Top storiesSeven British Labour MPs have quit the party over its direction under Jeremy Corbyn, citing concerns over antisemitism, Brexit and the party’s internal culture. Tom Watson, the deputy Labour leader, has said his party faces an even more severe split if it denounces the leaving MPs as traitors instead of addressing the reasons for their departure. In an emotional statement, Watson said he sometimes “no longer recognises” his own party, as he called on colleagues not to adopt the language of betrayal towards the seven who resigned on Monday. The split is the biggest breakaway since four senior Labour figures quit on 26 March 1981 to form the Social Democratic party. BBC viewers watching the defection on Monday morning received some early, if inadvertent analysis, when a hot mic picked up a commentator saying, “Between this and Brexit we are actually fucked” during the broadcast. During MP Chuka Umunna’s speech, a voice could be heard saying: “It’s mad, it’s mad.” Here are the seven MPs, who will sit in parliament as an independent group, in their own words.
A controversial $423m contract was awarded to little-known firm Paladin to provide services on Manus Island because of an “urgent” set of circumstances, the head of the Department of Home Affairs has conceded. Mike Pezzullo, who denies he was “desperate”, told Senate estimates on Monday that Paladin, which had been a subcontractor at the Lorengau refugee transit centre, was approached for a quote after the Papua New Guinea government pulled out of a deal to provide the services at the last minute and major companies were not interested in tendering for the contract because there was “too much noise around regional processing”.
The head of the Australian Border Force has blamed human error and outdated IT systems for the process that “broke down” leading to Hakeem al-Araibi’s detention. Michael Outram explained the process to Senate estimates by which the Department of Home Affairs alerts the Australian federal police – which acts as Interpol’s national central bureau in Australia – to the immigration status of people subject to Interpol red notices. In Al-Araibi’s case, an individual officer “neglected to send an email”. “This is where the process broke down.” Outram did not blame the individual officer but rather said the department was dealing with legacy systems which required almost entirely manual operation.
WorldFacebook deliberately broke privacy and competition law and should urgently be subject to statutory regulation, according to a devastating UK parliamentary report denouncing the company and its executives as “digital gangsters”. The final report of select committee’s 18-month investigation into disinformation and fake news has accused Facebook of purposefully obstructing its inquiry and failing to tackle attempts by Russia to manipulate elections.
Donald Trump has again attacked Andrew McCabe, this time in response to an interview in which the former deputy FBI director discussed his new book and made claims damaging to the president.
Poland’s prime minister has accused Israel’s foreign minister of racism in an escalating diplomatic row over the Holocaust that resulted in the cancellation on Monday of an international summit in Jerusalem.
A Chinese surveillance company has been tracking the movements of at least 2.5 million residents in a province where Muslim minorities have been the target of a far-reaching security clampdown, internet experts have found.
DNA found on a napkin has led to a Minnesota businessman being charged in a 25-year-old murder case. Investigators ran crime scene DNA evidence through a genealogy website then obtained the suspect’s DNA from a napkin thrown away at a hockey rink.
Opinion and analysisIn the role of television host, it’s necessary to skate smoothly along the surface, so it’s notable that Osher Günsberg, one of Australia’s most enduring and successful TV hosts, has so openly chronicled his struggles with and triumphs over mental illness. The Bachelor host tells Brigid Delaney that while making himself vulnerable has been liberating, it can come with pressure, too. “Just getting out of the house can be a gigantic task for some people,” he says. “It might be all you can do to look someone in the eye.”
It’s often claimed that counting one hour’s work a week in the employment statistics skews the data, so that unemployment is hidden. But, as Greg Jericho explains, not counting as employed those 14,500 Australians would produce a distorted picture of the current state of the labour force, which is a complex sector of the economy. The reality is the unemployment rate and employment data do not tell the whole story – and they have never been meant to.
SportIt is just one case, brought by just one athlete, against a single organisation. But Caster Semenya’s challenge to the IAAF’s testosterone rules for female athletes, which began this week at the court of arbitration for sport, may yet be as far-reaching and profound as the Bosman ruling.
The 2019 Super W season kicks off this weekend amid great anticipation. Rugby Australia has reported a 20% increase in female participation in the XVs form of the code. What will Super W offer a sport-loving public that is increasingly enthralled with women’s sport?
Thinking time: It’s all about the Benjamins, babyIlhan Omar made history in January when she became the first Somali American and one of the first Muslim women sworn into the US Congress. Part of a historically diverse crop of candidates elected in the 2018 midterms, the hijab-wearing Minnesotan is one of the faces of change in Donald Trump’s America, a country she entered as a 12-year-old refugee. But in less than two months, she has also found herself at the centre of controversy, reckoning with the scrutiny that accompanies the national spotlight.
This week, Omar was forced to apologise for comments that Democratic leaders said contained “antisemitic tropes and prejudicial accusations”. Omar has backed the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction movement, or BDS, which is designed to pressure Israel into ending the occupation of the West Bank. She has said she “almost chuckle[s]” when US politicians uphold Israel as a democratic example. But a recent tweet suggesting US support for Israel is motivated by political donations invited backlash from both parties.
Media roundupThe finance minister, Mathias Cormann, has told the Sydney Morning Herald he “had no idea” that a travel company controlled by Liberal party treasurer Andrew Burnes paid for flights for Cormann and his family to Singapore within weeks of that company winning a $1bn contract from the finance department.
Former Bestjet staff say the online travel portal deliberately stalled refunds until customers “hounded” consultants, leaving customers out of pocket for six months or more, the ABC reports.
The Australian is leading with “Households’ $2bn solar hit”, a story on claims that every home will have to pay $200 in rooftop solar installation subsidies this year, “threatening to derail Scott Morrison’s pledge to cut power bills”.
Coming upA ruling is due today in the defamation case of Sarah Hanson-Young v David Lleyonhjelm.
A teenager who allegedly murdered a Church of Scientology member at the organisation’s Australasian headquarters is due to face a Sydney court for the first time today.