Morning Mail: tributes follow sudden death of Simon Crean, teen’s 500 days in solitary, Australia on top in Ashes

Good morning. An Aboriginal teenager with an intellectual disability was likely locked in solitary confinement for more than 500 days at Queensland’s troubled Cleveland youth detention centre, in a situation described to a court as a “major failure in our system”, Guardian Australia can report. The teenager’s predicament was largely due to staffing issues at the centre, which were covered earlier this year by a Guardian Australia investigation that found cell-block lockdowns of young people were common and widespread.

Meanwhile, Yevgeny Prigozhin makes a rockstar’s exit from Rostov-on-Don after a bizarre weekend of revolt in Russia, and tributes have rolled in for Labor leader Simon Crean, who died suddenly after his morning exercise on a trade mission to Berlin.


  • Exclusive | Staff shortages at Cleveland youth detention centre in Queensland led to a teenager being confined to his cell for more than 20 hours a day, for almost three-quarters of his two years in detention, according to official records.

  • Simon Crean | Australian political figures have paid tribute to Simon Crean, the former Labor leader and cabinet minister. Crean, who was 74, died suddenly in Germany on Sunday.

  • Indigenous voice | The yes campaign for the referendum will offer grants of up to $15,000 for a blitz of community functions supporting the Indigenous voice. Campaigners said they hope to counter “fear and misinformation” circulating about the vote.

  • Melbourne runway | Residents of Melbourne’s west are facing stress and financial uncertainty about the development of a third runway at the city’s airport, detractors said, with a decision expected to take up to another six months.

  • Freedom of information | In the federal court today, former senator Rex Patrick will challenge the refusal of FoI requests based on ministerial portfolio changes – a practice he says is undermining transparency and accountability.


Yevgeny Prigozhin leaves in a car
Wagner mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin received a rockstar’s exit. Photograph: Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters

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Donald Trump remains a strong contender for the Republican nomination in the 2024 US presidential election, despite being indicted on criminal charges. Bruce Wolpe – author of Trump’s Australia – speaks to Jane Lee about how Trump could influence security in the Asia-Pacific region if he’s returned to power.


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Scooter, a Chinese crested with sparse hair, a ratlike tail and a tongue that just won’t stay in his mouth, has certainly overcome challenges in his seven years. When he was just a pup, a breeder brought Scooter to animal control in Tucson to have him euthanised; he’d been born with hind legs that faced backwards, a condition that seemed to make it certain that he would never walk.

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The world of sport

Australia’s women’s Test cricket team celebrate
The Australian side is hoping to maintain their stellar record against England in Test cricket. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Media roundup

Tributes to Simon Crean lead most news outlets this morning. Documents show Defence took steps to protect its workers from toxic chemicals while tens of thousands of Australians were exposed, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. The Australian covers a poll that shows the referendum to enshrine an Indigenous voice to parliament would fail if a vote were held next weekend. NSW children are filming each other in vicious schoolyard bashings and posting them online, according to the Daily Telegraph.

What’s happening today

  • Embassy challenge | The High Court is due to hear a challenge from the Russian government to Australia’s laws in its attempt to seize a block of land in Canberra for a new embassy.

  • Fresh ink | Australians with tattoos who want to donate blood can now do so with a much shorter waiting period of one week from receiving the art, following a rule change that takes effect today.

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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.