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Tucker Carlson hits back at "stupid" Aussie journalist

<p>The poster boy for conservative America has locked horns with an Aussie journalist in a heated exchange that has gone viral.</p> <p>Tucker Carlson, a former Fox News host in the USA and all round controversial figure, is currently doing the rounds Down Under as a guest of Clive Palmer, and took to the stage to make a speech at the Australian Freedom Conference at the Hyatt Hotel in Canberra on Tuesday. </p> <p>With his signature move being to look for an argument, Carlson found a worthy opponent in AAP Newswire’s Kat Wong, who wasted no time in attempting to get under the 55-year-old’s skin.</p> <p>Wong quizzed Carlson about his controversial immigration views, saying he had “talked” about the “Great Replacement Theory” and how “white Australians, Americans and Europeans” are being replaced by “non-white immigrants”, but Carlson was quick to challenge the question.</p> <p>“Whites are being replaced? I don’t think I said that,” he interjected.</p> <p>“Well, it’s been mentioned on your show 4000 times,” Wong replied.</p> <p>“Really? When did I say that? I said ‘whites’ are being replaced?” he responded.</p> <p>When Wong insisted he had, Carlson challenged her to “cite that”.</p> <p>“I said native-born Americans are being replaced, including blacks,” he continued.</p> <p>“African-Americans have been in the United States, in many cases, for more than 400 years and their concerns are as every bit as real and valid and alive to me as the concerns of white people whose families have been there for 400 years."</p> <p>“I’ve never said that ‘whites’ are being replaced. Not one time and you can’t cite it.”</p> <p>When Wong said “I believe that’s untrue”, Carlson took it up a level.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Meet the Australian media. <a href="https://t.co/IyiEqihPkb">pic.twitter.com/IyiEqihPkb</a></p> <p>— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) <a href="https://twitter.com/TuckerCarlson/status/1806034521369776406?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 26, 2024</a></p></blockquote> <p>“We just met, but when our relationship starts with a lie, it makes it tough to be friends,” he said.</p> <p>“You actually can’t cite it because I didn’t say it and I don’t believe it, and I’m telling you that to your face. So, why don’t you just accept me at face value?”</p> <p>Carlson doubled down on his views by calling immigration "immoral", saying governments were negligent by “shifting their concern” to immigrants in order to solve the population growth. </p> <p>“In my view, happy people have children,” he said. “And a functioning economy allows them to do that.”</p> <p>“So you need to fix the economy and fix the culture so the people who want to have kids can,” he continued. “You don’t just go for the quick sugar fix of importing new people. That’s my position and if you think that’s racist, that’s your problem.”</p> <p>Wong replied by saying “I never called you a racist” but it only fired Carlson up more.</p> <p>“But of course, you are suggesting … I must say one of the reasons why people don’t like people like you in the media is that you never say exactly what you mean,” Carlson said.</p> <p>“Your slurs are all by implication. You’re about to tell me the Great Replacement Theory is racist or antisemitic, whatever. I’ve said what I’ve said to you right now like 100 times in public."</p> <p>“I hope to, if I live long enough, to say it 100 more times. I think it’s completely honest and real, not racist or scary. It’s factually true. It’s not a theory, it’s a fact."</p> <p>Carlson then took the fight to the issue of gun control when Wong suggested that it is Americans the same immigration theories that turn to violence and commit mass shootings, to which Carlson quickly rejected as he took aim at Wong.  </p> <p>“Oh god, come on,” Carlson said. “How do they get people this stupid in the media? I guess it doesn’t pay well. Look, I’m sorry, I’ve lived among people like you for too long. I don’t mean to call you stupid, maybe you’re just pretending to be."</p> <p>He clarified his stance by saying, "But I’m totally against violence."</p> <p>But Wong wouldn’t stop her line of questioning, asking “Right, so therefore you support gun control?” </p> <p>“What?! I thought it couldn’t get dumber, but it did,” he said.</p> <p>“No, I don’t support disarming law-abiding people so they can’t defend themselves, so the government has a monopoly on violence. I don’t think so."</p> <p>Before leaving the stage, Carlson took a broad swipe at Australian media, saying, "I got here and the country is so unbelievably beautiful, and the people are so cheerful and funny, and cool, and smart. "</p> <p>“I’m like, ‘your media has got to be better than ours. It can’t just be a bunch of castrated robots reading questions from the boss’."</p> <p>“And then it turns out it’s exactly the same. Maybe even a tiny bit dumber.”</p> <p>A lengthy clip of the tense exchange has since gone viral amongst conservative X users, with <em>Sky News Australia</em> host Rita Panahi chiming in on the discourse. </p> <p>“If you are going to show up and make outrageous claims and try to connect Tucker Carlson to mass killers, then I don’t know, perhaps go to the trouble of citing a source, have a direct quote from the man,” Ms Panahi said.</p> <p>“Otherwise, you are going to look like an absolute fool.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: LUKAS COCH/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock Editorial </em></p> <p style="box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px 0px 24px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', HelveticaNeue, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size-adjust: inherit; font-kerning: inherit; font-variant-alternates: inherit; font-variant-ligatures: inherit; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-variant-position: inherit; font-feature-settings: inherit; font-optical-sizing: inherit; font-variation-settings: inherit; font-size: 18px; vertical-align: baseline;"> </p>

