Robert Mueller russia report William Barr contempt
Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller


The US House Judiciary Committee has this morning voted to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of congress over a subpoena relating to his handling of last month’s Mueller report.

In ongoing breaking news, The Guardian reports committee chairman Jerry Nadler as saying that “No person — and certainly not the top law enforcement officer in the country — can be permitted to flout the will of congress and to defy a valid subpoena.” CNN reports that the vote signals the first time that the Democrats have moved to punish one of President Donald Trump’s administration officials, and will be seen as a significant escalation of tensions with the White House.

The contempt resolution will now move to the full House of Representatives for consideration by lawmakers. – Jack Vening


Scott Morrison and Bill Shorten last night faced off in the third and final debate of the 2019 election campaign, in an event that reportedly lacked a clear winner.

The debate saw Morrison again push Shorten for costings on his policies, which the opposition leader confirmed would be released in full on Friday, and the two sparring over negative gearing and ministerial appointments.

While commentators noted that the debate saw several heated moments — most of which came in the final 10 minutes, after many viewers had already switched off — no definitive winner emerged. The Age gave the debate to Shorten, while a panel of political journalists at The Australian ($) also leaned towards Shorten, though agreed that there was no “killer blow” ($). 



News Corp has allegedly kicked an “own goal” after yesterday’s news cycle was dominated by The Daily Telegraph’s “Mother of Invention ($) hit piece and Bill Shorten’s tearful response. After the paper accused Shorten of being “slipshod” and “slippery” in omitting details of his mother’s story on Monday’s episode of Q&A, Shorten hit back, first on Twitter, then in an emotionally-charged press conference, accusing the paper of “playing gotcha shit” with his life story.

The response garnered widespread support in what a Sydney Morning Herald editorial called an “own goal” for News Corp, as Australians took to Twitter to share stories of their own mothers’ sacrifices.

It’s not over yet. The Age reports on its front page today that Labor is “bracing for an escalating assault from News Corp”, with senior party figures making explicit links between the attempted hit piece, Labor’s proposed tax laws, and News Corp’s dealings in the Cayman Islands.


Dear Mister @billshortenmp, I feel the occasion is imminent for a renewal of our acquaintanceship.

If you win will there be an opening for Australia’s High Commissionaire to Singapore?

Lee Lin Chin

The veteran broadcaster backs Bill Shorten in the wake of a new swell of support for the opposition leader.


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How Sky News Business met its messy end

“The collapse of Your Money means that Australia no longer has a specialist business-skewing TV channel. It completes the long list of failures by commercial TV to make the concept work. In a country with one of the largest superannuation investment pools in the world (around $2.8 trillion), close to $600 billion in self-managed super funds and dividend imputation (which is a big issue in this election campaign), a specialist business TV channel or programs should have been a dead cert. Lots of money, huge advertisers, big names, and yet there is a long line of failures in the last three decades.”

Pre-polling disrupts more than just the theatre of election night

“The implications of this can go beyond the simple matter of the theatre of election night. Whether one leader or another is decisively able to claim victory before the networks close shop can have a material impact on the public’s perception of the strength of their mandate and authority in office.”

Does Australia really have a ‘green tape’ crisis?

“So foreign mining companies and independent analysts say Australia doesn’t have a problem with regulation compared to other jurisdictions, the government itself says we’re a great destination for investment, and the government’s own report says we are failing to even stabilise biodiversity loss let along improve it under existing laws. Still: there’s too much “green tape”, Morrison insists. This is despite peer-reviewed evidence of an accelerating global crisis around human impact on the environment — on which nothing has been heard by alleged Environment Minister Melissa Price, who has been invisible since signing off on the Adani Carmichael project right before caretaker period commenced.”


Hordes of women, like Bill Shorten’s mum, had to delay a dream   Jenna Price (The Sydney Morning Herald): “There are armies of women who delayed their dreams and desires. They wanted to be doctors and lawyers and scientists but the world didn’t let them. It was about money, about opportunity, maybe about being a girl. They’d be in their seventies, eighties, nineties now and like many women of that generation, they went on to have children of their own. And they nagged the living daylights out of them to get the education and the careers they couldn’t have, to fulfil the ambition denied. Even Bill Shorten admits his mother nagged him.”

I Understand Shorten’s AngerAndrew Bolt (Herald Sun): “Bill Shorten is livid about the Daily Telegraph’s front page today. Despite being a Telegraph columnist, I must say this: Shorten spoke truly when he said his mother sacrificed her dream to be a lawyer, taking up teaching to help her siblings. There is no invention here. That she decades later, after a great career teaching, finally realised her dream has been well-reported and does not negate at all her admirable sacrifice. I note that the Herald Sun, my employer, chose not to run this story. I support that decision.”

Why this was the most compelling moment of this election campaignDavid Crowe (Sydney Morning Herald): “Shorten and his colleagues are right to respond to The Daily Telegraph with derision. The way they hit back at the newspaper’s publisher, News Corp Australia, is a sign of the way they will pursue their opponents if they win power on May 18. Labor calculates that the power of Rupert Murdoch’s media company has waned in the age of social media. Labor also demonstrates that it is not shy of a fight with The Daily Telegraph, the newspaper regarded as the “muscle” when News wants to take a hard line against a politician or political party. That makes this election a test of whether The Daily Telegraph has the power it thinks it has, or whether it is as delusional about that as it is about the sacrifices women made in the 1950s.”


The Latest Headlines



  • The Conversation will host Advancing Australia: Ideas for a Better Country, a discussion addressing Australia’s key issues, in one of a series of live events launching its book of the same name.

  • The Health Performance Council will host the Aboriginal Leaders’ Forum, part of a series of twice-yearly meetings focusing on population health and well-being.


  • The MEAA will host the 2019 Tasmania Media Awards.

Cressy, Victoria

  • Senators Steve Martin and Jonathon Duniam will announce a Liberal-National meat processing pledge.


  • The Western Australian Government will release its third state budget, with a quicker than forecast surplus expected.


  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander drag entertainers will compete for Miss Photogenic ahead of Saturday’s Miss First Nations final, as part of the Yirramboi First Nations festival.

  • The Department of Health and Human Services will host a Victorian Voluntary Assisted Dying Implementation Conference, ahead of the implementation of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2017.


  • The NSW Australian Football History Society, in conjunction with AFL NSW/ACT, will announce “the greatest NSW team of all time,” naming the top 22 players and coach from the state’s history.


  • A court hearing on a US company suing an Australian company over the use of the trademarked term Ugg boot is expected to wrap up in Chicago.