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The Guardian - AU
The Guardian - AU
Martin Farrer

Morning Mail: Gaza truce due to begin, call for childcare boost, King’s secret ‘vacant goods’ profit

A destroyed car and buildings in the Gaza Strip.
A destroyed car and rubble in the Gaza Strip. The long-awaited ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war is due to start later today. Photograph: Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto/Shutterstock

Morning everyone. The long-awaited ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war is due to begin later today and the first group of hostages should be released under the truce deal later tonight. At home, the Productivity Commission has answered the government’s request to design an affordable, accessible, high-quality, universal early education system. That’s our top Australian story but we’re also looking at how King Charles is using an ancient Latin concept known as bona vacantia to profit from the assets of dead citizens, the OpenAI program that staff feared could “threaten humanity”, and Australia lose a sensational T20 against India.


A firefighting helicopter attempts to control a blaze bordering the suburbs of Wanneroo, Singara and Jandabup in Perth, Thursday, November 23, 2023. Ten homes have been lost in bushfires in metropolitan Perth with authorities warning it could be days before the situation is under control as the city is gripped by a heatwave. (AAP Image/Aaron Bunch) NO ARCHIVING
  • Perth fires | Firefighters continued overnight to fight out-of-control bushfires that have claimed at least 10 homes in metropolitan Perth. Emergency chiefs say they could last for days amid near-40C temperatures and strong winds.

  • Childcare blueprint | The Productivity Commission’s report into childcare says families should get three days a week guaranteed, and those earning less than $80,000 should be given a universal 90% subsidy rate.

  • Report ‘censored’ | The government’s auditing watchdog allegedly censored a major study that was critical of the big four consultancy firms because their partners sat on its board, according to the academic who wrote the report.

  • Detention imbroglio | The home affairs minister, Clare O’Neil, says that the controversial indefinite detainee NZYQ could have been deported – but almost all of the facts suggest otherwise. So what’s going on? An illegal boat arrival in Western Australia will only increase Labor’s discomfort with the issue …

  • ABC controversy | Three West Australian environmental activists say footage provided by the ABC to state police under a “compulsory legal process” has likely resulted in them being charged with criminal offences.


King Charles in front of Duchy of Lancaster seal and Val Taylor’s bungalow in Burnley
  • Exclusive | King Charles is profiting from the deaths of thousands of people in the north-west of England whose assets are secretly being used to upgrade his hereditary estate, the Guardian can reveal. The custom revolves around a Latin term, bona vacantia, which means “vacant goods”.

  • Ceasefire set | Israel’s army has arrested the director of Gaza’s al-Shifa hospital and bombed at least 300 targets from the air as an agreed four-day truce was delayed until 7am local time today (4pm AEDT). The first hostages, a group of 13, will be released nine hours later, the Qatari foreign ministry announced overnight. Actor Melissa Barrera says she has been dropped from Scream VII because of her tweets in support of the Palestinians.

  • Dutch shock | Tax, healthcare and immigration were the three big issues that helped Geert Wilders’ far-right party score a shock win in the Dutch election. Muslims in the country have expressed fear for their future if the avowedly anti-immigrant Wilders manages to form a government.

  • AI alarm | OpenAI was reportedly working on an advanced system before Sam Altman’s sacking that was so powerful they believed it could threaten humanity.

  • Foxx accused | Hollywood star Jamie Foxx has been accused of sexual assault while at a New York rooftop bar eight years ago. A representative for Foxx has been contacted for comment. And the city’s mayor, Eric Adams, has also been accused of historic assault dating back to 1993, a claim he vigorously denies.

Full Story

Monaco-Super-Yacht print

Newsroom edition: how inequality exacerbates the climate crisis

A new report from Oxfam shows that rising inequality is not only worsening the climate crisis, the climate crisis is also worsening inequality. Editor-in-chief Lenore Taylor and head of newsroom Mike Ticher discuss the growing carbon divide.


A general view of the new Westconnex tunnels that connect the M4 and M8 motorways in Sydney, Sunday, December 18, 2022. (AAP Image/Flavio Brancaleone) NO ARCHIVING

The cost has doubled from $10bn to $20bn since tunnelling began and there’s been untold disruption, noise and mess. But now that drivers can travel from the Blue Mountains on Sydney’s western fringes to the Harbour Bridge without passing through a traffic light, is the completion of Westconnex – with the world’s biggest underground motorway interchange at Rozelle – really going to reduce congestion?

Not the news

Composite of Christos Tsiolkas and his book, The In-Between. 2023

Christos Tsiolkas’s new book, The In-Between, concerns the relationship of two men, Perry and Ivan, as they navigate middle age. Our reviewer, Beejay Silcox, writes that it has many classic Tsiolkas moments, a “monstrously awkward and gloriously well-observed” dinner party and “ferocious and relentless” sex. But it is also a “humble book... Perhaps his best”.

The world of sport

CRICKET-IND-AUS-T20Australia’s Josh Inglis celebrates after scoring a century (100 runs) during the first Twenty20 international cricket match between India and Australia at the Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam on November 23, 2023. (Photo by DIBYANGSHU SARKAR / AFP) (Photo by DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP via Getty Images)
  • Cricket | Australia lost an incredible first T20 against India despite a first century in the format from Josh Inglis (pictured) as the hosts reached the target of 209 off the last ball in Visakhapatnam.

  • AFLW | After their 41-point domination of the Demons, North Melbourne’s women are on the rise and will reach their first grand final if they can beat Adelaide on Sunday.

  • Premier League | The English top flight appears more divided than ever after the clubs failed to agree on a ban on loans between multi-owned teams.

Media roundup

A “class war” has erupted over plans to reduce Moore Park golf course by half with the club rejecting accusations that it is just used by rich interlopers, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. Peter Dutton and John Pesutto are on a collision course over the candidate to replace David Van as federal senator with the national Liberal leader favouring a man the state leader “can’t abide”, according to the Age. Gina Rinehart has backed a plan by the mayors of Perth and the Gold Coast to host a “coast-to-coast” 2026 Commonwealth Games, the Australian reports. Brisbane’s homeless people say the council is sending round a “hit man” to take their belongings, the Courier Mail says.

What’s happening today

  • Sydney | Hearing for US extradition case against former pilot Daniel Duggan who worked in China.

  • Melbourne | Girl, 12, charged with murder over the Footscray stabbing appears at children’s court.

  • Victoria | Public hearings for the inquiry into historical child sexual abuse at government schools.

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Brain teaser

And finally, here are the Guardian’s crosswords to keep you entertained throughout the day – with plenty more on the Guardian’s Puzzles app for iOS and Android. Until tomorrow.

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