Aretha Franklin


Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, has died of advanced pancreatic cancer at the age of 76. According to the ABC, Franklin’s publicist has confirmed she died Thursday at 9.50am (local time) at her home in Detroit surrounded by family and loved ones.

Franklin was a civil rights icon, became the first female performer inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, and is perhaps best known for hits such as ‘(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman’, ‘Respect’, ‘I Say A Little Prayer’, ‘Chain of Fools’, ‘Think’.


The first day of Australian filmmaker James Ricketson‘s espionage trial in Cambodia has seen judges grill character witness and director Peter Weir over the accused spy’s finances and connection to the Australian government. The ABC reports that Ricketson faces a stunning ten years in prison for flying a photographic drone over a political rally in Phnom Penh 14 months ago.

While the prosecution is yet to provide evidence that this constituted a threat to Cambodia’s national security, Weir opened the door to accusations of political affiliations by revealing that Ricketson has in the past received grants from “the government” through the the Australian Film Commission. Weir reportedly threw his hands up following repeated questions over the total sum of this money, declaring “I’m not his keeper; I’m his friend”.


The Commonwealth Bank is under fire today for a continued denial of responsibility and refusal to compensate victims of a $76 million loan fraud that saw perpetrators sentenced to a decade in jail yesterday.

Fairfax reports that poker player Bill Jordanou and accountant Robert Zaia have been sentenced to 12 and 10 years respectively for setting up loans in customers’ names using fake documents with the alleged help of Commonwealth loan managers between 2004 and 2011. The con, described by County Court Judge Paul Lacava as one of the “largest frauds to appear before a court in this state”, saw more than $58 million in dodgy loans approved by the CBA and reportedly left up to a dozen people homeless.


There are only two good outcomes here — either the energy policy is dead and we can go to the election fighting Labor on it, or Malcolm goes.

An anonymous Coalition MP

Grumblings over the National Energy Guarantee have seen some unnamed, if likely “Monash Forum” affiliated, Member of Parliament tell the Daily Telegraph ($) that Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton should replace Malcolm Turnbull as Prime Minister.


“When Fairfax published its extraordinary investigation into decorated soldier and Seven West executive Ben Roberts-Smith on Friday, the response from both Roberts-Smith and Fairfax’s main competitor The Australian was swift. News Corp’s Weekend Australian nabbed a sit-down interview for its Saturday front page, countering the front-page story running the same day on the front pages of The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

“Suitably goaded by Queensland senator Oswald Mosley, the governing class delivered exactly what he craved yesterday by not merely condemning his deliberately provocative use of Holocaust imagery and lauding of the White Australia Policy but turning it into an elaborate moment of political theatre, featuring that rare political beast, cross-party unity.”

“Notwithstanding public claims by very literate participant Benjamin Law that this show is not pornography, this show is pornography. It seeks to arouse a physical feeling in viewers which it then relieves. Yes, I found make-believe congress between celebrity and hardship momentarily satisfying, but I’m embarrassed to admit I enjoyed it. Here’s a tissue. Mop it up.”


Plunge in number of Chinese residents granted Australian citizenship

Home Affairs: let us recruit more staff

‘I was in tears’: patients line corridors of Royal Darwin Hospital with no beds to house them ($)

Senate bid to block reduction of national marine park protection fails

Malcolm Turnbull wields the big stick to save NEG ($)

‘Twiggy’ recruits World Rugby deputy to head mining push in Argentina

Richard Howard denies writing ‘final solution’ into Fraser Anning speech ($)

‘Kick in the guts’: employers cry foul over casual truck driver’s win

$170k of renovations billed to public purse: staggering corruption unveiled within WA Health



  • The Senate Select Committee on Electric Vehicles will hold a hearing into the use and manufacture of electric vehicles in Australia.

  • RBA Governor Dr Philip Lowe will make his bi-annual appearance before the The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics.

  • Day one of the Nationals’ two-day annual federal council meeting. Leader Michael McCormack is expected to make an address tomorrow.

  • Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove, former Vietnam veteran commander Dave Sabben, and others will attend an event for the Long Tan cross going on permanent display at the War Memorial to commemorate the 52nd anniversary of the Vietnam War battle.

  • The Festival of Ambitious Ideas will hold a “Female Innovators” event featuring local CEOs, founders, inventors and innovators.


  • Australia’s regulators will face questioning at the final day of banking royal commission’s superannuation hearing. Deputy chairs of both APRA and ASIC are set to appear.

  • Founding co-chair of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize-winning International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons Dr Tilman Ruff AM will give the 2018 Deakin Oration at Parliament House.

  • Astronomy Professor Alan Duffy will host national maths careers event “Choose Maths Careers Day” to be livestreamed on Facebook to give regional students access.

  • Day one of the three-day National 4×4 Outdoors Show, Fishing and Boating Expo.

