ACT News

Canberra Mornings Live: Monday June 23

And that's a wrap for the morning blog this Monday. Be sure to join us from 7am tomorrow morning as we keep you updated with latest news in Canberra and beyond.

Watch out for a wild weather change after lunch today. There will be strong winds and rain arriving in the territory from 2pm. Catch up on the full weather details here.

Have a wonderful day.

Australia is forecast to be among the three fastest-growing economies in the developed world this year, making it harder for the central bank to convince currency investors it isn’t about to raise interest rates.

The RBA must differentiate itself from its counterparts in New Zealand and the UK, which have signalled their economies may need higher borrowing costs, according to Westpac.

Australia’s record-low benchmark rate hasn’t stopped foreign-exchange markets driving its dollar up 1.8 per cent in the past month, the best performing Group-of-10 currency ahead of the kiwi and the pound.

Read more on our markets live blog.

The recently retired head of the Independent Commission Against Corruption has called for the establishment of a federal anti-graft agency with the powers of a standing royal commission, lamenting a grave "breakdown of trust" in the political process.

The comments of David Ipp, QC, come amid a sensational ICAC inquiry into the Liberal Party's alleged laundering of illicit campaign finance by routing cheques via Canberra, where there is no dedicated corruption-busting agency.

"It is so screamingly obvious that there is a breakdown in trust at the moment and that the only way of maintaining trust or recovering the trust is to demonstrate that there are adequate means of discovering corruption so that the public can be confident that what the government is doing is not tainted by dishonest behaviour," Mr Ipp told ABC-TV's Four Corners.

 

Attacked: Retired corruption commissioner David Ipp speaks out about criticism he faced.
Attacked: Retired corruption commissioner David Ipp speaks out about criticism he faced. 

Jailed Australian journalist Peter Greste, a reporter for Qatar-based Al Jazeera, will learn his fate today with an Egyptian court expected to rule on whether he spread false news in support of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Most people have experienced what it is to lie awake at night worrying about how to make ends meet. But the world's super-rich are not lacking sleep over fears of losing money - but of having too much.

One in seven multimillionaires or billionaires is worried their wealth could be depriving their children of drive and ambition, says a study which affords a rare glimpse into the minds of the ultra-rich.

The richer the individual the greater those fears, the survey suggests, and only health concerns rank higher in the minds of the wealthy elite. According to the study, by the law firm Withersworldwide, this is an anxiety which, for some families able to live off investments, is tearing them apart.

Many of the super-rich are now putting their faith in new business ventures or charity initiatives to hold their family together.

Withersworldwide's report, The Meaning of Wealth in the 21st Century, draws from surveys of more than 4,500 individuals and detailed interviews with members of 16 very wealthy families from Europe, Asia and North America.

It's not easy being wealthy, apparently.
It's not easy being wealthy, apparently.  Photo: iStock
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US Secretary of State John Kerry is heading to the Middle East in a bid to unite Iraq's fractious leaders as Sunni militants seized more ground.

Shiite fighters paraded in Baghdad at the weekend in a dramatic show of force aimed at their Sunni opponents, who took control of a Syrian border crossing.

Washington's new diplomatic bid also aims to repel insurgents, whose lightning offensive has displaced hundreds of thousands and put Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki under growing pressure. Mr Kerry is expected to travel to Iraq, although details of the visit are not known.

Government security forces were holding on in several areas north of Baghdad, but officials said insurgents led by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group had seized one of three official border crossings with Syria.

Fighters in the Shiite militia known as the Mahdi Army march past a map of Iraq in Baghdad as part of a show of force.
Fighters in the Shiite militia known as the Mahdi Army march past a map of Iraq in Baghdad as part of a show of force. Photo: New York Times
Pope Benedict
Pope Benedict 

A sacked Catholic bishop will tell a Canberra audience this week he was treated unfairly by Pope Benedict.

“I was deprived of natural justice as I was in no way able to appeal the judgments or decisions that were made,” Bill Morris says.

He was forced out of his position in Toowoomba after a group of conservative “temple police” parishioners complained directly to the Vatican about his preaching which included discussion about ordaining women and married men.

He has written a book about his experience – Benedict, Me and the Cardinals Three – but says he has no bitterness. Instead he has learnt to “breathe underwater”.

Jodhi Meares, the fashion designer and ex-wife of billionaire James Packer, has been charged with high-range drink-driving following a weekend crash in Sydney's eastern suburbs.

Police allege the 43-year-old's licence was already suspended when she crashed her Range Rover into three other cars before the vehicle rolled onto its side in Bellevue Hill on Saturday night.

Meares was allegedly more than three times over the blood alcohol limit at the time.

Just a reminder of the wild weather ahead this afternoon. Here's a look at the BOM's official weather warning. You can read the entire warning here.

Ghana has been exposed as agreeing to take part in international football matches organised by match fixers.

An undercover investigation by London's The Daily Telegraph and Channel Four's Dispatches programme found that the President of Ghana's Football Association agreed for the team to play in international matches that others were prepared to rig.

The team is currently competing in the World Cup finals in Brazil, and on Saturday pulled off a 2-2 draw against Germany, in what was seen as one of the most entertaining games of the tournament so far.

However, it can be revealed that the African team had been lined up to play in international fixtures whose results would be fixed by corrupted officials.

