Thursday, May 18, 2017

Morning Mail: Exclusive – scale of Manus surveillance, Trump complains about 'witch hunt', Soundgarden's Chris Cornell dies aged 52

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Guardian Australia's Morning Mail
Friday 19 May 2017
Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell dies aged 52

Chris Cornell performs at Lollapalooza festival, Chicago, in 2010.

Good morning, and welcome to the Morning Mail.

Among the stories leading our website this morning: Chris Cornell, the lead singer of American hard rock bands Soundgarden and Audioslave, has died aged 52. His death was "sudden and unexpected", and came just hours after he had been on stage in Detroit – mobile phone footage from a fan shows Cornell performing as lead singer of Soundgarden for the last time. The medical examiner confirmed Cornell killed himself.

As his rock peers paid tribute – such as Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page, Mark Lanegan, Billy Idol and Jane's Addiction and Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Dave Navarro – Cornell is remembered as a rock star who kicked down the boundaries of sound.

Read his obituary, and your Chris Cornell playlist for today: 10 definitive songs from Soundgarden to Audioslave.

Keep reading for the rest of the top stories this morning, with more news from around Australia and the world.


Scale of surveillance in Manus Island detention centre laid bare
Exclusive: Secret papers seen by Guardian reveal intensive monitoring of refugees and asylum seekers, and an all-pervasive fear about outside eyes looking in

Trump denies collusion with Russia but says 'I can only speak for myself'
The president, at a remarkable press conference, was forced to deny he had done anything worthy of criminal charges – calling Russia crisis 'a witch hunt'

Tree clearing may have killed 180 koalas in Queensland in two years, says wildlife group
World Wildlife Fund calls for public pressure on the Palaszczuk government to reduce habitat destruction

'Here I am!' Chelsea Manning shares first photo after prison
The famous leaker still has short hair that was imposed by the military, but in every other way she has thrown off the yoke

May signals break with Thatcherism in manifesto for 'country and community'
PM seeks controversial shakeup of social care and end to 'untrammelled free markets' as Labour attacks uncosted promises as '84-page blank cheque'

Australian news and politics

Labor says it's 'too easy' for bosses to drop pay deals
Brendan O'Connor, the shadow employment minister, signals party is looking at supporting workers' pay by beefing up rules around enterprise agreements

New privacy code for public servants after Centrelink 'robo-debt' debacle
Privacy commissioner tells Senate inquiry of plan after minister Alan Tudge sent details of welfare claimant to journalist

State education ministers unite against Gonksi 2.0
States say Turnbull's new schools package 'not good enough to achieve a good education for our children'

Albanese urges Labor to exploit Coalition's 'ideological surrender'
Senior frontbencher differentiates himself from leader Bill Shorten by offering new argument to take on government after budget

Sydney bus drivers defy court orders to continue strike over privatisation
About 1,200 drivers in city's inner west and south walk off job for 24 hours, as transport minister calls action 'reckless behaviour'

Queensland rental report shows clusters of disadvantage in outer suburbs and small towns
Rental vulnerability index shows some of worst hotspots on 'red stress heat map' are inland of Gold Coast and north of Sunshine Coast

'Welcome to Lorengau': reality of detention camp on Manus belies holiday-style brochure
Guide for refugees moved to Australian-run transit centre lists sights to see – and where to go for 'fishing and snorkelling trips'

Around the world

Speeding vehicle strikes pedestrians in New York's Times Square, killing one
Officials said incident at the popular tourist site didn't appear to be linked to terrorism, and the suspected driver had prior convictions for drunk driving

Climate change is turning Antarctica green, say researchers
In the past 50 years the quantity and rate of plant growth has shot up, says study, suggesting further warming could lead to rapid ecosystem changes

Princess Mako of Japan to lose royal status by marrying commoner
Expected marriage to Kei Komuro would cost Mako her title under law that only applies to female members of monarchy

Soundgarden's Chris Cornell killed himself, coroner says
Singer who was one of founders of Seattle grunge scene was found dead in a hotel room in Detroit

Secret plans to 'protect' France in the event of Le Pen victory emerge
Election win for far-right leader would have set off plans to 'keep the peace' official says as support for Macron's party grows

One last thing

 A rotting whale carcass recently washed ashore in Indonesia. Photograph: Patasiwa Kumbang Amalatu/Youtube

Do sea monsters exist? Yes, but they go by another name … Nothing fires up a media storm like a sighting of a mysterious dead sea monster no one can identify. This one washed up on the Indonesian island of Seram late last week. What is it? Scientists aren't baffled. Have an excellent day and if you spot something I've missed, let me know on Twitter at @earleyedition.
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