Morning Mail: Pandora Papers, Sydney Family’s Covid Battle, Quest For …

Good morning. The biggest ever leak of offshore data has exposed the financial secrets of the world’s high and powerful. A new report shows that people in insecure, lower-paid locaiongs have been hardest hit by the pandemic. And Donald Trump has asked a court to force Twitter to restore his account.

The secret deals and hidden assets of some of the world’s richest and most powerful people have been revealed in the biggest trove of leaked offshore data in history. Branded the Pandora papers, the cache includes 11.9m files from companies hired by wealthy clients to create offshore structures and trusts in tax havens such as Panama, Dubai, Monaco, Switzerland and the Cayman Islands. More than 600 journalists have sifted by the files as part of a enormous global investigation.

The Pandora Papers revealed the details of how Asiaciti Trust, the Singaporean offshore sets provider established by the Australian accountant Graeme Briggs, handled its business relationship with high-profile Russians. The documents show alleged failings in Asiaciti’s compliance with anti-money-laundering and counter-terrorism funding (AML-CTF) rules. They show Asiaciti’s regulator, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), cited Asiaciti’s handling of some transactions involving two of the Russians as examples of the business failing to adequately corroborate the source of its clients’ funds.

Casual workers bore the brunt of Australia’s Covid-19 lockdowns in 2021, with a new report finding they were eight times more likely to lose work than long-lasting staff. The report by the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work also found casuals were not being compensated for their “insecure” work, with median hourly wages 26% lower than long-lasting staff despite also lacking other entitlements like paid leave. The report will play into political argue over whether the Coalition’s industrial relations changes are encouraging casual work in Australia and whether Covid income supports are being withdrawn too soon.

The scathing disability royal commission report, which was released last Monday, warned state governments against opening up at 70% vaccination if all people with disability hadn’t had the chance to receive the jab. While some 90% of aged care residents have received one measure, the rate is lower among disability group residents: 67.5% are fully vaccinated, and 75.9% have gotten one jab. It method nearly a quarter keep unprotected. It wasn’t supposed to be so. Here’s how Australians with disability fell from the front of the vaccine queue, “de-prioritised” in favour of aged care residents.


Najwa Rizk tells Guardian Australia of her battle with Covid, and of her husband Sayed who didn’t survive. Photograph: Carly Earl/The Guardian

Before her family’s battle with Covid, Sydney resident Nicole Rizk “never in a million years” expected to contract the virus, let alone lose her father to it. Now, when Nicole looks at Covid numbers, she thinks instead of how many people went by the anxiety, the depression and the helplessness that her family went by.

The NSW treasurer, Dominic Perrottet, looks set to become the next premier of the state at the age of 39 after gathering the sustain of his own right faction and meaningful moderate powerbrokers.

While Melbourne escaped major damage in last month’s extent 5.9 earthquake, experts say thorough building inspections are needed to check for any undetected problems. According to scientists who assessed the impact of the September earthquake, building in Melbourne may be unprotected to “meaningful damage” already with low seismic activity.

The world

Donald Trump’s tweets often inspired ridicule and anger but also posted content that was racist and dangerously provocative.
Donald Trump’s tweets often inspired ridicule and anger but also posted content that was racist and dangerously provocative. Photograph: Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images

Donald Trump has asked a federal estimate in Florida to force Twitter to restore his account, which the company suspended in January following the attack on the US Capitol in Washington DC. Trump’s attorneys argue that Twitter is censoring him in violation of his First Amendment rights, according to the motion filed in US district court in Miami.

at the minimum five civilians have been killed in a bomb blast at the entrance to a Kabul mosque on Sunday, a Taliban official said, the deadliest attack in the Afghan capital since US and allied forces left at the end of August.

A small private plane carrying six passengers and a crew of two has crashed into a vacant, two-storey office building in a Milan suburb, killing everyone onboard. The plane was heading for the island of Sardinia, officials said. RAI state TV said the passengers were believed to be French.

Recommended reads

‘Lampshade’ by Australian aerial photographer Brad Walls.
‘Lampshade’ by Australian aerial photographer Brad Walls. Photograph: Brad Walls

Award-winning Australian aerial photographer Brad Walls has released a new series titled Detached, in Harmony, drawing inspiration from the pandemic in addition as from renowned 1940s fact photographer Clifford Coffin. Like many, Walls has experienced how distant and repetitive life has become in times of Covid. He presents these concepts by repetition, symmetry and negative space. The Sydney-based artist plans to stage a solo exhibition for Detached, in Harmony next year.

The phrase “a pandemic of the unvaccinated” has become an attractive outlook because implicit in the phrase is the corresponding comfort that “the vaccinated” are safe. But it is not true, and everyone is nevertheless at risk, Kate Hennessy writes in her op-ed about her anxieties during the time her dad was in ICU for a heart bypass.

The right way to manage email inboxes is arguably as contentious as politics, money or religion. As emails loom omnipresent in our connected lives, is the quest for Inbox Zero – keeping the inbox at zero unread emails – a noble pursuit or an unwinnable war?

Lately, the internet has been obsessed with monster garlic recipes pitched at the niche audience that rides that delicious line between garlic lover and pimple popper extraction porn. But this love for garlic may become a social issue. Mark Best offers a recipe for ajo blanco, sometimes called “white gazpacho”, as an different.


Singer R Kelly was found guilty of racketeering and sex trafficking offences. He may face life in prison.
Singer R Kelly was found guilty of racketeering and sex trafficking offences. He may confront life in prison. Photograph: Tannen Maury/EPA

More than 20 years after the first allegations of sexual violence and abuse against R Kelly, he has been convicted on racketeering and sex trafficking charges. In this episode of complete Story, Nosheen Iqbal is joined by the Guardian US journalist Lauren Aratani, who has reported on the case in New York. And she speaks to Jim DeRogatis, the music critic who was tipped off to allegations against Kelly in 2000, wrote the first major story detailing claims against him and has pursued the story ever since.

complete Story

The conviction of R Kelly

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


Penrith Panthers celebrate their 2021 NRL premiership after defeating South Sydney Rabbitohs in the grand final in Brisbane.
Penrith Panthers celebrate their 2021 NRL premiership after defeating South Sydney Rabbitohs in the grand final in Brisbane. Photograph: Dave Hunt/AAP

Penrith Panthers have edged past South Sydney 14-12 to win the NRL grand final for the first time since 2003. Many would have bet against the Panthers making it this far when they lost to this very opponent in the qualifying finals three weeks ago. But, Emma Kemp writes, after they eked past the Eels, they dismantled the Storm. Once Melbourne had been conquered, anything was possible.

Flushed with success on the home turf, the Wallabies are about to embark on a first spring tour to the northern hemisphere since 2018. The Tests against Japan, Scotland, England and Wales will tell whether recent success was distorted by home-ground advantage or whether they have truly regained their place among the world’s leading rugby nations, Bret Harris writes.

Media roundup

Childcare providers are seeking legal guidance on whether they can exclude children whose parents aren’t vaccinated against Covid, the Sydney Morning Herald has reported. Australia’s top tech companies are looking for more than 60,000 workers to retrain, saying graduates and migrants alone won’t solve a meaningful skills shortage produced by the sector’s recent growth, the Australian has reported.

Sign up

If you would like to receive the Guardian Australia morning mail to your email inbox every weekday, sign up here.

Get in touch

If you have any questions or comments about any of our newsletters please email [email protected].

Sign up to Inside Saturday to get an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at the top features from our new magazine delivered to your inbox every weekend.

Click: See details

Leave a Reply