Thursday, February 01, 2018

Secret cabinets full of Cabinet secrets

The ABC has published details of hundreds of top-secret Cabinet documents that were left in pieces of ex-government furniture. The Cabinet Files, which the broadcaster published in part yesterday, were given to the ABC after an unnamed person bought two old filing cabinets from a second-hand shop in Canberra and drilled the locks. The documents stored within detailed the Australian Federal Police losing other highly classified documents, Scott Morrison’s efforts to slow down asylum seeker visa applications while he was immigration minister,  former prime minister Kevin Rudd ignoring warnings of “critical risks” associated with the 2009 home insulation scheme, and a recommendation by then-attorney-general Philip Ruddock that the right to silence be removed during terrorism interrogations. Read the files here.

NSW Greens politician David Shoebridge has hit out at Bob Brown, the federal party’s founder, over comments Brown made in response to an article in The Saturday Paper in which an anonymous member of the ACT Greens alleged the party mishandled her sexual assault by another member. In a letter reacting to the December 23 piece, Brown said “inexplicably, your adult, articulate and anonymous correspondent” did not report her assault to police “for many months”, saying the ACT Greens “should not have been expected to substitute for the criminal justice system”. Writing on Facebook, Shoebridge said Brown’s comments showed “appalling disrespect to a victim of sexual abuse” and that the assault victim “deserved so much more” from the party.

Former New South Wales premier Kristina Keneally has been endorsed to replace Sam Dastyari’s vacant Senate seat. A meeting of Labor factions yesterday formally endorsed Keneally, who was widely expected to return to politics after running as Labor’s candidate in the Bennelong byelection in December. Keneally said she would use her Senate position to promote stillbirth research funding and constitutional recognition for Indigenous Australians. Keneally will likely take her seat sometime this month.

And United States President Donald Trump has given his first annual State of the Union address in Washington, DC. Focusing on the strong US economy, immigration and criminal gangs, Trump said “there has never been a better time to start living the American dream”. The address was overshadowed before it began by the abrupt resignation of deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe after repeated public criticisms from Trump, along with a typo in the official invitations sent to attendees. First Lady Melania Trump made her first public appearance since The Wall Street Journal reported that a Trump lawyer arranged a $130,000 payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels in return for her silence about a sexual encounter with Mr Trump in 2006.

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I’m definitely a better person for it and hopefully a role model for people out there.

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The road

“The story of this road, the BR-163, is in many ways the story of Brazil’s relationship with the rainforest ... As it snakes north, it cuts a path not only through the country itself, but through Brazil’s conflicting ambitions: to transform itself into a first-world economy, on the one hand, and on the other, to protect and preserve what is left of an ecosystem that recycles a fifth of the world’s rainfall, holds 150 million tonnes of stored carbon, and is home to 15 per cent of all the species on Earth.”  the globe and mail

This extreme sect of vegans thinks your baby will destroy the planet

“Anti-natalists are adherents of the philosophy that human beings are a destructive force to animals and to the earth, and therefore it’s morally wrong to create more of them ... Because they’ve already adopted plant-based diets that reduce their carbon footprints, some vegans say it’s incongruous, even hypocritical, to produce children that will help deplete the earth’s resources.” marie claire

The devastating paradox of Pakistan

“In 16 years, the United States has spent billions of dollars fighting a war that has killed thousands of soldiers and an untold number of civilians in a country that Washington considers insignificant to its strategic interests in the region. Meanwhile, the country it has viewed as a linchpin, Pakistan – a nuclear-armed cauldron of volatile politics and long America’s closest military ally in South Asia – has pursued a covert campaign in Afghanistan designed to ensure that the money and the lives have been spent in vain.” the atlantic



Is Uber right that government regulation of the sharing economy has gone too far?

“Uber has urged users in New South Wales to complain to the state’s transport minister about the introduction of a $1 tax on the company which comes into force on Thursday and is likely to be passed on to customers. The tax applies to each trip taken in taxis, hire cars and ride-sharing services such as Uber across most of the state, and will go towards a $250 million compensation package for the taxi industry.”   guardian australia


Ask an UberEats driver.

“Three in four food delivery riders surveyed in Sydney and Melbourne said they were paid below the minimum wage, prompting a national campaign for regulation of the on-demand economy. The Transport Workers Union survey found many riders were underpaid, had been injured on the job without insurance cover or sick pay and had worked more than 40 hours a week.”  fairfax


and finally:

‘Unbelievable’ dismissals in UAE private league match to be investigated by ICC’s Anti-Corruption Unit

“The International Cricket Council’s Anti-Corruption Unit has launched an investigation into a private league match in the UAE, with former England captain Michael Vaughan describing a number of the comical dismissals as ‘unbelievable’ ... Footage shows some batsman foolishly advancing to spinners and being stumped without even bothering to try to get back in their crease, and ridiculous run outs with some batsmen setting off for suicidal singles and not looking like trying to make their ground.” wide world of sports