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October 2022

MISTRIAL - jury in Lehrmann rape trial discharged & trial aborted.

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The trial of former Liberal staffer Bruce Lehrmann, accused of raping his colleague Brittany Higgins at Parliament House more than three a half years ago, has been aborted and the jury discharged after a juror was found to have engaged in misconduct.

“It has come to my attention that contrary to directions I’ve given you have undertaken research into the case,” Chief Justice Lucy McCallum told the court on Thursday morning.

“That information has made its way into the jury when it ought not to have.

“It may be that no harm has been done but that is not a risk I can take.”

The court heard this prohibited research was uncovered when one of the court officers, who was cleaning the jury room, accidentally bumped one of the juror’s folders onto the floor.

When the officer picked up the folder, which had a clear plastic front, he noticed part of a title of an academic research paper into sexual assault sticking out of the folder.

Justice McCallum said that her associates then identified the article in question.

“The identity of the paper found by my associates has been confirmed in evidence this morning by the juror in question,” she said.

“The subject matter of the paper is indeed sexual assault.

“The juror this morning gave an explanation that the document had not been used or relied upon by any juror.”

However Justice McCallum said she was sceptical about that evidence. “During the course of the trial ... I must have given the jury at least 17 warnings and prohibitions on undertaking any research of their own.

“This is an unexpected and unfortunate outcome in this trial,” she said.

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Western Elites

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Your Holiness, colleagues, friends,

It is a great honour for me to speak at the plenary session of the 24th World Russian People's Council themed “Orthodox Christianity and the world in the 21st century,” which sounds very appropriate for the moment.

The council is an integral part of Russia’s public life and an important venue that brings together representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church, government bodies and expert and scholar circles, as well as our compatriots. It is a platform for discussing important issues facing our country and suggesting effective pathways to resolve them.

The demand for cooperation and creative team efforts is particularly high today. It is no secret that the US-led collective West, striving for global domination, unleashed an all-out hybrid war against our Motherland. The enemy is not hiding its goal, which is to destroy the Russian economy, to destabilise the domestic political situation and inflict a “defeat on the battlefield” on us and, eventually, to significantly weaken or even annihilate the centuries-old national statehood, which explains why the West is using “cancel culture” against Russia. Any and all restrictions on any and all actions against us have been lifted. The philosophy is that if you hate the multiethnic Russian people, you can do anything.

The West is using the criminal Russophobic regime led by Vladimir Zelensky as a lever to contain our country. We see Washington and its NATO allies ramping up the supplies of lethal weapons to Ukrainian neo-Nazis, sharing intelligence with them and recruiting foreign mercenaries to fight in Ukraine. All of that is making them parties to the conflict one way or another.

The Kiev authorities’ intrusion at the behest of and with the support of their overseas backers into a sensitive area such as religion is particularly blasphemous. The hideous campaign against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church continues unabated.  The churches continue to be seized, and believers and clergy persecuted, which includes physical assaults.

In turn, Western geopolitical “engineers” are tirelessly working to destroy the Moscow Patriarchate’s spiritual ties with the fraternal local Orthodox churches. In order to discredit and smear the Russian Orthodox Church, an unscrupulous media campaign has been launched. The clergy from the Russian Orthodox Church is being openly persecuted. The leaders of various faiths are encouraged to condemn Russia’s actions. Strong pressure is being exerted on the Russian world and our foreign-based communities, including the sanctions imposed by some Western states on Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.

Given the circumstances, it makes perfect sense that the people from the Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics, and the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions exercised the right to self-determination enshrined in the UN Charter and expressed their free will by voting in favour of reuniting with Russia. As President Putin noted in his speech in the Kremlin on September 30, “We will defend our land with all the forces and resources we have, and we will do everything we can to ensure the safety of our people. This is the great liberating mission of our nation.” We are defending our legitimate interests, honour and dignity, as well as the historical legacy of our Motherland.


Washington and its European satellites’ attempts to isolate Russia and push us back to the sidelines of global politics are doomed. Today's world is not Western-centric. On the contrary, it is multipolar. The course of history cannot be reversed. In practical terms, this means that the countries and their citizens are actually free to choose political and socioeconomic paths and models. The peoples around the world want to live according to the cultural and civilisational foundations bequeathed by their ancestors. They reject the pseudo-liberal approaches imposed by Western elites, which encourage destructive behaviour and thus cause irreparable damage to moral health.

For our part, we believe that universal human solidarity should rely on traditional values ​​that are common to the world's major religions and cultures. Russian diplomats will continue to work to ensure that communication between countries is built on the principles of international law and integrity, goodness and justice. I’m pleased to state that the overwhelming majority of the nations on our planet, which represent more than 80 percent of the Earth’s population, are supportive of this approach, which gives us hope.

We will, of course, continue to strengthen productive cooperation with the Russian Orthodox Church and other traditional religions in our country. We will help advance inter-civilisational, interfaith and intercultural dialogues to promote the creation of a more just and democratic polycentric world order architecture.

I would like to close by wishing you, Your Holiness, and all the participants of today's event, productive work, every success in your endeavours and all the best.

Their ABC's delighted response to Labor's extra $83.7M funding

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ABC audiences around the country and across the Indo-Pacific region will directly benefit from the increase in funding announced in the Federal Budget.

