Australia and the Netherlands launch legal action against Russia over flight MH17.
Australia and the Netherlands have launched legal action against Russia over the 2014 downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17.
Both nations launched the proceedings in the International Civil Aviation Organisation, naming Russia as responsible for the incident under international law. Australia and the Netherlands are seeking from the International Civil Aviation Organisation a declaration that Russia broke the civil aviation conventions. The two nations are also seeking to order Russia into negotiations over the incident for reparations.
The flight was shot down on July 17, 2014, killing all 298 people onboard, including 38 Australians.
Three of the 38 Australians killed were Anthony Maslin and Marite Norris' three children, Mo, 12, Evie, 10 and Otis, 8, who were flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on their way home to Perth with their grandfather, Nick Norris, when they were killed.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the legal action was a major step forward in truth and accountability for a "horrific" act of violence.
"The Russian Federation's refusal to take responsibility for its role in the downing of Flight MH17 is unacceptable and the Australian government has always said that it will not exclude any legal options in our pursuit of justice," Morrison said.
Attorney-General Michaelia Cash said: "(The downing of the flight) caused tremendous grief and suffering to the next of kin of the victims, pain aggravated by the absence to date of any acknowledgement by Russia. These rules must be upheld so people can fly safe in the knowledge that their lives will not be taken from them by deliberate acts of violence. Russia flouted these rules with tragic consequences."
The leaders brushed off concerns the legal action could exacerbate tensions between Russia and other nations in the wake of the invasion. Russia withdrew from negotiations with Australia and the Netherlands about MH17 in October 2020. Russia did not return to the negotiating table, despite repeated requests from Australia and the Netherlands.
- With AAP.
3 key moments you missed from the BAFTAs.
1. Rebel Wilson’s knock-out speech.
Aussie actor and comedian Rebel Wilson was the host of the 2022 BAFTAs and her opening monologue was pretty iconic.
“Now I know there’s been a lot of speculation about who’s going to be the next James Bond, and I know there might be some people in the audience tonight hoping that it might be them. But fellas, hold on to your martinis, because (Bond producers) the Broccolis have let me announce it, here and now. This is a scoop, OK: I’m proud to announce that the new James Bond … will be me.”
Another laugh was when she introduced actor Emilia Jones - the star of CODA, a film about a child of deaf adults - Wilson explained there were two interpreters on stage. She then raised her middle finger, and said: “Luckily, though, in all sign languages, this is the gesture for Putin.”
2. Director Jane Campion wins big at BAFTAs.
The Power of the Dog, Jane Campion’s western film starring Benedict Cumberbatch was a standout in the awards ceremony.
It took out the top two prizes, best film and best director.
3. The red carpet fashion was next level.
After two years of virtual awards ceremonies and celebrities wearing hoodies to accept their trophies, 2022 is finally bringing some red carpet glamour back to proceedings.
Celebs on the red carpet included Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, RuPaul, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebel Wilson, Lady Gaga, Sienna Miller and more.
And the fashion was incredible: Emma Watson’s 14 bobby pins, Sienna Miller’s mismatched gloves and plenty of ruffles amongst all attendees. For a full roundup, you read this: The 23 fashion moments you missed from this weekend's red carpet marathon.
Petrol and groceries: Cost of living is on the rise across Australia.
The cost of living is rising in Australia, and many of us are feeling the effects of it.
The price of petrol has skyrocketed to approximately $2.20 a litre, driven up by the Russia-Ukraine war. Rideshare service Uber has also been affected, with a temporary fuel surcharge to last for 60 days.
Even foods once considered cheap like baked beans and tinned spaghetti are expected to be hit by price rises of as much as 20 per cent. SPC, the well known canned goods producer, shared the news with The Australian Financial Review, saying fuel, wheat and freight/packaging costs have risen leaving companies to have to up their prices in order to continue manufacturing.
And if you have looked at your receipt after a grocery shop lately and thought it was a little higher than usual, you’re not wrong! Particularly when it comes to fresh fruits and vegetables, there has been a price hike - goods like broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini and cherries have all seen inflation. Overall, this has been a result of damaged crops due to the climate but also a fall in production due to a reduced supply of overseas labour. And last year we were warned that fresh fruit and vegetables could cost up to 30 per cent more in the coming months according to the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences.
As for what the government has to say, it is looking like these cost of living pressures will be a key election issue, according to the latest Newspoll survey.
“This next election is about a choice, about our economy and how we can best manage our economy to manage a better future,” Scott Morrison said this week. “These cost of living impacts are real and the Australian government understands that.”
Anthony Albanese said: “At the moment, families are under massive pressure, everything is going up ... except people's wages, which is why people are really, really struggling.”
Army recruits were told not to report their experiences of sexual assault.
This post deals with the topic of sexual assault and suicide, and may be triggering for some readers.