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Doctors at war

<p><em>In the annals of military history, the valour and sacrifices of doctors who served alongside soldiers in combat zones often go unrecognised. Yet their stories, as retired colonel Robert Likeman poignantly illustrates in his Australian Doctors at War series, reveal a legacy of courage and commitment that is integral to understanding the full scope of wartime heroism.</em></p> <p>---</p> <p>Winston Churchill, in his <em>Sketches on Service During the Indian Frontier Campaign of 1897</em>, wrote, “The spectacle of a doctor in action among soldiers, in equal danger and with equal courage, saving life where others are taking it, allaying pain where all others are causing it, is one which must always seem glorious, whether to God or man”.</p> <p>It is certainly true that doctors in a combat zone share the risks of shot and shell equally with the fighting soldier, but they also experience the added stress of taking responsibility for those wounded and dying on the battlefield, and in situations where the best of treatment cannot be readily given.</p> <p>Glorious or otherwise, the stories of our Australian Army doctors at war remain relatively unrecognised. Doctors have always been among the first to volunteer – in all 1,242 doctors served with the first Australian Imperial Force, careless for their own safety, and 55 of them failed to return. These men represented a significant proportion of the medical workforce in Australia, which by 1937 only reached 5,000. In World War 2, with the introduction of compulsory military service, the number of serving doctors exceeded 2,500. Hardly any of them are still with us today, but their children and grandchildren are our fellow citizens, and in many cases our local doctor may be one of these. It is a legacy not to be dismissed lightly. </p> <p>Those who have served in the Army know that treating the ailments of soldiers and preserving their health occupies much more time than dressing their wounds. In World War 1, fought over the agricultural lands of Europe, infectious diseases such as gas gangrene, tetanus and trench fever were common. In the deserts of World War 2, these were replaced by hepatitis, sandfly fever and eye infections. New Guinea presented a wholly different spectrum of disease, dominated by malaria, scrub typhus and amoebic dysentery. The maintenance of “fighting fitness” was a daily struggle for the doctors. </p> <p>The 2021 Interim Report of the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide did not identify medical officers as being particularly at risk of psychological injury as a result of their service in a war zone. But in view of their exposure to mass trauma and death, they might be assumed to have a significant risk of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, both from the chances of being wounded or killed, and from the guilt associated with the failure to preserve life. Two of the medical officers who served at Gallipoli shot themselves on their return to Egypt, perhaps because they had seen men die who might have been saved with better medical attention. Fourteen other doctors from the 1st Australian Imperial Force are known to have committed suicide after their return to Australia. </p> <p>Close to 3,000 Australian nurses served overseas with the Australian Army Nursing Service in World War 1, but female doctors were not permitted to enlist. A significant number of them however, at least 19, served in the British Army or in voluntary hospitals in Europe. One of them, Phoebe Chapple, was awarded the Military Medal for Bravery. In World War 2, 22 women doctors were commissioned in total – moreso due to the shortage of manpower than from egalitarian principles – though none of them were posted overseas. In recent overseas deployments, women doctors in the Army have quite properly taken their rightful place.</p> <p>The military service and civilian practice of all the Australian doctors who served in both World Wars has been meticulously documented in my six-volume series, <em>Australian Doctors at War</em>, published by Halstead Press. Your relatives may be among them.</p> <p><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2024/06/Robert_Likeman_01.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></p> <p><em>The Inevitable Hour</em> is the sixth and final volume of my <em>Australian Doctors at War</em> series, covering the period from January 1943 to the disbanding of the Second Australian Imperial Force in April 1947. Even after the Japanese had been driven from Papua and New Guinea, they still retained most of the archipelago. The threat to Australia was great, and despite being a then small nation, the country mobilised quickly to disrupt Japanese holdings in Madang, Wewak and Wau. Overcoming the constant influx of wounded men needing treatment, suffering themselves from afflictions such as hepatitis, dysentery and depression, aggravated by extreme and tropical climates, Australia’s medical officers were under considerable pressure, during the war and in the monumental demobilisation of the 2nd AIF that followed Japanese defeat.</p> <p><em><strong>ABOUT THE AUTHOR</strong></em><br />Robert Likeman is a graduate of Oxford University, where he studied Classics, Oriental Languages and Medicine. He is a specialist in obstetrics and gynaecology, in tropical medicine, and in rural and remote medicine. After service in the British Army he migrated to Australia in 1972. He is the author of seven books of military history and two biographies, and co-author of a textbook of obstetrics and gynaecology for doctors practising in developing countries.</p> <p><em>Images courtesy of Robert Likeman.</em></p>

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How to write creative non-fiction history

<p><em>Discovering an old photo album from the 1920s, celebrated author and adjunct professor <strong>Paul Ashton</strong> embarked on a journey to turn historical research into engaging creative non-fiction, blending meticulous evidence with captivating storytelling. Here he shares he insights on the fascinating process. </em></p> <p>One afternoon my elderly father and niece came to my home for lunch. On their way they had seen something on a council clean up. ‘We thought you might be interested in this,’ said my father handing me a small, brown photo album. I was.</p> <p>The album contained around 100 undated black and white photographs. It became apparent quickly that this was the record of a road trip done in the 1920s or 1930s. A boy, two women and a man had gone on a trip from Sydney up through New England, to Tamworth then to Brisbane and back to Sydney. Shadows in some of the images indicate that they were taken by the man and at least one of the women. The album provided the basis for my first children’s book, Palmer’s Mystery Hikes.</p> <p>One photograph stood out for me. Hundreds of people were gathered somewhere in the bush. In the far left-hand corner in the background was an elevated table covered with a large white tablecloth. With a magnifying glass I could just make out ‘Palmers [something] Hike’. In 1932 Palmer’s men and boys’ department store, in Park Street in Sydney, had established a hiking club to promote the sale of hiking apparel. You bought a ‘mystery’ ticket from New South Wales Railways with which Palmer had an arrangement; turned up at Central Station on Sunday morning; and were taken to a mystery destination. From there you did a ten-mile hike to another station and were then trained back to Sydney. There were five hikes. The third one to the Hawkesbury River attracted over 8,000 people.</p> <p>Turning historical research into believable fiction or creative non-fiction has certain demands. How do you strike a balance between historical research and evidence and the narrative form? This is a big question and will ultimately depend on many things, including the availability of primary and secondary sources and the nature of the particular narrative. But perhaps the most important question is: how do writers use the past to give their work historical dimensions and insights?</p> <p>For me, the most critical element is context. And it’s the thing most missing in much historically based fictional literature. Evoking people, places and periods involves understandings of things such as continuity and change over time, historical process – like colonisation and suburbanisation – ideologies and superstitions. Where appropriate, these should form subtle backgrounds to the narrative. Fiction and creative non-fiction as historical modes of presenting history should also show – not tell.</p> <p>My edited collection, If It’s not True It Should Be (Halstead Press), explores writing history using fictional techniques. As Peter Stanley has written in that book, ‘those who seek to illuminate the past through the imaginative recreation of historical fiction … [are] motivated by the fundamental conviction that what links the fidelity of the historian and the imagination of the historical novelist is that the work of both should be offered and read as if it were true.’</p> <p><em>ABOUT THE AUTHOR<br />Paul Ashton is adjunct professor and co-founder of the Australian Centre for Public History at the University of Technology Sydney and adjunct professor at the University of Canberra and Macquarie University. He has authored, co-authored, edited and co-edited over 40 books and is editor of the journal Public History Review. His series of creative non-fiction children’s histories – Accidental Histories – is being published by Halstead Press.</em></p> <p><em>Images: Supplied</em></p>

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Hello hay fever – why pressing under your nose could stop a sneeze but why you shouldn’t

