Alex McKinnon

is Schwartz Media's morning editor.

By this author

the_briefing June 06, 2019

AFP raids ABC

Australian Federal Police officers have raided the ABC’s Sydney headquarters over a series of stories documenting unlawful killing and misconduct by members of Australian special forces. The Afghan Files, aired and published in 2017, was produced using …

the_briefing June 05, 2019

Four killed in Darwin shooting

Four people have been killed in a shooting spree in Darwin. A 45-year-old man was arrested yesterday after the shooting of several people at Darwin’s Palms Hotel, before allegedly driving to several other locations and trying to enter police headquarters. …

the_briefing June 04, 2019

WA police call for justice reform

Western Australian police commissioner Chris Dawson has urged the state government to do more to keep Indigenous children and young people out of the criminal justice system. Speaking to Guardian Australia on Monday, Dawson voiced support …

the_briefing June 03, 2019

Albanese unveils shadow frontbench

Opposition leader Anthony Albanese has named federal Labor’s new frontbench team. Former leader Bill Shorten will take up the National Disability Insurance Scheme portfolio, while senator Kristina Keneally will become Labor’s first shadow home affairs …

the_briefing May 24, 2019

Queensland coal mine suspended

A proposed coal mine adjacent to Adani’s proposed Carmichael mine in central Queensland has been indefinitely mothballed after the Chinese consortium behind the project terminated its mining lease approvals process with the state government. The China …

the_briefing May 23, 2019

Queensland Labor swings behind Adani

Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has begun signalling her support for Adani’s Carmichael coal mine in the Galilee Basin. Following federal Labor’s poor performance in central Queensland at the election on Saturday, where One Nation and United …

the_briefing May 22, 2019

Albanese, Bowen to face off

Shadow transport minister Anthony Albanese and shadow treasurer Chris Bowen will be among the contenders for the federal Labor leadership contest, which begins today. Bowen, who announced his candidacy on Tuesday, said he would refocus Labor on “the …

the_briefing May 21, 2019

Labor leadership contenders circle

Shadow transport minister Anthony Albanese is firming as the likely successor to federal Labor leader Bill Shorten, who announced his resignation on Saturday following the party’s election defeat. The Labor caucus will meet on Wednesday, where leadership …

the_briefing May 20, 2019

Morrison’s shock election win

Prime minister Scott Morrison has cited the “quiet Australians” for the Coalition’s upset election win, saying in a victory speech on Saturday that the result was “about every single Australian who depends on their government to put them first”. …

News May 18, 2019

The campaign for Warringah

In the face of a serious challenge by independent candidate Zali Steggall, Tony Abbott is fighting to hold on to his place in parliament – and some of the campaign tactics have turned nasty.

the_briefing May 17, 2019

Vale the Silver Bodgie

Former prime minister Bob Hawke has died, aged 89. The Labor Party’s longest-serving prime minister, Hawke presided over the floating of the dollar, the Accord between unions and business, the introduction of Medicare, Australia’s response to the …

the_briefing May 16, 2019

Palmer gags former workers

Former employees of Clive Palmer’s nickel refinery have been pressured to sign an agreement preventing them from making unflattering comments about the United Australia Party leader in order to receive their outstanding payments. Palmer owes about $7 …

the_briefing May 15, 2019

CSIRO pressured to greenlight Adani

The federal government pushed the CSIRO to sign off on approval for the proposed Carmichael coalmine’s use of groundwater, despite a lack of information to make a final assessment. Emails between the CSIRO and the federal department of the environment, …

the_briefing May 14, 2019

Islanders’ UN climate complaint

A group of Torres Strait Islanders has lodged a complaint against the federal government with the United Nations human rights committee over inaction on climate change. In the complaint, eight Torres Strait Islanders alleged “the effects of Australia’s …

the_briefing May 13, 2019

Queensland locking up kids

Children as young as 10 are being detained in police watch houses in Queensland, where some are isolated for weeks at a time, and others are exposed to drugs and hardened criminals. A new report by the ABC’s Four Corners has published details …

the_briefing May 10, 2019

Call a climate emergency: Garrett

Former federal environment minister Peter Garrett has called on the Labor Party to declare a climate emergency if it wins the federal election. In a speech to the Carbon Market Institute summit in Melbourne on Wednesday, Garrett said opposition leader …

the_briefing May 09, 2019

Daily Telegraph hit job backfires

Opposition leader Bill Shorten has hit out at Sydney’s Daily Telegraph for suggesting he misrepresented his mother’s life story. During an episode of the ABC’s Q&A on Monday, Shorten recounted his mother Ann’s struggle to …

the_briefing May 08, 2019

Morrison targets unions, ‘green tape’

Prime minister Scott Morrison has vowed to target union power and environmental regulations if the Coalition maintains government at the federal election. In an interview with Nine newspapers today, Morrison accused the Labor Party of wanting to “hypercharge …

the_briefing May 07, 2019

We’re killing everything

Humans are destroying nature at a rate unprecedented in history, a United Nations scientific review has found. Compiled by 145 authors from 50 countries over three years, a new report from the UN Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity …

the_briefing May 06, 2019

Shorten pitches Labor faithful

Opposition leader Bill Shorten has laid out his pitch to voters at Labor’s formal campaign launch ahead of the federal election. Speaking at the launch in Brisbane on Sunday, Shorten pledged $500 million to cut waiting times at hospital emergency …

the_briefing May 03, 2019

Entire Queensland council sacked

The Queensland state government has sacked the entire council and appointed an administrator to run Logan, a city council between Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Eight Logan City councillors, including mayor Luke Smith, were charged with fraud by the state …

the_briefing May 02, 2019

Assange sentenced for bail breach

Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange has been sentenced to 50 weeks’ jail in Britain for absconding while on bail. Assange, who claimed asylum in Ecuador’s London embassy in 2012, was arrested and charged by British and US authorities last month after …

the_briefing May 01, 2019

Steve Dickson exits pubic life

One Nation Queensland senate candidate Steve Dickson has resigned after footage emerged of him sexually harassing a stripper and making sexist and racist slurs in a strip club. In footage aired on Channel Nine’s A Current Affair on Monday, …

