From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

 A Morrison abroad. We know Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has been in Cambodia to talk asylum seekers. This tidbit might tell you more …

“Scott Morrison is in Phnom Penh, and has just done a deal with minister of interior Sar Kheng to pay Cambodia $40 million in return for taking 100 refugees.”

We’ll wait and see if that’s correct. Your taxes at work: $400,000 to get rid of an asylum seeker. Such is the price of a life, apparently.

Refugee pub crawl, really? Queensland’s reputation as a conservative heartland looks set to continue if the social activities of the Sunshine State’s Young Liberal National Party are anything to go by. The next generation of Sir Johs are apparently holding an asylum-themed pub crawl along the Brisbane River to raise money for the Young LNP’s uni clubs. Highlights include  “breaching the sovereign borders of Fridays Riverside”, before “smuggling [their] way into the infamous QUT botanic bar” and “seek[ing] temporary protection at Irish Murphy’s.”

That Facebook event appears to have been deleted, and there’s no mention of the event on the official Young LNP website or Facebook page. It’s likely the event was created by an individual member of a Young LNP uni club who shared it with their contacts. Screenshots of the event are going viral on Twitter, where the Queensland Young Liberal president is staying quiet.

Anyway, if you’re in Brisbane and wanted to attend the event, remember you might not be allowed in because the Young LNP “will decide who comes to the the Rivercrawl and the circumstances in which they come”.

Better news for Barrett Brown. Finally some good, or at least less bad, news for journalist, online activist and occasional Crikey contributor Barrett Brown, who has been imprisoned in a Texas jail on federal charges for more than 18 months. This morning Wired reported that his legal team had reached a plea deal that means he will spend a maximum of five years in jail. He had been facing charges that potentially lead to over 100 years in prison in relation to sharing a link related to the hacking of the intelligence firm Stratfor.

In a major win for Brown and US journalism, prosecutors dropped the link-sharing charge against him. Brown, it seems, will now only be sentenced for activities that distracted prosecutors from tracking down the Stratfor hacker (another person, Jeremy Hammond, has been jailed for that) and hiding a laptop at his mother’s home to avoid an FBI search warrant. Bernard Keane (disclosure — Bernard is a supporter of Brown’s and a contributor to the Free Barrett Brown campaign) will keep Crikey readers posted as details become clearer. Stay tuned …

Ludlam is destroying the joint. There were some unhappy campers in the Destroy the Joint women’s collective after the site kind of endorsed the Greens’ Scott Ludlam for tomorrow’s WA Senate election. Yes that’s right; vote for a man! This from a disgruntled member:

“There are heaps of angry community members after the site endorsed a Senator for the Western Australian election, and it’s a bloke! They are now back-tracking by saying they planned a whole series of endorsements, but isn’t it ironic that they chose to endorse a man first, when there are other progressive women on the ballot. To make matters worse they are now censoring community members who disagree with the fact that they endorsed Scott Ludlam …”

We took a look and yes, yesterday the site ran a big plug for Ludlam ahead of the vote (it’s not exactly saying put him #1, but it’s very close):

This does strike Ms Tips as a bit odd because rival WA candidate Louise Pratt, from the ALP, has done a lot of work for women in the Senate and er, she is a woman in a Parliament dominated by men. There are plenty of comments on the post, with strong views on both sides. Quite a lot of men have posted on there in support of Ludlam. The group obviously thought twice, and this post went up this morning:

So that’s settled. May the best man or woman for women win, especially if it’s a woman. Right?

*Heard anything that might interest Crikey? Send your tips to [email protected] or use our guaranteed anonymous form

Peter Fray

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