Good morning, this is Emilie Gramenz bringing you the main stories and must-reads on Monday 21 September.
Donald Trump has promised to put forward a female nominee this week to fill the supreme court vacancy created by the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden made an urgent plea to the conscience of Senate Republicans, asking them to defy Trump and refuse to ram through his nominee to the supreme court before the November election. At stake is a seat held by a justice who spent her final years on the bench as the unquestioned leader of the court’s liberal wing. Thousands of people came to mourn her at a vigil outside the supreme court in Washington. Two Republican senators have indicated they won’t support appointing a nominee before the November election; two more would be needed to foil GOP plans.
The Cancer Council says people who are dying from terminal illnesses in Victoria are scared they will die alone if they go into a palliative care unit or hospice care. The latest data available from the council’s national support line showed that in the second-last week of August, 24% of the 217 calls and emails from Victoria were related to concerns about the impact of Covid-19. On Sunday, the Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, announced the state’s lowest daily coronavirus increase since June, and hinted at “significant announcements” next weekend about easing restrictions. And a new bill introduced to Victorian parliament that could widen the powers of police has been condemned by a number of civil rights groups and the state’s opposition.
As the US closes in on 200,000 deaths from Covid-19, Donald Trump’s health secretary has defended the administration’s handling of the pandemic. Daily coronavirus cases in the UK have reached a four-month high for the second day in a row, and doctors are urging the government to introduce stronger measures in England to curb the spread. The French health ministry has reported 10,569 new cases in 24 hours, down from the previous day’s record increase of 13,498.
Fewer than 1% of Australian manufacturing workers would benefit from a massive gas industry expansion proposed by the Morrison government, an analysis has found. The Grattan Institute report to be released in November contradicts a suggestion by Scott Morrison that gas could be central to plans to re-establish a strong economy after the coronavirus recession.
Labor has written to the auditor general asking him to investigate how Pauline Hanson came to use a novelty cheque with her face on it to announce a $23m taxpayer-funded federal grant to build a stadium in Rockhampton. In a letter sent on Friday, Labor senator Murray Watt took aim at what he said was an attempt to “mislead Australians” about the source of the funds.
A television advertising campaign – endorsed by a former Reserve Bank governor, a former Liberal party leader and a Nobel laureate – opposing another round of tax cuts will be rolled out this week, as preparations are finalised for the looming October federal budget.
Thousands of documents detailing $US2tn of potentially corrupt transactions that were washed through the US financial system have been leaked to an international group of investigative journalists. The leak focuses on more than 2,000 suspicious activity reports filed with the US government’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
A US judge has blocked the Trump administration from requiring Apple and Google to remove Chinese-owned messaging app WeChat for downloads. US magistrate judge Laurel Beeler said that WeChat users who filed a lawsuit “have shown serious questions going to the merits of the first amendment claim, the balance of hardships tips in the plaintiffs’ favour”.
Villagers in the Himalayas are helping Indian troops secure their positions along the mountain ridge against Chinese forces at an altitude of almost 15,000 feet. Both sides are preparing for winter with little hope of a diplomatic outcome to the border dispute.
Mainly leftwing mayors of some of the world’s biggest cities are being urged to boycott a G20 urban summit hosted by Saudi Arabia on the second anniversary of the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The Urban 20 is being held as part of the Saudi Arabian chairmanship of this year’s G20.
Pamela Allen is a giant of children’s literature. For 40 years her picture books have delighted children and adults alike. Now, the State Library of NSW has taken custody of Allen’s archive – an extraordinary 460 original drawings, sketches and notes from her life’s work.
The outbreak of Covid-19 in Victorian aged care homes has shone a harsh light on the conditions in which low-paid workers struggle to provide care to some of the most vulnerable people in society, writes Emma Dawson. She argues that as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, we must reconsider how we value the jobs done by care workers: “The market has failed – in fact, refused – to value them properly, so we must collectively and consciously undertake an explicit revaluation of their worth.”
The new Thread Together boutique on Sydney’s Oxford Street, Darlinghurst, looks much like any other in those parts. The decor is chic black and white. There’s a vase of tropical flowers on the counter. The racks boast smart blazers, shirts both dress and casual, jeans and sneakers. But there’s one important difference – everything is free.
What does the poisoning of Alexei Navalny tell us about Vladimir Putin’s Russia? On today’s Full Story podcast, Luke Harding tells Anushka Asthana the alleged attack on Navalny has all the hallmarks of a state-sponsored hit. As Navalny appears to be recovering from the incident, western leaders are demanding answers from Russia.
The final round of the AFL season can be a damp squib. Round 18 in 2020, however, had plenty going for it. All bar one of the nine fixtures were influential in reshaping the composition of the eight, and it’s not over yet.
Tadej Pogacar has become the first Slovenian to take the Tour de France’s yellow jersey. The youngest winner of the Tour in a century rode into the city of light at sunset on Sunday, looking every inch the awestruck kid. Australia’s Richie Porte took third.
There was jubilation at GIO Stadium in Canberra on Saturday night after the Brumbies beat the Queensland Reds 28-23 to lift the Super Rugby AU trophy. Ecstatic Brumbies players rolled around on the grass hugging each other in celebratory embraces as coach Dan McKellar was doused with a tub full of water. But this achievement needs to be put into perspective or Australian rugby will be in danger of forming a false self-image.
Underpaid workers will be handed back more than half a billion dollars in superannuation payments that they were dudded by their employers, the Daily Telegraph reports. The states are set to receive billions extra in infrastructure funding on the proviso they use it or lose it in the 6 October budget, according to the Australian Financial Review. Farmers across large swaths of Australia are set for their best harvest in three years, with heavy rainfall across NSW creating a bumper crop, the Australian reports.
A Senate inquiry will hold a hearing into the destruction of Juukan Gorge.
This is the final week of hearings for Victoria’s Covid-19 hotel quarantine inquiry.
The virtual 2020 Emmy Awards will be broadcast from Los Angeles.
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