Labor Senator Sam Dastyari is under pressure to resign after an audio recording of a speech in which he contradicted Labor’s position on the South China Sea was leaked to the media. In the recording, Dastyari speaks at length on how “the Chinese integrity of its borders is a matter for China”, saying that Australia should know “where it is and isn't our place to be involved”. The leak goes against Dastyari’s previous accounts of his remarks, which he claimed were “mumbled … incorrectly” in answer to a question. It is the second leak about Dastyari’s ties to Chinese Communist Party-affiliated political donors to make headlines in as many days. It’s unclear how multiple news outlets, many of which ran the story as an “exclusive”, obtained the recording, raising concerns security and intelligence sources were using powers to interfere in federal politics.
Liberal Senator Dean Smith’s same-sex marriage bill has passed the Senate, with passage through the House of Representatives now the final hurdle to legalising marriage equality. The Senate voted 43-12 in favour of Smith’s bill, prompting cheers and applause from the public gallery. Labor Senate leader Penny Wong said “we stand on the cusp of a remarkable achievement and an historic event”, while Attorney-General George Brandis said he was “so proud of Australian democracy today, more proud than I have ever been”. The lower house reconvenes on Monday to debate the bill.
The Greens will support a Nationals push to establish a commission of inquiry into the banking sector after negotiating amendments with Nationals Senator Barry O’Sullivan. The commission, a parliamentary mechanism with many of the legal powers of a royal commission, will hear from customers complaining of mistreatment at the hands of major financial institutions and examine the pay and bonuses of banking executives. Independent Senator Lucy Gichuhi and two Nationals lower house MPs will join Labor, the Greens, the Nick Xenophon Team and other members of the crossbench in supporting the bill, which could pass despite being opposed by the government.
And in The Netherlands, former Bosnian Croat military commander Slobodan Praljak has died after taking poison as the International Criminal Tribunal upheld his convictions for war crimes. “Judges, Slobodan Praljak is not a war criminal. With disdain, I reject this verdict”, Praljak said as a judge read out his verdict, before drinking from a glass flask. He died in hospital later that day. Praljak and five other Bosnian Croat military and political figures were found guilty of war crimes by the tribunal for atrocities committed against Bosnian Muslims while trying to establish a Croat breakaway state in Bosnia in the early 1990s, including a massacre of 37 civilians at the village of Stupni Do. Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said the verdict was “a deep moral injustice towards six Croats from Bosnia and the Croatian people”. Damir Krstičević, Plenkovic’s deputy prime minister and minister of defence, is wanted by Bosnian authorities for war crimes allegedly committed against Serbs during the Balkan wars.
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Lake Chad: The world’s most complex humanitarian disaster
“Lake Chad is the principal life source of the Sahel, a semiarid band that spans the width of Africa and separates the Sahara, in the north, from the savanna, in the south. Around a hundred million people live there ... In recent years, the Lake Chad region has become the setting of the world’s most complex humanitarian disaster, devastated by converging scourges of climate change, violent extremism, food insecurity, population explosion, disease, poverty, weak statehood, and corruption.” the new
The true story of the fake US embassy in Ghana
“For a decade, the story went, there had been a fake US embassy in the Ghanaian capital. The fraudsters behind it had flown the American flag from their building and even hung a portrait of Barack Obama on the wall ... The fake embassy became a sensation largely because the story was so predictably familiar. The Africans were scammers. The victims were desperate and credulous. The local police officers were bumbling idiots. Countless officials were paid off. And at the end, the Americans swooped in and saved the day. There was only one problem with the story: it wasn’t true.” the guardian
Apple only wants to put its stores where white people live
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Who got the ‘exclusive’ leak about Sam Dastyari’s South China Sea speech yesterday?
“A newly released recording of Labor senator Sam Dastyari addressing a gathering of Chinese media in Sydney has revealed he offered a detailed defence of China’s policy in the South China Sea, in defiance of official ALP policy ... The explosive audio recording obtained by the ABC reveals that Senator Dastyari’s remarks were not mumbled but prepared, and far more outspoken than he has previously admitted.” abc
Everyone! (Channel Nine got it too. Very promiscuous exclusive, this.)
“An explosive tape recording shows for the first time that Senator Sam Dastyari delivered a scripted, deliberate and detailed defence of the Chinese government’s aggressive land grab in the South China Sea, despite the senator's repeated attempts to deny it ... a tape recording of the press conference has been obtained by Fairfax Media. It shows Senator Dastyari clearly and deliberately contradicted Australia's foreign policy.” fairfax
Dante’s nine circles of Hell, reimagined for linguistic transgressions
“Second Circle: The Serial Comma
One half of this circle is populated by souls who are cursed to make arguments that nobody cares about except their own mothers, howling gorgons and the infernal mistresses of hell. The other half are cursed to make arguments that nobody cares about except their own mothers, howling gorgons, and the infernal mistresses of hell.” mcsweeney’s
Win a double pass to Robert Mapplethorpe: the perfect medium at Art Gallery of NSW
Our readers have a chance to win one of five double passes to Robert Mapplethorpe: the perfect medium at the Art Gallery of NSW which runs until March 4, 2018. The exhibition features over 200 works from the iconic 20th century photographer. From floral still lifes to figure studies, it charts Mapplethorpe's involvement in New York's gay scene. Email your name, postal address, and mobile number to [email protected] by midday Friday, December 1, and you’ll go into the draw for a double pass.
Winners will be notified by 5 pm on Friday, December 1.