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/theresa-larkin-952095">Theresa Larkin</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-wollongong-711">University of Wollongong</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jessica-nealon-1481995">Jessica Nealon</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-wollongong-711">University of Wollongong</a></em></p> <p>If you have <a href="https://theconversation.com/sniffles-sneezing-and-cough-how-to-tell-if-its-a-simple-allergy-rather-than-the-virus-139657">hay fever</a>, you’ve probably been sneezing a lot lately.</p> <p>Sneezing is universal but also quite unique to each of us. It is a protective reflex action outside our conscious control, to remove irritants from inside our nose.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/holding-in-a-sneeze">pressure in the airways</a> during a sneeze is more than 30 times greater than heavy breathing during exercise. Estimates of how fast a sneeze travels range from <a href="https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0059970">5 metres a second</a> to <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19617285/">more than 150 kilometres per hour</a>.</p> <p>You can sometimes stop a sneeze by holding your nose or pressing underneath it. This is related to the <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/gate-control-theory">gate control theory of pain</a> and the idea you can change neural responses with external stimulation. But given the velocity of a sneeze, it might not be a good idea to stop it after it has started.</p> <h2>An involuntary reflex</h2> <p>A sneeze is initiated when sensory nerves in our nose are <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1753465809340571?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&amp;rfr_id=ori:rid:crossref.org&amp;rfr_dat=cr_pub%20%200pubmed">stimulated by an irritant</a> such as allergens, viruses, bacteria or even fluid.</p> <p>The sensory nerves then carry this irritant information to the brain.</p> <p>When a threshold amount of irritant signals reach the brain, the <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2077498/">sneeze reflex is triggered</a>. A sneeze first involves a deep intake of breath and a <a href="https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-do-we-sneeze/">build-up of pressure inside the airways</a>. This is then followed by <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/back-pain/back-pain-when-sneezing#sneezing-as-a-cause">contraction of the diaphragm</a> and rib muscles, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2077498/">reflex closing of the eyes</a> and a strong exhalation.</p> <p>These are the “ah” and the “tchoo” phases of a sneeze.</p> <p>On the exhalation of a sneeze, your tongue is lifted to the roof of your mouth. This <a href="https://www.atsjournals.org/doi/10.1164/rccm.202004-1263PP">closes off the back of the mouth</a> so the air is forced mostly through your nose. The air expelled through the nose flushes out the irritants that caused the sneeze. The “tch” sound of a sneeze is the reflexive touching of the tongue to the roof of your mouth.</p> <h2>The trigeminal nerves</h2> <p>The trigeminal nerves are the <a href="https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/body/21998-cranial-nerves">largest of our 12 pairs of cranial nerves</a> and the largest sensory nerves in the body.</p> <p>The left and right trigeminal nerves carry sensory information from the face to the brain. This includes touch, pain and irritation sensory information from the facial skin and from inside the nose and mouth. Within each trigeminal nerve are thousands of individual nerve branches that each carry a <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1744806920901890">specific type of sensory information</a>.</p> <h2>Sensory nerves communicate in the spinal cord</h2> <figure class="align-right zoomable"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/555217/original/file-20231023-25-1lg691.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/555217/original/file-20231023-25-1lg691.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=237&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/555217/original/file-20231023-25-1lg691.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=631&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/555217/original/file-20231023-25-1lg691.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=631&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/555217/original/file-20231023-25-1lg691.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=631&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/555217/original/file-20231023-25-1lg691.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=792&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/555217/original/file-20231023-25-1lg691.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=792&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/555217/original/file-20231023-25-1lg691.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=792&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="drawing of face with nerves labelled" /></a><figcaption><span class="caption">Henry Gray’s anatomical illustration of the trigeminal nerve.</span> <span class="attribution"><a class="source" href="https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/83/Gray778.png">Gray's Anatomy/Wikimedia Commons</a></span></figcaption></figure> <p>Sensory nerves travel to the brain via the spinal cord. The sensory nerves that carry pain and irritant signals are narrow, whereas those that carry touch information are wider and faster.</p> <p>In the spinal cord, these nerves communicate with each other via interneurons before sending their message to the brain. The interneurons are the “gates” of the <a href="https://www.physio-pedia.com/Gate_Control_Theory_of_Pain#:%7E:text=and%20trigger%20%E2%80%A2-,Introduction,be%20let%20through%20or%20restricted.">gate control theory of pain</a>.</p> <p>A nerve carrying a pain signal tells the interneuron to “open the gate” for the pain signal to reach the brain. But the larger nerves that carry touch information can “close the gate” and block the pain messages getting to the brain.</p> <p>This is why rubbing an injured area can reduce the sensation of pain.</p> <p><a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphys.2018.01037/full">One study</a> showed stimulating the trigeminal nerves by moving the jaw reduced tooth pain. We can observe this in action when babies instinctively <a href="https://chaimommas.com/2013/11/05/what-to-expect-with-teething-and-tooth-development-chart/">bite on things or pull their ear</a> when they are teething. These actions can stimulate the trigeminal touch nerves and reduce pain signals via the gate control mechanism.</p> <h2>So does putting your finger under your nose stop a sneeze?</h2> <p>There are <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-stop-sneezing">many suggestions</a> of how to stop a sneeze. These include pulling your ear, putting your tongue to the roof of your mouth or the back of your teeth, touching your nose, or even sticking your finger in your nose.</p> <p>All of these stimulate the trigeminal touch nerves with the goal of telling the interneurons to “close the gate”. This can block the irritant signals from reaching the brain and triggering a sneeze.</p> <h2>But should you stop a sneeze?</h2> <p>What if an irritant in your nose has triggered a sneeze response, but you’re somewhere it might be considered inappropriate to sneeze. Should you stop it?</p> <p>Closing your mouth or nose during a sneeze increases the pressure in the airways <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26914240/">five to 20 times more than a normal sneeze</a>. With no escape, this <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1945892418823147#:%7E:text=The%20high%20Valsalva%20pressure%20generated,to%20all%20people%20who%20sneeze.">pressure has to be transmitted elsewhere</a> and that can damage your eyes, ears or blood vessels. Though the risk is low, brain aneurysm, ruptured throat and collapsed lung have been <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/holding-in-a-sneeze#can-holding-a-sneeze-kill-you">reported</a>.</p> <p>So it’s probably best to try and prevent the sneeze reflex by treating allergies or addressing irritants. Failing that, embrace your personal sneeze style and <a href="https://theconversation.com/handkerchief-or-tissue-which-ones-better-for-our-health-and-the-planet-213065">sneeze into a tissue</a>. <!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/215265/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/theresa-larkin-952095">Theresa Larkin</a>, Associate professor of Medical Sciences, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-wollongong-711">University of Wollongong</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jessica-nealon-1481995">Jessica Nealon</a>, Lecturer in Medical Sciences (Neuroscience), <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-wollongong-711">University of Wollongong</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/hello-hay-fever-why-pressing-under-your-nose-could-stop-a-sneeze-but-why-you-shouldnt-215265">original article</a>.</em></p>

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A win for the press, a big loss for Ben Roberts-Smith: what does this judgment tell us about defamation law?

