MAY’S NEAR MISS
UK Prime Minister Theresa May has survived another no-confidence motion following yesterday’s historic defeat of her planned Brexit deal.
The Guardian reports that the no-confidence motion, issued by opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn, was narrowly voted down 325 to 306. With basically everything now up in the air and a new deal with the EU almost certainly impossible, the Commons Brexit committee has issued a report calling on MPs to be allowed to give indicative votes of which of the four basic options they wish to support: another vote on the draft deal, a no-deal Brexit, an attempt at renegotiation with the EU, or a second referendum.
AUSTRALIA SETS DEBT-TRAP
Former minister for international development and the Pacific senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells has slammed the Morrison government for pushing “debt-trap diplomacy” amongst small Pacific countries despite criticising China for the practice.
In the middle of Scott Morrison’s tour of Pacific nations, The Sydney Morning Herald and AAP report that Fierravanti-Wells has labelled the $2 billion Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility “disingenuous” and, in a corresponding op-ed, advocates instead for mobilising private-sector investments. Her comments come ahead of Morrison’s visit to Fiji today, where, amidst the Prakash citizenship fiasco, he will announce a series of “soft-power” initiatives ($) including low-skilled working visas, new research and drug testing ties and Australian media content.
CASH FOR LEAKS
Activists responsible for leaking explosive footage of animal abuse on live export ship Awassi Express reportedly offered ship workers payments of up to $1000 for filming heat stress and piles of dead sheep.
The Daily Telegraph ($) reports that Animals Australia were also forced to strongly discourage a potential whistleblower who had offered to cut off ventilation in order to further distress sheep. Whistleblower Fazal Ullah, who featured in the 60 Minutes expose on heat stress aboard the Emanuel Exports-owned ship, had also been disciplined in a prior case for alleged cruelty to animals.
THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
I know there are guidelines in place. And I can conceive of situations where … a news organisation has run through a red flag or something like that, knows that they’re putting out stuff that will hurt the country — there could be a situation where someone could be held in contempt.
William P. Barr
Donald Trump’s nominee for US attorney-general does not rule out jailing reporters for doing their job.
CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY
“It’s hard to get the image out of your mind — a fish head, completely washed up, dead and rotting away. Yes, it’s Theresa May again. She’s just suffered the worst defeat of a government in the history of the House of Commons. Her negotiated EU withdrawal plan went down 432-202 votes.”
“Extremist rallies, far-right organised groups and racist dog-whistling have been regular features of the news over summer (and, well, for more than a year). But what looks like a clear-cut case of racism to some is often described in the news with vague terms: ‘protests’, ‘activists’ or ‘extremist’.”
“Most people don’t think a lot about their ID, as it sits in their purses, back pockets and bottom drawers away from the realm of daily thought. And with good reason. It doesn’t often say much that we wouldn’t already be OK with the strangers around us knowing.”
READ ALL ABOUT IT
Renewables can lift world’s poorest millions out of poverty ($) — Lisa Singh (The Mercury): “About six years ago, six young Australians — Jamie, Monique, Ben, Katerina, Emma and Alexie — created a small start-up, Pollinate Energy, to replace India’s harmful kerosene lamps with a sustainable, solar energy solution. In the process, they have engaged more than 500 women; sold nearly 112,000 solar lamps; helped more than half a million people; serviced 1235 communities; and, astoundingly, saved 30 million litres of kerosene from being burnt — which would have produced about 65,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.”
Shorten will turn Australia into a high-tax paradise — and we will suffer ($) — Andrew Bragg (The Daily Telegraph): “The Coalition government is due to return Australia to surplus from next financial year. Despite the improving financial standing of the nation, the Labor Party proposes to hit the economy with $200 billion in new taxes. Labor will turn Australia into a high-tax paradise. There will be brand new taxes on houses, shares, superannuation funds and trusts, and there will be higher personal income taxes for millions.”
Love and hope can save young Aborigines in despair ($) — Belinda Duarte (The Australian): “In a week, five Aboriginal girls have taken their own lives — prompting a warning from one researcher that Indigenous children and young people could soon comprise half of all youth suicides. Researcher Gerry Georgatos says poverty is a major issue in suicide among young Indigenous Australians, but also that sexual predation is a factor in a third of cases. My heart breaks for these girls and their families and their unimaginable pain.”
HOLD THE FRONT PAGE
WHAT’S ON TODAY
A directions hearing will be held for actor Craig McLachlan’s defamation case against Fairfax, ABC and former co-star Christie Whelan Browne.
The Sydney Environment Institute will host a public policy roundtable on “Living with Water” at the University of Sydney, to feature representatives from the Housing for Health Incubator, North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency, the Environmental Defenders Office and others.
Broken Hill/Menindee, NSW
Greens senator and environmental engineer Dr Mehreen Faruqi will meet with locals over devastation in the Murray Darling system.
Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli will present at the University of South Australia on the human factors involved in spaceflight.
Scott Morrison will arrive in Fiji as part of his tour of the South Pacific.