Julian Assange
Julian Assange on a balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London (Image: AAP/Lloyd Jones)

ASSANGE SHOWN THE ECUA-DOOR

Julian Assange has been arrested by British police at the Ecuadorean embassy in London and has been found guilty of skipping bail. His arrest was made possible after his hosts revoked his seven-year asylum, paving the way for extradition to the United States. Ecuador’s President Lenín Moreno says Britain has pledged not to send Assange to a country where he could face the death penalty.

Assange now awaits sentencing, as well as fresh US charges of conspiracy to hack a computer. Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne has stated that Assange will receive continue receiving “the usual consular support”.

SUDAN’S MILITARY COUP

Sudan’s President of 30 years Omar al-Bashir has been toppled in a military coup following months of protests over December’s emergency austerity measures as well as sharp currency devaluation.

According to the BBC, defence minister Awad Ibn Ouf has announced that al-Bashir has been arrested and that the army will oversee a two-year transitional period, to be followed by elections, as well as a three-month state of emergency. The protests, which have overwhelmingly been led by Sudanese women and continue amidst calls for progressive reforms, saw a number of citizens killed in clashes with police throughout the week — among them Australian writer and engineer Yassmin Abdel-Magied’s cousin Ma’ab Hanafi.

POLL POSITIONS

Labor and the Coalition have hit the ground running after yesterday’s election announcement, with Josh Frydenberg unveiling 11th-hour Treasury costings of ALP tax policies, and The Sydney Morning Herald reporting that Bill Shorten is set to announce a $125 million injection into cancer research.

The New Daily reports that Frydenberg claims the Treasury figures show Labor plans $387 billion in new taxes over the decade. The figures have been slammed by Chris Bowen, who says that Treasury “has said repeatedly they don’t cost Labor’s policies”.

THEY REALLY SAID THAT?

Sunny’s come out again because what he wants to say to Scott Morrison is: adios amigo!

Helen Polley

The Labor senator for Tasmania whips out a sombrero in the first homemade video of the 2019 campaign. The hat, turns out, has a long, vaguely racist history.

CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY

Election battle will unfold amid smoking ruins of neoliberalism

“Australia, finally, will go to the polls on May 18, after Prime Minister Scott Morrison visited the governor-general this morning to call an end to the 45th parliament. And more than most elections, this one will be shaped by the parliament that preceded it.”


The smart money points to a Labor win, but Libs retain some hope

“In spite of everything, the Coalition appears to be entering the campaign for the May 18 election in a spirit that can at least be called hopeful, if not quite optimistic. Their reading of the situation is mirrored in the Labor camp, which is taking a conservative view — for a party that retains a clear edge in the polls — of what seats to target.”


The chaotic final days of the 45th parliament

Scott Morrison was touted to call the election on the weekend, but decided to keep the country waiting three more days, finally announcing a May 18 poll early this morning. A lot happened in those three days — in a burst of pre-election activity, the Coalition made a stack of new appointments to various roles in the public service and, after much infighting, brought the Adani mine slightly closer to being fully approved. But the last three days have also been chaotic enough that the Coalition may wish they’d gone into caretaker mode earlier.”

READ ALL ABOUT IT

Geoffrey Rush wins defamation case against Nationwide News, publisher of The Daily Telegraph

Israel Folau to be sacked by Rugby Australia over homophobic comments

Labor has a way to disrupt Adani, but has to keep Queenslanders happy

Phelps spruiks for patients as Sharma starts counting ($)

Zipline plan dumped for Mount Coot-tha, Brisbane council says

Police powerless to stop dealers exploiting drug loophole around injecting room

Victoria a step closer to Indigenous treaty with creation of First Peoples’ Assembly

The government has paid Hungry Jack’s at least $176,000 to take young interns

China’s coal industry lashes Australia for ‘irresponsible comments’

GOP Texas lawmaker reintroduces bill to allow death penalty for women who have abortions

THE COMMENTARIAT

Geoffrey Rush’s victory in his defamation case could have a chilling effect on the #MeToo movement — Karen O’Connell (The Conversation): “The Rush decision comes as the Australian #MeToo Movement seems to have gone quiet. The high-profile cases that arose in the year following #MeToo, which included allegations against television presenter Don Burke, actor Craig McLachlan and politicians Barnaby Joyce, Luke Foley and Jeremy Buckingham, have mostly faded from public view.”

Bill unlocking the Lodge as Lib luck runs out ($) — Graham Richardson (The Australian): “This time around, there is no really deep dislike of the Prime Minister. There does seem to be, however, a quiet determination to bring about change. The Malcolm Turnbull fiasco simply refuses to end. Anyone who thought the overthrow of Turnbull would end the vicious infighting among the Liberals just didn’t know the man.”

Both parties talk about fairness, until it comes to the unemployedWaleed Aly (The Sydney Morning Herald): “Sometimes the really important things in politics aren’t a matter of debate. Sometimes the fact there’s agreement is precisely what makes them important but because we so instinctively engage with politics on partisan terms we’re apt to underemphasise them. It’s as though the absence of conflict diverts our attention.”

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The Latest Headlines

WHAT’S ON TODAY

Canberra

  • Shadow Assistant Treasurer Dr Andrew Leigh will present on Labor tax avoidance policies in ‘Tax pirates and tax fairness’ at ANU.

Hobart

  • Professor Tilman Ruff, co-recipient of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the International Campaign Against Nuclear Weapons, will give a public presentation on Australia’s failure to support the International Nuclear Weapons ban treaty.

Melbourne

  • ‘Greypower’ activists will join the Kooyong Climate Change Alliance outside Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s office to protest the Coalition’s decision to approve the Adani coal mine’s groundwater management plans.

  • The Rail Freight Alliance will host the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail Symposium.

Brisbane

  • Opening night of the Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Festival, to run until Sunday.

Perth

  • The Department of Health WA will host a public consultation on voluntary assisted dying legislation at HBF Arena.