Monday, June 10, 2019

A million march in Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, more than a million people have marched in protest against proposed laws that would allow extradition to China. Under Hong Kong’s One Country, Two Systems policy set down when the former British colony was returned to China in 1997, Hong Kong runs its own legal system and has never granted a Chinese extradition request. The laws, proposed by pro-Beijing Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam, would establish procedures by which foreign fugitives would be transferred to countries with which Hong Kong does not already have extradition agreements. Chinese authorities frequently kidnap Hong Kong pro-democracy activists, publishers and booksellers.

The federal Labor Party pushed for a police investigation into the leaks that led to an Australian Federal Police raid on News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst last week. Nine newspapers reported at the weekend that shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus urged then prime minister Malcolm Turnbull to investigate the leak of correspondence discussing the expansion of the Australian Signals Directorate’s powers to spy on Australian citizens. The revelation undercuts Labor’s attempt to criticise the Coalition over the raids, with deputy Labor leader claiming on Sunday that Labor has been “responsible for amendments which go to the question of there being national interest tests which protect the freedom of the press”.

Australian tennis player Ash Barty has won the French Open, beating Czechia’s Marketa Vondrousova in two sets. A Ngarigo woman, Barty paid tribute to tennis champion Evonne Goolagong Cawley, the first Indigenous person to win a grand slam title. “It's amazing how she's created this path for Indigenous tennis in Australia and I think now it's becoming more nationwide”, Barty said. Since re-entering the World Tennis Association rankings in 2016, Barty rose from 325th to eighth in the WTA rankings, and will rise to second in the world following her Roland Garros win.

Veteran political journalist Barrie Cassidy has hosted his last episode of the ABC’s Insiders. The host of the Sunday morning political chat show for 18 years, Cassidy used his final to-camera address to pay tribute to the Insiders audience, which grew to more than 600,000 people ahead of the last federal election. “I’ve been, over the years, pulled up in the street so many times. So many emails from people who essentially make the same point that they change their routine, they change the way that they manage their Sunday mornings, around Insiders. I just loved hearing that”, Cassidy said.

Lastly, as of 6:30am, I have just realised that it is a public holiday and I did not need to do The Briefing today. Consider this a freebie.



“Thirteen years after Scott Morrison was mysteriously sacked from a senior public sector job as managing director of Tourism Australia, a six-month investigation by The Saturday Paper has created the clearest picture yet of the events surrounding his dismissal ... then tourism minister Fran Bailey expressed alarm in the weeks before Morrison’s sacking about the way Tourism Australia was handling taxpayers’ money.”


“Gascony, 1898. A tenant farmer and his wife crop the fields, raise a few pigs, tend hens, ducks, two cows, a dog and a horse. Their house is also the barn where the breath and bodies of animals help warm the humans over winter. The man knows one thing: unrelenting physical labour. His imagination is stillborn. The wife knows labour but she also knows religion, and she is a fanatic in both.”


“Morrison and his treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, don’t intend to repeat the Keating government’s mistake of crab-walking away from their key pre-election promises, not that they made many. Frydenberg still trumpets the $100 billion promise over 10 years for infrastructure, but is just as adamant he won’t be bringing any of it forward.”


“Labor has defended its role in helping to pass national security legislation which curtailed media freedoms and protections for whistleblowers in the past two terms of Coalition government, with the opposition sensitive to any criticism it was ‘soft’ on the issue. But Richard Marles said Labor consistently attempted to add safeguards to the government’s legislation, to ensure public interest journalism and those who contributed to it were protected.”


“Security agencies will gain greater access to encrypted messages after a Labor backdown allowed the federal government to pass its legislation on parliament's final sitting day.”


“Don’t get me wrong, I love my son, and both Mark and I were thrilled about his early cognitive development, but it can sometimes be overwhelming when our infant is screaming things like, ‘Soda! There must be soda! Soda for me, the boy! Soda for the boy! I am the boy!’ in the deafening baritone voice of a furious middle-aged man at all hours of the day and night.”

Rates, raids and meeting the Queen
As Scott Morrison completes his first overseas trip since winning the election, there are worrying signs for the economy and for press freedom. Paul Bongiorno on interest rates, AFP raids and Kristina Keneally’s new responsibilities.

Alex McKinnon
is Schwartz Media's morning editor.