What's New In The World?

A newsletter by Lennon Tobey

Tony Abbott jets to US to address abortion and gay-marriage opponents Alliance Defending Freedom (SUMMARY)

On February 2nd, 2016, former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott visited America accompanied by his wife, Margie, to deliver a speech to the Alliance Defending Freedom. According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Abbott talked to the Christian organization about, “The importance of family.” The newspaper reported that, “It will also further burnish his credentials as Australia's pre-eminent social conservative, in sharp distinction with the middle-ground of Australian politics, and with that of his replacement, the pro-marriage equality, pro-environment Malcolm Turnbull.” The Alliance Defending Agency stated on their website, “What happens to marriage dictates what our society will become." Read more here: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/tony-abbott-jets-to-us-to-address-abortion-and-gaymarriage-opponents-alliance-defending-freedom-20160125-gmdi7r.html

10 Key Themes for the Australian Economy in 2016 (SUMMARY)

Australian economists at Bank of America Merrill Lynch Alex Joiner and Alexandra Veroude compiled a list of 10 key themes regarding the Australian economy for 2016. Their list includes GDP growth as number one and the unemployment rate coming in at number three. Another key topic was number 5 - the upcoming residential bust. They wrote, “2016 will likely be the year of ‘peak housing’, and by the end of the year, the cycle will likely be receding and detracting from growth and employment.” They also predict that inflation will accelerate modestly, and the Australian dollar will likely be worth 65 cents this year. There will also be no more cuts from the RBA, or the Reserve Bank of Australia. Read more here: http://www.businessinsider.com.au/10-key-themes-for-the-australian-economy-in-2016-2016-1

Facebook Reveals more Australians than ever are coming out as gay in profiles

According to new data released by Facebook, “The number of Australians identifying as LGBTI on Facebook doubled in 2015.” They did not release the specific number of people coming out, but say that it has risen substantially. ABC News Australia said, “The study said the rise in people selecting their sexuality indicated more people than ever were comfortable with identifying themselves as LGBTI.” They also reported that, “Facebook measured the number of LGBTI Australians by monitoring which of its 14 million Australian users changed the "interested in" field to reflect a same-gender interest, an interest in both genders, entering into a same-sex relationship, or used a custom gender.” Read more here: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-12/australian-gay-community-loud-and-proud-on-facebook/7161678



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How Do These Events Affect Australia And America?

There is definitely a lot going on in America right now. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia passed away on February 13, Hallmark is adding more diversity to their Valentine’s Day ads, and markets are tanking but miraculously the U.S. economy is far from that fate. Meanwhile, in Australia, former Prime Minister Tony Abbott finished his U.S. visit a few weeks ago, two economists with similar names created a list of topics for the 2016 economy, and the amount of openly LGBTQIA+ people on Facebook is ever-increasing. Both countries are making progress when it comes to equality for all sexualities and genders. However, the government down under is seemingly fine, while ours is still recovering from the shock that is the death of the longest serving Supreme Court Justice. We are having trouble with how, if it will happen, Obama will appoint a new Justice before his term is over. These events will affect both countries by affecting decisions on immigration to the U.S. from countries like Australia, laws regarding the LGBTQIA+ community in both countries, and the state of the economies for now and this year.