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The Guardian - AU
The Guardian - AU
Martin Farrer

Morning Mail: growing fears for Rafah, weak support for more tax tweaks, Morrison’s ‘regrets’

Palestinians sit by the destruction from the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip in Rafah on Monday.
Palestinians amid destruction from the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip in Rafah on Monday. Photograph: Hatem Ali/AP

Morning everyone. The Albanese government’s tax changes appear to be going down well with voters, our latest Essential poll shows today, but it dashes the hopes of some that Labor could find similar popular support for taking on the shibboleth of negative gearing. We also have a blow-by-blow account of last night’s final episode of the ABC documentary Nemesis, covering the Morrison government. Also, scientists say they have made a breakthrough in the search for a blood test that can predict the risk of dementia.


Beachgoers cooling at the beach in Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia - 12 Feb 2024Mandatory Credit: Photo by Amer Ghazzal/REX/Shutterstock (14342977c) People cooling at the beach on a hot sweltering start to the week as temperature are forecast to reach above 38 celsius in Adleaide and parts of South Australia Beachgoers cooling at the beach in Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia - 12 Feb 2024
  • Sun change | Growing evidence about the health importance of sun exposure and genetic differences in the population has prompted Australia to adopt new sun safety guidelines.

  • Essential poll | Voters have signalled approval for the government’s changes to income tax cuts, with 56% telling our latest Guardian Essential poll that they back handing more benefit to low- and middle-income earners at the expense of wealthier people. But support for modest limits on negative gearing concessions has slipped in the past month, along with any proposal to reduce the ability of wealthy families to minimise tax.

  • ‘Yeah, regrets over that’ | In the final part of the ABC documentary about the Coalition’s nine years in power, Scott Morrison admits “regrets” over his secret ministries plan, and former colleagues remember a “lack of humility” and a “women problem” in his government.

  • Care neglect | More than 1000 cases of neglect are being reported in residential aged care homes each month, prompting a warning from the sector’s regulator.

  • Matildas effect | Football officials say $2.9bn in infrastructure spending is required to bring the country’s grassroots facilities up to an acceptable level, as the sport deals with surging interest after the success of last year’s Women’s World Cup.


Alzheimer’s and dementia research, conceptual image2JH6Y2P Alzheimer’s and dementia research, conceptual image
  • Dementia test hope | Researchers have taken a major step towards a blood test that can predict the risk of dementia more than a decade before the condition is formally diagnosed in patients.

  • ‘Settlers’ sanctioned | One million refugees crowded into the southern Gaza city of Rafah fear an imminent Israeli ground attack after a night of bombardment. The UK has imposed sanctions against four Israeli nationals, saying they were “extremist settlers” who had violently attacked Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

  • Trump pass | A leading Republican senator said Donald Trump was “simply ringing the warning bell” when he caused global alarm by declaring he would encourage Russia to attack Nato allies who did not pay enough to maintain the alliance.

  • Methane leaks | There have been more than 1,000 huge leaks of the potent greenhouse gas methane from landfill waste dumps since 2019, according to our analysis of global data, imperilling climate targets.

  • Taylor Swift ‘disloyal’ | Donald Trump has accused the pop star Taylor Swift of being “disloyal” should she endorse Joe Biden for US president as she did in 2020.

Full Story


Why is generation Z so divided on gender?

Studies on the attitudes of young people between the ages of 16 and 29 show a serious split over feminism and influencers such as Andrew Tate. What’s behind it?


NSWEduChat School AI AppSYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - February 12: (Front row) Derell Akrong (17), Leeya Alves (17), Mikaela Rumi Badger (12), (Back row) Sanjana Chandramohan (16) and Blake Spencer (13) during an interview about the NSWEduChat App at The Ponds High School, Sydney. (Photo by James Gourley for the Guardian Australia)

An AI teaching tool based on ChatGPT designed to make students work for the answers to questions is being trialled in New South Wales schools. It doesn’t reveal full answers or write essays, instead aiming to encourage critical thinking via guided questions that prompt the student to respond – much like a teacher. “For kids that need the extra push – it’s going to be great,” one year 8 student tells Caitlin Cassidy.

Not the news

Isaac et Nora, a French-Korean family group who went viral for their Latin American cover songs.

Nora, the young French singer who has become an overnight sensation with her classic Spanish songs about desire and loss, is about to start her debut Australian tour alongside her brother and father later this month. They talk to Elissa Blake about learning the words phonetically, how to inject emotion into melodies and a “calmer, softer” version of AC/DC .

The world of sport

T20: Australia v Pakistan, Adelaide Oval, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia - 11 Feb 2024Mandatory Credit: Photo by Santanu Banik/Speed Media/REX/Shutterstock (14342842bv) Glenn Maxwell of Australia bats during the second match of the T20 International Series between Australia and West Indies at the Adelaide Oval on February 11, 2024 in Adelaide, Australia. T20: Australia v Pakistan, Adelaide Oval, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia - 11 Feb 2024
  • Cricket | Glenn Maxwell’s 120 from 55 balls against West Indies in Adelaide on Sunday was the latest in a series of remarkable innings that have overshadowed injuries and self-inflicted setbacks.

  • Formula One | Fernando Alonso has suggested he could be targeted as a replacement for Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes when the British driver leaves the team for Ferrari in 2025.

  • Rugby union | In an exclusive interview, South Africa’s double World Cup winner Cheslin Kolbe talks about childhood, global glory and the gangland violence in Cape Town.

Media roundup

The Sydney Morning Herald wonders whether Taylor Swift made Australian designer Dion Lee the biggest winner of the Super Bowl by sporting one of the label’s corsets. Victoria could lose $205m in revenue from pokies as gambling reforms kick in, the Age reports. A council and a contractor have been charged with breaching the Aboriginal Heritage Act, in what the West Australian says is the first test of amended heritage laws. A Vietnamese restaurant owner tells the Hobart Mercury of her delight at being granted residency after a nine-year struggle.

What’s happening today

  • Education | Teachers and School Staff 4 Palestine Solidarity Day.

  • Sydney | Fair Work Commission hearing on ABC v Antoinette Lattouf.

  • Melbourne | Inquiry into the cancellation of the 2026 Commonwealth Games.

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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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