the_briefing April 30, 2019

Leaders face off in first debate

Prime minister Scott Morrison and opposition leader Bill Shorten have faced off in the first of several leaders’ debates ahead of the federal election. The debate, hosted by Channel Seven in Perth on Monday, was dominated by questions around climate …

the_briefing April 29, 2019

Charged Anning supporter’s extremist ties

The man arrested after an attack on a photographer at a press conference for far-right senator Fraser Anning has a history of association with far-right extremist groups. Max Towns, 19, was charged on Saturday after allegedly verbally abusing News Corp …

the_briefing April 26, 2019

Biden enters US presidential race

In the United States, former vice-president Joe Biden has announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination at the 2020 presidential election. A former longtime senator for Delaware, Biden has led most opinion polls as Democratic voters’ preferred …

the_briefing April 24, 2019

IS claims Sri Lanka attacks

Jihadist group Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the Sri Lanka terror attacks. Speaking to Sri Lanka’s parliament on Tuesday, defence minister Ruwan Wijewardene said “what happened in Sri Lanka was in retaliation for the attack against …

the_briefing April 23, 2019

Sri Lankan terror toll rises

Sri Lankan authorities have confirmed a death toll of 290 from a series of terror attacks upon churches and hotels on Easter Sunday. More than 500 were injured in bomb blasts that hit four hotels and three churches in Colombo, Negombo and Batticaloa. …

the_briefing April 18, 2019

Widodo returned as Indonesia votes

Indonesian president Joko Widodo has been re-elected for a second five-year term at the country’s general election. Widodo gained more than 55 per cent of the vote, well ahead of his rival, former national armed forces lieutenant-general Prabowo Subianto. …

the_briefing April 17, 2019

Australia taps East Timor oil

Timor-Leste advocates have criticised the Australian government for failing to ratify a maritime border treaty dividing offshore oil fields between the two nations. Last year, Australia and Timor-Leste signed a treaty demarcating rights to the Greater …

the_briefing April 16, 2019

Notre Dame cathedral burns

Notre Dame cathedral in Paris has been almost completely destroyed by a devastating fire. The blaze, which began early Monday evening local time, spread across the roof to one of the building’s four rectangular towers, causing its iconic spire to collapse. …

the_briefing April 15, 2019

Labor candidate quits over Israel remarks

Former Labor MP Melissa Parke has withdrawn as the party’s candidate for the Perth seat of Curtin after comments she made criticising Israel’s occupation of Palestine. In a speech to the WA Labor for Palestine group last month, Parke recounted an …

the_briefing April 12, 2019

Assange convicted, faces extradition

Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange has been arrested and convicted of breaching bail at Westminster Magistrates’ Court after the Ecuadorian government withdrew its offer of asylum. British police arrested Assange in Ecuador’s London embassy on Thursday, …

the_briefing April 11, 2019

Morrison to call election

Prime minister Scott Morrison is poised to call a federal election today, setting May 18 as a likely poll date. Morrison left The Lodge in Canberra at 6.50 this morning, travelling to Government House to meet governor-general Peter Cosgrove. The move …

the_briefing April 10, 2019

Dutton donor debacle deepens

Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has urged prime minister Scott Morrison to investigate reports that a Chinese billionaire seeking Australian citizenship paid tens of thousands of dollars for a private lunch with home affairs minister Peter Dutton. …

the_briefing April 09, 2019

Morrison lashes vegan protests

Prime minister Scott Morrison has urged criminal action against animal rights activists who staged protests around the country. A group of 39 vegan activists was arrested in the Melbourne CBD on Monday after blocking the intersection of Flinders and …

the_briefing April 08, 2019

Morrison delays calling election

Prime minister Scott Morrison has dismissed criticism from the federal opposition for his delay in setting a date for the federal election. Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen claimed on Sunday that the government was avoiding electoral laws that restrict the …

the_briefing April 05, 2019

Shorten makes election pitch

Opposition leader Bill Shorten has laid out a plan to cover costs for cancer treatment as parliament readies for the federal election. Giving his sixth budget reply speech on Thursday, Shorten outlined a $2.3 billion package bringing the costs of specialist …

the_briefing April 04, 2019

Social media laws raise concerns

Technology giants, media companies and legal bodies have criticised a new federal government bill cracking down on violent online content. The bill, to be introduced in the Senate today, would establish jail time and large fines for technology company …

the_briefing April 03, 2019

Budget targets welfare, foreign aid

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has delivered his first budget, claiming a forecast surplus next financial year and slashing welfare payments. Frydenberg’s projected $7.1 billion surplus for the 2019-20 financial year is partly based on $2.1 billion estimated …

the_briefing April 02, 2019

Disability royal commission confirmed

The federal government has announced a royal commission into violence, neglect and abuse of people in the disability care sector. News Corp reported on Monday that $527 million had been allocated to the commission in this week’s budget, the most ever …

the_briefing April 01, 2019

Labor boosts green credentials

Federal Labor has announced it would ban plastic microbeads, single-use plastic bags and trade in ivory if the party wins government at the next election. In a statement on Sunday, opposition leader Bill Shorten said the party would ban single-use plastics …

the_briefing March 29, 2019

Coalition splits on One Nation preferences

Prime minister Scott Morrison has announced the federal Liberal Party will preference One Nation below Labor at the next election, reducing the minor party’s chances of winning seats in the House of Representatives. Speaking on Thursday, Morrison said …

the_briefing March 28, 2019

Hanson voices Port Arthur trutherism

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has been caught on camera questioning the legitimacy of the 1996 Port Arthur massacre that prompted tighter firearms laws in Australia. The second part of an Al Jazeera investigation revealed that Hanson was aware of One …

the_briefing March 27, 2019

Morrison resists shutting out One Nation

Prime minister Scott Morrison has refused to rule out preferencing One Nation ahead of Labor and the Greens at the next election after an Al Jazeera investigation revealed senior One Nation representatives sought funding from the US National Rifle Association. …

the_briefing March 26, 2019

One Nation sought donations, help from NRA

Advisers to Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party met with representatives of the National Rifle Association in the US last year to seek funding and advice on how to loosen Australia’s gun laws. Al Jazeera has published hidden camera footage of Pauline …

the_briefing March 25, 2019

Turmoil for NSW Labor after defeat

New South Wales opposition leader Michael Daley has vowed to stay on after leading the state Labor Party to an emphatic defeat at Saturday’s election. Despite polls showing Labor neck-and-neck with premier Gladys Berejiklian’s Liberals, Labor had …

