Donald Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in 2017 (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

DOCUMENT SCANDAL ESCALATES

Labor says it plans to refer Energy Minister Angus Taylor to the police over the allegedly “forged” document used to attack Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore, The Guardian reports.

Taylor — who incorrectly accused Moore of spending $15 million on travel, backed up with a questionable council document his office provided to The Daily Telegraph — has denied the incorrect figures were the work of anyone in his office, insisting he relied on files downloaded from the City of Sydney website. Labor asked Taylor yesterday whether he was aware it was an offence to fail to bring information about a forgery to the attention of authorities, with MP Mark Butler warning that the opposition will refer the issue to the police within 24 hours if the government doesn’t first.

INVESTIGATION CONTINUES

Police say all 39 people found dead in a truck trailer in the UK are believed to be Chinese nationals, the ABC reports.

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The eight women and 31 men will undergo a “full coroner’s process” to establish cause of death before any of them are identified. Officials have raided three properties in Northern Ireland, with the truck’s driver, a 25-year-old man from Northern Ireland, remaining in custody on suspicion of murder. The British National Crime Agency has been called in to assist with the investigation, saying it has been asked to identify any “organised crime groups who may have played a part”, Nine reports.

AFP PROBES FIGHTERS

The AFP is investigating allegations that Australian ISIS fighters bought Yazidi women and held them as sex slaves ($), The Australian reports.

The investigation, part of a wider AFP probe into Australians in Syria, has collected a number of “harrowing” statements from the women, who say they suffered brutal treatment at the hands of Australian fighters. The AFP has also doubled the size of its investigation into Australians in Syria, with a view to ­draw up indictments against foreign fighters. Meanwhile, new footage has revealed the horrific abuse of a slain female fighter by Turkish forces, with Kurdish sources saying “these are the very same methods [used by] Islamic State”.

THEY REALLY SAID THAT?

The shadow treasurer served at the knee of Wayne Swan. He’s at one with the former treasurer. He’s Obi-Swan Kenobi. 

Scott Morrison

The prime minister likens Labor’s Jim Chalmers to a Star Wars character (er, who wants to tell him Obi-Wan was one of the good guys?).

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Key details of first home buyer scheme yet to be made public

Canberra critical of Victoria’s deepening engagement with China’s controversial Belt and Road initiative

Great Barrier Reef: Coral cover around popular islands has almost halved

Brexit: Boris Johnson to ask for general election on 12 December

Migration appeals tribunal struggling with workload and clearance targets

Extinction Rebellion: Queensland passes laws to crack down on climate protesters

‘Insufficient evidence’: AFP drops investigation into John Setka

Hillsong pastor Brian Houston unsure about PM’s White House invite

‘Abuse of parliamentary privilege’: Senator goes after ATO Commissioner

NSW towns at ‘high risk’ as the drought saps confidence

Mike Pence tells Hong Kong protesters in China speech: ‘We stand with you’

He is loyal to his country’, says wife of arrested Australian intelligence officer

Beware religious freedom fallout: churches keen for further talks on Bill ($)

DFAT in the dark on PM’s call on China ($)

Don’t extend coal power plants: Origin ($)

CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY

Where did Australia’s Right To Know come from?

“After peaking at 18 submissions in 2009, ranging from everything from suppression orders to uniform defamation, ARTK entered an unofficial limbo. Writing for Crikey in 2012, David Salter noted that the group’s last press release was in May 2010, and that the default organiser (Chapman) would only say that they had not ‘had a huge number of issues on the table for the past 12 to 18 months’. Salter speculated that the lull had more to do with funding and internal inconsistencies

CEASEFIRE STAYS

US President Donald Trump says Turkey is making its ceasefire in northern Syria permanent, prompting the US to lift sanctions, Nine reports.

In a televised address, Trump said the Turkish government had informed his administration they would be stopping their offensive, and that he had instructed Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to lift the sanctions “unless something happens that we are not happy with”. Trump also flagged a change of course in Middle East strategy, saying the US would “let someone else fight over this long-bloodstained sand”, with a “small number” of US troops to remain in Syria. It comes as Russian troops expand their presence in Syria following an agreement with Ankara, The Guardian reports.