<p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/david-rolph-118815">David Rolph</a>, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p>At the heart of the spectacular defamation trial brought by decorated Australian soldier Ben Roberts-Smith were two key questions.</p> <p>Had the Age, the Sydney Morning Herald and the Canberra Times damaged his reputation when they published in 2018 a series of explosive stories accusing him of murder and other crimes while in Afghanistan?</p> <p>And could the newspapers successfully defend their reporting as true?</p> <p>Today, in Sydney, Federal Court Justice Anthony Besanko found the newspapers were indeed able to establish the “substantial truth” of key allegations around killing of unarmed Afghan male prisoners.</p> <p>An <a href="https://twitter.com/Kate_McClymont/status/1664130451869663232">appeal</a> may still be on the cards, but this is a high-profile loss for a very prominent person. The costs will be substantial. The usual rule is that the losing party pays their own costs and those of the winning party.</p> <p>So, even though people say defamation law in Australia has a reputation for favouring plaintiffs, this case shows even plaintiffs do sometimes lose defamation cases in Australia.</p> <p>More broadly, this case shows how hard it is to use defamation law to repair any perceived damage to your reputation. Once a case begins, you never can control what will be said in court.</p> <h2>What was this case about?</h2> <p>The case centred on several defamatory meanings (or, as they’re known in defamation law, “<a href="https://www.fedcourt.gov.au/services/access-to-files-and-transcripts/online-files/ben-roberts-smith">imputations</a>”) that Roberts-Smith said the papers had made against him.</p> <p>Among these were that he’d <a href="https://www.theage.com.au/national/110-days-41-witnesses-and-15-key-questions-to-answer-what-the-ben-roberts-smith-case-was-about-20230209-p5cjdp.html">killed</a> unarmed Afghan male prisoners and ordered junior soldiers to execute others in Afghanistan between 2006 and 2012.</p> <p>Roberts-Smith denied wrongdoing, but the newspapers had pleaded a defence of truth. That means to win this case, they needed to prove the meanings conveyed by their reporting – even if those meanings were unintended – were true.</p> <p>Besanko, reading a summary judgment today, said the newspapers were able to establish the substantial truth of some of the most serious imputations in the case.</p> <p>For other imputations, Besanko found the newspapers were able to establish “contextual truth”.</p> <p>Substantial truth means what is sounds like – that the allegation published was, in substance, true. Defamation law does not require strict, complete or absolute accuracy. Minor or inconsequential errors of detail are irrelevant. What matters is: has the publisher established what they published was, in substance, true?</p> <p>Contextual truth is a fallback defence. The court has to weigh what has been found to be true against what has been found to be unproven. If the true statements about the plaintiff were worse than the unproven statements, then the plaintiff’s reputation was not overall damaged by the unproven statements, and the publisher has a complete defence.</p> <p>In other words, Besanko found most of the imputations to be true. And, when considered against those which were not proven to be true, the remaining unproven imputations did not damage Roberts-Smith’s reputation.</p> <h2>What does this case tell us about defamation in Australia?</h2> <p>The court heard several explosive claims during the course of this trial, including that evidence on USB sticks had been put into a <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/aug/13/court-hears-ben-roberts-smiths-ex-wife-dug-up-usb-sticks-from-family-backyard">lunchbox and buried</a> in a backyard and that Roberts-Smith had allegedly <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/may/13/woman-who-says-ben-roberts-smith-punched-her-sustained-an-injury-in-a-fall-earlier-on-same-night-defamation-trial-hears">punched a woman</a> in their hotel room.</p> <p>Roberts-Smith said he didn’t bury the USBs or withhold information from a war crimes inquiry and denied that he had punched the woman.</p> <p>But the fact this widely scrutinised case yielded such astonishing testimony, day in and day out, shows how risky it is to use defamation law to restore perceived injury to one’s reputation.</p> <p>Defamation law is seeking to correct people’s views about the plaintiff. But it’s open to doubt that defamation law is actually any good at securing its own stated purpose of changing people’s minds about the plaintiff.</p> <p>The problem is the law is a very blunt instrument. It’s very hard to get people to change their minds about what they think of you.</p> <p>All litigation involves risk and defamation trials are even riskier. You never can control what can come out in court, as this litigation demonstrates so clearly.</p> <p>Roberts-Smith has sued to protect his reputation, but in doing so, a range of adverse things have been said in court. And whatever is said in court is covered by the defence of absolute privilege; you can’t sue for defamation for anything said in court that is reported accurately and fairly.</p> <h2>The 2021 defamation law reforms</h2> <p>The law that applies in the Roberts-Smith case is the defamation law we had before major reforms introduced in July 2021 across most of Australia.</p> <p>These reforms introduced a new defence known as the public interest defence. To use this defence, a publisher has to demonstrate that they reasonably believed the matter covered in their published material is in the public interest.</p> <p>As this defence didn’t exist prior to 2021, the publishers in the Roberts-Smith case used the defence of truth.</p> <p>If a case like this were litigated today following these reforms, it is highly likely the publisher would use the new public interest defence.</p> <p>Given the <a href="https://theconversation.com/lachlan-murdoch-could-well-have-won-his-crikey-lawsuit-so-why-did-he-drop-it-204279">Murdoch versus Crikey</a> case was settled, we may yet wait some time to see what’s required to satisfy the public interest test in a defamation case.</p> <p>But as today’s decision demonstrates, sometimes the truth alone will prevail.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/206759/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/david-rolph-118815">David Rolph</a>, Professor of Law, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/a-win-for-the-press-a-big-loss-for-ben-roberts-smith-what-does-this-judgment-tell-us-about-defamation-law-206759">original article</a>.</em></p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

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Blame game ensues over Sydney transport saga

<p>Sydney’s public transport has been thrown into chaos today, with all train services cancelled.</p> <p>A breakdown in talks between the NSW Government and the Rail Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) has resulted in all services on the Sydney Train lines and intercity RailLink line being cancelled.</p> <p>Transport for NSW have said the decision is the result of industrial action, however the RTBU say the planned industrial action wouldn’t impact commuters and the trains have been cancelled by the government in “retaliation”.</p> <p>The government and the union have been exchanging blows this morning, with Premier Dominic Perrottet branding the situation a “coordinated attack” by the Labor Party and RTBU.</p> <p>“This is no accident. This is a concerted campaign by the unions and the Labor Party to cause mass disruption across our city. They are not even hiding it,” Mr Perrottet told reporters.</p> <p>“Today is the first day we have international arrivals coming in, a day where mums and dads are trying to get their kids to school, a day when many university students are going back to class for the first time and many people as a result of our announcement last week returning to work.</p> <p>“The unions were intent on causing chaos.”</p> <p>The NSW premier confirmed that the decision to cancel the trains had been made by Transport for NSW, but claimed they were “left with no alternative in terms of safety”.</p> <p>He said he was incredibly disappointed with what has occurred this morning, saying the union’s wrong interpretation of the decision made by the Industrial Relations Commission is to blame for the action taken by Sydney Trains.</p> <p>“This is a concerted, predetermined campaign by the union movement,” he said.</p> <p>“You cannot treat the people of our great state in this way and it is very, very clear that this is the Labor Party in bed with the union movement to cause mass disruption.”</p> <p>The decision to cancel the trains was made just before 2am, meaning commuters who rely on the train services have been left scrambling to find alternative transport.</p> <p>RTBU NSW Secretary Alex Claassens made it clear on Monday morning that the cancelled trains was not the result of a worker strike, branding it a “dummy spit” from the NSW government.</p> <p>Speaking at a press conference at Central Station, Mr Claassens said when staff turned up for work this morning, they were told by management that the trains had been cancelled.</p> <p>“You can imagine the shock this morning waking up and knowing that the government had just done the most low and dastardly thing you can imagine the government doing. They have locked out their workforce and they have inconvenienced the people of NSW just because it was going to be a little bit difficult,” he told reporters.</p> <p>At this stage no train replacement buses have been organised to help commuters, with people being told to find their own alternative transport arrangements.</p> <p>The impacted lines include the Airport and South Line, Bankstown Line, Blue Mountains Line, Central Coast &amp; Newcastle Line, Cumberland Line, Eastern Suburbs &amp; Illawarra Line, Hunter Line, Inner West &amp; Leppington Line, North Shore Line, Northern Line, Olympic Park, South Coast Line, Southern Highlands Line and the Western Line.</p> <p>Ferry and Light Rails services are understood to be operating as usual.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images / Twitter</em></p>

