Communications minister says chairman’s future is a matter for him to assess as board meets without him
On whether the inquiry ordered by Mitch Fifield is enough, Tanya Plibersek gives a pretty good yeah, nah:
The proposition here is the government has tried to politically interfere with the ABC. Why would we be satisfied with a political investigation of it?
Speaking at a press conference where Labor is calling for the banking royal commission to be extended, Tanya Plibersek says it is “difficult to see”, if the allegations are proved, how Justin Milne can remain in his position.
Well, the revelations that we’ve heard about political interference in the ABC over the last 24 hours, frankly, are quite shocking. I think it says a lot more about the government than it says about the ABC to hear these sorts of revelations. People need to remember the ABC is not the propaganda arm of the Liberal party of Australia. It’s our national broadcaster. Australians love their ABC. They are, rightly, very protective of its integrity and independence. And if these revelations are correct, it is difficult to see how the chair of the board can remain the chair.Continue reading...
President may delay highly anticipated meeting with deputy attorney general to focus on Thursday’s supreme court hearing
Donald Trump said on Wednesday that he would “certainly prefer not” to fire the deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, and that he may delay a highly anticipated meeting with the justice department’s No 2 official.
Trump said Rosenstein had denied making remarks first attributed to him in a New York Times report, including that he had discussed possibly secretly recording the president and using the constitution’s 25th amendment to remove Trump from office.Continue reading...
Strict restrictions on funds include commitment to zero deficit for 2019 and limits on central bank actions
Argentina has received the biggest loan package ever from the International Monetary Fund, aimed at shoring up the country’s ailing finances: a whopping $57.1bn that will be disbursed over the next three years.
“This is the biggest loan in the history of the IMF,” said the fund’s director, Christine Lagarde, on Wednesday as the final loan agreement was announced in New York.
The loan – $15bn of which has already been received by Argentina – comes with stringent conditions, including a commitment to a zero deficit for 2019.
Argentina had initially secured $50bn in a deal worked out in June after the South American country was battered by a currency crisis, a run on the peso and double-digit inflation.
The economy minister, Nicolás Dujovne, said that at the last minute the IMF agreed to increase the lending package by $7.1bn.
Lagarde said that as part of the deal, Argentina’s central bank had agreed to intervene in currency markets only in case of extreme circumstances and that the new amount would help Argentina’s government face its challenges.
The agreement will only allow Argentina’s central bank to intervene to stabilize its currency if the peso depreciates below 44 pesos to the dollar. It is currently at 39 pesos to the dollar after losing 50% of its value since the start of the year.
The deal was announced just a day after the president of Argentina’s central bank, Nicolás Caputo, resigned unexpectedly, reportedly after disagreements with the IMF’s guideline limiting the bank’s future intervention to rescue the peso.
Thousands of Argentinians joined in a nationwide strike on Tuesday to protest against economic turmoil and Mauricio Macri’s austerity measures.
Most Argentinians blame the international lending institution for encouraging policies that led to the country’s worst economic crisis, in 2001, which pushed millions into poverty.
The IMF has admitted it made a string of mistakes that contributed to the economic implosion.
Relaxed tone marks change from claims that earlier summit with Kim Jong-un would lead to rapid disarmament
Donald Trump has said he is in no rush for North Korea to dismantle its nuclear arsenal, noting that missile testing had stopped while sanctions on Pyongyang had not been relaxed.
“I’ve got all the time in the world,” Trump said, at a freewheeling press conference after his appearance at the UN general assembly.Continue reading...
Peter Dutton warned bid to boost government’s surveillance powers could give criminals more tools
Peter Dutton’s proposed legislation to expand the government’s surveillance capabilities into telecommunication devices through the inclusion of spyware risks could create “systemic weakness or vulnerability” that would be open to exploitation, Australia’s peak industry group has warned.
The Australian Industry Group has responded to the call for consultation on the assistance and access bill by warning of unintended consequences from the home affairs minister’s push to force telcos and tech giants, including Apple, Samsung, Google and Facebook, to include concealed “backdoors” into devices and messaging platforms.Continue reading...
Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh to testify Thursday after report of fourth allegation against supreme court nominee
Christine Blasey Ford, the California professor who has accused the supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were teenagers, will tell the US Senate judiciary committee on Thursday that she will “never forget” what happened to her at a Maryland house party nearly 36 years ago.
Kavanaugh’s nomination to the supreme court hangs in the balance. He and Ford will deliver diametrically opposing accounts at the extraordinary hearing, as fresh accusations of sexual misconduct and contradictory charges swirl around a circus-like confirmation process that has been described as “surreal” and “political as hell”.Continue reading...
‘I could feel all the hard parts of the octopus on my face,’ says Kyle Mulinder
A kayaker paddling in the waters around New Zealand has been given an unusually close look at its marine life when a seal appeared to throw an octopus at him.