The increase of $83.7m in operational funding and $32m for international services across four years ($20.9m and $8m each year respectively) will allow significant investment in services across all platforms. It will also help the ABC to deal with rising costs affecting the media industry and support the sustainability of ABC services.

ABC Managing Director David Anderson said: “The additional funding will allow the ABC to increase investment in local content and education services and further improve our critical emergency broadcasting services, particularly benefiting regional communities. It will also help grow reach in Pacific communities at an important time in the history of the region.

“We are always working to identify what we need to provide the Australian public and how we can manage our budget to effectively meet those expectations – especially as audience habits evolve and we transition to digital services, particularly among younger demographics.

“This budget announcement is an investment in the valuable services the ABC provides and the trust Australians place in us.”

The ABC has also welcomed the Government’s commitment to a five-year funding settlement, to be determined in the May 2023 Budget.

The increase in funding will mean:

  • Greater capacity to deliver emergency broadcasting services. As emergency events become more frequent and severe the need for critical emergency broadcast services is growing. Australians know they can rely on the ABC for crucial information that can help save lives and protect communities, especially in regional areas.

This additional investment will enable the ABC to cover more priority black spots, better respond to escalating events, increase emergency broadcasting services across social and digital platforms, to ensure greater accessibility, and extend our community engagement around resilience and post-disaster recovery.

  • Increased investment in ABC Education. Building on the ABC’s history of educational broadcasting, this initiative will produce unique interactive content to support learning in the classroom and at home for students of Australian History, Literacy, Numeracy, STEM and Media Literacy.
  • Enhanced digital services. The ABC is committed to more content and product development across digital platforms such as ABC iview, ABC Listen and ABC News Digital. This investment will mean more Australian comedy and drama and a renewed commitment to services for younger audiences, such as triple j. We will also engage innovative creatives to develop content specifically aimed at audiences on popular third-party platforms.

The additional funding for international services will allow the ABC to:

  • Expand ABC Radio Australia’s FM footprint, adding up to seven additional FM transmitter locations to the 13 currently running across the Pacific and Timor Leste, and tailor our ABC Australia television service to suit Pacific and Asian time zones.
  • Create more content for audiences across the Indo-Pacific region including establishing a network of full-time local journalists and a pan-Pacific weekly video news program.
  • Enhance the capacity and development of media partners with training and activities covering basic professional development, for cadets through to leadership masterclasses, and in specialised subjects such as elections and emergency broadcasting.

For more than 90 years the ABC has played a critical role in the life of the nation: supporting our democracy, explaining the world around us, showcasing our ever-evolving national character, discovering new talent and uniting Australians in good times and bad.

This additional investment will support the ABC to continue to deliver for all Australians.

For more information:

Sally Jackson | ABC Communications | [email protected]

Australian inflation soars to 7.3% - highest since 1990



Annual CPI inflation the highest since 1990

The annual CPI movement of 7.3 per cent is the highest since 1990. The past four quarters have seen strong quarterly rises off the back of higher prices for new dwelling construction, automotive fuel and food. Trimmed mean annual inflation, which excludes large price rises and falls, increased to 6.1 per cent, the highest since the ABS first published the series in 2003.


Monarchy safe for now. Expert on everything Craig Foster joins fashionable leftists in the Republican Movement.

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The campaign for an Australian republic has been supercharged with the election of nine new directors, bringing experience from corporate, media, union, policy, sporting and advocacy sectors to the board (National Committee).

It comes as the campaign witnesses a resurgence of support with thousands of new volunteers and members joining the campaign in recent weeks.

Social justice advocate, author, Adjunct Professor and former Socceroo Captain Craig Foster was elected alongside Olympic and Commonwealth Games Gold Medalist Nova Peris - who was also the first Aboriginal woman elected to the Federal Parliament in 2013. Adding further media clout is veteran media presenter and University of Sydney mathematics ambassador Adam Spencer.

They join experienced non-executive director and author Marina Go, a trailblazer for women on corporate boards across the energy, retail and infrastructure sectors and Chair of Adore Beauty, and SBS Director Vic Alhadeff, who brings extensive leadership experience in media and multicultural affairs (including as the former Chair of Multicultural NSW and CEO of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies).

Climate 200 Executive Director Byron Fay will bring proven political and campaign nous, as will next generation leaders Tiffany O’Keefe (Policy Advisor and Executive Director of the Australian Conservation Alliance), SDA industrial officer Anthony Lay and newly elected National Youth Convenor Michael Cooney.

Incumbent ARM Senior Deputy Chair Meredith Doig (President of the Rationalist Society) and activist and campaigner Tarang Chawla were also re-elected.

Together with existing State and Territory Branch Convenors on the National Committee the elected directors will elect a new Chair and Executive when they take office on 15 November 2022.

ARM CEO Sandy Biar said the election result has brought fresh new energy, experience and diversity that will transform the ARM and the campaign for an Australian republic.

“The campaign for an Australian republic has a once-in-a-generation opportunity over the coming years to lay the foundation for this historic step forward as a nation.”

“With these outstanding directors leading the campaign, we’ll have every chance of securing and winning a referendum so that Australia can finally have an Australian Head of State that is chosen by Australians and represents us” said Mr Biar.


Sandy Biar

National Director and CEO


[email protected]