Having outperformed the world in containing coronavirus, Australia’s lack of action on climate change will precipitate a much greater crisis.If the Morrison government were really answerable to the Australian people rather than vested interests, it already would have agreed to a more ambitious climate response. That’s what the overwhelming majority of people have long wanted.
Donald Trump Jr has released an email chain proving he tried to collude with Russian government officials to damage Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid. Posting the email chain on Twitter, Trump Jr said he was hoping “to be totally transparent” about a meeting in June 2016 with a lawyer he believed possessed “very high level and sensitive information” that was “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr Trump”. Trump Jr responded: “If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer”. A New York Times article on the meeting notes that Trump Jr released the emails after the Times “informed him that it was preparing an article” about them. Besides the personal legal trouble Trump Jr may have exposed himself to, and the extraordinary way in which he did it, the email chain reveals senior Trump campaign officials – including Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law – knew the Russian government was helping their campaign.
Australia’s decision to boycott a United Nations treaty banning nuclear weapons has been excoriated by descendants of Aboriginal people affected by British nuclear testing in South Australia. Speaking to BuzzFeed Australia, Yankunytjatjara woman Karina Lester recounted her father Yami’s fight for justice after he and many others became sick from British bomb tests at South Australia’s Emu Field. Lester said Australia’s refusal to participate in the treaty negotiations, given the historical impact on the Yankunytjatjara and other communities, “really shows where Aboriginal people are at a political level”.
The Australian Tax Office has been embarrassed after one of its staffers inadvertently published the ATO’s internal guide on how to hack mobile phones. The PowerPoint document, which was published on LinkedIn by an ATO employee with a background in intelligence, details how ATO officials can break passwords, bypass lock screens and access phone data when the device has a flat battery. The ATO was not aware of the breach until contacted by the ABC, and has since taken the document down. The incident reveals the extent to which government bodies outside of national intelligence and security agencies are beginning to access sensitive information to complement their work.
And Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has met with his UK counterpart Theresa May in London as he continues his tour of Europe. Speaking at a joint press conference, Turnbull and May said their two nations would sign a free trade agreement as soon as legally possible after Brexit was completed. According to the UK government’s food and drink international action plan, any UK-Australia deal would likely focus on exports of “tea, biscuits [and] condiments”, which sounds both sensible and delicious.