Australian politics live: question time begins as climate debate heats up; national 70% Covid vaccine milestone hit; Victoria records 1,841 cases, NSW 283

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LIVE – Updated at 04:33

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Anthony Albanese to Barnaby Joyce:

The minister for regionalisation [Bridget McKenzie] has said that if the prime minister adopts net zero without the approval of the National party, “it will be ugly”. Does the minister agree?

The current deputy prime minister:

Mr Speaker, what I can say is that the process of going through this has been diligently followed.

The process, and I have been in close contact – in close contact – with the Prime Minister through this process, and what I can say, Mr Speaker, in a committee of four which is Minister McKenzie, Minister Pitt, Minister Littleproud and Minister Hogan have all been working on this process and as recently as today I had a meeting because we are going to make sure that the Prime Minister of Australia is reported back there as soon as possible. In fact, I believe within the day, within the next day, we will get back to him because we are not grandstanding.

(Labor (figuratively) explodes)

….What I would like to hear, Mr Speaker, is like you so often that the Labor Party have been wanting this for eight years, I think, but we have not received one dot of a costing, not one proposed plan Even though they have not provided us one Garrick of evidence as to how they would achieve their outcome after eight years, and by gosh, Mr Speaker, they have had a lot of spare time in that eight years, in that eight years…

Mr Speaker, we will make sure that we follow a prudent process. I acknowledge the work of the senator of Victoria but I stated that it will be a prudent process for which our party can stand behind, and we will work constructively to make sure that that is not only the best outcome for regional people, that we respect the role of the National Party room, that the final arbiter will be theNational Party room of our position, of our position.

[I’ll take that interjection] I am theDeputy Prime Minister and you [Albanese] are the Leader of the Opposition and long may that be the case.


04:32 Paul Karp

The immigration minister, Alex Hawke, has called a press conference to deliver attack lines against Labor for blocking the visa cancellation bill.

Asked about Kristina Keneally’s claim that he had reneged on a deal to amend and pass it with Labor, Hawke said: “This legislation has been before parliament for many years now, it is straightforward.”

He gave no answer to whether he reneged on a deal and was overruled by Scott Morrison. Hawke acknowledged the Coalition and Labor had been working on the issue “for a number of years”, but refused to say what he and Keneally discussed on Tuesday.

Asked about his comments this morning that the government had “no intent” to deport Aboriginal people – despite running a case in the high court seeking the power to deport Aboriginal people – Hawke said:

The government of course will await the outcome of that court case. This is a highly legal matter. My comments are about the policy intentions – there has never been a policy intention to do that. Of course when you get lawyers involved in these questions you get some very technical outcomes … It’s a matter before the court.

I noted the commonwealth has tried to deport Aboriginal people – Daniel Love and Brendan Thoms – that’s what the original court case the government is seeking to overturn was about, and if he’d rule out deporting any Aboriginal people in future.

Hawke replied:

It’s clearly not Australian policy to do so … I think it’s a very straightforward statement.



Zali Steggall to Scott Morrison:

A number of climate denying members for your government have been holding climate policy to ransom – so other members can reflect their communities calls to rapidly act on climate change, will you allow an open debate and conscience vote on the Climate Change Bill before parliament while The Nationals vote is the most powerful within the coalition?

Tony Smith:

Just before I called the Prime Minister, the first part of the question had some descriptions in it that really don’t belong in a question. I need to say – assertions like that, and I think all members, including the Member for Warringah, would not like it there was a question that made an assertion about them so I am just going to point that out – that that is not really what Question Time is for. There are other forms of the house where people can engage in political combat of that nature. The Prime Minister has the call.


The world’s response to climate change, and that will be the subject of the summit that is being held in Glasgow in a few weeks time, will be seeking to bring people together on this issue.

And, Mr Speaker, the response that is being made around the world to climate change will have a significant impact on Australia. It will have a significant impact, particularly on rural and regional Australia, and it will be, I think, unfair for this place to send anything other than a message to those Australians that we understand that, that we understand that people in rural and regional Australia will face some real challenges to their economic futures because of what is happening around the world and be changes in the global economy.

Now, the Liberal Party and the National Party understand that and we think it is important that we don’t engage, I think, Mr Speaker, with those who have a different view to us, or even different views in a discussion in any sort of pejorative way.

I do not think that is very helpful, Mr Speaker, in what we’re trying to achieve you because I think Australians, Mr Speaker, wants to embrace the changes that are occurring but I also think they want to ensure that all Australians can go ahead together, Mr Speaker, in rural and regional areas and that we have a clear and considered plan for how that is going to be achieved so we can both the negative impacts of what is going to occur and realise the opportunities that can be there for all Australians, but particularly in rural and regional areas.

Now, Mr Speaker, that is what the Government is working through, and the Government will make a decision about the position that will be taken to Cop26, Mr Speaker.

The date has not changed. It has been the same date all year, Mr Speaker. We have been working towards that date over the course of the year so when I attend that summit I will take the Government ‘s position, and the Government ‘s position, Mr Speaker, will be determined local government positions are and that is by the Federal Cabinet…

He goes on about ‘meeting and beating’ Kyoto, once again not mentioning that Australia was allowed to increase emissions under Kyoto one, and honestly, we just don’t need to hear any more of that guff right now.



Kristy McBain to Barnaby Joyce:

“My question is again to the minister for regional development. Can the minister confirm the government has spent funds on the north Sydney pool but rejected a fund for applications for the bigger War Memorial pool?

The current deputy prime minister:

“Mr Speaker, I find it rather … peculiar that the member for Gellibrand refers to Ronald McDonald, you must think that is humourous, member for Gellibrand, I’m sure the people by watching … ”

Tony Smith says to leave the cautioning to him (he cautions Tim Watts for interjections).


Thank you very much Mr Speaker. The building better regions fund, the last round was $1.7bn worth of requests which shows that this is an incredibly well responded to grant system. And within that system we have, we had over 1,000 applications in the last round. Mr Speaker, there are so many areas in regional Australia and I acknowledged the member for Eden-Monaro’s question where she talked about a certain grant which unfortunately within the envelope that we have we were unable to help on that issue.

What we can say quite clearly is that in the last round … we extended a further hundred million dollars, a $300m package because we look towards those corners of our nation which we can help.

(The interjections get so loud, Smith has to issue a general shut up)


Of course we are making sure we continue this program, obviously we hope that the Australian people find it prudent for the real action of the Coalition government and we are striving our very best to make sure that they see us in that light.