Portrait March 23, 2019

Aunty Shireen Malamoo

Weet-Bix and pastries with Australian South Sea Islanders – Port Jackson founding board member Aunty Shireen Malamoo.

the_briefing March 22, 2019

Mozambique reels from Cyclone Idai

Rescue workers are struggling to save thousands of people endangered by the after-effects of a powerful cyclone that struck southeastern Africa last week. Cyclone Idai, which hit the Mozambican port city of Beira last Thursday, brought flooding and torrential …

the_briefing March 21, 2019

Ex-Nauru president regrets offshore detention

A former Nauruan president has expressed regret over agreeing to reopen Australia’s offshore detention centre on the island. Sprent Dabwido, 47, told SBS he signed an agreement to reopen the centre with then-Australian prime minister Julia Gillard in …

the_briefing March 20, 2019

Indigenous youth suicides continue

The deaths of four young Indigenous people over a two-day period in Queensland has renewed calls for the federal government to take urgent action to address youth suicide. Four Indigenous people, including two young women in Townsville and two young men …

the_briefing March 19, 2019

Morrison threatens to sue Waleed Aly

Prime minister Scott Morrison’s office has threatened commentator Waleed Aly and Channel Ten with legal action over Aly’s response to the Christchurch terror attack. In a speech on The Project, since watched more than 8 million times on Facebook, …

the_briefing March 18, 2019

Christchurch terror attacker confirmed

New Zealand police commissioner Mike Bush has confirmed that an Australian man was the sole perpetrator of Friday’s terror attack in Christchurch. Speaking on Sunday, Bush said four other people arrested after the massacre had not been charged after …

News March 16, 2019

Minor parties the key to NSW poll

With just a week to go until the NSW election, the major parties are campaigning hard to woo voters. But it’s the micro-parties that may end up deciding who will govern.

the_briefing March 15, 2019

Go on strike today

School students across the country will strike today to protest government inaction on climate change. Speaking on Thursday, New South Wales premier Gladys Berejiklian said she was “appalled” at state Labor leader Michael Daley’s comments in support …

the_briefing March 14, 2019

Pell gets six years

Disgraced cardinal George Pell has been sentenced in a Melbourne court to six years jail for sexually abusing two teenage choirboys in the 1990s. At the County Court of Victoria on Wednesday, chief judge Peter Kidd described Pell’s conduct as “breathtakingly …

the_briefing March 13, 2019

Brexit deal rejected as deadline looms

In London, British prime minister Theresa May has lost a crucial parliamentary vote on Brexit, leaving the UK without a deal with the European Union just weeks before its planned departure from the trading bloc. MPs voted against May’s revised Brexit …

the_briefing March 12, 2019

Nationals threaten to implode

Crisis and infighting continue to dog the Nationals, with leader Michael McCormack openly feuding with his predecessor and Liberal MPs scorning a National push for new government-funded coal-fired baseload power in central Queensland. In an interview …

the_briefing March 11, 2019

Parties launch campaigns in NSW

The New South Wales Liberal and Labor parties have launched their campaigns ahead of the state election later this month. Speaking at Penrith Panthers Leagues Club on Sunday, premier Gladys Berejiklian pitched spending on before- and after-school care, …

the_briefing March 08, 2019

Mining giant behind pro-coal campaign

Mining multinational Glencore bankrolled a global astroturfing campaign to spread pro-coal messaging on social media and collect intelligence on environmental organisations. Guardian Australia reported on Thursday that Glencore spent up to $13 million …

the_briefing March 07, 2019

Labor makes abortion an election issue

Federal Labor has pledged to provide free abortions in public hospitals and expand access to contraceptives if it wins the next election. Speaking on Wednesday, deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek said the measures were designed “to end the patchwork …

the_briefing March 06, 2019

Justin Milne pressured Triple J

Former ABC chair Justin Milne warned youth radio station Triple J not to move the broadcast date of its annual Hottest 100 countdown from January 26 for fear of angering the government. Speaking before the Senate inquiry into allegations of political …

the_briefing March 05, 2019

Pell to be pursued in civil court

A man who claims disgraced cardinal George Pell molested him as a child now plans to sue Pell in civil court. The man was one of the complainants in a criminal case abandoned by state prosecutors last week after a court ruled key evidence inadmissible. …

the_briefing March 04, 2019

More Liberals head for the door

Senator for Western Australia, Linda Reynolds, has been promoted to federal cabinet after defence minister Christopher Pyne and and defence industry minister Steve Ciobo announced at the weekend that they would not contest the next election. Speaking …

News March 01, 2019

George Pell’s conviction

The lifelong damage George Pell caused to his victims is now well known. In the wake of the cardinal’s conviction, his work and his prominent supporters are cast in a new and horrific light.

News March 02, 2019

Robo-debt’s potential toll

Revelations that more than 2000 people died after receiving a Centrelink robo-debt notice highlight the failings of an already flawed system that continues to target the vulnerable.

the_briefing March 01, 2019

Last refugee kids off Nauru

The last four refugee children held in offshore detention have been flown from Nauru to the United States for resettlement. The children were among 19 people on Nauru and 22 people on Manus Island taken to the US on Wednesday under a 2016 refugee swap …

the_briefing February 28, 2019

‘Callous, brazen’ Pell jailed

Cardinal George Pell has spent his first night in jail after being taken into custody on child sex abuse convictions. Pell’s legal team withdrew an application for bail after arguing for leniency in a pre-sentencing hearing in the County Court of Victoria …

the_briefing February 27, 2019

Bail or jail for convicted Pell

Cardinal George Pell will apply for bail today in an attempt to avoid jail time after being found guilty of molesting two teenage choirboys. Pell will appear at Melbourne’s County Court at 10am for a pre-sentencing hearing, and will apply for bail at …

the_briefing February 26, 2019

Corbyn backs second Brexit vote

In the United Kingdom, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has announced the party would support a second Brexit referendum if a workable separation from the European Union could not be achieved. In a speech to the parliamentary Labour Party on Tuesday, Corbyn …

the_briefing February 25, 2019

Aunty Buttrose?

