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5 things you need to know today

  • Cardinal George Pell, Australia's most senior Catholic cleric will return to court in Melbourne today for what is expected to be a month-long committal hearing as he fights historical sexual offence charges. Cardinal Pell is facing historical sexual offence charges involving multiple complainants. He was charged by detectives from Victoria Police's Sano taskforce in June last year and was granted leave by the Pope to return to Australia from the Vatican to fight the charges.
  • President Donald Trump has escalated transatlantic tensions over trade, saying the United States "will simply apply a tax" on cars made in Europe if it retaliates against his tariffs on imports of steel and aluminium. The European Union has promised to respond with tariffs on United States exports if Mr Trump follows through with his plan next week.
  • Former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce says he had "no choice" but to tell the story about the question mark that hangs over whether he is the biological father of his partner's unborn son. Mr Joyce revealed that the identity of the child's biological father is a "grey area".
  • University of Sydney staff have been given written warnings and counselling as part of disciplinary action in response to a review of alleged inappropriate spending on corporate credit cards. Internal documents reveal that individual spending items investigated included a $669 bill for a meal "predominantly alcohol" with staff and student ambassadors at the Opera Bar on January 8 last year. Expenditure items also included $446.89 on June 10, 2016 for food from Woolworths for an internal staff function, $399 spent for Bose travel headphones and $212.99 for new luggage.
  • Australians caught up in one of the biggest scandals in motoring history head to the Federal Court today as the joint class action against global carmaker Volkswagen gets underway. It's been three years since it was uncovered VW had fitted its cars with "defeat device" software that could detect test conditions and reduce its emissions accordingly to improve results. The German car giant has since admitted cheating emissions tests in the US.

Published on: Monday, March 05, 2018

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