Major questions raised over election 'boat texts'.
Text messages to voters about an intercepted asylum seeker boat on election day were sent without the approval of the home affairs minister.
The new Labor government has labelled the move a disappointing example of the Liberal-National coalition politicising border protection. And outgoing Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews says text messages sent by the Liberal Party on Saturday were not approved by her.
"I had no knowledge of the text messages. I didn't know that they were being even contemplated," she told the ABC on Wednesday. "A lot of things were happening on election day. What the party chose to do is a party matter ... it wasn't something that was endorsed by me."
Andrews however defended the Border Force media release about the boat intercepted in Australian waters as "operationally focused".
Treasurer Jim Chalmers said the former government breached the bipartisan approach to border protection in a last-ditch effort to sway voters.
"It was terribly disappointing to see the way that the government in its dying hours attempted to publicise and politicise and send those text messages out about border security," he told reporters in Canberra.
Liberals accused of resorting to last-minute scare with text alert about 'illegal boat' interception https://t.co/0lQXaIQ3rn— ABC News (@abcnews) May 21, 2022
Everything we know about the mass school shooting in Texas.
We have some sad updates on this news story.
19 children and two adults have been killed in a shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. There are expected to be further casualties, given dozens are injured.
State Governor Greg Abbott said the suspect, an 18-year-old local man who has also died, "shot and killed, horrifically, incomprehensibly".
The first victim of the shooting has been identified as fourth-grade teacher Eva Mireles. The family of 10-year-old Xavier Lopez have confirmed his death in the attack. He was a fourth grader at the school.
For more on what we know about this tragedy, you can read this explainer here: 19 kids have died in a mass shooting in Texas. It's the 27th school shooting in America this year.
The Taylor Swift ex you forgot about just got engaged.
The new trailer for Thor: Love and Thunder is here, revealing the usual stunning graphics and wild fight scenes, but also a lot of laughs and... a gratuitous look at Chris Hemsworth's bum.
And Florence Pugh has found herself once again having to defend her relationship with Zach Braff, after fans celebrated paparazzi photos which they took as proof the controversial couple had broken up. It's a strange insight into fandom, and how celebrity social media use can lead to parasocial relationships against their will.
Plus, Calvin Harris is engaged. Yes, the Scottish musician who also happens to be the one Taylor Swift ex we all forgot about, has proposed to his partner of five months, Vick Hope. But considering the man also just announced new music, we can't help but feel a little bit cynical about this timing.
Get the latest episode of The Spill in your ears now!
14 kids killed in US school shooting, and all the news you need to know this morning.
Earlier this week, Penny Wong was sworn in as our new foreign minister. We've rounded up everything you need to know about the political pioneer and mother of two here.
Here are your top news stories for Wednesday May 25.
1. 14 students shot dead in Texas school shooting.
At least 14 students and a teacher have been killed in a shooting at a Texas elementary school, according to a US official.
State Governor Greg Abbott said the suspect, an 18-year-old local man who has also died, opened fire at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, about 137 kilometres west of San Antonio.
"He shot and killed, horrifically, incomprehensibly, 14 students and killed a teacher," the governor said.
The gunman was a resident of the community and entered the school with a handgun, and possibly a rifle, and opened fire, Abbott said.
The suspect also allegedly shot his grandmother before entering the school, said Abbot.
He said the shooter was probably killed by responding officers but events were still being investigated.
Uvalde Memorial Hospital said earlier 13 children were taken by ambulance or bus to that facility, and another hospital reported a 66-year-old woman was in critical condition.
It was not immediately clear how many people, in addition to the dead, were injured in the shooting
2. Andrews says Dutton will be Liberal leader.
Peter Dutton will likely be elected opposition leader, and Sussan Ley his deputy, as the Liberal party attempts to win back disaffected women it lost "in droves".
Former ministers Anne Ruston, Ley and Karen Andrews have been floated for the deputy leadership.
But Andrews ruled out putting herself forward for the deputy position yesterday, with Dutton all but guaranteed to be the opposition leader.
"Because I'm Queenslander and the Liberal Party is a national party it is untenable for the leader and the deputy leader to come from the one state," she told ABC radio.
"At this time, it is not my time to stand for deputy leader, which makes me sad but that's the reality."
Peter Dutton remains only candidate for Liberal leader, with Sussan Ley frontrunner for deputy https://t.co/Ey3vAeSzvq— ABC News (@abcnews) May 24, 2022
Andrews said former environment minister Sussan Ley was likely shaping up as the choice for deputy.
"I believe at this stage most definitely Sussan Ley is the strongest contender," she said.