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Grace Tame and Brittany Higgins slam PM in press club address

<p>In a sold out event, former Australian of the Year Grace Tame and former Liberal staffer who triggered the #MeToo movement Brittany Higgins addressed the national press club. </p><p>The two powerful women used their experiences to slam Prime Minister Scott Morrison, as they both condemned his handling of sexual violence against women both in parliament and in Australia at large. </p><p>When Grace took to the microphone, she condemned the Prime Minister after she received a threatening phone call from a senior member of a government-funded organisation, telling her to not besmirch the PM's name "with an election coming soon".</p><p>This claim immediately triggered an investigation by the government, along with a statement from the PM saying he had not authorised any intervention in such a threatening nature. </p><p>As it came for Brittany's turn to speak, she slammed Scott Morrison's comments that became public after Brittany disclosed her assault, with the PM seemingly only finding empathy when he thought of the situation "as a father with daughters".</p><p>In response to this, Brittany said, “I didn’t want his sympathy as a father. I wanted him to use his power as prime minister. I wanted him to wield the weight of his office and drive change in the party and our parliament, and out into the country."</p><p>When both women were asked if they planned to enter politics, they both answered no, claiming they could "achieve more outside of politics".</p><p>While Grace Tame admitted that former Labor leader Kim Beazley "did try to sway me", Brittany said after the horror she was put through in the walls of Parliament House, she was now "stateless".</p><p>With the impending federal election on the horizon, a journalist in the room asked the women what Labor leader Anthony Albanese could do better in the handling of sexual assault issues if he became prime minister, with Grace responding, "All Anthony would have to do is nothing that Scott's done."</p><p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

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Djokovic press conference shut down after probing question

<p dir="ltr">The Djokovic family abruptly ended a press conference when someone asked whether tennis star Novak knowingly socialised with children without wearing a mask a day after testing positive for COVID-19.</p> <p dir="ltr">The decision to cancel Djokovic’s visa was overturned in the Federal Court on Monday, and he plans to play in the Australian Open next week. However, the federal government says it is still considering whether or not to cancel his visa, saying it has the power to do so regardless of the court’s decision.</p> <p dir="ltr">Court documents released after the hearing reveal that the tennis star was tested at 1.05 pm on December 16 and received a positive result at 8.19pm. This revelation has prompted speculation about whether Djokovic knowingly mingled with others without wearing a mask while being sick with the virus.</p> <p dir="ltr">On December 16, he received a commemorative stamp from the Serbian National Postal Service, and on December 17, he attended an awards ceremony at the Novak Tennis Centre in Belgrade. Multiple photos posted to social media show him posing for photos with children without wearing a mask.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">An honor to receive my very own Serbian stamp. Thank you to my generous country for this rare gift! I’m humbled!! Excited to share we’ll partner with the Serbian National Postal Service on <a href="https://twitter.com/novakfoundation?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@novakfoundation</a> projects for every child to have the opportunity to attend preschool 🙏🏼 <a href="https://t.co/Ww8Zma95NU">pic.twitter.com/Ww8Zma95NU</a></p> — Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) <a href="https://twitter.com/DjokerNole/status/1471843717271150592?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 17, 2021</a></blockquote> <p dir="ltr">These photos led people to question why he would attend social functions, particularly with children and without wearing a mask, knowing he was at risk of transmitting the virus.</p> <p dir="ltr">When his family members – father Srdjan, mother Dijana and brother Djordje – were asked that very question at a press conference in Belgrade on Monday, Djordje said, “So, ah, this press conference is adjourned at the moment”.</p> <p dir="ltr">Before abruptly ending the press conference, the family thanked fans for their support and defended Djokovic’s right to be in Australia, with Djordje saying, “Thank you to people all over the world, people have risen in defence of Novak, we have seen the footage in front of the detention centre. Novak is free, he practised on the courts. He went there to chase another title, with the best possible intent and all the documentation.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Novak has been labelled many times, but all he stands for is freedom of choice. The justice has been done. Truth and justice came to the light. I would like to thank the justice system of Australia.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images</em></p>

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Protestors force Daniel Andrews to abandon press conference

<p dir="ltr">Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews cancelled a press conference on Wednesday, following advice from police after protestors picketed his appearance at the opening of a regional TAFE.</p> <p dir="ltr">Andrews was touring a new TAFE in the regional Victorian city of Bendigo, but after protestors, chanting “kill the bill” and “coercion is not consent”, arrived outside the campus, the premier decided not to take questions from the media because of safety concerns raised by Victorian Police.</p> <p dir="ltr">The protestors were demonstrating against new pandemic laws introduced by the state government, as well as vaccine mandates.</p> <p dir="ltr">Before leaving, Andrews told the crowd, "to perhaps give you a quieter time, I'm going to go now". Protestors could be heard shouting insults such as “sack Dan Andrews” as the premier was ushered into a waiting car.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">Daniel Andrews shows his face in public once and this is what happens... <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/DanNext?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#DanNext</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/KillTheBill?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#KillTheBill</a><br /><br />Shot in Bendigo after a press conference. <a href="https://t.co/GLuHkjgUhW">pic.twitter.com/GLuHkjgUhW</a></p> — The Altruistic Capitalist (@kimchi2613) <a href="https://twitter.com/kimchi2613/status/1458269530283593732?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 10, 2021</a></blockquote> <p dir="ltr">The incident coincided with daily protests in Melbourne’s CBD, including a protest on Monday night that saw roughly 200 people gather on the steps of the Victorian Parliament. COVID-19 response commander Jeroen Weimar and Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton had to be escorted by police through the crowd.</p> <p dir="ltr">Meeting again on Tuesday, the crowd of protestors outside Parliament included Shadow Treasurer David Davis and Liberal Democrat David Limbrick.</p> <p dir="ltr">The laws being protested have been strongly criticised by Victorian Liberals and the Victorian Bar for being too broad and lacking proper scrutiny. Despite this, they passed the Legislative Assembly last month and are now awaiting the support of three crossbench MPs to pass the Legislative Council.</p> <p dir="ltr">The proposed laws seek to replace existing state of emergency powers, and would empower the premier and health minister of the day to declare pandemics and enforce health directions. Under existing laws, only the state’s chief health officer, who is not an elected official, has these powers.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images</em></p>

