The coalition that casts doubt on the voices of the natives; retiree’s $65,000 roboborrow; and rumors of cathedral orgy

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First Nations leader Noel Pearson warned today that if the referendum on Indigenous voices in parliament fails, reconciliation in this country could be lost forever.

Pearson was responding to Peter Dutton’s requests for more details on the sound.

The opposition leader’s insistence on details had previously led to accusations that he was running a “shadow campaign” to derail the referendum.

Experts say the detail should come later – in a bill that will be debated in parliament, which will include the full workings of the voice. In simpler words, first the referendum (and the constitution), then the bill.

Pearson said the opposition leader “may be choosing to play a disruptive game”.

top news

A woman raises her arms and prays as community members hold a vigil near the scene of the shooting during a Chinese Lunar New Year celebration in Monterey Park, California.

A woman raises her arms and prays as community members stand guard near the scene of the shooting during a Lunar New Year event in California. Photo: Allison Dinner/Reuters

  • Shooting suspect dies in California | The suspect, who killed 10 people during a Lunar New Year celebration in Monterey Park, just outside of Los Angeles, died of self-inflicted gunshot wounds. Authorities identified the attacker as 72-year-old Huu Can Tran, and the cause of the attack is still under investigation.

  • New Omicron booster closer to approval | Australia’s medical regulatory agency has temporarily greenlit the first Covid-19 booster vaccine for two Omicron variants. The Pfizer needle will be for those aged 12 and over and will target the BA.4 and BA.5 variants. Approval now goes to the Australian Vaccination Technical Advisory Group, which will advise the government in the coming weeks.

  • $65,000 Centrelink debt | An elderly retiree, who was mistakenly told he had a bear to repay a $65,000 roboborrower, will “never get over” what happened to him, a royal commission has heard. “It turned my life upside down,” said Rosemary Gay. “I’ve never made so much money, how can I owe so much?

  • Domestic violence background check | NSW residents will be able to contact the police to find out if their spouse has a history of domestic violence, as part of a plan proposed by the Coalition and supported by the Labor Party.

A 'sex party' was allegedly held during the curfew at St Mary's Cathedral Newcastle in the UK.

A ‘sex party’ was allegedly held during the curfew at St Mary’s Cathedral Newcastle in the UK. Photo: Mark Pink/Alamy

  • Cathedral Lockdown Orgy | The Vatican is investigating rumors of an alleged “sex party” in an English cathedral during quarantine. Multiple people are said to have complained that Father Michael McCoy, dean of Newcastle Cathedral, approached them to attend a party at a time when meetings were not allowed. McCoy, 57, committed suicide in April 2021.

  • Ghislaine Maxwell | Jeffrey Epstein’s convicted sex trafficker and ex-girlfriend called the infamous 2001 photo of Prince Andrew “fake” with then-17-year-old Virginia Giuffre. “I don’t believe for a second that it’s real,” he said.

  • France protests cost testicles | A 26-year-old man’s testicles were amputated after he was hit in the groin by police with a club during demonstrations in Paris last week. Nearly 1 million people marched in cities across France last Thursday against President Emmanuel Macron’s plan to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64.

  • Bolsonaro accused of Amazon genocide | Brazilian President Lula da Silva has accused his predecessor of committing genocide against the Yanomami people in the Amazon, amid public outrage over the humanitarian disaster in the country’s largest Indigenous land. The so-called protected lands of Yanomami have come into crisis with government negligence and the explosion of illegal mining.

the whole story

New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern gestures as she leaves after a two-minute silence for the victims of the twin mosque massacre as the congregation gathered for Friday prayers in Hagley Park, Christchurch, on March 22, 2019.

Jacinda Ardern’s distinctive blend of empathy and power was showcased when she attended services for the victims of the mosque massacres in Christchurch in 2019. Photo: Marty Melville/AFP/Getty Images

What about Jacinda Ardern’s legacy?

It has garnered fans around the world over the past five years, but its rising rhetoric has not always been supported by the desired legal reforms, according to critics of Ardern. Listen to this 26-minute episode.

What did they say…

***

“Any increase in the cash ratio above the current 3.1% could unnecessarily plunge Australia into recession in 2023.” – Stephen Smith, Deloitte

One of the country’s biggest advisory firms has painted a bleak picture for the year ahead, saying Australians are at the mercy of the central bank while warning of a possible recession.

with numbers

The most recent turnaround was a Qantas flight to Sydney, which had to return to Fiji on Sunday evening after the pilots received a report of smoke in the cabin. Qantas Group makes an average of 60 air returns per year.

read before bed

Former UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader, Brexit campaigner and MEP Nigel Farage holds a small Union flag as he attends a debate

Andrew Rawnsley after Brexit: “Revival is not a word anyone uses to describe a conflict-ridden nation”. Photo: Frederick Florin/AFP/Getty Images

Soon it will be three years after Brexit and the golden age promised by Brexiteers will not be seen anywhere. “The UK is the sick man of the G7, the only member whose economy is still smaller than it was before the pandemic,” writes Andrew Rawnsley, the Observer’s chief political commentator.

“The sad and brutal truth is that huge strategic mistakes like Brexit cannot be fixed easily and quickly. Some mistakes pay for years. Unfortunately, this is the fate of England. It’s not a golden age, it’s an age of regret.”

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