We look forward to the Labor party putting forward their views on what they intend to do with the building better regions fund. And it is interesting that you bring that up, member for Eden-Monaro, because I noticed that back in 2014 in the electorate of, we know they don’t want to hear this …


I can anticipate where the deputy prime minister is going, which is back seven years. The question was very specific. It asked whether the deputy prime minister could confirm one grant had been received and another one hadn’t. Within that context he has been very relevant up until this point but he doesn’t have the ability to go down a track of looking at another grants.


Of course Mr Speaker I can confirm that one grant has been received and another hasn’t.

He slumps back to his seat.


04:26 Daniel Hurst

In Senate question time, after saying net zero without Nationals’ support would be “ugly”, Bridget McKenzie also said that “our party room has primacy in this”. It was not, she said, a position for the leader to take in a top-down process. She said the Nationals were taking issues forward “as a group”.

McKenzie said it “would be best obviously” for the Coalition to come to an agreement.

She was then asked how many Nationals would be at risk of resigning if the government adopts net zero by 2050

“Talking about resignations over climate change policy, and going to what Nationals may or may not do is a hypothetic



Sorry – I am still digesting Alex Hawke claiming it was not the Australian policy to deport Aboriginal people, when the government tried to do exactly that and was only stopped by the high court, and is still trying to win the power to do that, and is back in the high court arguing for it.


04:25 Paul Karp

Hawke also commented on an ABC report that an Afghan interpreter seeking to come to Australia has been killed by the Taliban:

The situation in Afghanistan is very dire. We have a regime in place that isn’t internationally recognised, by almost every major country. We’ve been raising this issue with all our major partners …It is unsafe, it is dangerous, and we condemn the Taliban and the acts they are committing, the atrocities against minorities.”

Hawke said he would not comment on individual cases, but the Australian government had brought 4,100 people from Afghanistan.

Hawke said people on temporary visas have cleared quarantine and are “fitting well into their new life here already”.

He said:

We’re going to make some further announcements about their visa outcomes, and we’re confident those will be very successful for everyone who has come here. This will be a very positive migration for people we’ve rescued out of a very difficult situation.”

‘It will be ugly’ if PM adopts net zero without the Nationals, McKenzie says

04:23 Daniel Hurst

The Nationals’ Senate leader, Bridget McKenzie, says “it will be ugly” if Scott Morrison adopts a net zero emissions target without Nationals’ approval.

Labor’s Kristina Keneally asked McKenzie at the start of Senate question time about comments by Matt Canavan that it would be “ugly” if Morrison adopted net zero without the junior Coalition partner’s support.

McKenzie, who represents Barnaby Joyce in the Senate, was asked whether the deputy prime minister agreed.

She replied:

I think it will be ugly. I think it will be ugly. I agree with Senator Canavan – you’ll have to check with Barnaby if he doesn’t. What we’re doing as a political party is carefully considering the proposal before us and this proposal will set up a net zero position for this country over the next three decades.

McKenzie said as the party that represented miners, foresters, fishers, manufacturers, farmers and rural and regional people, it was only right that the Nationals assessed the impact.

Question time begins


Kristy McBain asks Barnaby Joyce about the latest ANAO report, which Sarah Martin explains here:

Related: $25bn in Coalition grants made through closed process with no competitors, report finds

Joyce says the funds pay for things like Ronald McDonald House and take the cost burdens for infrastructure that regional communities would not be able to afford otherwise.



Before question time, the house has a moment of silence for murdered UK MP Sir David Amess.



The members 90 second statements are continuing to bring the goods.

Patrick Gorman used his to hit back at Barnaby Joyce for comparing WA to North Korea.

Everything is going well.



Nationals’ Senate leader Bridget McKenzie is rolling out the pearlers in her latest ABC interview when it comes to trying to explain what the Nationals are doing on climate policy (which, to be fair, is as easy as explaining what air feels like).

I have made it clear to our party room that we’re all going on a journey together as a room.



Rex Patrick will introduce the federal Icac bill proposed by independent MP Helen Haines (and already in the House) in the Senate.

So that is now a cross chamber push by the crossbenchers to have a commonwealth integrity commission that actually does something.

From Patrick:

Helen is a tireless champion of this cause, and it is independent members of the Federal Parliament who have been leading the push for a Federal Integrity Commission with real teeth, able to root out corruption and misconduct at all levels of the Australian Government.

We need a strong anti-corruption body, with the investigatory powers of a standing Royal Commission coupled with proper safeguards to ensure due process and accountability. This Bill delivers on those requirements.

The proposed Australian Federal Integrity Commission has the backing of eminent legal and anti-corruption experts around the country, but Prime Minister Scott Morrison hasn’t wanted to debate it. Indeed he’s dragged the chain on this issue from the very beginning. His Government have long stalled and delayed on their own proposal, which is quite unfit for the task.

It’s interesting that those in power are the most aggrieved at the idea of a strong corruption watchdog.

Whether it’s Sports rorts, Car Park rorts, dodgy water purchases, jobs for the boys, JobKeeper rorts – the Government’s track record on integrity is a disgrace. They have undermined public confidence in politicians and officials.



This email has just lobbed:

“Minister [Alex] Hawke will address Labor’s decision to vote against provisions to strengthen the character test in the Migration Act.”

(It wasn’t just Labor, and ultimately the government couldn’t convince the crossbench).

That’s happening just before QT



Question time is almost upon us.

You have been warned.


03:22 Christopher Knaus

In recent months, I’ve been reporting on a series of federal government incentives handed to Empire Energy to frack the Beetaloo Basin, including $21m in exploratory drilling grants and a $5m research and development tax offset.

Opening up the Beetaloo to fracking forms part of the Coalition’s gas-fired recovery from the pandemic.

Despite receiving the commonwealth incentives, the company was still waiting on approvals from the Northern Territory government that were needed for it to begin fracking. Those approvals have now been given. It allows the company to frack up to seven horizontal wells.

Activists were quick to criticise the decision. Protect Country Alliance spokesperson Graeme Sawyer said:

History will not look kindly on the Gunner Government and its foolish decision to approve this polluting fracking project.

We are just weeks away from the most important climate meeting since the Paris Agreement was forged. We need immediate action to halt the worst impacts of the climate crisis.



The Senate committee looking into job security in publicly-funded jobs has handed down its second interim report. You can find that here.

