APD | Weekly top 10 hot news (Oct 22- Oct 28)



Every weekend, Asia Pacific Daily will provide you with a run-down of the latest hot news.

This week, the following hot news you should know:

**Top 1 |**Trump lawyers and DOJ met in sealed court hearing: CNN

Former U.S. President Donald Trump's legal defense team and the Department of Justice (DOJ) appeared at a sealed hearing on Thursday which was related in part to the DOJ's ongoing demands to make sure all classified documents have been returned to the federal government, CNN reported.

This was the first time that Trump's legal team, which deals with the Mar-a-Lago documents investigation, appeared in a DC federal courthouse.

**Top 2 |**Sunak is a good choice, but he's fighting at various fronts

He is the third British Conservative prime minister in the last four months: Rishi Sunak. Amidst significant crises, he promises more financial and economic competence but has to assert himself against a deep party and social divide. And above all, his old nemesis, Boris Johnson.

Even after only his second day in office, a few things can be safely assumed: With Sunak, a professional has moved into No. 10 who perhaps understands the economy better than most of his predecessors. Market liberalism, small government, low taxes and strong British patriotism are the visions and ideas Sunak will seek to implement moving forward.

They are desperately needed. Inflation is soaring, electricity and gas are almost unaffordable, while food is also becoming increasingly expensive. Sunak's predecessor Liz Truss had made the situation even worse: Uncertainty on the markets, skyrocketing debt and mortgage interest rates, and the British pound always in peril of slipping dangerously.

**Top 3 |**Saudi Arabia 'maturer guys' in spat with U.S., energy minister says

Saudi Arabia decided to be the "maturer guys" in a spat with the United States over oil supplies, the kingdom's energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said on Tuesday.

The decision by the OPEC+ oil producer group led by Saudi Arabia this month to cut oil output targets unleashed a war of words between the White House and Riyadh ahead of the kingdom's Future Investment Initiative (FII) forum, which drew top U.S. business executives.

When asked at the FII forum how the energy relationship with the United States could be put back on track after the cuts and with the December 5 deadline for the expected price-cap on Russian oil, the Saudi energy minister said, "I think we as Saudi Arabia decided to be the maturer guys and let the dice fall."

**Top 4 |**UN says ending communal violence critical for sustainable peace in South Sudan

South Sudan should focus on ending intermittent communal violence at local levels in order to achieve steady peace progress during the recently extended transition period, a United Nations official said on Monday.

Sara Beysolow Nyanti, the Deputy Special Representative in the UN Mission (UNMISS) and Resident Coordinator in South Sudan, called on all parties to the 2018 revitalized peace deal to accomplish the pending critical tasks before the end of the transition period in February 2025.

Nyanti who welcomed the recent graduation of some of the first batch of unified forces underscored the need for an all-inclusive constitution-making process to pave way for free, fair and credible elections, to mark the end of the transition and the beginning of South Sudan's journey as a truly democratic nation.

**Top 5 |**Sunak wins race to become UK prime minister without a vote

Former UK finance minister Rishi Sunak is to become the UK's next prime minister after a public and private battle with colleagues to follow Liz Truss.

Sunak was was the only candidate to secure the support of 100 MPs from the ruling Conservative Party. That meant he will become party leader, and therefore prime minister, without a vote. Once confirmed by King Charles III, Sunak will be the first British leader from Asian heritage as well as the youngest in 200 years. Sunak is a Hindu, and maintains family links to India. His father-in-law is said to be India's richest man.

Sunak himself has great personal wealth. It has been reported that he will be the first UK prime minister to be richer than the monarch. His experience managing the UK's finances, and in particular his strongly-voiced opposition to Truss' disastrous plans for borrowing-funded tax cuts, prompted many in the party to view him as the safest choice.

**Top 6 |**Foreign congratulatory messages on Xi's election as general secretary of CPC Central Committee

Leaders of political parties, governments and heads of state worldwide have sent congratulations to Xi Jinping on his election as general secretary of the 20th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

Extending his warmest congratulations to Xi on his election, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the decisions made at the 20th CPC National Congress will help China realize the goals of its economic and social development, and continuously improve China's international status.

Putin added that he is willing to carry on with constructive dialogue and close coordination with Xi, and push forward the Russia-China comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination.

Top 7 | Jan. 6 panel won't let Trump turn testimony into circus: Vice chair

The House committee investigating the Capitol riot won't give former President U.S. Donald Trump the chance to turn a possible live TV appearance of his subpoenaed testimony into a "circus" and "food fight" as lawmakers try to ensure he complies with their demands, the panel's vice chair Liz Cheney said on Sunday.

The committee is demanding Trump's testimony under oath next month as well as records relevant to its investigation. To avoid a complicated and protracted legal battle, Trump reportedly had told associates he might consider complying with the subpoena if he could answer questions during live testimony.

When asked if the committee would consider taking his testimony live, Cheney on Sunday did not directly respond. She said the committee would not allow Trump's testimony to turn into a "food fight" on TV – much as was seen, she said, in Trump's broadcast appearances such as one of his 2020 presidential debates – and she warned that the committee will take action if he does not comply with the subpoena.

**Top 8 |**Australia-Japan security agreement endangers regional peace

On October 22, the prime ministers of Australia and Japan signed a bilateral security agreement to address unspecified risks over their "shared values and mutual strategic interests." The joint declaration would boost military, intelligence and cyber-security coordination over the next decade, while endorsing the controversial "free and open Indo-Pacific" strategy's containment focus. The latter strategy could subvert Asia Pacific's time-tested cooperation architecture and is a recipe to split regional consensus through ideological alliances and an alternative "rules-based order." Consequently, there is nothing strictly bilateral about the new Australia-Japan security pact. The endorsement of the "free and open Indo-Pacific strategy" is cause for regional alarm.

The genuine deterrence against regional threats requires credible assurance from the region itself. Tokyo and Canberra miss the mark by addressing broad "behavior" that "undermines international rules and norms" in their eyes. Both countries also interpret regional security interests as their own closed prerogative, as indicated by their tacit approval of U.S. interests in the freedom of navigation and joint military exercises space.

There is a conscious effort to put a security lens on dispute resolution mechanisms in the Pacific. The region remains rich with mechanisms and dispute resolution practices that are in accordance with international law, untethered to what Japan and Australia collectively signal as an alternative "rules-based order."

Top 9 | Boris Johnson drops UK PM comeback bid

Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson pulled out of the contest to become Britain's next leader on Sunday, saying he had the support of enough lawmakers to progress to the next stage, but far fewer than former Finance Minister Rishi Sunak.

Johnson said he had secured the backing of 102 lawmakers and could have been "back in Downing Street", but that he had failed to persuade either Sunak, or the other contender Penny Mordaunt, to come together "in the national interest".

**Top 10 |**U.S. Jan. 6 Capitol riot committee subpoenas Trump

The U.S. House of Representatives committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump said on Friday that it had sent him a subpoena, demanding that he provide documents and testify under oath.

Deposition testimony often refers to closed-door, videotaped questioning of a witness on the record. Such testimony could be made public and become part of a final report by the special panel.

The committee is seeking a wide range of documents from Trump that would detail communications he may have had over a period of several months leading up to the January 6 riot and beyond with lawmakers, Oath Keepers and Proud Boys members, as well as associates and former aides, including Roger Stone, Steve Bannon, Michael Flynn and Rudy Giuliani.