Porter dossier released

The dossier of rape allegations against former attorney-general Christian Porter has been made public for the first time, including the alleged victim’s diary notes from the time of the incident.

What we know:

  • The federal court released the entire document as part of a successful case brought to stop lawyer Sue Chrysanthou from representing Porter in his dropped defamation action against the ABC (Lawerly); 
  • Porter has repeatedly and strenuously denied the allegations made in the dossier;
  • The document contains a number of extremely graphic claims by the alleged victim, who took her own life one year before the dossier’s public release;  
  • She detailed allegations that Porter bullied her for sex, after she had consented to a “pearl necklace” following a night of dancing, although she was not fully aware of what that meant;
  • In the dossier she alleged being forced to perform oral sex on him despite her protests;
  • She claims she passed out and then woke up to find Porter anally raping her;
  • The Federal Court is yet to rule on whether more documents from the defamation case can be made public.

National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service: 1800 737 732.

Lifeline: 13 11 14.

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MPs caught by Covid

The NSW Parliament has been declared a venue of concern, as Sydney’s Covid-19 outbreak enters the corridors of power.

What we know:

  • A positive Covid-19 test for Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall has sent politicians including the NSW deputy premier John Barilaro into isolation as state parliament is declared a venue of concern (7News); 
  • A Nationals budget dinner attended by Marshall before he knew he was infectious on Tuesday potentially exposed dozens of MPs to the virus (SMH); 
  • The event went ahead despite NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian urging the public to avoid large social gatherings at the time (The Guardian); 
  • The disruption to parliament comes at a critical moment, as authorities resist calls to lock down amid the reporting of 11 new cases in NSW on Thursday (Nine); 
  • “All the new cases but one are linked and that one is under investigation,” Berejiklian said;
  • Transmissions have jumped across the border to Victoria, where two cases connected to the Sydney outbreak were discovered (SMH). 
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China fires back over trade

China has complained to the World Trade Organization (WTO) over Australia’s import taxes on railway wheels, wind towers and stainless steel sinks.

Gao Feng, of the Chinese commerce ministry, urged Australia to “avoid distortions” importing the products (Reuters).

Australian imposed duties of 10.9% on wind towers, 17.4% on railway wheels and up to 60.2% on stainless steel sinks.

It comes in the wake of Australia launching two appeals to the WTO against China’s “economic coercion”, including in relation to wine (The Diplomat). 

Trade Minister Dan Tehan questioned why China’s challenge had taken so long as Australia had imposed two of the three duties in 2014 and 2015.

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Court hears of Afghan’s killing

An SAS soldier witnessed Ben Roberts-Smith fatally shoot an unarmed prisoner with a prosthetic leg, the federal court has been told.

The soldier claimed to have seen Roberts-Smith shoot the unarmed man in the Afghan village of Kakarak in 2009 (The Guardian). 

The claim contradicts the testimony of Roberts-Smith, who says the man was an insurgent, running outside the compound with a weapon.

The incident is one of the central claims made by the media that prompted the Victoria Cross winner to sue for defamation.

Roberts-Smith admitted he “zero-wiped” the hard-drive of his laptop computer just five days after being instructed not to by his lawyers.

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Human rights fail for Australia

Australia has scored poorly on an international ranking of human rights performance.

The latest Human Rights Measurement Initiative assessed about 200 countries across the world (SBS). 

Researchers say Australia recorded some “strikingly poor results, particularly in terms of who is most at risk of rights abuses”.

Across education, food, health and work the tracker gave Australia a “bad” score of 7.9 out of 10 given its status as a high-income country.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in Australia were highlighted as being particularly at risk of arrest, detention and torture, as well as being unlikely to enjoy their rights to education, health, housing and work.

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This is a terrible joke Mr Morrison is playing on Australian women.

If the appointment of Barnaby Joyce to a taskforce on women’s safety is supposed to be some kind of joke, Labor senator Kristina Keneally sure isn’t laughing (news.com.au).

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Postscript: A CCTV Company Is Paying Remote Workers in India to Yell at Armed Robbers

Clerks at 7-Eleven and other convenience stores are being constantly monitored by a voice of god that can intervene from thousands of miles away (VICE).

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