JollyPostie The Saturday Paper Putin linked to MH17 missile, Australians caught in deadly quake, Plibersek kills Palmer coalmine

Text-Only Mode Of The Email Putin linked to MH17 missile, Australians caught in deadly quake, Plibersek kills Palmer coalmine

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The Saturday Paper



9 February, 2023

Max Opray

is Schwartz Media's emails editor.


Putin linked to MH17 missile

There are “strong indications” that Russian President Vladimir Putin personally signed off on a decision to supply the missile that downed Flight MH17, according to an international investigation.

What we know:

A team

made up of experts from the Netherlands, Australia, Malaysia, Belgium and Ukraine presented their findings on the deadly incident after an eight-year investigation (



They found

“strong indications” from intercepted phone calls that Putin personally rubber-stamped the supply of heavy anti-aircraft weapons to Ukrainian separatists who shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in 2014;

The missile killed

all 298 people on board, including 193 Dutch citizens, 38 Australians,  and 15 Malaysians;

There is

no suggestion that Putin ordered the aircraft be shot down, and as a head of state he enjoys immunity from prosecution in any case (



The investigators

said they had exhausted all leads and could not continue with any more criminal proceedings, largely due to Russia's refusal to co-operate with the investigation;

Paul Guard,

whose parents Roger and Jill Guard, from Toowoomba, died in the crash, said although he was grateful for the efforts of investigators, he was disappointed he might never learn the full story (



“The answer

of why it was shot down is something that may never be known since, as the investigators pointed out, it's fairly difficult to work out unless Russia is going to co-operate,” he said;

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte

vowed that “we will not stop. Since 2014 we have become all too familiar with the pattern of obstruction, untruths and injustice from Russia and its president, Putin,” (



In January,

a Dutch court ruled that the Netherlands could bring a case before the European Court of Human Rights over the downing of the flight;

Ukraine’s prosecutor general, Andriy Kostin,

said “we will seek to employ all the existing international legal mechanisms to bring [Putin] to justice” over MH17.



Four Australians missing in Türkiye

Four Australians remain unaccounted for in Türkiye as the Albanese government offers additional assistance in response to the massive earthquake, which is now the deadliest worldwide in more than a decade.

What we know:

The death toll

from the earthquake that rocked Türkiye and Syria has surged to nearly 12,000, with hopes fading of finding more survivors (



The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

is trying to track down four Australians who remain unaccounted for, while consulate assistance is being provided to about 40 other Australians (



Foreign Minister Penny Wong

announced further support to “deploy an urban search and rescue team of up to 72 personnel to Türkiye to assist local authorities”;

“These are

urban search and rescue specialists, highly trained to locate, deliver medical assistance to, and remove victims who have been trapped by structural collapse,” Wong said;

The federal government

is also looking to deploy the Australian Defence Force to the region as soon as possible, and has already offered an initial $10m in aid;

Türkiye’s hardline president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

acknowledged “shortcomings” in the disaster response, but said ”dishonourable people” were spreading “lies and slander”;

Local authorities

say they are targeting disinformation, and an internet monitoring group said access to Twitter was restricted despite it being used by survivors to alert rescuers (

Middle East Eye


Police have

detained more than a dozen people over social media posts criticising the Erdogan government’s response to the disaster (

Al Arabiya




Chinese cameras watching sensitive sites

Almost 1000 surveillance devices made by companies part-owned by the Chinese Communist Party have been installed across Australian government buildings.

Coalition spokesman on cybersecurity James ­Paterson

conducted an audit on the surveillance cameras used across 250 sites, including in buildings occupied by sensitive agencies such as Defence and Foreign Affairs (

The Australian


The devices

are made by Chinese companies Hikvision and Dahua, which are both part-owned by the Chinese Communist Party and required to co-operate with Chinese intelligence agencies if requested to hand over data.

Amid concerns

about spyware and vulnerabilities in the cameras, Defence said it was aware of “one system at one site’’ which was being removed, and that it was seeing if any other devices were installed.

Almost a dozen cameras

are set to be removed from the Australian War Memorial in Canberra over the concerns (



It comes as

deep fake “news broadcasters” generated by artificial intelligence promote Chinese interests and disparage the US (

Online Citizen



Plibersek kills Palmer coalmine

Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek has officially blocked mining magnate Clive Palmer's bid for a new central Queensland coalmine.

Plibersek said

she rejected the project because of “the risks it posed to the Great Barrier Reef, freshwater creeks and groundwater” (



Her department

received more than 9000 public comments about the proposal, with 98% in favour of blocking it.

The planned mining site

was just 10km from the edge of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage area near Rockhampton.

The project

would have involved the construction of two open-cut pits to extract up to 10m tonnes of coal each year.

Plibersek’s decision

is the first time in Australian history that a coalmine has been refused under national environmental laws.



More builders hit the wall

Two Australian companies have collapsed after being caught up in the failure of a high profile property developer, which went under last year owing more than $280m.

The companies,

called Tallahon No.1 and James 88, were owed $5.3m and $3m respectively as part of Dyldam Developments’ collapse, according to documents lodged with the corporate regulator ASIC (


Now those firms

have gone into liquidation with Deloitte appointed to deal with the fallout.

Tallahon reportedly

owned 41 units at Mt Druitt in Sydney’s west worth $20.5m, while Dyldam Developments was Australia’s third-largest apartment builder.

The latest collapses

are part of a horror time for the construction industry, with dozens of companies failing in 2022 and the grim news continuing this year.


residential builder Delco Building Group went under last week owing $780,000 to 50 creditors, which also impacted five large housing projects.

Lidia Thorpe and the Greens: How did it come to this?

Tension in the Greens over the Voice to Parliament has culminated this week in the abrupt defection of high-profile senator Lidia Thorpe. Publicly, Greens Leader Adam Bandt is calling her resignation “sad”. Privately, other Greens members are reportedly calling it a catastrophe.



Fair or not, there has been credible and highly unusual sustained criticism of [bank] judgements in recent times.

Victorian Labor MP Julian Hill acknowledges the calls not to reappoint Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe. The criticism has been nearly as unusually sustained as Lowe’s nine straight interest rate rises (

The Age


Postscript: Labor promises to torture asylum seekers more compassionately than previous government

Albanese said the majority of Australians wanted to see a more humane approach to asylum seeker policy. “What the Coalition government basically said to desperate people fleeing their homes was ‘Don’t come here or we’ll torture you’. Whereas we’ll be saying ‘Don’t come here PLEASE or we’ll torture you’. Manners don’t cost anything” (

The Shovel



Unfollow the leader

After a summer of Dutton, are Liberal moderates finally ready to start pushing back?

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The Saturday Paper

Inside the Voice’s ‘No’ campaign

New details of the ‘No’ case against the Voice reveal scrutiny of native title as one of three prongs in the alternative campaign.

Read more


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.

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The Saturday Paper

How Canberra became interesting

The nation’s capital is locked in an architectural battle between the Worst of Sydney and the Way of the Griffins. Happily, it looks as if the Griffins are slowly winning.

Read more


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