Royal
(Image: AAP/Steve Christo)

NAME OF THRONES

Meghan Markle has had a baby boy in an apparent home birth at Frogmore Cottage. In a post on their recently launched Instagram account, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced their son, currently known only as Baby Sussex, had been born in the early hours of Monday. A beaming Prince Harry fronted the media in the afternoon to say that they were still working on a name — according to The Sun, bookies are favouring Arthur, Albert, and Philip, extremely traditional names for an untraditional royal baby.

Harry, who was present for the birth, added that “I haven’t been at many births. This is definitely my first birth. It was amazing, absolutely incredible, and, as I said, I’m so incredibly proud of my wife… How any woman does what they do is beyond comprehension.”

Baby Sussex is seventh in line to the throne, behind Charles, William, William’s three children, and Harry himself.

MORRISON DEFENDS PREFERENCE DEALS

In a testy interview on 7.30 with Leigh Sales, Scott Morrison was forced to defend the Coalition’s preference deals with One Nation and Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party. On Palmer, Morrison claimed that it was more respectable than Labor’s preferencing of the Greens, telling Sales “Do I think the United Australia Party is a bigger risk to Australia’s jobs and economy than the Labor Party and the Greens? No.” On the Nationals’ deal with One Nation, Morrison said that was a matter for the Nats, claiming they were two separate parties (although as Peter van Onselen points out on Twitter, they are not).

Morrison was also forced to admit that the budget was still in deficit, contradicting the Liberals’ “back in black” pitch, and to address the fact that the Liberal launch in Melbourne this weekend will be short a few ex-PMs, with Tony Abbott busy defending his seat of Warringah and Malcolm Turnbull busy… being in New York. “It’s not going to be a party hoopla event,” he said.

KEATING THINGS UNDER CONTROL

Both Labor and the Liberals were busy yesterday dealing with/attempting to capitalise on former prime minister Paul Keating’s controversial comments at Labor’s campaign launch. In an opinionated interview, Keating told ABC24 hosts Andrew Probyn and Jane Norman that “the nutters are in charge” of Australia’s intelligence agencies, leading to overly hawkish policies on China, and calling on Bill Shorten to “clean them out.”

The Coalition yesterday described the comments as “appalling,” themselves calling on the Labor leader to disown him, according to the ABC. Shorten carefully repudiated the position of the “elder statesman,” saying that “for myself and for my opposition team, we’ve worked very well with the national security agencies. They know that and we know that. And we of course will continue to take the professional advice from the people who help keep Australians safe.”

THEY REALLY SAID THAT?

Here are my policies via the medium of interpretive dance.

Alex Dyson

Independent candidate for Wannon and former triple j host Alex Dyson shows off his political spin.

READ ALL ABOUT IT

Russian passenger plane lands in flames at Moscow airport, 41 confirmed dead

The Daily Telegraph appeals defamation case loss against Geoffrey Rush, claims judge appeared biased

Politicians hide in chained-up hotel as they plot to oust PNG’s Prime Minister

Coalition war chest topped up by Cormack Foundation ($)

‘Treated like a child’: nursing homes admit 112,000 cases of substandard care

Remote NT teachers say they will leave job after $24,000 cut to entitlements

Labor’s Bowen questions FIRB approval for Healthscope takeover

Coalition targets mobile blackspots ($)

Some WeChat anti-Labor ‘fake news’ posts  traced back to Liberal party members

‘No dirty little secret’: why more VCE students are shunning exams

ABC cuts ‘inevitable’ if Coalition returns to power, managing director warns

CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY

Labor goes for diversity over the coronation of King Bill

“Our economy is not working in the interests of working people,” Shorten said, correctly — the crucial Vic Fingerhut-derived framing of the economy for progressive parties. But judging by the polls, the broader sentiment of alienation remains beyond Labor’s efforts to capture despite a suite of policies intended to lift wages growth, give low-income households more cash in hand and make health and education services more accessible.”


The media needs to look beyond the big picture

“Elections were once painted by the press pack as the journalistic equivalent of David’s Napoleon Crossing the Alps. Look, there! See the leader on his high horse surmounting obstacles on the way to victory, with the press bus just behind, out of the picture. The media painted the grand narrative of an election. Now, there’s hardly a single election at all. Instead, we have a whole lot of elections going on at the same time and journalists are struggling to adapt. We need to be painting Bosch’s triptych The Garden of Earthly Delights — a complex portrait of small delights and despair.”


New ABC managing director will have to forge his own path

“Anderson was director of television and an executive at the public broadcaster under his former boss Mark Scott, and is said to be one of the former managing director’s proteges. His first order of business, though, will be to step out from Scott’s shadow and put forward a vision for the ABC, journalist and academic Margaret Simons told a Sydney Writers Festival audience on Saturday.”

THE COMMENTARIAT

The danger of Keating  ($) — Greg Sheridan (The Australian): “Paul Keating’s wild and dangerous remarks about our national security agencies represent the sad decline of a once great foreign policy prime minister. It is perhaps Keating’s first Clive Palmer moment. They also represent a big problem for Bill Shorten and a potential danger for Australia.”

Loss of biodiversity is just as catastrophic as climate changeRobert Watson (The Guardian): “Despite the profound threat of biodiversity loss, it is climate change that has long been considered the most pressing environmental concern. That changed this week in Paris, when representatives from 130 nations approved the most comprehensive assessment of global biodiversity ever undertaken.”

Every vote is sacred. Every vote is great. Make yours countJenna Price (The Age): “Voting is sacred, such a valuable act, by the people, for the people, yet far too many of us are throwing away our vote by voting early. According to the folks at the Australian Electoral Commission, our pre-poll voting is at record highs. Well over half a million people have already voted at booths across the country and that’s nearly double the number of those who pre-polled at the same stage for the 2016 election.”

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The Latest Headlines

WHAT’S ON TODAY

Adelaide

  • A protest will be held at Port Adelaide to try to save the historic Shed 26, due to be demolished by developers this week after the state government opted not to protect it in the South Australian Heritage Register.

Sydney

  • Former NSW premier Barry O’Farrell will join Liberal candidate for Reid Fiona Martin at a press conference at Concord Oval, after she was allegedly accosted by a Labor volunteer yesterday.

  • The Special Commission of Inquiry into the Drug ‘Ice’ will begin four days of public hearings.

  • Students and community activists will protest Mark Latham and One Nation on the first sitting day of NSW Parliament.

Brisbane

  • Horizon Housing will release a housing affordability report, focusing on the housing needs and challenges of older people living in rural Australian communities.

Tasmania

  • Tasmanian Nationals Senator Steve Martin, Braddon candidate Sally Milbourne and West Coast Mayor Phil Vickers will make an election commitment at the West Coast Heritage Centre.

Melbourne

  • Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine will deliver a state-of-the-nation report ahead of the federal election, revealing that the electorate is more “polarised” than any since 1949.

  • The Supreme Court will hand down a judgment in the Falls Festival crush case which saw 70 people injured in a stampede in December 2016. Lawyers have argued that festival organisers scheduled events that would involve large numbers of people moving quickly between venues and failed to accommodate for that movement.

Canberra

  • The Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove will bestow Orders of Australia upon members of the band Human Nature.