US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told The Australian that the US-Australia alliance is entering a new era ($), saying “the time is right” to challenge China in the Pacific. In a summit press conference, Pompeo stressed that the US was “not asking nations to choose” between itself and China, but was much more definitive at an ensuing Centre for Independent Studies Q&A, The Guardian reports.
Australia is reportedly giving “very serious consideration” to the US request to join its coalition against Iran in the Persian Gulf.
The Garma Festival of Traditional Cultures, Australia’s largest Indigenous cultural gathering, took place in northeast Arnhem Land over the weekend, with Indigenous Affairs Minister Ken Wyatt and Labor leader Anthony Albanese both in attendance.
Northern Territory treaty commissioner Mick Dodson told the gathering that treaty success requires the voices of Indigenous youth, with deputy Ursula Raymond also encouraging women to get involved. Speaking after the festival, Albanese announced that Labor won’t back a constitutional reform plan that doesn’t have the support of First Nations people.
Elsewhere, Gumatj leader Galarrwuy Yunupingu revealed on Saturday that his people would be taking legal action against the Commonwealth over the “unmerciful” destruction of Indigenous land by mining projects on the Gove peninsula.
WHITE SUPREMACIST INSPIRATION
The El Paso mall gunman used his rambling “manifesto” to express admiration for the Christchurch shooter before opening fire at a Walmart on Saturday, killing at least 20 people in the eighth-deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.
The manifesto, a 2300-word screed about the “Hispanic invasion” of texas, singled out the Australian Christchurch terrorist for support and touched on similar conspiracies of “white genocide”. As The New Daily points out, several racist far-right conspiracy theories, which appear to have inspired the shooter, were brought to mainstream attention following the New Zealand attack in March.
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THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
It was a weird feeling. I mean, to read that you’re dead — or that you’re dying — is a very strange experience.
The Australian singer addresses those death rumours ($) in a wide-ranging interview on last night’s 60 Minutes.
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CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY
“But even to hint that the Crown affair is another instance of China influence operations subverting an otherwise healthy and hearty Australian way of life diverts attention from a serious home-grown problem that owes nothing to China. The big takeaway from the Crown affair is that there is little China can teach Australia about corporate greed or political connivance. Moreover, there is little need for China’s communist party to exercise undue influence in this country when corporate Australia can undermine faith in Australian institutions and democracy without any assistance from abroad.”
“In the Australian context, one big treaty between a provisional leadership and the settler state seems far more politically achievable, radical and constitutive. The simpler the instrument, the greater the symbolic/material power it would have and the better it would serve as a base for fully material secondary treaties and recognitions: for resources ownership and urban land and capital reparations for example.”
“Financial accessibility is poor across Australia. It is difficult to access fully rebatable abortions under Medicare, meaning an abortion anywhere can incur an out-of-pocket cost, which is usually higher in rural areas. In regional areas such as Rockhampton and Townsville, a medical abortion has an upfront cost of $790, whereas the same procedure in inner-city Melbourne, can cost as little as $250. Women based in rural areas are penalised further with telehealth procedures costing up to $676. Children by Choice estimates that some private procedures, for those who cannot access a public service, can cost up to $4000.”
Two different tactics from Morrison, Albanese but each has the same goal – Sean Kelly (The Age/Sydney Morning Herald): “I’m not wild about the accusation that a major party is not on the side of Australians – “enemy of the people”, anyone? – or with the coercive suggestion that the government is on the side of Australians who act in particular ways and who vote Liberal and do it quietly. I’m especially not wild about such sentiments being shared by the Attorney-General, who is supposed to be focused on upholding laws that treat all of us equally. But what really strikes me is the Prime Minister’s hypocrisy. Morrison is fond of saying he wants to bring Australians together. Instead, he sounds like he’s following advice once given to Richard Nixon: split the country in two, then pick up the biggest half. Or, in Katharine Murphy’s more local idiom, “we have entered the prime ministership of ‘Go Sharks’”.”
Unbreakable Pacific alliance now ‘more vital than ever’ ($) – Paul Kelly (The Australian): “Anybody who thinks Australia did not long ago take sides and continues to take sides on a daily basis in the US-China strategic rivalry lives in dreamland. The sheer weight of strategic infrastructure means this will not change. Events in the past few days have been critical. The US-Japan-Australia trilateral meeting in Thailand quickly followed by the AUSMIN meeting in Sydney sent a sharper message that China’s strategic assertion must be combatted by a region-wide response that includes economic and security imperatives.”
‘Both sides’ of the climate change debate? How bad we think it is, and how bad it really is – Greg Jericho (The Guardian): “It’s time to stop being mealy-mouthed about this and to give silent passes to those peddling climate-change denialism either explicitly or implicitly by demanding we listen to both sides. But OK, here’s both sides of the debate – for well over 40 years scientists have been researching and testing evidence that climate change is occurring due to CO2 emissions. They have found conclusive evidence that there is a link and that on the current path by 2100 global temperatures will likely reach 3C above pre-industrial levels. The other side is that they have kept researching and testing the data, and sorry, they were wrong – it’s even worse than they thought.”
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WHAT’S ON TODAY
- The National Launch of Homelessness Week will be held, with the theme “Housing Ends Homelessness”.
- Launch Housing will unveil the first six homes in its Harris Transportable Housing Project, which will deliver 57 tiny homes to people with a chronic experience of homelessness.
Lovedale, New South Wales
- The NSW Mining Health, Safety & Environment Conference will be held, with a range of speakers presenting on ways in which NSW Mining can innovate and promote leading health and safety practice within the industry.
Kalgoorlie, West Australia
- Former prime minister John Howard will give the keynote address at the Diggers and Dealers mining conference.
- The inquiry into the City of Perth will hold its first public hearing, following a failure by Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi to disclose gifts and travel, reports of infighting between councillors, two chief executives taking stress leave and the council’s suspension in March 2018.
- The Aged Care Royal Commission will hold its first public hearing in Brisbane, examining Earle Haven Retirement Village’s sudden closure.
- The Lowy Institute will launch its new research paper, “Xi Jinping: The Backlash”, with author Richard McGregor taking questions.
- Victoria’s royal commission into the state police force’s use of informants will hold the first of its public hearings.
- Phillip Galea, an alleged extremist charged with plotting a terrorist attack targeting the Melbourne Anarchist’s Club, the Resistance Centre and Trades Hall, will undergo a pre-trial in the Supreme Court.
Nhulunbuy, Northern Territory
- Garma Festival will conclude with a Community Open Day, featuring cultural activities, live music, a youth forum, and the official closing ceremony.