has led Australia’s delegation at this week’s General Assembly after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull chose not to make the trip, made special mention of the “inspiring work” of Australian businessman and philanthropist Andrew Forrest, his wife Nicola and daughter Grace with their anti-slavery Walk Free Foundation.

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What’s a dotard anyway? Kim insults Trump

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has confused a lot of English-speakers – though this time not about what he intends with his nuclear programme.

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Responding to US President Donald Trump’s bellicose warning to Pyongyang in his first speech to the United Nations on Tuesday, Kim on Friday called Trump a “dotard” – at least in a translation by the state news agency KCNA.

The obscure word is old – late Middle English, or around the 14th century – and means senile old person, someone in their dotage.

Although Shakespeare and Tolkien used it, the word is barely heard these days and Kim’s statement caused a Twitter storm of questions to Merriam-Webster dictionary about its meaning, while searches on Google also increased.

Merriam-Webster responded with a tweet, defining dotard as “a person in his or her dotage”, which is “a state or period of senile decay marked by decline of mental poise and alertness”, which quickly became the top trending post on Twitter on Friday, with more than 7400 retweets and 13,000 likes.

There were more than 100,000 mentions of the hashtag #dotard and 189,000 mentions of the word on Twitter on Friday, according to international social media analytics firm Talkwalker. On Google’s Ngram Viewer, which tracks the popularity of words over time, “dotard” was a word that peaked in the 18th century.

Many social media users also took to Twitter to deliver their best jokes.

“By making people look up the word #dotard, Kim Jong Un has done more for American education than Betsy DeVos,” wrote one user. DeVos is the US Secretary of Education.

Other Twitter influencers did not find the insult amusing.

“This hashtag is a disgrace: #DotardTrump,” tweeted LoConservative founder Kassy Dillon. “Whether you like him or not, Trump is your president & Kim Jong Un is a dictator & a murderer.”

And novelist Elnathan John said: “Am I the only one who doesn’t find this Trump-Jong Un war dance funny? Why are we all giggling at these two men who CAN destroy us? #dotard.”

Kevin Rudd, Julie Bishop joust in New York

Call it the Kevin and Julie show.

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In Manhattan on Friday, not far from the bright lights of Broadway and the boxing mecca of Madison Square Garden, Kevin Rudd and Julie Bishop put on a part comedy, part boxing show … sprinkled with some serious geopolitical talk.

Mr Rudd, the former Australian prime minister and foreign affairs minister, hosted Ms Bishop, Australia’s current foreign affairs minister, at an Asia Society event.

For about an hour the longtime political foes sat on stage in front of an audience.

Sometimes it was awkward.

Other times a bit frigid.

There were quite a few laughs and eye rolls.

“Julie and I have been sparring partners in the Australian parliament for a number of years in one form or another,” Mr Rudd, a Manhattan resident and president of Asia Society’s Policy Institute, told the audience at the start of the event.

Mr Rudd politely opened the conversation with a simple: “How’s the job going?”

Ms Bishop threw the first punch with her deadpan reply.

“Fabulous,” Ms Bishop answered.

Mr Rudd was a little taken aback.

It was as if he had been hit in the stomach.

“You didn’t take that very far did you?” Mr Rudd cautiously asked.

“How much more do you want me to say?” Ms Bishop countered.

“As much as you like?” Rudd, getting a little combative himself, replied.

“I know where you are going with this,” Ms Bishop, a little suspicious of her old rival, said.

“No you don’t,” he hit back.

“Oh yes I do. We’ve done this routine before,” Ms Bishop, winning the first round, said.

Ms Bishop has been in New York the past week at the United Nations General Assembly where North Korea’s nuclear ambitions, the Myanmar Rohingya refugee crisis, terrorism and other serious issues were debated.

Mr Rudd, perhaps adding to the awkwardness, had ambitions to be UN secretary-general but a year ago Ms Bishop’s boss, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, nixed that.

Mr Rudd and Ms Bishop did speak in detail about North Korea and Myanmar, but every now and then, mostly starting from an uppercut thrown by Ms Bishop, they jousted.

“It’ll be in my book,” Ms Bishop quipped after mentioning the first time she met Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi was in 1995.

Ms Bishop quickly then blurted out: “There’s no book”.

Mr Rudd jumped in.

“I’ve got one coming,” Mr Rudd said.

“Another one?” Bishop, deadpanning again, replied.

Round two to Ms Bishop.

Mr Rudd later handed Ms Bishop a new Asia Society report and politely asked if she would read it.

Ms Bishop, without a word, handed him a pen.

She wanted him to autograph it.

“OK,” Mr Rudd obliged.

“I’ll auction it at the next Liberal Party fundraiser,” Ms Bishop said.

