Morning Mail: Netanyahu rejects any two-state plan, 3.39am finish in tennis, weed highways

<span>Photograph: Abir Sultan/Reuters</span>
Photograph: Abir Sultan/Reuters

Morning everyone. Benjamin Netanyahu is defying Joe Biden over any postwar peace plan, saying Israel will only agree to a deal that would see the country gain security control over the entire Gaza Strip. The Israel prime minister told a news conference on Thursday: “In any future arrangement … Israel needs security control [of] all territory west of the Jordan. This collides with the idea of sovereignty. What can you do?”

In other news, the Socceroos are into the last 16 of the Asian Cup in Qatar, and it was a late, late show at Melbourne Park.


  • Night shift | The two-time Australian Open finalist Daniil Medvedev (pictured) fought back from two sets down to win a five-setter against Finnish player Emil Ruusuvuori in a match that ended at 3.39am at Melbourne Park.

  • Aged care concern | Almost 150 aged care homes that did not meet minimum standards for safety and care were awarded four or five star compliance ratings last year, sparking concerns families are potentially being misled.

  • Dole woe | Welfare advocates have renewed calls for the Labor government to drop the work for the dole program after a major not-for-profit announced it was cutting ties with the scheme over concerns it pushes participants into hardship.

  • Meta mute? | Meta has downplayed concerns from Australia’s online safety regulator that Facebook and Instagram censored Palestinian voices, despite ongoing concern that users are still being restricted.

  • Energy boost | A spurt of renewable energy and battery approvals means New South Wales can avoid electricity shortages without paying millions to keep Australia’s biggest coal-fired power plant open, a new report argues.


  • Netanyahu digs in | Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has told the US president, Joe Biden, that he opposes the establishment of a Palestinian state as part of any postwar scenario and has again vowed to continue Israel’s offensive until Hamas is defeated. It comes as a new wave of violence sweeps the West Bank after a series of Israeli raids. A Guardian investigation has revealed multiple corroborating pieces of evidence pointing to at least six sexual assaults during the Hamas attack on Israel on 7 October.

  • Houthi call | The leader of Yemen’s Houthi movement has urged the Arab world to boycott Israeli goods as he claimed US and UK missile attacks launched on his country showed his group’s own attacks were working.

  • ‘I’ll murder you’ | New York Democratic congressman Jerry Nadler said he has been in communication with Capitol police and the FBI about a reported death threat from the far-right activist and Trump ally Roger Stone.

  • Peregrine plunge | The doomed Nasa moon lander Peregrine is expected to make a fiery re-entry back to Earth today, while Japan’s “moon sniper” vessel is on track to make a lunar landing tonight.

  • Meta bucks | Sheryl Sandberg is to step down from the board of Facebook’s parent company, Meta, nearly two years after quitting her executive role at the business. We look back on how she became a $2bn woman.

Full Story

The cases against Donald Trump

Our US political investigations reporter Hugo Lowell discusses what impact the various lawsuits facing the former president might have on his chances of getting back into the White House.


“Everything’s just growing,” says Darren Gaffney, a weed sprayer, as he assesses the mounting problem of invasive weed species brought on by unusually large amounts of rain in his region of New South Wales. The town of Cowra has spread pictures of the worst culprits – such as tropical soda apple, mouse-ear-hawkweed and St John’s wort – as part of a community effort to root out the weeds as they appear in people’s gardens and before they can choke crops. “Weeds are a huge cost, they’re going to break the country if we don’t get on top of them,” says Gaffney.

Not the news

After we published our list of the best beach reads, we asked you for your suggestions. They run the gamut of genres from Lauren Nossett’s “tense as hell” campus crime thriller The Professor to Barbra Streisand’s autobiography, and from Steven Erikson’s fantasy tale Gardens of the Moon to Kate Atkinson’s latest Jackson Brodie mystery Case Histories.

The world of sport

  • Asian Cup | A smart finish by Jackson Irvine (pictured) was enough for Australia to beat Syria in the Asian Cup Group B game and send them through to the last 16, but there’s plenty room for improvement after a dour display in Qatar.

  • Australian Open | It was a comeback too far for Ajla Tomljanović who took Jeļena Ostapenko to a third set but couldn’t overcome the powerful 11th seed. And after Thanasi Kokkinakis fell at the second hurdle at Melbourne Park for the third time in four years, there are only two Australians left in the singles competition – Alex de Minaur and Storm Hunter.

  • Rugby union | The former Ireland coach Joe Schmidt is set to replace Eddie Jones in the top job in Australian rugby with an official announcement expected in the coming days.

Media roundup

Anthony Albanese’s second visit in a week to Dunkley in outer Melbourne suggests to the Australian that the byelection race is heating up. Australia’s wealthiest street in Point Piper has been hit by a spate of car thefts, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. Monash University has apologised after academics were inadvertently exposed to burlesque dancers at a Christmas party, the Herald Sun reports. The Queensland premier, Steven Miles, says the government may have made a mistake by agreeing to rebuild the Gabba for the 2032 Olympics, the Courier Mail says.

What’s happening today

  • Sydney | An interlocutory hearing in Fortnite creator Epic’s case against Apple and Google.

  • Melbourne | David Shrigley’s Tennis Ball Exchange installation is at the NGV.

  • New South Wales | The Tamworth country music festival begins.

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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.