Crikey Worm

Jun 15, 2018

Crikey Worm: ‘Mafia style’ plot at war crimes inquiry

Good morning, early birds. Witnesses at an Australian war crimes inquiry have been hit with blackmail and threats. Plus, Melbourne comedian Eurydice Dixon is remembered. It's the news you need to know, with Chris Woods.

Chris Woods — Freelance journalist

Chris Woods

Freelance journalist

Special Operations Command

THREATS AT WAR CRIMES INQUIRY

Witnesses at an inquiry into Australian war crimes have reportedly been hit by “mafia style” threats from suspected special forces soldiers.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that a member of the Special Air Service Regiment has become the second witness to be threatened for assisting a Defence inquiry. He was sent blackmail earlier this week over his testimony of an alleged execution of an Afghan detainee. The details of the threat and the fact its writer inferred the witnesses’ identity, despite it being protected under security laws, indicates it was “without doubt” prepared in conjunction with a serving or former regiment member.

MELBOURNE MOURNS EURYDICE DIXON

A 19-year-old man has been charged with the rape and murder of 22-year-old Melbourne comedian Eurydice Dixon, who was killed Tuesday night between the hours of 10.30pm and 3am near the inner-north’s Princes Park sporting precinct.

The ABC reports that Jaymes Todd faced Melbourne Magistrates Court yesterday, after he handed himself over to police and was arrested Wednesday night. Tributes to Dixon from friends, family and other comedians have begun pouring in over social media, and a fundraiser has been set up for her family.

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au. Lifeline on 13 11 14. In an emergency, call 000.

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SEE YOU IN THE NT

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has responded to criticism over his approach to the Northern Territory’s child protection crisis and planned a trip to the territory in early August.

Following yesterday’s rather scathing front page, The NT News ($) reports that Turnbull will also meet with Tennant Creek Mayor Steve Edgington, who has been dealing with fallout from the alleged rape of a two-year old, in Canberra on Monday. Turnbull has also responded to the publication’s criticism in an opinion piece ($).

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THEY REALLY SAID THAT?

What we don’t want is what you see in some European countries, where you start to get parallel communities emerge. Whereas in Australia, the secret to our success, I think is, we’ve largely had integrated communities, where people have blended together regardless of where they’ve come from and we want to make sure that continues. But central to that is a common language.

Alan Tudge

The Citizenship Minister taps into some good old White Australia-era discourse when arguing all aspiring permanent residents be subject to an English test.

CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY

“The government remains in denial about wage growth, with Pollyannaish budget forecasts that the RBA now appears to have no confidence in and, if pressed, an allusion to its trivial $10-a-week tax cuts (which are actually supposed to address bracket creep), not the years of poor wage outcomes most workers have endured. The Reserve Bank has been more forward on the issue, and yesterday governor Philip Lowe tackled the issue head-on with some comments that have gotten considerable attention.”

“During the period 1975 to May 2000, Australia did not have diplomatic relations with North Korea, although talks were held in 1979, and again in 1990, to re-establish diplomatic ties. This left the very few North Koreans who visited Australia, in a diplomatic no man’s land. I served as an MLC and eventual President of the NSW Legislative Council during this time. Here is my part of the strange story of North Korea’s chaotic and mostly secret relationship with Australia.”

“This week, video streaming colossus Netflix was beset by worldwide outages. The papers are calling this a mystery disappearance; I call it a clear case of over-demand. Of course Netflix servers broke during the Kim-Trump summit. Network TV gave itself over so fully that day to hours of saying nothing real or unexpected, fiction became our realistic choice.”

READ ALL ABOUT IT

Tasmanian Budget: economy entering ‘golden age’, but no new money to address homelessness

Thornlie house fire: four-year-old boy dies in hospital

Import push 2.5 years after massive export deal ‘either complete mismanagement or ploy to increase prices’ ($)

Women will be able to seek partner’s criminal history under SA trial of Clare’s Law ($)

Liberal conservatives in strike at Christopher Pyne ally Trish Worth ($)

Go cards a gold mine with $6.7 million reclaimed by TransLink

Performance artist Mike Parr starts his subterranean show for Dark Mofo ($)

Consumers more annoyed with their energy company than their banks and mobile providers

How the big Aussie banks are feeling the Fed squeeze ($)

New York sues Trump, alleging his charity engaged in ‘illegal conduct’

WHAT’S ON TODAY

Canberra

  • Voting will end for the election of Labor’s next federal president, Mark Butler vs Wayne Swan.

