Outcry over Scott Morrison’s secret portfolios, Julian Assange’s lawyers sue CIA, and the latest on the Donald Trump raid

Good morning. It’s Jessica Bahr here with SBS News’ Morning Briefing.

Scott Morrison says he is not ‘engaged in any day-to-day politics’ following revelations of secret portfolios

After it was revealed he was secretly sworn into additional portfolios during his time as prime minister, Scott Morrison says he since his election defeat. Mr Morrison was appointed to the portfolios of health, finance and resources (alongside other ministers) .

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese labelled the move “the sort of tin-pot activity that we would ridicule if it was in a non-democratic country”. Former Liberal prime minister Malcolm Turnbull called the revelations “appalling”, and said he was “astonished” that the prime minister and cabinet had gone along with what he called “sinister stuff”.

Why are Julian Assange’s lawyers suing the CIA?

Lawyers for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, along with two journalists, are sclaiming the intelligence agency spied on them when they visited Mr Assange at Ecuador’s embassy in London. A lawyer for the plaintiff says the alleged spying meant the WikiLeaks founder’s right to a fair trial has now been “tainted, if not destroyed”. The lawsuit alleges security firm Undercover Global swept information on the group’s electronic devices (including communications with Mr Assange) and provided it to the CIA, in addition to placing microphones around the embassy and sending recordings and security footage to the intelligence agency.

US justice department opposes unsealing affidavit used to search Donald Trump’s home

News media have requested an affidavit used to search Donald Trump’s home be unsealed, but the . According to the department, unsealing the affidavit – which was used to obtain a federal judge’s approval for – would be “highly likely” to compromise the investigation. Speaking of the search, in a post on Truth Social (the platform created by the former president’s media and technology group) Mr Trump claimed the FBI “stole” all three of his passports, including one which was expired.

Iran blames Salman Rushdie and supporters for his stabbing

Following an attack that left author Salman Rushdie on a ventilator with multiple stab wounds, Iran has “categorically” denied any link with the attacker, and instead Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani addressed the attack at his weekly press conference, saying Mr Rushdie had “exposed himself to anger and rage” by “insulting the sacred matters of Islam and crossing the red lines of more than one and a half billion Muslims”. This attitude toward Mr Rushdie is not new; in 1989, Iran’s then-leader the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa ordering Muslims to kill the author for his portrayal of Islam and the Prophet Mohammed in his novel The Satanic Verses. and his agent says while his injuries are severe, his condition is “heading in the right direction”.

In other news

  • SBS News has taken a deep dive into extremism – to find out more, listen to the new podcast series .
  • Brittney Griner has in a Russian court. The US basketball star was jailed for nine years on drugs charges after being arrested in a Moscow airport for travelling with cannabis-infused vape cartridges.
  • China has as US politicians visited the island less than two weeks after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit escalated tensions.
  • Hobart City Council has the statue of former premier William Crowther who stole the skull of an Aboriginal man in the 1860s.
  • A Myanmar junta court has to six years in prison for corruption, a source close to the case has said. The sentence takes the ousted leader’s prison time to 17 years.

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