Morning mail: Civilians flee Turkish offensive, coalmine warning, Socceroos triumph | Australia news

Morning mail: Civilians flee Turkish offensive, coalmine warning, Socceroos triumph | Australia news




Good morning, this is Helen Sullivan bringing you the main stories and must-reads on Friday 11 October.

Top stories

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has threatened to “open the gates” for Syrian refugees in his country to migrate to Europe if the continent’s leaders label Turkey’s military campaign in north-eastern Syria an “occupation”. Erdoğan warned EU states he would “open the gates and send 3.6 million refugees your way” during a combative speech at a meeting of lawmakers from his Justice and Development party. He rebuked critics of the operation in Saudi Arabia and Egypt and said Isis fighters who were captured would be imprisoned in Turkey if their home countries refused to claim them. As he spoke, Turkish soldiers and their allies were clashing with the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces in border towns during the second day of an offensive that has caused tens of thousands of civilians to flee their homes. “Betrayal leaves the bitterest taste,” one Kurdish man waiting at a roadside depot told the Guardian correspondent Martin Chulov of the US decision to abandon the country’s Kurds. “I am 63 years old and I have never seen anything like this. Before there was regime oppression and now we are getting betrayal. This is worse.”

Labor has blasted Michaelia Cash for refusing to say how much taxpayers are paying The Block star Scott Cam to promote vocational education in his new role as “national careers ambassador”. At a press conference the skills and employment minister said Cam’s pay for the 15-month role was “commercial in confidence” but reflected the fact the government had secured “one of the highest profile people in Australia”. Labor and the unions suggested the Coalition should stop hiring “celebrities” and properly fund Tafe and apprentices instead, claiming $3bn has been cut from vocational education since it came to office.

WaterNSW has objected to the expansion of a coalmine under Sydney’s drinking water catchment because the project would cause unacceptable impacts, including the loss of 3.3bn litres of water a year. The government-owned water corporation has also warned that the mining company South32’s proposal to extend the operations at its Dendrobium coking coalmine could cause cracking in the walls of two dams that supply water to the Illawarra and Macarthur regions, and may harm 26 endangered coastal swamps. In a submission, WaterNSW says the extension of the mine in the Illawarra region should not proceed in its current form.

World

Boris Johnson and Leo Varadkar



Boris Johnson and Leo Varadkar surprised EU officials with their upbeat assessment

Boris Johnson and Leo Varadkar have agreed they can see a “pathway to a possible Brexit deal”, while acknowledging there are still challenges ahead if an agreement is to be struck at next week’s EU summit.

The UK’s most influential conservative thinktank, the Institute of Economic Affairs, has published at least four books, as well as multiple articles and papers, over two decades suggesting human-made climate change may be uncertain or exaggerated.

Jewish community leaders in Germany have criticised the police’s “scandalously” slow response to a terrorist attack on a synagogue. A gunman in military outfit went on a rampage in the city of Halle, killing two people, with further bloodshed averted only because the attacker’s homemade firearms malfunctioned.

The decision to award Peter Handke the 2019 Nobel laureateship has been widely criticised by other authors including Salman Rushdie. Poland’s Olga Tokarczuk won the 2018 medal after last year’s award was postponed.

More than 3,000 Iranian women have crammed into a special section of a Tehran stadium to watch a World Cup qualifier against Cambodia, after they were allowed to buy match tickets for the first time in four decades.

Opinion and analysis

A teacher in front of a classroom



Australian teachers are exhausted and suffering burnout. Photograph: Alamy

Studies show that the rate of anxiety, stress and burnout for teachers is higher than the national average. “With 80% of teachers in Australian schools reporting to have experienced bullying or harassment from students and parents, it’s not surprising our teachers are exhausted,” writes Jane Mueller. “We’ve evolved into a society that focuses more on our rights than our responsibilities. When future generations do not perform as we think they should, it’s easiest to lay blame on teachers … Teachers are expected to do much more than their vocation originally called for.”

Whoever hacked Rebekah Vardy’s Instagram was obviously never at Baden-Baden, writes Marina Hyde of the football wives drama that has dazzled the internet this week. “The 2006 World Cup was the ’Nam of It-bags and hair extensions, and every true Wag succubus was forged in its fires. It was where I saw Victoria Beckham wearing high heels IN a swimming pool. It was where I watched Elen Rives dance on a bar table singing I Will Survive. It was where a slightly delayed flight forced Victoria to observe to the FA: ‘A dog gets better treatment than this.’ It was where Sven-Göran Eriksson was still giving players – billeted in another hotel – what was known in tabloid terms as a ‘nookie pass’. THAT is heritage. You can’t buy it, even if – as Rebekah’s denial put it – ‘not being funny but I don’t need the money’.”

Sport

Jamie Maclaren in action for the Socceroos against Nepal.



Jamie Maclaren in action for the Socceroos against Nepal. Photograph: Reuters

The Socceroos thrashed Nepal 5-0 on Thursday night but they still left their World Cup qualifier frustrated.

The Wallabies’ final World Cup game against Georgia tonight is a good opportunity to hone their attacking and defensive structures for the looming quarter-final.

Cricket Australia has announced a “game-changing” parental leave policy that aims to support pregnant players and their families.

Thinking time: Kortney Olson is crushing it

Kortney Olson



Kortney Olson, Australia’s women’s armwrestling champion and powerlifter, says: ‘I love muscle. That’s just my thing’

A woman in activewear crosses the street towards a car with blacked-out windows and no licence plates and says to the man inside, “Did you just catcall me?” When he reluctantly confirms that he did, she says cheerfully, “I’m just going to tell you right now, a lot of women get intimidated when you do that … Most women are like, this motherfucker’s going to throw me in the back of the car, you know what I mean? I dress like this because it’s hot as fuck and I work out really hard. Pow. I’m strong and powerful and I’d fuck you up. But what I’m saying is, a lot of women get really intimidated by catcalling. You got me? So that’s what’s up. What’s your name?”

She fist-bumps him. “Jason, I’m Kortney. It’s nice to meet you. Take care.” Jason probably didn’t know he’d chosen Kortney Olson to hiss at. She’s the bodybuilder who smashes watermelons between her thighs and is an Australian women’s armwrestling champion. Her Instagram page is full of powerlifting feats – and the occasional candid video like her meeting with Jason. Olson benchpresses men like Jason.

Media roundup

The ABC reports that a university academic who spoke out about international student admission standards and welfare is being counter-sued for damages by his employer after appearing on a Four Corners program. Tools down if workers hot, sticky is the Australian’s front-page headline this morning, on a story about a reported CFMEU-backed policy “allowing Brisbane construction workers to stop work when the temperature hits 28C and humidity reaches 75 percent.” The Australian Financial Review reports that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission head, Rod Sims, “has suggested big electricity companies are deliberately delaying investment in new fast-start gas power stations to defend their own profits”.

Coming up

Scott Morrison will hold discussions with the Fijian leader, Frank Bainimarama, in Suva and attend the prime minister’s XIII rugby league matches.

The federal court in Melbourne will deliver a judgment on the lawfulness of police raids on two Australian Workers’ Union offices.

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