Indonesia earthquake tsunami
Indonesian rescuers try to free a 15-year-old earthquake survivor, Nurul Istikhomah from the flooded ruins of a collapsed house in Palu, Indonesia. Istikhamah has been trapped under water for two days. (Image: EPA/Arimacs Wilander)

INDONESIAN DEATH TOLL CLIMBS

The confirmed death toll from last Friday’s 7.5-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami across Indonesia has more than doubled to 832, with officials expecting it could continue climbing into the thousands.

The ABC reports that the affected area is bigger than the national disaster mitigation agency had initially believed and almost all the confirmed dead are from the city of Palu. People are still reportedly trapped in rubble across the city, while authorities continue to assess the town closest to the earthquake’s epicentre, Dongala. Food, water, fuel, medicine, tents and baby supplies have been listed as in short supply.

FRYDENBERG GOES SOFTLY, SOFTLY

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has expressed caution over implementing anti-business financial reforms following a scathing interim report from the banking royal commission. The Australian Financial Review ($) reports that Frydenberg wants to avoid new rules that could constrict lending, hurt the economy, or unintentionally eliminate smaller competitors and concentrate the big four banks’ dominance, and will instead continue pursuing cultural reforms and beefing up ASIC.

Elsewhere, the Sydney Morning Herald reports of a growing push to make banks fund legal aid for banking disputes, as well as details on a complex share trading tax scandal in Germany involving Macquarie Bank.

CRONK CRONK CRONK

Sydney Roosters starter Cooper Cronk has endured a broken scapula to help defeat the Melbourne Storm 21-6 and claim victory in the 2018 NRL grand final. The ABC reports that Cronk was only confirmed for last night’s game a little over an hour before kick-off, after sustaining the injury last week.

The game — which also made for a bittersweet farewell for Storm great Billy Slater — came after the Brisbane Broncos knocked out the (other) Sydney Roosters for the inaugural NRLW premiership, and the West Coast Eagles pipped Collingwood for the AFL premiership on Saturday. Elsewhere, Bernard Tomic has also won his first ATP event since 2015, knocking out Fabio Fognini 6-1 3-6 7-6 (9-7) to claim the Chengdu Open.

THEY REALLY SAID THAT?

SM: I think that the ABC needs to stop talking about itself and get back to work.

BC: We never stopped work.

Scott Morrison and Barrie Cassidy

The leader of a party that shut down Parliament and cancelled COAG over leadership squables gives the ABC’s Insiders host a proper talking to.

CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY

“As for Alberici, Milne, the government and News Corp lickspittles are continuing to peddle the claim that she made major errors in her company tax piece. The ABC has repeatedly acknowledged that the errors were introduced into her piece in the editing process. Milne last night went further and claimed there were ‘small disciplinary matters’ regarding her stories — a serious claim to make about any member of an organisation, and one that is utterly false.”

“Given what could modestly be described as trying circumstances, Dr Christine Blasey Ford strikes a remarkably bright, albeit nervous, presence. ‘I think I may need some caffeine after this,’ she tells the Senate Judiciary Committee, before reading a prepared statement detailing her sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.”

“Prime Minister Scott Morrison is, of course, a true blue Cronulla Sharks fan. But when it comes to the AFL, his loyalties are a little more questionable. Ahead of the AFL Grand Final, the PM announced he was backing ‘Perth’. We’ll give ScoMo the benefit of the doubt and assume he means the West Coast Eagles. But just weeks ago, Morrison appeared alongside Liberal MP Tim Wilson in a Melbourne Demons scarf.”

READ ALL ABOUT IT

Australia must demand Myanmar war crimes tribunal, says investigator

Scott Morrison: the buck stops with me on $443m reef grant ($)

Parliament to consider sweeping changes to the way ABC board members are picked

Collins-class subs poised to fill the gap left by construction delays ($)

PM claims Australia will meet Paris target ‘in a canter’ despite emissions climbing

Andrew Killey quits SA Tourism board after furore over liking ‘Greek crooks’ tweet ($)

About 1 in every 10 public sector jobs has disappeared ($)

Attorney-General under pressure over Family Court appointments

Hundreds of migrant children quietly moved to a tent camp on the Texas border

THE COMMENTARIAT

Jury still out: Does Scott Morrison love gays? — Michael Kirby (Sydney Morning Herald): “None of the members of the panel charged with reporting on the subject identified publicly as LGBTIQ. Most if not all of the members had known associations with Christian or Jewish religious traditions or beliefs. No committed rationalist, secularist or non-believer was involved. The lengthy delay in the publication of the panel’s report is of concern.”

Brexit breaks rules of European order rather than rule the waves ($) — Joschka Fischer (The Australian): “There are only a few months left until Britain formally exits the EU. So far, the debate about Brexit has been framed mainly in economic terms. Should the UK crash out of the bloc without a mutual exit agreement, the damage is likely to be significant. And, as matters stand, such an agreement is far from assured.”

Five years in Manus purgatory Behrouz Boochani (The Saturday Paper): “On many occasions the prison debilitates people like Shahed, leaving them utterly hopeless. It crushes and drives them to collapse. He was pushed to this point all of a sudden; he did not leave his room for a month and suffered from severe depression. He did not eat for a 10-day period. It was not as if he was on a hunger strike. No. He could not bring himself to eat.”

HOLD THE FRONT PAGE

The Latest Headlines

WHAT’S ON TODAY

Melbourne

  • Vietnamese Catholic asylum seeker Huyen Tran will face the Federal Circuit Court to argue that her initial International Treaties Obligation Assessment should be reviewed, amidst fears she will be separated from her baby Isabella and husband Paul Lee if deported. 

  • Historian Clare Wright will speak on her new book, You Daughters of Freedom: The Australians Who Won the Vote and Inspired the World, for a Victorian Women’s Trust in-conversation event with anthropologist Sally Warhaft.

  • Whittlesea Mayor Kris Pavlidis will provide a keynote address on the council’s Multicultural Action Plan (MAP) 2014-2018.

Sydney

  • Three key train lines will change as construction begins for the new metro rail.

Perth

  • Prime Minister Scott Morrison is expected to begin a three-day stint in WA.

Brisbane

  • Day one of Brisbane Fashion Month.

Hobart

  • Demonstrators will protest against Clarence City Council’s new bylaws, which reportedly allow the council to control public gatherings, protests and sports, and ban people from public spaces.

Victoria

  • Two police teams, led respectively by Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton and a Police Association of Victoria Secretary Wayne Gatt, will come together from Mallacootta and Mildura for the “Head to Head” walk, an initiative raising awareness and funds for former police officers’ mental health.

ACT, NSW, SA and QLD

  • Today is Labour Day for ACT, NSW and SA, and Queen’s Birthday public holiday for QLD.

Australia

  • Events will be held around Australia to launch Indigenous Business Month, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Seniors Week 2018 .

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Peter Fray
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