Charter freight flights from South America help get stranded Australians home during coronavirus pandemic


Victoria Keating has barely slept in days and her small team of Queenstown travel agents is in desperate need of a break.

For weeks, they have been working from across the Tasman to help Australians stuck in various parts of South America.

Today, they are eagerly awaiting the arrival of a charter flight from Chile’s capital, Santiago, to Sydney.

“It’s been quite the rollercoaster,” Ms Keating said.

“Getting the plane was difficult, getting the seats into Australia was difficult.

“We just really wanted to try and get as many people home as possible.”

More than 120 Australians are expected to arrive on the charter flight, which cost passengers just under $4,000 a ticket.

After they disembark in Sydney, the plane is scheduled to fly to Auckland where it will pick up South Americans wanting to return home from New Zealand.

“Which was particularly scary … it’s a big risk to take but we knew that the demand was there.”

Limited options for Australians in South America

Samuel McDowell and his family made it home to Sydney from Paraguay.(Supplied)

Ms Keating moved to New Zealand from Australia nearly 17 years ago.

As COVID-19 shut the international travel industry down last year, she noticed a large number of South Americans living in Queenstown with no way of getting home.

Her agency, X Travel, started trying to find people seats on cargo flights but were soon inundated with requests from Aussies and Kiwis in South America wanting to travel in the other direction.

“For many countries, including the likes of Peru and Colombia, the borders actually didn’t open until October,” Ms Keating said.

Samuel McDowell and his family got seats on another one of X Travel’s flights earlier this year after struggling to find a way home from Paraguay, where he and his wife were working as doctors for a rural health clinic.

“They were just brilliant, they made it all happen,” he said.

Three smiling women facing the camera
Fanny Lindblad-Hillary, Niki Davies and Victoria Keating from X Travel(Supplied)

“The [other] options were very convoluted, you had to go up through America or even worse through Europe and the risks of getting stranded were very high.

“And then of course there’s the cost. And for a family of five like ours, $50,000 was not reasonable or attainable for us at that time.”

Race against time for pregnant Australian

Another Australian with personal experience of the challenges many are facing is Annalisa Powell, who recently made it home from Brazil.

She first wanted to return after she and her Brazilian partner lost their work as musicians due to COVID-19.

However, the situation became more urgent when they realised she was pregnant.

“[Our] flights got repeatedly cancelled and then bumped and then cancelled … and it was getting later and later in the pregnancy,” she said.

Ms Powell completed her two weeks’ quarantine in New South Wales before arriving in her home state of Western Australia.

“When we touched down on Perth soil, I was just exhausted I guess from the whole experience,” she said.

“We were sitting in the airport waiting for my parents to come and when I saw them I just broke down, it was crazy.

“I think at this point in my life I need some family support and I just didn’t have anything in Brazil.”

Australian Government defends support

Hundreds of people packed together at an airport in Peru.
Peru is one of the South American nations where more than 1,000 Australians remain stranded.(Supplied: Merinda Kyle)

Ms Powell speaks highly of the support she received from the embassy in Brazil but other Australians in South America have told the ABC they feel let down by the federal government.

In a statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) said the government had provided support for the charter flight landing in Sydney today.

It also said its highest priority was helping vulnerable Australians overseas.

“Since March, DFAT has helped over 40,700 Australians return on over 500 flights including over 15,000 people on 108 government facilitated flights,” it said.

“Twenty of these facilitated flights assisted Australians to return from South America.”

Of the 40,000 Australians around the world still registered with DFAT as wanting to return, around 1,000 are believed to be in South America.

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Passenger films engine catching on fire


A United Airlines flight flying from Denver, Colorado to Honolulu, Hawaii was forced to make an emergency landing after an engine caught on fire shortly after takeoff.

Miraculously, Flight 328 made a successful emergency landing at Denver International Airport, with no injuries recorded among the 231 passengers and 10 crew on board.

RELATED: In-flight drinks cost man $65,000

United Airlines responded to the incident, confirming that the Boeing 777-200 suffered engine failure shortly after takeoff.

“Flight UA328 from Denver to Honolulu experienced an engine failure shortly after departure, returned safely to Denver and was met by emergency crews as a precaution,” the airline tweeted.

