Morning mail: Albanese visits Ukraine, Sydney flooding to worsen, the best Australian baked goods

·6 min read
<span>Photograph: Nariman El-Mofty/AP</span>
Photograph: Nariman El-Mofty/AP

Good morning. Health authorities are warning of yet another wave of infections after Australia surpassed 10,000 Covid deaths at the weekend. And heavy rain continues to hammer Sydney, with flooding expected to worsen today.

Anthony Albanese has been shocked by what he has seen in Ukraine and pledged more military aid for the country after visiting the sites of some of the most infamous atrocities of Russia’s war during the final leg of his European tour. Albanese said Australia would give Ukraine 14 more armoured personnel carriers and 20 Bushmaster vehicles. He also announced a ban on Russian gold imports, as well as sanctions and travel bans on 16 more Russian ministers and oligarchs. Ukraine’s defence ministry has denied Russia’s claims it has taken full control of Lysychansk. President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Lysychansk was the “the most difficult and most dangerous situation” for Ukraine.

Thousands of people across the greater Sydney region were under evacuation orders yesterday as an east coast low, which is expected to persist until tomorrow, brought widespread rainfall, thunderstorms and flash flooding to parts of the state. More than 130 rescues took place yesterday and authorities warned the impact could be more severe than the floods of 2021 and early 2022. Residents were warned to delay nonessential travel in affected areas, potentially throwing the school holiday plans of thousands into chaos.

Current and former female police officers in Queensland have detailed widespread misogynistic behaviour, sexist comments and sexual harassment by male colleagues in submissions to a state inquiry focusing on problems with police culture. Guardian Australia has been sent several unpublished submissions to the inquiry by female police officers. In one, a male officer questions “Is this a real rape or is she looking for a free pap smear?” In another, officers perform “diversionary tasks” to avoid attending domestic violence calls.


An AFP badge
Operation Wilmot was set up by the Australian federal police before the federal election to deal with complaints and referrals about election-related crimes. Photograph: Getty Images

Safety threats to politicians sparked 39 investigations related to the federal election, with numerous politicians and political candidates the target of threats, menacing phone calls and social media harassment. One set of charges has been laid and 22 matters are still under investigation.

Australia’s biggest polluters need a rigorous emissions reduction regime that avoids exemptions for trade-exposed industries, according to the Grattan Institute, which says decarbonising Australian industry is an “Industrial Revolution against a deadline”.

People arriving in Australia will no longer have to declare their Covid vaccination status or obtain a travel exemption under changes to come into effect this week.

Two children have been diagnosed with the first cases of diphtheria of the throat in NSW this century. A two-year-old is in intensive care and a second child has been hospitalised.

Sexual harassment of women in Australian cultural industries must be stopped, says the arts minister, Tony Burke. Burke says national cultural policy must include “assurances of a safe workplace for women” after #MeToo allegations.

The world

Mohammed bin Salman
Mohammed bin Salman at an official ceremony in Ankara, Turkey, last month. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

A US judge has asked the Biden administration to weigh in on whether Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, should be granted sovereign immunity in a civil case brought against him in the US by Hatice Cengiz, the fiancee of Jamal Khashoggi, the journalist who was killed by Saudi agents.

Several people have been shot dead and one suspect has been arrested after a shooting in a Copenhagen shopping centre, according to Danish police.

A gathering of thousands of Afghan clerics and elders has ended with a call for international recognition but silence on the country’s ban on secondary education for girls.

Israel has said it will conduct forensic tests on the bullet that killed the Palestinian-US journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh.

Recommended reads

There’s not much Australians love more than a trip to the bakery. But the bakery run has changed significantly over the years. Back in the day it was Bakers Delight versus Brumby’s. Cheesymite v Cheddarmite. Scone v scone. But now, bakeries are very often specialised, artisan, naturally leavened, locally sourced, seasonal, handmade and all those other things that make you say “take my money”. But what do we love most: lammies or sausage rolls?

“Rediscovering and embracing the quiet takes effort,” writes Paul Daley. “Getting offline, even for a day, requires planning, discipline and, not least, the understanding of others. Unplugging from the mind trap of online noise made me realise tuning out is the only way to truly tune in … A few things have happened. I am more present as I move, conscious of my breath and of my steps and of the sounds – birds, other dogs, traffic, boats and aircraft and people. It’s not quite the quiet – more an aural reconnection with an authentic urban soundtrack, which is part of the same thing, if that makes sense?”

Do you read the ingredients of your skincare products? “I love to, but I’m probably in the minority here,” writes Hannah English. “I want to share what I know so you can be better equipped to assess whether or not a product will do what it promises to do.” Here are her tricks to understanding precisely what you’re putting on your skin.


The US congressional hearings on the Capitol Hill attack have been primetime viewing and the case against Donald Trump has been building for all to see. In today’s Full Story, Lawrence Douglas, a professor of law at Amherst College, tells Michael Safi that, throughout the series of slickly produced hearings, the committee has told a compelling narrative of the events that led up to the riots on January 6.

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


For all of the drama that forever surrounds Nick Kyrgios, there has been one undeniable constant of his season so far – his tennis. Kyrgios has defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas, the No 4 seed, 6-7 (2), 6-4, 6-3 7-6 (7) to reach the fourth round of Wimbledon.

The rider widely blamed for the infamous crash in the 2020 Tour of Poland, Dylan Groenewegen, had a moment of redemption, winning stage three of the Tour de France.

Media roundup

Peter Dutton has told the Australian the transition out of power was “brutal” but the Liberal party will not wallow in the election loss. Two mould-riddled police houses in the Tiwi Islands will be demolished and rebuilt after they were found unfit for human habitation after a seven-year-old girl suffered a near-death medical episode while living there, the NT News reports.

Coming up

Penny Wong will meet the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

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