The Greens senator Mehreen Faruqi, a committee member, said it was time to tackle wage theft at universities, particularly given what has happened over the past two years:

Wage theft at our universities is out of control. What’s worse, most universities are continuing to wipe their hands of it and dismiss the systemic and serious nature of the underpayments.

Casual workers, and particularly women who are overrepresented as casuals, are bearing the brunt of this wage theft that has been allowed to flourish, almost completely unchecked until now. Casualisation and wage theft are inextricably linked. We heard from so many university staff during this inquiry about their horrific experiences.

An entire generation of casual academics have been hung out to dry.

© Provided by The Guardian The Greens senator Mehreen Faruqi. Photograph: Paul Miller/AAP



AAP has another update on the Covid situation in New Zealand:

Covid-19 Minister Chris Hipkins has drastically upped case estimates for New Zealand’s Delta outbreak, saying daily counts could reach the “high hundreds”.

On Wednesday, health officials reported 60 community cases, down from Tuesday’s 94 which was the country’s highest daily number of the pandemic.

Modellers advising the government believe the “R” value – or how many people each individual case infects – is around 1.25, which will see a doubling of cases each fortnight.

NZ has avoided the worst of the pandemic, with 28 deaths compared to Australia’s 1577.

However, a significantly less resourced health system – including half of the intensive care beds than Australia, per capita – means NZ could endure poor health outcomes should cases increase.

“We’re likely to see case numbers continue to increase for a period and we do need to be prepared for that,” Mr Hipkins told Radio NZ.

“The modellers have different views on where we are likely to top out. It could be as low as 200 or it could be higher than that … up into the high hundreds.”



This is quite the document.

“Sometimes you gotta say WTF”. Nigel Blunden’s advice to his then-boss, former premier Mike Baird, on the proposal for a $5.5m clay target shooting centre in Wagga Wagga now at the centre of Icac’s investigation. “Daryl fired up and Gladys put it back on,” he wrote.

— Michael McGowan (@mmcgowan) October 20, 2021



This is not every jurisdiction though.

South Australia, Qld, WA and the NT have not hit these marks as yet.

We did it! ✅

70% of Australians aged 16+ are now fully vaccinated against COVID.

Thank you, Australia. Now let’s bring this home across the country and hit the 80% target in the National Plan so we can continue to safely reopen and stay safely open.

— Scott Morrison (@ScottMorrisonMP) October 20, 2021



Labor is hoping it might have a chance in north Queensland in the federal election (Herbert and Leichardt are on the list) so there has been an effort to do a lot more media there.

This morning it was Cairn’s radio 4CA, where Anthony Albanese criticised the Nationals over their climate policy hold out stance:

Well, they’re not fair dinkum. There is enormous opportunities for regional Australia to benefit from a shift in the economy. Just today, Annastacia Palaszczuk’s in Maryborough, in Queensland there, announcing an expansion of rail manufacturing, a significant expansion of jobs there at Downer EDI at the centre of Maryborough’s economy. And that’s an example of whereby the former LNP government under Campbell Newman made trains overseas, not in Australia. And that costs Australian jobs.

The significant opportunities that are there to expand in jobs. We had an extraordinary decision by Keith Pitt, as the minister, to reject the Kaban wind farm proposal there on the Atherton Tablelands. And in the end, in spite of the fact that it was recommended by the board of the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility, he rejected it. It’s 250 regional jobs and the Queensland government had to step in to support that project, because it was vetoed, a loan of $280 million for the wind farm.

The National party also are never on the side of workers when it comes to issues like same job, same pay for miners. They’ve been in court backing in the company, the federal government, which undermines that permanent, secure work that people need to live in these regional communities. And I just think that there’s a big wake-up call coming for the National party with their rejection of any change in terms of policy dynamic, but in reality, what they’re doing is rejecting jobs and allowing change to be shaped by big corporations, not in the interests of people. We need an economy that works for people, not the other way around.

Scott Morrison is trying to set up a climate battle with Labor, accusing the opposition of signing a “blank cheque” on the policy. But there is no policy at the moment. And after the last election, you can be sure that this time, there will be costings.



Kristina Keneally has announced a doorstop in just a short while to speak about what’s been going on in the Senate this morning.

Senate blocks government’s character test strengthening bill

02:13 Paul Karp

The Senate has blocked the government’s visa cancellation bill. A vote was just held on the second reading stage – and it was tied 25-all, meaning the government’s bid to push it through to the next stage did not succeed.

Rex Patrick voted with Labor and the Greens to block it; Stirling Griff also spoke against the bill. Pauline Hanson and Jacqui Lambie’s votes were not recorded, which could mean they were paired, as Lambie had previously expressed concerns about the bill.

© Provided by The Guardian Senator Rex Patrick. Photograph: Mick Tsikas/AAP



Uh huh.

cool, healthy system

— cammyboo (@cameronwilson) October 20, 2021



Nick McKim has responded to the Senate voting down the strengthening the character test bill.

The draconian Strengthening the Character Test Bill has just been voted down in the Senate. It would’ve given the Minister sweeping new powers to deport people who built lives in Australia, undermined the rule of law and stepped us further down the road to early onset fascism.

— Nick McKim (@NickMcKim) October 20, 2021


01:54 Josh Taylor

Victoria’s Covid commander, Jeroen Weimar, says people identified as primary close contacts of confirmed Covid-19 cases will no longer have to isolate for a full 14 days from Friday if fully vaccinated.

Fully vaccinated people will only need to isolate for 7 days, and get a test on their first and sixth days of isolation.

This will be backdated, so vaccinated people who are currently isolating as primary contacts will not need to do longer than 7 days provided they get tested.

Weimar says on today’s 1,842 new cases, a third of the cases were in Melbourne’s south eastern suburbs, with 575 in places such as Casey and Greater Dandenong. The number of new cases in the northern suburbs is starting to reduce. There were 547 in the western suburbs.

In regional Victoria there were 153 new cases, including 23 in Mitchell Shire, 22 in Greater Bendigo and 21 in Geelong.

Weimar says the curfew will still apply from 9pm til 11.59pm tomorrow night, meaning that people hoping to go to the pub at midnight might not be able to leave home until exactly midnight.

He said:

We all want to go to have a drink at midnight tomorrow night or after midnight – I might wait till the next day. We all want to enjoy those new freedoms and I’m sure we all will but can we all please just remember this is one important step. It’s not a mass freedom day, it’s not a mass ‘let’s go completely nuts’.

