- Morrison prepared to sign statutory declaration denying race allegations
- Ukraine accuses Russian forces of carrying out civilian massacre
- This morning’s headlines at a glance
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Morrison prepared to sign statutory declaration denying race allegations
Scott Morrison says he is willing to sign a statutory declaration denying allegations he racially vilified a competitor in a preselection battle to get into Parliament, as members of the Lebanese community who have known the Prime Minister for years reject the accusations.
Mr Morrison hit out at unnamed people who were making “all sorts of things up, because they have other motivations”, saying they were “quite malicious, and bitter slurs, which are deeply offensive, and I reject them absolutely”.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has accused people of making up ‘quite malicious, and bitter slurs’. Credit:AAP
The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age yesterday revealed that Mr Morrison’s challenger to enter Parliament in 2007, Michael Towke, stood by his claims in a newly revealed 2016 statutory declaration that the Prime Minister was directly involved in “racial vilification” against him.
Among the allegations are that Mr Morrison told people that a candidate of Lebanese heritage such as Mr Towke could not hold the seat of Cook after the 2005 Cronulla riots and that there was a strong rumour his opponent was actually a Muslim. Mr Towke grew up as a Maronite Catholic and went to Marcellin College in Randwick.
The revelations come days after Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells described Mr Morrison as “ruthless” and a “bully” and said he had made “racial comments” against Mr Towke in the 2007 preselection contest.
Read the full story here.
Ukraine accuses Russian forces of carrying out civilian massacre
Ukraine has accused Russian forces of carrying out a massacre in the town of Bucha, on the outskirts of Kyiv, with Western nations calling for new sanctions against Moscow after reviewing images of dead bodies.
The images from Bucha came after Ukraine said its forces had reclaimed control of the whole Kyiv region and liberated towns from Russian troops. The pictures prompted outrage in Ukraine and abroad.
In a residential area in Trostyanets, Ukraine, sit makeshift graves of three civilians killed by Russian forces during the town’s occupation.Credit:Getty
“Bucha massacre was deliberate,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba wrote on social media.
Ukraine’s prosecutor-general said the bodies of 410 civilians were removed from Kyiv-area towns. Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said the mayor of the village of Motyzhyn, in the Kyiv region, was murdered while being held by Russian forces.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken described the images of dead civilians as “a punch in the gut”. German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said Russia must pay for war crimes and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said his government would step up sanctions.
In Russia’s first public comment on the allegations, the Defence Ministry in Moscow described photos and videos from Bucha as “another staged performance by the Kyiv regime for the Western media”.
More on the current situation in and around Kyiv here.
This morning’s headlines at a glance
Good morning and thanks for your company.
It’s Monday, April 4. I’m Broede Carmody and I’ll be anchoring our live coverage for the first half of the day.
Here’s what you need to know before we get started.
- Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he is willing to sign a statutory declaration denying allegations he racially vilified a competitor in a preselection battle that eventually resulted in him being elected to Parliament, Anthony Galloway and David Crowe report. Over the weekend, this masthead revealed that Mr Morrison’s 2007 Liberal challenger for the seat of Cook, Michael Towke, stood by claims contained in a 2016 statutory declaration. That document states the PM told party members not to vote for Mr Towke because of his Lebanese background and rumours he was a Muslim. Mr Morrison is widely expected to call a federal election in the coming days.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen
- Ukraine has accused Russian forces of carrying out a massacre in the city of Bucha, on the outskirts of Kyiv. United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken says America is working with Ukraine to document alleged war crimes. Russia claims the allegations are part of “another staged performance by the Kyiv regime for the Western media”.
Soldiers walk amid destroyed Russian tanks in Bucha, in the outskirts of Kyiv on Sunday.Credit:AP
- Some Australians who had their first COVID-19 booster shot four months ago are now eligible for their second. The additional jab is now available for over 65s, Indigenous Australians over the age of 50, the immunocompromised and those living in disability or aged care settings. It comes as three leading philanthropic groups join forces to fund an inquiry into how Australia handled the coronavirus pandemic.
Some Australians can start receiving their second booster shot.Credit:AP
- And in state news, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews returns to the job today after recovering from COVID-19. There are some flood warnings for eastern Victoria. And industrial action will continue this week in NSW for some 20,000 health workers. The workers want better pay and staff-to-patient ratios.
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