Biloela daughter evacuated

The youngest daughter of the Tamil family from Biloela has been evacuated from Christmas Island to Perth due to a suspected blood infection.

What we know:

  • Three-year-old Tharnicaa Murugappan was flown out with her mother, Priya, after suffering fever, vomiting, diarrhoea and dizziness (The Age); 
  • Priya claims she had been requesting medical attention for her daughter since May 25, but that she was only administered Nurofen and Panadol;
  • Tharnicaa has spent most of her life in detention, having been held on Christmas Island since August 2019.

It comes as:

  • The federal government has been ordered to pay an Iraqi asylum seeker $350,000 in damages for unlawfully detaining him for more than two years (The Guardian); 
  • An Iraqi family has been stuck in Turkey for more than a year after being granted asylum in Australia, as authorities refuse to exempt them from border closures due to the pandemic (SBS). 
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War Memorial splurge approved

Early works have been approved for a $500m Australian War Memorial expansion, despite a record number of public submissions against the project.

The National Capital Authority approved the works after a record 601 largely negative submissions, including concerns regarding tree removal (ABC).

The AWM will be allowed to remove 140 trees, but is required to plant at least 250 native trees to compensate.

Another controversial aspect is the demolition of Anzac Hall, a structure barely 20 years old that has won numerous architectural awards (The Saturday Paper).

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ABC Porter expense

The ABC agreed to pay $100,000 to Industry Minister Christian Porter’s lawyer to cover mediation costs, a Senate estimates committee heard on Monday.

What we learned:

  • ABC managing director David Anderson revealed that the ABC paid $780,000 to defend Porter’s defamation claim levelled over an article on rape allegations (SMH); 
  • With $74,500 of the amount paid for mediation costs unaccounted for, it was unclear if Porter would personally receive any of the funds himself.

Any funds would come at a welcome time for Porter, who spent $8627 on Facebook ads in recent months in a bid to preserve his electoral chances, more than any other Australian politician (Crikey). 

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Roberts-Smith fires on former comrades

The lawyer for Ben Roberts-Smith has denied that the former SAS soldier kicked an unarmed, handcuffed Afghan civilian off a cliff before ordering him killed.

Barrister Bruce McClintock SC opened the defamation trial Roberts-Smith brought in response to media reporting on war crime allegations by suggesting they were made by “failures as soldiers” motivated by jealousy (The Guardian).

McClintock targeted Roberts-Smith’s former comrades, some of whom will give evidence in the trial.

He said being “thought of as a failure as a soldier has a corrosive effect on a person” and that some witnesses might be “confused, mistaken, or have false memories because of the trauma over a number of years”.

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Australia’s largest dinosaur

A new species of dinosaur discovered in Queensland has been officially recognised as the largest ever found in Australia.

Australotitan cooperensis was likely 25-30m long and up to 6.5m tall (Cosmos).

The long-necked sauropod nicknamed “Cooper” counts among the top 15 largest dinosaurs in the world.

The plant-eater walked Eromanga in south-west Queensland about 90 million years ago, at a time when the region featured an inland sea and forests.

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I try and sue the ABC but instead my pants fall down and I try to waddle away but accidentally waddle over a balcony and land headfirst into a truck of pig manure and my legs wriggle around and everyone sees my heart-patterned boxer shorts. THE AUSTRALIAN

Senator James Patterson reads aloud a tweet by comedian Ben Jenkins liked by Four Corners producer Sally Neighbour. Patterson was either pursuing his crusade to restrict social media use by ABC staff, or his ambition to finally utter something actually worth preserving in Hansard (Junkee).

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Postscript: The Last Stand at Steve Bannon’s ‘Gladiator School’

The Academy for the Judeo-Christian West is trying to stave off eviction from Trisulti, an eight-hundred-year-old monastery outside Rome, where its founder hopes to offer courses like “Cultural Marxism, Radical Jihad, and the C.C.P.’s Global Information Warfare” (The New Yorker). 

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Max Opray is Schwartz Media’s morning editor and a freelance writer.