There is still a significant risk. We still have 800 people in the hospital at this point in time. We’d like to really make sure they get well. We’d like to minimise the number of new people that go to hospital over the weeks in the months ahead, and our health care workers are going to continue to work very, very hard over November, December, and January to deal with that surge of people who we think will need care, and that’s something we just bear in mind.

He said an announcement on whether the regional Victorian town of Mildura will exit lockdown at the same time as Melbourne will come on Thursday.

What do the Nationals want?

01:53 Katharine Murphy

Morning everyone. For people glued to the net zero negotiations, here’s a quick update. I reported this morning the Nationals have formed a subgroup of ministers – David Littleproud, Bridget McKenzie, Keith Pitt and Kevin Hogan – to sift through a wish list the Nationals will put to Scott Morrison by the end of this week.

The plan is for the subgroup to finalise that list today. Once that’s done, it is likely the Nationals will have another party room meeting, either today or tomorrow, to ensure everyone is onboard with the priorities.

If everyone is onboard, Barnaby Joyce will take that list to Scott Morrison at the weekend. In addition to what happens today or tomorrow, there is another Nationals party room meeting planned for Sunday.

Then there are the cabinet and the joint party room meetings at the beginning of next week. Morrison goes to Glasgow next Thursday.

In terms of what’s on the list: Nationals MPs have been told this is a no parochial projects exercise – no bridges, no coal plants, no pet unicorns.

Opponents of net zero are championing coal plants, and there is a pre-existing process to examine the feasibility of a new coal-fired power plant at Collinsville. But that idea pre-dates the net zero conversation.

People tell me (as of now at least) coal plants/bridges/unicorns aren’t going on the list.

According to what Nationals MPs have been told, the objective is to leverage existing projects and mechanisms for regional infrastructure and job creation.

Obviously there will be dollars. Not clear how many dollars, but Nationals suggest not eye-popping dollars. Everything being relative of course.


01:48 Sarah Martin

Greg Hunt was also asked about protests in the Northern Territory in which chief minister, Michael Gunner, was forced to evacuate his family from his home.

Hunt became teary as he revealed that “some years ago” his children had been the subject of threats.

“Firstly let me condemn, clearly, absolutely, unequivocally, the attack on Michael Gunner’s house, and what would have been a deep concern for him and his family,” Hunt said.

“I never really talked about it, but there was a period where the lives of my children were threatened quite openly some years ago, and that was a matter of great concern.

“But we have very fine federal police in this country.

“To those that think violence or the threat of violence is acceptable in any way shape or form, it is not. As a country, we have to, I think, really learn the value of respect.”

Victoria announces live music concert on 30 October

01:42 Josh Taylor

The Victorian assistant treasurer Danny Pearson says of the 12 people who died in Victoria from Covid-19 overnight, there was a woman in her 50s, a man in his 70s, three men and two women in their 80s, three men and a woman in their 90s, and a man in his 100s.

There are 22,596 active cases in the state, 786 people in hospital, 147 in intensive care, and 97 on ventilators.

Of the cases in hospital yesterday, 89% were not fully vaccinated – of those cases in intensive care, 96% were not fully vaccinated.

Pearson then turns to the announcement of the day. He says he hasn’t been this excited since he last bought tickets to Cold Chisel, as he announces that close to 4,000 people will be able to attend a music concert at Sidney Myer Music Bowl on 30 October as part of the trial of large events as Melbourne exits lockdown.

The lineup includes Baker Boy, Amyl and the Sniffers and Grace Cummings.

The tickets will go on sale at 3pm on Friday, the day Victoria exits lockdown.

Pearson said:

This is a first sign of us coming back. They say the darkest hour is the hours before the dawn, while today … we see the sun rising. Over the horizon, in the distance, begging us back to the things that we love most. The things that we want to do.

We want to see live music, we want to go to the NGV. We want to take to the museum, who want to go and see great sporting events, we want to see this great metropolis, to live.

© Provided by The Guardian Baker Boy will perform at the concert at Sidney Myer Music Bowl on 30 October. Photograph: Jackson Gallagher/The Guardian


01:34 Paul Karp

Independent senator, Jacqui Lambie, is the swing vote on the government’s visa cancellation bill and has previously expressed concerns about it – which is why it is interesting she has lodged two amendments seeking to soften the proposal.

The amendments:

  • Set a threshold of six months in prison, so an offender would have to have served some time to have their visa cancelled.
  • Add protections to ensure that people with longstanding links to Australia (eg. if they’ve been here more than 10 years or came here as a child) could not have their visas cancelled.

However, Kristina Keneally has accused the government of pressing for a vote to wedge Labor.

A spokeswoman for Lambie confirmed the amendments do not have government support, so it doesn’t sound like the Coalition have done a deal with the crossbench.

Australia hits 70% vaccination target


Greg Hunt is giving an update on the vaccination program – Australia has reached 70% fully vaccinated and is inching closer to its 80% target but he admits there is “some patchiness”.

“There is potential to lift,” he says.

On third doses, there will be a “critical meeting” next week to discuss Pfizer’s booster dose program. Moderna and AstraZeneca haven’t submitted their applications yet.

Aged care would be first, followed by other vulnerable communities.



On Novak Djokovic (and every other player not vaccinated) not being able to enter Australia for the Australian Open if they have not received their vaccinations, Greg Hunt says:

It doesn’t matter where you are number one in the world or anything else. Our rules are about protecting Australians and they apply to everybody. We’ve been very clear on that.

On whether spectators will have to be vaccinated, Hunt says:

I’m supportive of the state authorities of the [rules]. And on the particular question, you have to check with the minister for sport on that. I haven’t, to the best of my knowledge, have been approached but they wouldn’t approach me on that.

Immigration Minister @AlexHawkeMP says that Novak Djokovic will NOT be allowed into Australia if he is not double vaccinated.

“Our health advice is that when we open the borders everyone that comes to Australia will have to be double vaccinated”@AustralianOpen @RNBreakfast

— Julia Holman (@JulesHolman) October 19, 2021

© Provided by The Guardian Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open earlier this year. Photograph: Asanka Brendon Ratnayake/Reuters



The Queensland government is now working on its plan for vaccinated versus unvaccinated residents, once the state is open, in terms of freedoms and responsibilities.

