Trump Putin


US President Donald Trump has shocked many by seemingly backing Vladimir Putin‘s denial of Russian interference in the 2016 election, over reports from his own intelligence. According to The Age, Trump claimed the Russian president’s refusal of the claim was “extremely strong and powerful”. In a press conference following the meeting, Putin told journalists they should “trust no one” and “just disregard those issues and don’t think about this any more”.

In response to the news, former CIA director John Brennan has stated that Trump’s decision to back Russia was “nothing short of treasonous [and] rises to and exceeds the threshold of high crimes and misdemeanours”. This comes just days after the US Department of Justice charged 12 Russian intelligence officers with conducting cyber attacks on Democratic officials in the US election.


The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has called for new transmission lines, added storage capacity such as batteries and hydro-electric projects, and the operation of coal-fired power stations until the end of their life-cycles in a study of the next 20 years of Australia’s energy transition.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that AEMO’s Integrated System Plan, to be officially released later today by chief executive Audrey Zibelman, does not call for new coal projects but seeks to make the most of existing plants as Australia overhauls its grid. RenewEconomy also notes that the study predicts how, assuming a “neutral” scenario under existing federal and state policies, the lowest cost replacements for the coal generation expected to retire by 2040 will include a mixture of new solar, wind, storage, and flexible gas projects.


Jamaican sporting legend Usain Bolt is reportedly eyeing a career jump to the A-League. In news that genuinely sounds too good and implausible to be true, The Daily Telegraph ($) reports that the fastest man is history has entered advanced negotiations for a trial with the Central Coast Mariners, with the promise for a season-long contract if he passes the six-week audition.


I look at our marriage like The Sixth Sense. You were dead the whole time.

Demi Moore

The actor delivers a hell of a line to her ex-husband Bruce Willis, during his Comedy Central Roast.


Scott Morrison and the government are not merely shameless in their attacks on what’s left of the credibility of the public service, but now being deeply deceitful. The utterly inappropriate appointment of former Liberal Party staffer Phil Gaetjens to head Treasury, it turns out, was only the start.”

“Much has been written about the death of Sam Chisholm, 78, storied media executive who was head of Kerry Packer’s Channel 9 at its zenith, and sealed the dominance of Sky in the UK for Rupert Murdoch. But it was Chisholm’s role on the Telstra board where, instead of helping Australia’s media landscape adapt to the digital wave beginning to overwhelm it, he made sure it stayed exactly the same.”

Peter Dutton
Secret refugee deal with Taiwan puts people and diplomacy at riskLiberty Victoria’s Rights Advocacy Project

“What is shocking about the Australia-Taiwan arrangement is that in an attempt to prevent medical transfer to Australia, the government has secretly been transporting critically ill asylum seekers to a country with a poor record for protecting asylum seekers and refugees. What is more, the arrangement between Australia and Taiwan seems to acknowledge Taiwan as an independent state; the Migration Act provides that agreements of this kind can only be made with other countries.”


Shot fired at Wallaroo, police hunting armed offender ($)

Longman byelection: LNP candidate wrongly claimed military medal ($)

Drug treatment for ice addition to be trialled in Victoria and NSW

Naitanui floored as scans confirm ruptured ACL

Queensland MPs to be lobbied for their vote on abortion laws

Chief Minister Michael Gunner says inquiry into Australia’s population growth should look at ways to shift people to Northern Australia ($)

Support for DPP’s decision to appeal over penguin killer’s ‘manifestly inadequate’ sentence ($)

‘Start putting your money away’: IMF’s stark warning on Trump tariffs

Coalition’s power pricing policies finally gaining traction with voters ($)

‘Predatory habits’: US to ask Australia to help counter China



  • Day one of the ACTU’s two-day national congress, with speakers set to include ACTU Secretary Sally McManus, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, federal Labor leader Bill Shorten and film star and activist Danny Glover.

  • Author and Zero Waste advocate Bea Johnson will speak as part of her Australian tour.


  • The Australian Security Summit will feature speakers such as Department of Home Affairs Secretary Michael Pezzullo; Former Deputy National Security Adviser for UK’s Intelligence, Security, and Resilience Cabinet Office Paddy McGuinnes; Philippines National Defence Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana; and US Border Patrol Assistant Chief Patrick Stewart.


  • Bus drivers will enter their third day of industrial strike action from 9am-1pm.

  • National Rural Health Commissioner Professor Paul Worley will help open a one-day forum for all Victorian Rural and Regional public health service Chief Executive Officers.

  • An Australian launch event for Nature Sustainability, a cross-disciplinary publication on sustainability, will be held by Chief Editor Monica Contestabile and accompanied by a panel discussion.

  • Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria chief Paul Guerra will, amongst others, help launch the sale of tickets for The Royal Melbourne Show.


  • The Murray-Darling Basin royal commission will continue public hearings.


  • WA’s Minister for Child Protection, Women’s Interests, Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence, and Community Services Simone McGurk will help launch the Centre for Social Impact’s “100 Families WA project”.

  • Professor of Geology at Oklahoma State University and CTO for Aestus Todd Halihan will speak on “The Future of Water: Data or Instincts?” at Spacecubed.


  • Dean at Peking Univerisity’s National School of Development Professor Yang Yao will deliver “Will China Succeed in its Modernisation Bid?” at the UNSW Social Policy Research Centre.

  • Day one of the four-day Women in Strategy NSW Leadership Summit.

Devonport, Tasmania

  • Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne will visit local Tasmanian defence company, Delta Hydraulics.


The powerful combination that gives US the edge over China  Peter Hartcher (The Sydney Morning Herald): “When speaking of the future power balance in the Indo-Pacific, Hugh White likes to reduce all the complexities and debates to a single, simple chart. White, a prominent ANU professor of strategic studies, directs you to page 26 of the federal government’s white paper on foreign policy. There you’ll find the Australian Treasury’s projection of the size of the region’s economies a dozen years from now. Seven purple blobs represent the expected scale of seven regional economies. The chart foresees that America’s economy will have annual output of US$24 trillion ($32 trillion). Enormous, right?.”

Tough talk — Abul Rizvi (Inside Story): “In an ‘exclusive’ on the front page of Friday’s Australian, Simon Benson reports that migrant numbers for 2017-18 were 28,000 below the announced ceiling of 190,000. The reason: tougher vetting of visa applications. The fall ‘has been attributed to new integrity measures applied to the system following the discovery of a high number of fraudulent claims being made every year,’ says Benson. The measures resulted in ‘a 46% increase in visas being refused and a further 17% rise in applications being withdrawn due to greater scrutiny.’”


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