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Prince Charles shocked that Morrison not confirmed for Glasgow climate conference

<p dir="ltr">Prince Charles has expressed shock at reports Prime Minister Scott Morrison wasn’t confirmed for the upcoming COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow.</p> <p dir="ltr">Describing the conference as a “last chance saloon” for action on climate change, Prince Charles told the BBC that the world is facing a “disaster” and a “catastrophe”. When the interviewer says, “Scott Morrison, the Australian PM, isn’t even certain that he could make it to the meeting in Glasgow,’’ Charles responds with, “I, is that what he says does he? Mmm,’’ and goes on to explain why he’s tried so hard to encourage world leaders to attend.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The point being that this is a last chance saloon. If we don’t really take the decisions that are vital now, it’s going to be almost impossible to catch up. It will be a disaster. I mean it will be catastrophic. It is already beginning to be catastrophic because nothing in nature can survive the stress that is created by these extremes of weather.”</p> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/j1EUsGrIgMY" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p dir="ltr">The interviewer also asked what Charles would say to the Australian government, as it seems reluctant to “take on board the need to take really serious action on this issue”. Charles’ diplomatic response was, “You gently try to suggest that maybe there are other ways of doing things, otherwise in my case, you lot will accuse me of interfering.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Charles revealed in the interview that he has converted his Aston Martin to run on “surplus English white wine and whey from the cheese process” and avoids eating fish or meat on two days each week. He also revealed that he shares many of Greta Thunberg’s concerns, particularly that world leaders “just talk” about climate change without taking any action to combat it. “They just talk. And the problem is to get action on the ground.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Where Morrison was previously unsure whether he would attend the conference or not,<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/climate-change/scott-morrison-likely-to-backflip-on-glasgow-climate-change-conference/news-story/8208d18f843060fa166a616eb7603517" target="_blank">News.com.au reported on Tuesday</a><span> </span>that senior government sources have suggested he will now consider attending, although they rejected the suggestion Charles’ interview has played a factor in Morrison’s decision to reconsider attending.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: BBC</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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NZ politician’s hilarious X-rated blunder

<p><span>New Zealand’s Covid-19 response minister Chris Hipkins has given the nation “a reason to laugh” after giving some x-rated health advice on the Delta outbreak.</span><br /><br /><span>Mr Hipkins was caught in his hilarious blunder while reminding people of the strict COVID-19 restrictions.</span><br /><br /><span>His humorous moment saw him telling the nation they should social distance when they go outside to “spread their legs”.</span><br /><br /><span>"It is a challenge for people in high density areas to get outside and spread their legs when they are surrounded by other people," he accidentally told reporters at the live press conference on Sunday.</span><br /><br /><span>He meant to say "stretch their legs".</span></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">Latest official government advice, please retweet to get the message out <a href="https://twitter.com/cjsbishop?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@cjsbishop</a> <a href="https://t.co/FddDNPFkRA">pic.twitter.com/FddDNPFkRA</a></p> — ᴀɴᴅʀᴇᴡ ʙɪɢɢs (@biggsintweets) <a href="https://twitter.com/biggsintweets/status/1429262495009542144?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 22, 2021</a></blockquote> <p><br /><span>The blunder wasn’t forgotten by Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield, who raised an eyebrow and smirked seconds later.</span><br /><br /><span>Hipkins realised his embarrassing error, and said that the media “would all have fun with him later”.</span><br /><br /><span>The mistake has given some heavily-needed comedic relief for New Zealanders who are currently in the midst of a nationwide lockdown.</span><br /><br /><span>“Spread your legs, not the virus!” one person took to Twitter to share.</span><br /><br /><span>"When Jacinda takes a break and leaves it to the boys.." another added.</span><br /><br /><span>Mr Hipkins later responded on his official Facebook page, saying “at least I’ve given you all something to laugh about.”</span></p>

Travel Trouble

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Alert viewers spot Cabinet Minister's serious health condition on live TV

<p>NSW Cabinet Minister Victor Dominello made an urgent discovery about his own health after a number of concerned viewers alerted him to a major issue.</p> <p>The viewers noticed his "droopy eye" during the NSW State COVID-19 press conference on Wednesday so the Customer Service Minister sought medical advice and was diagnosed with Bell's palsy on Wednesday afternoon.</p> <p>The minister later posted on his Facebook account, saying he’d received this diagnosis at the Royal North Shore Hospital. Bell's palsy is a condition which causes a sudden weakness or paralysis in one side of the face.</p> <p>“At this morning’s press conference, a number of people commented on my droopy eye,” he wrote in his post.</p> <p>“Some people thought I was winking at the cameraman. Some thought I had a stroke.</p> <p><strong>“I have actually been diagnosed with Bell’s palsy.”</strong></p> <p>Minister Dominello continued in his post: “About 48 hours ago - I felt a pain in my skull behind my right ear. This morning I woke up with pins and needles on the right side of my tongue. But I did not notice any droopiness around my eye.</p> <p>I only took it more seriously this afternoon - after a number of people sent me a screenshot of the press conference and others contacted my office prompting me to seek urgent medical advice.</p> <p>Thanks to everyone who reached out .</p> <p>The reason I am posting is because hopefully it will remind people to look after their health.</p> <p>We are focussed on Covid but there are plenty of other health problems going on.</p> <p>If you have any health concerns - please get them looked after.</p> <p>Ps - thanks to staff at Royal North Shore - we are blessed to live in a country with this health system ”</p> <p>Bell’s Palsy is caused by inflammation or damage to the facial nerve which are thought to be linked to viral infections. It can be treated with oral steroids or antiviral medicine with complete recovery usually taking several months.</p> <p>Other symptoms include difficulty making facial expressions, drooping of one side of the mouth, difficulty eating, drooling, pain or sensitivity on the affected side of the body. Patients can also experience headaches and loss of taste.</p> <p>Anyone who develops these symptoms should seek medical treatment immediately.</p> <p><em>Photo: Facebook</em></p>

Caring

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"Shouting doesn't work against this virus": Dan Andrews responds to gatecrasher

<p>Victoria's COVID-19 press conference was met with a gatecrasher on Wednesday, after a man yelled at Premier Dan Andrews for more than half an hour.</p> <p>During the announcement of further lockdown restrictions, the man started shouting for “Premier Daniel Andrews” from the floor above where the conference was taking place.</p> <p>The said he had a letter for the Victorian Premier and claimed he called to try and speak to him the day before.</p> <p>Police eventually stepped in to arrest the man, as reporters asked Andrews to address the man's obvious frustrations about continuing COVID-19 restrictions.</p> <p>The Premier said in response, "Whether you support me or not I will do everything I can to protect you from this virus."</p> <p>“Shouting doesn’t work against this virus. Like I said the other day, if frustration and anger was effective against coronavirus, we’d all be double dosed vaccinated by now."</p> <p>The Victorian Premier has received a lot of scrutiny over the many lockdowns Victoria has endured, as he continues to say he will do whatever is necessary to protect Victorians from the deadly Delta strain of coronavirus.</p> <p>Melbourne went into another snap lockdown last Thursday evening and was said to only last a week.</p> <p>However, as cases continue to rise, Andrews said authorities needed more time and extended it to now last until midnight on Thursday August 19.</p>

