Good afternoon. An aide to Coalition senator Linda Reynolds has told the federal court she had “bad vibes on Bruce [Lehrmann]” and that he was not the “sort of person I would have socialised with”. Nikita Irvine, the former aide-de-camp to Reynolds, said this was based on “women’s intuition”.
Irvine took to the witness stand today in Lehrmann’s defamation trial against Network Ten and Lisa Wilkinson.
Two security guards who worked at Parliament House the night the alleged rape took place also gave evidence, with one saying Brittany Higgins and Bruce Lehrmann were “moderately” intoxicated when they arrived at Parliament House, and Higgins “did stumble a little bit”.
Israel and Hamas fight house-to-house | Israeli forces say they have surrounded the Gaza house of the top Hamas leader, Yahya Sinwar, as intense urban fighting rages. The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry says 1,207 Palestinians have been killed since the collapse of a temporary ceasefire at the beginning of the month. And the UN secretary general, António Guterres, invoked a rarely used clause in the UN charter to raise the issue on his own initiative before the security council, to warn that the conflict “may aggravate existing threats to international peace and security”.
Industrial relations reforms pass | The Albanese government has struck a deal with independent senators David Pocock and Jacqui Lambie to pass the reforms. The bill cracks down on labour hire and wage theft and provides better support for first responders with PTSD. Read about the changes.
NDIS review urges dozens of changes | The review’s primary findings centre on returning the scheme to its original intended purposes – focusing “first and foremost” on providing support to those with complex needs and “functional impairment rather than medical diagnosis”. The federal government has been under pressure to rein in the multibillion-dollar scheme’s exponential costs after national cabinet earlier this year agreed to cap its growth rate at 8% from 2026.
Three people killed in Las Vegas shooting | Police have confirmed the suspected shooter at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus “has been located and is deceased”.
Cyclone Jasper may reach category five | The slow-moving tropical cyclone is forecast to strengthen, before weakening slightly and heading for Queensland next week.
Elon Musk allegedly fired Twitter executive for raising security concerns | A former executive at Twitter, now called X, has filed a lawsuit claiming he was fired for objecting to budget cuts after Elon Musk acquired the company. The executive said Musk’s proposed slashing would prevent the company from complying with a US government settlement over its security practices.
Steve Jobs’ US$4 cheque written in 1976 auctioned off | The cheque the Apple co-founder wrote to Radio Shack in 1976 was auctioned off at Boston-based RR Auction for more than US$36,000.
It’s been a crappy year in Australia’s parliament. Won’t somebody think of the cleaners? Cartoon by Fiona Katauskas.
What they said …
“What we are witnessing is Israel’s breach of international humanitarian law, the ethnic cleansing of Gaza, and the renewed expulsion of the Palestinian people from their ancestral homelands.” – Maria Vamvakinou, Labor MP
The member for Calwell, and co-chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Palestine, delivered a very strongly worded speech to the House of Representatives today.
The Israeli government has defended its military operations in Gaza, saying it is focused on eliminating Hamas after the group’s 7 October attacks, and maintains it is acting in compliance with international humanitarian law.
First Nations languages will be given a push in schools, with a new federal program to offer up to 60 educators in primary schools across the nation.
Before bed read
Our monthly fruit-and-veg guide is out! What to buy this December? Nectarines. What to avoid? Watermelon.
Daily word game
Today’s starter word is: BOYS. You have five goes to get the longest word including the starter word. Play Wordiply.
If you would like to receive this Afternoon Update to your email inbox every weekday, sign up here. And start your day with a curated breakdown of the key stories you need to know. Sign up for our Morning Mail newsletter here.