Federal and New South Wales state politicians have defended the decision to advertise a horse racing event on the Sydney Opera House against a growing backlash. Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the plan to display the colours of the horses’ silks and the Everest Cup logo was “a good compromise” and “the right thing for Sydney and for NSW”. Prime minister Scott Morrison said he “would put the Bathurst 1000 on the Harbour Bridge if I thought it would get more people there”, and that the sails of the Opera House were “the biggest billboard Sydney has”. A Change.org petition demanding the advertisement be cancelled has gathered more than 100,000 signatures in less than 48 hours, while Fairfax reported that racing magnate John Messara, a close associate of Sydney shock jock Alan Jones, had financial ties to The Everest.
In the United States, conservative judge Brett Kavanaugh has been sworn in as the newest Supreme Court justice, triggering widespread protests and demonstrations. The US Senate voted to confirm Kavanaugh’s nomination 50 votes to 48, as more than 1000 women’s rights activists broke through barricades and protested on the nearby supreme court building’s front steps. Hundreds of people were arrested, including several people who were removed from the Senate public galleries as the final vote was under way. Former Yale Law School dean Robert Post said Kavanaugh’s “very presence will undermine the court’s claim to legitimacy”, and his tenure would “be an American tragedy”.
In Brazil, voters have headed to the polls to elect a new president. For months, opinion polling has favoured far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro, who received an electoral boost after being stabbed at a campaign rally in August. Incarcerated former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was disqualified from running in September, with his replacement, Fernando Haddad, struggling to build popular support. Bolsonaro’s racist and homophobic remarks, as well as his praise for Brazil’s former military dictatorship, have raised fears of a Donald Trump-style presidency. Bolsonaro would have to face a run-off vote against his most popular opponent if he fails to win more than 50 per cent of the vote in the first round.
And disability advocate and actor Quentin Kenihan has died. Besides his role as Corpus Colossus in Mad Max: Fury Road, Kenihan, 43, was best known for his regular appearances on the ABC and Network Ten, and had announced his intent to run for Adelaide City Council. The subject of a documentary by broadcaster Mike Willesee when he was a child, Kenihan detailed his history of mental illness and substance abuse in a 2016 autobiography, Not All Superheroes Wear Capes. Friends, politicians and journalists paid tribute to Kenihan, with South Australian opposition leader Peter Malinauskas remembering him as “a larger than life figure who is going to be sorely missed”.