In the United States, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and one of the women who has accused him of sexual assault have testified before a Senate committee. In her opening statement, psychology professor Christine Blasey Ford said that while she was “terrified” of testifying, she felt she “couldn’t not do it”. “My family and I have been the target of constant harassment and death threats. Apart from the assault itself, these last couple of weeks have been the hardest of my life,” Ford said. Abandoning his prepared remarks, Kavanaugh attacked Democratic members of the Senate judiciary committee, saying there was “a frenzy on the left to come up with something, anything to block my confirmation”. “You may defeat me in the final vote, but you'll never get me to quit,” Kavanaugh said. “Never.”
ABC chair Justin Milne has resigned after pressure from staff, politicians and commentators. Speaking to 7.30’s Leigh Sales on Thursday, Milne said he “wanted to provide a release valve” and it was “not a good thing for everybody to be trying to do their job with this kind of firestorm going on”. Already under immense pressure to resign, new leaks on Thursday revealed Milne had told former managing director Michelle Guthrie that she had to “shoot” political editor Andrew Probyn because former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull “hated” him. Turnbull denied pressuring ABC executives, saying “the bottom line is I’ve never called for anybody to be fired”.
Peak health and medical bodies have called on the federal government to bring asylum seeker children and their families held in offshore detention to Australia. The Australian Medical Association, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and the Australian Medical Students Association were among organisations that joined the #DoctorsForAsylumSeekers campaign on Thursday. AMSA president Alex Farrell said “as medical professionals, our first job is to care for people, especially children. This must be our guiding principle”.
And federal education minister Dan Tehan has threatened to withdraw billions in funds unless state and territory governments sign on to the federal government’s schools funding model. In a letter to Victorian education minister James Merlino, Tehan said “the Commonwealth will be unable to make the first 2019 payment to the relevant state or territory, including with respect to non-government schools”, unless all states and territories committed to the funding agreement by December. State governments and education unions have criticised the proposal to earmark $4.6 billion for private, independent and religious schools, with Northern Territory education minister Selena Uibo saying she was “concerned this deal erodes equity in the school funding”.