JollyPostie The Saturday Paper Lehrmann sues journalists, Boochani calls for royal commission, fifth Covid shot approved

Text-Only Mode Of The Email Lehrmann sues journalists, Boochani calls for royal commission, fifth Covid shot approved

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8 February, 2023

Max Opray

is Schwartz Media's emails editor.


Lehrmann sues journalists

Former Liberal staffer Bruce Lehrmann has lodged two defamation cases against media over coverage of allegations that he raped Brittany Higgins.

What we know:

Lawyers for Lehrmann

filed statements of claim in the Federal Court on Tuesday, with Network Ten and News Corp Australia’s News Life Media named as respondents (

The New Daily


Lisa Wilkinson,

former co-host of The Project, and News Corp’s Samantha Maiden, are understood to be second respondents in proceedings (

The Australian


Lehrmann is

suing Network Ten and Wilkinson for defamation, accusing them of seeking to exploit allegations against him for ­personal and professional gain;

He claims

Wilkinson and Network Ten were “recklessly indifferent to the truth or falsity” when they alleged he raped Higgins — an allegation which he denies;

The statement of claims

references Higgins’ evidence from the aborted trial against Lehrmann before the ACT Supreme Court, when the former staffer said Maiden and Wilkinson had fought for the exclusive publication of her alleged story;

Ten and News Life Media

published Higgins’ allegations in broadcasts and online stories on February 15, 2021;

Although the

original reports did not name Lehrmann, he claims he was easily identifiable by being described as a senior staffer in Senator Linda Reynolds’ office;

Lehrmann’s criminal trial

in the ACT Supreme Court was derailed due to juror misconduct, and the prosecutor later dropped the charges due to impacts a second trial would have on Higgins’ mental health (

Canberra Times


It comes as

an ACT government public inquiry gets under way into authorities’ handling of the abandoned criminal trial (



Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence National Help Line 1800 737 732



Boochani calls for royal commission

Writer and human rights campaigner Behrouz Boochani has called for a royal commission into Australia's treatment of asylum seekers, as the Albanese government moves to reauthorise offshore immigration detention.

What we know:

The Kurdish-Iranian activist,

who spent six years in detention centres before being resettled by the New Zealand government, addressed supporters at Parliament House on Tuesday (



Boochani joined

calls for a royal commission into detention, and said that while the new Labor government had "shown off" in the media, nothing had fundamentally changed for asylum seekers in Australia since it took office;

Boochani was

flanked by crossbenchers including independent MP Zoe Daniel, who said Labor’s approach to asylum seeker reforms was “very bitsy, very slow”;

It comes as

the Albanese government sought to limit debate on a rushed motion to re-designate Nauru as a regional processing country, after the requisite legislation lapsed in October (

The Politics


Independent MP Monique Ryan

accused the government of giving parliament less than 24 hours’ notice over an issue it had known about for months;

The Albanese government

is also moving to overturn a court decision that forced it to release about 100 people from onshore detention (

The Guardian




World races to help quake victims

The death toll from the massive earthquakes that rocked Turkey and Syria has risen to more than 7000, as aid pours in from across the world.

What we know:

The number of deaths

in Turkey has reached 5434, while in Syria the toll is at least 1832 (



Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

announced a three-month state of emergency in 10 provinces, which will end just before elections on May 14 (



The UN said

it was “exploring all avenues” to get supplies to rebel-held northwestern Syria, and released $25m from its emergency fund to help kick-start the humanitarian response in Turkey and Syria (



Some 70 countries

are sending personnel, equipment and aid, with more than 12,000 Turkish search and rescue workers in the affected areas, along with 9000 troops;

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese

on Tuesday announced Australia will commit an initial $10m in humanitarian aid (



With many buildings

that collapsed lacking adequate seismic reinforcement, there are calls to rebuild more safely under new construction regulations adopted by Turkey in 2019 (

The Conversation



Fifth Covid shot approved

Australian adults will be able to get a fifth dose of the Covid-19 vaccine within the next two weeks.

The Australian Technical Advisory Group

on Immunisation says all people aged 18 and over, who have not had the virus or a Covid vaccine in the last six months, can get their latest shot from February 20 (



The announcement

opens up access to a fifth dose for those aged 30 and over, while it also means Australians aged 18-29 can now get their fourth dose.

As of January,

72% of the eligible population had received three doses, while just 44% of those eligible have gotten a fourth.

ATAGI said

while all Covid-19 booster shots would be beneficial, Omicron-specific mRNA vaccines were preferred.

In the week

ending February 3, Australia recorded a further 226 Covid deaths and 18,376 cases (





RBA lifts rates again

The Reserve Bank has raised interest rates for the ninth meeting in a row, and flagged further rises to come.

The 0.25%

increase at Tuesday’s RBA board meeting leaves the benchmark rate at 3.35% (



The increase

adds a further $114 a month to repayments on a $750,000 home loan, with average variable mortgage rates now topping 6%.

“The board

expects that further increases in interest rates will be needed over the months ahead to ensure that inflation returns to target and that this period of high inflation is only temporary,” RBA governor Philip Lowe said.

ANZ was

the first of the big four banks to pass on the rate rise in full, to both mortgage holders and savers (



Can artists finally eat?

The federal government has unveiled the first major injection of funding in a decade: under a new national cultural policy it’s calling ‘Revive’. So, what will it mean for artists? Will arts work finally be treated like real work? And will this policy help Australia create good art? Today, editor of The Monthly Michael Williams on whether the Albanese government’s arts policy can revive the sector.



Despite actually having two atomic bombs land on it, it’s firing on all cylinders on nuclear energy.

Coalition shadow minister for energy Ted O’Brien, on tour in Japan, spruiks Australia’s potential for nuclear energy via videos filmed at the sites of such radioactive success stories as the Hiroshima atomic blast area and the Fukushima power plant disaster zone (

The Guardian


Postscript: Taliban Bureaucrats Hate Working Online All Day, ‘Miss the Days of Jihad’

The Taliban may have won the war in Afghanistan, but the jihadists who once spent their days riding horses in the countryside are now stuck behind a desk, lamenting their boring computer jobs, spending all their time on Twitter, high rent, and commutes to work (




On senses: A citizen nose

Touring the suburbs with a man in possession of a professionally average sense of smell.

Read more

The Saturday Paper

Scott Morrison gas decision overturned

The former prime minister’s use of secret ministerial powers in the Asset Energy gas exploration veto cannot be defended, Commonwealth court filings reveal.

Read more


Robo-debt: Minister leaked dead man’s data

Today, senior reporter for The Saturday Paper Rick Morton on how the robo-debt royal commission is revealing one of the most shameful chapters in the history of the Australian government. Warning, this episode includes discussion of suicide.

Listen now

The Saturday Paper

Labor on a wild ride to get things done

The Albanese government’s second year in power is shaping up as a wild ride. The prime minister is intent on using every opportunity to establish a legacy as a Labor reformer “changing the nation for the better”.

Read more


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