Donald Trump COVID-19


US President Donald Trump pushed Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former vice president Joe Biden, a phone call memo released by the Trump administration shows.

The transcript, released in response to the impeachment inquiry launched by Democrats yesterday, shows Trump telling President Zelensky that there had been “a lot of talk” about the former vice-president shutting down a Ukrainian investigation into a company where Biden’s son worked. Trump asked him to work with the US attorney general to find out more, suggesting such an inquiry would be “a favour”.

Trump also sat down with Zelensky at the UN General Assembly in New York today, with Zelensky telling reporters that he did not feel pressured to investigate Biden, and does not want to be involved in US elections.


British MPs have returned to parliament following the UK Supreme Court’s ruling that its suspension was unlawful, with a fired-up Boris Johnson challenging the Labour Party to either go to an election or stand aside and allow him to deliver Brexit.

In comments “all but drowned out by shouts from other politicians”, the prime minister repeated his claim that the judges got it wrong, and continued to push for an election. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn rejected Johnson’s demand, saying he would only win backing for an election once he locked in a Brexit extension. Attorney-General Geoffrey Cox went on the attack while defending Johnson, labelling MPs “a disgrace”.


The Catholic Church in Victoria has been “swamped” with hundreds of new sex abuse claims, following landmark legislation allowing victims to sue the church and revisit unfair settlements, Nine papers report.

According to data collated by The Age from case files from various law firms, the church is facing at least 800 new legal actions, threatening its financial stability. It comes after the state government decided to abolish the so-called “Ellis defence”, ending the church’s long-standing immunity to lawsuits. The lawsuits, seeking compensation for abuse by convicted paedophile priests, include at least one action filed against George Pell

Survivors of abuse can find support by calling Bravehearts at 1800 272 831 or the Blue Knot Foundation at 1300 657 380. The Kids Helpline is 1800 55 1800.


There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it…

Donald Trump

Yep, he really said that (according to the memo).


‘This report is a wake-up call’: UN panel issues climate change warning

‘High risk game’: China hits back hard following PM’s comments

Australia would be ‘the first sacrifice’ in war between US and China, pro-Beijing academic says

ACT legalises personal cannabis use but warns smokers they’re not safe from federal laws

Controversial abortion bill passes NSW Upper House after long-haul debate

United Nations: Saudi Arabia accuses Australia of racism in extraordinary broadside

Israel Folau offered to issue apology, Rugby Australia alleges in court documents

Plastic pollution and illegal fishing at top of Morrison’s ocean plan ($)

‘Brutal’: Marcia Langton, early backer of welfare card, savages its roll out

Kashmir earthquake toll mounts as Pakistan’s PM warns of war with India

We will make it up to you’: $750-a-head Liberal fundraiser delayed

Crown Casino workers threaten Cup week strike, booze ban


The big, bumbling boys of Western democracy have gone and done it this time

“Both of these blustering big boys have come a cropper. Institutionally the Donald is in a better position, the presidency essentially an elected monarchy. But his crimes and misdemeanours may be greater than Boris’ blundering. Yet it is the latter who may have wrought more change, the court’s decision rearranging British power irrevocably and opening the way for a written constitution. In both cases, it is an extraordinary example of political decadence. The wide arch of the Atlantic alliance, on which the whole edifice of Western imperialism is being undermined on both sides by a right determined to hold onto domestic power at any cost. The opportunities for global realignment now lie wide open.”

You’re out! How a government tamed the AAT

“The email, sent in September 2017, was an abrupt end to Carney’s long career as a member of the AAT. Together with his work on the Social Security Appeals Tribunal, Carney had put in around 40 years of service. He has an Order of Australia plus a list of legal qualifications and publications in social security as long as your arm. But none of that mattered when his contract came up for renewal and he was given a day to clear out his desk at the AAT. ‘It was disturbing,;’ Carney told Inq. ‘It’s disappointing for people. But a lot of highly qualified people, particularly in recent years, have been quote unquote ‘cleared off the books’ of the AAT.’”