"Nominations for leader will be called first. Peter will be the only nominee, and at that point he will be appointed as leader."
3. PM to return home after agreeing to tackle climate change at Quad meeting.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will return home, after signaling Australia's ambitions on cutting emissions and reinforcing our commitment to an open Indo-Pacific at the Quad meeting in Tokyo.
Albanese met with US President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday, where discussions included countering China's increasing assertiveness in the region.
"The Solomons was discussed in the meeting, including the issue in which China is seeking to exert more influence in the Pacific," he told reporters in Tokyo following the meeting. "Australia is responding to that, along with the US."
The Quad also agreed to address the impacts of climate change across the region through $US50 billion ($A71 billion) of infrastructure assistance and investment in the Indo-Pacific over the next five years.
Albanese sought to differentiate from predecessor Scott Morrison on climate action, citing his government's target of reducing emissions by 43 per cent by 2030.
"I share the view that this is a national security issue. Climate change is not just about the environment, it's about the shape of our economies, but also our national security going forward."
Today I had the pleasure of meeting with PM Kishida @JPN_PMO, @POTUS and @narendramodi at the Quad Summit in Tokyo. We affirmed our shared commitment to the Quad, and to a free, open and resilient Indo-Pacific. I look forward to hosting Quad Leaders in Australia in 2023. pic.twitter.com/pQ97B1nufQ— Anthony Albanese (@AlboMP) May 24, 2022
Meanwhile, Labor is expected to win a majority government, with the party ahead of the Greens for the seat of Brisbane by just 34 votes. However, postal votes are yet to be counted.
The final tally is expected to show Labor holding 76 seats to 61 for the coalition, with 14 crossbenchers.
4. Russian-born Australian tennis star says she can no longer return home.
Moscow-born tennis star Daria Saville believes she can't return to her original home in Russia following her comments about the Ukraine war.
Saville has been vocal in protesting against her birth country's invasion of Ukraine, including a tweet demanding: "Putin, stop the war".
Her husband and Australian player Luke Saville has also spoken about Daria's worries over her parents, who are still in Moscow.
Speaking at the French Open, she again reiterated her support for her Ukrainian colleagues. But when asked if she had any sympathy for the Russians banned from the world's biggest tournament, she sounded pained as she replied: "Yes and no… it's yeah, it's tough, it's hard for me also to comment.
"Already I can't really go back to Russia now... I definitely do support the Ukrainian players… imagine not having a home."
'I can't really go back': Daria Saville faces her own problem for speaking out against Putin's war https://t.co/iAGitglDAA— ABC SPORT (@abcsport) May 24, 2022
Saville was also conflicted over whether the All England Club had made the right call to bar Russian and Belarusian players from next month's tournament, saying, "It's a grey area because I have way too many friends in Russia".
She also explained she still hadn't herself decided yet whether to compete at the world's biggest tournament because of its controversial ranking points ban.
5. Parents urged to get flu jabs for children.
Aussie parents are being urged to get flu jabs for their children, after a new poll found only half of children are likely to be vaccinated against the flu this year.
The latest Royal Children's Hospital National Child Health Poll found parents hold several misconceptions about the flu vaccine, including beliefs that it isn't necessary or effective.
Anthea Rhodes, a pediatrician and director of the RCH poll, said rates of influenza were rising rapidly in the community, making it important for children to be vaccinated.
"The flu is back and we are all more vulnerable to it because of our lack of recent exposure and reduced uptake of the flu vaccine over the past two years," Dr Rhodes said.
"But this year, international travel is back, kids have returned to onsite learning, and people are interacting more."
The latest #rchpoll found only half of Australian children will be vaccinated for flu this year, with vaccination plans undecided for a quarter of children: https://t.co/6aObtxoTQF pic.twitter.com/IMUd657psC— The Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne (@RCHMelbourne) May 24, 2022
The poll found one-in-three parents are unaware the flu can make children seriously unwell and 43 per cent believe it is not as important as the COVID-19 vaccine.
Queensland has made flu vaccines free for people aged six months and older, while NSW is considering following suit.
That's everything you need to know this morning. We'll keep you updated with more of the top stories throughout he day.
- With AAP.
Winning women: How female voters changed parliament.
Over the weekend, Australia chose a swathe of professional women to replace conservative male MPs in even the safest of seats.
So what pushed us to create one of the biggest political overhauls we may ever see in parliament in our lifetime?
The Quicky speaks to an expert in women and Australian politics to find out how we came together to disrupt the status quo, and whether we might have finally have overthrown the political patriarchy for good.
Feature Image: Twitter @Stela_Todorovic.