Good morning, this is Tamara Howie bringing you the main stories and must-reads on Tuesday 26 January, a day mired with controversy over Australia Day honours and whether the country should change the date for the national celebration.
Australia Day honours were announced last night with sexual assault survivor Grace Tame named Australian of the Year. Tame was honoured for her role in the #LetHerSpeak campaign which led to the overturning of a Tasmanian law gagging sexual assault survivors from speaking about their experiences. Journalist Kerry O’Brien rejected his Australian Day honours to protest against the decision to give Margaret Court the country’s highest honour, citing Court’s “hurtful and divisive criticisms relating to the fundamental rights of the LGBTQ+ community”. Order of Australia recipient Malcolm Turnbull said there is “no shortage of irony” that he has received Australia’s highest honour for his contributions towards marriage equality on the same day that Court, who was a vocal opponent of the campaign, received the same honour.
An Aboriginal woman in an ACT prison has alleged she was stripped naked by guards in front of male inmates, in what the territory’s Aboriginal health service describe as a “disgusting” abuse of human rights which “could have killed her”. The incident occurred after she became upset after being denied permission to attend her grandmother’s funeral. She alleged that officers stripped her naked by cutting off her clothes to check she had “nothing on me for my safety”. “Here I ask you to remember that I am a rape victim, so you can only imagine the horror, the screams, the degrading feeling, the absolute fear and shame I was experiencing … as well as the grief and despair, disappointment of not being able to attend my grandmother’s funeral,” the woman wrote.
Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani is facing a $1.3bn lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems over his claims of election fraud. The complaint accuses the former New York City mayor of having “manufactured and disseminated” a conspiracy theory related to the company’s voting machines. Giuliani said he would file a suit in response, claiming the lawsuit is in violation of his constitutional rights. “It is another act of intimidation by the hate-filled left wing to wipe out and censor the exercise of free speech,” he said.
“If your child asks why Australia is celebrating a day of invasion, what will you tell them?” asks writer Amy McQuire. “Children ask vital questions of the world which expose accepted ‘truths’. On 26 January, we contrast Australian displays of amnesia with Aboriginal truth-telling.”
The Morrison government is laying the groundwork for an advertising campaign to promote social cohesion in Australia but Labor has accused the Coalition of being “more interested in dividing Australians”.
Australia could see billions of dollars in revenue lost without a profound cultural shift to a circular and zero-waste economy. An increase of 5% in Australia’s recycling rate would add an estimated $1bn to the country’s GDP, the CSIRO says.
Australia’s drowning toll has risen to 57, well in excess of the 45 at the same time last year. A snorkeller drowned on Sydney’s northern beaches yesterday and a 16-year-old boy is in a critical condition after being pulled unresponsive from a river north-west of the city.
The EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, will fly to Moscow to deliver the bloc’s condemnation of the “completely unacceptable” arrest of the opposition leader, Alexei Navalny. Borrell said there was no “concrete proposal” for consequences for the continued detention of Navalny and his supporters, but that the EU was “ready to react”.
A 60-meter mural in Madrid celebrating a diverse array of women has become the latest front in Spain’s culture war after the far-right Vox party led efforts to have it removed because of its “political message”.
Chile’s appeals court has overturned the convictions of six people for the murder of former president Eduardo Frei Montalva in the 1980s. They were freed after the appeals judge found Frei Montalva “was not a victim of homicide, but died as a result of medical complications”.
Looking for some fresh salads to beat the summer heat? MasterChef winner Diana Chan and friends are here to save the day with salad recipes that mix complex flavours with fast, easy preparation. A pomelo and prawn salad or smoked trout with coconut sambal are sure to become fast favourites.
Bethany Castle’s life was on an exciting trajectory as she was preparing to move from the country to the city to study psychology. But then she was denied student support by Centrelink, which threw her plans into bedlam. “It’s left me feeling very upset and helpless. After I had received my offer and finished all of my schedule planning, it felt like a massive wall came crashing down, blocking me from progressing forward … But now I’m more driven to achieve my independence entirely on my own.”
Australia’s recession is weird and wacky but not our worst, says Greg Jericho. “Employment at the end of last year was more promising than anyone expected when the virus first hit. Australia’s isolation from the rest of the world, which is often an economic negative, has in this case been a positive, as we have been much better able to quarantine ourselves from the pandemic. But while things are improved, we remain in a recession – even if it is a very odd one. And the latest retail figures for December show that we clearly remain in an abnormal situation.”
Darumbal and South Sea Islander journalist Amy McQuire talks to Laura Murphy-Oates about how her new children’s book, Day Break, honours the resilience of Indigenous families as they mark 26 January. Murphy-Oates also explains why Australia Day is not a day for celebration, and the need to remember our history of frontier violence.
Former Socceroos captain Craig Foster has become a Member of the Order of Australia and has spoken out in support of changing the date of Australia Day. “A national day is special in so many ways. It would be incalculably more powerful on a date that truly brings us all together. Let’s make it happen.”
Joe Root claimed his England team “could not be in a better place” to take on India in their own backyard provided they continue to show the attitude and character witnessed during their two Test victories in Sri Lanka.
Homicide squad detectives are leading an investigation after the discovery of a body found in a bin floating in a dam in Perth’s east, says the West Australian reports. A Perth aged care facility has had sanctions imposed following allegations of abuse towards residents and concerns identified about the cumulative effect of deficiencies across several areas, reports the ABC. A poll conducted for the Age, the Sydney Morning Herald and Nine News found only a third of Australians are in favour of becoming a republic, a drop from 57% at the height of support in 1999.
Alleged child sex abuser Malka Leifer is en route to Australia from Israel to face charges stemming from her time as a Melbourne school principal.
Greens leader Adam Bandt and Victorian MP Lidia Thorpe will call for 26 January to be recognised as a day of mourning in Melbourne.
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