The Trans-Pacific Partnership has risen from the grave, with 11 nations reportedly agreeing to a deal that is expected to be signed in March.

Once championed by the United States and President Barack Obama, the agreement seemed doomed by the rise of Donald Trump, who pulled the US from the process. An attempt to revive a smaller deal was torpedoed by Canada during last year’s APEC meeting.

But now Japanese, Canadian and Australian officials have confirmed the deal is back on. While precise details remains scarce, it appears the new agreement will abolish tariffs on goods like wine, cotton wool, and seafood, and assist Australia by lowering Japanese beef protections.

Canada’s Trade Minister explained the change of heart by saying the new agreement had better protections and had eliminated troubling intellectual property components.

Australia’s Trade Minister Steve Ciobo said the deal would create jobs, he and blasted the Labor Party for declaring it to be “dead” last year.

The former deal had provoked substantial criticism on a number of fronts with the ability of corporations to take legal actions against nations that hurt their interests among the key concerns of opponents.


A film about a woman who falls in love with a sea creature has picked up 13 Academy Award nominations, leading the field for the 2018 Oscars.

Guillermo del Toro’s film The Shape of Water picked up the near-record number of nominations while fears of no female directors being nominated were allayed with Greta Gerwig getting a nod for her direction of Lady Bird.

Australian Margot Robbie has been nominated for best actress her role in I, Tonya.


With the prospect of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte staying on beyond his elected term raised by some of his allies in parliament, the hardline leader has a message for the country’s soldiers and police.

“If I wanted to overstay and become a dictator, shoot me,” Duterte said during a visit to an army base. “I am not joking.”

The President’s term is due to expire in 2022 and he is barred from running for re-election.


Rupert Murdoch’s Sky bid is not in public interest, says regulator

Lawyers, banks, universities slam ‘unjustifiable’ foreign influence plan ($)

Scathing audit questions tender process for Sydney’s $2bn container terminal

Nadal blames tour organisers for injury that cost him Australian Open chance

Germaine Greer criticises ‘whingeing’ #MeToo movement


Sydney: Business man and former Auburn deputy mayor Salim Mehajer will have his bail application dealt with by a Sydney court. He has been charged with perverting the course of justice and conspiracy to defraud.

Canberra: The High Court holds a directions hearing over the citizenship status of former NXT Senator Skye Kakoschke-Moore. She quite the Senate in November over her dual British citizenship but is now seeking to return.

Melbourne: The Victorian opposition will announce plans to review the state’s education system in a bid to put the issue on the agenda before the November state election. The review will be headed ($) by Jennifer Buckingham from the right-wing think tank the Centre for Independent Studies.

Melbourne: Lawyers for Cardinal George Pell return to court for an administrative update.

Canberra: Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt will watch the testing of a driverless car for the aged at the launch of a new network that will push for innovation in the sector.


Perhaps we’ve got problems as deep as the US — Belinda Duarte (Sydney Morning Hearld): “Aboriginal communities witness parties on this date as celebrating the crushing of their people and culture. That’s how it looks. That’s how it feels. That’s just a fact. If some Australians – even the Prime Minister – can’t show us the respect to acknowledge that, then they’re saying we don’t matter. If that’s the case, perhaps we’ve got problems as deep as those in the United States.”


Think tanks? More like stink tanks — Helen Razer: “It is no secret that the IPA exists largely to remind snobs in the Liberal Party to pronounce “von Mises” correctly. And McKell doesn’t conceal that its latest report was compiled with advice from Shadow Assistant Treasurer Andrew Leigh. Yet, these think tanks still manage to make the slight economic disagreement between Labor and the Libs, continued for decades, newsworthy.”

No togetherness in Frydenberg’s electric car dreams — Bernard Keane: “If you’re an ideological warrior — or in Kelly’s case, an ideological mule train driver — which way do you go? Dump the regressive fuel excise system that increasingly favours soy latte-sipping, Tesla-driving, inner-city elitists? Embrace road pricing that charges for every centimetre of urban and suburban road you use and double during peak hour? Or just try to ban or deter use of electric vehicles and hope the problem goes away?”

A brief professional history of Antony ‘The Cat’ Catalano — Emily Watkins: “April, 2010: The Weekly Review launches under Metro Media Publishing, fully owned by Catalano and real estate shareholders he negotiated with. The new publication threw Fairfax into a spin when real estate agents started defecting taking their advertising dollars with them. Crikey reported at the time that Fairfax dumped broadcaster and real estate doyen Tim Fletcher from its line-up when his firm moved its advertising to Catalano’s publication. The Australian reported in February, 2011 that he’d stripped $35 million worth of real estate advertising from the pages of The Age.