Deputy premier Steven Miles:

“We’re just talking with businesses now about which of them might like to take up the opportunity to only have workers and patrons who are vaccinated at their venues,” he said.

“And those venues will be subject to the least restrictions.

“Other venues that have people who are both vaccinated and unvaccinated, that will continue to have some level of public health restrictions, probably until we make that 90% [vaccination] threshold.”

© Provided by The Guardian A restaurant at Brisbane’s Southbank. Photograph: Jono Searle/Getty Images



NSW has announced some treats for residents as it focuses on rebuilding the economy. As AAP reports:

Every adult in NSW will get a $50 voucher to spend on a hotel in the state, as the premier promises “a very bright summer after a very dark winter”.

The $250 million voucher scheme – called Stay and Rediscover – builds on the success of the state’s Dine and Discover program and is part of a broader package designed to give the state’s tourism industry a boost after months of lockdown.

“With international borders closed, it has been incredibly challenging for accommodation, for tourism operators,” Premier Dominic Perrottet told reporters on Wednesday.

“What we are doing is getting in front … we know that the borders will be open and we want to be ahead of the curve.”

Airlines are also set to benefit from the $530 million tourism and events support package, which includes a $60 million aviation attraction fund.



And in New Zealand (via AAP):

Three people with COVID-19 have escaped New Zealand quarantine in the past 24 hours, with one still at large.

Quarantine chief Rose King has labelled the failure as “really disappointing and unacceptable” as authorities continue to search for the missing person.

The runaway was granted permission to return home briefly under security escort to “retrieve personal items, care for a pet and lock their house”, before giving their minders the slip.

“They were given 10 minutes to do what they needed to. At the 10-minute mark the security detail went to retrieve them and found the individual had disappeared from the address,” Ms King said in a statement.

“Police were immediately notified and this individual has yet to be found.”

Ms King said an investigation would take place alongside the police’s continued efforts to find the person.

In a separate incident two men attempted to flee their quarantine at the Holiday Inn Auckland Airport about 5.40pm on Tuesday.

They were watched by security as they absconded, and were captured within five minutes of escaping.

The health ministry believes the public health risk to be low, and the pair will face court on charges of failing to comply with a health order.


01:11 Paul Karp

The prime minister’s office has rejected Kristina Keneally’s charge that Scott Morrison forced the immigration minister, Alex Hawke, to renege on a deal to pass the visa cancellation bill after negotiating amendments with Labor.

A PMO spokesperson told Guardian Australia:

Labor have known for two years that we intended to legislate this election commitment and now at five minutes to midnight the candidate for Fowler [Keneally] is trying to cover up the fact she hasn’t done her homework. Labor want to vote down protections that would keep stalkers, domestic violence abusers and sexual assault offenders from having their visa canceled or refused. Time’s up for Labor.

As Keneally noted in her Senate contribution – the government already has the power to cancel the visas of people sentenced to two years or more in prison. The bill is about expanding those powers and lowering the bar to allow visa cancellation where the offence is punishable by a sentence of that length but a lower sentence is given.


20 Oct 2021 00:54

Greg Hunt is now doing his regular “thank the prime minister for his leadership and saving us” monologue.

The single individual who helped establish the platform for the roadmap was the prime minister. He said in June, we need to have a roadmap that is based on size, based on modelling, that may mean some of the decisions are hard and some of the things we think are deferred but let us have the most science-based roadmap in the world and the PM did that, worked it through the national cabinet and that was adopted.

I looked for a straw but couldn’t find one.


20 Oct 2021 00:53

On third doses, Paul Kelly says:

The booster gives you a boost in your protection and certainly, as the minister has said, Atagi is going through that advice to government about how that should be done and we will have that very soon.

Greg Hunt says Australia has the supply and the mechanisms in place to deliver the third doses, so there won’t be a problem rolling them out when they are approved.


20 Oct 2021 00:52

Commonwealth CHO Prof Paul Kelly says there is no need to panic about the so-called “Delta plus” Covid variant you may have read about in the UK:

Just to be clear, this is not a new variant, it is not a variant of concern or even of interest at the moment, but we continue to have that close vigilant of the international situation, to watch out for what next variant may come from this virus.

In the UK there is a lot of circulating virus, mainly in teenagers, they have recommenced school at the moment. A lot of cases in teenagers and their parents, that is where the majority, 49,000 cases I think yesterday, but very importantly, there has not been the same sort of [rises] we have seen in previous waves into the UK in relation to hospitalisations or deaths and that is because the vaccination rollout in the UK has also been very successful.

Particularly for the people in the population more susceptible to severe disease and that is what we’re seeing in Australia right now.


20 Oct 2021 00:39

Over in the House, Craig Kelly is attempting to move third reading amendments to the the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).


20 Oct 2021 00:25 Paul Karp

Labor’s shadow home affairs minister, Kristina Keneally, has accused the government of reneging on a deal to pass its strengthening character test bill, which lowers the bar for cancelling a person’s visa.

Labor has concerns with the bill, including that by allowing cancellation for offences punishable by two years in prison – regardless of the length of the sentence actually given – it will allow people to be deported for lower-level offending.

Keneally told the Senate she met immigration minister, Alex Hawke, at noon on Tuesday and the pair had made a deal to work on other measures to protect victims of domestic violence, to work on deportation of New Zealanders and to amend the bill “so low-level offending is not captured”, before bringing the bill back in November.

She said Hawke then “reneged” on that deal, informing her office shortly before 5pm to pull the deal, leading her to conclude Hawke’s word “can’t be trusted” and Scott Morrison “would rather play politics with domestic violence” by putting the bill to a vote this week:

[Hawke said] Senator Anne Ruston had told him the bill had to be voted on today. He blamed the Senate leadership for forcing him to renege on that deal. I don’t believe that for one minute … Only one person can make a cabinet minister renege on a deal. Clearly the PM has yanked Mr Hawke’s chain.


20 Oct 2021 00:24

Q: Do you have a personal view on whether Labor should take a target to 2030 that’s higher than 45%?

Peta Murphy:

I think it’s been made very clear by Chris Bowe, that we have said that Scott Morrison should be taking a more ambitious target to Glasgow and have a more ambitious target for 2030. I mean, we’ve got a prime minister who has said, we’re not going to change anything, he’s hardly even willing to force the Joyce backers to commit to net zero by 2050, let alone anything more ambitious for 2030, 2035, 2040.

And I am absolutely confident that Labor will take to the federal election a suite of environmental policies and targets that will show our commitment to jobs, to investment in renewable energy and to the climate.


