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AUKUS: A new defence pact, climate updates, the future of Afghanistan's drug trade

This week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison, President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the establishment of a new defence pact between Australia, the US and the UK - AUKUS. As part of this new partnership, Australia will move to acquire nuclear-powered submarines and has cancelled its $90 billion submarine program with France’s Naval Group. Peter Jennings, Michael Shoebridge and Dr Marcus Hellyer share their initial reactions to the new pact and what this means for Australia’s defence capabilities.

This past summer in the Northern Hemisphere was marked with unprecedented floods, fires, droughts and heat waves. Anastasia Kapetas and Dr Robert Glasser provide an update discuss these catastrophic events and how Australia can prepare for simultaneous climate hazards domestically and in our region.

Back in 2000, the Taliban announced a ban against growing opium poppy which led to a rapid decline in production. The ban was interrupted by the beginning of the US war in Afghanistan in 2021 when production levels increased. Dr John Coyne and Dr Teagan Westendorf consider what the return of the Taliban to power means for opium production in Afghanistan and what impacts the Taliban’s policies will have on the global drug trade.