“There are no reported injuries on-board. We are in contact with the FAA, NTSB and local law enforcement.”

RELATED: Airline boss slams ‘horrible idea’

On Twitter, several Denver citizens have shared footage of debris falling from the sky. This included large portions of the plane’s metal skin and charred exterior.

Police in the Colorado city of Broomfield also reported scenes of “dropped debris in several neighbourhoods around 1.08pm”.

Extraordinary footage taken by Mike Brown, a passenger on the plane showed the right-hand side engine continuing to operate, with flames, smoke and debris spurting from the plane.

According to air traffic control communications obtained by CNN, the pilots issued a mayday call shortly after takeoff.

Broomfield resident Kieran Cain told CNN he heard a “big explosion” while playing with his children, before seeing “black smoke” in the sky.

“Debris started raining down, which you know, sort of looked like it was floating down and not very heavy, but actually now looking at it, it’s giant metal pieces all over the place,” he said.

“I was surprised that the plane sort of continued on uninterrupted, without really altering its trajectory or doing anything. It just kind of kept going the way it was going as if nothing happened.”

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board have confirmed they will be investigating the incident.



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History has its eyes on the two most famous spouses in America


The White House website says he “will devote his time to the causes of justice, equality and human rights”; his first official solo event was a visit to a working farm at a DC middle school where he pronounced, “food security is a racial justice issue now”. He is likely to engage in many such soft ceremonial activities and hence be in the public eye as more than an accompanying spouse. And he also has a job. He resigned from his corporate law firm (too many potential conflicts) and now has a part-time teaching role at Georgetown Law School – but is not the first second spouse to be employed. That honour belongs to Jill Biden.

Chasten, 31, on the other hand, is having to learn Washington. He is setting up house in DC after the two of them moved from South Bend, Indiana where, of course, Pete used to be mayor. Chasten gave up his job as a Montessori junior high school teacher after he and Pete married in 2018 and now calls himself “a political spouse”. It’s a perhaps surprisingly traditional choice in today’s world, especially for a non-traditional couple.

He jumped on Twitter last weekend seeking “DC veterinarian recommendations” for the couple’s rescue dogs, Buddy and Truman. His feed was soon filled by other DC dogs welcoming the pooches (who, of course, have their own Twitter account) and recommending their favourite vets.

Chasten is a prolific and engaging tweeter who is likely to share his settling-in process with the entire world. Interestingly, a few days ago, he changed his Twitter name to include his former last name. Chaston apparently had few qualms about ditching the name of the family who’d brutally rejected him when he came out, forcing him to be homeless for a time. (He has since reconciled with his parents, but his brothers remain estranged). So far Chasten Glezman Buttigieg has given no explanation for the latest name change. This combination is common with American women (think Hillary Rodham Clinton) but it is rare for men to adopt their partner’s names on marriage.

Doug and Chasten have become friends, reportedly, and what an odd couple they make with their differences in age and backgrounds. It’s hard to see Doug, the cool one-time Hollywood entertainment lawyer who named his kids (from his previous marriage) after John Coltrane and Ella Fitzgerald, hanging out with the dorky guy who did not own a suit until his fiancee took him to Banana Republic so he had something to wear on their big date. Which happened to be the Obama’s 2015 White House Christmas party.

But they will doubtless find common ground in learning how to be the first at what they are doing.

It’s difficult comparing these men with the women who have filled these roles in the past.

It’s not just a matter of a change of gender. A man, and Doug in particular, enjoys an existential freedom that has simply not been available to Second Ladies, even one as role-bending as Jill Biden who also had a job. And a man who has once exercised considerable power has an aura he never loses – however much he defers to his wife. He is scarcely on the same planet as Karen Pence.

There has been no one like Chasten before so he will be writing his own rule book and who can say how it will work out. His husband enjoyed a quite extraordinarily warm reception from some of the crustiest Republican senators during his confirmation hearing seemingly signalling that these traditional homophobes have decided that the boundless opportunities for “pork” (think highways, bridges, rail lines, airports and so on) traditionally offered by the Department of Transportation trumps prejudice.

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These norm-shifting couples raise pertinent questions about what other couples can aspire to. Why can’t a woman take on a big job that requires her partner to step back – and have men accept this? A big difference of course is that in neither case is there the complication of young children – although Pete and Chasten have said they want kids.