20 Oct 2021 00:23

Labor’s Peta Murphy was sent out today to deliver the opposition’s message:

It is almost unbelievable that we’re at the doorstep of Glasgow, and we still have a Joyce/Morrison government that can’t even commit to net zero emissions by 2050. It is almost unbelievable, and it is so devastatingly disappointing.

Devastatingly disappointing for the people in my community of Dunkley, who asked me to come here this week, and say to the government: it’s been eight long years of inaction. The cost of inaction has been missed opportunities for jobs, missed opportunities for investment in industry and manufacturing in this country and missed opportunities for Australia to play our part in reducing emissions for the future of the globe.


20 Oct 2021 00:23

Here is a bit more about where the Nationals heads are at, from David Littleproud’s interview with the ABC this morning:

Q: But hasn’t the prime minister told you there’ll be net positive benefits for the regions and jobs with a 2050 target?


Well, that’s where you need to overlay that on a regional basis and in a geographical basis. You’ve got to appreciate that some areas may be impacted, and that’s what we’ve got to understand. What are those impacts, and how do we secure their futures and grow their futures, while others will because of new jobs that come in? But I’m not as negative as that.

I think that if we embrace the technology that’s in the roadmap, I think there’s also an opportunity to secure those jobs that are already there.

We’re going to see that if you’re in the coalmining industry today, you shouldn’t be shuddering in your boots. You’re still going to have a job well beyond 2030, well into 2040, because the transition will not happen quickly.

And in fact, if the transition to new technology like carbon capture storage, not only here in Australia, but around the world, could mean that coalmining goes on for some decades to come. And so this is where we’ve just got pragmatic. We’ve got to understand the modelling and work through it calmly but quickly.


20 Oct 2021 00:20

You don’t need a Medicare card to access these services:

More Victorians will have easy access to COVID-19 testing, assessment & care closer to home with 20 new GP respiratory clinics on their way & support provided to existing clinics to open longer.

This will provide access to comprehensive assessment & support to manage illness.

— VicGovDH (@VicGovDH) October 19, 2021


19 Oct 2021 23:41 Paul Karp

The immigration minister, Alex Hawke, has claimed the government has “no intent to deport an Aboriginal from Australia”.

That’s despite Hawke and the home affairs minister, Karen Andrews, applying to the high court to allow them to do just that.

On Wednesday Hawke was asked about that litigation, and told Radio National:

I won’t comment – it’s before the courts. It’s a complex question of law, it’s not about an opinion of the government, and it has to be tested and resolved. That’s what the government is doing. Of course, there is no intent to deport an Aboriginal from Australia, ever.

The commonwealth of Australia tried to deport two Aboriginal peopleDaniel Love and Brendan Thoms – but the high court prevented this in February 2020. There have been nine Aboriginal people released from immigration detention as a result of the decision.

So, despite what Hawke said, that’s quite a few Aboriginal people the government has tried to deport.


19 Oct 2021 23:31

While the Morrison government still struggles to come to a decision most of the rest of the world, industry and business came to quite a while ago, the climate protests outside the parliament continue:

© Provided by The Guardian Extinction Rebellion protesters out the front of Parliament House in Canberra this morning. Photograph: Mike Bowers/The Guardian
© Provided by The Guardian Another view of the demonstration. Photograph: Mike Bowers/The Guardian
© Provided by The Guardian Police remove protesters from the road in front of Parliament House. Photograph: Mike Bowers/The Guardian
© Provided by The Guardian ‘Choked by coal’. Photograph: Mike Bowers/The Guardian


19 Oct 2021 23:28 Paul Karp

The immigration minister, Alex Hawke, has been asked on Radio National about when and how many migrants will return to Australia, after a speech by treasurer Josh Frydenberg to the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which is calling for skilled migrant numbers to be boosted from 120,000 to 200,000.

Hawke said that after borders open on 1 November Australians, permanent residents and their families will return “as a priority”, then cohorts including temporary workers, students, working holiday makers and temporary visa holders, including tourists.

He said skilled migrants “will be a high priority” especially those assessed as “job-enablers”, such as someone with tech skills from Silicon Valley.

Hawke acknowledged that business is “screaming” to get skilled migrants back. As far as numbers are concerned, Australia accepted 160,000 in both 2020 and 2021, at first filled “mostly by partner visas” but with “good numbers to fill skill shortages” after 1 November.

He made no commitment to increase the size of the program – only that the government will look at the flows and whether it is enough to fill critical shortages before deciding the next year’s allocation.

Later he suggested that “skill shortages will ameliorate” when the border opens so, if anything, it sounds like a signal that 160,000 a year will be enough.


19 Oct 2021 23:26

Third vaccine shots have been approved for people with severely compromised immune systems but there is no answer yet as to when the rest of the nation will begin receiving their third shots (it’s not really a booster, more of a third dose).

AAP says the AMA wants Atagi to make that decision sooner rather than later:

Australian Medical Association Victorian president Roderick McRae has urged the expert immunisation panel to approve third jabs.

“The vaccine status of those healthcare workers in particular who have had those two booster doses, their protection against COVID-19 is waning,” he said on Wednesday.

“They should be looking after healthcare workers to ensure that they’re as protected as they possibly can be as they have made the decision to open up the community.”

But infectious disease expert Robert Booy said the focus should be on ensuring immunocompromised people were given another dose before Christmas.

“For the rest of the population who might be at higher risk, I can see a booster coming next year at the same time as a flu jab – March, April, May,” he told the Nine Network.

“So no need to panic.”

Victoria records 1,841 local Covid cases overnight; NSW 283

19 Oct 2021 23:13

Both NSW and Victoria have released their latest Covid data. Victoria has recorded 1,841 local cases overnight; NSW 283.


Reported yesterday: 1,841 new local cases and 1 case acquired overseas (currently in HQ).

– 38,881 vaccines administered

– 78,928 test results received

– Sadly, 12 people with COVID-19 have died

More later: #COVID19VicData

— VicGovDH (@VicGovDH) October 19, 2021


NSW COVID-19 update – Wednesday 20 October 2021

In the 24-hour reporting period to 8pm last night:

– 92.3% of people aged 16+ have had one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

– 81.6% of people aged 16+ have had two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine

– 88,664 tests

— NSW Health (@NSWHealth) October 19, 2021

All of the love and condolences to those who have lost loved ones.