Betoota’s ‘bread and butter’: unlabelled sponsored posts

“It costs $8500 to get The Betoota Advocate to take the piss out of your brand — and none of their readers will need to know it’s an ad. The wildly popular satirical news site has, in recent years, openly produced branded content and other obvious forms of advertising, including live reads on their weekly podcasts, website banner ads or site takeovers. The Betoota name has become so beloved that they also sell their own merchandise (through Betoota Outfitters) and beer (Betoota Bitter). But the site has also been selling its core material — short, funny, ‘news’ articles shared widely on social media — to advertisers, which they call their ‘bread and butter brand integration’.”


We are talking about ‘drought-proofing’ again – they are simplistic solutions that will destroy AustraliaJohn Williams (The Guardian): “The bitter irony of the current drought in Australia is that it has again called forth the same myths and false beliefs that got us into trouble in the first place. Mingled with a genuine desire to help farmers and rural people caught in a spreading tragedy are the age-old calls to “drought-proof’ the continent, to turn the rivers inland, to harvest all their water lest it run to waste in the sea. We now know that these are not solutions but recipes for disaster that fight against the nature of the continent instead of working with it. Yet they recycle every generation and dominate the populist rhetoric of the public debate. They are simplistic solutions that will destroy Australia.”

Facebook and Google, work with us and we can all co-exist –  Clare Gill (The Age/Sydney Morning Herald): “Nine wants to meaningfully engage with the digital platforms to find a model that shares the revenue fairly through placing advertisements in and around the content to pay for it. In the case of Facebook, if we were to submit to their “take-it or leave-it” terms we would be driving down the value of our content to unstainable levels. But because we have to be there to engage with our audiences we do it for free. Furthermore Nine cannot turn on the ability to monetise our content for clips under three minutes on Facebook. This is a challenge when a typical Nine TV news story is anywhere from 60-90 seconds. Even if we were able to achieve the three-minute threshold, Facebook prohibits us from putting an advertising banner in our content or before our content in their news feed.”

PM needs to cut ties with Brian Houston ($) – Justin Smith (The Daily Telegraph): “There’s a big difference between political mistakes and moral mistakes. We can understand, and even forgive, the political ones. Because we’ve become conditioned to handle a little crap in our ears from our leaders, and we know they all spin and scheme to keep themselves employed and relevant. Thankfully however, there are still things we won’t cop. So when the Prime Minister has a close relationship with a man who effectively protected a paedophile, we know that morality is being tested. A couple of months ago, I wrote that Scott Morrison would soon be embarrassed by his friendship with Hillsong pastor Brian Houston. Now it’s happened. And it happened while making international news.”


The Latest Headlines



  • A directions hearing will take place for Bernard Collaery, former lawyer to Witness K.

  • National Film and Sound Archive CEO Jan Müller and chair of the board Gabrielle Trainor will launch “Game Masters: The Exhibition”, an interactive journey through five decades of video game history.

  • Parliamentary Budget Office to release its latest medium term fiscal projections, showing big costs on the horizon.


  • Yarra Trams workers will a stage four-hour stop work between 10am and 2pm, calling for better pay and conditions.

  • Victoria Racing Club will hold a Grand Final-themed jump out, with half of the six-horse field donning the Richmond guernsey and the other half representing Greater Western Sydney.

  • Variety the Children’s Charity will host its Grand Final Lunch event, with all proceeds going towards helping kids in need get a fair go in life.

  • A sentence indication hearing will be held for Labor staff over an alleged election fraud involving stamped envelopes addressed to Melton Labor members.

Carrum Downs, Victoria

  • Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie will hold a press conference on a new report about the benefits of recreational shooting, alongside Australian Deer Association, Field and Game Australia, Shooting Industry Foundation of Australia, Sporting Shooters Association of Australia.


  • The Special Commission into the drug Ice will hold a hearing into custodial services and community corrections, hearing evidence about the use of and responses to crystal methamphetamine in custodial settings.


  • The Business Forecasting Conference will hear Western Australia-specific findings, including Sarah Hunter of BIS Oxford Economics discussing how mining sector production is on the rise once again.