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Morning mail: crisis for older renters, defence force cyber fears, call for republic ‘ambition’

Good morning. Ukraine’s surprise counterattack against Russia is pushing ahead despite a rain of Russian missiles in retaliation, Sweden’s election is on a knife-edge with the far right a whisker in front in the count, and in Australia a report has revealed the struggles and instability older renters face as housing costs rise.

Nearly three-quarters of renters aged over 50 fear an expensive and unstable future with spiralling housing costs resulting in insecurity, according to a new Anglicare report. The report, released today, reveals housing costs are the biggest barrier to older renters staying settled in the same place as they age – and recommends strengthening renters’ rights, government support for long-term lease trials, building social housing specifically for older people, and piloting more equitable, innovative housing models.

Insider cyber threats pose a “significant” risk to Australia’s defence force, an incoming brief to the Albanese government warns, citing the risk of malicious employees accessing systems and threatening security. Speaking of the ADF, it turns out (according to the data) that an average of just 30 personnel were deployed to the country’s aged care facilities each week while the sector buckled under the latest Covid wave.

The Greens senator Lidia Thorpe, who was forced to retake her oath of allegiance after calling the Queen a coloniser, has called on the government to show “ambition” for an Indigenous treaty and a republic in the wake of Elizabeth II’s death. Jacqui Lambie has walked back her support for Pauline Hanson, after initially applauding her attack on Greens senator Mehreen Faruqi over comments made after the monarch’s death. And as the Queen’s children watch over her coffin ahead of her lying in state in London (where there will absolutely be queues), the role of the monarchy is also under scrutiny in Scotland.

(Meanwhile, if you’re wondering, Prince Andrew will be unlikely to resume royal duties under King Charles III.)


Counsels assisting the coroner Peggy Dwyer, Patrick Coleridge and solicitor Maria Walz (centre) arrive for the inquest into the death of Kumanjayi Walker
Counsels assisting the coroner, Peggy Dwyer and Patrick Coleridge, and solicitor Maria Walz (centre) arrive for the inquest into the death of Kumanjayi Walker. Photograph: Aaron Bunch/AAP

The three-month inquest examining the events surrounding the shooting death of Warlpiri man Kumanjayi Walker has been told that “disturbing” texts between officers involved are relevant. Messages exchanged among police – inadmissible during the criminal trial – “reveal disturbing attitudes towards Aboriginal people”, the inquest heard, and should be able to be considered by the coroner.

A new study has questioned the funding of mental health service Headspace amid a lack of evidence it improves youth outcomes. But the Headspace CEO Jason Trethowan has defended the organisation’s services, describing the paper as “biased” and “misleading”.

The federal court has upheld the finding that a company part-owned by the former energy minister Angus Taylor illegally cleared critically endangered New South Wales grasslands. Jam Land has been ordered to pay the government’s costs after an appeal was dismissed.

The former Bond star George Lazenby has been forced to apologise for “creepy” and “homophobic” comments made during an on-stage interview on the weekend, and axed from a national tour of The Music of James Bond.

The world

Residents hide in a shelter in the centre of Kharkiv, illuminated by a candle, due to the blackout caused by a series of Russian strikes.
Residents hide in a shelter in the centre of Kharkiv, illuminated by a candle, due to the blackout caused by a series of Russian strikes. Photograph: Alessio Mamo/The Guardian

Ukraine’s forces have continued to press their counterattack in Kharkiv, and Ukraine claims Russian military command has stopped sending new units into the country. The Kremlin risks anger and a possible backlash from nationalist and pro-military bloggers if it steps back, but faces a potentially dangerous path if it decides to go down the road of escalation.

Sweden’s future is balanced on a knife-edge as the country awaits a final election tally, in which a loose bloc of rightwing parties led by the far-right Sweden Democrats holds the slimmest of majorities. The final picture comes on Wednesday.

A UN expert has described the “staggering repression” of women and girls in Afghanistan, as the UN mission in the country accused Taliban authorities of harassing its Afghan female employees.

Lawyers for Donald Trump asked a US federal judge on Monday to deny the justice department’s request to regain access to some documents the FBI seized from the former president’s Mar-a-Lago resort and restart the criminal investigation into his unauthorised retention of government documents.

A cockatoo pushes a brick off a bin lid
‘It’s a lot of fun watching a cockatoo pushing a brick off – you almost sense the satisfaction it gets as it does it’: Dr Richard Major on clever cockatoos. Photograph: Barbara Klump / Current Biology

Cockatoos and humans are locked in what Australian researchers have described as “an interspecies innovation arms race”. Sydney residents are devising increasingly sophisticated ways to keep the highly intelligent but “bloody annoying” birds out of household waste, from bricks and sneakers to zip-tied water bottles, spikes and rubber snakes.

“I’m a sucker for a royal romance and there are few greater love stories than Charles and Camilla,” writes Kate Waldegrave, an ardent fan of the new king. Among her prized possessions: a commemorative plate, a 500-piece jigsaw puzzle she bought in an op-shop to mark their wedding, and a letter from Charles, thanking her for her support of Camilla.

The literary world – and I – are mourning the death of Javier Marías, one of Spain’s major novelists and a perennial candidate for the Nobel prize, who died this week shortly before his 71st birthday. He was “modern literature’s great philosopher of everyday absurdity,” writes Alberto Manguel.


Australia will accept 35,000 more permanent migrants a year to try to fill skills shortages in industries such as engineering, health and agriculture. But are we doing enough to attract and retain the people we need in the global war for talent? In today’s episode of Full Story, economist Gabriela D’Souza and skilled migrant Benine Muriithi speak with Jane Lee about how migrants view us.

Full Story

Full Story


Full Story is Guardian Australia’s daily news podcast. Subscribe for free on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or any other podcasting app.


Two of the weekend’s biggest Premier League’s matches – Chelsea v Liverpool and Manchester United v Leeds – have been called off because of policing issues related to the Queen’s funeral.

F1 team chiefs and the FIA have met for a summit over the Italian GP safety car controversy.

Media roundup

A record number of students are receiving early offers as universities bypass Atar results, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. Australian shares are set to open higher today, according to the AFR. And the Daily Telegraph has revealed the Australians invited to the Queen’s funeral.

And if you’ve read this far …

Step on it! While 10,000 steps each day is the “sweet spot” to help lower the risk of disease and death, a faster pace can have even greater benefits, new research has found. Walking briskly is beneficial for all health outcomes including dementia, heart disease, cancer and death.

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