Prime Minister Scott Morrison will today meet Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews in person for the first time since February, to discuss recovery from lockdown and the fast-tracking of major infrastructure projects. Morrison will tour CSL’s Broadmeadows facility, which last week began manufacturing a coronavirus vaccine. The tour coincides with the announcement of a $1 billion deal to build a new vaccine manufacturing plant in the city to safeguard domestic production, although it will not be fully operational until 2026. Morrison and Andrews will also discuss the potential reopening of Victoria’s airports to repatriated Australians from overseas. It comes as the first Covid-19 outbreak in South Australia in months has prompted Western Australia to reimpose quarantine requirements on its eastern neighbour, just a day after opening its borders to most of Australia.
Sociologist Dr Samantha Crompvoets, the author of a secret 2016 report that sparked Australia’s biggest war crimes probe, has spoken out for the first time about her months of interviews with Australian special forces soldiers. Crompvoets told 60 Minutes and The Sydney Morning Herald that the interviews revealed a “killing as a sport” culture among those deployed in Afghanistan. Crompvoets said it was not isolated. “This is deliberate repeated patterns of behaviour,” she said. Crompvoets also learned some soldiers allegedly kept “kill boards” on their walls to keep tally of the number of people killed — including civilians and prisoners. The allegations come ahead of the release this week of a public summary of a report into war crime allegations levelled against Australian special forces soldiers.
Australia has joined with 15 countries in signing the largest free trade agreement in the world, covering 30 per cent of the global economy. The countries involved in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership are Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and the 10 members of ASEAN, including Indonesia and Vietnam. The United States did not join the agreement, in what analysts suggest is a coup for China’s influence in the region. In welcoming the deal, Trade Minister Simon Birmingham again voiced concern over China’s trading behaviour, urging Beijing to “focus on evidence” when making decisions about imports of Australian products. Australian Council of Trade Unions president Michele O’Neil said the Morrison government didn’t know if the deal would “create a single job in Australia” and called for an “independent assessment of the value of this deal for Australian workers”.
United States President Donald Trump appeared to briefly acknowledge he lost the election in a tweet attacking President-elect Joe Biden, before. “He won because the Election was Rigged,“ Trump tweeted. Shortly after however he followed up by tweeting that “He only won in the eyes of the FAKE NEWS MEDIA. I concede NOTHING!” It comes as several thousand supporters of President Donald Trump protested the election results in Washington DC and marched to the Supreme Court, after which clashes with counter-demonstrators led to fistfights, at least one stabbing and more than 20 arrests.