HEADING TO COURT
Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios has been charged with assaulting his ex-girlfriend, The Canberra Times reports. The cops confirmed the common assault charge related to a December 2021 incident, and his barrister Jason Moffett says Kyrgios knows about the summons to appear in a Canberra court next month. Moffett couldn’t say much more at this stage but did say there would be a media release soon. Kyrgios is playing — and making headlines off the court too — at Wimbledon over in the UK at the moment. He’ll face opponent Cristian Garin in the quarter-final today.
Meanwhile former attorney-general Christian Porter is representing underworld figure Mick Gatto in a defamation case against the ABC, Guardian Australia reports. Gatto sued the broadcaster and two reporters over a story he claimed falsely accused him of threatening to kill police informant Nicola Gobbo. The Victorian Supreme Court didn’t agree with Gatto’s claim the yarn made him look like a hitman and a murderer (an appeal found the same), so Gatto has taken it to the High Court now. Interestingly, however, barristers in Australia are subject to something known as the cab rank rule, as Guardian Australia explains, which means they pretty much can’t say no to cases if clients pick them as counsel.
FOLLOWING THE LEADERS
Victoria’s Deputy Nationals Leader Steph Ryan will reportedly quit politics today, The Age says. She’s only been in Parliament eight years but rose through the ranks fast — indeed the paper says she was expected to take the top job in the party soon. But she wants to spend more time with her family, saying being an MP requires “150% of [one’s] time and energy”.
To a neighbouring state now and former PM Tony Abbott is reportedly considering a tilt at the NSW Liberal Party presidency, according to The Australian’s ($) “multiple well-placed sources”. Nominations for the presidency are open right now, but Abbott wouldn’t say either way when the paper asked him, saying “I’ll leave you to it”. It would mean facing off against Philip Ruddock, who comes from the classically liberal Menzies tradition, as opposed to Abbott’s right-faction corner. The two have some history — Abbott replaced Ruddock as chief whip in 2015. The NSW Liberal Party’s morale would be in tatters after this year’s federal election, as interfactional fighting saw several seats stay candidate-less until quite late in the campaign, as Crikey explains.
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Speaking of politicians behaving badly, Labor MP Kate Thwaites says independent Kylea Tink is right: MPs should be expelled for extreme breaches of a proposed parliamentary code of conduct, Guardian Australia reports. Thwaites says it would be crucial to revamping Canberra’s “political culture of impunity” — she says an expert panel could decide the consequences, but Parliament has to vote on their decision. It comes as a leadership taskforce will be reformed this month to implement all of sex discrimination commissioner Kate Jenkins’ 28 recommendations.
NOTES ON A SCANDAL
In the UK now and both the health and finance ministers have resigned overnight in protest of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s handling of a scandal. Health Secretary Sajid Javid tweeted a letter to Johnson saying he’d lost confidence in him. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak resigned afterwards, saying he accepts “this may be my last ministerial job, but I believe these standards are worth fighting for and that is why I am resigning”. The SMH’s Latika Bourke reports they didn’t coordinate their resignations, which were literally minutes apart — it’s quite the coincidence if so. It’s just one month since Johnson survived a no-confidence vote, 221 to 148 votes, amid the “partygate scandal”, as ABC adds.
So what the bleedin’ hell is going on over there this time? The latest scandal dates back to 2017, when Conservative MP and then government whip Chris Pincher was accused of massaging the neck of a male Tory activist Alex Story (Pincher denied misconduct but stood down anyway and a party investigation cleared him). Two years later in 2019, Pincher joined the backbench again and went on to become Housing minister. In February this year, he became deputy chief whip, but was accused of “drunkenly groping” two men last month, as Guardian Australia explains. At first, Johnson’s spokesperson said the PM didn’t know about any allegations against Pincher when he promoted him to deputy chief whip in February. But now No. 10 has changed its story. Johnson was briefed but he couldn’t remember it, the PM’s office says, as BBC reports. Will the PM survive yet another Westminster debacle, news.com.au asks? Stay tuned I guess.
ON A LIGHTER NOTE
Korben, a 16-year-old British boy with a ginger head of hair, was getting ready to embark upon a youth rite of passage — his school formal. He surveyed his outfit in the mirror, which he had been planning since he was aged 12 — bright-red neck tie (a classic choice), a matching red dinner jacket covered in sequins (something a little different) and a large ballgown skirt (for effect). Once he proudly stepped out of the car, his mum says, the crowd went wild. “Everyone just cheered and I was crying, some of the teachers were crying, because he was being who he wanted to be,” she says. “The feeling of acceptance, you can’t beat that feeling”.
She tweeted a photo of her beaming son, which caught the attention of Ru Paul’s Drag Race star Michelle Visage, who declared Korben a “star”. Korben could not believe it. To him, she is an icon, he tells the BBC, a “wonderful celebrity”. Korben says he was inspired by American actor Billy Porter’s Tony Awards outfit (a kind of blush pink tulle dress over red pants, colours Yves Saint Laurent would approve of). Korben’s mum’s tweet has since gone viral, with more than 61,000 likes and counting. It’s not been without criticism, but she said, “The support & positivity has been overwhelming & have totally drowned out the few negative ones which we take no notice of. It’s his life & I’m letting him live it”.
Wishing you the courage to be who you want to be.
I have not had a day off for a very long period of time. We can’t separate international events from the impact on Australia and Australians. [If] people want to argue I’m not working hard, then they can argue that case.