  • The Community Affairs Legislation Committee will report on provisions for the National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse.

Sydney

  • Day one of the Liberal Party’s two-day federal council meeting, with speakers set to include Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, premiers, parliamentary leaders and other Liberal delegates from all states and territories.

  • Defence Minister Marise Payne will announce the combined Australian Defence Force and RSL team of serving and former military members to represent Australia at the Invictus Games Sydney 2018.

  • Education Minister Simon Birmingham and Minister for Small and Family Business Craig Laundy will visit Rhodes Central Preschool Kindergarten to announce $11.8 million in funding to expand the English Learning Languages Australia program.

Hobart

  • Dark Mofo festival officially launches and will run until June 24.

Adelaide

  • American artist Laurie Anderson will present All the Things I Lost in the Flood as part of the Sia Furler Institute UniSA’s Creative Revolutionaries Series.

  • The Livestock and Rural Transporters Association of SA Inc will hold its 33rd Annual Conference over two days.

  • The French-Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry will hold the 2018 Schneider Electric Innovation Hub Business Forum.

  • Fifteen South Australian wineries and five South Australian food businesses will celebrate “Solstice. A Midwinter Cellar Door” at the former Royal Adelaide Hospital.

  • Day one of the three-day Adelaide Boat Show.

Melbourne

  • Final day of hearings for the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee will hear from Energy, Environment, Climate Change and Suburban Development Minister Lily D’Ambrosio.

  • The Heart of Variety Gala will bring together members of Melbourne’s entertainment industry to celebrate its history.

Brisbane

  • The Queensland Teachers’ Union will release polling data that shows state school funding as a crucial issue in the Longman byelection.

Darwin

  • Emeritus Professor David Carment AM will present a lunchtime talk on the formation of a “Territory identity” to commemorate the 40th anniversary of self-governance in the Northern Territory. 

  • The inaugural Spain Place Fiesta will raise funds for the Cancer Council NT World Walks for Cancer.

Perth

  • Ernie Dingo will present his talk “Chasing Horizons” at a HHGenXYZ Committee event.

  • Day one of the three-day EveryWoman Expo.

Cowra, NSW

  • Day one of the NSW Nationals’s two-day general conference, with speakers set to include federal leader Michael McCormack and state leader John Barilaro.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

  • Australian filmmaker James Ricketson will appear in a Phnom Penh court accused of spying.

Global

  • Today is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, with Australian events to include Age Discrimination Commissioner Dr Kay Patterson delivering the keynote speech at Adelaide’s elder abuse conference, and Victorian Parliamentary Secretary for Human Services Sharon Knight MP to speak at a breakfast in Melbourne.

  • Today is Eid al-Fitr, the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan 2018, although some groups such as the Queensland Imam Council have announced they will celebrate tomorrow, Saturday June 16.

THE COMMENTARIAT

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull writes: ‘I will always back Territorians to the hilt’ ($) — Malcolm Turnbull (The NT News): “Prime Ministers are often accused of neglecting one part of the country or another. That’s no surprise, especially in a nation as vast and wide as Australia. A free and robust press means publications like the NT News always fight hard for their communities. That’s a good thing, and no one does it better than this newspaper. But there’s one thing I simply will not cop — the suggestion that my government is neglecting the Territory.”

Everyone pays the energy price — David Crowe (Sydney Morning Herald): “Australians are learning daily of the full venality of a banking industry that has cheated customers, flouted regulators and created a market where nobody can be sure who is pocketing a hidden fee from their savings. The testimony at the banking royal commission has shamed an entire industry and jolted politicians into planning tougher measures, with a natural focus on one sector alone.”

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