Morning mail: Laming under pressure, cabinet reshuffle, Suez canal unblocked

Good morning. Scott Morrison has reshuffled the cabinet to elevate a female “perspective” but the government is still dealing with complaints about the Queensland MP Andrew Laming. There are concerns for Brisbane businesses facing a snap lockdown coinciding with the end of jobkeeper. The trial for George Floyd’s alleged murderer has begun and cargo is finally flowing again through the Suez Canal.

Andrew Laming’s former branch secretary Suzi Foster says she is surprised it has taken so long for complaints against the MP to be made public, given his history of making constituents “uncomfortable”. The comments come as Laming defended his online behaviour as being “re-invented into harassment”. Foster says concerns had been raised about Laming’s “erratic” behaviour from 2016. “What has been alleged doesn’t surprise me. I’m just surprised it didn’t happen sooner," sy het gese. Laming has taken a month’s paid leave to undertake courses in “empathy and appropriate communication” but experts have warned there’s no quick fix for improving empathy.

Morrison has reshuffled the cabinet in an attempt to circumvent a political crisis engulfing the Coalition over its treatment of women by unveiling a new frontbench aimed at elevating the female “perspective”. The PM said the changes would “shake up what needs to be shaken up” and provide a “fresh lens” to achieve change for women. But he defied calls to dump ministers Christian Porter and Linda Reynolds from the frontbench, met die pair to remain in cabinet in new portfolios. The latest Guardian Essential Poll vertonings support for Morrison drop from 62% aan 57%, with the slide driven by Australian women.

Brisbane’s snap three-day lockdown could have crushing consequences for the area’s 27,000 businesses facing the shutdown without without jobkeeper payments to fall back on. The $90bn wage subsidy’s withdrawal before the latest lockdown could be “final blow” for businesses that struggled to survive over the past year, Wes Lambert from the Restaurant and Catering Industry Association says. “There is no jobkeeper safety net for these businesses … This means more staff stood down, up to $50m in lost revenue and nearly $15m in produce and stock thrown away, with more debt piling up.”

The murder trial of Derek Chauvin, the former police officer whose alleged killing of George Floyd last year prompted a wave of Black Lives Matter protests, is under way with opening arguments in Minneapolis. Chauvin, 45, has denied charges of second- and third-degree murder and manslaughter over Floyd’s death. Prosecutors played the video showing the final moments of Floyd’s life, which showed Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck as Floyd can be heard repeatedly saying, “I can’t breathe.” The defence team will try to focus the jury on aspects such as the fact that the opioid fentanyl was found in Floyd’s system and that he had underlying health conditions. The official autopsy concluded that Floyd’s death was a homicide.

Anthony Albanese will establish a $15bn reconstruction fund to help revive the diminishing manufacturing sector and put Australia back on a path to “make cars, trains and ships”. With the number of workers in the sector at an all-time low, the Labor leader says the pandemic has shown the country must return to its sovereign capabilities.

Despite reforms, alleged rape victims are still facing torment in Australian courts. Changes designed to protect sexual assault victims are not always being implemented, and “dinosaur” attitudes to cross-examination continue to be an issue.

Tony Barry, a longtime former Liberal staffer on the administrative appeals tribunal has quit his role as a consultant to a lobbying firm after Labor uncovered what it labelled a potential conflict of interest. Barry resigned his second job after the tribunal president said it was “not appropriate” for him to also work as a lobbyist.

The Ever Given container ship blocking the Suez canal has finally been refloated after a week blocking billions of dollars’ worth of cargo from crossing one of the world’s busiest marine waterways. A fleet of tugboats and days of intensive dredging were given a helping hand by tides that swelled to their highest point with the full moon to free the 220,000-tonne Ever Given and haul it towards a lake for technical inspection. Television footage showed tugboat crews sounding their foghorns in celebration after the ship was dislodged.

The Myanmar military is a “terrorist group” that should be brought before the international criminal court, and funds should be cut via global sanctions, the Special Advisory Council for Myanmar says. A series of airstrikes by the junta has forced thousands of people across the country’s border with Thailand.

Covid-19 probably passed to humans from a bat via an intermediary animal, an international expert mission to China has concluded in a report, with investigators all but ruling out a laboratory leak.

The average western consumer of coffee, chocolate, beef, palm oil and other commodities is responsible for the felling of four trees every year, research has calculated.

Koraly Dimitriadis had never countenanced the idea of holidaying with her parents as an adult maar Covid has cast a new light on family. “Before Covid, I was just like any other child of migrants who found their parents annoying, overbearing and controlling,” she writes. “But when Covid came along, it changed everything. My parents changed. I changed. Managing through Melbourne’s long lockdown, I came to value spending even half an hour with family. The traditions I once wanted over and done with, like Easter – the colouring of the red eggs, the lamb on the spit – they mean something, I realised. Gathering together with family means something.”

Morrison’s cabinet reshuffle makes women responsible for helping men who should know better, says Katharine Murphy. “It really would be better if the men running the government just got it without the set dressing because, as it stands, women are being asked to deal with the problems created by their own marginalisation while at the same time being called upon to reprogram the people intent on perpetuating the conditions marginalising women.”

The end of jobkeeper this week comes at a time when the economy is still undergoing massive adjustment from the pandemic, writes Greg Jericho. While the government believes it is merely removing a temporary safety net, for some areas, such as Cairns, the impact is more akin to having the rug pulled out from under their feet. Aside from some areas in Melbourne and Sydney, Cairns had more businesses still accessing jobkeeper than any other area in the nation.

Jobkeeper was announced at the start of the Covid pandemic as a lifeline to stop employers losing staff due to the economic losses of the crisis. Now that jobkeeper has ended, economist Richard Denniss joins the podcast to explain how its removal will affect Australians.

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

The AFLW can look ahead to the finals safe in the knowledge that its fifth incarnation has been its best. Maar, the gains made this season must be used to push for a better deal: even longer seasons, the no-brainer introduction of a score review system, greater acknowledgment and parity with the men’s game.

Questions are being asked after the league-leading Central Coast Mariners were not allowed to train on a pitch that was reserved for a game of touch. The A-League is not the English Premier League but it is this country’s only men’s fully professional competition, en it should be treated as such when it comes to facilities, writes Emma Kemp.

Meer as 7,000 vulnerable teenagers in state-run residential care suffered serious physical and sexual abuse tussen 2019 en 2020, according to the Australies. Die Mercury says Mona will next year replace Dark Mofo with Blak Mofo, a festival run by First Nations people, after the intense criticism and controversy of an artwork calling for the blood of Indigenous Australians. And Steve Smith has told the Herald Sun he would be happy to return as captain to the Australian cricket team if selectors want him.

Members of the Labor party will meet for a special online conference to discuss the party’s national platform.

A sentence hearing will take place for Mert Ney, who murdered 24-year-old Michaela Dunn and stabbed another woman in Sydney in August 2019.

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