Robert Mueller has answered questions about his investigation into Russian interference publicly for the first time, reiterating that his report did not exonerate President Donald Trump, The Age reports. In his testimony Mueller mostly stuck to the script, but did tell Democrat Sean Maloney that he didn’t subpoena Trump for an interview “because of the necessity of expediting” the investigation. He argued that the president would have fought against it, in what Axios notes is new information.
Mueller initially said he would have sought to indict Trump were it not for a justice department policy against charging a sitting president, but later confirmed he “did not reach a determination as to whether the president committed a crime”.
New MPs have used their maiden speeches to pointed effect. New Liberal senator Andrew Bragg suggested superannuation be scrapped for workers earning less than $50,000 (and potentially made voluntary for all), defying Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s request for Coalition MPs to toe the party line. He also voiced support for a constitutionally-enshrined Indigenous voice to parliament.
Wentworth MP Dave Sharma gave a speech on the nation’s foreign policy challenges, saying Australians will soon discover “our strategic holiday is over”, with the United States’ power now in decline, The Sydney Morning Herald reports. Labor’s Peta Murphy, who recently learned her cancer had returned, used her maiden speech to urge Australian women to “check your breasts”, The Age reports.
GLOBAL WARMING CONSENSUS
New studies have revealed current temperature rises are unprecedented, dismissing theories of similarly dramatic peaks and troughs in the past during the “Little Ice Age” and the “Medieval Climate Anomaly”, The Guardian reports.
Three new studies, published in Nature and Nature Geoscience, used historical data to show that today’s temperature changes are faster and more extensive than at any point in the last 2,000 years. Proxy records of previous temperature changes indicate that none of these shifts took place in more than half the globe at any one time.
Experts say scientific consensus that humans are causing global warming is now higher than 99%.
THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
Perhaps I could just finish my exchange with him by saying this: as a party leader who has accepted when her time was up, perhaps the time is now for him to do the same.
The outgoing UK prime minister uses her resignation speech to suggest Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn deliver one of his own.
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CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY
“Abdul arrived in Australia alone, an Afghan teenager seeking asylum in 2013, as a 17-year-old unaccompanied minor, via Pakistan and Indonesia. Assessed as vulnerable young person, Abdul was released into the community. Lawyers told me that aged about 19, Abdul was convicted of car theft. Abdul subsequently served four months in a low-security facility and when his bridging visa was cancelled in 2017, he was put back into immigration detention. Abdul hadn’t told his few friends in the community that he was in detention. One shows me screenshots of their conversations to prove it. ‘See? But he could have told me, I was put in detention when I first got here.’”
“This is not the same as US or European populism; a Boris Johnson mass rally would collapse in the middle like a wedding marquee in the rain. By actually becoming an entertainer who happened to be an MP — like the new Ukrainian president, but in exact reverse — Boris has been able to create a force-field in which he is not only rewarded for lying, but doubly so for being caught lying. Anti-Muslim or anti-working class slurs become part of an act, like a beloved ’70s sitcom you can’t watch anymore because PC gone mad. For his faithful, he is a pure value, simply by being himself. Nothing, to date, that he actually did, detracted from it.”
“While Sydney retains its lead in the high institutional culture of opera, Melbourne leads the nation in the domains of food and street art and live music. How did the dowdy, drear, suburban Melbourne of the 1990s turn itself around, leaving Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane in its dust, and challenging Sydney for the title of Australia’s boldest city? Part of the answer is that it simply decided to. In the early 2000s, the state government of Victoria embraced the idea of Melbourne as a creative city. The academic influence of urbanist Professor Richard Florida was in ascendance, and his ideas about the economic power of the “creative class” were heard in the offices of premier Steve Bracks.”
My salute to a Liberal who is hearing our Indigenous voice – Rachel Perkins (The Age/Sydney Morning Herald): “Like my father, Charlie Perkins, and generations of Indigenous activists, I continue to pursue recognition of the dispossession of our ancestors and justice for their descendants. I have had to come to understand that, although constitutional recognition is vital for overcoming this sense of estrangement that continues to be experienced by the descendants of Australia’s dispossessed peoples, we need to be pragmatic about how we achieve this.”
The attacks on Bob Brown for opposing a windfarm are exhausting and hypocritical – Richard Denniss (The Guardian): “For decades, conservative strategists have painted those who take the science of climate change seriously as “zealots”. Having written Brown off as a zealot, of course the Australian would expect that if he supports investment in renewable energy in general, he should always support every proposal. But does anyone believe that Brown – or anyone else serious about reducing greenhouse gas emissions – thinks there is nowhere in our natural or built environment unsuitable for the installation of renewable energy? Put simply, those who want to take no steps to reduce emissions are determined to suggest that those who want to take some steps must want to take every step imaginable. I’m not making this up – rightwing commentators often suggest that environmentalists want everyone to “live in caves” or “the dark ages”.”
BoJo I know will be a bonanza for Australia ($) – James McGrath (The Daily Telegraph): “While comparisons have been, and will continue to be made, between Boris and other leaders such as President Trump, there are notable differences in the way Boris will approach his role as Prime Minister. He’s determined to deliver Brexit not because he wants to isolate the UK from the world, but rather, he wants to take advantage of the possibilities a greater degree of independence can provide, particularly in relation to trade, while preserving and honouring the proud traditions the UK has built over generations, and strengthening the ties not just within the UK but with partners around the world including, of course, Australia.”
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WHAT’S ON TODAY
University of Sydney Business School researchers and industry experts will discuss the high number of corporate merger and acquisition (M&A) deals that fail globally at “The Missing Due Diligence Files” conference.
RBA Governor Philip Lowe will speak at an Anika Foundation fundraising lunch on recent developments in the Australian and global economies.
New PNG Prime Minister James Marape will address the Lowy Institute on his vision for the new PNG government and relations with Australia.
A 30-year-old Chester Hill man arrested during a NSW counter-terrorism investigation will appear in court, accused of defrauding the Commonwealth through claims for Newstart.
Former Seven network executive John Fitzgerald will appear in court charged with two counts of misappropriating money, two counts of obtaining money by deception and four counts of dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception.
The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System will hold public hearings exploring the issue of prioritisation and funding of mental health services.
Solar installers will rally outside Parliament House, saying the Victorian government’s decision to cut eligibility until next year for an over-subscribed rebate program is costing them thousands of dollars and jobs.
Former Health Services Union boss Kathy Jackson will undergo a pre-trial ruling, facing 166 charges, including 147 counts of obtaining financial advantage by deception.
Former Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale will be sentenced for extortion offences in the Brisbane District Court.
French Open champion and world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty will be officially welcomed home at the Queensland Tennis Centre by premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
New arts and creative industries strategy Greater CREATIVE Bendigo will be launched, aiming to foster and drive creativity in the region and promote the importance of the creative industries in supporting the local economy.