Morning mail: states' challenge on clean energy target
Morning mail: states' challenge on clean energy target
Thursday: Victoria's energy minister tells the Guardian the states may go it alone if they can't reach agreement with the federal government. Plus: Queensland dominate New South Wales in State of Origin decider
Australia's states may band together to bypass the federal government in implementing a clean energy target. Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP
Good morning, this is Eleanor Ainge Roy bringing you the main stories and must-reads on Thursday 13 July.
Australia's states may band together to bypass the federal government in implementing a clean energy target, Victoria's energy minister Lily D'Ambrosio has revealed in a Guardian exclusive. D'Ambrosio told Guardian Australia that if the Turnbull government couldn't deliver the required national leadership on a post-2020 scheme there was a real possibility state governments could go it alone. She said if the states emerged from a meeting of energy ministers on Friday's meeting with no clear resolution on the clean energy target, "willing" states could ask the Australian Energy Market Commission to provide advice about how the scheme envisaged by the chief scientist could be implemented by state government action.
D'Ambrosio said state governments having to work around commonwealth indecision or intransigence on energy policy was not unprecendented. "This is not the first time the states have had to lead the way," she said. "Investors, industry, businesses are now desperately seeking a policy steer on what happens post-2020. They need policy certainty and clarity. We can't continue to be on this terrible rollercoaster ride of policy uncertainty."
Trump has proclaimed his son Donald Jr is "innocent"as the furore over his Russian links intensifies. The US president described the storm over his son's meeting with a Russian lawyer as "the greatest witch-hunt in political history" and "sad!". In a tweet, Trump said "my son Donald did a good job last night" when he appeared on Fox News. "He was open, transparent and innocent," Trump added. Trump Jr has been cloaked with suspicion since it emerged that he met the Russian lawyer Nataliya Veselnitskaya at Trump Tower in New York on 9 June 2016. Emails published by Trump Jr on Tuesday showed that he was promised the lawyer would bring from Russia "some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary [Clinton]". In an interview with Fox News he called the meeting "a nothing". On Wednesday, Trump Sr's lawyer Jay Sekulow told morning TV shows the president did not find out about the meeting until "very recently", but a report from the New York Times disputes that.
Johnathan Thurston and Cameron Smith of the Queensland Maroons hold aloft the Origin trophy. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
Queensland have beaten New South Wales 22-6 in a thrilling State of Origin series decider in Brisbane. Our writer Joe Gorman tells how before kick-off the odds were with NSW, helped by an injury to Maroons legend Johnathan Thurston. Unfortunately for the Blues, Queensland love being the underdog. While NSW made silly errors, the Maroons played the more expansive football, bashed the much-vaunted NSW forward pack mercilessly and pressured the kicks of much-maligned halfback Mitchell Pearce. Yet again, Gorman writes, Queensland showed that winning is in their DNA. In his commentary, Nick Tedeschi says the Blues only have themselves to blame. "Crippled by a fear of losing, the Blues don't really know how to win. From the top down, conservatism reigns supreme."
Brazil's ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has beensentenced to nine and a half years in jailafter being convicted on corruption charges. The two-term president whom Barack Obama once labelled the most popular politician on earth was sentenced in the first of five graft trials he faces, but will remain free on appeal. Judge Sergio Moro found Lula guilty of accepting 3.7m reais ($1.2m) worth of bribes from engineering firm OAS SAT. The ruling marked a stunning fall for Lula, Brazil's first working-class president, who left office six years ago with an 83% approval rating. The former union leader won global admiration for transformative social policies that helped reduce stinging inequality in Latin America's biggest country. The verdict represented the highest-profile conviction yet in the sweeping corruption investigation that for over three years has rattled Brazil, throwing the country's political system into disarray.
Australians in the Torres Strait face being forced from their homes by climate change, as their islands are lost to rising seas. On Boigu island, the most northerly inhabited island in Australia, just six kilometres from Papua New Guinea, the community's cemetery faces inundation, and roads are being washed into the sea. Boigu elder Dennis Gibuma says the situation is worsening every season. "Our seawall is no longer any good. When the high tide and strong winds come together, it breaks. We pray we don't lose our homes. We don't want to leave this place."
Australia have blasted past India and into Women's Cricket World Cup semi-finals overnight. Australia won by eight wickets, 227-2 to India's 226-7. Captain Meg Lanning (76 not out) and Ellyse Perry (60 not out) underlined their status as two of the biggest stars in the women's game with a 124-run partnership to seal the win.
It's not often the support act for an international band excites the locals more than the main act.But when a band from remote Arnhem Land not only lands a Queens of the Stone Age gig – but doesn't even know who they are – it's almost inevitable. Lonely Boys are a hardrock band from Ngukurr, a small Aboriginal community on the banks of the Roper river, in the Northern Territory. On Thursday they will leave Ngukurr on a nine-hour drive to Darwin before bumping in to the city convention centre for the sold-out Sunday gig supporting the Californian headliner.
Donald Trump has been photographed bowing in prayer in the Oval Office after inviting evangelical leaders to visit, in one of the first images to emerge of the president since he returned from Europe.
"We similarly prayed for President Obama but it's different with President Trump," said Johnnie Moore, a former senior vice-president at Liberty University, a large evangelical university in Virginia. "When we are praying for President Trump, we are praying within the context of a real relationship, of true friendship."
Former prime minister John Howard is giving his views on the presidency of Donald Trump, in conversation with Paul Kelly of the Australian in Sydney.
Sydney FC will play Arsenal in a friendly match at the ANZ Stadium.
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