Federal communications minister Mitch Fifield could recommend media personality and former Cleo editor Ita Buttrose be appointed as the new chair of the ABC this week. The Australian ($) reports that the 2013 Australian of the Year was …

News February 23, 2019

The science of insect population collapse

Amid recent warnings of the mass extinction of insects in the coming decades, the global lack of research into insect populations has come into focus.

the_briefing February 22, 2019

‘Hockey owes me’

Senate estimates has heard that Australia’s ambassador to the United States, Joe Hockey, attended a meeting with a representative of Helloworld, an ASX-listed travel company in which he owns a substantial stake, as it sought further government contracts. …

the_briefing February 21, 2019

Government subsidising Saudi arms sales

The federal government has provided tens of millions of dollars to a local weapons manufacturer selling arms to Saudi Arabia while failing to ensure weapons exports are not used in the Yemeni civil war. The ABC reported on Wednesday that defence minister …

the_briefing February 20, 2019

Sick refugees shunted to Christmas Island

Sick refugees and asylum seekers in offshore detention will be taken to Christmas Island rather than the Australian mainland if a medical panel recommends they need treatment unavailable on Nauru or Manus Island. Speaking on Monday, department of home …

the_briefing February 19, 2019

Government endorses disability royal commission

The House of Representatives has passed a motion calling for the establishment of a royal commission into abuse and neglect in the disability services sector. Coalition MPs supported a Senate motion, introduced by Greens disability spokesperson Jordon …

the_briefing February 18, 2019

Labor sets sights on Paladin contract

Federal Labor will pursue the government this week over a lucrative offshore detention security contract awarded to the Paladin Group. The Australian Financial Review reported ($) last week that the government awarded Paladin the $423 million …

News February 16, 2019

Inside the franking credits debate

As a Tim Wilson-led inquiry stirs up discontent over Labor’s proposed changes to franking credits, different groups are invested in the policy proposal for different reasons.

the_briefing February 15, 2019

Government control of parliament slipping

The government has endured another chaotic sitting week in parliament, extending Question Time to prevent a second embarrassing loss on a piece of major legislation. Government MPs used delaying tactics to avoid a vote on establishing a royal commission …

the_briefing February 14, 2019

Far-right parliamentary punch-up

A series of sexual harassment allegations involving One Nation leader Pauline Hanson and United Australia Party senator Brian Burston has led to a physical altercation in Parliament House. In a speech to the Senate on Monday, Hanson accused an unnamed …

the_briefing February 13, 2019

History as Reps pass medivac bill

The House of Representatives has passed a bill against the wishes of government for the first time in 90 years, handing the Morrison government a historic legislative defeat. Labor, Greens and crossbench MPs secured 75 votes for independent MP Kerryn …

the_briefing February 12, 2019

Thailand frees Hakeem al-Araibi

Refugee footballer Hakeem al-Araibi has been freed by Thai authorities after the Bahraini government dropped its extradition request against him. Al-Araibi was detained for more than two months after flying to Thailand for his honeymoon in November. Acting …

the_briefing February 11, 2019

Labor set to fold on medivac bill

Shadow immigration minister Shayne Neumann has indicated Labor would likely withdraw support for a bill giving doctors the authority to approve the transfer of asylum seekers and refugees in offshore detention to Australia for medical treatment. Speaking …

the_briefing February 08, 2019

Trauma and poverty behind Indigenous deaths

An inquest into the deaths of 13 young Aboriginal people in the Kimberley has found the suicides “were shaped by the crushing effects of intergenerational trauma and poverty upon entire communities”. In a report released on Thursday, Western Australia …

the_briefing February 07, 2019

#MeToo allegations against legal service head

Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service chief executive Wayne Muir has denied allegations of sexual misconduct raised by four women. Speaking to the ABC’s 7.30, Leanne Muir, Wayne’s niece, said he raped her when she was 14 and sexually abused …

the_briefing February 06, 2019

Townsville floods turn deadly

The bodies of two people have been discovered as floodwaters begin to recede in some areas of Townsville. The two men, aged in their 20s, were found by emergency services workers in the suburb of Aitkenvale on Tuesday. Townsville has received more than …

the_briefing February 05, 2019

Hayne recommends criminal charges

The royal commission into banking, superannuation and financial services has recommended regulators consider criminal or civil action against 24 companies. While the commission’s final report, released on Monday, did not name which institutions had …

the_briefing February 04, 2019

Banks braced for final report

Australia’s financial sector is braced for the release of the banking industry royal commission’s final report after close of trading today. While the contents of the report are not yet known outside government, the federal government and the major …

the_briefing February 01, 2019

RAAF jets in deadly civilian airstrike

Two Royal Australian Air Force fighter jets were involved in an airstrike that killed up to 18 civilians in Iraq, Australian Defence Force officials have admitted. During a battle between coalition forces and Islamic State for the northern city of Mosul …

the_briefing January 31, 2019

OECD scolds Australia’s climate inaction

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has urged the federal government to do more to fight climate change, saying Australia is likely to miss its self-imposed carbon reduction targets. In its third annual environmental performance …

the_briefing January 30, 2019

Al-Araibi rescue effort steps up

Prime minister Scott Morrison has personally intervened in the case of Bahraini refugee footballer Hakeem al-Araibi. Nine newspapers report that Morrison urged Thai prime minister Prayuth Chan-ocha to release al-Araibi in a letter, sent several days ago. …

the_briefing January 29, 2019

Morrison courts Queensland voters

Prime minister Scott Morrison has begun a four-day tour of marginal seats in Queensland, kicking off the government’s unofficial election campaign. Speaking today, Morrison will pledge a re-elected Coalition government would create 1.25 million jobs …

News January 26, 2019

Outstanding fines and Indigenous imprisonment

Indigenous women are being jailed over small fines at alarming rates. In Western Australia, one charity has crowdfunded hundreds of thousands of dollars in just weeks to secure their release.

