Challenging day one of the election for Anthony Albanese.
Anthony Albanese has owned up to not knowing critical economic figures during a press conference, saying that everyone makes mistakes.
On the first full day of campaigning for the election, Albanese was asked at a press conference in Launceston what the official interest rate and unemployment rate was.
After first attempting to avoid the question, he got the figure wrong and admitted to not knowing the figure. The latest unemployment figure is four per cent, while the official interest rate is 0.1 per cent and has not changed since November 2020.
With the government pouncing on the error, Albanese said he accepted responsibility for the gaffe.
"People make mistakes. That happened. I've faced up to it," he told Sky News on Monday. "I accept it, I own up to it, I'm not blaming anyone else. I'm accepting responsibility, that's what leaders do."
Labor's campaign spokesman Jason Clare said the acknowledgement of the mistake was the sign of leadership.
"What you saw today was a leader of this country being honest, Australians haven't seen the leader of their country be honest in a long, long time," he told reporters in Sydney. "Politics is not a pop quiz, leadership is not a pop quiz."
Albanese was campaigning in Bass in northern Tasmania, which is held by the Liberals on the razor-thin margin of 0.4 per cent.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison was able to state what both economic figures were when he was asked at a press conference while campaigning in the seat of Gilmore on the NSW south coast.
Morrison spent the day campaigning, also confirming embattled MP Alan Tudge would return to the frontbench should the coalition win the federal election.
That is despite the prime minister indicating last month Tudge would not make a comeback to cabinet, Morrison said he had a place on the frontbench should he wish to return.
- With AAP.
Silverchair’s Daniel Johns pleads guilty to drink driving.
This post deals with depression and anxiety, and might be triggering for some readers.
Former Silverchair frontman Daniel Johns could be facing jail time after pleading guilty to high-range drink driving.
The 42-year-old is in a rehabilitation centre and therefore was absent from court in the NSW Hunter Valley on Monday when his lawyer entered a plea on his behalf. Johns wanted the matter dealt with immediately because it is causing him anxiety during his three-month rehabilitation program, his lawyer told Raymond Terrace Local Court.
But magistrate Ian Cheetham rejected the request, saying the offence was too serious and there was a possibility Johns could be jailed.
Cheetham adjourned the case to June 22 for sentence and ordered Johns contact Corrective Services NSW officers within seven days so a sentencing assessment report could be completed.
Johns’ lawyer had earlier handed the magistrate an extensive report compiled by Johns’ defence team, including background information from medical experts and references from his parents and brother, in a bid to avoid having Johns interviewed by Corrective Services officers.
The defence lawyer told the court Johns understood the serious nature of the offence and had been suffering significant mental health issues since he was 13.
The lawyer said Johns was a very reclusive person with a complex range of mental health issues and had been vilified by the media before he was charged with drink driving.
“He’s dealt with the adverse impact of fame he never wanted. He doesn't like it. His main focus is his mental health.”
Johns was prepared to accept a ban on drinking alcohol as part of any intensive corrections order imposed on him if it meant avoiding jail, his lawyer said.
Police explained Johns had been three times over the legal alcohol limit when his car crossed to the wrong side of the road and crashed into a van in the NSW Hunter region at about 10.30pm on Wednesday, March 23. He voluntarily admitted himself into a rehabilitation facility after the accident.
Johns had driven his grey SUV out of a service station on the Pacific Highway at North Arm Cove and headed north before crashing into the van. Both vehicles ended up on a nature strip. Johns was breathalysed and returned a blood alcohol level of 0.157. The van driver, 51, and his female passenger, 55, were treated at the scene and the woman was taken to hospital.
Johns posted on Instagram the next day to more than 100,000 followers that he was going into rehab.
“As you know, my mental health is a work in progress. I have good days and bad days but it's something I always have to manage,” Johns posted.
“Over the last week I began to experience panic attacks. Last night I got lost while driving and I was in an accident. I am OK, everyone is OK. I have to step back now as I'm self-admitting to a rehabilitation centre and I don't know how long I’ll be there. Appreciate your love and support as always.”
To read more about Daniel Johns and his challenges with fame, you can read this article: When Daniel Johns was 17, middle-aged women would sneak backstage just to see him.
If you think you may be experiencing depression or another mental health problem, please contact your general practitioner. If you're based in Australia, 24-hour support is available through Lifeline on 13 11 14 or beyondblue on 1300 22 4636.
If this post brought up any issues for you, you can contact Drug Aware, Australia's 24hr alcohol and drug support line. You can reach them on (08) 9442 5000 or 1800 198 024.
Johnny Depp and Amber Heard are back in court.
This post deals with domestic violence and might be triggering for some readers.
Johnny Depp’s multimillion-dollar US defamation lawsuit against ex-wife Amber Heard is due to begin at a Virginia courthouse.
