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.
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.
Ceiling collapse? | Members of the hard-right US House of Representatives Freedom Caucus (pictured) have vowed to oppose the debt ceiling bill when it goes to a vote later today, as has Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Balkan verdict | Two former senior Serbian security officers have had their convictions for war crimes upheld and widened by a tribunal in The Hague, in the last major war crimes trial from the Balkan conflicts. In Kosovo, the prime minister says he will call early elections if communal violence ends.
Land grab | Brazilian Indigenous leaders and environmentalists have voiced outrage after lawmakers approved land rights legislation which opponents fear will strike a devastating blow to Indigenous communities and isolated tribes.
Russian response | Russia does not plan to declare martial law following the drone strike on Moscow, the Kremlin says, despite calls from several leading officials and pro-war figures urging a declaration of total war. In France, Emmanuel Macron says Europe may have to prioritise talks with Vladimir Putin over any war crimes trial.
Down the drain | An Indian official who drained a reservoir to retrieve a mobile he dropped while taking a selfie has been fined 53,092 rupees ($900) by the government.
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.
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
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 | 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.
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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