the_briefing December 21, 2018

Buckingham quits NSW Greens

New South Wales upper house parliamentarian Jeremy Buckingham has quit the Greens, claiming the party has been taken over by “an extreme left faction” with a “Marxist agenda”. Multiple state and federal Greens MPs called on Buckingham to resign …

the_briefing December 20, 2018

Offshore detention hit with lawsuits

A child asylum seeker who was allegedly raped on Nauru and a former Manus Island detention centre guard are suing the federal government. In a writ filed with the Victorian Supreme Court, lawyers for an unnamed Iranian boy claimed he was raped three times …

the_briefing December 19, 2018

Broad leaves the building

Nationals member for Mallee, Andrew Broad, will not contest the next federal election because of a sex scandal. Speaking on Tuesday, Broad said “it is clear that the people of Mallee will be best served in the next parliament by a different Nationals …

the_briefing December 18, 2018

Second Rush accuser comes forward

Actress Yael Stone has accused actor Geoffrey Rush of sexual misconduct during a production of Diary of a Madman in Sydney in 2010 and 2011. In an interview ($) with The New York Times, Stone said Rush sent her “sexual” text messages, …

the_briefing December 17, 2018

Shorten pleads his case

Opposition leader Bill Shorten has laid out his pitch to voters at Labor’s national conference. Speaking in Adelaide on Sunday, Shorten promised a future Labor government would pass a federal Environment Act, offer incentives to finance construction …

News December 15, 2018

The truth behind housing market forecasts

As the media, politicians and those with a vested interest scaremonger over the housing market, the reality is far less bleak – for those who aren’t renting, at least.

the_briefing December 14, 2018

Morrison’s surprise integrity commission

Prime minister Scott Morrison has announced the formation of a national anti-corruption body, less than a month after describing the idea as a “fringe issue”. Speaking on Thursday, Morrison said the new Commonwealth Integrity Commission would “learn …

the_briefing December 13, 2018

UK’s May faces leadership crisis

Conservative party MPs have called a leadership challenge against British prime minister Theresa May following her deferral of a crucial vote on Brexit. Addressing a meeting of Conservative backbenchers, May said she would step down before the next general …

the_briefing December 12, 2018

Asylum seeker family wins payout

An asylum seeker family has received a payout of more than $100,000 after suing the federal government over mistreatment in Australian detention centres. Last week the New South Wales Supreme Court approved a settlement granting $100,000 compensation, …

the_briefing December 11, 2018

May pushes back Brexit vote

British prime minister Theresa May has cancelled a planned parliamentary vote on her government’s draft Brexit agreement today, potentially setting the stage for a leadership challenge. In an emergency statement to the House of Commons, May admitted …

the_briefing December 10, 2018


Federal Labor MPs and workers in the technology industry have voiced concerns over the party’s support for legislation requiring smartphone makers and software developers to provide a “backdoor” into encryption services for Australian police and …

the_briefing December 07, 2018

Morrison stares down asylum seeker push

The federal government has narrowly avoided losing a crucial vote in parliament, derailing a cross-party push to force the government to transport sick refugees and asylum seekers to Australia for medical treatment. While the Senate passed a bill on Thursday …

the_briefing December 06, 2018

Government floats voter ID laws

Federal government MPs have called for the introduction of United States-style voter identification laws. In a report into the 2016 election, Coalition members of the joint standing committee on electoral matters claimed that “instances of multiple …

the_briefing December 05, 2018

Stuart Robert offers tips to donors

Federal assistant treasurer Stuart Robert has been widely criticised for offering to tell political supporters about a potential government response to the banking industry royal commission at a fundraiser. On an invitation to “lunch with Stuart Robert”, …

the_briefing December 04, 2018

Lawyer X scandal rocks Victoria

Victorian premier Daniel Andrews has called a royal commission into Victoria Police following revelations a barrister for high-profile Melbourne criminals leaked information to police for several years. On Monday the Herald Sun reported ($) that …

the_briefing December 03, 2018

Turnbull weighs in on Kelly drama

Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has thrown his support behind a push to unseat conservative Liberal backbencher Craig Kelly in a preselection contest. At the urging of prime minister Scott Morrison, the New South Wales Liberal executive will …

the_briefing November 30, 2018

Adani self-funds Carmichael mine

Mining company Adani has announced it would self-finance its Carmichael mine project, with construction to begin imminently. Speaking on Thursday, Adani Mining chief executive Lucas Dow said the mine would be much smaller than the original $16.5 billion …

the_briefing November 29, 2018

Fire and flood as PM rejects NEG

Thousands of people have fled the central Queensland town of Gracemere as more than 130 bushfires burn across the state. Catastrophic fire warnings were issued for the Central Highlands, Capricornia and Coalfields regions for the first time on Wednesday, …

the_briefing November 28, 2018

Disarray after Banks quits Liberals

The federal government has fallen further into minority status after the member for Chisholm, Julia Banks, announced her resignation from the Liberal Party and moved to the crossbench. Speaking in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, Banks said the …

the_briefing November 27, 2018

Anti-corruption body on the cards

The House of Representatives has passed a motion in support of establishing a national anti-corruption body, with the federal government narrowly avoiding losing a vote in the lower house. Attorney-general Christian Porter said the government opposed …

the_briefing November 26, 2018

Labor wins big in Victoria

Victoria’s Labor government has achieved an overwhelming victory at the state election, securing majority government and coming close to controlling both houses of parliament. While counting is still ongoing, Labor won almost 43 per cent of the primary …

the_briefing November 23, 2018

Government to strip terrorists of citizenship

Members of the legal profession and state and federal prosecutors have questioned whether prime minister Scott Morrison’s proposal to strip citizenship from convicted terrorists born in Australia could backfire. Under new legislation proposed by the …

the_briefing November 22, 2018

Labor adopts Turnbull’s NEG

Federal Labor will adopt former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull’s discarded energy policy and pledge billions of dollars in renewable energy investment when it unveils its climate change policy today. Labor’s shadow cabinet agreed on Wednesday to …

