THE PRICE IS RIGHT?
According to The Guardian, the Morrison government will today sign up to two international agreements that aim to integrate climate risk into investment decision-making, including through pricing risk; the Coalition for Climate Resilient Investment, and the Call for Action: Raising Ambition for Climate Adaptation and Resilience.
The move, which stands to inflame Liberal-National tensions, comes after climate denialist George Christensen again failed to get the numbers for an inquiry into why banks are refusing to lend to fossil fuel projects.
PS: Although it reads like soft propaganda for the coal industry, The Australian ($) today reports 170 workers have been sacked by energy company New Hope as legal challenges stall the expansion of its New Acland mine.
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TRUTH BE TOLD
Several health organisations have urged Australian politicians to pass new laws requiring tech giants such as Facebook and Google to maintain lists of the most popular COVID-related material being shared on social media, in a campaign The Sydney Morning Herald reports has been devised to help combat misinformation ahead of Australia’s vaccine rollout.
The news comes as The Australian ($) reports that two health experts have called on the Morrison government to expand its suite of COVID-19 vaccines, after suggestions Moderna has been unwilling to sign a contract for its high-efficacy mRNA vaccine, while Josh Frydenberg says Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine shortages overseas are unlikely to affect Australia’s planned February rollout.
Elsewhere, New Zealand has reported its first COVID-19 case outside of a quarantine facility in more than two months, although, as ABC reports, there is no immediate evidence the virus is spreading in the community.
A woman tested negative for the virus twice before leaving hotel quarantine, but later developed symptoms and tested positive. Authorities are now looking into whether she caught the virus from another returning traveller, while business owners visited by the woman have complained to Stuff over not being contacted by the ministry.
According to The Australian ($), Scott Morrison has announced he will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping only if there are no policy conditions for restarting dialogue, after Foreign Minister Marise Payne offered an indirect announcement in declaring, post-Biden victory, that Australia would “support adherence to international rules and norms, promote transparency and stand against malicious behaviour such as economic coercion, human rights abuses and the use of disinformation’’.
The Prime Minister’s warning came as Payne said Australia’s and America’s relationships with China would be closely watched as US President Joe Biden begins his four-year term in the White House.
Elsewhere, the AFR ($) reports that Anthony Albanese has urged Morrison to enlist former prime ministers John Howard and Kevin Rudd, both of whom have links to China, in helping to end the standoff.
FAILED TRUMP CARD
Finally, according to The Wall Street Journal (via CNN), Donald Trump pressured the nominally-independent Department of Justice to file a case with the Supreme Court to overturn election results, as part of a last-ditch effort to invalidate the results.
This also included plans to replace then-acting Attorney General Jeffery Rosen with a relatively unknown Justice Department lawyer willing to use the department to support Trump’s false claims over election fraud in Georgia.
THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
The national broadcaster attracted a barrage of criticism — and was accused of stoking national disunity and promoting its own political agenda — after publishing a story on its ABC News website in which the terms ‘Invasion Day’ and ‘Australia Day’ were used interchangeably.
Scores of Australians were quick to register their disapproval online after the article — an otherwise unassuming guide to activities taking place in capital cities around the country on Australia Day this week — was uploaded on Sunday morning.
The Australian ($) faithfully reports rampant disapproval over the ABC’s guide to events quite literally titled either “Invasion Day” or “Australia Day” from, let’s see here, a reactionary think tank, two random Twitter users, and Mark Latham.
“With Trump fading into the distance, the attentions of progressives in Australia have turned back to Scott Morrison, a man who has barely figured for months in the political imagination.
“With his comments about Australia Day 1788 — ‘it wasn’t a particularly flash day for the people on those vessels’ — he magnificently brought it all back home and reminded us that, in this new era, we need to talk about ScoMo Derangement Syndrome.”
“‘Stop playing politics.’
“His government says it so often, it’s almost a catchphrase, a three-word slogan. Prime Minister Scott Morrison repeated a version of his favourite phrase again yesterday, advising Cricket Australia to stick to sports and not comment on the controversy around Australia Day.”
“The threat posed by the extremist right wing QAnon conspiracy movement is set to be targeted by the incoming Biden administration’s top intelligence agency in the wake of the movement’s growing influence in US politics.
“The movement was prominent in the January storming of Capitol Hill, where QAnon adherents played a role in attempts to overturn the US election in favour of Donald Trump.”
READ ALL ABOUT IT
Silencing the Voice: How government is failing the Uluru Statement from the Heart — Dani Larkin (IndigenousX): “The Interim Report has not recognised anywhere, that dialogue participants called for a constitutionally enshrined ‘Voice’ and that its design be guided by, or at the very least, considerate of, what the founders of the Uluru Statement from the Heart had intended — that is, for it to be an Indigenous representative body that provides advice to Parliament and to ministers on laws and policies that affect First Nations’ affairs.”
As Joe Biden says, this great US-Australia alliance will only grow stronger ($) — Marise Payne (The Australian): “President Joe Biden’s clear and strong Inauguration Day commitment to seek unity and bipartisanship is reassuring and important, valued by Australia and the world. Australia wishes him, and all political interlocutors in the US, the very best in this endeavour. It is up to Americans to carry that forward, but Australia will be cheering them on.”
Why I handed back my Order of Australia, and why Margaret Court should be stripped of hers — Clara Tuck Meng Soo (The Sydney Morning Herald): “I was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2016 for services to the Canberra community as a medical practitioner. Two days ago, I read that tennis legend Margaret Court will be promoted on Australia Day to a Companion of the Order of Australia, our highest civilian honour.”
HOLD THE FRONT PAGE
WHAT’S ON TODAY
A Reconciliation Australia breakfast will honour state and territory Indigenous Australians of the Year.