  • A new ad campaign developed by Anglican Bishop Philip Huggins and filmmaker Richard Keddie will be launched on Twitter and Facebook demonstrating how South-Sudanese Australians are being racially vilified.

  • New York-based artist Emily Johnson will present the surveillance-themed story Blackfish as part of the MEL&NYC festival.

Torquay, Victoria

  • Premier Daniel Andrews, State Opposition Leader Matthew Guy and Victorian Greens Leader Samantha Ratnam will address the annual G21 Stakeholder Forum in Geelong in the lead-up to the November state election. Other speakers will include journalist Dr Julia Baird, Deakin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Jane den Hollander, and Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council chair Eleanor Bourke

Oakey, Queensland

  • A parliamentary committee will hold a public hearing on the Commonwealth government’s response to and management of PFAS contamination in and around Defence bases. The Sub-Committee will meet with residents and representatives from interested organisations at the public hearing.


  • Angela Williamson, who was sacked by Cricket Australia for criticising the Tasmanian government’s lack of abortion services via social media, will make her case against CA at the Fair Work Commission.

  • The University of Tasmania’s Asia Institute will host three Malaysian scholars for a seminar on “Voting Patterns in the 2018 Malaysian General Elections”.

  • Author Lian Tanner will help launch CBCA Children’s Book Week 2018.


  • Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles will open a new $5 million private day hospital in North Lakes.

  • Children’s Book Council of Australia will announce the 2018 Book of the Year Awards at the State Library of Queensland, ahead of the start of Children’s Book Week (August 18-24).

  • The Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine will host “Brain & Biome”, a seminar hosted by Catalyst‘s Dr Joanna McMillan featuring experts in neuroscience, psychoneuroendocrinology, nutrigenomics, positive psychology and microbiology.

  • Author Angela Slatter will speak at an in-conversation event held as part of the Lord Mayor’s Writers in Residence series.


  • Defence Minister Marise Payne will announce the handover of the P-8A Poseidon simulator and other training systems to the Royal Australian Air Force.

  • Columnist Bernard Salt will speak at a Property Council event.

  • Soho Coffee Roasters will host the South Australian Regional Championships 2018.


  • First Nations leaders Senator Pat Dodson and director of New Caledonia’s Tjibaou Cultural Centre Emmanuel Thuay Tjibaou will speak in response to dance theatre Marrugeku’s latest production Le Dernier Appel (The Last Cry).

  • The University of Sydney will host a symposium reporting on research in Fiji and Papua New Guinea funded by the Australian Research Council, including two documentary films, and concluding with a book launch for The Moral Economy of Mobile Phones: Pacific Perspectives.

  • Centennial Parklands will hold an “Astronomy in the Park” event for National Science Week.


  • Melbourne-based theatre company Barking Spider Visual Theatre will perform shadow puppetry installation Megafauna: In The Shadow Of Great Beasts at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory as part of National Science Week 2018. Other events will include a solar power workshop.

  • Hip-hop crews from two Indigenous-owned music labels — RPM (Canada) and Bad Apples (Australia) — will come together for a unique Darwin Festival event.


  • NASA scientists Alexandre M. Kling and Megan Shabram will discuss their work investigating conditions for the emergence of life and habitable planets beyond our solar system as part of National Science Week 2018.

  • The Western Australian Aboriginal Leadership Institute will host a “Because of Her, We Can” event celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, set to include speeches, performances from Christine Anu, Gina Williams and The Merindas, and a runway show with international model Samantha Harris.

  • Day one of the three-day Perth Craft Beer Festival 2018.

Bendigo, Victoria

  • Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford will officially launch the Electronic National Livestock Identification Systems (NLIS) (Sheep & Goats) and equipment at Bendigo Livestock Exchange.


  • Today marks the first anniversary of the 2017 Barcelona terror attack.


‘Mean, suspicious’: policy speeds up eviction of ‘problem’ tenantsNigel Gladstone (Sydney Morning Herald): “New ‘mean and suspicious’ laws to force ‘problem’ tenants in public housing to pay a bond and a ‘three strikes’ policy to speed up evictions for those who commit fraud will push more people into homelessness, advocates and experts say.”

Casuals decision sure to embolden the labour movement ($) — Ewan Hannan (The Australian): “Yesterday’s ruling was a significant victory for unions and, in simple non-legalistic terms, means that casuals are entitled to paid leave if they work in ongoing regular arrangements. Much to the alarm of employers, it opens the way for casual workers to make claims for unpaid leave entitlements.”

Journalists are not the enemyThe Editorial Board (The Boston Globe): “A central pillar of President Trump’s politics is a sustained assault on the free press. Journalists are not classified as fellow Americans, but rather ‘The enemy of the people’. This relentless assault on the free press has dangerous consequences. We asked editorial boards from around the country — liberal and conservative, large and small — to join us today to address this fundamental threat in their own words.”


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Peter Fray
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