The lasting impacts of bullying, harassment and sexual assault have been described by a former army apprentice hoping to help other veterans and survivors.
Kyle Hose was just 15 years old when he joined the army as an apprentice in 1984, following in the footsteps of his father and older brothers. As one of the smallest and youngest, Hose described to the veterans' royal commission being treated as a “weak link” and was consistently harassed physically and mentally by other apprentices and some superiors.
During his training, an older apprentice broke into his room at night on three separate occasions and sexually assaulted him. The third time, Hose managed to scare the perpetrator out of the room and found a piece of plastic that had been used to unlock his door.
“It was a well-worn piece of yellow plastic ... I assumed that was because it had been used many times and there were possibly other people who had been impacted by this behaviour. I still have trouble sleeping as I lay in bed at night waiting for the door to unlatch and be set upon,” Hose told the royal commission today.
Hose said everyone in the barracks was warned not to speak up against their peers.
After turning to drugs and alcohol to cope with the impacts of the assaults and bullying, Hose was dishonourably discharged for marijuana possession in 1990. Since being discharged he has at times been unemployed, attempted suicide and diagnosed with complex post-traumatic stress disorder.
“Coming forward in March 2021 and revealing my story has allowed me to start the recovery process where I have returned to my faith and by speaking up at this commission I am trying to help any other survivors and veterans,” he said.
The veterans' royal commission continues.
The issues at public hearings can be confronting. Please know there is support available. pic.twitter.com/sFaIMYs3Tj— Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide (@roycommDVSRC) March 14, 2022
- With AAP.
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.
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.
For veteran and families counselling, visit Open Arms.
Her name was Synamin Bell. She is the ninth woman killed by violence this year.
Synamin Bell was a 26-year-old loving mum of three children, Ollie, six, Charlie, four, and Jordy, three. And on Saturday night, her life was cut short, allegedly by an act of domestic violence.
She was at home in the South Australian suburb of Millicent when police were called to her address, soon discovering her body. A 25-year-old man known to Synamin was arrested at the scene and interviewed by police before being charged with murder. He will face court on Tuesday.
Synamin is the ninth woman killed by violence in Australia in 2022.
Synamin's brother Luke McGaughey has also spoke about his sister, noting she was incredibly "generous and loyal".
You can read the full story here: Her name was Synamin Bell. She is the ninth woman killed by violence this year.
The pop culture stories you missed.
Every now and again, Monday mornings aren't so bad. Most of the time, for me, this is because it's awards season and Australian time zones mean we get to wake up to the glitz and glamour of an awards show red carpet.
Today, it was the BAFTAs in London. Here's a wee taste of the celebs and fashion:
Emma Watson never misses, does she?
Ok, now changing tack ever so slightly. I'm obsessed with this story about Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart's friendship: Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg are best friends. They didn't bond over fame. They bonded over prison.
WHAT A HEADLINE.
Unlikely duos are one of my favourite things (there's a viral video of a dolphin and dog who are best friends, and I cry every time I see it), so I lapped this up. And it's surprisingly wholesome for a story that begins with prison.
Finally, did you binge Byron Baes over the weekend? Mmm... no judgement here, so did I.
If so, you'll want to check out these two juicy, funny stories from my colleagues:
PM called out for not acting on flood warnings, and all the news you need to know this morning.
Morning friends, there's a good chance you've probably heard talk about the new COVID variant over the weekend.
But what actually is this new Omicron BA.2 variant and how concerned are health officials?
Well, my colleague Charlie Begg has answered all your questions and round up everything we know right about the sub-variant right here.
But first, let's get you across the five biggest news stories making a buzz today, Monday, March 14.
1. 37 experts call out PM for failing to act on flood warnings in scathing open letter.
Former emergency services bosses have blasted the Morrison government for failing to act on warnings ahead of this year's deadly and devastating floods in NSW and Queensland, echoing the lead-up to the catastrophic Black Summer bushfires.
Emergency Leaders for Climate Action want the federal government to cut Australia's greenhouse gas emissions by 75 per cent by 2030 and set a net zero by 2035 goal.
In their joint letter released today, the group of 37 say the federal government was warned of the flood risks in October and better preparation for natural disasters is needed.
"The federal government's fumbling of this flood disaster is Black Summer all over again," former Fire and Rescue NSW chief commissioner Greg Mullins said.
"Last October, charity leaders met with the federal government and were warned of massive flooding this summer."
Morrison government blasted for 'bungling' eastern Australian flood disaster after refusing to heed warnings https://t.co/wYaqBQdXWf— Mark Bailey MP (@MarkBaileyMP) March 13, 2022
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been under intense criticism for the slow rollout of assistance and aid for flood-affected areas.
The emergency services leaders say if the federal government had acted on the findings of the Royal Commission into Natural Disaster Arrangements called in the wake of the 2019-20 bushfire season, the flooded communities would have been better prepared.