It is going to be a fascinating experience watching the two couples as they turn heads wherever they go because everything they do, at least for now, is without precedent: a bi-racial couple and a gay couple whose mere existence will force changes to protocols and prejudices.

Twitter: @SummersAnne

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Cathay Pacific axe all long-haul flights to Australia, excluding Sydney


Cathay Pacific Airways has announced they will be axing all flights to Australia, except routes servicing Sydney, following Hong Kong’s plan to introduce tough new quarantine rules on airline crew.

The airline announced the intention to cull flights to most of Australia, as well as Vancouver, San Francisco and Frankfurt in response to the local government’s new ruling that will force flight staff into quarantine for 14 days if they leave China.

The reduction in flights is expected to begin on February 20 and last until at least the end of the month.

RELATED: Emirates to resume flights to Australia after meeting COVID standards

With flights to Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne and Auckland now on the cutting room floor, only the airline’s five weekly flights between Hong Kong and Sydney will remain in place.

“In view of the Hong Kong SAR Government’s latest announcement, with effect from February 20, 2021 our Hong Kong-based pilots and cabin crew are required to undergo 14 days of hotel quarantine plus 7 days of medical surveillance when they return to Hong Kong after being on duty,” the airline confirmed in a statement, as reported by Executive Traveller.

“The new measure will have a significant impact on our ability to service our passenger and cargo markets,” noted Cathay Pacific chief operating officer Ronald Lam.

According to local media, flights in the region that will go ahead include Taipei, Beijing, Shanghai, Jakarta, Surabaya, Osaka, Tokyo, Manila, Singapore and Bangkok.

In addition to Sydney, the long-haul flights that survived the cull include to Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, plus flights one-way from Hong Kong to London and one-way from Amsterdam to Hong Kong.

It is understood the airline made the decision following the government’s announcement on

February 5 following growing concern over the risk of importing mutant strains of COVID-19.

The new order requires city-based pilots and cabin crew to quarantine in a designated hotel for 14 days, before re-entering the community and undergoing an extra seven days of medical surveillance involving regular temperature checks and health monitoring.

The decision comes just weeks after Emirates backflipped on their decision to no longer fly into Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

The airline’s sudden U-turn to resume flights to the east coast of Australia came as the Australian government lifted international arrival caps within Australia from mid-February.

The number of people allowed to fly into NSW, Queensland and Western Australia were halved at the beginning of January in response to the new strain of the virus from the United Kingdom.

But the weekly cap will now increase from 4127 to at least 6362 nationwide.

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The Super Bowl is coming. And America is running out of chicken wings.


“What’s been really strange about this year is it’s actually been really strong since late summer, the demand for wings,” said Christine McCracken, executive director of animal protein at Rabobank. “And that’s made it a bit harder for people who didn’t have a plan going into [the Super Bowl] or are trying to catch up with demand.”

FAT Brands, the company behind wing chains Buffalo’s, Hurricane Grill & Wings, Ponderosa Steakhouse and six other restaurant franchises, began planning for the 2021 Super Bowl a year ago, said Andy Wiederhorn, the company’s president and chief executive.

He said the company is well-stocked, but is still making last-minute arrangements to shore up supplies. It expects to sell 500,000 wings (that’s 250,000 chickens’ worth) over Super Bowl weekend. The entire chicken industry will go through close to 1.4 billion wings, according to the National Chicken Council, up 2 per cent from last year.

“Wings travel well and hold up during delivery conditions. Plus, they align with consumer desire for comfort food during the pandemic.”

National Chicken Council spokesman Tom Super

Even with restaurant trips in America down 11 per cent in 2020 because of the pandemic, wing sales jumped 7 per cent, the council reported in its annual “Wing Report.”

“If you think about it, restaurants like wing joints and pizza places were built around takeout and delivery, so they didn’t have to change their business model that much during the pandemic,” council spokesman Tom Super wrote in the report. “Wings travel well and hold up during delivery conditions. Plus, they align with consumer desire for comfort food during the pandemic. Chicken production remained steady in 2020, and as long as people are sitting around watching TV and maybe drinking a beer, wings will remain in the game.”

Wiederhorn said sales at Buffalo’s and Hurricane, FAT’s two wing-specific brands, are well above their 2019 mark.

