Monday, October 01, 2018

Sulawesi tsunami death toll rises

More than 800 people have died following an earthquake off the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. The 7.5-magnitude quake, which struck just off Sulawesi’s west coast on Friday evening, caused a tsunami that devastated the city of Palu. Indonesian disaster mitigation agency spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said “many bodies were found along the shoreline because of the tsunami, but the numbers are still unknown”, and that “cuts to telecommunications and darkness are hampering efforts to obtain information”. Indonesian president Joko Widodo visited the island on Sunday, while finance minister Sri Mulyani pledged Rp 560 billion (AU$52 million) in disaster aid. Donate to the Red Cross Indonesian earthquake appeal here.

ABC staff are considering sacking their own staff representative on the ABC board after the executive ructions at the broadcaster last week. Jane Connors, who was chosen as the staff-elected director in May, could face a vote of no confidence from staff unhappy at the board’s refusal to answer questions about former managing director Michelle Guthrie’s sacking. Guthrie released an 11-page dossier on Friday in which she claimed she was terminated “in part because of my disclosure about the chair’s inappropriate conduct towards me and [interference] in the independence of the ABC”. Guthrie claimed Milne repeatedly urged her to fire journalists Emma Alberici and Andrew Probyn over concerns they were unpopular with the federal government, saying he “yelled and accused me of calling him a liar”.

Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions rose 1.3 per cent in the year to March 2018, according to a new report by the department of environment and energy. An estimated 134.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide were released in the first quarter of 2018, the most since 2010. The government published the figures on Friday afternoon, a public holiday in Victoria and the beginning of a three-day weekend in New South Wales and South Australia. They were further obscured by the interim report of the royal commission into banking and finance, which dominated coverage on Friday. The figures undercut prime minister Scott Morrison’s repeated claim that Australia will reach its Paris emissions reduction targets “in a canter”.

And the Sydney Roosters have won the NRL men’s grand final, defeating the Melbourne Storm 21-6 at ANZ Stadium on Sunday. Prime minister Scott Morrison declined to attend the post-game medals presentation, denying the crowd the chance to follow tradition and boo the prime minister of the day. Earlier, the Brisbane Broncos beat the Sydney Roosters 34-12 to claim the first NRLW premiership.  In the AFL, the West Coast Eagles 11.13 (79) beat Collingwood 11.8 (74) at the MCG on Saturday, winning their first premiership since 2006.


“Mona Ahmed was born a boy, the third child after two girls, in 1937. In the narrow, congested streets of Ballimaran in Old Delhi, where her father ran a small business selling skullcaps, the birth was greeted with joy. The family could no longer be dismissed – they now had a boy to continue the line. But things didn’t quite turn out as expected.”


“At a time when a new generation of music critics were starting to question the received wisdom that pop was less ‘authentic’ than rock, Robyn’s musically adventurous, heart-piercing hits chalked one up for ‘poptimism’, making indie nerds lighten up and revealing teenybopper fare to be thin gruel.”


“The brazenness of the crime shocked and titillated the residents of Southlake. There hadn’t been a murder in town in more than a decade – and nothing this dramatic had happened since Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow killed two state troopers nearby, in the thirties. ‘This sort of thing just doesn’t happen in a place like Southlake’, a Department of Justice official said.”


“Telling the ABC to ‘stop talking about itself and get back to work’, Morrison said it was now up to acting chair Kirstin Ferguson to settle the organisation down so that it could perform services that Australians paid for ... Insiders host Barrie Cassidy responded by saying ‘we [the ABC] never stopped work’.”


“Voters have reacted furiously to the saga of the Liberal leadership spill, criticising the electoral system and calling for change ... With Australia seeing seven prime ministers in just 11 years, others raised concerns about how long Morrison’s tenure will last.”



“Cancer patient Mandie Stevenson had to postpone a bucket list trip to New York after she accidentally labelled herself a terrorist on her visa waiver form. The online application asked if she was seeking to or had ever engaged in terrorist activities or genocide. Mandie, from Falkirk, mistakenly answered ‘yes’.”

Alex McKinnon
is Schwartz Media's morning editor.