Felix and Verum were playing a card game. The game required a lot of stealth and smart planning. That’s why Felix and Verum were engrossed in the game. So much so that Verum didn’t even realize her crystal ball was humming in its usual way.

Orak entered the dorm room and said, “Oi, Verum! Your crystal ball is calling you. It’s time for some world-gazing.”

“Oh, wow. I didn’t even notice it,” replied Verum. Her eyes had grown even bigger with surprise.

“Hmm, let’s see what’s the news for today,” she added, “Oh, it’s about the AUKUS pact between Australia (‘A’), the United Kingdom (‘UK’), and the United States (‘US’).”

“What is AUKUS?” said Felix.

“Don’t you remember?” prodded Orak, “The three countries have come together and formed a union to maintain peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region. As a part of this alliance, the US and the UK will make a joint effort to help Australia get its hands on nuclear-powered submarines (a watercraft that can move underwater) and other weapons.”

“Oh, yes,” said Felix, “What about it?”

“Well, France isn’t too happy about this alliance,” said Verum, “You see, Australia signed a deal with a French company, partly owned by the government, in 2016. As a part of this $34 billion deal, Australia was going to buy diesel-powered submarines from this company. But now that the US is providing Australia with the technology for nuclear-powered submarines, the deal is canceled.”

“That’s a loss of a lot of money for France,” said Scorch.

“Exactly,” replied Verum, “Also, France has always been an ally of the West. In global politics, allies are countries that favor each other. But France found out about the pact only a few hours before it was announced to the public. So, it called its ambassadors to the US and Australia back to France. An ambassador is a high-ranking official who represents their country in another foreign country.”

“That sounds quite serious,” said Orak.

“It is, but the US and French presidents had a 30-minute call on Wednesday. During the call, they agreed to try to find a way forward,” replied Verum, “So, the French ambassador to the US will head back to the States next week.”

She added, “The situation between France and Australia might not be resolved so easily.”