Home Australian News Lawyers against Assange combat hero narrative

Lawyers against Assange combat hero narrative

Lawyers against Assange combat hero narrative


People living in “oppressive regimes” and war zones “disappeared” after Julian Assange blended hacking with reporting, a barrister acting for the US has told a London court while fighting the last-ditch appeal against the WikiLeaks founder’s extradition order. The ABC reports the silk, Clair Dobbin, said some people also had to “flee their homelands”, including in Ethiopia, China, Iran and Syria, after Assange “exposed to the world the unredacted names of human sources” by publishing certain documents. The Guardian adds Dobbin further alleged Assange had conspired with Chelsea Manning to steal information (Manning’s sentence was commuted by then president Barack Obama) and had tried to recruit hackers. Independent MP Andrew Wilkie was in London overnight, remarking that Assange’s extradition to the US to face 18 charges, 17 of them under the Espionage Act, would be a “death sentence”. The judges have reserved their decision and will hand down their verdict soon.

It comes as the alleged Medibank hacker Aleksandr Ermakov was reportedly detained in Russia, the SMH reports, though the paper didn’t name its source and the AFP said it was merely aware of “reports”. Perpetrators of the 2022 data breach demanded nearly $10 million — which they didn’t get — and posted data identifying people who had abortions, and treatment for HIV, drug addiction and mental health issues, The Australian ($) recalls. Meanwhile, the Department of Finance accidentally released the sensitive contract details of up to 400 service providers last week, The Oz ($) reports, via an embedded spreadsheet in an email about fee updates. It included the supplier names, service provider names and price scales at KPMG, Boston Consulting Group, Accenture, Deloitte, Proximity, Nous Group and Minter Ellison, and the email addresses and phone numbers of staff and some CEOs. Some 236 suppliers were quickly told to confirm they’d deleted the email and attachment and sign hush statutory declarations.


There’ll be no election this year, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese confirmed as Sky News Australia reports, after a memo from his chief of staff included the line “as we enter the election year”. He said the whole story was “a bit of clickbait”, SMH adds, because the memo was about someone new starting in his office in the coming months, and pointed out after May’s budget it is a year from the election, a la the financial year. It’s an enormous election year for other jurisdictions too — we have state and territory elections in Tasmania, the NT, the ACT, and Queensland, as well as general elections in the US, UK, and the EU. And that’s not all.

Speaking of the Top End — Chief Minister Eva Lawler condemned “scare campaigns” from “media people” about proposed voluntary assisted dying (VAD) legislation, the NT News says. Health Professionals Say No’s Maria Cigolini said VAD was not right for the NT because First Nations peoples already battle health issues and they don’t need “another way for these people to die”. Cripes. Palliative Care Australia’s Camilla Rowland said end-of-life medical care was a “postcode lottery” and her organisation worried that people would choose voluntary dying if they couldn’t access it. VAD is legal in Queensland, NSW, SA, Victoria, WA and Tasmania. Meanwhile, WA’s Health Minister AmberJade Sanderson is headed to India to recruit doctors and nurses for her state, The West ($) reports, as the country is forecast to produce “one million healthcare workers yearly over the next decade”.


Department of Home Affairs’ cybersecurity “guru” Peter Anstee has 100,395 shares in cyber security company CyberCX, the SMH reports, which is a major contractor to government agencies with 163 past and present contracts. Four of them have been with Home Affairs, including a $5.5 million contract in 2022. The cyber-policy adviser got the shares when he was the executive director for CyberCX, and a source told the paper that Anstee told the department about the six-figure shares per its internal policy, but Home Affairs is looking into it anyway because it takes “conflict of interest” issues seriously.

From conflict to consensus and Indigenous leader Marcia Langton told AFR that former PM Paul Keating was right when he told her in 2016 that the Voice to Parliament pursuing constitutional reform was “a mistake from the start”. She added that the advisory body should have been legislated before the referendum. The paper says it’s “the first time someone from the Yes camp in the referendum has publicly declared their doubts about pursuing recognition”. Meanwhile, 90% of Yilabara Solutions and Training Alliance Group’s caseload have had their Centrelink suspended, Guardian Australia says, double the average rate (45%). Indeed three of the five who are suspending the most payments are Indigenous providers. Mutual obligation laws require people to look and prepare for work to the satisfaction of job agencies, and if they don’t, their Jobseeker payments are cut. Privatising our employment services has failed, a parliamentary review found last year.


Bendigo woman Carlie Davies never wanted kids. She’d known since she was a kid herself, and when she met someone in her 20s, they’d happily agreed to raise cats instead. But one day when Davies was in her mid-30s, something changed for her. Watching her joyful nephews play, laugh, and grow, she’d felt a stir of maternalism deep inside. She knew those around her had accepted her child-free stance, but suddenly merely seeing a mum and bub in a cafe would leave her in tears. Davies’ partner wanted to stick to the deal — cats only — and they sadly parted ways. At 39, she felt more lost than ever about her life until she struck up an innocent conversation with her high school crush, as ABC says.

They’d gone to their Year 11 formal together but had become mere acquaintances in the ensuing years, the type whose Facebook posts you might interact with. An icebreaker message became two, then many, and she realised they’d never stopped loving each other. He was single with two kids from a previous relationship and hadn’t planned for more, so Davies decided to be completely upfront: it was what she wanted, she told him. Let’s go for it, he responded happily, and the pair moved in together in Melbourne. That was eight years ago, and their pint-sized five-year-old daughter started school last week. “I have this amazing, spirited, kind little five-year-old, and sometimes I think, is this real?” she says. Many women don’t change their minds about having children. But it’s also OK if you do, she says.

Hoping you go for it today, whatever that looks like for you.


