Afternoon Update: Coalition divided on energy; Victoria raises age of criminal responsibility; and North Korea’s lucrative human hair trade

<span>Liberal senator Simon Birmingham declared renewables an ‘important part of the mix’.</span><span>Photograph: Sam Mooy/Getty Images</span>
Liberal senator Simon Birmingham declared renewables an ‘important part of the mix’.Photograph: Sam Mooy/Getty Images

Welcome, readers, to the Afternoon Update.

The Coalition is divided over energy policy, with a senior Liberal frontbencher today contradicting the National party’s anti-renewables push and the LNP’s leader in Queensland ruling out allowing nuclear energy in the state.

After the Nationals claimed the Coalition would “cap” investment in largescale renewable energy, the Liberal senator Simon Birmingham declared that it was an “important part of the mix”. Birmingham said renewables and other sources of power should be judged on reliability. “Which is why nuclear is important,” he said.

But in Queensland, the Liberal National party leader, David Crisafulli, ruled out repealing a law that prohibits nuclear energy in that state, despite the federal Liberals backing the energy source. Crisafulli, who hopes to be premier after the October election, said nuclear was “not on our agenda”.

Top news

  • Fallout continues over Cheng Lei incident | Anthony Albanese has denounced Chinese officials’ “clumsy” attempt to stand in between cameras and the formerly detained journalist Cheng Lei at an event yesterday. The prime minister also confirmed that Australia had complained to the Chinese embassy.

  • Victoria to raise the age of criminal responsibility | Victoria is set to become the first state in Australia to raise the age of criminal responsibility to 12 with no exceptions. Ten- and 11-year-olds displaying problematic behaviour will be provided with support services in an effort to prevent future offending.

  • NSW budget 2024 revealed | In announcing a $3.6bn deficit, the Minns government’s budget of “must-haves not nice-to-haves” leaves a raft of key social issues without new funding or a clear path to improvement. Here’s a breakdown of winners and losers and an analysis from our economics correspondent Peter Hannam.

  • Thailand on the brink of legalising same-sex marriage | If the bill passes, it will make Thailand the third territory in Asia after Taiwan and Nepal to legalise same-sex marriage. Tuesday’s vote is the culmination of years of campaigning and thwarted attempts to pass marriage equality laws.

  • ‘Hottest Games on record’ could threaten lives | The Paris Olympics could be the hottest Games on record, with leading athletes warning that the intense heat forecast could lead to athletes collapsing or in a worst-case scenario dying in competition.

  • US veteran comes out in obituary | Col Edward Thomas Ryan died on 1 June at the age of 85. Just before his death added a note to his obituary: “I must tell you one more thing. I was Gay all my life … Now that my secret is known, I’ll forever Rest in Peace.” The revelation was met with a wave of support.

  • Dua Lipa says criticism of Israeli war was for ‘greater good | The pop star made the comment after she was referenced in an Israeli drill rap song that called for violence against public figures who have expressed pro-Palestinian views. The singer said she was willing to risk a backlash over political statements after recently describing military operations in Gaza as “Israeli genocide”.

  • Ian McKellen in hospital after falling off stage | The actor was “in good spirits” and expected to make “a speedy and full recovery” after a fall during Monday evening’s performance of Player Kings, a spokesperson for the Noël Coward theatre in London has said.

  • Boston Celtics win record 18th NBA title | The Celtics beat the Dallas Mavericks 106-88 to claim a record 18th NBA title, one more than their old rivals the Los Angeles Lakers. Jaylen Brown, who had 21 points on the night, was named finals MVP.

In pictures

The nature of … a cat: ‘They smoked pipes, played dice’

And as the Guardian’s Helen Livingston discovered, “in more than one image from 1900s Japan, they look hungover”.

What they said …


“That’s dreaming.” – Andrew Forrest

The mining magnate has warned the federal Coalition’s proposed abandonment of the 2030 emissions reduction target in favour of achieving net zero by a switch to nuclear by 2049 would hit Australian exports with penalty carbon taxes. “We would have been left behind by the rest of world,” he added.

In numbers

The Australian Automobile Association said the number of road deaths rose 10.4% in the year to May.

Before bed read

How North Korea’s lucrative trade in human hair is helping it skirt the impact of sanctions

Pyongyang’s trade in wigs and false eyelashes is booming, offering a vital revenue stream to help it pursue its nuclear ambitions, writes Justin McCurry.

Daily word game

Today’s starter word is: VELL. You have five goes to get the longest word including the starter word. Play Wordiply.

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