By all accounts, 2020 was a weird year for chicken wings.Credit:iStock

By all accounts, 2020 was a weird year for wings. Prices and production jumped right around the Super Bowl, according to the Department of Agriculture, as they usually do. Then the pandemic hit. Sports shut down, including the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament. Restaurants shuttered and consumers rushed to grocery stores to stock up. They bought a whole lot of chicken, but not so much wings, which are more popular at restaurants rather than for home meals.

Wing prices plummeted, down to less than $US1 per pound. Production fell too, as all of a sudden, the market was flooded with millions of excess wings.

And then, within months, the market rebounded. Stay-at-home orders meant more backyard barbecues over the summer. With nothing to do, football Saturdays and Sundays turned into de facto holidays – perfect for wings. New “ghost kitchens,” or delivery-only restaurants capitalising on the rise of Grubhub and UberEats, popped up, many specialising in wings.

In normal years, McCracken said, there are things the food service industry can do to ease the strain on its wing supply. The best example, she said, is “boneless wings” (about which a great debate exists as to whether they are really “wings” or just chicken nuggets), which eateries can promote as a tasty (if controversial) alternative.

Caught off guard

“Nobody switched to boneless wings this year,” she said. “I think it just caught people off guard.”

Consumers are also price sensitive when it comes to wings, said Sean McBride, the founder of DSM Strategic Communications and a food industry expert. Demand isn’t the only thing inflating wing prices.

The pandemic comes with its own bevy of production expenses: more protective and sanitation equipment, worker shortages, transportation costs. Those all get baked into the price of a wing, and companies have to decide whether to swallow that cost, or pass it along to wholesalers, distributors, restaurants and grocery stores.

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And with those increased production costs, McBride said, some producers may decide to allocate fewer resources to breaking down birds on the assembly line, and choose instead to sell more whole chickens and half chickens rather than chicken parts.

That contributes to the wing availability crunch, because restaurants have to spend more for a now-smaller supply of processed wings, and supermarket meat counters have to spend more time butchering birds to package wings, thigh, breasts and legs separately.

The results of the wing shortage are twofold, experts say. First, depending on where US consumers buy wings, they can expect to pay more. There may not be a noticeable price bump on menus or at the grocery stores, but companies may look to be more stingy with discounts or promotions.

Second, the kind of wings they’re eating could be different. Chicken producers are letting their birds grow bigger to cut down on the cost of new hatchlings. At the grocery store or in restaurants where wings are sold by the pound, that means fewer wings per order. Wiederhorn said FAT Brands is struggling to find more small wings, which some customers prefer. As a last resort, McBride said, some eateries are also pulling wings out of frozen storage to supplement their fresh supply.

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The new, old thing – Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in America | United States


IN 1965 THREE fathers in Washington state faced a dilemma familiar to beleaguered parents in 2021: how to keep their restless children entertained. They threw together wooden paddles, a badminton net, and a perforated plastic ball. The sport “pickleball” was born, deriving its name—according to one legend—from a dog named Pickle, which kept running away with the ball.

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Today pickleball, which is a hybrid of tennis, badminton and ping-pong, is the fastest-growing sport in America. In the five years to the end of 2019, pickleball participation grew by more than 7%, while Americans’ overall activity level stayed flat, according to the Sport & Fitness Industry Association. Although data from 2020 have not yet been released, the sport has picked up more swing thanks to covid-19. Last March, when quarantines went into effect and gyms closed, portable pickleball nets temporarily sold out. Players set up courts, which are half the size of tennis courts, in driveways. “It’s the new thing,” says Derek Heil, an employee at Dick’s Sporting Goods in Dallas, who has seen a sales spike for pickleball equipment over the last year, including for higher-end paddles which sell for around $100.

The 3.5m Americans who play pickleball are about one-tenth the number who golf and one-fifth the number who play tennis. Yet there are reasons to bet on the sport’s spread. Like many outdoor activities, pickleball is social, but it is easier to learn than tennis and faster and less expensive than golf. Country clubs and recreation centres across the country are converting some of their tennis courts into pickleball courts to meet demand. The more places there are to play, the more players will try the sport.

