Andrew Hastie Beijing Yang Hengjun
Liberal MP Andrew Hastie (Image: AAP/Lukas Coch)


China’s detention of Chinese-Australian writer Yang Hengjun has triggered a diplomatic crisis, with a spokeswoman for China’s Foreign Ministry yesterday accusing him of endangering state security, while Liberal MP Andrew Hastie slammed the arrest as an attempt to “coerce” the Chinese diaspora.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Hastie also speculated that Yang, a democracy advocate and former Chinese diplomat, is being detained for geopolitical reasons and cited the similar detention of two Canadians and death sentence imposed on a third. His comments come as Defence ­Minister Christopher Pyne visits Beijing. Elsewhere, in a separate but related case, Thailand’s ambassador to Australia has given a “be patient” response to the now 60-day detention of Bahraini soccer player and Australia-based refugee Hakeem Al-Araibi.


Adelaide has broken a decade-old Melbourne record to officially become Australia’s hottest capital city at 46.6 degrees, as record high temperatures across the south east force temporary state-owned diesel power generators to be turned on for the first time.

According to the ABC, BoM reports that records were broken at 16 locations and counting across South Australia, with the town of Ceduna hitting 48.6 degrees to set a record for the second day in a row. Increased demand, plus the partial shutdown of two coal generators, led to blackouts across both Melbourne and Adelaide ($)SA’s reserve generators to be switched on, and the Australian Energy Market Operator asking businesses and households across Victoria to collectively decrease usage by 400 megawatts.


Wheelchair tennis stars Dylan Alcott and Heath Davidson have won their second straight Australian Open championship, taking out the quad doubles final in a four-set win over American David Wagner and Brit Andrew Lapthorne.

The New Daily reports that, after battling Melbourne’s horrific weather for a 6-3 6-7 (8-6) 12-10 victory yesterday, the two players could end up battling each other in Saturday’s quad singles final. Their victory comes as Czech Republic’s Petra Kvitová and Japan’s Naomi Osaka prepare to face off in tomorrow’s women’s final, after respectively beating American Danielle Collins and Czech Karolina Pliskova yesterday. Rafael Nadal will play either Novak Djokovic or France’s Lucas Pouille after breaking Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas last night.


I have been alarmed by your prime minister’s record on LGBTQ rights, which seems backward in all senses … That no-one can be expelled from school for their orientation should not require clarification. A government should protect its people, not make it unclear whether they will be accepted.

Anna Wintour

In slamming both Scott Morrison and Margaret Court, the visiting tennis fan and Vogue editor-in-chief gains both some unexpected support ($) from Julie Bishop and an entirely expected rebuke from Tony Abbott.


Mundine faces the perilous path of the Indigenous conservative

“Right-wing commentators often — and correctly — call out the bigotry of the left toward Indigenous leaders and activists who dare to step outside progressive orthodoxy, and the ready resort to epithets such as ‘Uncle Tom’ by both Indigenous and white progressives. Mundine himself has been — and still is, even now on Twitter — the target of such racist name-calling. It’s a not-so-subtle way of telling Indigenous people that their ideological and political choices will be policed in a way that non-Indigenous Australians rarely face.”

What we lose with the decline of mainstream science journalists

“Specialist reporting has been one of the most significant casualties in an increasingly fragmented news media market. Few Australian news outlets have dedicated science reporters anymore, leaving general reporters to cover science and health news. Experts say that the lack of knowledge makes it easier for denialist theories and bad science to make it into the news pages.”

Scott Morrison, a leader utterly out of touch with history

“I suspect it’s because there’s nothing much to Cook’s encounter with Australia. The three voyages themselves, taken together, are a pretty stunning human achievement whatever unpleasantness there was along the way. The Australian stopover? Came, saw, went. Not the Odyssey, nor the Mayflower, nor the legendary voyage of Kupe to found Aotearoa. Just a stop along the way. But Cook is someone the culture warriors default to, as the First Fleet arrival becomes increasingly hard to sell as a moment of enlightenment.”


Auditors ‘compromised’ by providing consulting work: ASIC ($)

Majority of companies with access to electoral roll are global marketing firms

Parliamentary Budget Office tips Victoria’s debt will soar as Labor spends up after election victory ($)

Labor plans crackdown on unfair contracts between businesses

Murray-Darling fish kill: extreme weather and low river flow led to drop in oxygen levels

LNP candidate quits just months before election ($)

Warren Mundine denies hitting ex-wife after marriage breakdown

BuzzFeed to lay off 200 staff in latest round of cuts

Angel Flight charity: Air overhaul may leave patients stranded ($)

Indonesian floods and landslides leave 30 dead and 25 missing, disaster agency says


Giving Indigenous youth a voice that counts might help save lives ($) — Ken Wyatt (The Australian): “I suspect that if these were non-­Aboriginal kids dying in affluent suburbs, the public outrage and media coverage would be far greater. But the scale of this tra­gedy will not be found in those areas because it is born of many factors far less common in average Australia.”

Chris Bowen must prevent Labor spending spree ($) — John Kehoe (Australian Financial Review): “If Labor wins the federal election one of his big tasks won’t only be confronting global economic ‘storm clouds’ the Morrison government is warning of and Bowen wants to build a fiscal ‘buffer’ against. Bowen must also prevent a spendathon by colleagues who will be dreaming of ways to redistribute the $280 billion in extra tax revenue Labor is projected to raise over a decade.”

26 other shitty things we have to survive in January….Angelina Hurley and Dr Chelsea Bond or “The Wild Black Women” (IndigenousX): “Caleb Bond – When Black experts can’t even be called on to comment on Black issues, it is difficult enough accepting that this kid has a regular platform on stuff he knows nothing about. But January this lad gave us toxic femininity – defined by him as expecting fathers to hold a job and shit.”


The Latest Headlines



  • The 2019 Australian of the Year, Young AOTY, Senior AOTY and Local Hero will be announced.


  • Senior NSW Labor figures will meet with grieving mother Adriana Buccianti, whose petition calling for pill testing has surpassed 100,000 signatures, on the steps of NSW Parliament.

  • A vigil will be held overnight at Barangaroo Reserve to reflect on the impact of colonisation in Australia, the significance of the day before the First Fleet arrived, and what happened after.

  • A joint media conference will be held with BoM and NSW Health regarding returning heatwave conditions on Australia Day in NSW & ACT.


  • A hearing will be held in the Brisbane Magistrates Court relating to ASIC charges against Clive Palmer and Palmer Leisure Coolum Pty Ltd.

Lexton, Victoria

  • Day one of the Rainbow Serpent festival, to run until Monday January 28.