the_briefing November 21, 2018

Relief package for domestic violence victims

The federal government has released a suite of measures designed to help women escaping domestic and family violence. Minister for women, Kelly O’Dwyer, announced $109 million in funding on Tuesday as part of the government’s first women’s economic …

the_briefing November 20, 2018

Morrison flags migration cuts

Prime minister Scott Morrison has announced plans to cut the annual migration intake and involve state and territory governments in setting targets for migration. Speaking at the Bradfield Lecture on Monday, Morrison said “Australians in our biggest …

the_briefing November 19, 2018

APEC ends in disarray

Australia, the United States and Papua New Guinea have agreed to expand the Lombrum naval base on Manus Island to counter rising Chinese influence in the Asia-Pacific. Speaking at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Port Moresby on Saturday, …

the_briefing November 16, 2018

UK government in crisis over Brexit

British prime minister Theresa May has vowed to see off a challenge to her leadership over her government’s proposed Brexit agreement. Brexit secretary Dominic Raab, work and pensions secretary Esther McVey and junior ministers Suella Braverman and …

the_briefing November 15, 2018

Anti-corruption push from crossbenchers

Federal crossbench MPs will introduce legislation establishing a national anti-corruption body in coming weeks, placing pressure on the federal government to implement greater oversight of parliamentarians, lobbyists and public servants. Independent MP …

the_briefing November 14, 2018

‘Sexual violence’ allegation rocks Greens

New South Wales state Greens MP Jenny Leong has used parliamentary privilege to accuse her party colleague, Jeremy Buckingham, of “an act of sexual violence” against a former Greens employee. Speaking in the NSW Legislative Assembly on Tuesday, Leong …

the_briefing November 13, 2018

Guthrie accuses Milne of inappropriate conduct

Former ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie has claimed former ABC chair Justin Milne touched her inappropriately at a Sydney restaurant in 2017. Speaking to the ABC’s Four Corners, Guthrie said Milne rubbed her back at a board dinner last …

the_briefing November 12, 2018

Dutton targets citizenships after Melbourne attack

Home affairs minister Peter Dutton has called for a re-examination of Australia’s citizenship process after Friday’s Bourke Street attack in Melbourne. Speaking on Sunday, Dutton said “there are some people [who] should not go on to become Australian …

the_briefing November 09, 2018

Foley resigns, denies assault claims

New South Wales Labor leader Luke Foley has resigned the leadership after an ABC journalist released details of an alleged sexual assault committed against her in 2016. In a statement released through the ABC on Thursday, Sydney reporter Ashleigh Raper …

the_briefing November 08, 2018

Mixed bag of midterms results

The Democratic Party has taken control of the United States House of Representatives in the midterm elections, while Republicans have maintained control of the Senate. Unusually high voter turnout translated into significant gains for Democrats in the …

the_briefing November 07, 2018

US voters turn out for midterms

Polling places are set to close in the United States congressional midterm elections. The vote marks the first large-scale electoral test of US president Donald Trump’s administration, with Trump having the lowest approval rating of any president at …

the_briefing November 06, 2018

Government fails to protect endangered species

The federal government’s Threatened Species Scientific Committee has warned that the government’s plan for protecting endangered species is failing. In its submission to the senate inquiry into Australia’s faunal extinction crisis, the committee …

the_briefing November 05, 2018

Scullion under fire over grants

Aboriginal rights groups have called for an investigation into Indigenous affairs minister Nigel Scullion granting almost $500,000 from the Indigenous Advancement Strategy to pastoral industry lobby groups. Scullion told a Senate estimates hearing last …

News November 03, 2018

Tax benefits of legalising cannabis

According to figures requested by the Reason Party, legalising cannabis and personal drug use would generate millions of dollars in tax revenue and benefit an overwrought legal system.

the_briefing November 02, 2018

Google workers walk off the job

Thousands of Google employees across the world have staged a stop-work action in protest at the internet giant’s response to sexual harassment, gender and racial discrimination. Workers in New York, Tokyo, London, Dublin, Singapore, Zurich, Berlin and …

the_briefing November 01, 2018

Young Nats did Nazi this coming

A group of 15 people has resigned from the New South Wales Young Nationals following revelations that white supremacist extremists attempted to infiltrate the party. An internal review into dozens of Young Nationals members found on Wednesday that 17 …

the_briefing October 31, 2018

Norvill testifies in Rush defamation case

Actor Eryn Jean Norvill has told a Sydney court that actor Geoffrey Rush groped her onstage during a rehearsal of King Lear. Giving evidence at the Federal Court on Tuesday, Norvill Norvill said Rush groped her breast and hip during a preview …

the_briefing October 30, 2018

Indonesian plane crash search continues

A representative of Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency has conceded it would take “a miracle from God” to find any survivors from a passenger plane that went missing on Monday. A total of 189 people were aboard the Lion Air flight from …

the_briefing October 29, 2018

Hate crimes rock United States

In the United States, authorities have released the names of the 11 people murdered in a Pittsburgh synagogue at the weekend. The victims, all of whom were middle-aged or elderly, were shot and killed by Robert Bowers, 46, in what the Anti-Defamation …

News October 27, 2018

No apologies after Mohamed Kamer Nizamdeen’s release

The case of Mohamed Kamer Nizamdeen, released after a month in prison when terrorism-related charges were dropped because of mistaken evidence, is the latest in a string of dubious arrests and defamatory accusations in the media against Australian Muslims.

the_briefing October 26, 2018

Banks calls for kids off Nauru

Outgoing Liberal MP Julia Banks has called on the federal government to remove all children and their families from offshore detention on Nauru. Speaking in Parliament on Thursday, Banks said “nothing should be stopping or delaying our getting these …

the_briefing October 25, 2018

Democrats targeted in bomb attempts

In the United States, authorities have intercepted explosive devices mailed to former president Barack Obama, former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, the headquarters of news network CNN and several high-profile Democratic politicians. In a statement, …

the_briefing October 24, 2018

Labor to support refugee travel ban

Labor has indicated it would support the federal government’s proposed ban on people held in offshore detention coming to Australia in order to give critically ill refugee children and their families access to medical treatment. In a statement on Tuesday, …

the_briefing October 23, 2018

Refugee kids flown to Australia

A group of 11 critically ill refugee children and their families has been flown from Nauru to Australia. Speaking at Senate estimates on Monday, Australian Border Force surgeon-general Parbodh Gogna said there had “been an unprecedented jump in the …

the_briefing October 22, 2018

Apology for child abuse survivors

Prime minister Scott Morrison will issue a national apology to victims and survivors of institutional child sexual abuse today. More than 1000 people, including former prime minister Julia Gillard, will be in Canberra for the apology, which was recommended …

