Morning Mail: Abbott in Taiwan, Facebook ‘Hurts Kids’, Australia’s Surf History |


gHello. Tensions between Taiwan and China are mounting as Tony Abbott arrives in the region. The NSW Nationals will vote today for a new leader to replace John Barilaro. And we have other revelations from the Pandora Diaries.

The former prime minister To landed in Taiwan to speak at a regional forum. Taiwan said Beijing sent nearly 150 fighter jets and bombers to its air defense zone in the first four days of October. President Tsai Ing-wen says Taiwan “will do whatever it takes to defend itself” and warned of the “catastrophic consequences” for the region in the event of a fall. Abbott will deliver a keynote address at the Yushan Forum – an Asian regional dialogue conference – and meet with Tsai and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu.

National Gallery of Australia set to return 9th-century bronze artifact to Cambodia as galleries around the world examine items linked to Douglas Latchford, a collector accused of smuggling antiques allegedly looted decades before his death in 2020. As Pandora newspapers uncover new evidence on proceeds from Latchford’s transactions , the hunt is on to find works related to him. And recently uncovered emails reveal that Latchford continued to trade privately in the years before charges were brought against him, including with a little-known Sydney gallery.

Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen gave the social media giant a scathing assessment during testimony before the U.S. Congress overnight. “I’m here today because I think Facebook’s products harm children, fuel division and weaken our democracy,” she said. Haugen has filed at least eight complaints with the U.S. financial watchdog, accusing the social media company of serially misleading investors about its approach to security and the size of its audience. In his testimony, Haugen said a lack of transparency about how Facebook’s algorithms work made regulation impossible. The past few days have been tumultuous for the social media giant, which suffered a global outage of around six hours yesterday.


Outgoing New South Wales Deputy Prime Minister John Barilaro. National deputies will vote to replace him with Paul Toole or Melinda Pavey. Photograph: Joel Carrett / AAP

John Barilaro will officially resign as leader of the NSW National Party today and MPs Paul Toole and Melinda Pavey are the top candidates to take over the post, and with him, the role of Deputy Premier of NSW. Here’s what you need to know about them.

Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is under fire after it emerged he was warned by the ATO that 950 companies receiving jobkeepers had made revenue during the pandemic that were “significantly” different from their projections.

NSW government faces landmark court case to strike down major water-sharing plan in Murray-Darling Basin. The Nature Conservation Council will argue that policymakers have failed to properly account for climate change and that it will likely have far-reaching implications as other countries grapple with the balance between allocation of scarce water resources between agriculture and the environment.

The world

Tesla was ordered to pay nearly $ 137 million in damages to former black employee who said he endured “everyday racial epithets”, including the N word, while working at a factory in California.

At least 330,000 children have been sexually abused by members of the clergy and laity of French Catholic ecclesial institutions over the past 70 years, according to a landmark report. The crimes were “systemically” covered by a deliberate “veil of silence” in the church.

EU could hurt Britain and Jersey’s energy supply due to UK failure to provide enough fishing licenses to French fishermen, declared the French Minister of European Affairs.

Russian actor and director arrived at the International Space Station to attempt to film the first film in orbit. The Russian crew is likely to beat a Hollywood project announced last year by Tom Cruise, NASA and Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

Recommended reading

Michel Bourez, Teahupo'o, 2017
Michel Bourez, Teahupo’o, 2017. Photography: Leroy Bellet

Surfing has a long history in Australian culture. Photographer John Ogden’s book Waterproof examines surf and ocean photography through a wide lens and pays homage to some of the sport’s greatest photographers, with images ranging from the earliest known photograph of a surf spot Australian to the surf boom of the 20th century.

Happy Endings is the sitcom about Six Friends Who Never Had the Love They Deserved, according to Stéphanie Van Schilt. “Launched in the era of romcom sitcoms like New Girl and The Mindy Project, it’s easy to misinterpret Happy Endings from the outside. Of course, it starts with a failed nuptials and ends every season with a wedding, but make no mistake … In a world full of reboots, remakes and lukewarm warm-ups, this is the one show I would be really happy to see return. “

Regional arts organizations are exhausted and struggling under lockdown. But opening up can present new challenges, with some arts workers predicting that there could be fundamental changes in the way productions turn out. Dubbo Theater director Linda Christof says there are some big hurdles to overcome: “Our whole team is really good at managing change, but now they’re exhausted. When you have a show from the Sydney Dance Company, Imperial Russian Ballet, and Bell Shakespeare, you’re usually sold out. It is very discouraging and complicated to undo.


Australia’s family court underwent the biggest change since its inception in 1975 last month. But some are concerned about the move. In today’s full article, Jane Lee chats with Guardian Australia reporter Nino Bucci and former Family Court Judge Colin Forrest about what went wrong and whether this drastic upheaval could remediate.

Whole story

The end of family court

Full Story is Guardian Australia’s daily news podcast. Subscribe for free on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or any other podcasting app.

With no way of knowing how long her fertility would prevail, Madison Griffiths did what she felt she had to, with the tools she had available. “In confinement, I entered the abortion clinic alone, hiding my worry behind my mask.” Alyx Gorman recommends this personal Griffiths story on today’s Australia Reads podcast.

Guardian Australia reads

In confinement, I entered the abortion clinic alone, hiding the worry behind my mask

Listen to the best of Guardian Australia journalism on the Australia Reads podcast on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Subscribe for free on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or any other podcasting app.


Ben Simmons was compared to LeBron James when the 76ers drafted him No. 1 overall in 2016. But a nasty divorce between the team and the player awaits him.

The England and Wales Cricket Council have warned their Australian counterparts that the Ashes tour is not a done deal because it pushes to guarantee the best possible conditions for the players. A source said issues clearly remain for a group of players who must now decide on their availability over the next few days.

Media overview

Annastacia Palaszczuk has given her clearest answer yet as to whether Queensland’s borders will open once vaccination rates reach 80% – “not necessarily”, reports the Brisbane timetable. The medical experts cited in the Age are pushing for compulsory masks in Victorian schools. And the Australian reveals that the Morrison government will cease regional processing operations in Papua New Guinea by the end of the year, eight years after Australia began sending asylum seekers and refugees there.


NSW Nationals will vote to choose a new leader today.

And if you’ve read this far …

One Orc Among Many In The Lord Of The Rings Movies Was Made To Look Like Harvey Weinstein as a message to notorious producer, Elijah Wood told a Hollywood podcast.

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