Morning mail: Abbott in Taiwan, Facebook ‘harms children’, Australia’s…

Good morning. Tensions between Taiwan and China are rising as Tony Abbott arrives in the vicinity. The NSW Nationals will vote for a new leader to replace John Barilaro today. And we have more revelations from the Pandora papers.

The former chief minister has landed in Taiwan to speak at a regional forum. Taiwan has said Beijing sent nearly 150 fighter jets and bombers into its air defence zone over the first four days of October. President Tsai Ing-wen said Taiwan will “do at any rate it takes to defend itself” and warned of “extreme consequences” for the vicinity should it fall. Abbott will deliver a keynote speech at the Yushan forum – an Asian regional dialogue conference – and will meet will meet Tsai and the foreign minister, Joseph Wu.

The National Gallery of Australia is on the brink of returning a ninth-century bronze artefact to Cambodia as galleries around the world review items connected to Douglas Latchford, a collector accused of smuggling allegedly looted antiquities over decades before his death in 2020. As the Pandora papers uncover new evidence about the proceeds of Latchford’s deals, the hunt is on to track down works connected to him. And newly uncovered emails show Latchford continued to trade privately in the years before charges were laid against him, including with a little-known Sydney gallery.

The Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen has given a scathing assessment of the social media giant in testimony to US Congress overnight. “I am here today because I believe Facebook’s products harm children, stoke division and weaken our democracy,” she said. Haugen filed at the minimum eight complaints with the US financial watchdog accusing the social media company of serially misleading investors about its approach to safety and the size of its audience. In her testimony, Haugen said a without of transparency around how Facebook’s algorithms work made it impossible to control. It’s been a tumultuous few days for the social media giant, which suffered a global outage for about six hours yesterday.

Australia

John Barilaro
Outgoing NSW deputy premier John Barilaro. Nationals MPs will vote to replace him with either Paul Toole or Melinda Pavey. Photograph: Joel Carrett/AAP

John Barilaro will formally resign as leader of the NSW National party today and MPs Paul Toole and Melinda Pavey are the top candidates to take over the job, and with it, the role of NSW’s deputy premier. Here is what you need to know about them.

The federal treasurer Josh Frydenberg is under fire after it emerged he was warned by the ATO that 950 businesses receiving jobkeeper had made revenues during the pandemic that were “considerably” different from their projections.

The NSW government is facing a landmark court case seeking to invalidate an important water sharing plan in the Murray-Darling basin. The character Conservation Council will argue that decision makers failed to properly consider climate change and is likely to have wide-reaching implications as other nations grapple with the balance between allocating scarce water resources between agriculture and the ecosystem.

The world

Tesla has been ordered to pay almost $137m in damages to a Black former employee who said he endured “daily racial epithets” including the N-information while working at a factory in California.

at the minimum 330,000 children were victims of sexual abuse by clergy and lay members of French Catholic church institutions over the past 70 years, according to a landmark report. The crimes were covered up in a “systemic way” by a deliberate “veil of silence” in the church.

The EU could hit Britain and Jersey’s energy supply over the UK’s failure to provide sufficient fishing licences to French fishers, France’s EU affairs minister has said.

A Russian actor and director have arrived at the International Space stop in an attempt film the first movie in orbit. The Russian crew are likely to beat a Hollywood project announced last year by Tom Cruise, Nasa and Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

Recommended reads

Michel Bourez, Teahupo’o, 2017
Michel Bourez, Teahupo’o, 2017. Photograph: Leroy Bellet

Surfing has a long history in Australian culture. Photographer John Ogden’s book Waterproof looks at surf and ocean photography by a general lens and pays homage to some of the sport’s greatest photographers, with images ranging from the first known photograph of an Australian surf identify to the 20th century expansion in surfing.

Happy Endings is the sitcom about six friends that never got the love it deserved, according to Stephanie Van Schilt. “Released in the era of romcom sitcoms like New Girl and The Mindy Project, it’s easy to misinterpret Happy Endings from the outside. Sure, it starts with failed nuptials and wraps each season at a wedding, but don’t let that fool you … In a world complete of reboots, remakes and lukewarm reheatings, this is the one show I would truly be happy to see come back.”

Regional arts organisations are depleted and struggling under lockdown. But opening up may present new challenges, with some arts workers predicting there may be basic shifts in the way productions tour. Dubbo Theatre’s manager, Linda Christof, says there are meaningful hurdles to conquer: “Our whole team is really skilled at change management but now they’re depleted. When you have a show from Sydney Dance Company, the Imperial Russian Ballet and Bell Shakespeare, you are usually sold out. It’s very disheartening and complicated to cancel.”

Listen

The family court of Australia last month underwent the single greatest change since it was established in 1975. But some are concerned by the move. In today’s complete Story, Jane Lee speaks to Guardian Australia reporter Nino Bucci and former family court estimate Colin Forrest about what went wrong, and whether this drastic shake-up could fix it.

complete Story

The end of the family court

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

With no way of knowing how long her fertility would prevail, Madison Griffiths did what she felt she had to, with the tools she was afforded. “In lockdown I entered the abortion clinic alone, hiding trepidation behind my disguise.” Alyx Gorman recommends this personal story from Griffiths in today’s Australia Reads podcast.

Guardian Australia Reads

In lockdown I entered the abortion clinic alone, hiding trepidation behind my disguise

Listen to the best of Guardian Australia’s journalism on Australia Reads podcast on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Subscribe for free on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or any other podcasting app.

Sport

Ben Simmons was compared to LeBron James when the 76ers drafted him No 1 overall in 2016. But an ugly divorce between team and player awaits.

The England and Wales Cricket Board has warned counterparts in Australia that the Ashes tour is not a done deal as it pushes to obtain the best possible conditions for the players. One source said issues clearly keep for a group of players who must now decide their availability over the coming days.

Media roundup

Annastacia Palaszczuk has given her clearest answer however as to whether Queensland’s borders will open once vaccination rates hit 80% – “not necessarily”, reports the Brisbane Times. Medical experts cited in the Age are pushing for mandatory masks in Victorian schools . And the Australian discloses that the Morrison government will cease regional processing operations in Papua New Guinea by the year’s end, eight years after Australia began sending asylum seekers and refugees there.

Coming up

NSW Nationals will vote to choose a new leader today.

And if you’ve read this far …

One orc among many in the Lord of the Rings movies was designed to resemble Harvey Weinstein as a message to the notorious producer, Elijah Wood has told a Hollywood podcast.

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