CHARGES LAID

Former Australian intelligence official Roger Uren has been charged with breaching secrecy laws after ASIO discovered classified files during a 2015 raid on his home, Nine reports.

Uren is married to Chinese-Australian lobbyist and suspected influence agent Sheri Yan, who was previously charged by the FBI with bribing the former president of the United Nations General Assembly John Ashe. It was Yan’s links to Chinese intelligence that led ASIO to raid their Canberra home, where a cache of “highly classified Australian government files” was discovered, reportedly detailing what Western intelligence agencies knew of their Chinese counterparts in the early 2000s.

ASYLUM SEEKER TRAGEDY

Thirty nine asylum seekers found dead in a truck in the UK early Wednesday were in a refrigerated container, where temperatures could be as low as -25 degrees, suggesting they likely froze to death ($).

The driver, a 25-year-old man from Northern Ireland, has been arrested on suspicion of murder, with an investigation now underway. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called it an “unimaginable tragedy”, saying “all such traders in human beings should be hunted down and brought to justice”. The BBC notes that people smugglers have increasingly moved to other routes in the three years since migrant camps were shut down in Calais, France, the most common method being hiding people in the back of a truck, with migrants paying £10,000 or more for a space.

THEY REALLY SAID THAT?

Ask me about the rats.

Tanya Plibersek

The former Labor deputy leader tries to turn the conversation to rats, when asked by the ABC’s Michael Rowland if former leader Bill Shorten was getting a bad rap (apparently, she meant these car-driving rats).

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NT child protection notifications fall for the first time ($)

‘Bullying, harassment’: AMP whistleblower launches multimillion-dollar lawsuit 

NSW to make maths mandatory for students in years 11 and 12

Facebook demoted thousands of ‘death tax’ posts during federal election

‘The right thing to do’: Andrews signs new belt-and-road deal with China

John Setka accuses Anthony Albanese of trashing Labor values as he exits party

Hundreds of millions in drought support under consideration among senior ministers

Price of water soars as farmers buy in panic ($)

Brexit: Johnson and Corbyn meet but fail to agree timetable for bill

Melbourne Press Club in crisis after three of its leadership team quit

Hottest October day in years likely as bushfire risk escalates

Paralympian Marieke Vervoort dies by voluntary euthanasia

Beijing draws up plan to replace Carrie Lam as Hong Kong chief ($)

CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY

Miranda in Manhattan: checking in on News Corp’s latest outrage export

“Devine’s columns are clearly in-step with Allan’s editorial strategy, borrowing typically progressive rhetoric to defend conservative arguments when it suits. She responded to Thunberg’s UN speech by accusing ‘eco-catastrophists’ of child abuse for ‘terrifying children with exaggerated stories about the threat of climate change’, and is a clear fan of first lady Melania Trump. She criticised the book Melania & Michelle: First Ladies of a New Era for ‘pitting two women against each other’, but didn’t hesitate to do the exact same thing a few paragraphs later.”


The man we left behind

“His lawyer told the press his arrest set a ‘dangerous precedent for all media and journalists in Europe and around the world’. The two biggest employers of journalists in Australia responded by publishing pieces which insisted the man is ‘not a journalist’. His health deteriorated. At a court hearing to try and delay his extradition to the US, he appeared querulous and confused, struggling to recall his name and age. His application was dismissed. That same week, the Australian media united to launch a public campaign decrying attacks on journalists and whistleblowers. The name of the campaign: ‘Right To Know’.

He has received no assistance from his government.”


The costs of Australia’s endless pursuit of growth

“You can create economic growth for a nation by growing its population — a policy Australia has pursued with vigour. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The benefits of a rising population are real and the costs can be managed if you build sufficient new homes and infrastructure. But rising house prices in Melbourne and Sydney tell us that the number of new homes built may not have kept pace. And, as anyone who has tried to commute in an Australian city knows, higher population growth is straining transport infrastructure too.”

THE COMMENTARIAT

Australia needs effective Labor Party ($) – Richard Marles (The Australian): “We need to change. Part of that is resetting the reflex muscle that led us to believe that our fortunes were pegged to winning the daily cycle, which ultimately proved to be a false economy. There is a stark difference between holding the government to account and simply seeking victory in the pursuit of a good headline. An approach that aims for a longer-term vision that spans beyond 140 characters may seem boring for some commentators. But our focus will be developing a compelling argument that speaks to the aspirations of working men and women across Australia so they put a “1” in the Labor square at the next election.”

