New concerns surround the government’s increased use of legislative powers to bypass the parliament and create laws that cannot be amended or overturned. The federal government has embedded special powers in new Covid-19 laws to make unilateral changes to non-pandemic-related legislation, using what are known as ‘Henry VIII clauses’ – named for the unchecked power they involve.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the offer to resettle 150 refugees from Manus Island and Nauru still stands, despite Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s rejection of the proposal. Ardern told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age that the offer remained if the Australian government changed its mind. Protests over the weekend calling for the release of refugees on Manus Island and Nauru marked the sixth anniversary of the Rudd Labor government’s reintroduction of off-shore processing of asylum seekers. Thousands turned out in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Hobart and Darwin to demand an end to off-shore processing and to bring asylum seekers to Australia. Greens senator Nick McKim, who was visiting Manus Island to mark the anniversary, was deported from Papua New Guinea after requesting to enter the East Lorengau transit centre. He said of the situation on Manus that it “worse than it has ever been” because people “have lost hope for the future”, and called on the prime minister Scott Morrison to agree to New Zealand’s offer to resettle the refugees.
Britain has described Iran’s seizure of a British oil tanker in the Gulf as “unacceptable” and a “hostile act”. A video posted online shows masked and armed Iranian troops boarding the Stena Impero tanker, mirroring tactics of British Royal Marines who captured an Iranian tanker Grace 1 two weeks ago for violating Syrian sanctions. Iranian foreign minister says Iran’s actions were to uphold international maritime rules and accused the UK of being an accessory to United States’ “economic terrorism”. British newspaper The Telegraph reports that UK foreign minister Jeremy Hunt will announce sanctions on Iran in retaliation.
A former NASA intern has cashed in on the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, selling three original video tapes of the event for close to $2 million. Gary George bought the tapes in 1976 at a government surplus auction for $US217. The tapes are described as the “earliest, sharpest and most accurate surviving video images of man’s first steps on the Moon”, and sold through Sotheby’s for $US1.82 million.
In the Netball World Cup in Liverpool, the Australian Diamonds lost the final to New Zealand’s Silver Ferns by a single goal. New Zealand’s 52-51 win prevented Australia the Diamonds from claiming a fourth successive crown at the World Cup. In the Women’s Ashes, Australia has retained the trophy after a draw with England in a rain-delayed Test match. Although another afternoon of play was available, Australian skipper Meg Lanning opted for the draw rather than chase an outright win, the team having already started the series with three wins in limited-overs games.