Morning mail: Djokovic leaves, WA locks out doctors, Australia’s Ashes victory

·6 min read
<span>Photograph: Loren Elliott/Reuters</span>
Photograph: Loren Elliott/Reuters

Monday: Serbia’s leaders hit out at treatment of Novak Djokovic, who boarded a flight out of Australia on Sunday night. Plus: how American tinned meat, Spam, came to be loved in Asia

Good morning. Novak Djokovic has left Australia after his last-ditch court challenge failed. And the England Test side has once again failed to turn up with much fight, handing Australia a 4-0 Ashes series win.

Novak Djokovic has been deported from Australia after the full federal court dismissed his bid to restore his visa. The Serbian tennis player was seen boarding a flight from Melbourne to Dubai hours after the court rejected his challenge to the decision of Australian immigration minister, Alex Hawke, to cancel the visa. In a statement Djokovic said he was “extremely disappointed” with the ruling. “I respect the court’s ruling and I will cooperate with the relevant authorities in relation to my departure from the country,” he said. Serbia’s leaders have hit out at Djokovic’s treatment. The prime minister, Ana Brnabić, criticised the decision to cancel the visa as “scandalous”. “I find it unbelievable that we have two completely contradictory court decisions within the span of just a few days,” she said. The tennis world reacted with a mixture of silence and disappointment to Djokovic’s deportation and frustration that it had overshadowed the Australian Open.

About 100 doctors have been locked out of Western Australia after being refused G2G passes despite state borders opening, and the likely influx of Covid, just weeks away. Shut-out doctors are warning the health system needs adequate time to prepare for the influx of Covid, and the state government should urgently grant all doctors a G2G pass. Mark Duncan-Smith, the WA president of the Australian Medical Association, said the process was complex. “They’re not being excluded, the problem is not in the approvals, these excluded people are having problems navigating the system. Should the system be simpler? Yes.”

Australia has secured a 4-0 Ashes series victory over England. The English team collapsed on the third day of the fifth test, going from 68-0 to 124 all out to hand Australia a 124-run victory. Despite the latest flogging and ongoing questions about the team’s leadership, England captain Joe Root has declared himself ready to lead England’s Test team into a new era. “At the minute we’re going through a real tough period. Performances haven’t been good. But I believe I’m the right man to take this team forward,” said Root, who has now won 27 of 61 matches as captain over four and a half years.


Vulnerable welfare recipients have been told they’ll have their benefits cut if they don’t attend face-to-face job agency appointments, despite an unprecedented surge of Covid cases.

Australia’s free-to-air TV channels have called on the government to introduce legislation guaranteeing them prominence on smart TV home screens. The networks say they are becoming “increasingly hard to find” among global streaming rivals.

Western Australia’s offshore gasfields are paying almost no royalties, create few jobs and are a large and rising source of greenhouse gases, according to a new report from the Australia Institute.

A Covid outbreak in regional Australia could leave residents cut off from essential services if businesses close due to staff infection or close contacts.

The world

The full extend of damage from Saturday night’s volcanic eruption near Tonga is still unclear, as the island nation is covered by a thick blanket of ash, contaminating water supplies, cutting off communications and preventing surveillance flights.

A man who died after taking four people hostage at a Texas synagogue has been named by the FBI as a 44-year-old British national. The FBI stormed the building after a man took four people including a rabbi captive during the Shabbat service.

The violent unrest in Kazakhstan that began with peaceful protests in early January has left 225 people dead, authorities have said in a dramatic increase on previous tolls.

The former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is reportedly close to reaching a plea bargain in his corruption trial. In the reported agreement, Netanyahu will admit to two counts of breach of trust, resulting in a suspended prison sentence and a few months of prison time that will be converted to community service.

Recommended reads

Some may presume that catharsis can be found in memoir writing, but for Joe Simpson, putting Touching the Void down on paper was “horrible”. He retreated to a friend’s attic to write the book over seven weeks, purely because the facts of his stricken ascent up Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes as a 25-year-old had been greatly misrepresented through rumours in the climbing world. Now, decades on, he’s flummoxed to see his story as a play, making its Australian premiere in Melbourne this week.

There are few food items across the world as divisive as Spam, the small can of processed pork that inspires either love or revulsion. Spam is a shining beacon of culinary innovation through hardship, and represents a complex history across many cultures – and there are even plant-based versions. Rosheen Kaul explains how this very American product became a staple for millions of Asians and Pacific Islanders – with four easy recipes to help you ease it into your diet.

How do you shop at the supermarket? Do you take equal parts of impulse and vibe, fashion a list of stuff you fancy and load up the trolley until you think you’ve got enough food for the week? This week in our easy wins series, Graham Readfearn shares how a simple family meal plan stuck to the fridge can save cash and reduce waste.


Omicron is now the dominant variant of Covid-19 in Australia and since its emergence late last year scientists and governments have been racing to learn more about it. So what do we know about how Omicron impacts the human body? In todays’ Full Story, science writer Donna Lu speaks to Laura Murphy-Oates about the latest data, studies and health advice on the variant.

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


The AFLW should be recognised as a winter sport staged alongside the men, writes Rana Hussain. “The women’s competition is reaping no benefits from being the summer sideshow to the AFL’s main event.”

Media roundup

Much of the country’s news is dominated by Novak Djokovic’s deportation, with some News Corp columnists calling for the resignation of Tennis Australia’s boss Craig Tiley over the saga. In Queensland, the Courier Mail reports that children as young as 10 are being caught with e-cigarettes in a new series looking at the dangers of vaping. The West Australia reports Geraldton Hospital ED is facing a “critical medical staff shortage” and at times in January were able to fill only 12% of its medical roster.

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