Morning mail: Trump 'improving', Packer fronts inquiry, virtual London marathon

Imogen Dewey
·6-min read
<span>Photograph: AFP/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Good morning, this is Imogen Dewey bringing you the main stories and must-reads on Monday 5 October.

Top stories

Donald Trump’s doctors say he has had two oxygen dips after his Covid-19 diagnosis last week but is “improving” and may return to the White House tomorrow. A new poll shows him tracking 14 points behind Joe Biden a month out from the election. As supporters rally outside his hospital, some without masks, a network run by a fake-news publishing father and son duo has urged supporters to prepare for violence in November. Senate Republicans are facing a shrinking window of time to confirm the president’s supreme court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett after at least three senators tested positive. As Nesrine Malik points out: if this were a show, we’d be docking points from the writers for unbelievable plot.

The Coalition is pressuring states to deliver infrastructure projects or miss out on funds. Tomorrow’s federal budget is expected to contain the largest deficit in decades – more than $200bn – which Josh Frydenberg has argued “can be paid back by growing the economy” through job creation. The new budget will roll out concessions and investment incentives for business, as well as labour market assistance to help people into employment as income support delivered through jobkeeper and jobseeker tapers. Also on the cards are tax cuts for the wealthy, which Labor opposes but hasn’t ruled out passing.

Australia’s “no jab, no pay” rule has little effect on anti-vaxxer parents, a new study shows. Experts say the policy prompts people happy to vaccinate their children but doesn’t work on those who oppose the science. The policy has been associated with a drop in the number of children catching up on their first dose of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine. But it was also associated with more children catching up on their second dose of the vaccine and on their diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, especially in lower socioeconomic status areas.

Australia

All eyes will be on the reclusive billionaire James Packer when he appears on Tuesday via video link from his luxury superyacht at the NSW inquiry into whether Crown Resorts remains suitable to hold a casino licence.

One in five Australian girls and young women have feared for their physical safety due to online threats, according to a landmark survey that revealed shocking accounts of escalating online violence against girls and women.

Senators Sarah Hanson-Young and Rex Patrick are urging Patrick’s former colleagues to sink the government’s controversial higher education funding changes, declaring that the package will harm the prospects of young people in South Australia.

Covid-19 has spread around the planet, sending billions of people into lockdown as health services struggle to cope. Find out where the virus has spread, where it has been most deadly, and how Australia compares.

The world

A damaged building
A view of the damage after Armenian army’s alleged attacks with long-range missiles in Ganja, Azerbaijan. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan has escalated dramatically after Baku accused Armenian forces of firing rockets at a city outside the contested region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

New Caledonia has narrowly rejected independence from France for second time in a referendum but campaigners for secession say the struggle for independence will go on.

Japan’s most famous fashion designer, Kenzo Takada, has died in Paris after contracting Covid-19, his spokesman said. The founder of the global Kenzo brand enriched and expanded what Paris fashion could be.

French and Italian rescue services have stepped up search efforts after floods cut off several villages near the two countries’ border, causing widespread damage and killing two people in Italy.

Recommended reads

A woman types on a laptop
‘I know that if I were to push back, I’d be told it’s a compliment. But surely a compliment is only one if it feels like praise?’ Photograph: Farknot Architect/Alamy

“Don’t call me brave for living with mental illness – it’s condescending,” writes Katerina Bryant. “I think the assumption behind brave is that, to write about mental illness, I am ignoring the shame I’m presumed to be feeling. I go to a new GP to renew my antidepressant prescription and she tells me not to be ashamed. I never mentioned shame – I asked for a medication I have been taking for years … In a strange but not uncommon turn, I am shamed for not feeling ashamed.”

An apple a day is all very well but what are the golden rules doctors really follow? A lot of the work GPs do is in the field of preventative medicine, encouraging patients to adopt the lifestyle modifications that will keep them healthy. Katie Cunningham asks four GPs for the medical advice they live by and think we could all benefit from. It’s all extremely simple.

As one expert puts it to Dan Golding: “Video game planes emit real carbon.” Video games can seem to offer radical relief from this world, especially in 2020, but they’re also deeply implicated in the problems we collectively face. The carbon footprint of making, manufacturing, buying and playing video games isn’t something many players think about. And one change in particular is needed for the industry to become more sustainable.

Listen

Before next month’s US elections, the fight for Florida is getting ugly. Only a small proportion of the critical swing state’s electorate is up for grabs – but in a tight presidential race they could count for everything. In this episode of Full Story, the Guardian’s US southern bureau chief, Oliver Laughland, talks about his road trip through the Sunshine State, where he found locals who used to live harmoniously now viciously divided.

Full Story is Guardian Australia’s daily news podcast. Subscribe for free on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or any other podcasting app.

Sport

Jannik Sinner has beaten Alexander Zverev to reach the French Open quarter-finals. Just seven short years ago the 19-year-old’s gaze was fixed on the snowy mountains of South Tyrol, not Paris: he grew up as one of Italy’s best young skiers and played tennis a couple of times each week for fun.

Yesterday was “the strangest London marathon ever” as 43,000 people from 109 countries turned out to run the event “virtually”, instead of on the capital’s streets.

Media roundup

Melbourne’s new trains are being built in China by a belt and road firm blacklisted by the US government, the Age reports. There’s still “huge support” for a hard border in WA, says the West Australian. A $50m hotel development in Tasmania could spell doom for one of the state’s rarest plants, reports the Mercury. And, according to the Australian, tomorrow’s budget will see the nation’s official debt ceiling balloon beyond $1.1tn.

Coming up

Professors Peter Doherty and Sharon Lewin will speak at the Melbourne Press Club via Zoom today on Australia’s public health response to Covid-19.

Extinction Rebellion groups are planning civil disobedience in NSW, ACT, Victoria, Queensland, Tasmania and WA.

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