“And get $5 for it,” Mr Rudd joked.

“Therese again?” Ms Bishop, referring to Mr Rudd’s successful businesswoman wife, said.

Mr Rudd signed the report.

“To Julie … kiss kiss kiss,” he said.

Round three Ms Bishop.

Mr Rudd did score some points when they jousted about their influence on the East Asia Summit and he brought up another former prime minister, John Howard.

“The big thing we did in office – I don’t think you ever praised me for this in office – is that we finally persuaded neighbours to bring in the US and Russia (to the EAS),” Mr Rudd said.

“I didn’t praise you for that?” Ms Bishop asked.

“No,” Mr Rudd replied.

“Did you praise us for getting into it in the first place in 2006?” Ms Bishop, looking for a knockout blow, said.

“Well, in 2006 some of us had to cajole your then prime minister John Howard to …,” Mr Rudd said before Ms Bishop cut him off.

Ms Bishop, despite being way ahead on points, requested a draw.

“Oh stop it,” she said.

“OK. This is a unity ticket.”

Europe welcomes Theresa May’s Brexit speech, but warily

Theresa May’s “constructive spirit” in her speech has won a cautious welcome from the EU, though the British prime minister’s address raised more questions than answers for some and they want more details next week.

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“The speech shows a willingness to move forward, as time is of the essence,” chief European Union negotiator Michel Barnier said in a lengthy statement, adding that May’s specially staged event on Friday in Renaissance Florence chimed with the spirit of Europe.

Echoing reactions from diplomats and officials involved in the negotiations who spoke privately to Reuters, Barnier said it was a “step forward” that May said British courts would protect EU citizens in Britain based directly on a new EU-UK treaty, not on British law, and would take future EU case law into account.

Theresa May’s Brexit vision is that we Leave the EU in name only. All areas of integration we have currently will be rebadged.

— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) September 22, 2017

But as with vaguer comments about the EU budget, in which May said the other 27 countries would not be left out of pocket over the EU financial cycle ending in December 2020, Barnier stressed that he wants to hear a “precise negotiating position” when he meets his British counterpart on Monday.

Similarly, he repeated the European position on refusing talks about what happens after Brexit until Britain makes “significant progress” in agreeing its divorce terms.

May for the first time spelled out her request for a transition period of about two years after Brexit in March 2019 during which Britain would stay in the EU’s single market.

Barnier reiterated that the other 27 could consider the request but again insisted that Britain could not keep all the benefits of EU membership while relinquishing obligations.

After @Theresa_May’s #FlorenceSpeech, and 15 months since the EU referendum, the Tories are still no clearer about their plan for Brexit. pic南京夜生活,/7ilFafOtzZ

— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) September 22, 2017

May’s supporters in Brussels talked up the significance of a speech the prime minister chose to deliver in Florence to underline a message of future close cooperation with European neighbours.

“We can only hope that the EU takes what the Prime Minister has said seriously, and sees that it is time to move forward,” said the pro-Brexit leader of her Conservative party in the European Parliament, Syed Kamall.

However, the German leader of the centre-right group in the EU legislature, an ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel, rammed home the scepticism felt toward Britain by some of Europe’s main powers: “In substance, May is bringing no more clarity to London’s positions. I am even more concerned now.”

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Carey says Hawkins needs more AFL support

AFL great Wayne Carey has defended Tom Hawkins after the Geelong key forward endured a barren finals series.

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Hawkins only kicked one goal per game in Geelong’s three finals and had minimal impact in Friday night’s season-ending loss to Adelaide.

There is speculation that Geelong will try to engineer a trade for the return of Gary Ablett and are also in the market for Jake Stringer.

They would be handy additions to the Cats attack and Carey says Hawkins could do with them.

“I tell you what he needs: he needs some support, because when he’s the only king pin up there then they’re so easy to defend,” Carey told Triple M.

“When he played his best footy he had Harry Taylor up there. He led to good positions so players had to engage Harry, therefore it gave him one-on-ones and space.

“He hasn’t had that all year and he didn’t have that last night.

“If you’re the only focal point it’s just so easy for defences to say ‘OK, we know where this is going’.”

Geelong changed their forward strategy after the qualifying final loss to Richmond, where Taylor played in attack and had a quiet night.

Taylor went back to defence for the semi-final against Sydney and Patrick Dangerfield was best afield, kicking four goals as their main marking forward.

They tried Dangerfield in attack again at the start of Friday night’s preliminary final, but it only last 14 minutes.

He had to return to the middle after the Crows made a strong start.

Carey said Hawkins was at his most dangerous when he played close to goal.

“He’s got to be taking contested marks, he’s a good mark,” Carey said.