19 Oct 2021 23:07

The government is being forced to split one of its own bills to get at least some of it passed before the end of the year.

From Daniel Hurst:

The Morrison government will push ahead with new laws requiring businesses to report when they are under cyber-attack and, in extreme cases, to allow Australian officials to “step in” to help fend off hackers.

The operators of critical assets will be required to report cyber incidents. The legislation will also allow the government – through the Australian Signals Directorate – to provide direct assistance to industry “as a last resort”.

The rationale for this change is to allow the government to “provide assistance immediately prior, during or after a significant cybersecurity incident to ensure the continued provision of essential services”.

On Wednesday, the federal government will split its own critical infrastructure bill, delaying some elements that businesses have complained would impose “red tape”.

Related: Australia’s essential services could be forced to report when they are under cyber-attack


19 Oct 2021 23:01

Labor SA senator Karen Grogan will deliver her first speech this afternoon.


19 Oct 2021 23:01

In case you missed it yesterday, Dorinda Cox made her first speech in the Senate:

My pledge is to assure the people of Australia that my values are anchored in the betterment of our communities’ quality of life, and for further generations of our children to have a healthy and thriving planet to live on. Fighting for that future belongs to all of us – one that benefits many, not just a few. If you feel unheard and unseen then, in my time working here, I want to work to make sure that we change and transform this place so that we can be better allies for you. Climate and social justice is the unfinished business that we must prioritise as elected leaders of this nation, which is here, in the place of the people – the Senate.

I wish to finish in my great-grandmother’s Wajarri Badimaya language. Nganhu garrimanah malga brily marlbayiminah. Together, we stand strong and we rise up.

© Provided by The Guardian Newly sworn-in WA Greens senator Dorinda Cox is congratulated by fellow Greens senator Lidia Thorpe. Photograph: Mike Bowers/The Guardian


19 Oct 2021 22:55

AAP has an update on the resumption of the Ben Roberts-Smith defamation trial:

The resumption of Ben Roberts-Smith’s defamation trial has been put off until at least the middle of January but no date has been set due to COVID-19 disruption.

The Victoria Cross recipient’s lawsuit against The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Canberra Times was halted in August and slated to resume on November 1 after Sydney went into lockdown.

After hearing different proposals from the parties in the Federal Court on Friday, Justice Anthony Besanko vacated the November slot.

He also rejected a suggestion the trial be relocated to South Australia or resume for a short time from November 8 in Sydney to hear from NSW witnesses.

“I do not propose to fix the date for resumption,” he said. “It seems to me circumstances are too uncertain for me to do that.

“I wish to have the opportunity of resuming the trial on, or some time after, January 17 should the circumstances indicate that is the appropriate course having regard to the interest of the parties and the administration of justice.”

The judge, who will give his reasons at a later date, listed the matter for a further case management hearing on December 3.

The difficulties of continuing the trial include the availability of witnesses from Western Australia flowing from COVID-19 border restrictions in that state.


19 Oct 2021 22:39

Meanwhile, the tax commissioner is facing a Senate inquiry, as Daniel Hurst reports:

Australia’s tax commissioner, Chris Jordan, faces an inquiry into whether he “disobeyed a lawful order of the Senate” by declining to release information about jobkeeper payments.

The Senate voted on Tuesday to refer the issue to the powerful privileges committee, the latest development in a long-running battle between non-government senators and the Coalition over the key pandemic economic stimulus measure.

It stems from a Senate decision on 4 August to require Jordan to provide a list of all employers with an annual turnover greater than $10m that received jobkeeper, the number of employees paid, the total amount paid and any amount returned.

Related: Senate backs inquiry into whether tax commissioner should release jobkeeper details


19 Oct 2021 22:24

In question time yesterday, Barnaby Joyce said he was anticipating being able to give the prime minister a response from the National party by the end of the week.

Cabinet is meeting today (which Joyce sits in) where the roadmap and plan – which is yet to be made public – will be discussed more. Ultimately, the decision will be one for cabinet. Which means Joyce, Bridget McKenzie and even those outside cabinet, like resources minister Keith Pitt, will have to embrace the decision and sell it, even if they don’t like it (or resign their ministerial positions). You can’t have ministers running around criticising a plan the cabinet has embraced.

© Provided by The Guardian Barnaby Joyce at question time yesterday. Photograph: Mike Bowers/The Guardian

The only thing for certain right now is that if Joyce and co hadn’t rolled Michael McCormack when they did, they would be doing it now and blowing up the entire show. There is no way this point in the discussions would even have been reached if McCormack was leader.

Joyce is being forced to engage because he is the leader, and he’s being forced to be productive in the talks and negotiations because of what he stands to lose, politically. If he wasn’t the leader right now and this situation was playing out, you can guarantee there would have been a leadership battle thrown into the mix. Somewhere in an alternate universe, that very scenario is playing out. So at least we have been spared that.


19 Oct 2021 22:15

Our hot vaxxed summer will only be hot for the vaxxed:

On tennis:

Immigration Minister @AlexHawkeMP says that Novak Djokovic will not be allowed into Australia if he is not double vaccinated.

“Our health advice is that when we open the borders everyone that comes to Australia will have to be double vaccinated”

— RN Breakfast (@RNBreakfast) October 19, 2021


19 Oct 2021 22:13

And for anyone who still thinks the climate science is disputed (and you don’t have to go far in either parliamentary chamber to find someone who will tell you that) the verdict is in – no it is not. Scientists agree the climate emergency has been caused by humans:

Related: ‘Case closed’: 99.9% of scientists agree climate emergency caused by humans


19 Oct 2021 22:13

While the Coalition still umms and ahhhs over a bare minimum commitment, one of the industries they say they are considering is pleading with them to get on board.

As Sarah Martin and Katharine Murphy report:

The National Farmers’ Federation has made a final pitch to the National party to support a net zero emissions reduction target before Scott Morrison heads to Glasgow, telling MPs that failure to do so could “punish farmers” as the rest of the world decarbonises.

Morrison is due to depart for the United Nations-led climate conference late next week by the Nationals continue to work a package of measures to accompany any 2050 commitment – including funding for regional jobs and infrastructure projects.

The party’s leader, Barnaby Joyce, has signalled the Nationals’ priorities will be put to Morrison by the end of this week. A Nationals subgroup comprising ministers David Littleproud, Bridget McKenzie, Keith Pitt and Kevin Hogan is coordinating proposals from their colleagues, including ascertaining specific safeguards required for the Nationals to formally agree to adopt the net zero target.

