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The Guardian - AU
The Guardian - AU
Imogen Dewey and Mostafa Rachwani

Morning mail: bulk billing numbers ‘not honest’, Trump raid galvanises right, Serena Williams to retire

Supporters of Donald Trump wave flags as they gather outside his Mar-a-Lago home after FBI agents raided it
Supporters of Donald Trump wave flags as they gather outside his Mar-a-Lago home after FBI agents raided it. Photograph: Marco Bello/Reuters

Good morning. Australia’s primary healthcare is in its “worst shape since Medicare began”, the health minister says. Trillions of dollars could be going to the wrong climate threats worldwide. A raid on Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home has galvanised the US right, and Serena Williams is leaving professional tennis.

Documents show how Peter Dutton’s “captain’s call” as defence minister delivered a senior Coalition adviser the top job at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, ahead of the defence thinktank’s preferred candidate. Just before the May election was called, Dutton announced that Justin Bassi – then chief of staff to the then foreign affairs minister, Marise Payne – would be the institute’s new executive director. Bassi’s appointment was one of more than 30 placements of Coalition staffers and former MPs into high-profile roles.

Shockwaves spread across the US in response to the news that the FBI had searched the private Florida residence of Donald Trump in an “unprecedented” move that prompted threats of retaliation from the former US president and his allies. The search warrant granted to the FBI relates to official records and to the ongoing investigation into whether Trump violated the Presidential Records Act.

The new federal health minister, Mark Butler, has said the former government’s claims that large percentages of patients were being bulk billed are “not honest”. As a taskforce prepares to examine why basic healthcare is increasingly unaffordable, Butler says primary care is “in its worst shape since Medicare began”.

The family of one of the Australian soldiers killed by rogue Afghan national army sergeant Hekmatullah says Australia was treated with contempt by the US after it agreed to release the self-professed terrorist from prison. Several sources have independently confirmed to the Guardian his repatriation to Afghanistan. The acting PM Richard Marles, asked twice yesterday about Hekmatullah’s liberty, refused to comment. The Guardian has approached the US state department.


The New England Highway blocked by flood waters in Maitland, NSW
‘We’re overestimating the cost of climate change in some areas and grossly underestimating it in others,’ says climate expert Andy Pitman. Photograph: Darren Pateman/EPA

A leading climate researcher says trillions of dollars may be misallocated to deal with the wrong climate threats around the world because the models used by central banks and regulators aren’t fit for purpose.

The new home affairs minister’s decision to refuse a convicted people smuggler a protection visa has prompted a high court challenge in a test case for whether Australia’s policy of deterrence is “punitive”.

An inquiry into Queensland’s corruption watchdog could provide a blueprint for a federal Icac and its equivalents across the country, a leading integrity expert says.

A “disturbing” independent report into NSW parliament’s culture has uncovered examples of bullying and sexual harassment, with mandatory training to be recommended for all MPs and their staff.

A NSW Labor group on cultural diversity has warned Labor will face more more losses like the defeat of former senator Kristina Keneally in the safe seat of Fowler if non-local candidates are parachuted in against the wishes of the community.

And Australia’s highest and lowest income suburbs have been revealed in data released by the Australian Taxation Office – see how yours compares.

The world

Russia has launched an Iranian satellite from Kazakhstan amid concerns it could be used for battlefield surveillance in Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. Iran has denied that the Khayyam satellite, which was delivered into orbit onboard a Soyuz rocket launched from Baikonur cosmodrome, would ever be under Russian control.

Switzerland’s melting glaciers are revealing their secrets amid soaring temperatures, with hikers chancing upon two sets of unidentified human remains and a plane wreckage lost for more than half a century.

In the UK, the Tory leadership hustings are under way as Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak go head to head in Darlingtonfollow our live coverage.

Recommended reads

A person holding a baby
‘It feels like survival, at times, when you’re in that postpartum tunnel, hypervigilant to dangers but also not always able to differentiate between what is or isn’t rational.’ Photograph: Science Photo Library/Alamy

Intrusive thoughts can be graphic and terrifying, and are more likely during times of heightened stress, such as the first few weeks and months of becoming a parent. Gabrielle Inness shares her experience.

Much-loved musical quiz show Spicks and Specks is returning to the ABC with a full 10-episode season and the host, Adam Hills, says he is excited for its return, as he sits down for our weekly three things interview.

The Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake, renowned for his innovative pleated clothing and for producing 100 mock turtlenecks for the Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, has died of liver cancer in a hospital in Tokyo. He was 84.


Last week debris from a suspected Chinese booster rocket made an uncontrolled return to Earth, reportedly falling just metres from villages in Malaysia and Indonesia. This follows the discovery of SpaceX debris on a sheep farm in regional NSW. Today on Full Story, Jane Lee speaks to ANU astrophysicist Dr Brad Tucker and reporter Natasha May about why more space junk is falling to Earth.

Full Story is Guardian Australia’s daily news podcast. Subscribe for free on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or any other podcasting app.


Serena Williams waves to the crowd
‘I have never liked the word retirement,’ Serena Williams wrote. ‘I’m here to tell you that I’m evolving away from tennis, toward other things that are important to me.’ Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian

Serena Williams, one of the greatest athletes of all time and a 23-time grand slam singles champion, has announced she is retiring from professional tennis, indicating she could step away after the US Open. In a column for Vogue, the 40-year-old described her decision as an “evolution”.

The cricket world is in mourning after the South African former umpire Rudi Koertzen died in a car crash.

“Are the Commonwealth Games a joyful extravaganza – or anachronistic, offensive and a waste of time?” Kieran Pender asks. “The legacy of colonialism looms large – isn’t a history of empire and exploitation, slavery and subjugation to be condemned, not celebrated?”

Media roundup

According to the Australian, Peter Dutton is being pushed by those within his party to take a more nuanced approach to China. The AFR reports that unions in NSW are to seeking to ban future Labor governments from axing EBAs.

Coming up

China’s ambassador, Xiao Qian, will address the National Press Club.

NSW commuters are likely to face disruptions amid industrial action.

And if you’ve read this far …

If you’re worried that artificial intelligence is getting too smart, talking to Meta’s AI chatbot might make you feel better. The conversational AI fuelled by material found online spews uncomfortable truths and blatant lies – and can’t stop bashing Facebook.

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• We accidentally misspelled Olivia Newton-John’s surname in yesterday’s headline.

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