New analysis reveals the government intends to cut billions of dollars from university research, while reannouncing funds from elsewhere in the budget.My biggest fear is that we will lose a whole generation of researchers and the damage of that is incalculable … The impact on our country will be devastating.
A businessman blacklisted by the United Nations over smuggling arms to a war criminal gambled millions at Crown Resorts in Australia, according to confidential gambling records. The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald report that Joseph Wong lost more than $6 million in Crown VIP gambling rooms, despite being named on a UN Security Council sanctions blacklist for selling weapons to Liberian dictator Charles Taylor, who was later indicted at The Hague for crimes including murder, terror and rape. The news comes days after video footage showed hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash being handed over from a shopping bag in a high-rollers’ room at Melbourne’s Crown Casino, sparking calls for a Royal Commission. Crown is also under pressure over the wages of staff, with about 1000 Crown staff and their supporters marching on the Melbourne casino on Tuesday. Workers are fighting for better pay and job security.
Fish under threat: Numbers of endangered sawfish in the Gulf of Carpentaria are plummeting, according to Guardian Australia. Dr Barbara Wueringer, founder and principal scientist at Sharks and Rays Australia, said: “Because they have this saw, people like to take a trophy and that’s something that we want to stop. Nobody should remove the saw.” Three conservation groups have written to the Department of Environment asking for a suite of rules and restrictions to be imposed on the Queensland-managed Gulf of Carpentaria Inshore Fin Fish Fishery. Filmmaker Rory McLeod has confirmed to SBS reports of another mass fish kill in far western New South Wales. McLeod, who is shooting a documentary about fish kills, said the dead fish numbered in the thousands, and were largely introduced carp species that had died when the waterway had dried up.
ASIO warnings: The Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation’s 2018-19 annual report warns that rightwing terrorist groups are “more cohesive and organised than they have been in previous years”. In the report the organisation also notes that it had issued advice about “hostile intelligence services” using social media platforms including LinkedIn to target people across business and government.
Brexit deal close: The BBC reports that European Union say the outcome of talks with the British negotiating team regarding Brexit should be known imminently. European council President Donald Tusk said he would have “bet” on a deal 24 hours ago, but that the UK side was no longer so sure. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is trying to get Democratic Unionists from Northern Ireland to support a plan for a regulatory and customs border down the Irish Sea. Johnson said the negotiations were like climbing Mount Everest, and that the summit was “not far” but still covered by “cloud”.
Prime Minister’s science awards: A record five women have recognised at the Prime Minister’s science awards, with Emeritus Professor Cheryl Praeger awarded the top honour of the Prime Minister’s Prize for Science. Praeger’s work includes fundamental contributions to group theory, permutation groups, and combinatorics, and pioneering research into the mathematics of symmetry which has applications in improving search engine efficiency.