This reckless government and its business and media mates are determined to damage superannuationPaul Keating (The Guardian): “Ordinary working men and women have been jammed by the Liberal party at 9.5% of wages going to super, while parliamentarians, without a hint of reflection or embarrassment, pocket 15.4% into their own super accounts. And even though the parliament, and I emphasise the parliament, has legislated to compulsorily provide 12% of wages to the super accounts of the great body of the Australian workforce, the Liberal party wants to take it away. They want to kill the last two-and-a-half percentage points. So the case Willox is effectively arguing is 15.4% for the pollies, just 9.5% for workers and a mean clawback of the extra 2.5% which the parliament has otherwise legislated. The meanness and avarice of it has to be seen to be believed.”

Journalism’s role must be protected ($) – Peter Greste (The Daily Telegraph): “In the debates around press freedom, a lot of the media’s critics tend to dismiss journalists as pleading for special privileges. “No one is above (the law), including me or anyone else, any journalist or anyone else,” the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, said on Sunday, anticipating the campaign by the Australian Right To Know coalition, which is calling for legislative changes to protect press freedom. The language is a form of misdirection. It seeks to portray journalists as some kind of self-appointed elite who consider themselves to be above ordinary citizens. The comments also invite scorn from everybody else. They focus our attention on the individuals rather than the issue at stake. The danger of that approach is that it undermines the watchdog role that a free press plays in our democracy — a role that assumes that there are times when exposing wrongdoing trumps the secrecy used to cover it up.”

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The Latest Headlines

WHAT’S ON TODAY

Canberra

  • Health Minister Greg Hunt will attend the ‘Save Your Bacon’ event held by Victorian grassroots suicide prevention organisation HALT to raise awareness of suicide.

Melbourne

  • The Crown Resorts board will attend the company’s AGM with shareholders, with management expected to rail against recent media coverage.

  • The finals of the 2019 Australasian Auctioneering Championships will be held, with the winner to be presentation at the REIV Awards for Excellence Gala.

Sydney

  • Protesters will rally after the death of transgender Filipino woman Mhelody Polan Bruno, who was allegedly murdered in Wagga Wagga while on holiday.

  • The inaugural Australian Festival Industry Conference (AFIC) will be held, dedicated exclusively to servicing the thousands of festival industry professionals that produce quality music, arts and culture.

  • A hearing will be held in ATO v Huang Xiangmo, with the ATO pursuing the Chinese donor over a $140 million tax bill he allegedly owes.

  • Sculpture by the Sea 2019 will see the Bondi coastline transformed into a 2km long sculpture park.

Perth

  • Miner South32 will hold its AGM, following an August announcement that its was in talks to sell its South Africa energy-coal business to Seriti Resources.

Adelaide

  • Flinders University Museum of Art will launch exhibition “Tjina Nurna-ka, Pmarra Nurna-kanha, Itla Itla Nurna-kanha” (“Our Family, Our Country, Our Legacy”), with guest speaker Dennis Stokes, CEO of the Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute.

, as well a change in leadership to Hartigan’s successor (and non-journalist) Kim Williams in 2011. Hartigan, who departed News Corp in 2011 after 41 years of service, puts this hiatus down to a natural exhaustion of momentum. It likely isn’t a coincidence that the recent surge in submissions — from one in 2012 to more than 15 this year — correlates with the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison governments’ much more aggressive crackdown on metadata, foreign interference and encryption.”


Illegal strip-searches are a form of assault

“But seriously, why are we even having this conversation? Even the NSW government’s stupid refusal of pill-testing and its “just say no” rhetoric is supposedly predicated on keeping kids safe. Why are we punishing them with gross personal invasion and humiliation? Even the most bone-headed ‘law ‘n’ order’ reactionary must surely notice that their ‘if you’ve done nothing wrong…’ insistence crashes into their other pet obsession: personal liberty. We’re strip-searching children — 30% of whom have a few pills on them and 70% have done nothing at all. The LECC inquiry has flushed out what was already obvious: NSW police don’t know the law and are likely committing unlawful personal assaults. But don’t blame Constable Plod; he’s merely performing the inevitable consequence of a police state mentality which is now absolutely out of control.”