Hoping to predict where the ball is going to land, manufacturers of tennis racquets are starting to make pickleball kit too. “Pickleball was seen as a threat in the tennis community,” says Stu Upson of USA Pickleball, the sport’s national governing body, who used to work for the International Tennis Hall of Fame. But now, he insists, it is viewed as an opportunity. Tennis pros are adding pickleball lessons to their repertoire. As more people take up the sport, demand for televised matches and sponsorships will increase. Mr Upson hopes that one day pickleball will become an Olympic sport, although that may be a long shot.

This article appeared in the United States section of the print edition under the headline “The new, old thing”

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Final throes – Use of the death penalty in America may be ending | United States


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Joe Biden inherits a deeply divided America, perhaps that’s why he gave a nod to Abraham Lincoln


With each inauguration of a new US president, we often hear about their predecessors.

Perhaps it’s because of the former presidents in attendance at the actual ceremony — or this year, the one who was not.

Joe Biden’s inauguration was a chance for “46” to put his own stamp on the role. But if you paid attention, you likely heard him reference another president: Abraham Lincoln.

What were the main throwbacks?

Aside from symbolic nods — such the service for COVID-19 victims at the Lincoln Memorial on January 19 — there were also two strong links back to Lincoln in President Biden’s inaugural address.

This line from Joe Biden referenced one of the most enduring phrases from Abraham Lincoln’s first inaugural address: the “better angels”.

US President Joe Biden used his inauguration speech to call for unity across the political divide.(Reuters: Patrick Samansky)

In the face of America’s challenges (at the time, civil war), it was a deeply personal call from the President to the best parts of human nature — positive, constructive, good elements of people’s characters.

You can read the full transcript here.

We also heard President Biden refer to the Emancipation Proclamation, a feature of Lincoln’s first term.

“When he put pen to paper the president said, and I quote: ‘If my name ever goes down in history, it’ll be for this act, and my whole soul is in it,'” cited Biden.

Abraham Lincoln issued the final version of the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, several years into the Civil War. It declared that all slaves in the rebellion states would be free.

Many see the document as a turning point in the conflict. It wasn’t just about preserving the Union anymore; it was also about the (eventual) abolition of slavery — positioning it as essential to any post-war America.

It would become a defining feature of Lincoln’s presidency.

Why would Biden link to Lincoln?

To put it very simply: he can (somewhat) relate.

Although he will lead at a completely different time, much like president Lincoln, Joe Biden is grappling with the challenge of a deeply divided country.

For Abraham Lincoln it was the destructive, painful Civil War that saw years of bloody battles and the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people.

The statue of Abraham Lincoln at the Washington Mall
The statue of Abraham Lincoln sits in the memorial at the Washington Mall.(ABC News: Michael Vincent)

More than a century on, President Joe Biden steps up at another volatile moment in US history.

Deep political divisions have long existed in the US, but four years of a Donald Trump presidency seemed to exacerbate tensions.

Just days before the inauguration, those tensions would be on violent display, with deadly riots at the very place Joe Biden would take the oath of office.

By his second inauguration in 1865, Abraham Lincoln had shifted his focus to a solemn call for healing.

“Let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle.”

His legacy as a man who brought the country together — a “Saviour of the Union” — is one that has long endured; in some ways held up as the prime example for his successors.

Joe Biden used his own presidential campaign to build a similar image of himself as a leader that would unify and heal, often referring to the election as a battle for the “soul of the nation”.

These sentiments were echoed in last week’s inaugural address.

“And we must meet this moment as the United States of America. If we do that, I guarantee you, we will not fail.”

In the same way that Lincoln called people to appeal to their “better angels”, Biden too called for tolerance and humility — and a fresh start.

“Let’s begin to listen to one another again. Hear one another, see one another, show respect to one another.”

“Politics doesn’t have to be a raging fire, destroying everything in its path.”

The challenge ahead

These nods to Lincoln bring an element of familiarity back to US politics and with it, potentially, a sense of return to stability after years of turbulence.

What remains now is the reality of the challenges that lie ahead.

With the pandemic far from under control, the number of lives lost will continue to grow. Add to that the severe and ongoing economic impact.

Beyond that, there is the task of unpicking four years of leadership that sowed mistrust in the media and allowed misinformation to flourish.

The resistance will be fierce — 74 million people voted for Donald Trump. Many are still openly disputing the election’s result.

