China responds to Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, Sri Lanka in ‘grave danger’, and inquiry into teacher shortages in NSW

Good morning, I’m Akash Arora here with SBS News’ Morning Briefing.

Nancy Pelosi accuses China of blocking Taiwan from world events

China has responded to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, with military activity erupting in the waters around Taiwan, recalling the US ambassador to Beijing and halting many agricultural imports from Taiwan. The news comes as Pelosi has warned China that it cannot prevent world leaders from visiting Taiwan and . “Unfortunately, Taiwan has been barred from participating in global meetings, most recently the World Health Organization, due to the objections of the Chinese Communist Party,” Pelosi said in a statement. They cannot prevent world leaders or anyone from traveling to Taiwan to express respect for its burgeoning democracy, to highlight its many successes and to underscore our commitment to continued cooperation.”

Move to encourage more Ukrainian students to come to Australia

According to the plans of the Ambassador of Ukraine to Australia, Vasyl Miroshnichenko, he intends to negotiate with the Minister of Education Jason Clare. The proposal aims to encourage more students from the war-torn country to come to Australia to study. “There is a big difference in the domestic and international tuition fees, and those who come here as refugees,” Miroshnichenko told SBS News. “Australia has some of the best universities in the world, and we can definitely benefit from that,” he said. His proposal follows moves in countries such as the United Kingdom, where higher education institutions have limited fees for Ukrainian students to the level paid by local students, and Scotland, which has waived tuition fees for Ukrainian students from the academic year beginning in August.

Sri Lanka’s president says his country is in ‘great danger’

The country’s new president, Ranil Wickremesinghe, said on Wednesday that Sri Lanka is “facing an unprecedented situation” where its people are in “great danger”. “Today we are facing an unprecedented situation that our country has not faced in modern history… We are in great danger,” the 73-year-old said as he opened a new session of parliament. Mr Wickremesinghe was elected to lead the country after his predecessor Gotabaya Rajapaksa resigned and fled Sri Lanka after months of protests and political turmoil. Mr Wickremesinghe said constitutional amendments were needed to limit presidential powers – noting it would satisfy a key demand of the protesters who forced Mr Rajapaksa to oust.

New inquiry in NSW into teacher shortage

, weeks after thousands of public and Catholic school teachers quit their jobs and protested in Sydney’s central business district for better wages and conditions. Independent Education Union NSW Minister Mark Northam and NSW Teachers Union President Angelo Gavriilatos will appear before the inquiry on Thursday. In a recent report from Monash University, more than half of teachers surveyed described their workload as excessive and unsustainable, saying they were planning to leave the profession. One of the researchers, Fiona Longmuir, will also be present at the investigation. “Teachers don’t mind working hard,” she said. “But they are tired of the ever-increasing management and standardization being imposed on them, which arguably does not benefit the students.”

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