Richard Di Natale

Xinjiang suppression Today we launch David Hardaker’s series on the atrocities faced by the Uyghurs in Xinjiang and the businessman for whom this does not appear to be a deal-breaker, Andrew Forrest. We can add another charge to the bill: today marks the 40th day that millions of people in the western Chinese city of Urumqi in the Xinjiang province have been under lockdown.

Officials say it’s to prevent a resurgence of the coronavirus, but there has been no local transmission in nine days.

Having a good pandemic Australian manufacturing company Ansell announced a jump in profits in its annual report yesterday, the COVID-19 pandemic bumping up demand for the PPE the company produces.

But it’s not all good news. There are ongoing questions about modern slavery in Ansell’s operations and supply chains. As the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility points out, Malaysia-based companies Top Glove and WRP — major suppliers of Ansell — have faced import bans from the United States owing to “evidence of extreme labour exploitation in their operations”. 

Ansell’s annual report concedes that the companies’ third-party auditing, intended to stamp out the practices in their supply chain, has been “impeded” by COVID-19 and audits have been delayed at Ansell manufacturing sites.

Trump watch Yesterday gave us the first day of the Republican national convention and it was as weird as you would expect.

Featured speakers joining that couple who brandished guns at Black Lives Matter protesters passing their house are seemingly every member of Trump’s family who hasn’t written a book about how godawful he is: his wife, all his adult children, and his children’s spouses.

We’ve already had Trump Jr — whose appearance was such that many mainstream broadcasters had to tiptoe around saying he looked like someone who was … well, it rhymes with stoked up to the high walls. And his girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle, who delivered her speech in the cadence of performance poetry (only extremely loud), echoing through the empty hall.

The North Korea-style approach is by far the most family members any candidate for either party has ever had speak at the convention — half of the key speakers will be Trumps. To put that in perspective, the people of colour represented among key speakers could arrive at the convention on the same tandem bicycle.

I did Natale see that coming Yesterday, ahead of former Greens leader Richard Di Natale’s farewell speech to the Senate (over video link), we noted that a “decent chunk of his audience can just stick him on mute and go for a cup of tea”.

As it turns out they had no need. In a wonderful reflection of Australia’s internet infrastructure, Di Natale’s speech conked out halfway through, prompting the first time we know of that the Senate president had to suspend the Senate to give IT a ring.

Falling well It appears we’re not the only ones reveling in the (alleged) hypocrisy of evangelist Jerry Falwell Jr.

Hook-up website AdultFriendFinder has offered him a gig as brand ambassador, saying they’ll pay him up to US$100,000 to “be a spokesperson for our swinging and threesomes initiatives, pulling from your own experience of being a cuckold for nearly a decade”. 

All class action Janet Albrechtsen has long been in lock-step with Christian Porter, putting out column after column at The Australian running the agenda — as revealed in Crikey — pushed by the US Chamber Institute for Legal Reform which wants to see class action litigation reined in. 

Today’s does triple-duty, kicking the Andrews government — plus a drive by at the ABC — concluding they could have to pony up to $10 billion. (Or a “low-ball bid” of just six or seven. Billion.) Of course there is a class action about government response to COVID-19 out there — but it includes the Morrison government and, as you might imagine, is actually a little wacky in places, so Albrechtsen deems it irrelevant.