Morning mail: Albanese to be sworn in, Titmus celebrates world record, one Ukrainian’s incredible odyssey | World news

Good morning. Anthony Albanese will today be sworn in as Australia’s new PM after declaring he wants to “change the country”. And there’s joy in the swimming pool as Ariarne Titmus breaks the women’s 400 meters freestyle world record.

The prime minister-elect, Anthony Albanese, looks increasingly likely to form a majority government, with his party inching ahead in 78 seats across the country. With a national two-party swing towards the party of almost 4%, counting yesterday showed that Labor was on track to increase its gains across metropolitan Australia. The result has meant a shellshocked Liberal party is planning a leadership change to Peter Dutton, despite Scott Morrison’s loss of heartland seats sparking concern the party was punished for abandoning its socially liberal roots. David Marr has written a postmortem on the Coalition’s defeat, Katharine Murphy analyses the Greens’ surge, and Guardian Australia has compiled a handy guide for what to expect next after the historic weekend.

Ariarne Titmus has broken the women’s 400m freestyle world record at the Australian championships, clocking 3 minutes 56.40 seconds in last night’s final in Adelaide, and her time bettered the benchmark of 3:56.46 set by her US rival Katie Ledecky at the 2016 Olympics. “It’s kind of nice now that I am not going to be asked when I am going to break the world record,” she said.

Ukraine has said it will not agree to any ceasefire deal involving handing over territory to Russia, saying the war must end “with the complete restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty”. The Polish president, Andrzej Duda, offered Warsaw’s backing, telling politicians during a visit to Kyiv that the international community had to demand Russia’s complete withdrawal and that sacrificing any of Ukraine’s territory would be a “huge blow” to the west.



Police at the shooting scene at a gym in Auburn, western Sydney this month. Photograph: Steven Saphore/EPA

New police powers have been announced in response to an outbreak of gun violence in Sydney. But the latest crackdown has done little to shift attention from the body count: in the past 18 months, 13 men have been shot dead in a western Sydney turf war, and there is no end to the bloodshed.

The former competition tsar, Rod Sims, has called for Facebook to be designated under the news media bargaining code to force the company to pay SBS and the Conversation for their content. If the move went ahead, Facebook would be forced to negotiate with the publishers or risk fines of up to 10% of its Australian revenue.

The independent candidate who defied a national swing towards Labor by defeating Kristina Keneally in the formerly safe seat of Fowler in Sydney’s southwest says the party was punished for its “arrogance” in parachuting the former NSW premier into the heart.

In what looks like a surprise successful grassroots campaign, Legalise Cannabis Australia has emerged as a vote winner in the Senate, performing strongly in several states and rivaling One Nation’s vote in Queensland.

Queensland’s southeast is back on flood watch, with more than 100mm of rain dumped on several soaked catchments and dams, releasing water in the lead-up to more wet weather. The Sunshine Coast town of Maroochydore recorded 122mm in the 24 hours to 9 am yesterday. Nearby, Mooloolaba copped 112mm, while more than 100mm fell further south at Parrearra Weir and inland at Mountain Creek.

The world

The front gate of the Villawood detention center. Photograph: Mick Tsikas/AAP

Advocates and detainees say a woman’s body was found at Villawood detention center yesterday morning. The New Zealand woman was found dead at about 10.45 am, shortly after Serco officers had conducted a room search. She is believed to have killed herself.

A Ukrainian man has driven 3,700km to be reunited with his parents and fiancee even though they live just 10km away. Serhi Belyaev was forced to travel through five countries after Russian forces swept into his village on 24 February. “To the Russian border, through Russia to Latvia, on to Lithuania and Poland, and then back into western Ukraine to come at Kharkiv from the west,” he said. “It was a bit crazy, yes.”

Evictions have begun, and homes are being bulldozed in the Palestinian villages of Masafer Yatta after Israel’s supreme court finally ruled in a two-decade-old legal case over the area’s fate. “We will rebuild because this is our home,” said a farmer, Mohammed Ayoub. “They may come back and destroy it again … Home is supposed to be a safe place.”

Unidentified shooters on a motorbike have killed a senior member of Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guards outside his home in Tehran. The corps gave only scant detail about the killing, which occurred in daylight in the heart of the Iranian capital, but blamed it on “global arrogance” – typically code for the US and Israel.

Recommended reads

Tasmanian’s now-flourishing whisky industry has been maturing for a good 200 years. Photograph: Cagkan Sayin/Alamy

Natasha Mirosch, a lifestyle writer, takes you on a tour of Tasmania’s world-class whisky distilleries, a journey “peppered with personalities” that takes in a “wowser” ban, global accolades and Gordon Ramsay shoveling sheep shit: “While it might seem like it’s been an ‘overnight success’, Tasmanian’s now-flourishing whisky industry has been maturing for a good 200 years. But like the drink itself, perhaps it’s worth the wait.”

“What is ugliness?” is the question posed by a new retelling of Cinderella, which centers on the ugly stepsisters Afa and Sika. The show in Adelaide, it wants to talk about beauty standards while at the same time introducing children to drag. “In this retelling, Prince Charming is a record company which only wants to sign the ‘pretty’ daughter in this family, Rella,” writes Jane Howard. “Rella’s ‘ugly’ sisters must step aside. And so at the core of this reworking is the question: ‘What is horror? What is beauty? And how do Afa and Sika find their place in this commercial world?’”

The Modern Mind examines the case of Cleo, an “attractive, young, successful” publicist who, despite appearing to have everything going for her, “sat slumped in the chair across from me, tears streaming, palpably suffering”, writes Gill Straker. “She had already told me that it was inexplicable to her too, which made it harder to bear, as she felt she had no legitimate ‘excuse’ to feel how she did. By the time Cleo left that first session, she was feeling some relief … the very act of talking about it in a supportive environment and feeling that I could connect with how she was feeling was enough to provide some comfort.”


The Coalition is in disarray after a Labor election victory, but both major parties recorded their lowest primary votes in the modern era. What will this mean for the future of the Liberal party, and with an expanded climate-focused crossbench, what can we expect from the new Labor government? In today’s Full Story, Guardian Australia’s chief political correspondent, Sarah Martin, joins Laura Murphy-Oates to discuss what’s next for the major parties.

Full Story

A wake-up call for the major parties

Sorry, your browser does not support audio. You can download it here and listen to

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


Jonathan Horn writes about the “hardmen history that still haunts the Bombers” in a modern era where footballers talk about “connection, vulnerability, walking into the club on a Monday with a smile” even after a weekend loss. “When you’re a big, polarising club and nothing’s going right, it can feel like the footy world’s closing in on you.”

Media roundup

Facebook “prepared for months” for a news ban they implemented last year, with new disclosures contradicting the tech giant’s claims it inadvertently banned charities, health services, and even the government in Australia last year, the Australian reports. And the head of WA’s biggest teacher training institution has resigned after academics accused senior leaders of pressuring them to change grades so that failing students would pass.

Coming up

Anthony Albanese will be sworn in as Australia’s new PM.

And if you’ve read this far …

Here’s a fantastic gallery of animals made of clothes on washing lines.

Sign up

Sign up here if you want to receive the Guardian Australia morning mail to your email inbox every weekday.

Get in touch

If you have any questions or comments about our newsletters, please email [email protected].

Discover Australian Weekend

Every Saturday from 6 am, enjoy early access to the best journalism planned for the weekend in one elegant app, plus a curated selection of the week’s news and analysis from Australia and the world.

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.