Amy Coney Barrett: key moments from the supreme court confirmation hearings – video

Amy Coney Barrett spent most of her time avoiding key questions during three days of Senate hearings to confirm her as a supreme court justice. 

Barrett would become the third justice on the court to be appointed by Donald Trump – and her confirmation would give conservatives a bulletproof, six-justice majority on the nine-member court, which decides cases by a simple majority.

Barrett, a conservative Christian who has criticized the high court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act (ACA), who has publicly opposed reproductive rights and who was a trustee at a school whose handbook included a stated opposition to same-sex marriage, is seen on the left as part of a power play by Donald Trump 

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Labor condemns ‘disgraceful’ Westpac as Hartzer stands down – politics live

Westpac chief executive’s resignation draws little sympathy on all sides of politics. All the day’s events, live

Sarah Hanson-Young has written about her defamation court victory against David Leyonhjelm in the Guardian today:

Related: David Leyonhelm tried to publicly shame me – I had to call him out | Sarah Hanson Young

Chris Bowen is responding to this story

(As reported by Melissa Davey)

Private health insurance will continue its slow death spiral unless unnecessary private hospital costs and exorbitant specialist bills are reined in, a Grattan Institute report has found.

The report, written by health economists Stephen Duckett and Kristina Nemet, said a small minority of greedy specialist doctors billed their patients at more than twice the official Medicare benefit schedule fee. Patients were not being told about the fees in advance.

Related: 'Greedy specialists' charging exorbitant fees a major cause of private health's strife

Greg Hunt is fiddling while private health insurance burns and across Australia people know it is broken and not working for them and they are voting with their feet. Greg Hunt has been warned and warned and warned and he’s refused to act and he’s told us he’s delivered the biggest reforms in history.

Newsflash, Greg, all of Australia knows they haven’t worked and today we have another report pointing out that private health insurance needs big reform. What is Minister Hunt’s answer?

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Trump’s 2020 campaign kick-off was a parade of his favorite lies and dog whistles

President Donald Trump filed for reelection the day he was inaugurated and has held countless campaign rallies in the two and a half year since. On Tuesday night, he “officially” kicked off his 2020 campaign.

In a rambling speech in Orlando, Trump confirmed that this campaign will look quite similar to the last — in no small part because he spoke as if he was still campaigning against his former rival, Hillary Clinton.

“The only collusion was committed by th...

Federal election 2019: Tony Abbott labels Labor’s climate policy ‘socialism’ – politics live

Former PM burnishes his conservationist credentials – but says opposition measures risk damaging the economy. Follow all the updates, live

Tanya Plibersek came in at the end of Labor’s press conference, after there were no questions on Jessica Whelan, the candidate Scott Morrison was referring to there, when he was talking about posts being referred to the AFP (she claims they are fake)


Hunt and King have closed the press club debate on health, with Hunt finishing where he started, on medicine affordability.

Medicines can only be made affordable and health services expanded when the economy is strong, he says. Meanwhile, King closes by reiterating Labor’s $7.5bn package to improve hospitals and cancer care, and by saying Labor will stop cuts to Medicare.

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Ocasio-Cortez inspires Democratic presidential hopefuls to come out swinging on climate change

As the Democratic presidential primary field grows more crowded by the day, something feels a bit different this time: In the face of increasingly dire scientific warnings and a president committed to denying the existence and severity of climate change, Democratic presidential contenders are calling for urgent action to address the crisis in their first appeals to voters.

“Climate change is an existential threat to us, and we have got to deal with the reality of it,” Se...