Wuhan virus outbreak
(Image: Flickr/Global Panorama)

RATTLED MARKETS

According to The Australian ($), uncertainty over the novel coronavirus has wiped $82 billion off the stock market in the past two days, while The Sydney Morning Herald reports Sports Minister Richard Colbeck has issued a warning about athlete health ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.

As countries from Iran to Italy experience local spreads of the virus, The Guardian‘s live-updates show Austria and Croatia have confirmed their first cases, students are being sent home across the UK, and an entire hotel has been quarantined on Teneriffe, the largest of Spain’s Canary Islands.

BACKLASH

Victoria’s Royal Women’s Hospital has joined 13 state community health services in slamming the Morrison government’s proposed religious freedom bill, arguing it prioritises religious ideology over patient care, The Age reports.

TALKING POINT: Not only would the bill make it legal for doctors citing religion to refuse contraception, HIV medication, gender affirmation and abortions, but they would be under no obligation to refer patients to someone willing to, you know, save their life.

MAJOR REFORM FOR CHILD ABUSE CASES

NSW has become the first of several federal-state jurisdictions to introduce legislation expanding the ability of jurors in child abuse cases to hear evidence of prior convictions and sexual interests, and for victims to create joint trials, according to The Australian ($).

Agreements struck between attorneys-general will see Victoria, Tasmania, the ACT, the Northern Territory and the federal government introduce similar bills that, by curtailing a defence team citing prejudice in blocking evidence, is almost guaranteed to increase the number of guilty verdicts.

PARLIAMENTARY PROTEST

Adam Bandt, Andrew Wilkie, Labor MP Susan Templeman and a collection of other leaders will today mark Israeli President Reuven Rivlin‘s visit to Parliament House by attending a vigil for Palestinian human rights and, according to the press release, protesting the Morrison government’s challenge of an International Criminal Court investigation into Israeli war crimes.

TALKING POINT: The latest of these war crimes involves ‘necroviolence’, Al Jazeera reports, after an Israeli bulldozer was videoed violently scooping up the body of an allegedly unarmed Palestinian man, who had been shot along the southern Gaza Strip.

WET AS HELL

A severe thunderstorm has hit Perth and surrounding areas overnight, crashing the ceiling of Morley Galleria shopping centre, creating chaos across peak-hour traffic, and stripping power from more than 18,000 properties, the ABC reports. Meanwhile, NT News ($) reports the Top End has seen up to 160mm of rainfall as ex-tropical Cyclone Esther continues to move inland.

THEY REALLY SAID THAT?

You can use ‘Islamic extremist’, you get in trouble for using that, you can use ‘left wing’ to describe everybody from the left to the right … I just don’t understand why we get bogged down in this language.

Peter Dutton

The man who didn’t exactly shy away from slamming “African gangs” explains an attempt to both-sides ASIO’s neo-Nazi warning.

CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY

Data retention scheme is being abused exactly as critics predicted

“A review of the mass surveillance scheme established by the Abbott government six years ago has revealed how it is being widely abused in ways voters were assured would never happen.”


Australia’s lobbyists are winning thanks to a ‘piss-poor’ regulatory framework

“If the Pharmacy Guild of Australia’s lobbyists hadn’t kept their Instagram accounts public, Inq would never had stumbled on a vast visual diary of their incredible access to politicians. In Australia, there’s an awful lot we don’t know about political lobbyists, whose everyday work remains relatively hidden.”


In terror and hope — the world’s 20-year wild ride

“20 years ago, the world was watching with amazement as the Republican party chose, as its candidate to go up against heir presumptive Al Gore, the first candidate to fulfil the prophecy of H. L. Mencken: that one day ‘the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron’.”

READ ALL ABOUT IT

Michael McCormack grants exemption to live export ship that fails new rules

New waste crime squad to tackle illegal rubbish and chemical stockpiles

Christian Wallabies Sekope Kepu and Samu Kerevi say Rugby Australia ‘muzzled’ their support for teammate Israel Folau ($)

Sydney baboon escape: police confirm three animals recaptured at Royal Prince Alfred hospital

Uyghur mother of Australian son responds to Chinese diplomat’s Q+A comments

Minister’s adviser gives ‘weak’ evidence on Tamil family, court hears

Renewable investment tipped to outlive subsidies but growing pains remain

Peter Dutton’s regional airport security plan under fire in Coalition party room

Governments urged to invest in roads, water, telecoms to protect against natural disasters

Former Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak dies aged 91

THE COMMENTARIAT

Epidemic must not be allowed to unleash AIDS-style hysteriaDr Justin Koonin (The Sydney Morning Herald): “In 1985, at the peak of AIDS hysteria, The New York Times published an article canvassing the views of Americans on how best to deal with the epidemic. A majority favoured the quarantine of AIDS patients, while a sizeable minority supported the view of columnist William Buckley that people with AIDS should be tattooed.”

Harvey Weinstein verdict is taking out the trash ($) — Rita Panahi (The Herald Sun): “Oh, how the mighty have fallen. One of the most powerful men in Hollywood, who could make or break careers and counted senators, presidents and First Ladies among his close friends, is finally behind bars.”

Why an Australian mining giant chose wind and solar over gas for $1 billion projectGiles Parkinson (Renew Economy): “It’s basically unheard of in Australia: An Australian mining giant announcing that it will choose wind, solar and battery storage to provide 80 per cent of the power needs of a proposed $1 billion nickel mine in outback Australia.”

WHAT’S ON TODAY

Canberra

  • Universities Australia chair Professor Deborah Terry will present “Let’s dare to be wise: expertise and evidence are our best defence against future terrors” at the National Press Club. Education Minister Dan Tehan will also speak at day one Universities Australia’s annual conference.

  • Health Minister Greg Hunt will launch the first-ever national action plan on rare diseases, coinciding with Rare Disease Day.

  • Federal parliamentary inquiries will begin into the 2019 federal election, the national redress scheme, remote education, migration in regional Australia, waste management and recycling, a Coalition bill to amend the Transport Security Act and Maritime Transport and Offshore Facilities Security Act, and the ATO’s proposed fit-out of offices in Brisbane.

Melbourne

  • Victorian Aboriginal Legal Services will launch a report about Aboriginal homelessness in the state.

  • Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio will speak at a CEDA event on moving towards a circular economy.

  • The Victorian Sport Awards will be held at Marvel Stadium.

Sydney

  • NSW’s 2019 Scientist of the Year Professor Rose Amal will present her latest research, “Harnessing Solar Energy To Power Our Planet” at NSW Parliament.

  • Former Labor minister Robert Tickner will launch his memoir Ten Doors Down: the story of an extraordinary adoption reunion at the State Library of NSW.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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