Scott Morrison effectively ditches his promise to establish a federal anti-corruption commission
Scott Morrison has effectively abandoned his promise to establish a federal anti-corruption watchdog, confirming he would only proceed with legislation in the new parliament if Labor agreed to pass the Coalition’s heavily criticised proposal without amendments.
Morrison pledged before the 2019 election to legislate a federal integrity body in the parliamentary term that has just ended. The prime minister broke that promise, failing to introduce his own proposal before the 46th parliament was prorogued.
On the hustings on Wednesday, Morrison was asked – given his previous undertaking to create the body – whether he would promise to put his proposal to a vote in the next parliament in the event the Coalition won the 21 May election.
Morrison declined to make that promise. “Our position on this hasn’t changed,” the prime minister said. “Our view has been the same – when the Labor party is prepared to support that legislation in that form, then we will proceed with it.”
The prime minister has attempted to inoculate himself from criticism about breaking an election promise by saying he tabled the integrity commission proposal in the parliament.
Tabling an exposure draft, which is what the prime minister did, is not the same as introducing finished legislation to the House of Representatives or the Senate that is then debated and voted on.
As well as repeatedly fudging what happened in parliament, Morrison has also created the impression the proposal can only proceed if Labor agrees to its passage without amendments.
All governments routinely introduce legislation for debate without any undertaking that it will be passed by the opposition. Labor favours a stronger model than the Coalition’s proposal.
Morrison’s lack of urgency on the issue created tensions within government ranks. Late last year, the Tasmanian Liberal MP Bridget Archer crossed the floor to support independent MP Helen Haines’ bill to establish a federal integrity commission. Archer accused the government of “inertia” over the issue.
At that time, Archer said she was “perplexed” at her own government’s failure to release a revised bill almost three years after it was promised before the last election.
While Morrison clearly wants to move on from the issue, he will face renewed pressure from crossbench independents if the coming election is close enough to deliver a hung parliament.
A number of independents running against Liberals in metropolitan seats have made it clear that establishing a credible national integrity commission will be a key demand in the event any new government – Liberal or Labor – is seeking agreements for confidence and supply.
Haines blasted Morrison’s comments on Wednesday. “Mr Morrison broke an election promise to introduce an anti-corruption commission and his pathway to creating one is still as vague as it was in the last parliament,” she said.
The crossbench independent said it was “nonsense” for the prime minister to claim that he could not proceed unless Labor agreed with the Coalition’s proposal without seeking any amendments. “It would appear we are in the same void as we were before,” Haines said.
New Species Discovered Online By Botanists
In Australia, researchers discover several unknown carnivorous plants – not in the open air, but on the Internet. Research in front of the screen is now part of everyday life for botanists. Many creatures would otherwise remain undiscovered before they became extinct, they explain.
Social media has become a treasure trove for species researchers: a German-Australian team of scientists did not discover four out of six new carnivorous plants during field research in Western Australia, but identified them on Facebook, Instagram & Co. They were posted there by nature photographers, according to a statement on the study.
Such data, often published accidentally, sometimes intentionally, by hobby photographers and citizen scientists have become a valuable source for biodiversity researchers. And thus of great importance for the protection of many animal and plant species, emphasized Andreas Fleischmann from the Munich State Botanical Collection and the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. “In particular, it would not have been possible for us to determine the distribution areas of very rare species without this additional wealth of data.”
“Race Against Time”
He and his team had described six previously unknown carnivorous sundew species found in Western Australia and published the results of the investigations in the journal Biology. So far, only three species from the so-called Drosera microphylla species complex were known. Although many species are becoming extinct worldwide in the 21st century, new animal and plant species are still being discovered. “A race against time,” emphasized the scientists. Without the intensive work of species researchers, “many creatures would become extinct without ever having been known before”.
In the meantime, there is far more observation data from lay scientists in social media and even in scientific biodiversity databases than data from research collections, especially for the visually conspicuous carnivorous plants, according to a statement from the state collection on the study. For example, a sundew species from South Africa was known from three historical herbarium specimens and seven photos on a Citizen Science website in 2018.
Today there are already 307 observations from 131 amateur researchers interested in nature on the internet platform. “Meanwhile, the number of known herbarium specimens of sundew from South Africa in the scientific collections has remained the same.”
This article is originally published on n-tv.de/wissen
Australian Open Ban On Russian, Belarusian Flags Sparks Debate
The Australian Open tennis organization today banned the display of Russian and Belarusian flags at the tournament venue, after a man hung the Russian flag in the stands during Sunday’s opening match between Kamilla Rakhimova of Russia and Ukraine. Kateryna Kozlova.
“The flags of Russia and Belarus are prohibited within the Australian Open,” the Australian Tennis Federation said in a statement.
