Morning mail: Trump suspends war games with South Korea | Australia news


Good morning, this is Richard Parkin bringing you the main stories and must-reads on Wednesday 13 June.

Top stories

Donald Trump has ordered the suspension of US military exercises with South Korea in a surprise concession at an extraordinary summit with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un. Previously regarded as a key element of the military alliance with Seoul and deterrent against North Korea, the decision has led to the US president facing criticism for legitimising the pariah state without extracting concrete commitments in return.

In return, Kim signed a joint statement committing to denuclearisation, but it was a vaguely worded pledge the regime has made several times before. Asked what would be different this time, Trump pointed to his instincts as a dealmaker. “We got to know each other well in a very confined period of time,” he said. “I know when somebody wants to deal and I know when somebody doesn’t.”

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Australia’s migrant intake will drop to its lowest level in seven years, figures disclosed at Senate estimates and visa statistics obtained by Guardian Australia under FoI have revealed. Australia’s migration program has been at 190,000 since 2012-13, but could drop as far as 25,000 below the 190,000 planned figure. Treasury modelling indicates that migration adds an estimated 1% to Australia’s GDP every year.

Police have renewed efforts to find the missing toddler William Tyrrell, four years after he disappeared, beginning a four-week search of bushland at Kendall on the NSW mid-north coast. William was three when he disappeared from his grandmother’s home. Police in Port Macquarie are expected to brief the media on the search this morning.

The world’s largest cat-free sanctuary could be doubled thanks to a $1m donation. The philanthropists Andrew and Jane Clifford have pledged to match every donation to the Australian Wildlife Conservancy up to $1m to eradicate the feral cat population, which is believed to kill 1 million native birds every night, covers 99.8% of the continent and has led to the extinction of 20 native species. The AWC has begun repopulating a sanctuary with endangered native mammals such as the bilby and burrowing bettong.

Aboriginal organisations have added their voice to condemnation surrounding the NSW family and services minister, Pru Goward, after the release of the scathing Tune report, which was presented to the state government 18 months ago. AbSec says it’s no secret the state’s child protection system is failing, and criticises that “the lack of transparency around the report”. It has called for a statutory body to focus investment on Aboriginal community-controlled child and family services.

A 27-year dispute between Greece and Macedonia could be over, with the latter agreeing to adopt a new name. The dispute has poisoned relations between the two countries since Macedonia’s independence from Yugoslavia and has prevented the nation from joining international institutions such as Nato and the EU. It will now be known as the Republic of Northern Macedonia, to distinguish itself from the Greek province of Macedonia.

Sport

Real Madrid have announced a surprise replacement to departing manager Zinedine Zidane, with Spain’s head coach, Julen Lopetegui, signing a three-year deal to begin once his duties with the national side at the World Cup in Russia conclude. Lopetegui, 51, was on the books with Real between 1988 and 1991 as a goalkeeper, and was selected ahead of rumoured targets such as Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp and Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino.

In contrast to criticism surrounding AFLW, Cricket Australia employs six women in full-time coaching roles, thanks to a conscious effort to create pathways for female former players. Shelley Nitschke, the Australian women’s cricket team’s assistant coach, is one who has benefited from the push, and tells Guardian Australia: “It’s a good time to be involved in both coaching and playing.” Australia’s men’s team takes on England in the first ODI tonight – follow our live blog from 10pm (AEST).

Thinking time

Dancers from the Bangarra



Fifteen thousand years before the Egyptians, Aboriginal Australians were grinding grain – making them very possibly the world’s first bakers. That was the finding of Bruce Pascoe’s seminal 2014 book, Dark Emu: Black Seeds – Agriculture or Accident?, now transformed into a dance show by Bangarra. It premieres at the Sydney Opera House tomorrow before embarking on a national tour. “It’s a great opportunity for Australians to look at Australia with fresh eyes,” says Pascoe. “It also brings a new audience to the book and a new audience to the ideas.”

A statement from the chief executive of the UK’s Royal College of Midwives may have resolved a long-running feud. Are the breastfeeding wars finally over, asks Zoe Williams. “This support for mothers who bottle feed has been hailed as the end of a battle that has raged for at least a decade, the Treaty of Versailles in a postpartum wrangle in which the breastfeeding side was considered so righteous that it didn’t even have to acknowledge the other one,” she writes. “Walton’s position sounds so straightforward, so obvious: why would you ever not want to support bottle or mixed feeding women, given that they represent over 60% of the population?”

In 1984 Laura Miller, 16, was abducted and murdered by an unknown assailant, sending her father, Tim, on a three-decade crusade to find her killer. J Oliver Conroy tells his remarkable story, including the night he almost killed the man he believed responsible for the murder of almost 30 women and girls across 30 years along Houston’s “highway to hell”, and how after 25 years he came to forgive his daughter’s killer.

What’s he done now?

Donald Trump has come under heavy criticism for the glowing terms he used to describe Kim Jong-un, telling a journalist “he’s smart, loves his people, he loves his country”, in stark contrast to a speech from 2017 in which he detailed “enduring torture, starvation, rape and murder” within the North Korean regime.

Media roundup

The front page of the Daily Telegraph

Almost every major metropolitan masthead has led with Trump and Kim’s historic summit, with the Daily Telegraph going with “Donald & the despot: nuclear frenemies unite”. The West Australian reports that Bill Shorten will today throw an extra $400m at WA while pledging to match Malcolm Turnbull’s $3.2bn infrastructure spending. And families of victims from the Oakden aged care facility scandal could receive compensation “within weeks”, according to the Adelaide Advertiser.

Coming up

Malcolm Turnbull will meet the Solomon Islands PM, Rick Houenipwela, in Canberra, while Scott Morrison will open a new building at Western Sydney University.

The Chau Chak Wing defamation trial continues, with the Chinese Australian billionaire suing Fairfax Media and the journalist John Garnaut.

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