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.
Thousands of doctors have signed an open letter urging home affairs minister Peter Dutton to allow a dying man on Nauru to be brought to Australia for palliative care. The 63-year-old Hazara Afghan man, who has been formally recognised as a refugee, has been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and is zoning in and out of lucidity due to lesions on his brain. Dr Nick Martin, who worked on Nauru in 2016 and 2017, told BuzzFeed News the man’s “only chance of a good death is to come to Australia so that he can have both community and medical expertise”. The letter, signed by more than 2000 doctors, says the man “faces a potentially catastrophic death, without medical expertise to ease his pain and symptoms”.
The federal government will likely pass its $144 billion personal income tax cuts today after securing support for the package in the Senate. One Nation senator Pauline Hanson told Sydney radio station 2GB on Wednesday she would not oppose the package, saying “we voted with the Libs on the package they actually put forward”. Centre Alliance senator Stirling Griff told Fairfax his party would decide on the package today, saying “we will decide which way we go on the floor”. The Australian Council of Trade Unions will release a research paper today claiming little to no correlation between company tax cuts and wage growth, seeking to influence a separate vote on the government’s planned lowering of the corporate tax rate.
United States president Donald Trump has signed ($) an executive order ending the forcible separation of children from their families at the US-Mexico border, bowing to public anger over the policy. Images and audio footage of crying children in cages outraged politicians of both major parties, with senior Democrats calling on Department of Homeland Security secretary Kristjen Nielsen to resign and human rights advocacy group Amnesty International describing the separations as “nothing short of torture”. Republican House of Representatives speaker Paul Ryan said the House would vote on a bill amending immigration law to keep families together on Thursday.
Natalie Joyce, the estranged wife of former deputy prime minister Barnaby, has spoken to the media for the first time since her husband admitted fathering a child with his former staffer. In an unpaid interview with The Australian Women’s Weekly, Joyce described her husband’s $150,000 interview with Channel 7’s Sunday Night as “an absolute disgrace”, saying “it was all we could do to watch it without throwing a brick at the TV”. Joyce said she was speaking publicly for her four daughters “so the girls feel empowered, and know their mum stood up and defended our fine name”.
Optus has surrendered the broadcast rights to all FIFA World Cup group stage games after widespread complaints about its Optus Sport streaming service. Public broadcaster SBS will stream and air World Cup games until June 29, while Optus Sport subscribers will be refunded the cost of subscriptions. Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull personally complained to Optus CEO Allen Lew about the poor quality of Optus Sport’s World Cup streaming, while a bizarre comedy segment on the service, titled “Ethnic Dad”, was panned as racist and out-of-touch by soccer fans. Opposition leader Bill Shorten seized on the news, claiming funding cuts to SBS forced the broadcaster to sell the rights and demanding prime minister Malcolm Turnbull “apologise ... for his cuts to the SBS”.
And Canada’s parliament has voted to legalise recreational marijuana use, becoming the second nation after Uruguay to allow citizens to buy and consume cannabis. The Cannabis Act, passed by Canada’s Senate on Wednesday, will establish a system to regulate producers and suppliers, and permits Canadians to grow up to four plants in their homes. A buffer period allowing provinces to set up dispensaries and regulatory boundaries will ensure marijuana will be available for purchase by September. South of the border, nine separate US states and the District of Colombia have legalised recreational cannabis use, while 29 have legalised medicinal marijuana.