The former Hollywood power couple are both expected to give evidence in person at the trial, and high-profile figures including James Franco, Paul Bettany and Elon Musk are scheduled to give testimony.
Depp is suing his former partner for libel over a 2018 article she wrote in the Washington Post, in which she discussed her alleged experiences of domestic abuse. The actor’s lawyers say the article falsely implies Heard, 35, was physically and sexually abused by Depp when they were married.
Depp, 58, has said the accusations have made it difficult for him to get the sorts of roles he once did. The Washington Post article did not mention Depp by name.
Heard’s lawyers are expected to argue she should be immune from the libel suit because of a Virginia law known as an anti-Slapp provision (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation).
The provision is designed to protect people from nuisance lawsuits when they speak about matters of public concern. Heard's lawyer, Elaine Bredehoft, has argued the article addresses a very serious issue of public concern - preventing domestic violence.
It comes after Depp lost a similar defamation case in the UK, which he brought against the publishers of The Sun newspaper, News Group Newspapers. An article written in 2018 by The Sun's executive editor Dan Wootton referred to Depp as a “wife-beater” in the headline. Following a 16-day trial in July 2021, a judge found the content of the article to be “substantially true”.
If this post brings up any issues for you, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service. It doesn’t matter where you live, they will take your call and, if need be, refer you to a service closer to home.
You can also call safe steps 24/7 Family Violence Response Line on 1800 015 188 or visit www.safesteps.org.au for further information.
The Men's Referral Service is also available on 1300 766 491 or via online chat at www.ntv.org.au.
Ukraine is now bracing for a new Russian offensive.
This post deals with confronting stories and might be distressing for some readers.
Ukraine's armed forces are readying for a new Russian offensive as powerful explosions rock cities in the south and east.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky kept up his tireless campaign to generate international support and rally his countrymen, warning the coming week would be important and tense.
"Russia will be even more afraid. It will be afraid to lose. It will fear that the truth will have to be acknowledged," Zelensky said.
"Russian troops will move to even larger operations in the east of our state. They may use even more missiles against us, even more air bombs. But we are preparing for their actions. We will answer."
Russia's invasion has forced about a quarter of Ukraine's 44 million people from their homes, turned cities into rubble and killed or injured thousands. It has failed to take any major cities, but Ukraine says Moscow has been gathering its forces in the east for a major offensive and has urged people to flee.
Ludmila Zabaluk, head of the Dmytriv Village Department, north of the capital Kyiv, said dozens of civilian bodies were found in the area.
"There were more than 50 dead people. They shot them from close distance. There's a car where a 17-year-old child was burned, only bones left. A woman had half her head blown off. A bit farther, a man lying near his car was burned alive."
Moscow has rejected accusations of war crimes by Ukraine and Western countries. It has repeatedly denied targeting civilians.
To read more about the war crimes taking place in Ukraine, you can see this full explainer: The 3 stories that illustrate the true horror of what's happening in Ukraine right now.
Prosecution of Russian war crimes is ultimate test for Ukraine’s state https://t.co/cWmULmtAYK— The Guardian (@guardian) April 11, 2022
- With AAP.
There’s only one thing that can bring down a Kardashian.
The Academy of Motion Pictures and Arts have handed down their punishment to Will Smith after he slapped presenter and comedian Chris Rock at The Oscars. The actor has been banned from the Academy for ten years, but that doesn’t mean he can’t scoop up more awards in the near future.
And it’s the moment fans have been waiting for, Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck are engaged but it’s safe to say that their announcement choice was… puzzling. So, why did the biggest stars in the world turn their romance into a shameless data grab?
Plus, in the lead-up to their new TV series kicking off, you can’t escape Kardashian news right now. From a hyped sit-down interview to a media frenzy at their premiere, we’re starting to see certain members of the famous family in a whole new way, and it hasn’t ended well for everyone.
Listen to The Spill now!
Morrison's $40m election campaign promise, and all the news you need to know this morning.
It's officially day one of the election campaign, after Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced May 21 as the day we will head to the polls.
In the lead up to the election, we surveyed 5000 members of the Mamamia community to understand what issues actually matter to them when it comes to their vote. You can read a snapshot of what they told us, here.
But first, lets you across the biggest news stories you need to know this morning, Monday April 11.
1. $40m roads promise from Morrison as Labor focuses on childcare.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has hit the ground running on the first official day of the election campaign, announcing a multi-million dollar commitment to upgrade local roads.
Campaigning in Nowra, a regional town on the NSW South Coast, the prime minister is set to announce a $40 million election commitment, prioritising road upgrades that improve safety and address maintenance backlogs.
The area has recently been hit by heavy rain and flash flooding and is still recovering from the impacts the Black Summer bushfires in 2019/20.
The Liberals hope to pick up Gilmore at the next election after it was lost to Labor's Fiona Phillips in 2019 with a margin of 2.6 percent.