Behind the scenes of BuzzFeed’s investigation into NOW

“Journalists Hannah Ryan and Gina Rushton spent weeks investigating the story. They were initially tipped off by a statement from NOW outlining some post-launch problems. ‘We were all struck by how frank it was, and figured that if so much was being admitted on the website, a whole lot more must have happened behind the scenes,’ Sainty told Crikey. Ryan and Rushton contacted more than 20 journalists, sexual assault survivors, NOW board members, advocates and experts. They outlined how the founder, Tracey Spicer, took on a role a team of 10 couldn’t handle; described how survivors were affected; and analysed NOW’s large-scale organisational issues.”

THE COMMENTARIAT

The racing industry wants us to forget and move on. We cannot allow itMehreen Faruqi (The Age/Sydney Morning Herald): “The industrial-scale slaughter of ex-racehorses that no longer turn a profit has always been an open secret in the industry. But surely on the eve of the race that stops the nation, our top priority should be to stop the cruelty. So where to from here? The federal government must show leadership. A national traceability scheme is the least they can do to ensure transparency, but the horse racing industry needs to go much further. They must make a commitment to stop racehorses being slaughtered. A horse traceability system could include a requirement for knackeries and abattoirs to scan all horses. If they are found to be from the racing industry, the racing industry must rescue them and take full responsibility. In the interim, the industry must buy back any racehorses that end up at abattoirs and knackeries.”

It’s through our stories that trauma can be transformed into spirit-soaring beautyJohn Harvey (The Guardian): “Recently I moved from a city I love, with my beautiful wife and two kids, to the bush. My family gathered at our place for the 10-year anniversary of my ama’s passing. I asked my dad if he would say a few words. My dad is a carpenter but also a storyteller. He said: “I don’t want this to be a sad time, or speak of a sad story. I want to share a story of a fond memory I have of your mother for the grandkids and for the family.” And in this moment, as we gathered around the table, he shared a story that lifted our spirits and brought healing to our family. Our stories may come from places of hurt, but they have the ability to unite us as conscious beings, to allow us to grow as people and make our audiences lean in to learn our truth. Storytelling will always be, for me, a process of spiritual strengthening.”

Press freedom still the same old story ($) – John Rolfe (The Daily Telegraph): “Daily Telegraph readers were left with: ‘The elderly … are being … abused … and … neglected … inside our … nursing … homes. … The Government … won’t … tell … you … which ones.’ That edition carried a story I had written on a survey of Australians’ opinions on what the ATO was doing on the sly and the lack of information on mistreatment in aged-care facilities. In both cases, around 80 per cent said they were concerned. As was I. Particularly about the secrecy over what has been going on in nursing homes. To be honest, I thought the claim may be incorrect. What possible reason could there be to hide information that would help people decide if a home was safe for a loved one?”

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The Latest Headlines

WHAT’S ON TODAY

Canberra

  • Ex-military lawyer David McBride will appear in court for the first of two pre-trial applications, after allegedly leaking classified documents about war crimes committed by Australian troops.

Melbourne

  • Hospo Voice will hold a press conference before mediation with Rockpool over claims of widespread wage theft.

  • State and federal agriculture ministers will meet to discuss race horses and other issues.

  • Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley will address the Rural Press Club on the challenges facing farmers, communities and the environment throughout the Murray Darling Basin.

  • Chyka Keebaugh of Real Housewives and two of Australia’s top female breast cancer researchers will launch the “Her Lab Coats” campaign by Breast Cancer Trials.

Sydney

  • Members of Extinction Rebellion who were arrested during the movement’s recent Spring Rebellion will have a bail variation request heard.

  • Insurance giant IAG will hold its AGM.

Adelaide

  • A human-sized hen cage will be set up, giving Adelaide shoppers the chance to experience what life is like for a layer hen.

  • Qantas will hold its AGM for 2019.

National

  • #StopAdani groups will protest at GHD offices around the country to call on the company to stand with the community and not Adani.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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