This week, under the gaze of the 16th president, Joe Biden began his own long process of leading healing, with a memorial for the 400,000-plus American lives lost to COVID-19.

Kamala Harris and Joe Biden honour COVID-19 in ceremony at Lincoln Memorial
The new Biden administration signals a shift in approach to COVID-19 — starting with a memorial service.(News Video)

It was a moment of strong symbolism that bound two different periods of deep loss for the country.

Abraham Lincoln did not get to see his own push for unity through. Just 42 days into his second term, he was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth.

But his lessons endure almost like a presidential blueprint: appealing to the best parts of people and as a leader, being steadfast in the fight for what is right.

If President Biden’s inauguration was any measure, we may see even more nods to these ideas over the next four years.

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Why Joe Biden is the US President that will mend America


Joe Biden won’t heckle, bully, belittle or humiliate. And the world won’t wake up every day with an adrenaline rush, frantically doom-scrolling through Twitter.

Biden knows how good government works. He knows that each member of Congress has their own constituency to worry about, a party to preserve and skin in the game. He’ll court and lean on members when he needs to get things done, but he’ll do it by deploying the legislative and political savvy he’s so well known for. He has a history of working across the aisle. The relationship between Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell and Biden is deeper and more mutually respectful than anything offered by Donald Trump.

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Similarly, Biden’s cabinet appointments reflect the experience and stability needed to deal with an unprecedented twin set of economic and public health crises. Tony Blinken, a senior Obama official and the new Secretary of State, is measured and highly intelligent. Janet Yellen is exceptionally smart with a New York earthiness that is most useful for a Secretary of Treasury. And Lloyd Austin, the new Secretary of Defence, will be very much in the James Mattis mould as a senior and experienced military officer.

I have met most of the team and they all have a deep understanding of Australia’s role as a very close trusted ally. No diplomatic speed-dating is necessary for this administration. The rest of the nominees reflect Biden’s respect for experience, knowledge, humility and focus.

Biden’s policies are neither conservative nor terribly radical. Sure, he’s a Democrat, but he’s also a realist. He will spend more money, including a $US1.9 trillion stimulus package, being dubbed the “American Rescue Plan”, which aims to tackle COVID-19 and begin the economic repair that’s needed in the wake of the virus that has changed all of our lives. It’s a carefully thought through plan and likely to hyperdrive America’s recovery by the middle of the year. As an aside, Trump was hardly a fiscal conservative. He delivered the biggest budget deficits in modern history, even before the pandemic hit.

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Biden’s regulatory agenda could prove troubling. If he can resist the pressure of the progressive wing of his party seeking to heavily regulate enterprise, then the possible explosion in America’s growth will eventuate.

On the international front, Biden will be a traditionalist. He will rejoin the World Health Organisation, empower the World Trade Organisation and he will refocus on the value of allies. His support for Bretton Woods institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and World Bank will be much appreciated. America will become more predictable.

Above all else, Joe Biden will become the empathetic face and voice of a nation that needs a hug and a dash of truth. He will not dominate the news. He won’t heckle, bully, belittle and humiliate. And the world won’t wake up every day with an adrenaline rush, frantically doom-scrolling through Twitter.

But Biden and his team will be aware that most first-term presidents get a political backlash against them in the next congressional elections in just two years’ time. Campaigning has already started. I expect Biden will take the opportunity to wrest the blue-collar midwest vote back from the Republicans. Outside of New York State and California, Trump won more votes than Biden. So he has much work to do to consolidate key wins in working-class states such as Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. He has shown he can even turn states like Georgia.

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But to win and hold the blue-collar vote he needs to govern for Baltimore rather than Boston. Trump had nothing in common with most of the 74 million people who voted for him, yet he increased his support by more than 10 million votes over the past four years. Biden can win them back.

Most Americans are ready to start a new chapter. With Biden’s character and experience, combined with Trump’s terrible ending, the threads are in place to repair the fabric of democracy and preserve the fabled American dream.

Joe Hockey, a former federal treasurer, was Australia’s ambassador to the United States during the Trump presidency.

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‘Strong, proud and free’: Trump says he fought for America and all it stands for



Outgoing US President Donald Trump has championed American “courage, confidence and fierce independence,” during his farewell speech at the White House.

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