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The Guardian - AU
The Guardian - AU
Martin Farrer

Morning Mail: Ben Roberts-Smith judgment day, AI ban considered, Maroons’ Origin stunner

Ben Roberts-Smith will learn his fate today when the judgment in his defamation case is delivered.
Judgment in the defamation trial brought by Ben Roberts-Smith will be delivered today in Sydney. Photograph: Dan Himbrechts/AAP

Morning everyone. It’s judgment day for Ben Roberts-Smith as one of the most eagerly awaited legal verdicts in Australian history will be read out in court in Sydney at 2.15pm. The stakes are huge for both the Victoria Cross-winning SAS soldier, and the three newspapers he has accused of defamation. We will be first with the news, bringing live coverage of the verdict and all the relevant reaction and analysis. We’re also looking at government plans to consider bans on some AI, and we have a full report on last night’s State of Origin thriller.


Open AI - Chat GPT Stock Photos, Athens, Greece - 11 May 2023Mandatory Credit: Photo by Nikos Pekiaridis/NurPhoto/Shutterstock (13910645a) ChatGPT user interface is seen on a smartphone screen over a keyboard. Open AI - Chat GPT Stock Photos, Athens, Greece - 11 May 2023
  • AI ban plan | “High-risk” uses of artificial intelligence and automated decision-making such as the creation of deepfakes and algorithmic bias could be banned under government attempts to control the technology. In the UK, Rishi Sunak plans to urge Joe Biden to give Britain a big say in how the international guidelines for controlling AI are set.

  • BRS judgment day | It lasted a year and cost at least $35m, but today we will discover the verdict in Ben Roberts-Smith’s libel case against the Age, the Sydney Morning Herald and the Canberra Times for, he alleges, falsely portraying him as a war criminal and murderer.

  • ‘Obviously not first choice’ | The suggestion by Reserve Bank governor, Philip Lowe, that more people need to consider living in share houses to bring rents down has revealed the truth that many Australians – often older – are being forced to live with other people because they can’t afford to live on their own.

  • Toddler death | A three-year-old boy has been found dead in an apartment in Riverwood, Sydney, alongside an injured a man, authorities say. The man, who is aged 45, was treated for serious injuries and was in a critical condition in hospital last night.

  • ‘Put my human suit on’ | Sia Furler has announced that she is on the autism spectrum, going public on a podcast about the American TV series Survivor. And a certain other Australian singer, Kylie Minogue, has expressed her delight after her new single soared up the UK charts.



Full Story

A supplied image obtained Monday, May 26, 2014 of Cadia Valley operations processing plant at night at the new Newcrest goldmine, Cadia East. NSW Premier Mike Baird opened the new mine in central NSW and it is the country’s largest underground gold mine. (AAP Image/Supplied by Newcrest Mining) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY

The NSW towns where residents found metal in their blood

Environment protection officials are investigating the Newcrest Cadia goldmine in central NSW (pictured) after some people showed high levels of heavy metal in their blood. Fleur Connick explains why some locals have stopped drinking their rainwater.


FILE PHOTO: PwC Australia puts nine partners on leave amid tax leak scandalFILE PHOTO: The logo of Price Waterhouse Coopers is seen at its Berlin office in Berlin, Germany, September 20, 2019. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay/File Photo

PwC trades on its reputation for professional skill and utmost propriety. But revelations that its Australian affiliate misused confidential government tax information for commercial gain has created a crisis that won’t go away. Our business reporter, Jonathan Barrett, gets to the bottom of what’s been going on and whether it could be fatal for the firm.

Not the news

2023 State of Origin - QLD v NSW: Game 1ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 31: Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow of the Maroons celebrates with team mates after scoring a try during game one of the 2023 State of Origin series between the Queensland Maroons and New South Wales Blues at Adelaide Oval on May 31, 2023 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

The first State of Origin outing in South Australia showcased the best of rugby league as Queensland scored a thrilling opening defeat over New South Wales by 26-18. That they claimed the two winning tries by Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow and Cameron Munster when they were already reduced to 12 players will embellish the Maroons legend that little bit more. It also leaves the shellshocked Blues facing an uphill battle to level the series at Brisbane’s Suncorp stadium in three weeks’ time.

The world of sport

TENNIS - ROLAND GARROS 2023 - WEEK 1, , Paris, France - 29 May 2023Mandatory Credit: Photo by JEAN CATUFFE/DPPI/Shutterstock (13939034o) Novak Djokovic of Serbia argues with the chair umpire during day 2 of the 2023 French Open, Roland-Garros 2023, second Grand Slam tennis tournament of the year, on May 29, 2023 at stade Roland-Garros in Paris, France - Photo Jean Catuffe / DPPI TENNIS - ROLAND GARROS 2023 - WEEK 1, , Paris, France - 29 May 2023
  • Tennis | The French sports minister says Novak Djokovic’s message about Kosovo was “not appropriate” and warned him not express his political views at the French Open again.

  • Cricket | Ireland’s wicketkeeper-batsman Lorcan Tucker says the team are learning about Test cricket on the job as they prepare to meet England at Lord’s starting later today.

  • Football | The UK’s sanctions police have been reviewing the finances of the Everton Football Club owner, Farhad Moshiri, the Guardian understands, in an investigation that could rock the Premier League.

Media roundup

The AFR has the latest on PwC with a story saying the firm faces a fresh probe into the tax leaks scandal. The Northern Territory government has awarded $3.7m in exploration grants to almost 40 mining projects as it faces a big drop off in royalty revenue, the NT News says. The Courier Mail can’t help itself this morning, crowing “Bring on Suncorp” as it celebrates the Maroons stunning State of origin win.

What’s happening today

  • Courts | The verdict in the Ben Roberts Smith defamation case is expected in Sydney at 2.15pm.

  • Sydney | The National Disability Insurance Agency chair, Kurt Fearnley, and other board members discuss the National Disability Insurance Scheme at the DSC annual NDIS conference.

  • Canberra | The trade minister, Don Farrell, speaks at the National Press Club.

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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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