Kyle Mulinder was enjoying a clear day on waters off the coast of Kaikōura in the South Island when he was slapped in the face by the tentacles of the flying creature.Continue reading...
The Woman Who Fell to Earth debuts new cinematic style – and Doctor’s Yorkshire accent
Bold, cinematic, full of frights, and very much made in Sheffield, Jodie Whittaker’s debut episode in the new series of Doctor Who premiered this week in the Yorkshire city for fans and the media. The Tardis had materialised outside Primark for the occasion, and hundreds of fans, many in costume, queued to see the main cast and crew on the red carpet.
The Woman Who Fell to Earth, written by new showrunner and executive producer Chris Chibnall, will be broadcast on BBC One on Sunday 7 October at 6.45pm. It has been keenly anticipated, as a woman takes on the title role in Doctor Who for the first time.Continue reading...
Times Higher Education warns country’s institutions face ‘uphill struggle’ as many decline or stay stagnant
Australian universities are “stagnating” under the weight of budget cuts to the sector, a major education ratings body has warned.
Six Australian universities have again been ranked in the top 100 in the world and nine in the top 200 on the 2019 Times Higher Education world university rankings, but the rankings agency warned the country’s universities were either treading water or going backwards because of cuts to the sector.Continue reading...
In today’s politics news: North Dakota’s Kevin Cramer speaks out; Tennessee contender blames both sides; and a cash boost for Democrats in Florida
Good evening, I’m Ben Jacobs, and this is the Guardian’s new-look politics minute. In the run-up to the midterm elections, I’ll bring you the latest from Washington and beyond every Monday, Wednesday and Friday evening. If you’re not already receiving this rundown by email, sign up.
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Kavanaugh says new allegations are ‘ridiculous and from the Twilight Zone’ as he prepares to appear before Senate committee
Republicans continued to express confidence in supreme court pick Brett Kavanaugh as he faced fresh allegations of sexual misconduct and calls to withdraw one day before he is scheduled to testify in an extraordinary public hearing that could determine the fate of his nomination.
Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, who accused him of sexual assault when they were teenagers in high school, are scheduled to appear before the Senate judiciary committee on Thursday morning, as the panel grapples with new claims brought by a third accuser, Julie Swetnick.Continue reading...
A Canadian MP has said that Justin Trudeau 'doesn’t give a fuck' about the rights of indigenous people, amid mounting tensions between the country’s First Nations and at the federal government. Romeo Saganash made the comments in parliament during a discussion of the the Trans Mountain pipeline project that was recently halted after the federal court of appeals ruled that the government had failed to adequately address the concerns of some First Nations. The Liberal government has insisted the pipeline would go aheadContinue reading...
Thursday: Justin Milne accused of complaining to executives about stories. Plus: ‘distracted boyfriend meme’ ad found to objectify women
Good morning, this is Helen Sullivan bringing you the main stories and must-reads on Thursday 27 September.Continue reading...
Hurricane Florence caused severe flooding in US, while Super Typhoon Trami is set to make landfall in Japan
Almost two weeks on from Hurricane Florence, flooding in the US has continued to affect the Carolinas, with some areas expected to remain under water for the rest of this week. Hurricane Florence is believed to have been the cause of at least 43 deaths since it made landfall in Wrightsville in North Carolina on 14 September. According to estimates it has been one of the top 10 most expensive US hurricanes, with close to $44bn (£33.4bn) in damage.
So all of central and eastern areas of the US have had quite a bit of rain, including north-eastern states, and this will continue over the next few days. Most of the rain fell across Virginia and the Carolinas, although other eastern states saw plenty of rain too. The heaviest rain this week is coming to states further north and west that did not get the worst of the weather from Florence, although they are in the central and eastern regions.Continue reading...
Failure to report 2016 data breach ‘one of the most egregious cases we’ve ever seen’, says Illinois attorney general
Uber will pay $148m and tighten data security after the ride-hailing company failed for a year to notify drivers that hackers had stolen their personal information, according to a settlement announced on Wednesday.
The company reached the agreement with all 50 states and the District of Columbia after a vast data breach in 2016. Instead of reporting it, Uber hid evidence of the theft and paid ransom to ensure the data wouldn’t be misused.Continue reading...
Appointment of Marcello Foa as president of Rai raises fears over press freedom
Marcello Foa, a Eurosceptic journalist who has often shared stories proved to be fake, has been appointed president of Rai, in a move that has raised fears over the autonomy of Italy’s state broadcaster.
Foa, who also holds anti-gay, anti-immigration, anti-vaccine and pro-Russia views, was pushed for the role by the governing coalition of the far-right League and the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) despite concerns from journalists’ unions.Continue reading...