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"Light at the end of the tunnel": ScoMo announces federal finance package

<p>Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced a proposal for new financial supports to National Cabinet for states and territories in Australia impacted by the COVID-19 snap lockdowns.</p> <p>The "prospective changes" include a range of support measure, including payments for a COVID support system and a waiver of the liquid assets test.</p> <p>"Payments for a Covid support payment would still be paid in the second week of a pandemic, they would be paid basically on an arrears basis on that first seven days," Morrison explained in a press conference on Thursday afternoon.</p> <p>"Secondly, the liquid assets test will be waived from the outset."</p> <p>"Thirdly, the payment that will be made will be at that December quarter JobKeeper figure for last year, which is the payment that in NSW they're about to go into," he continued.</p> <p>"At the end of 14 days, we would be providing to all states and territories the same arrangements that we are entering into now with the NSW Government, for business."</p> <p>These payments, Mr Morrison said, would be administered by the Commonwealth.</p> <p>"To remind you about those arrangements, that is if you had your turnover reduced by more than 30 per cent, you would have for businesses between $75,000 annual turnover to $50 million annual turnover, you have 40 per cent of your payroll made in a payment with a minimum payment of $1500 and a maximum payment of $10,000. That would be done based on that first two weeks of any possible lockdown."</p> <p>He was also asked about the current state of the country and was wondering what the "light at the end of the tunnel" is.</p> <p>Morrison believes it's "both the continue resilience and strength of Australians to persevere, because we get through everything as Australians".</p> <p>"No matter what is thrown at us, we get through it. This is the test that our generation is facing. And our generation is up to it," he said.</p> <p>"And we'll persevere and come out the other side and we can have the great confidence of this in the Australian spirit that will be achieved. That we'll not be overcome by this. That we'll not be defeated by this, nor will we give up as a country into the frustration or the exasperation that can come with these challenges.</p> <p>"The second thing is this – the vaccination program continues to gather pace. The rollout continues to ensure that by the end of this year all of those seeking a vaccine can receive one. That means we can go into the next phase and the next phase after that.</p> <p>"The other hope I give you is this – because Australia has had the success of date, where we've saved over 30,000 lives, where we've got one million people back in work, that shows the strength of the Australian economy to rebound. It shows the strength of the Australian people to come back.</p> <p>"And so, all we need to keep doing is putting our heads down, go forward, keep our spirits up, get the job done, and Australia will not just get through this, we'll come out the other side stronger."</p>

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Sunrise journalist lashes back at Annastacia Palaszczuk

<p>Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has been criticised for avoiding a question about Queensland's COVID-19 situation because she thought the journalist was being "rude".</p> <p>The Queensland Premier had been accused of irresponsibly putting the vaccine rollout in jeopardy to score political points against the federal government, after telling young people in the state not to get the AstraZeneca jab.</p> <p>During a press conference on Thursday, Ms Palaszczuk snapped at a Sunrise reporter Bianca Stone for being "rude" after she questioned whether it was a "political stunt".</p> <p>“Sorry, I don’t know your name,” Ms Palaszczuk interrupted.</p> <p>“Bianca Stone,” she replied.</p> <p>“Hi Bianca.”</p> <p>As Stone asked her question again, Ms Palaszczuk cut in.</p> <p>“I won’t answer people being rude,” she said. “You are being very rude. Anyone else with a question?”</p> <p>Stone later hit back on social media.</p> <p>“Journalists are given limited opportunity at these government media conferences to ask questions,” she tweeted.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">Journalists are given limited opportunity at these government media conferences to ask questions. If <a href="https://twitter.com/AnnastaciaMP?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@AnnastaciaMP</a> wants pleasantries she should stick around a bit longer so that all of the journalists in the room can ask their questions. And it actually doesn’t matter who I am. <a href="https://t.co/YuatKRLWLR">https://t.co/YuatKRLWLR</a></p> — Bianca Stone (@Bianca_Stone) <a href="https://twitter.com/Bianca_Stone/status/1410412594150608897?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 1, 2021</a></blockquote> <p>“If @AnnastaciaMP wants pleasantries she should stick around a bit longer so that all of the journalists in the room can ask their questions. And it actually doesn’t matter who I am.”</p> <p>She wrote in a follow-up tweet, “For those asking (if) my question was legitimate – I was asking about the political stunt @AnnastaciaMP and co tried to pull on day one of a lockdown. (Spouting) incorrect info on AstraZeneca then saying they were going to run out of Pfizer... all to deflect blame over a hospital outbreak.”</p> <p>Another reporter grilled Ms Palaszczuk on her claim that the UK had refused to offer AstraZeneca to under-40s.</p> <p>“Yes, there is an article that talks about under-40s to be given an alternative to AstraZeneca,” she replied.</p> <p>“You weren’t here yesterday either, and I actually read from the article. I am happy to provide you with a copy of the article.”</p> <p>Dr Young denied a reporter’s suggestion she was “scaremongering”.</p> <p>“No, I just put out the facts,” she said.</p> <p>“My advice is very, very clearly that people who are 60 years of age or older should be going to their GP or a Commonwealth vaccine clinic to get AstraZeneca. Anyone under 60, if you’ve already had one dose of the vaccine, you need a second dose of the same vaccine, whether it’s Pfizer or AstraZeneca. If you haven’t had your first dose and you are under the age of 60 and at least 16 years of age, then you should be scheduling yourself as soon as it becomes available to you to get the Pfizer vaccine.”</p>

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Kyrgios to reporter: "Never ask me that ever again"

