Author: Richard Parkin
North Korea will be offered unprecedented security guarantees when Kim Jong-un meets Donald Trump in Singapore, the US secretary of state has said on the eve of today’s summit. Mike Pompeo did not specify what assurances Trump would offer Kim but made clear they would go even further than a 2005 agreement in which the US pledged not to attack North Korea with nuclear or conventional weapons. The White House said Trump would begin his meeting with Kim with a one-on-one meeting. No advisers or aides will be there initially, only translators. On Monday Kim had a night tour of the city, guided by Singapore’s foreign minister.
What is likely to emerge from today’s meeting? The difficulty in any agreement with the US is not so much reaching it but making it stick, writes Julian Borger. But “just conceivably” Trump’s crude style could be the one diplomacy Kim understands, says Simon Jenkins. Follow our live coverage of all the developments in Singapore from 10am AEST.
A damning independent report into child protection in New South Wales has found the system is “ineffective and unsustainable”, its escalating costs are “crisis-driven” and it is “failing to improve long-term outcomes for children and families” with complex needs. The opposition has demanded the families minister, Pru Goward, be stood down pending an investigation into why she failed to release the report for more than 18 months after it was delivered. “Why did the government use taxpayer funds to commission a report into a broken child protection system only to do everything possible to bury the findings?” said Labor’s Tania Mihailuk. “It’s grossly irresponsible and the minister should be stood aside.”
Spain has allowed a humanitarian rescue vessel carrying 629 refugees to dock in Valencia,ending an impasse after Italy’s new far-right interior minister blocked the ship from entering its ports. Matteo Salvini has claimed the outcome as a huge victory, as well as a message sent to the EU. “We have opened a front in Brussels,” said Salvini. “We are contacting the European commission so that it can fulfil its duties towards Italy that have never been respected.” More than 600,000 people have reached Italy by boat from Africa in the past five years, and it is estimated as many as 500,000 remain in the country.
Australia will not reach the greenhouse gas emissions cuts it promised under the Paris climate agreement with pollution reduction targets of either the government or Labor, according to the Australia Institute. Its analysis finds the government’s target of a 26-28% reduction on 2005 levels is “inadequate according to any recognised principle-based approach” and the Labor target of a 45% reduction is “the bare minimum necessary”. The research says in the context of the global carbon budget, neither policy would see Australia doing its fair share.
Australia’s race discrimination commissioner says Australia is “flirting with danger” in the debate over Chinese influence in its democracy, warning that antagonism towards state-sponsored interference could spill over “into a general suspicion of Chinese Australians”. In an intensification of a public warning delivered earlier this year, Tim Soutphommasane will use the opportunity of a community forum on Tuesday to spell out his concerns with the Chinese influence debate, and will also blast the recent “panic” from politicians over African youth crime in Melbourne.
With the Socceroos preparing to take on France in their opening game at the World Cup on Saturday, Mike Ticher relives the eight minutes in Kaiserslautern in 2006 that left an indelible mark on Australia’s collective footballing consciousness.
Germany, Brazil, Spain, France and Argentina may be the favourites in Russia, but Belgium’s once-in-a-generation seam of talent threatens to upset the applecart. Donald McRae speaks in depth with manager Roberto Martinez.
Sarvenaz, a refugee on a five-year protection visa, lost her special benefits payment the day she enrolled at university. “They actually didn’t tell me, they just cut it off without explanation,” Sarvenaz says. Last year the government announced an end to benefits and other services for several thousand asylum seekers on bridging visas. Despite their willingness to work, many have poor English, serious health issues and overseas qualifications that are not recognised here. Helen Davidson reports on how thousands of asylum seekers have struggled to support themselves.
The past two years have been a good demonstration of the importance of public sector spending in keeping the economy growing when the private sector has been weak, writes Greg Jericho. Since the start of 2016, the public sector has been almost as vital to the economy as during the GFC, he says, and demonstrates yet again that governments do create jobs and economic growth.
George is a farmer and former bull rider, rough around the edges, a man of few words. As the “hero” selected for a Queer Eye makeover, the cattle farmer from Yass is the Australian connection to a worldwide sensation set to launch its second series on Netflix this week. Steph Harmon documents the Fab Five’s intervention as the reality TV show with loftier ambitions films a special episode in country New South Wales.