Australia news LIVE: PM expected to visit China in October; Russia knows who was behind Medibank hack

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  • Albanese ‘to travel to China’ later this year, despite trade disputes
  • Russia now knows who hacked Medibank, but does nothing
  • Zelensky makes impassioned plea for arms at G7
  • This morning’s headlines at a glance
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Albanese ‘to travel to China’ later this year, despite trade disputes

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has told world leaders he intends to travel to China, signalling he will push ahead with stabilising the relationship with Beijing despite ongoing trade sanctions and the arbitrary detention of two Australians.

Albanese has not publicly confirmed a date for the trip, but the 50th anniversary of Gough Whitlam’s first visit to China as prime minister in October is looming as a symbolic marker for Canberra and Beijing after years of disputes over human rights, national security and trade.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese chairs the Quad Leaders’ SummitCredit: Christopher Jue

“I’ve informed our partners that I do intend to travel to China at some time in the future,” Albanese said in Hiroshima at the G7 summit.

“That has been welcomed. People regard it as very positive that Australia is in dialogue with China. You need dialogue to get understanding.”

Keeping reading about the visit China here.

Russia now knows who hacked Medibank, but does nothing

Russian authorities are stonewalling the Australian Federal Police after its investigators provided detailed intelligence about the identity and location of the criminals responsible for hacking the Medibank Private data of millions of Australians.

AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw has revealed his agency briefed Moscow via international policing agency Interpol on the individuals and groups responsible for the hack, but his Russian counterparts had provided no assistance in response.

The hack led to highly sensitive personal information being released publicly on the internet. Kershaw said Russia’s failure to co-operate meant it was providing a haven for cybercriminals.

Read the exclusive on the hack here. 

Zelensky makes impassioned plea for arms at G7

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has used his surprise appearance at the G7 to call for all governments to deliver arms to Kyiv, and to demand global unity in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In a fiery speech, Zelensky used the setting of Hiroshima where the last atomic bomb was dropped in 1945 to warn “our lives will equally burn to ashes” as his country reels from the bombing of Bakhmut.

Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky spoke at the G7 and urged other leaders to support its fight against Russian invaders. Credit: AP

He described the eastern Ukrainian city, once home to 73,000 as a “scorched wasteland of houses turned to rubble”.

The President took aim at neutral countries India and Brazil and accused them of being fooled by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s propaganda.

Read the full story here. 

This morning’s headlines at a glance

Good morning, and thanks for your company.

It’s Monday, May 22. I’m Caroline Schelle, and I’ll be anchoring our live coverage for the first half of the day.

Here’s what you need to know before we get started:

  • Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is pushing ahead with a trip to Beijing, but the Coalition wants “absolute clarity” on the removal of trade barriers with the country.
  • It is also the first-year anniversary of Labor’s election victory, and Albanese’s message to progressives is “you can’t simply wish things to happen”. 
  • Russia knows who is behind the cyberattack on the Medibank, but Australian authorities claim their counterparts in the country are providing no assistance to deal with the criminals.
  • Four big consultancies win $1.4 billion a year in taxpayer-funded contracts, increasing their federal business by 400 per cent over a decade.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese speaking on Sunday in Japan.Credit: Christopher Jue

  • Cost-of-living concerns double in a year with nearly half of all Australians naming it as a priority for the federal government.
  • Local and regional Indigenous voices will be established across the country under Labor if the referendum is successful in a key concession to Liberal MPs.
  • In state news, Victoria’s treasurer will hand down the budget tomorrow but funding for hundreds of government programs will come to an end.
  • The NSW government will introduce legislation ending the state’s short-lived optional land tax for first home buyers when parliament resumes this week.
  • Overseas, the Greek prime minister is poised to win the most votes in the country’s general election, but he’ll likely fall short of the threshold to form a government on his own, raising the prospect of another election in about a month.
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