News October 20, 2018

Doctors demand medivac of Nauru children

After weeks of lobbying in Canberra, a leading paediatrician fears Australia’s toxic refugee politics will strand children on Nauru in a dire medical emergency.

the_briefing October 19, 2018

Government ignored ASIO over Israel

Prime minister Scott Morrison ignored an Australian Security Intelligence Organisation warning that a proposal to move Australia’s Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem could cause violence in Palestine. An ASIO communique sent on October 15, obtained …

the_briefing October 18, 2018

Queensland legalises abortion

Queensland has decriminalised abortion, with parliament voting to remove references to the procedure from the state’s 1899 criminal code. The bill, which makes abortion available on request at up to 22 weeks’ gestation and establishes 150-metre “safe …

the_briefing October 17, 2018

Indonesia trade deal in jeopardy

The Indonesian government has threatened to cancel a free trade deal with Australia after prime minister Scott Morrison proposed moving Australia’s embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Foreign minister Marise Payne flew to Jakarta to meet her …

the_briefing October 16, 2018

Government backs racist Senate motion

A parliamentary motion proclaiming “it is okay to be white” by One Nation leader Pauline Hanson was narrowly defeated in the Senate on Monday after gaining support from the government. The phrase, which has extensive roots in white supremacist and …

the_briefing October 15, 2018

Neo-Nazis infiltrate Young Nats

The New South Wales Young Nationals has suspended processing new memberships and expelled several members with ties to fascist and neo-Nazi groups. Last week the ABC revealed members of the youth wing’s executive were also members of private Facebook …

the_briefing October 12, 2018

MSF urges Nauru evacuation

Medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières has called on the federal government to immediately evacuate all refugees and asylum seekers from Nauru for mental health reasons. At a press conference in Sydney on Thursday, MSF Australia director Paul McPhun …

the_briefing October 11, 2018

Liberals split on schools exemption

Prominent Liberals are at odds over the review into religious freedom’s recommendation that religious schools be allowed to turn away LGBT students. Prime minister Scott Morrison defended the recommendation, saying on Wednesday that the government was …

the_briefing October 10, 2018

Religious freedom, LGBT exclusion

The federal government’s review into religious freedom has recommended allowing religious schools to turn away LGBT students, teachers and staff. Fairfax reports that the review, which the government has refused to release for four months, recommends …

the_briefing October 09, 2018

UN’s dire climate change warning

The United Nations has warned the world must eliminate coal-fired power in the next 32 years and undergo “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society” to avoid global warming beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius. The Intergovernmental …

the_briefing October 08, 2018

Opera House ‘billboard’ anger builds

Federal and New South Wales state politicians  have defended the decision to advertise a horse racing event on the Sydney Opera House against a growing backlash. Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the plan to display the colours of the horses’ silks and …

the_briefing October 05, 2018

Government shuts Christmas Island centre

The federal government has shut the Christmas Island detention centre more than 10 years after it first opened. Hundreds of asylum seekers have been moved to detention centres on the mainland since June 30, with the final group of detainees leaving the …

the_briefing October 04, 2018

Hope for Palu survivors fades

The death toll from an earthquake and tsunami on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi has climbed to 1407, according to Indonesian emergency response agencies. Six days after disaster struck the city of Palu, authorities and rescue workers conceded the likelihood …

the_briefing October 03, 2018

Conditions worsen in Sulawesi

Survivors of a devastating earthquake and tsunami in the Sulawesi city of Palu are growing increasingly desperate as food and water supplies dwindle. Relief trucks carrying supplies into the city have been blocked and stripped of their contents by crowds, …

the_briefing October 02, 2018

Indonesia calls for emergency aid

Mass burials have begun on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi as authorities struggle to cope with the rising number of dead from Friday’s earthquake and tsunami. Head of police communication, Brigadier-General Dedi Prasetyo, said the move was necessary …

the_briefing October 01, 2018

Sulawesi tsunami death toll rises

More than 800 people have died following an earthquake off the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. The 7.5-magnitude quake, which struck just off Sulawesi’s west coast on Friday evening, caused a tsunami that devastated the city of Palu. Indonesian disaster …

News September 29, 2018

Bettina Arndt’s campus tour

Commentator Bettina Arndt is publicly petitioning to have Sydney University take action against five students who demonstrated outside a speech on her “Fake Rape Crisis Campus Tour”.

News September 29, 2018

Bettina Arndt’s ‘fake rape’ campaign

Commentator Bettina Arndt is publicly petitioning to have Sydney University take action against five students who demonstrated outside a speech on her “Fake Rape Crisis Campus Tour”.

the_briefing September 28, 2018

Ford and Kavanaugh testify

In the United States, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and one of the women who has accused him of sexual assault have testified before a Senate committee. In her opening statement, psychology professor Christine Blasey Ford said that while she was …

the_briefing September 27, 2018

Milne defies ABC staff calls to go

ABC chair Justin Milne has vowed to continue in his position despite hundreds of ABC staff calling on him to step down. At union meetings in Sydney and Melbourne on Wednesday, ABC workers unanimously passed resolutions calling on Milne to stand aside …

the_briefing September 26, 2018

‘Judgement day’ for Bill Cosby

Actor Bill Cosby has been sentenced to between three and 10 years prison for drugging and sexually assaulting a woman in 2004. Giving a victim impact statement at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Pennsylvania, former professional basketball player …

the_briefing September 25, 2018

Guthrie ‘devastated’ at sacking

ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie is reportedly considering legal options after being sacked two-and-a-half years into her five-year term. In a statement, ABC chair Justin Milne said the board made the decision “to seek fresh leadership”, declining …

the_briefing September 24, 2018

Labor targets gender pay gap

Companies with more than 1000 employees would be required to report the size of the pay gap between their male and female employees under a Labor government. The Workplace Gender Equality Agency, which estimates the gender pay gap at between 17.3 per …

the_briefing September 21, 2018

Cash windfall for private schools

The federal government will direct more than $4 billion in funding to the Catholic and independent schools sectors over the next decade. Private schools in NSW and Victoria will receive an extra $1.4 billion by 2029, while $1.2 billion will be directed …

the_briefing September 20, 2018

Dutton ‘misled Parliament’ over au pairs scandal

The Department of Home Affairs has released more than 100 emails revealing the efforts of Peter Dutton’s office to prevent two foreign au pairs from being deported. The communications show that immigration officials scrambled late at night to ensure …

the_briefing September 19, 2018

‘I walked up to my hotel room and I burst into tears’

