Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Indonesia calls for emergency aid

Mass burials have begun on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi as authorities struggle to cope with the rising number of dead from Friday’s earthquake and tsunami. Head of police communication, Brigadier-General Dedi Prasetyo, said the move was necessary as “we’re afraid they could spread diseases in the vicinity if they are not buried soon”. Indonesian president Joko Widodo has authorised relief agencies to accept foreign aid, with South Korea and Turkey among the nations to already offer assistance. In a joint statement on Sunday, prime minister Scott Morrison and foreign minister Marise Payne said “Australia stands ready to support Government of Indonesia response efforts, if required”. Donate to the CARE Indonesia tsunami emergency appeal here.

Independent senator for South Australia,Tim Storer, is leading a push to overhaul the selection process for ABC board appointments. Under the proposal, potential board members would be subject to United States Senate-style confirmation hearings, and both public broadcasters would be subject to independent reviews every three years. The ABC’s independence from government has been in the spotlight since the departure of the managing director and chair last week, with prime minister Scott Morrison saying on Sunday that board members could “expect a bit more attention from me” unless they “get back to work”. Opposition leader Bill Shorten asked Morrison to consult Labor on any new board appointments, saying he was “incredibly concerned about the ability of Senator Fifield to make suitable appointments, including for the new ABC chair, given his disregard for the independent nomination panel process”.

Labor has pushed for the government to extend the royal commission into the banking and finance industry. The commission has heard testimony from only 27 witnesses, despite receiving more than 10,000 public submissions. Shadow financial services minister Clare O’Neil said commissioner Kenneth Hayne was “going to need more time to provide thoughtful, serious and significant recommendations for a sector we have been told is permeated by a culture of greed”. The push came as the Queensland department of education was forced to reveal public schools accepted nearly $400,000 from the Commonwealth Bank in exchange for allowing the bank’s representatives to sign up students for its Dollarmites school banking program.

And French-Swedish photographer Jean-Claude Arnault has been sentenced to two years jail after being found guilty of rape. Arnault’s personal and financial ties to the Swedish Academy prompted the cancellation of this year’s Nobel Prize in Literature and the resignation of several academy members when 18 women accused him of rape, sexual assault and physical abuse in November 2017. Lawyer Björn Hurtig said Arnault would appeal the conviction.


“During the 1950s and ’60s, there was great optimism that the world would soon be rid of all deadly infectious disease. The US spent huge sums of money on a campaign to eliminate malaria in the so-called Third World – an act of charity, in a way, since malaria was not a threat in affluent countries. The plan not only failed – perhaps we gave up too soon, or perhaps it was an impossible task – it actually made the problem worse.”


“One Saturday in the spring of 1950, brothers Viggo and Emil Højgaard from the small village of Tollund, in Denmark, were cutting peat in a local bog when they uncovered a dead man. He looked as though he had only just passed away. His eyelashes, chin stubble, and the wrinkles in his skin were visible; his leather cap was intact.”


“Recently, I was faced with an unusual question about a piece of hardware that very few people have ever used: What makes a giant workstation, one that once cost as much as a house when it was first produced in the early ’90s and makes as much noise as a vacuum, so appealing to a 16-year-old?”


“The EU has given Britain until mid-October to strike a deal that will avoid creating a hard border with Ireland – the biggest remaining obstacle in the divorce talks. But the two sides also have to come to an initial understanding on Britain’s long-term relationship with the bloc, which could determine the country’s trajectory for decades.”


“Andrew Marr: ‘If we leave the EU without a deal, doesn’t there have to be a hard border in Ireland?’

Theresa May: ‘We’ve been very clear that we do not want to see a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland.’

Marr: ‘But if we leave without a deal, that does mean a hard border, doesn’t it?’

May: ‘We are committed to making sure that we can provide a guarantee to the people of Northern Ireland.’”


“Halpin fled with Kelly close behind shouting his name. She followed him as he cycled to his father’s home a few hundred yards from the salon. Kelly saw Halpin in the bedroom window changing his clothes. She knocked on the door and Halpin answered. He was sweating, breathing heavily and had changed his clothes. He claimed he had just been in the kitchen having a cup of tea.”

Alex McKinnon
is Schwartz Media's morning editor.