Good morning, it’s Tuesday, January 25. Here’s what you need to get going today.
Here’s the lowdown:
- DFAT’s travel advice was last night upgraded to “do not travel” — the highest level.
- An estimated 100,000 Russian troops have massed near the border with Ukraine, but Russia says it does not plan to invade.
- NATO outlined a series of potential troop and ship deployments, Britain said it would withdraw some diplomats from Kyiv, and Ireland warned that upcoming Russian war games off its coast would be unwelcome.
- NATO has defended sending more resources into eastern Europe, arguing it’s a proportionate response to fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.
- And Russia is continuing to send military vehicles into Belarus for joint drills, as tensions rise between Russia and Ukraine on their shared border.
One thing you’ll be hearing about today: Djokovic *could* play in France
- The tennis star could now be allowed to defend his French Open title under the latest COVID-19 rules adopted by the French government — even if he’s not vaccinated when the Grand Slam starts in May.
- After he lost his fight to stay in Australia, French Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu said that the country’s vaccine pass would become compulsory to enter stadiums, theatre or exhibitions, “for all spectators, practitioners, French or foreign professionals.”
- But under the law that came in on Monday, anyone who has proof they tested positive within the previous six months is exempt from having to show a vaccine pass — opening the door for Djokovic.
News while you snoozed
Let’s get you up to speed.
- The Aboriginal flag can now be used freely by anyone after its designer transferred the copyright to the government — it couldn’t be used legally before without paying a fee or asking permission.
- Julian Assange has been granted the chance to challenge a decision to extradite him to the United States to face charges. Judges in the UK found that his case contained a point of law of general public importance — so he can appeal to their highest court
- Over a dozen soldiers in Burkina Faso have declared on state television that the military now controls the country, after detaining the president during a mutiny. The army says it has ousted President Roch Kabore — the government had become increasingly unpopular for failing to deal with corruption and an Islamist insurgency.
The news Australia is searching for
- Alex de Minaur: The Aussie was beaten in straight sets by 11th seed Jannik Sinner 7-6 (7-3), 6-3, 6-4. But he said it wasn’t all bad news (it was his best finish at the Open yet): “I came up short today, but happy with where my level is going. It’s definitely a big improvement from last year. I’m excited for what’s to come.”
- Dow Jones: The US index dropped more than 1,000 points as financial markets buckled in anticipation of inflation-fighting measures from the Federal Reserve and the possibility of conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Stocks extended their three-week decline on Wall Street and put the benchmark S&P 500 on track to close in what the market considers a correction — a drop of 10 per cent or more from its most recent high.
OK so ICYMI, Scott Morrison’s account on the ubiquitous Chinese language messaging app was taken over by a Chinese company.
They renamed it “Australian-Chinese New Life” and promise to provide tips to new arrivals from China.
But the chair of parliament’s powerful intelligence committee, James Paterson, has blamed the Chinese government and said the episode was evidence of foreign interference in Australia’s domestic politics.
Huang Aipeng told the ABC that he bought the account in November last year from its original owner, a Chinese national from Fuzhou who is registered only as Mr Ji.
Mr Morrison’s account had some 75,000 followers and Mr Huang said it was this fact that convinced him to buy the account from Mr Ji.
“He [Mr Ji] didn’t tell me who was using the account,” said Mr Huang.
He says he is planning to delete all the content posted by Mr Morrison.
That’s it for now
We’ll be back later on with more of the good stuff.