Good morning, and welcome to Monday.
Here’s what you need to know:
- More leaked documents from the trove of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden showed Australia was listening in on communications between Indonesian officials and their American legal advisors, and offered to share their findings with the NSA. It shouldn’t really be a surprise that Australia stumbled onto trade talks – as has been noted before, everyone’s listening to each other, but the No.1 rule is: you shouldn’t get caught. The documents, according to a report in The New York Times, reveal the vast scale of Australia’s listening apparatus in Indonesia – Australian spies have obtained 1.8 million encryption keys used to secure private communications and can decrypt pretty much all of them.
- These latest NSA leaks show impeccable timing yet again: US Secretary of State John Kerry is in Jakarta for bilateral meetings. Kerry will deliver a speech calling for global action on climate change, saying the world is heading towards a “tipping point” and mocking deniers, but in meetings Indonesia is expected to raise the spying reports and also its concerns over Australia’s border protection regime with him.
- Michael Hutchence’s sister Tina says the telemovie about the INXS singer’s life, screened over the past two Sunday nights on Channel 7, is a “complete fabrication of our family” and it makes her “angry and sad for Michael”. She made the comments in an interview airing on Nova this morning.
- Belle Brockhoff, who competed for Australia in the snowboard cross at the Winter Olympics overnight, has revealed she has been the subject of hate messages and threats on social media because of her sexuality. She’s happy to laugh it off. They’re made of tough stuff, these Winter Olympians.
- Standard & Poor’s says Australia’s banking sector is among the five safest in the world.
- There’s a Fairfax-Nielsen poll out this morning, showing the Coalition leading 52-48 on two-party preferred, but a big slump in personal approval for Bill Shorten, down 11 points – similar to Newspoll last week. Work to do.
- Professional nannies have raised concerns about an increasing use of black market childcare services. The ATO says: “There is nothing wrong with paying a nanny in cash as long as the householder meets their obligations for superannuation and pay as you go tax, and as long as the nanny declares the income.” Cute.
- Westpac has some analysis on why the RBA won’t be raising rates any time soon – and it’s not good news. It’s because consumers now have rising expectations of a rate rise at some point, which will dampen confidence and restrain spending.
- It’s snake-hatching season in Queensland and there are reports of baby serpents appearing out of the most horrifying places around houses in the Sunshine state. In other snake-related news, a US pastor who handled snakes in church as part of his schtick has died after being bitten by one of his props. He’d always maintained that a viper’s bite was God’s will and if he “ever went to a hospital or a doctor over a snake bite I would quit church.”
- Just what you want to hear on a Monday morning: Crocodiles can climb trees, according to research that included Australian crocs. We’re all doomed.
Bonus item: Here’s a video of Imperial AT-AT walkers shooting moguls skiers at the Winter Olympics.
Have a great start to the week. I’m on Twitter: @colgo
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