Western Australian business leader Catherine Marriott has spoken out about allegedly being sexually harassed by former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce. Speaking to the ABC’s 7.30, the former WA Rural Woman of the Year said she didn’t …

the_briefing September 18, 2018

Aged-care workers speak out

Nurses, personal carers and workers in the aged-care industry have detailed poor conditions, maltreatment and understaffing in aged-care centres. Speaking to the ABC’s Four Corners, nurse Katriona Legzdins recounted an incident where an aged- …

the_briefing September 14, 2018

No retrial for Bowraville murders

A New South Wales court has dismissed an application to reopen a trial into the murder of three Aboriginal children in the 1990s. Ruling on Thursday, the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal found insufficient “fresh and compelling” evidence to order the …

the_briefing September 12, 2018

Aboriginal teens die in police pursuit

Two Aboriginal teenagers have drowned in the Swan River after being chased by police officers. A group of between four and five boys jumped into the river in the northeastern Perth suburb of Maylands on Monday, after police were called to stop the boys …

the_briefing September 10, 2018

Dutton besieged on two fronts

House of Representatives crossbenchers are waiting for home affairs minister Peter Dutton to explain his previous statements to Parliament over the au pairs controversy before deciding whether to support a no-confidence motion against him. Parliament …

Gadfly September 01, 2018

Gadfly: Flagging a new Churchill

It seems inevitable that Horizon Church, the Pentecostal megaplex in Sydney’s Sutherland shire where Morrison grapples with the divine, will soon release a line of Saint Scott bobblehead dolls, free with every tax-deductible donation. Morrison is a walking vindication of Horizon’s “prosperity doctrine” theology, which is much like regular Christianity without any pesky insistence on giving up your worldly wealth and putting others before yourself.

the_briefing August 28, 2018

Alan Jones’ hand in leadership spill

Sydney shock jock Alan Jones has admitted urging two Coalition MPs to support a challenge to then-prime minister Malcolm Turnbull during the Liberal leadership crisis last week. Speaking to the ABC’s Four Corners on Monday, Jones said he contacted …

the_briefing August 27, 2018

Morrison picks new ministry

Prime minister Scott Morrison has appointed his new ministry, rewarding MPs who supported him in last week’s Liberal leadership spill and moving to placate conservative rivals. Deputy Liberal leader Josh Frydenberg has been appointed treasurer, while …

News August 25, 2018

Further Barrier Reef business links

As questions swirl around the Great Barrier Reef Foundation grant, another non-profit group pledging citizens’ support for the reef is revealed to have links to business and tourism bodies.

News August 11, 2018

Sleeping Giants fuel Sky News backlash

As the backlash set in after Sky News’s interview with Blair Cottrell, one activist group turned its sights to the channel’s corporate sponsors.

Culture August 11, 2018

Danny Glover on acting and activism

Actor Danny Glover is probably best known for his on-screen roles spanning nearly 40 years, but his appearance in Australia to address a trade union conference comes after a lifelong commitment to civil rights and labour activism. “I was invited here again, by First Nations people, 22 years ago. I went to visit men who were incarcerated and, like in my own country, they were disproportionately people of colour. Then I knew a little bit more about Australia.”

News July 28, 2018

Malcolm Turnbull in Tennant Creek

In remote Australia, locals have a term for politicians who fly in, squawk a bit, and fly out – they’re called cockatoos. Malcolm Turnbull’s visit to Tennant Creek this week showed all the signs.

News July 28, 2018

Fairfax journalists surprised by Nine merger

The announcement of the Fairfax–Nine Entertainment merger took the industry by surprise. It has journalists worried about media diversity and the future of Fairfax’s flagship mastheads.

News July 21, 2018

New ACTU president Michele O’Neil

The new ACTU president, Michele O’Neil, says her focus will be the globalised economy, but here the attention will be on how she and Sally McManus manage divisions within the union movement over Labor policy.

News July 14, 2018

The ABC efficiency review

The new head of the government’s ABC efficiency review is not as right-wing as some may fear. Still, his appointment suggests an agenda to further muzzle the broadcaster’s independent voice.

News May 05, 2018

Commonwealth Bank held to account

As the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority releases a scathing report on the conduct of Commonwealth Bank, a bandwagon-joining Scott Morrison calls for more heads to roll.

News March 24, 2018

The George Pell committal hearing

As the preliminary hearing continues into allegations against George Pell of historical sexual offences, the tone of the cardinal’s possible defence is becoming clear.

News March 17, 2018

Banks front up to royal commission

The banks may have tried to polish their public image, but the opening days of the royal commission shine a light on shoddy lending practices.

the_briefing November 24, 2017

PNG authorities storm Manus

Papua New Guinea police and immigration authorities have stormed the former offshore detention centre compound on Manus Island, arresting Kurdish Iranian journalist Behrouz Boochani and destroying refugee accommodation and possessions. Boochani, who has …

News October 14, 2017

The ‘No’ case in Chinese media

Chinese Australians are seeing advertising from the Coalition for Marriage but the community’s conservative media are declining to publish views supporting same-sex marriage.

News August 12, 2017

Crime and terror in the banks

While profits continue to soar for Commonwealth Bank, a laundering scandal makes the case for a banking royal commission grow stronger.