I BELIEVE I BAN FLY
The Morrison government is “expected” to extend its China travel ban to four weeks, the Nine papers report, with the move set to be debated by cabinet’s national security committee today or Friday.
In something of a contrast, the Victorian government has announced a trade delegation of 100 businesses to tour China as soon as it is safe, and will light up Melbourne landmarks in red and gold in solidarity on Friday.
HANNAH BAXTER DIES
Brisbane woman Hannah Baxter has died in hospital overnight due to injuries from a car fire that killed her three children and husband, former rugby league player and alleged perpetrator of the murder-suicide, Rowan Baxter.
While police are still investigating, the ABC reports Hannah had escaped the vehicle and yelled “he’s poured petrol on me”, while The Courier-Mail ($) has reported further, utterly devastating details of Rowan’s alleged actions.
Lifeline: 13 11 14; 1800Respect: 1800 737 732.
INDIA CANCELS COAL IMPORTS
India’s Minister for Coal and Mines Pralhad Joshi has announced the country will stop importing thermal coal from the 2023-24 financial year onwards, The Economic Times reports, as the government looks to transform state-owned mining company Coal India into an integrated energy company.
SIDE NOTE: Anthony Albanese yesterday confirmed Labor’s support for the Adani Carmichael mine, but drew the line at throwing “hush money” at a new coal plant for “climate sceptics”, The Guardian reports.
ALLEGED SPY FLIES AWAY
A Nine investigation has found suspected spy and Melbourne businessman Brian Chen was able to avoid ASIO’s “net” and fly out of Australia last March, despite allegations he tried to insert a Chinese agent into federal parliament.
TALKING POINT: It hasn’t been a great 24 hours for Australia’s top security agencies. The Guardian reports AFP commissioner Reece Kershaw admitted yesterday that federal police never interviewed Angus Taylor over that whole “alleged fraud” case they dropped.
THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
Well, that headmaster that she [reporter Louise Milligan] mentioned, who gave a character reference for a man who was an ex-teacher, who hit on a boy at that school – no sex occurred – hit on the boy, later jailed for grooming.
CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY
“The Pharmacy Guild of Australia’s annual parliamentary dinner, held in the Great Hall of Parliament House, is a veritable night of nights on Australia’s lobbying calendar.”
“Economists now say the bushfires will cost the Australian economy between $4 billion and $8 billion in property, productivity, consumer spending and business losses.”
“Today’s 90 minute visit to Julian Assange in London’s Belmarsh Prison was an alarming experience. The place is everything you’d expect of a supermax jail and the process of entering and departing was security on steroids. Just the place for a supervillain.”
READ ALL ABOUT IT
There are none so blind as those who will not see ($) — Nikki Savva (The Australian): “Joel Fitzgibbon and Anthony Albanese met at a Young Labor conference in 1985. Both were elected to federal parliament on March 2, 1996, the day that John Howard became prime minister.”
Making a virtue of Christmas Island – the evacuation that did us proud — Pru Goward (The Sydney Morning Herald): “Who would have thought it? A red-hot offshore detention centre, 240 Australian citizens, including children, detained for a fortnight. Soldiers on patrol. Not a single case of coronavirus in what will no doubt turn out to have been an overly cautious isolation period.”
Wikipedia is the last best place on the internet — Richard Cooke (Wired): “Like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, it broadcasts user-generated content. Unlike them, it makes its product de-personified, collaborative, and for the general good. More than an encyclopedia, Wikipedia has become a community, a library, a constitution, an experiment, a political manifesto—the closest thing there is to an online public square.”
HOLD THE FRONT PAGE
WHAT’S ON TODAY
Wurundjeri elder Aunty Di Kerr will perform a Welcome to Country and a smoking ceremony for the asylum seekers and refugees detained in the Mantra Hotel in Preston, as part of an Amnesty International event.
Ongoing negotiations between Yarra Trams and the transport union will see drivers strike for the second time this week.
Opening night of the Melbourne Women in Film Festival, to run until Sunday, February 23.
Local Greens MP Jamie Parker will hold a public meeting about the Western Harbour Tunnel at Balmain Town Hall.
Historian Kate Fullagar will launch her new book, The Warrior, the Voyager, and the Artist: Three Lives in an Age of Empire, at the State Library of NSW.
A NSW upper house committee will hold a regional hearing as part of an inquiry into the regulation of building standards, building quality and building disputes.
State Labor MPs Di Farmer and Shannon Fentiman will host a fundraising relaunch of Sakina House at Queensland Parliament.
SA Governor Hieu Van Le will present the 2019 Governor’s Civics Awards and launch the 2020 program.
The ABS will publish data on January employment and unemployment figures.
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange will appear via video-link in Westminster Magistrates Court for his final case management hearing before his extradition trial begins.