“Our initial policy was that fans could bring them, but they couldn’t use them to disturb. Yesterday we had an incident where a Russian flag was placed next to the track,” the entity said.
“The ban is effective immediately. We will continue to work with the players and fans to ensure the best possible environment to enjoy tennis,” the text added, quoted by the AFP news agency.
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, dozens of Russian athletes, teams and federations have been removed from major competitions or forced to participate without a flag.
This new sanction comes in response to a complaint from the Ukrainian Ambassador to Australia and New Zealand, Vasil Miroshnichenko, who last night called on Tennis Australia to take action against the display of these flags.
“We strongly condemn the public display of the Russian flag during Ukrainian tennis player Kateryna Kozlova’s match at the Australian Open,” he tweeted.
“I call on Tennis Australia to immediately implement its ‘neutral flag’ policy,” he added.
Ukrainian Won The Match
The Ukrainian won the match 7-5, 6-7 (8/10), 6-1 and will face American Caty McNally in the second round.
Ambassador Miroshnichenko had requested last week that the tournament completely ban players from Russia and Belarus from participating.
Wimbledon opted for this measure last year and banned players from these two countries in the tournament, which as a result did not count for the rankings by decision of the ATP and WTA.
The Russian embassy in Australia criticized “another example of the unacceptable politicization of the sport” and regretted that, in addition to carrying a neutral flag, its players “cannot be visibly supported by the fans.”
For her part, the Belarusian and world number five Aryna Sabalenka said that she was not opposed to the ban on flags “if everyone felt better like this”, but pointed out that sport “has nothing to do with politics”. .
“It’s not fair. People are dying there,” said Ukrainian tennis player Oleksii Krutykh, who assured that his country’s players were “shocked” by the appearance of Russian flags in the stands.
A Russian banner also appeared on Melbourne’s center court, Rod Laver Arena, during Russian Daniil Medvedev’s match against American Marcos Giron.
“It’s not fair what they’re doing,” said the 22-year-old Krutykh after his first-round loss to Argentine Diego Schwartzman.
“I think the guys who did it (display flags during the Koslova match) were Russians who live here, so they don’t care about what happens in my country,” said the young man, who was out of town when the war broke out. country and settled in Berlin.
“It may be ugly to say it, but if I want to go back to Ukraine, I can go back, but then I can’t leave because I’m 22 years old,” Krutykh explained, referring to the fact that he is of fighting age.
On the other hand, yesterday it became known that Russia and Belarus are off the list of countries that will broadcast the Olympic Games during the period between 2026 and 2032.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced that it awarded all audiovisual rights in Europe until 2032 to the European Broadcasting Union and Warner Bros Discovery, which will broadcast in 49 countries and exclude Russia and Belarus, the Sputnik news agency reported.
This article is originally published on ambito.com
Saudi women in Sydney: Sisters’ bodies lay undiscovered for a month
Australian police are baffled after the bodies of two Saudi women, believed to have lain undiscovered for a month, were found in a Sydney apartment.
Sisters Asra Abdullah Alsehli, 24, and Amaal Abdullah Alsehli, 23, were found dead on 7 June in separate beds at home in the suburb of Canterbury.
Police, who were called to the property for a welfare check, said the women are believed to have died in early May.
But despite “extensive inquiries”, they still do not know how or why.
The sisters moved to Australia from Saudi Arabia in 2017 and may have sought asylum, The Sydney Morning Herald reported. Police refused to confirm this, saying they do not comment on residential status.
A human rights organisation said it should be established whether the women fled Saudi Arabia because of domestic violence or harsh laws governing women. However, there is no evidence this is the case.
Police said they had been in contact with the women’s family, which is assisting them with inquiries.
Lina al-Hathloul, head of monitoring and communications at Saudi human rights organisation ALQST, said it “would not be the first case” of Saudi women who were killed abroad after fleeing domestic violence.
“There are no protections for women who are victims of domestic violence in Saudi Arabia, so they flee abroad,” she told the BBC.
She added: “I’m not saying that is the case here, just that we need a thorough investigation. It is frustrating not to have any information.”
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, there had been signs that something was wrong.
Last year, the women told their building manager they thought someone was tampering with their food deliveries, the paper reported.
A plumber who visited the apartment also said he believed there was “something mysterious” going on, and that police had been called in the past over concerns for the women.
New South Wales Police issued a renewed plea to the public on Wednesday, saying “any piece of information” could be the key to solving this case.
The local community is close-knit, police said in a statement, asking anyone who may have known or seen the women to come forward.
A report from Australian current affairs programme Four Corners in 2019 found 80 Saudi women had tried to seek asylum in Australia in recent years. Many of them were fleeing male guardianship laws.
Read from: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-62331116
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