Good morning. We’ll have plenty of news from Canberra today as federal parliament resumes. The latest Guardian Essential poll shows support for both Scott Morrison and Anthony Albanese has dropped and there is a cautious mood about vaccinations. Meanwhile, Australian politicians and commentators are facing the consequences of posting Covid misinformation as social media companies crack down and remove content.
Labor leader Anthony Albanese will use the resumption of parliament today to urge the Morrison government to offer a one-off $300 payment to every fully vaccinated Australian to increase incentives to get the jab. The Guardian Essential poll shows while some vaccine hesitancy persists, 64% of respondents report they would get vaccinated as soon as possible, and most Australians would be comfortable with vaccination passports as a precondition of future domestic travel and entry into entertainment venues. The survey also shows a majority of people (62%) think 80% or more of the eligible Australian population should be fully vaccinated before Australia reopens its international borders.
Federal health minister Greg Hunt has appealed to “everybody to stick with the facts” on Covid after Facebook marked a recent post by Queensland Liberal National party senator Gerard Rennick as containing “false information”. Rennick put out two posts over the past fortnight casting doubt on the accuracy of Covid tests and posted about unproven medical treatments including ivermectin. “Our view is very clear – that we set out the official medical advice, and we urge everybody to stick with the facts, to stick with the medical advice,” Hunt said. The comments come as millions of Queenslanders were ordered into an extended lockdown until Sunday after 13 new Covid cases. It’s not just Rennick caught up in social media crackdowns over misinformation: six videos from Sky News Australia hosts Alan Jones, Rowan Dean and Rita Panahi have been deleted for violating YouTube policies by advocating the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin as treatments for Covid.
The Matildas suffered a 0-1 semi-final loss to Sweden. “For the Matildas, this was a 90 minutes of almosts. Too many almost final balls, almost corners and almost defensive mistakes by their opponents. It was an almost final that has eluded this team for many years under several coaches,” writes Emma Kemp. Meanwhile the Belarus Olympic athlete Krystsina Tsimanouskaya has received a humanitarian visa from Poland after she was threatened with being repatriated to Minsk over her criticism of Olympic team officials.
An Indonesian police chief implicated in alleged human rights abuses against a group of West Papuan activists was trained by Australian federal police. Merauke police chief Untung Sangaji, reportedly told local media “we will chop them up” after the alleged mistreatment of members of a pro-independence organisation.
Microbiologist Elisabeth Bik was “bombarded” with abuse and trolling online after she raised serious concerns about a paper that claimed hydroxychloroquine was effective in treating Covid. Bik has made many high-profile discoveries of error in scientific papers, but it was not until the Covid pandemic that the errors she identified led to such a coordinated and vitriolic level of pushback.
Senator Pat Dodson has called for a widespread audit of Indigenous land use agreements after traditional owners in the Pilbara found they may have been underpaid by as much as $400m by the mining giant Rio Tinto.
Palestinian residents in occupied East Jerusalem facing forcible eviction have been offered a compromise deal with Jewish settlers by Israel’s supreme court, in an unexpected development in the high-profile case. The proposed deal would allow the 70 Palestinians to remain in their homes as tenants with “protected status” while paying an annual fee.
A UK man has been convicted of raping a 13-year-old girl 46 years ago, after the daughter conceived during the attack pursued charges against him. In what is thought to be the first case of its kind, Bennett was tracked down by Daisy, now 45. DNA tests on Daisy and her birth parents confirmed that Bennett was her biological father.
A British human rights campaigner and lawyer who was fighting to free Dubai’s Princess Latifa had his mobile phone compromised by Pegasus spyware. David Haigh is the first confirmed British victim of infiltration by Pegasus software.
Turkey has launched an international appeal for help in taming fires that have killed eight people in recent days.
A 100-year-old former concentration camp guard will stand trial in Germany accused of complicity in 3,518 murders at the Sachsenhausen camp between 1942 and 1945.
OnlyFans has become a hot topic, but sex worker Tilly Lawless says the online platform isn’t revolutionising sex work, and using it ruined things she once did for personal pleasure. “One of the reasons why I have always preferred brothel work over escorting is it allows me to have clear work hours (a shift); the rest of the time is my own, to shut off. OnlyFans not only brought my work into every moment in the same way escorting does, but it also brought my work into my bedroom, and into things I had before only done for personal pleasure.”
Australian parliament resumes today, and there are four key environmental battlegrounds on the agenda, including fracking in the Beetaloo Basin and using the country’s green bank to underwrite gas-fired power plants. Here are some issues you may be reading and hearing about in the weeks ahead.
Greg Jericho has watched as Australia’s interest rate has fluctuated throughout his life. But as Australia changes, it’s unlikely the Reserve Bank board will increase the cash rate when they meet today – thus extending the run without an increase to nearly 11 years. “The longest time between rate rises before this period was the 58 months between December 1994 and November 1999. The governor of the Reserve Bank, Philip Lowe, has stated the bank ‘will not increase the cash rate until actual inflation is sustainably within the 2% to 3% target range’. And yet last week the latest CPI figures showed inflation grew by 3.8% – well above the target range and the fastest since September 2008.”
The Taliban has launched a nationwide offensive in Afghanistan, leaving local workers who once assisted the Australian defence force fearing for their lives. In today’s Full Story, Laura Murphy-Oates speaks to Afghan interpreter Naser Ahmadi about how aiding Australian forces put him and his family in danger. Reporter Ben Doherty explores the situation in Afghanistan and why some Afghan workers have been left behind.
Dutch runner Sifan Hassan has won the first leg of her Tokyo triple by taking the gold medal in the women’s 5000m. Hassan has the semi-finals of the 1500m on Wednesday, the final of that same event on Friday, and then the 10,000m on Saturday. If she can do it, it would be one of the greatest feats in Olympic history.
Former Australian senator Fraser Anning has been ordered to remove 141 Facebook and Twitter posts after a Queensland tribunal found he breached anti-discrimination laws by vilifying Muslims, reports the ABC. The Australian federal police agreed to pay $1.25m to settle a sexual harassment claim in which a sergeant rubbed himself against a colleague, made repeated comments about her breasts and professionally undermined her, reports the Age. Sydney residents seeking Covid vaccinations are spending hours navigating the government booking system, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
Federal parliament resumes and a decision on interest rates is due.
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