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The Guardian - AU
The Guardian - AU
Antoun Issa

Afternoon Update: Sydney man found dead in earthquake rubble; Alan Tudge resigns; and World Pride’s rainbow capitalism

Sydney man Can Pahali
Sydney man Can Pahali has become the first confirmed Australian death of the Turkey earthquakes. Photograph: Facebook

Sydney man Can Pahali has been confirmed as the first Australian death in the devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria.

His body was found in rubble after members of his family flew to Turkey from Australia to help search for him.

The death toll has climbed to 15,383, with political headaches on both sides of the border compounding the disaster. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is facing internal criticism for his government’s response, while the UN says very little aid is reaching Syria due to constraints imposed by the country’s decade-long civil war.

Top news

Alan Tudge announces his resignation from parliament.
The shadow education minister, Alan Tudge, announces his resignation from parliament. Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP
  • Alan Tudge resigns | The former Liberal minister and member for the Victorian seat of Aston has called time. “It’s not been an easy decision for me but it is necessary for my health and family amongst other reasons,” he said. His resignation has fuelled speculation of a possible return by the former treasurer Josh Frydenberg, which would certainly make things interesting vis-a-vis Liberal leadership.

  • Government to remove Chinese-made security cameras | An audit found there were 913 Chinese-made products installed at more than 250 government buildings. They will now be removed, the defence minister said, citing security concerns.

Michelle Rowlands
The communications minister, Michelle Rowland. Photograph: Bianca de Marchi/AAP
  • Federal minister in spotlight over gambling donation allegations | Independent MP Andrew Wilkie has called for the communications minister, Michelle Rowland, to be sacked after reports alleging she accepted donations from gambling company Sportsbet before the federal election. A spokesperson for the minister told the Nine papers, which broke the story, that “all donations the minister receives are compliant with the AEC’s disclosure requirements”.

  • Taxpayer-funded entitlements for governors general | … could be scrapped for those found to have engaged in serious misconduct. Parliament is considering the step as the secret hearing against former governor general Peter Hollingworth draws to a close. Hollingworth – who receives a $357,000-a-year pension, plus travel and office expenses – is facing a professional standards tribunal for his handling of child abuse complaints against the Anglican church during his 11 years as the archbishop of Brisbane. The tribunal has so far not made any finding of misconduct against Hollingworth.

Google Bard Illustration
Google Bard gets it wrong. Photograph: Jonathan Raa/NurPhoto/REX/Shutterstock
  • Google chatbot Bard gives wrong answer | … prompting Alphabet to lose $100bn in market value. Alphabet posted a short gif video of Bard in action via Twitter, promising it would help simplify complex topics, but it instead delivered an inaccurate answer.

  • Twitter outage | There was another Twitter blip today – this time users were unable to tweet for a short period, and an error notification told them they had surpassed their daily limit. The outage came just hours after Twitter rolled out a new product to Twitter Blue subscribers allowing them to send tweets with up to 4,000 characters.

  • Disney layoffs | Disney is the latest US corporate giant to announce sweeping job cuts. Roughly 7,000 employees will lose their jobs after the company’s first-quarter net income of US$1.28bn fell below analyst expectations of US$1.43bn.

In cartoons

Cartoon by Fiona Katauskas on Labor’s asylum seeker policy excuse-omatic

Labor’s excuses for what rights activists call an “abhorrently cruel” asylum seeker policy going strong after two decades.

What they said …

George Santos at President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address.
George Santos at President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address. Photograph: Martin Jacquelyn/ABACA/Rex/Shutterstock


“[George Santos] is a sociopath. He looks for that attention. Even the negative attention drives him.” – Nick LaLota, Republican congressman

In numbers

Stat for Afternoon Update - landscape

Before bed read

Tweet Screen Shot

Australia is truly in the season of rainbow capitalism with World Pride about to kick off in Sydney. Corporates fly the rainbow flag for a month then tuck them away – and a lot of the times, it’s just tacky. Take for example Ampol rebranding its petrol station … Glampol (can you feel my eyes roll?)

My colleague Michael Sun has listed a few other examples of cringey rainbow capitalism.

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