Morrison makes a play for Gilmore with $40m roads packagehttps://t.co/xzHXRHFokb— Michael Read (@michael_read_) April 10, 2022
Meanwhile, Labor leader Anthony Albanese will use the first day of his election campaign to announce better care for children with hearing loss.
Albanese will start the day in the regional Tasmanian city of Launceston and will pledge $1.5 million to fund the development of the digital HearHub platform, an online service that will deliver hearing tests and support for families.
Labor will also establish two new Shepherd Centres, which run the platform, in Launceston and Hobart with $2.5 million of funding behind them, and a new Shepherd Centre in Sydney's southwest will also receive $2.5 million.
"Kids with hearing loss deserve the best possible start in life and the best possible care and support – no matter where they live," Mr Albanese said.
2. Newspoll puts Morrison ahead of Albanese.
Scott Morrison has pulled ahead of Anthony Albanese as preferred prime minister, the latest Newspoll shows.
The Newspoll conducted for The Australian on the eve of the election campaign shows Labor's primary vote has dropped a point to 37 percent on top of a three-point fall last week.
The coalition's primary vote remains unchanged on a low 36 per cent.
The shift in underlying support for Labor has resulted in a one-point gain for the Coalition on a two-party-preferred basis with Labor ahead 53-47.
When it comes to the preferred prime minister, Albanese fell three points to 39 percent while Morrison rose a point to 44 percent.
The poll of 1506 voters was conducted across Australia between April 6 and 9.
3. 2,200 conscript-age men detained in Ukraine as grave with civilian bodies found.
Ukraine's border guard agency says about 2,200 Ukrainian men of fighting age, between 18 and 60, have been detained so far while trying to leave the country in violation of martial law.
The agency said yesterday that some of them have used forged documents and others tried to bribe border guards to get out of the country.
It also said some have been found dead while trying to cross the Carpathian mountains in adverse weather, without specifying the number.
Ukraine's border guard says about 2,200 Ukrainian men of fighting age – anyone aged 18 to 60, per marital law – have been detained so far while trying to leave the country. Some would-be escapees were found dead in mountainous border regions, they say. https://t.co/Qt17Aiv743— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 10, 2022
Meanwhile, a new grave containing the bodies of two civilian Ukrainians has been found in Buzova, a liberated village near the capital Kyiv that for weeks was occupied by Russian forces, a local official says.
Taras Didych, head of the Dmytrivka community that includes Buzova, told Ukrainian television earlier that a grave with dozens of bodies had been found in a ditch near a petrol station.
"Right now, as we are speaking, we are digging out two bodies of villagers, who were killed. Other details I cannot disclose," Didych told Reuters. "There are other people who we cannot find. They could be in different places, but this doesn't lessen the pain of the loss of loved ones."
4. Thousands rally for refugees after Park Hotel releases.
Thousands of people hit the streets across Australia yesterday to rally for more humane policies towards refugees and asylum seekers, following the release of refugees from Melbourne's Park Hotel.
Advocates are pushing the government to release all asylum seekers in detention, provide permanent protection for temporary visa holders and social safety nets as well as boosting the refugee intake program.
The Palm Sunday rallies come after more than 25 refugees were released last week, including eight people from the Park Hotel, where tennis player Novak Djokovic was detained earlier this year.
"Their detention was never justified and clearly in breach of Australia's treaty obligations on arbitrary detention and the treatment of refugees," the Refugee Council of Australia said.
"It has seriously damaged the individuals' mental and physical health, cost the Australian taxpayers a fortune and done much damage to Australia's international reputation."
When asked about the issue on SBS last night the prime minister said that when Labor was last in government "they lost control of our borders".
"We got everybody out of detention and we've been able to find places, particularly through the United States arrangement and the New Zealand arrangement, which we've been working on for some years, to ensure we can clean up the terrible mess and the tragedies that occurred as a result of Labor's border failures," the prime minister said.
5. Australian Grand Prix sets Melbourne record.
Melbourne was all about the F1 this weekend, with this year’s Australian Grand Prix setting a new crowd record, with 419,114 fans attending Albert Park over four days.
The whopping turnout breaks Melbourne's previous record of 401,000, when it held its first world championship event in 1996.
Ferrari's Charles Leclerc took out the win, while Australia's Daniel Ricciardo finished sixth.
And that's it, you're all up to speed. We'll be back to bring you more of the biggest stories throughout the day.
- With AAP.
Can anyone force Putin to stand trial for war crimes?
Reports of horrific crimes including massacres, torture and rape being committed by Russian forces against Ukrainian civilians are increasing, as are calls for Russian President Vladimir Putin and his soldiers to be prosecuted for war crimes.
The Quicky speaks to an expert in international law to find out what is and isn't possible when it comes to holding Russia to account.
Feature Image: Feature Image: Getty/Instagram @danieljohnshq.