Thursday, June 06, 2019

AFP raids ABC

Australian Federal Police officers have raided the ABC’s Sydney headquarters over a series of stories documenting unlawful killing and misconduct by members of Australian special forces. The Afghan Files, aired and published in 2017, was produced using classified documents detailing a “warrior culture” in the special forces and numerous incidents of Australian soldiers killing unarmed civilians. ABC journalists Dan Oakes and Sam Clark were named in the AFP’s search warrant, as was news director Gaven Morris. ABC managing director David Anderson said the raid “raises legitimate concerns over freedom of the press and proper public scrutiny of national security and Defence matters”.

The Australian economy has slowed to its lowest rate of growth in more than five years, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. ABS figures released on Wednesday showed the economy grew 0.4 per cent in the March 2019 quarter, with annual growth down to 1.8 per cent. The figures mark the first time since the 1982 recession that Australia’s per capita GDP has fallen for three consecutive quarters, and came a day after the Reserve Bank of Australia cut the official interest rate to a historic low of 1.25 per cent. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg criticised ANZ and Westpac for failing to pass on the full rate cut to consumers, saying ANZ “has let down its customers”.

Former United States vice president Al Gore has hit out at the proposed Carmichael coal mine during a visit to Queensland. Speaking at the Climate Reality Project conference in Brisbane on Wednesday, Gore noted that “not a single global financial institution, after doing the financial analysis, would put any money up for the Adani mine”, and that India was “not going to continue with coal”. Gore’s comments came as environmental activist group Coast and Country released drone footage allegedly showing Adani had illegally begun clearing land on the site of the proposed mine.

And population minister Alan Tudge has nominated five regional areas as priorities for settling migrants. Speaking on Wednesday, Tudge said local councils and businesses in south-west Victoria, Adelaide, far north Queensland, Kalgoorlie-Boulder and regional South Australia would be given greater freedom to sponsor migrant workers. He also said “people are really feeling the growth pressures that we have had in Melbourne, Sydney and south-east Queensland”. Tudge also pledged to “massively increase infrastructure” in outer suburban areas of major cities.

AN ATTENDEE AT A HONG KONG VIGIL MARKING THE 30TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE TIANAMEN SQUARE MASSACRE

 
 

“In the wake of the killing of Melbourne woman Courtney Herron last weekend, which has brought the national spotlight onto the issue of young women experiencing homelessness in Victoria, advocates in the homelessness sector are calling for more to be done to address what they say is a nationwide housing affordability crisis.”

 

“Ninety-five per cent of my friends didn’t engage with the federal election one iota unless it was via a Betoota Advocate article, because most Australians feel allergic to politics and are committed to mutually assured passivity with occasional flashes of opinion. But by election night, my family was fighting an uncivil culture war via group chat.”

 

“Kat Stewart has played some of the grittier and more challenging roles about. You don’t get much darker or dirtier than Roberta Williams in Underbelly, the role that established Stewart in the public eye. Later she was the slippery, none-too-stable Nat in the very ambitious, very powerfully conceived Tangle, contributing massively to the sense of reality in that saga of upper-middle-class Melbourne life.”

 
 

“The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased by the second highest annual rise in the past six decades, according to new data. Atmospheric concentrations of the greenhouse gas were 414.8 parts per million in May, which was 3.5ppm higher than the same time last year, according to readings from the Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii, where carbon dioxide has been monitored continuously since 1958.”

 
 

“New South Wales’ Inner West Council announced it is the first council in the state to be totally divested from fossil fuels ... In late 2017, Council resolved to become fully invested in non-fossil fuel funds. At that point in time, Council held $200 million in its investments portfolio and set an interim goal of having a 70 per cent non-fossil fuel investment portfolio by 30 June 2018.”

 
 

“‘For decades, we have failed in our efforts to spur action by describing in rigorous scientific detail the ways in which global warming will cause widespread misery for billions of innocent people, and so this time we have taken a different approach’, read the report, a 500-page directory that simply lists the names and addresses of key players in the fossil fuel industry, along with the precise coordinates of several bunkers containing extensive stockpiles of firearms without serial numbers.”

Charlie Teo, virtuosic rebel
Charlie Teo is Australia’s best-known surgeon. He is also the country’s most controversial specialist. Martin McKenzie-Murray on what defines Teo and the balance he asks us to strike between hope and orthodoxy.

Alex McKinnon
is Schwartz Media's morning editor.