NormalfalsefalseEN-AUJAX-NONE /* Style Definitions */table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:”Table Normal”; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:””; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-ansi-language:EN-AU;}BREAKING: Senior Greek air safety official says debris found so far in Mediterranean does not belong to an aircraft.— The Associated Press (@AP) May 19, 2016*/]]>

Flight MS804 from Paris to Cairo went missing over the Mediterranean Sea at 0.45 GMT on Thursday morning with 66 people on board.

The Egyptian government said it was more likely the result of terrorism than a technical failure. So far no-one has claimed responsibility. The Greek government said the plane swerved 90 degrees to the left, 360 degrees to the right, plunged 37,000 to 15,000 before vanishing from radar screens. 2. Trump suggests terrorism

The Republican presumptive Presidential nominee was quick to join speculation that the plane was brought down by terrorism, tweeting that it looked like an attack several hours before investigators had found the wreckage.  Looks like yet another terrorist attack. Airplane departed from Paris. When will we get tough, smart and vigilant? Great hate and sickness!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 19, 2016

In contrast, Hillary Clinton was interviewed on CNN after the airline confirmed the wreckage was found. She said it did appear to be an “act of terrorism” and said it showed the need for “steady” leadership in the United States.

The White House refused to buy into any speculation and said it was “too early” while US Secretary John Kerry said he would not speculate for as long as he did not have the information.

They obviously listened to former Defense Secretary Robert Gates on the need for politicians with responsibility to show some discipline against the media frenzy. 3. ‘Extraordinary’ police raids

Now to a massive development in the federal election campaign.

Make no mistake: with these raids the otherwise dull and gentlemanly campaign just got a whole lot of serious.

Questions will certainly be asked of the federal police about its decision to raid a Labor Senator’s office, as well as the homes of Labor staffers, in the middle of an election campaign about a leaked report to The Sydney Morning Herald about the state of the National Broadband Network.

The article published in February said the NBN was facing “mounting delays and rising costs.” Pretty ho-hum. Usually a story showing a government program blowing out is read with an “as you’d expect” attitude by readers who have come to expect incompetence from their elected officials. Malcolm Turnbull was, until he became Prime Minister, the Communications Minister presiding over said blowout.  Mr Turnbull not taking any questions on NBN raids as he leaves Bankstown Sports Club #ausvotes— Rob Harris (@rharris334) May 19, 2016

The government sought to distance itself from the police raids, saying the AFP acts entirely independently of the Coalition or government of the day, and said the raids were the result of an NBN Co complaint. The raids continued overnight and were due to resume on Friday.

But the optics of this are: Tony Abbott’s cabinet leaked like a sieve, especially over citizenship laws in moves designed to undermine the former PM – yet no police were called into to raid the offices and homes of Coalition cabinet ministers and their staff.Recently, The Australian reported it had obtained sections of the Defence White paper – a major national security issue. So far no raids have been conducted over those.The raids relate to a political leak – raising questions about whether this the best use of federal police resources.

Bill Shorten called the raids an “extraordinary development.” Rightly so. Shorten says raids relate to Turnbull’s embarrassment over multi-billion dollar blow-outs and delays on NBN pic.twitter老域名/mVypEWQl7x— Adam Todd (@_AdamTodd) May 19, 2016

Much, much more to come on this. 4. Focus off Dutton

Latest read on the election is the number of seats required for Labor to win are now very much in play.  A couple of weeks ago that wasn’t the case. Turnbull is still favourite but a mistake would be fatal. Labor now thinks the government’s continued focus on borders and not the economy is a sign of how spooked they are. (Can you just imagine the internal payback against the plotters should the unthinkable happen and Turnbull loses?)

Today Malcolm Turnbull has taken to the Fairfax opinion pages to warn, not about the economy but about borders. And just days after backing his Immigration Minister Peter Dutton’s “illiterate and innumerate refugees” comments, he reckons it’s Bill Shorten who would put multicultural Australia at risk.

After yesterday’s damaging David Feeney revelations regarding his double-dipping an undeclared $2.3 million property, it turns out the Greens, who often act holier-than-thou in federal politics, have a scandal of their own to deal with.

Greens Leader Richard Di Natale, who is stalking David Feeney’s Melbourne seat of Batman, failed to declare his farm. Just like Mr Feeney, this makes him potentially in “serious contempt” of the parliament. 

Senator Natale was a vocal critic of David Feeney over his failure to declare. Photo: Andrew Meares

It’s not hard to see why a common public refrain of voters is that at the end of the day, politicians are just all the same. 5. Boko Haram fears

This is such a sad piece about how the girls being rescued from Boko Haram, since their mass abduction two years ago have become cause for suspicion rather than celebration, with fears of Stockholm Syndrome and would-be suicide bombers.

Even sadder is the stigma and fate that awaits the girls’ babies, which were fathered by their captors. 6. NYT fears Australia is becoming America

The Sydney Opera House lit up for the Vivid festival. Photo: James Horan

Say it ain’t so!

I couldn’t go past this piece in the New York Times from Roger Cohen who just landed in Sydney to find it looking a little too much like America.

“I left an America raging about refugees and immigration and came to find the Australian immigration minister, Peter Dutton, fuming about “illiterate and innumerate” refugees intent on taking ‘Australian jobs,'” he writes.

Who can argue with the man?

That’s it for this week, you can follow me on Facebook for more. Have a great weekend.

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