Morning mail: 71% want borders closed, 'Trump won't win' warning, QAnon in Australia

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Good morning! It’s Tamara Howie with the word from the street about what Australians want the government to do about Covid quarantine. Plus we’ve got the latest on the rape allegations rocking Canberra and the ongoing political clean-up from Trump’s acquittal. And to movie buffs and TV junkies: scroll down for some binge-worthy oldies and newbies.

Top stories

The majority of Australians think borders should stay closed until the pandemic passes and believe the federal government should be responsible for managing the hotel quarantine system, according to the latest Guardian Essential poll. Some 71% of those surveyed think the border needs to remain shut until the public health crisis has passed and 62% want to see Canberra take on the reins of the quarantine system. It’s no surprise with the latest blunder sending Melbourne into an uncertain “circuit breaker” lockdown, which may not end on Wednesday. And another coronavirus variant with a potentially worrying set of mutations has been detected in 10 countries, including Australia. Thankfully, “the eagle has landed”, with the first drop of Pfizer vaccines arriving safely yesterday and ready to be administered from next Monday.

The former Morrison government staffer Brittany Higgins plans to reactivate a police complaint about an alleged sexual assault by a colleague in Linda Reynolds’ ministerial office at Parliament House in March 2019. Confidants say Higgins paused the complaint at the time because she was concerned that pursuing it might lead to her losing her job as a parliamentary adviser. Higgins confirmed this during an interview with Network Ten on Monday night. “I realised my job was on the line,” she said. “I didn’t feel like I had a choice.” The allegation has highlighted a need for a culture change within politics that will require “a permanent rebalancing of power in the power game”, says Guardian Australia’s political editor, Katharine Murphy.

The Wall Street Journal has warned the Republicans that Donald Trump won’t win another election as the fallout from the former president’s impeachment acquittal continues. The acquittal opens the door for Trump to run again in 2024, and about half of Republicans want him to remain as head of their party, but half of US voters want him banished from US politics altogether. Meanwhile, Democratic and Republican lawmakers have issued fresh calls for a bipartisan 9/11-style commission to investigate why government officials and law enforcement failed to stop the attack on the US Capitol in January.

Australia

Australians have proven highly capable of adapting international conspiracy theories like QAnon to the local context but the country has been slow to recognise the threat those movements pose.

The Australian property market is booming but the gains are based on ‘massive’ debts. Record low interest rates are driving house prices higher, particularly in the regions, but some experts warn it’s unsustainable.

Less than a quarter of Australians in residential aged care facilities feel their needs are always met, aged care royal commission research has found. The research also found the majority of taxpayers are willing to pay higher taxes to improve the system that is “failing our older citizens”.

Australia is badly exposed to the rising trend of “coercive trade warfare”, with both China and the US using economic levers to pursue their great power rivalry.

A Tamil family fighting deportation to Sri Lanka will soon learn if they are a step closer to returning to their home of Biloela in Queensland. The family hopes a federal court ruling will force the federal government to properly consider a protection visa application.

The world

A man runs as Myanmar soldiers jump down from a vehicle during a clash with protesters demonstrating against the military coup. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Troops have joined police in Myanmar to forcefully disperse marchers in the city of Mandalay, as protests against the military coup continued despite the deployment of extra soldiers and an eight-hour internet blackout overnight.

Health officials in Guinea are racing to contain a new outbreak of Ebola that has killed at least four people and raised concerns across west Africa.

The former South African president Jacob Zuma faces a jail sentence after failing to appear before an anti-corruption inquiry on Monday to give evidence to judges investigating allegations of systematic graft during his nine years in power.

A Russian former journalist held for seven months on treason charges has described a Kafkaesque legal process in which he has not been told what the charges against him are because they are secret.

Recommended reads

The stars of Why Are You Like This. Photograph: ABC

A new ABC comedy, Why Are You Like This, skewers identity politics and cancel culture with the nihilism that defines today’s twentysomethingsand that defines the show’s creators too. “This is my first TV writing role. My first big professional creative thing. As someone who’s been railing against creatives for the past 10 years, it’s deeply embarrassing to publicly be ‘a writer’,” says Humyara Mahbub, one of the show’s three creators. It was Naomi Higgins’ (who also stars in the show) idea to create a series about their friendship. “Now here we are with a TV show about our awful personalities,” Higgins says. “It’s every girl’s dream!” Mahbub adds.

Elizabeth Flux managed to make it to adulthood without seeing the Scream movies. She thought she knew what the 90s thriller series was all about through pop culture references – until she finally tuned in. “Wes Craven’s Scream films are horror, sure, but they’re also darkly funny, and an extremely meta exploration of the horror film genre, the zeitgeist and themselves,” she says. “I realise the fact that the Scream series is actually very good is not a revelation to those who watched the films as they came out, but the thing I’ve learned in the time since I finally binged the first three movies is that they also don’t get old.”

“As Labor prepares for a possible election later this year, its negative gearing policy looks likely to be either abandoned or at least altered,” writes Greg Jericho. “While this could be spun as a politically good move, negative gearing and the current capital gains tax discount remain bad policies that need to be changed.”

Listen

Moscow correspondent Andrew Roth was in the courtroom when Putin’s opponent Alexei Navalny was sentenced to more than three years in prison. He tells Rachel Humphreys why it was such a dramatic moment – and what it could mean for the future of Russia’s opposition.

Full Story

Alexei Navalny: how Vladimir Putin put his opponent behind bars

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

Sport

Removing AFLW crowds is one way to deal with a lockdown but rolling border closures and restrictions will undoubtedly cause more headaches for the AFL. At some point, it will simply run out of options.

England have rarely picked a specialist wicketkeeper over the last 30 years but in a superb day’s work Jos Buttler’s stand-in, Ben Foakes, showed what they’ve been missing.

Media roundup

The ABC report the defence department has renewed a data storage deal with Global Switch, years after the government vowed to ditch the firm when a Chinese-owned company purchased 49% of the company. The billionaire businessmen Lindsay Fox and John Wagner want help resolve the row over hotel quarantine by running hotel quarantine for 2,000 international returnees in Victoria and Queensland, reports the Australian. And there’s beef in the surfing world after NSW poached the World Surf League from Queensland over quarantine disputes, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

Coming up

Both houses of the federal parliament and NSW parliament are sitting today.

The disability royal commission hearings begin this week.

And if you’ve read this far …

It’s a modern-day whodunnit set on a picturesque Italian island – and all 400 residents are suspects. Dozens of meticulously planned thefts on the remote island of Capraia have taken place while fewer tourists are in the region. In the latest, thieves deactivated the CCTV camera in a tobacco shop and made off with €60,000 from the safe.

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