‘Yes’ campaign door knocking for support

Australia’s largest door knocking campaign will kick off this weekend as supporters of same-sex marriage hit the streets to drum up support as the as the deadline for the national survey approaches.

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Tens of thousands of same sex marriage supporters will be out encouraging people to vote ‘yes’ and ensure responses are mailed on time, Equality Campaign boss Tiernan Brady says.

“This is about people that we know,” he told reporters on Saturday.

“Marriage equality is about members of our families and our friends, our work colleagues and neighbours who just happen to be lesbian and gay and who wish to be treated fairly.”

Mr Brady made the remarks in Brisbane on Saturday as thousands of rainbow-clothed marchers prepare for the annual pride festival which will travel through through Fortitude Valley to New Farm Park, where entertainment and stalls have been set up.

He is confident Australians support changing the definition of marriage and has accused the ‘no’ campaign of using red herrings to distract from the fact that they are no longer talking about the central issue.

0:00 Same sex marriage postal vote to cost taxpayers $122m Share Same sex marriage postal vote to cost taxpayers $122m

“The ‘no’ side … have given up talking about marriage equality for a very good reason – they know the Australian people are for marriage equality ,” Mr Brady said.

“Every day is a new red herring but the Australian people aren’t being fooled by it.”

The pride rally comes a day after the ‘no’ campaign held their Queensland launch and a Tasmanian man was charged for head butting former Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

He was wearing a ‘yes’ badge when he assaulted Mr Abbott but Mr Brady said people unrelated to both sides of the debate had done “stupid things”.

“This has to be a respectful campaign because it is a campaign about respect,” he said.

“We all have to wake up and share the same country the day after this is over so how we make the journey is incredibly important.”

The results of the voluntary postal survey on same-sex marriage are due on November 15.

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US seeks urgent action on Myanmar violence

The US wants Myanmar to take urgent action to end violence in Rakhine state, where a military offensive has created a crisis that could jeopardise its economic and political transition, a US official says.

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Bangladesh and aid organisations are struggling to help 422,000 Rohingya Muslims who have arrived since August 25, when attacks by Rohingya militants triggered a Myanmar crackdown that the United Nations has branded ethnic cleansing.

A senior UN official said an estimated $US200 million ($A251 million) would be needed to help the refugees in Bangladesh for six months.

“We think, urgently, actions need to be taken to stop this violence and facilitate humanitarian assistance, lower the rhetoric, lower the tension and … start doing the hard work to solve the longer-standing problems,” US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Patrick Murphy told reporters on Friday.

Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi has faced international criticism over the plight of the Rohingya, for not speaking out more forcefully against the violence or doing more to rein in security forces over which she has little power.

Tension between majority Buddhists and Rohingya has simmered for decades in Rakhine but it has exploded several times in the past few years as old enmities, and Buddhist nationalism, surfaced with the end of decades of military rule.

Murphy, who spent three days in Myanmar this week, said there were “many points of responsibility” and he wanted to see everyone follow through on commitments Suu Kyi made to uphold rights and the law in an address to the nation on Tuesday.

Myanmar dismisses accusations of ethnic cleansing, saying it has to tackle the insurgents, whom it accuses of setting fires and attacking civilians as well as the security forces.

PM’s hard word as warship enters service

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has struck a warlike stance as he welcomed the Royal Australian Navy’s newest and most advanced ship into commission.

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The commander and crew of the HMAS Hobart missile destroyer assumed control of the ship amid military fanfare in Sydney on Saturday.

The ships 180-strong crew and guard marched in with commanding officer Captain John Stavridis as the naval band played.

Crew member and Leading Seaman David Braendler, who shares his birthday with the new ship, was pulled in front of the parade while the crowd sang happy birthday.

The official party, including Fleet Commander Rear Admiral Stuart Mayer, Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, Defence Minister Marise Payne and the Governor of NSW David Hurley all paid tribute to the navy’s latest ship.

But the Prime Minister remained focused on Hobart’s combative and serious future.

He said Australia was a trading nation that had benefited from the global rules-based order – but that was increasingly under threat.

“The strategic environment in our region is more uncertain than it has been for many years,” Mr Turnbull said.

“Returning ISIL fighters have taken a foothold in the Southern Philippines, overrunning the city of Marawi.”

“We must not allow Marawi to become the Raqqa of South East Asia.”

Further north, he continued, North Korea’s rogue leader Kim Jong Un was threatening to up-end global stability.

“The ratcheting up of economic sanctions by the global community, including China, is our best prospect for curbing North Korea’s reckless conduct.”

He said the Hobart, and the new ships that would follow it into commission, would be required to maintain peace and advance Australia’s interests in the face of South East Asia’s challenges.