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Nick Kyrgios has addressed the string of injuries caused by Wimbledon’s slippery courts while joking he’s not the best person to ask about “movement” on any surface.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Kyrgios is the latest player to suffer a fall, after slipping during his winning match against Ugo Humbert on Thursday morning, following the restart of the match from the night before because of the All England Club’s 11pm curfew.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Kyrgios was visibly in pain and cried out after the fall, but fears he wouldn’t be able to continue playing were dispelled when he got up and continued to play.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">His tumble came after the retirement of Adrian Mannarino and Serena Williams in the opening week of the grand slam after both players suffered injuries from their falls.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Multiple players have spoken out about the much more slippery state of the courts this year in comparison to past tournaments.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When asked about “movement” and how important it was for him to feel secure in his footing, Kyrgios commented that growing up on grass in Australia has helped but that footwork isn’t his biggest strength.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I’m a very interesting person to ask about movement,” Kyrgios said in his post-match press conference.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I definitely think being Australian growing up on the grass helps. I played a lot of grass courts when I was a junior … I developed my grass court game early,” he explained.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“My instincts on grass are quite good … for me it kind of comes naturally.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He added: “To be honest, I have shocking footwork. Probably should never ask me that question again. That’s more like a Diego Schwartzman type thing I think, but I think for me it comes more naturally.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I’m not the most flexible bloke so any time my legs spread a little bit apart I’m like, ‘Ahh’.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Going down, it was pretty brutal. It hurt, my hip hurt. But I got back up and showed some resilience, coming with age.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When asked whether the state of the courts had become a talking point in Wimbledon’s locker room, Kyrgios said it’s unfortunate but comes with playing on that type of surface.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I don’t think the rain helps, especially outside courts when it gets slippery and a bit unpredictable,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It’s just sometimes what happens on the grass. I think the game’s evolved now where there’s so many rallies and players are so capable of making so many returns or that extra ball where the body’s actually not supposed to be in those positions and then people slip over and injuries happen.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The busy schedule most players follow doesn’t help either, Kyrgios said, with back to back matches across the French Open and Wimbledon.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I don’t know if there’s a solution but it just is what it is on the grass … the grass has got that unpredictable factor that there’s no guarantee any time you go out there that you could be injured.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Wimbledon have come out defending the condition of its courts following the incidents.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Each grass court is checked by the grand slam supervisors, Referee’s Office and Grounds team ahead of play commencing, and on both days of the fortnight they have been happy with the conditions and cleared the courts for play,” officials said.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Nick Kyrgios / Instagram</span></em></p>

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Ash Barty pulled into Osaka drama

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post-body-container"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text redactor-styles redactor-in"> <p>An American journalist has dragged World No. 1 Ash Barty into the current drama surrounding Naomi Osaka, claiming that Barty's press conferences are proof of racial bias within the media.</p> <p>Osaka withdrew from the French Open on Tuesday morning after boycotting press conferences during the Open sparked controversy.</p> <p>Osaka revealed that she would be taking some time away from tennis to focus on her mental health.</p> <p>New York reporter Chris Spargo believes otherwise, saying that the issue stems from much more than Osaka's mental health.</p> <p>“Take a look at the questions Ash Barty is asked in a post-match interview as compared to Naomi Osaka,” Spargo wrote in a now-deleted tweet. “Same journalists, same tournament.</p> <p>“This is just as much about race as it is about mental health, be it Venus, Serena or Naomi in the press room.”</p> <p>In the transcript, Barty was asked "Is thet hte best start you think you've had to a grand slam?" and "You're playing so well, what's the next step?" whereas Osaka was asked "You looked a bit nervous" and "Why was it intimidating to see Serena Williams on the other side of the net?".</p> <p>However, the transcript doesn't mention that Barty's questions were different due to her defeating Montenegrin Danka Kovinic 6-0 6-0 whereas Osaka's questions came after defeating Serena Williams, her tennis idol growing up.</p> <p>Spargo pointed out that he had to delete the tweet due to "ignorant and racist responses".</p> </div> </div> </div> </div>

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Serena Williams tearfully quits press conference after loss

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text redactor-styles redactor-in"> <p>Tennis legend Serena Williams made a tearful exit from a press conference after losing to Naomi Osaka in the Australian Open semi-finals.</p> <p>Osaka defeated Williams 6-3 6-4 in a match that only lasted 75 minutes.</p> <p>Rumours were flying as Williams made an emotional exit after the loss by putting her hand on her heart and waving goodbye to the crowd at Rod Laver Arena.</p> <p>“I don’t know. If I ever say farewell, I wouldn’t tell anyone, so...” she said, keeping quiet.</p> <p>The press conference quickly turned as a reporter asked about her performance against Osaka.</p> <p>“The unforced errors through the match, considering how well you played to get to this stage, what do you feel caused that? Was it just one of those bad days at the office?” he asked.</p> <p>Williams barely responded and she began tearing up, leaving the room and ending her press conference early.</p> <p>“I don’t know. I’m done,” she said, getting out of her seat as she finished speaking.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">Tennis star Serena Williams broke down in tears and cut short her post-match news conference after her semi-final defeat to Naomi Osaka.<br /><br />Read more here: <a href="https://t.co/QcGhpSkfDC">https://t.co/QcGhpSkfDC</a> <a href="https://t.co/AYJgHfLVGL">pic.twitter.com/AYJgHfLVGL</a></p> — Sky News (@SkyNews) <a href="https://twitter.com/SkyNews/status/1362357518937321475?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 18, 2021</a></blockquote> <p>Before Williams' departure, she admitted unforced errors were the difference in winning the match.</p> <p>“Honestly, it was opportunities where I could have won. I could have been up five-love. I just made so many errors,” Williams said.</p> </div> </div> </div>

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Leigh Sales attacked by Dan Andrews fan after press conference

<p>Leigh Sales made a surprise appearance at Victorian Premier Dan Andrews' press conference Monday, but his online fans weren't happy with the way the confrontation between the pair occurred.</p> <p>Sales got "caught in lockdown" and attended the press conference, where she pressed Andrews on the need for a five-day lockdown and if he lacked confidence in his state's hotel quarantine system.</p> <p>Despite appearing uncomfortable at times during Sales' questioning, Andrews still provided answers to her questions.</p> <p>However, Andrews' devoted online followers known as "Dan Stans" have slammed Sales on Twitter for her questions to the premier.</p> <p>“I watch these every day to keep my community informed. The way you hijacked it today to get an interview that you felt entitled to was incredibly rude and disrespectful not just to those you interrogated, but to those who have to watch it to be informed,” one woman<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://twitter.com/samemniktom/status/1361126366050021377" target="_blank">tweeted<span> </span></a>to Sales.</p> <p>“This was not your show, or your interview, it was their forum to inform the public, us. And you made it incredibly uncomfortable for us to watch just so you could get your scoop or gotcha. You have a profile and a voice and you could use it to help us, but you made things worse.”</p> <p>“Did you advise @DanielAndrewsMP that @abc730 would be high jacking (sic) the press conference, which is primarily held to inform Victorian public of updates to COVID restrictions and how to stay safe?” a different woman<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://twitter.com/mallottk/status/1361131696289157121" target="_blank">said</a>.</p> <p>“Was your ego so bruised that Andrews couldn’t accommodate your request for interview?”</p> <p>“Leigh Sales was rejecting expert health advice which the Premier is following. This is offensive to the vulnerable that need to be protected,” another man tweeted.</p> <p>It's not the first time "Dan Stans" have been unhappy with questioning from Sales, as they accused her of making "cheap jibes" after she covered Victoria's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.</p> <p>“Why do you do this, Leigh, don’t you realise this confrontational manner is uncalled for and offensive to us Victorians,” one Victorian wrote to Sales on Twitter.</p> <p>“Cut out the loaded questions and cheap jibes.”</p> <p>Sales hit back in response, arguing it was her job to ask the tough questions.</p> <p>“I view my job as asking questions that help Victorians learn about the decisions made about their lives and livelihoods, by people in power, whom Victorians elect and pay for with their tax dollars,” Sales tweeted.</p>

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