The PM has been forced to defend going to a NATO meeting and visiting a war zone as the NSW floods hit after somewhat of a false equivalence was drawn with Scott Morrison holidaying in Hawaii while Australia burned. The Australian’s ($) Ben Packham wrote that Albanese was “well prepared for photo opportunities” in Ukraine after accusing Morrison of being “all photo-op, no follow-up” and criticising his Hawaiian vacation.
“I don’t know how to ease you into the topic so I’m just going to say it: mobs of unruly teens inspired by viral TikToks are attending showings of the new Despicable Me film, Minions: The Rise of Gru, dressed in suits. Naturally, they call themselves the Gentleminions.
“How big is this? Tens of thousands of videos have used the TikTok sound — meaning that they’ve used the platform’s feature to use the same audio on a new video, often to replicate it in their own way. There are teens all around the world doing it; I saw some Spanish and Polish versions too. Things are getting so out of hand that UK cinemas have banned the practice.”
“With more taxpayer funding pouring in and no substantial increase in requirements for dog welfare, the industry is now breeding more pups than ever before. The Iemma review considered imposing a cap on breeding numbers across the state with the goal of what the industry likes to call ‘wastage’, but did not proceed with a recommendation. Since then, according to figures from the industry regulator, there has been a 50% increase in the number of greyhound pups bred. Nationally, according to the CPG, the industry is producing six times more greyhounds than it can rehome.
“The industry’s own rehoming service in NSW, Greyhounds As Pets, despite hard-working staff and an army of enthusiastic volunteers, is unable to rehome all the greyhounds it receives from the industry. It ends up euthanising up to 10% of the dogs it receives — in contrast to community rehoming organisations that have a no-kill policy. The industry hasn’t got close to even half of its greyhound rehoming targets.”
“The coverage averaged 524,000 across the hours — 554,000 for the night and 494,000 for the late session, which is when the eventual five-set Kyrgios match against American Brandon Nakashima was in full swing (it went for three hours and 10 minutes). Big Brother on Seven drew 513,000 — no amount of BVOD and delayed viewing will close the gap on Ten’s MasterChef Australia (816,000) or Have You Been Paying Attention? (780,000) in seven days’ time.
“Sarah Ferguson moved into the chair at 7.30 and there was no impact on the figures — 839,000 nationally last night, while last Monday the show attracted 864,000 nationally at the start of Leigh Sales’ last week.”
READ ALL ABOUT IT
Shifting policy, France brings home French wives of jihadists (The New York Times)
Infertility patients and doctors fear abortion bans could restrict IVF (The New York Times)
Germany to bail out energy suppliers ahead of winter without Russian gas (The Wall Street Journal) ($)
Property price falls may be bigger than expected — John Collett (The SMH): “Combined with the two earlier rate increases in May and June, monthly payments have climbed more than $350. Canstar figures show that if the cash rate were to reach 2.5%, the average variable-rate mortgage would hit 5.15% — about double the levels of fixed-rate loans only a year ago. Recent property price declines appear to be accelerating. Sydney house prices dropped 1.8% in June after a 1.1% fall in May, CoreLogic figures show.
“In Melbourne, house prices dropped 1.3% in June after a modest 0.8% decline in May. More large interest rate hikes expected as banks urged to pass it to savers Before the latest official rate increase, some analysts were forecasting property price falls of between 15% and 20% in the two major capital cities. ANZ’s latest forecast for Sydney prices, released in mid-June, was for a decline of up to 20% by the end of 2023. In May, the bank was forecasting a fall of only 15%. The bank’s economists expect Melbourne prices to drop by 15%. In May, the estimate was just 11%.”
How gun violence changed my father, Ronald Reagan, and our family — Patti Davis (The New York Times): “Forty-one years ago, on a cold, drizzly day in Washington, DC., four people were shot by a young man who had concealed a gun in his jacket. This was long before mass shootings became a frequent reality of our lives. It was long before semiautomatic weapons became commonplace. There were many ‘good people with guns’ there that day. It made no difference. Four men were shot in a matter of seconds. I am the daughter of one of those men, Ronald Reagan, who came incredibly close to losing his life because the bullets John Hinckley loaded into his gun were devastator bullets, meant to fragment. Meant to kill more efficiently. One of those bullets blew apart James Brady’s head; he was never the same.
“The gun Hinckley used was a Röhm RG-14 revolver. It fit neatly into his jacket pocket. In the decades since that day, I have lived with a fear of guns, especially concealed guns. Now that fear has expanded to assassins in tactical gear with AR-15s storming grocery stores, schools, churches, theatres — anyplace, really — and mowing down scores of people in minutes. It is no comfort that my fear is shared by so many Americans. In fact, that adds another dimension. We are, increasingly, a country gripped by fear: It weakens us, gnaws at our confidence, makes us more vulnerable than resolute. When the Supreme Court ruled recently that Americans have a right to carry a concealed handgun in public, something froze in me.”
HOLD THE FRONT PAGE
WHAT’S ON TODAY
Ngunnawal Country (also known as Canberra)
Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Mathias Cormann, and former high commissioner to the UK George Brandis are among the speakers at The Universities Australia Conference at the National Convention Centre.
Universities Australia’s John Dewar will speak to the National Press Club.
Kaurna Country (also known as Adelaide)
Australia-China Young Professionals Initiative and Australia-China Youth Association are hosting a seminar about how to break into China’s market with marketing experts in sales and intellectual property to speak.