Match fixing shadow: Ghana have impressed during the World Cup.
Match fixing shadow: Ghana have impressed during the World Cup. Photo: AFP
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Prime Minister Tony Abbott is ''a sexist'' and the Coalition has been ''dog whistling'' with its asylum seeker policies, says retiring Liberal senator Sue Boyce in an extraordinary exit interview.

Reflecting on her career in Parliament - she retires at the end of June - Senator Boyce said she thought Julia Gillard's famous misogyny speech was ''powerful'' and, for Ms Gillard's purposes, ''a brilliant speech''. But she thought the former prime minister had used the wrong word to describe Mr Abbott.

''I think it would have been more accurate if she had called him a sexist,'' she said.

''But singling [Mr Abbott] out as a sexist was not reasonable either,'' she added, saying the Prime Minister was one of many ''subtle'' sexists in federal Parliament.

Senator Sue Boyce gave her valedictory speech to the Senate.
Senator Sue Boyce gave her valedictory speech to the Senate. Photo: Andrew Meares

The US have taken the lead against Portugal 2-1 thanks to a goal from Clint Dempsey.

There was a time when getting your tackle out at dawn in Hobart meant trying to bag a few flathead.

But more than 500 brave souls have taken the brisk plunge into the River Derwent for Hobart's second winter solstice nude swim, which is part of the Dark MOFO arts festival. That more than doubled last year's inaugural swim, which saw 230 embracing the midwinter.

Temperatures were kinder too, with the air around 7 degrees celsius on a clear morning and the water a relative bath at 11 degrees celsius.

"You get your gear off and you're all the same," swimmer David Day said on Sunday. "You're just people, you're beings and all just sharing it together."

Google has promised to reimburse a rescue helicopter crew for an unnecessary flight after one of their Wi-Fi balloons falling into the sea sparked an emergency response.

New Zealand Police received a call at 11.25am on Friday from a member of public reporting that a plane had crashed into the sea off the Hurunui River mouth, near Cheviot.

He mistook the balloon for a plane because a local pilot's aircraft had a parachute attached.

Locals took boats out to investigate, while police, Waimakariri-Ashley Lifeboat volunteers, Search and Rescue and the Westpac rescue helicopter responded. The balloon was found floating in the sea.

Police notified Google, as the balloon was too large for a local fisherman to pull out, and the sea was "quite rough".

A balloon similar to the one pictured was rescued.
A balloon similar to the one pictured was rescued. Photo: Fairfax NZ

Former Howard government minister Amanda Vanstone has weighed in on Tony Abbott's trademark wink...

"Recently there has been a fair bit of attention given to a wad of cash and a wink. Let’s start with the wink.

Tony Abbott was taking calls at a radio station when a caller identified herself as a pensioner who made ends meet by doing some sex-call work. Cameras snapped as the PM flashed a passing wink at the presenter.

Given the PM has been set up by media and callers in the past, and given the anecdotally low rate of pensioners moonlighting as sex workers, a smiling wink that says ‘‘I’ll take all this in my stride’’ seemed quite reasonable to many people, including me.

Nonetheless, the footage thereof zoomed out around Australia and in all probability the world."

People were encouraged to rush to a negative judgment on a split-second facial movement that to many seemed no big deal.
People were encouraged to rush to a negative judgment on a split-second facial movement that to many seemed no big deal. 
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Rather than waiting for Freeview's launch, SBS has gone live with its new Catch Up TV app.

Freeview is in the final phase of testing its new FreeviewPlus Smart TV app, which offers a 7-day onscreen Electronic Program Guide and easy access to online Catch Up TV. The five major broadcasters have each developed their own app, yet SBS has broken ranks and launched "in beta" ahead of the official FreeviewPlus launch.

FreeviewPlus is expected to deliver access to online video from the five main Australian television networks. The ...
FreeviewPlus is expected to deliver access to online video from the five main Australian television networks. The service is built into a new onscreen electronic program guide that lets viewers scroll back in time and click to watch shows they'??ve missed. 

The US have equalised in their clash with Portugal. Scores are currently 1-1 after a long range strike from Jermaine Jones into the bottom right corner.

While Mile Jedinak believes the Socceroos have done the nation proud at this World Cup, he’s desperate to see his teammates leave the tournament with a win.

Gallant defeats to Chile and The Netherlands mean Australia can’t advance to the knockout stages but they can finish above 2010 champions Spain should they win or draw when the two sides face off in Curitiba on Monday.

Having had prime opportunities to surprise in both of their two matches thus far, Jedinak said the squad had shown themselves capable of taking on the best teams in the world.

Support for Australia's carbon pricing laws has grown as the Abbott government prepares to repeal them next month, with more people now in favour than opposed.

An annual poll by the Climate Institute found the number of Australians who disagree with the laws fell to 30 per cent, down from 52 per cent in 2012 when the Coalition's attack on the carbon tax was at its peak. It also represents an 11 per cent decline in opposition from last year.

At the same time the percentage of Australians who supported the carbon price rose six per cent, to 34 per cent, over the past year. It is the first rise in support under the Climate Institute poll since the laws were first introduced by the Gillard government.

Changing perceptions: A poll has found the percentage of Australians who disagree Australia's carbon pricing laws has ...
Changing perceptions: A poll has found the percentage of Australians who disagree Australia's carbon pricing laws has fallen from more than half to less than a third. Photo: Graham Tidy
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