Related: Lack of support for emissions reduction target will ‘punish farmers’, NFF tells Nationals


19 Oct 2021 21:52

What is the price of the National party support?

David Littleproud tries to pretend he doesn’t know what ABC host Michael Rowland is talking about, but by the third attempt Littleproud says:

Money makes the world go around, mate.

Cool. So we got there. So what is the price?


We are working through that to make sure there is not a huge price to this. Using the smarts of technology and reform in protecting regional Australia, we aren’t thinking about 30 pieces of silver.

We are thinking more about the policy settings to ensure we protect regional Australia and help grow it. That is the simple premise we have been tasked by the party room.

We don’t want to ask for billions of dollars, that is not responsible.

We think we can achieve it by being smarter than that and using the mechanisms that are already there rather than going for a cash grab. The National party is more mature and pragmatic than that.

We are working through that now and trying to make sure we get this right. That is the process we have set ourselves and to do it as quick as we can.


19 Oct 2021 21:51

Nationals deputy leader David Littleproud has been trotted out again to try to make sense of what is happening in the Coalition at the moment, given there has been eight years for the governing parties to come to this moment, where they have to consider a net zero target (not a zero target) three decades into the future.

He’s on the ABC this morning:

You have to put it into perspective. Our party room only saw this plan less than 36 hours ago. We are trying to move as quickly as we can and be respectful and pragmatic of the process. The vast majority of the party room want to move forward but they want to secure regional Australia’s future but also growing it. Making sure any impacts we can mitigate. We are running the lens over that now and doing that as quickly as we can, understanding there are time pressures on this. We appreciate we only saw this less than 36 hours ago.

Government to ‘refine’ federal Icac legislation

19 Oct 2021 21:51 Sarah Martin

The federal attorney general, Michaelia Cash, has said the government will refine its proposed federal integrity commission in response to feedback on the draft bill.

The indication from the government comes as the independent senator Rex Patrick prepares to introduce into the Senate legislation to establish a federal integrity commission that is based on the same legislation introduced in the lower house by the independent MP Helen Haines.

Haines and Patrick have been working on securing crossbench support for the bill, and if it secures the numbers, the legislation is expected to be debated and voted on this week. If successful, it will then go to the lower house.

To pass the legislation, 38 Senate votes are needed, meaning support from Labor, the Greens and just three of the the five crossbench senators is needed to pass the bill.

The pressure on the government over the Commonwealth Integrity Commission comes as some Liberal MPs speak out in favour of a tougher CIC, criticising the model for a number of shortcomings.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Cash said the government was still intending to introduce its bill into parliament this year:

The Government has conducted a nation-wide consultation process on draft legislation for the CIC which included civil society, academics and key experts across the government and non government sectors.

The Government is currently considering the extensive feedback received through the consultation process in order to inform further refinement of the draft legislation.

Good morning

19 Oct 2021 21:49

We have all made it to hump day! An achievement no matter how you look at it, given how frustrating the weeks can be.

It’s still all climate, climate, climate in the parliament, as the Coalition tussles over a net zero target set 29 years into the future (think about how old you will be then, if you want to put it into perspective) while maintaining that there will be no changes to the fossil fuel industry.

It being Auspol, Scott Morrison is doing his absolute damndest to switch the debate back to Labor. So the government has a plan, but Labor, which has not yet released its policy, is going to cost you jobs, or so goes Morrison’s rhetoric, which really picked up steam during question time yesterday.

So that gives you a little taste of what the coming election campaign is going to be like. Also worth noting, Morrison is still trying to shrug off his own past words – presented with his own quotes, the PM just rejected the premise.

That’s another favoured tactic – you never have to apologise or reflectt.

Meanwhile, in place of saying anything of real value, the current deputy prime minister continues to rattle off every regional and rural town in Australia.

And while it is true that emissions reductions are going to lead to change in rural and regional industries (with many making changes already), the cost of inaction impacts EVERYONE.

Barnaby Joyce is setting it up as a binary choice between the regions and the cities, all but saying that there is no impact to people who live outside a regional or rural postcode.

So obviously he has no memory of just a couple of years ago when Sydney and Canberra were choking on bushfire smoke. Or when major floods swept through cities. Or the increase in storm activity. It’s not binary, is what I’m saying. It impacts us all.

We’ll keep you up to date on all of today’s doings, as well as what is happening elsewhere.

West Australian premier Mark McGowan has all but ruled out any border reopening to NSW and Victoria before the end of the year, saying he doesn’t want to impact the freedoms of people living Covid-free in his state.

Queensland is on a mass vaccination push, with 11 days for people to get vaccinated before the state begins its reopening (that is taking into account the lag between vaccinations and how long until you get antibodies).

And Victoria is about to hit is 80% target, which means more freedoms for people in Melbourne, who deserve all of the goodness given what they have been through.

You have Mike Bowers walking the halls, Amy Remeikis on the blog and Katharine Murphy, Sarah Martin, Paul Karp and Daniel Hurst in Canberra ready to explain it all.

It’s going to be a five-coffee day. I feel it in my cold black heart. Ready?

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Indonesia's Mount Semeru: Thousands flee as volcano erupts

Mount Semeru, a volcano on Indonesia’s East Java Province, erupted on Saturday, spewing a column of smoke and ash while displacing thousands from the area, authorities said. © BNPB The ... Read more »

Omicron variant prompts cancelled plans for N.B. resident, concerns for travellers

© Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press The omicron COVID-19 variant has prompted cancelled travel plans, and concerns for those travelling abroad as countries including Canada impose new travel restrictions. The new omicron ... Read more »

Inside the Nets' plan to use their stars of today to grow the fan base of the future

NBAE via Getty Images NBA players — even stars like Brooklyn’s Kevin Durant and James Harden — are worried about today. But the Nets as an organization are planning for ... Read more »

Erdogan's Turkey censured by Council of Europe for jailing activist Osman Kavala

Osman Kavala (Anadolu Culture Center /AFP via) A major human rights organisation that oversees and monitors democracy and the rule of law across 47 nations in Europe voted Friday to ... Read more »

Former lawyer pens satirical books about his old profession

Author Tom Morrison After spending 50 years practicing law, Tom Morrison knew exactly what he wanted to do: Write satirical novels about lawyers. “I tried writing a spy novel once, ... Read more »
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