Good morning! Here’s your run-down for Thursday.
- Tony Abbott will give his keynote address in Davos tonight, Australian time. In his capacity as chair of the G20 he’ll say the global challenge is “to promote sustainable private sector-led growth and employment and to avoid government-knows-best action for action’s sake”.
- It’s fair to say the federal government is ropable about the claims aired yesterday by the ABC that some asylum seekers ended up with burns on their hands after being forced to hold on to hot engine pipes during an encounter as part of Operation Sovereign Borders. Abbott said overnight the claims appeared baseless. “Who do you believe – do you believe Australian naval personnel, or do you believe people who were trying to break Australian law? I believe Australian naval personnel,” he said. The Australian reports this morning that at some of the alleged victims had burns on their hands before the navy arrived.
- Striking while the head is still frothy on the NSW Government’s changes that will reshape Sydney nightlife, the Australian medical establishment, led by the AMA, is calling today for a national summit on the “scourge” of alcohol-related problems in Australia. Although as we report this morning there are other pressing matters, too – like the explosion in illegal steroids being seized by authorities.
- The federal government will give newlywed couples a $200 voucher for marriage counselling from July 1.
- Roger Federer looked in fine form dispatching Andy Murray in Melbourne last night to reach the semi-finals of the Australian Open. It sets up a semi-final encounter with Rafael Nadal. Federer’s match featured a controversial double-bounce call that went Fed’s way – replays made it extremely difficult to tell if the ball hit the ground first.
- South Australian premier Jay Weatherill, already on the nose ahead of an election in March, is preparing to reveal a $1 billion budget deficit before the polls.
- Credit Suisse has pegged the value of the 3-D printing market at US$800 million by 2016 – this is a 350% upward revision from previous estimates.
- ASIC will announce today it has banned two former mortgage brokers for providing false information to secure loans, and will ramp up monitoring of the sector as demand for their services rises in line with the housing market.
- Katherine Keating (yes, his daughter) is a contributing editor on The World Post, the new partnership venture between Arianna Huffington (of HuffPo) and the Berggruen Institute on Governance, launched at Davos this week.
- Snoop Lion may have trouble getting a visa in future for Australia after posting photos of himself enjoying his customary “wake ‘n’ bake” – smoking what appears to be a massive reefer at the Gold Coast Versace hotel one recent morning.
Bonus item: This family is happy they have their python back. Naw. I think.
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