Australian Outlook

Issues Brief

31 Mar 2014
Colin Chapman

Can the military restore order in Egypt?  Field Marshall Abdul Fattah al-Sisi has quit his military post to run officially for the presidency. Professor Robert Springborg, visiting professor in the Department of War Studies at King’s College London, discusses his prospects with the ABC’s Geraldine Doogue.

There are worrying reports from two countries in Australia’s Asian neighborhood. Foreign Policy magazine suggests that reforms in Myanmar are stalling and the country is sliding downhill, while the Sultan of Brunei has announced the introduction of sharia law, including the severing of limbs and death by stoning.

Further north Beijing is keeping a close watch on Taiwanese student protests. They are not so worried about students in Shanghai, where once again 15-year-olds are topping global league tables.

Many people think another Clinton – Bill’s wife, Hillary, former US Secretary of State, will seek the Democratic ticket for the White House next time. If so she may be up against another Bush – Jeb, the governor of Florida, and George W’s brother. Some Republicans think he is the only candidate that could win.

2014 will be a decisive year in the battle to decide who really controls the internet, says a contributing editor at Wired magazine in a Chatham House article. But one person who has had rags to riches story with the world-wide web is the glamorous Arianna Huffington.

The Sydney and Melbourne property markets have been racing ahead in the first months of this year, so much so that Kelly O’Dwyer, a Victorian federal MP, is chairing a parliamentary committee investigating overseas ownership. (AIIA NSW has a meeting on this subject on April 8). But Australia is by no means the hottest market – that apparently belongs to North Korea!