Bob Katter’s office, in a press release on supermarkets, has sent out what I *think* may be the first AI-generated media assets sent out by a sitting MP. His office confirms AI-generated — just in case the gate running directly through the farmer’s torso wasn’t a giveaway.

Josh Butler

The Guardian Australia reporter notes our shouty independent is evidently embracing the new artificial intelligence era, even if it means sending press-generated images by a technology in its infancy that don’t actually make sense.


In Western Australia, it’s too damn hot, I tellsya! I’m going troppo!

(Image: Private Media/Zennie)

“As I considered committing harakiri with a waffle cone, staring at me from across the road was a billboard advertising offshore mining jobs by way of one of the benevolent megacorps that rule over my fair state.

“Woodside, Rio Tinto, Twiggy Forrest: these innovators, entrepreneurs and encephalopods have spent the better part of two decades blowing WA to kingdom come for untold billions, with the promise of a mortgage, chronic fatigue and the biggest flat-screen TV imaginable to anyone who’d help them get the job done.”

Banducci has resigned after an ‘on the record’ bungle. But what does the phrase really mean?

“The idea of what ‘on the record’ means is nebulous, and in many instances can mean different things to different journalists. The Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance is the peak union body for journalists, and its code of ethics states that journalists should “aim to attribute information to its source”.

“‘Where a source seeks anonymity, do not agree without first considering the source’s motives and any alternative attributable source,’ the code states. ‘Where confidences are accepted, respect them in all circumstances’.”

ABC ends fact-check partnership with RMIT

“It comes as the partnership and the ABC have come under significant pressure in recent months over accusations of bias following the Voice to Parliament referendum. In May, RMIT FactLab published a fact check of itself, refuting claims that the organisation was being ‘used’ by proponents of the Yes campaign to ‘rig the Indigenous Voice to Parliament referendum’.

“The organisation’s participation in Meta’s fact-checking program was briefly suspended last year after its accreditation with the International Fact-Checking Network lapsed.”


Iran says Israel behind attacks on gas pipelines (Al Jazeera)

China condemns US veto of call for immediate ceasefire at UN (BBC)

Russia arrests US-Russian citizen for treason after she gave $51 to Ukraine, employer says (CNN)

More than 500 staff made redundant at Health NZ – Te Whatu Ora, paid out $9 million (NZ Herald)

Uncontrolled European satellite falls to Earth after 30 years in orbit (The Guardian)

[Canadian Conservative Leader Pierre] Poilievre says ‘biological males’ should be banned from women’s sports, change rooms and bathrooms (CBC)

Thousands of farmers descend on Madrid for major tractor protest over EU policies (euronews)

U.S. warns allies Russia could put a nuclear weapon into orbit this year (The New York Times) ($)


How ABC greed is killing Australian storiesGary Newman (The SMH): “Daryl Dellora — director of the popular Search for the Palace Letters doco recently aired on the ABC — struggled for many years to finance the film. Dellora says he and producer Sue Maslin are significantly out of pocket after Screen Australia passed on his film. In the end, the ABC purchased the film for $20,000, a fraction of the $350,000 spent on the four-year project. Dellora says he simply can’t afford to go through that again. He thinks his documentary career is over. I have also been on the wrong end of the ABC’s practices. After failing to attract funding from the ABC and Screen Australia, I put my own money on the line for my feature documentary How to Capture a Prime Minister – about the wild time in 1976 when then prime minister Malcolm Fraser was trapped in a basement by angry students in the aftermath of the Whitlam government’s Dismissal.

“The ABC asked me to pay more than $80,000 for the historical footage used in the doco, even though I’m never going to fully recover the six-figure sum I’ve spent on my film. This is for footage that has already been paid for by the Australian public. The national broadcaster collects hundreds of minutes of unedited news footage per day, ranging from political speeches and interviews, to vignettes of metropolitan and rural life. Multiply that by decades and you get a sense of how rich this audiovisual history of our country really is. But the ABC covets this historical material like Tolkien’s Golem, price gouging anyone who wants to use any of it. It’s telling that the business unit responsible for footage licensing is called ABC Commercial.”

Forget Labour and the Tories: The ‘carbon parties’ will not save us. That’s why Just Stop Oil wants your votesSarah Lunnon (The Guardian): “We are building a popular, nonviolent campaign that will appeal to the sense of anger and betrayal now felt by millions in this country. If politics was working, we would not be living through a mass extinction event, have rising inequality and shitty rivers, and be heading for two degrees of heating with no response. The system is going to fail. It cannot recognise, respond or mobilise to face the coming crisis — so we have to change the system. It’s simple logic, but together we can protect our communities and families from the coming storm. We will replace today’s failing politics, so action can happen.

“The Rev Mark Coleman, a Just Stop Oil supporter, is standing in the Rochdale byelection: the only candidate to be endorsed by climate scientists. In the coming general election, Just Stop Oil will either stand candidates or support independents who sign up to a radical short manifesto. A manifesto that centres on deliberative democracy for a new People’s House. This will be a standing citizens’ assembly tasked with finding a response to the coming extinction event and the cost of living crisis. It will be the fruit of leafleting, door knocking, public meetings — and a faith in the British public that party politicians have long abandoned. The current political system has failed us, so we need to replace it.”



Kulin Nation Country (also known as Melbourne)

  • Poets Alex Creece, Kathryn Gledhill-Tucker, Jeanine Leane, Kate Lilley, Leah Muddle, Autumn Royal, and Thabani Tshuma will speak about the 2023 Best of Australian Poems anthology at The Wheeler Centre.

Eora Nation Country (also known as Sydney)

  • Writer Imbi Neeme will talk about her new book, Kind Of, Sort Of, Maybe, But Probably Not, at Better Read Than Dead bookshop.


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