Morning Mail: Coalition flies to Cop28, Westpac suffers major outage, UK nuclear site hacked

<span>Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP</span>
Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP

Morning everyone. Thousands of Westpac customers across the country were unable to access their accounts online or use their cards overnight after an outage struck the bank last night.

We also have news of how the Coalition is sending a significant delegation to the Cop28 summit in Dubai despite Peter Dutton’s jibes about a minister attending, and how the hack of the UK’s most infamous nuclear energy site was covered up. And the Cop28 president has responded to the Guardian’s revelations over his previous comments on climate science.


  • Westpac down | Westpac has now restored its online banking services after suffering a major outage during a “routine technology update” overnight.

  • Flight fright | A significant contingent of Coalition MPs including federal opposition frontbencher Bridget McKenzie (pictured) will fly out to the Cop28 climate summit in Dubai funded by two conservative groups – despite Peter Dutton mocking Chris Bowen for going.

  • Source of doubt | Major supermarkets may be misleading consumers that their salmon products are responsibly sourced, as some is produced in Tasmanian farms that are “far from sustainable”, environmental groups say.

  • Burning issue | A fire that started in a landfill site in Melbourne’s west four years ago is still burning, with residents angry that not enough is being done despite foul odours and poor air quality.

  • ‘Drug dealer’s defence’ | The Albanese government has been urged to use its leverage to encourage Japan to reduce its reliance on natural gas, and stop using the “drug dealer’s defence” of arguing that if Australia did not sell fossil fuels, someone else would.


  • Exclusive | The UK’s most hazardous nuclear site, Sellafield, has been hacked into by cyber groups closely linked to Russia and China, with the breach dating back a number of years but kept under wraps by a cover-up by senior staff. The site in Cumbria has been described as a “bottomless pit of money and despair”.

  • Gaza push | Israeli tanks, armoured personnel carriers and bulldozers have entered the southern part of the Gaza Strip near Khan Younis, as an Israeli commander claimed the army had almost completed its mission in the north.

  • Cop defence | The president of Cop28 has been forced into a fierce defence of his views on climate science after saying there was “no science out there that says that the phase-out of fossil fuel is what’s going to achieve 1.5C”.

  • ‘Out of money’ | The White House has said it is “out of money and nearly out of time” to provide more weapons to Ukraine as it tries to ward off Russia’s invasion unless Congress acts to approve additional funding and support.

  • Meta difficulty | One of the world’s leading experts on misinformation says she was fired by Harvard for criticising Meta at a time that the university was being pledged $500m from Mark Zuckerberg’s charity.

Full Story

The secret plan to ‘hook’ the developing world on oil

As the Cop28 climate summit meets in Dubai, a secret Saudi Arabian plan to get poorer countries “hooked on its harmful products” has emerged. Damian Carrington reports.


A performance artist who had federal government funding cancelled after a backlash against a work involving their self-insemination will be paid a six-figure sum in compensation and has won an extensive and detailed apology. Casey Jenkins has settled a federal court case against the Australia Council, now known as Creative Australia, for withdrawing $25,000 in funding for the exhibition Immaculate, in which Jenkins intended to livestream their monthly attempts to become pregnant.

Not the news

Diana Nguyen has wanted to be a mother for as long as she can remember, and wrote in her high school yearbook that 10 kids “sounds good enough”. Twenty years on, the actor and comedian is navigating fertility issues, a “spread” of endometriosis and a decision to freeze her eggs. From a moment of epiphany on the Camino de Santiago to injecting hormones at a K-pop concert, she describes the highs and lows.

The world of sport

  • Cricket | Viewers will have to pay to see Australia defend their World Test Championship and ODI World Cup titles under a landmark deal announced with Amazon.

  • Games doubt | The Gold Coast has withdrawn its bid to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games, leaving the future of the event in doubt.

  • Football | Manchester City have been charged by the FA after their players harangued the referee at the end of their thrilling 3-3 draw with Ange Postecoglou’s Spurs.

Media roundup

NSW public universities paid at least $147m to education agents as they compete to attract international students, the Sydney Morning Herald claims in an exclusive. Victoria’s anti-hate laws might be delayed until the second half of next year despite two neo-Nazi marches in recent weeks, the Age reports. And according to the Australian, pressure is growing to end Australia’s ban on nuclear energy.

What’s happening today

  • Economy | The Reserve Bank board will meet and make a rate announcement at 2.30pm.

  • Schools | The Australian Council for Educational Research will release two reports on how children are performing compared with other OECD countries.

Sign up

If you would like to receive this Morning Mail update to your email inbox every weekday, sign up here. And finish your day with a three-minute snapshot of the day’s main news. Sign up for our Afternoon Update newsletter here.

Prefer notifications? If you’re reading this in our app, just click here and tap “Get notifications” on the next screen for an instant alert when we publish every morning.

Brain teaser

And finally, here are the Guardian’s crosswords to keep you entertained throughout the day – with plenty more on the Guardian’s Puzzles app for iOS and Android. Until tomorrow.