Morning mail: AEC dismisses Palmer claims, Coalition leadership moves, Boris Johnson party photos | Australia news

Good morning. The new prime minister, Anthony Albanese, and foreign minister, Penny Wong, have arrived in Tokyo for high-level security talks with the US, India, and Japan, focusing on measures to curb China’s assertiveness in the region.

The Australian Electoral Commission says it has seen no evidence to support Clive Palmer’s election night accusation that staff was taking home ballots, describing the suggestion as “frustrating and disappointing”. The United Australia party cofounder stands by the claim, telling Guardian Australia a UAP candidate “followed the AEC officers to their houses” and recorded video of their movements. Palmer says his lawyers are preparing a legal challenge to the result of at least one division and had two “independent witnesses” – other than the UAP candidate – who would give evidence under oath.

Both parties are grappling with the fallout of the weekend’s election. The National party will spill its leadership positions next Monday, with party members furious Barnaby Joyce signaled his party could abandon its support for net zero emissions after the Coalition’s defeat. Meanwhile, the Liberals will debate whether Peter Dutton’s deputy should be Jane Hume or Sussan Ley. Still, as the Liberal party started its self-examination, Barnaby Joyce was “busy putting lipstick on a pig, talking up the National party’s stellar result on the weekend”, says Gabrielle Chan. And Thomas Keneally writes Australians woke up to Scott Morrison and didn’t just move the goalposts – they dragged them off the paddock.

A court in Kyiv has sentenced a Russian soldier to life in prison for killing a Ukrainian civilian in the first verdict in a trial on war crimes related to the conflict. Ukraine’s prosecutor general, Iryna Venediktova, said about 13,000 cases of Russian alleged war crimes were being investigated as of Monday, with 48 more Russian soldiers set to face war crimes trials. A veteran Russian diplomat in Geneva has resigned over his country’s invasion of Ukraine in a rare political protest from within the Russian foreign policy establishment. “Today, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is not about diplomacy,” wrote the diplomat. “It is all about warmongering, lies, and hatred.”


The cost of steel for wind turbine blades has risen by 50% or more since the Covid pandemic’s start, according to GCube, a renewables insurer. Photograph: Mick Tsikas/EPA

Supply chain delays from China and the soaring cost of steel and other materials are part of a “perfect storm” stalling renewable energy growth, a leading insurer and industry groups say.

Australia’s new parliament looks set to be the most diverse, but the level of representation is still “pathetic”, diversity advocates say. Analysis shows that about 7% of the House of Representatives will comprise var and Indigenous MPs, far lower than the general Australian population.

Labor’s Mark Dreyfus has flagged he will seek an urgent briefing from the attorney general’s department on handling the Bernard Collaery case should he be appointed Australia’s first law officer.

Monkeypox cases in several countries have raised questions about how the virus has managed to spread and whether it has mutated. Data before current outbreaks suggested a resurgence of the disease, with waning immunity from smallpox vaccination contributing to its spread.

Boris Johnson

Queensland women are still facing barriers to accessing abortion services nearly four years after it was decriminalized in the state, according to support organizations.

The world

A photograph obtained by ITV News shows Boris Johnson raising a glass at the party on 13 November, which he previously denied had taken place. Photograph: ITV News

New photos of Boris Johnson raising a glass of wine at the leaving of a senior aide in November – an event for which the Metropolitan police decided not to fine the UK prime minister. Others in attendance were fined, and the images have raised questions about why Johnson escaped sanction.

The Washington DC attorney general is suing Mark Zuckerberg to hold the Facebook cofounder personally responsible for his alleged role in the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.

The heatwave scorching India and Pakistan has been made 30 times more likely by the climate crisis, according to scientists.

Recommended reads

‘Today – and maybe only for today, but we’ll see – I feel held … part of a community that has chosen to vote for the betterment of others.’ – Anna Spargo-Ryan Photograph: James D Morgan/Getty Images.

After the election, I feel something new, a tiny brightness between hope and relief, writes Anna Spargo-Ryan. “What I felt was a general lightness. A weight had been lifted. What made this hope significant? I think it might be this: the hope is external. In the lead-up to this election, right-wing politics and the media that supports it said nothing would change. So, we did what we always do: scrape the lining of our internal organs for the last remaining fibers of a reason to keep moving forward. We voted. And things changed.”

As the pandemic shut down Sydney venues, the Whitlams’ Tim Freedman headed inland and found his city songs were perfectly at home in the country. “I’m now on these country roads between Bathurst, Gunnedah, Tamworth, and the reception that I got from the audiences made me start thinking that I wanted to do it a lot more,” he says. “To make country music that would allow me to travel the country in much wider circles than I had been getting used to.”

“I didn’t want to write a memoir,” says Janine Mikosza after releasing her debut, Homesickness. “I didn’t want the exposure. I didn’t want to make public my suffer. And I struggled with the use of ‘I’. It’s just too personal.” Having lived in 14 houses before she was 18, Mikosza’s Homesickness is a dialogue between two versions of herself as she interrogates her past – and tests her memory.


Finland and Sweden this week formally applied to join Nato after years of non-alignment. As Jon Henley tells Michael Safi in today’s Full Story, it is a move that has been met with hostility and threats by Russia but has also injected new life into an alliance that appeared to be faltering. So with Nato rejuvenated, has Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine been a miscalculation in terms of his short-term military aims and a wider strategic catastrophe?

Full Story

How Vladimir Putin rejuvenated Nato

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A Grand final victory over Melbourne City will do much to secure Western Union’s place in Melbourne’s football hierarchy, writes Joey Lynch. “Even discounting their underdog status against Victory, there was little expectation at the beginning of the season that Western United would still be standing on the final day.”

With just over two months remaining until the first whistle blows at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, the time for selectors to name the last Diamonds team is inching closer. At the shooting end, cracks begin to appear. Across the seven shooters in the 18-player squad, the only constant in the first 11 rounds of Super Netball has been inconsistency.

Media roundup

The new Labor government will investigate the arrival of an asylum seeker boat from Sri Lanka on election day, the SMH reports. Meanwhile, every Tasmanian school will get a dedicated safeguarding officer to ensure the welfare of students in a $26m plan to be announced in the state’s budget on Thursday, according to the Mercury. In the Australian, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang congratulated Anthony Albanese, signaling a willingness to improve relations between Australia and China.

Coming up

University of Sydney staff will strike. Rallies are expected against the proposed Tasmanian anti-protest laws.

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Bella E. McMahon
I am a freelance writer who started blogging in college. I am fascinated by human nature, politics, culture, technology, and pop culture. In addition to my writing, I enjoy exploring new places, trying out new things, and engaging in conversations with new people. Some of my favorite hobbies are reading, playing music, making crafts, writing, traveling, and spending time with my family.