The Hobart class will provide air defence for the naval fleet and land forces in coastal areas.

It is equipped with missiles that can travel more than 150 kilometres and torpedoes, as well as long range naval guns and defence systems.

The ship is the third in the navy to bear the Hobart name. The first was commissioned in 1938 and served in World War II.

It was hit by a Japanese torpedo and 13 crew died but the ship limped home.

It was decommissioned in 1947 and sold for scrap to a Japanese firm in 1962.

Hobart II was commissioned in 1965 and served in the Vietnam War, where it was hit by three missiles – friendly fire from a United States jet.

Though two crew lost their lives, the ship survived and was decommissioned in 2000, and sunk as a dive wreck in South Australia.

Mackie says Cats will bounce back in AFL

Andrew Mackie ended his outstanding AFL playing career musing on the fine line between exhilaration and desolation.

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Mackie and fellow Geelong defender Tom Lonergan were cheered off Adelaide Oval after their preliminary-final loss to the Crows.

They are revered at Geelong – as people, even more so than as footballers.

A small group of Cats officials and supporters clapped Mackie as he hugged his parents Mark and Joanne in the rooms afterwards.

But this was not how Mackie thought it would end.

He was asked where thought Geelong needed to improve after successive preliminary final losses.

“It’s a good question – it’s all pretty raw right now,” he said.

“A couple of hours ago, you’re believing you have a premiership group here.

“And it can happen pretty quick.”

But after the 61-point loss, Mackie has faith the Cats will find a way.

“We have the right people at the footy club to send us on our next journey – great leaders around the place,” he said.

“It’s a great place to work.

“Clearly, in the last couple of years, we’ve come short – there’s work to do.”

The All Australian played 280 games and was a key member of the Cats’ backline in their three premierships between 2007 and 2011.

Asked to reflect on his career, again Mackie struggled to go past what had just happened.

“It’s a hard one right now,” he said.

“All you can do is try your best … and I have, every time.

“Sometimes, it might not look like it from the outside, but I’m sure I’ve heard that before.

“You try and prepare yourself as best you can, you try and learn every day, you try and listen to people, you try and make people coming to work – that’s what I’ve tried to do.

“It hasn’t always worked out, but that’s part of the game.”

Mackie said the part he had loved most about his AFL career was the people he had met.

But he kept coming back to the most-challenging part – that fine line.

“They (premierships) are not easy to win … unfortunately not for us this year – we had our dream ripped apart,” he said.

Elton hits out at terrorism in Mackay gig

Elton John proclaimed to a 15,000-strong audience in Mackay that this bitch was back, and could take on terrorists in a bedazzled blue suit and patent red shoes.

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The British superstar kicked off his regional tour of Australia in the north Queensland city on Friday night, and launched straight into the music, ignoring the hot-button issues many expected him to address.

He opened with his 1974 hit, The Bitch Is Back, marking his 187th concert in Australia.

From there, it was a virtuosic two-hour display. Bennie and the Jets, his 1974-ode to glam rock, followed in quick succession by another ’70s classic, Daniel.

Clearly enjoying every second, Elton sat at his grand piano, flanked by a full band of regulars including his longtime drummer Nigel Olsson and a guitarist he’s worked with since 1971, Davey Johnstone.

Elton generously played all his hits from Tiny Dancer, Your Song, I’m Still Standing to Crocodile Rock, performing the kind of piano solos that would make a Conservatorium student squirm with delight.

Each song was delivered unwaveringly, the strength in his voice belying his 71 years, and Elton enjoyed a warm reception from an adoring crowd.

There was meaning behind his music, often without any explanation.

But he also explicitly paid tribute to his duet- partner and friend George Michael, projecting his face to his onstage screen while he sang Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me.

His one social comment came in relation to recent global terrorist attacks in Manchester, London, Nice and even Sydney.

“We live in strange times, people being mown down by cars, people being blown up,” John said.

“It seems to be part and parcel of our daily life and I hate it so much and I want to sing this song in remembrance of everyone who’s had to suffer at the hands of brainless idiots over the last few years at the hands of brainless nightmare idiots.

The veteran then launched into a poignant version of his 2001 song I Want Love.

Elton avoided the looming same-sex marriage vote, having already called for a yes result on his Facebook page.

He also reclaimed his 1972-hit Rocket Man, performing it with no mention of recent barbs exchanged between the US President Donald Trump and his own newly-christened rocket man, North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un.

His parting gift was a performance of the original version of his 1973 song Candle In The Wind, a fitting encore after more than two hours of hits.

“This won’t be my last time in Australia,” he said.

* Elton John’s tour continues in Wollongong, the Yarra Valley, Hobart and finishes in Cairns.