2. 180 killed in attack at Ukrainian training facility.
Russia says it has attacked the Yavoriv training facility in western Ukraine, near the Poland border, adding the strike has killed "up to 180 foreign mercenaries" and destroyed a large amount of weapons supplied by outside nations.
Defence ministry spokesperson Igor Konashenkov told a briefing that Russia would continue its attacks against what he called foreign mercenaries, however, Reuters could not independently verify the statements.
Ukrainian regional governor Maksym Kozytskyy said 35 people were killed and 134 wounded in the attack.
‘Up to 180 foreign mercenaries’ dead in Ukraine after precision strike – Moscow https://t.co/91ZaWAKETQ— The Press United (@ThePRESSUnited) March 13, 2022
Meanwhile, over the weekend, Russian and Ukrainian officials gave their most upbeat assessments yet of progress in their talks on the war in Ukraine, suggesting there could be positive results within days.
"We will not concede in principle on any positions. Russia now understands this. Russia is already beginning to talk constructively," Ukrainian negotiator and presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said in a video posted online.
"I think that we will achieve some results literally in a matter of days," he said.
3. Albanese draws with Morrison for preferred PM.
For the first time in over two years, Labor leader Anthony Albanese is neck and neck with Scott Morrison for prime minister.
According to the latest Newspoll, Albanese and Morrison are tied for preferred prime minister, both sitting on 42 points.
Speaking to 60 Minutes on Sunday, the opposition leader, said the Australian public are more "cynical" about Morrison this time around.
"They know what Scott Morrison's form is and therefore they'll be more sceptical about what the government's saying," Albanese told Karl Stefanovic.
"You look at even the photo ops this time, whether it's shampooing hair, or whether it's, dare I say it, the ukulele playing... I've seen it and heard it and now it can't be unseen."
“Whether it's the shampooing hair or whether it's, dare I say it, the ukulele playing...”— 60 Minutes Australia (@60Mins) March 13, 2022
In an interview with #60Mins, Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese doesn’t shy away from talking about his competition: Scott Morrison. @AlboMP pic.twitter.com/lcYMctAZQV
Albanese also said he is "hungry to win" and will leave nothing "on the field".
"I will work until 6 o’clock on what I suspect will be the 14th of May but we’ll wait and see, you heard it here first, I suspect that’s when the polling day is and then I will see what comes."
4. Bushfire emergency in WA southwest.
A bushfire is burning uncontrolled in an area of Western Australia's southwest, with authorities urging residents to leave now.
The emergency warning covers Yeagarup, including the Donnelly River Huts, in the shire of Manjimup, about 300 km south of Perth.
Emergency warning issued as bushfire threatens lives and homes in WA's South West https://t.co/t7nqmytvQr— ABC News (@abcnews) March 12, 2022
Residents are being warned to act immediately, with the fire, which started on Friday, a threat to lives and homes.
More than 70 firefighters are at the scene working to strengthen containment lines and aerial support has been sent to assist ground crews.
5. COVID cases remain stubbornly high as PM pushes for eased isolation restrictions.
The nation's governments are set on winding back COVID-19 isolation requirements and reducing reliance on laboratory testing, as 30,000 Australians a day continue to contract the virus.
Following last Friday's meeting of national cabinet, the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee has been tasked with an urgent review of both changes.
There were 13,093 new infections and seven deaths in NSW on Sunday, and 5192 new cases and four deaths in Victoria.
COVID-19 update – Sunday 13 March 2022— NSW Health (@NSWHealth) March 12, 2022
In the 24-hour reporting period to 4pm yesterday:
- 95.9% of people aged 16+ have had one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine
- 94.4% of people aged 16+ have had two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine pic.twitter.com/8Tfsj1Ny3m
Prime Minister Scott Morrison says quarantine requirements are starving businesses of staff and that scrapping the need to isolate for extended periods will help the Australian economy get back on track.
The proposed alternative is for otherwise healthy people with mild respiratory symptoms to instead undertake voluntary self-isolation.
Morrison also called close contact rules "redundant", saying, "we have gone to the medical expert panel to say what your urgent advice is on this as soon as possible, because we would like to say goodbye to that rule as quickly as we can."
And that's it you're all up to speed. We'll be back to bring you more of the biggest news stories throughout the day.
- With AAP.
Is it time to stop rebuilding in flood zones?
The recent flooding in New South Wales and Queensland has left thousands of people homeless, as entire towns were enveloped by rising floodwaters, with many still at risk.
While floods and extreme weather are not uncommon in Australia, they are happening more frequently and with greater intensity. Is it time to re-think how we rebuild and recover from these disasters?
The Quicky speaks to a regional NSW MP who has lost her own home in the floods, and an expert in urban planning and climate change to discuss what the options are to keep our homes and towns safe when the next major flood event takes place.
Feature Image: Getty.