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The campaign ads highlight the Liberals’ problem

This is the Liberals’:

And this is Labor’s:

The Liberals are selling a message of stability and … boredom.

Labor is selling a future. With great hospitals and schools and cancer treatment and lower power prices and renewables and higher wages and … and …  and… and you don’t even have to pay for it because they’re going to hit multinationals.

How do you compete with that?

How hard is it to have dinner with a PM?

Not very, if this is any guide:

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had an exclusive dinner with a wealthy Chinese businessman four days after one of his companies donated $40,000 to the Queensland Liberal National Party.

The revelation comes amid debate about Chinese companies trying to exert influence on the nation’s political class through financial donations and lobbying, and on the eve of the Queensland election.

The businessman, Liu Xiaodong, is one of three directors of Gold Coast-based company Australian Energy Windfarm (AEW), which describes itself as “China’s responsible wind power supplier”.

Mr Liu is also the chairman of China-based renewable energy giant Heilongjiang Ainaju Daianli Co Ltd, which owns 100 per cent of AEW and is pursuing major investment opportunities in Queensland.

Read the whole story. It’s hilarious.

And here’s Turnbull trying to explain it:

If you have the chance to play poker with Turnbull, do it. He has so many tells you’ll win his mansion. At least of them.


Assange kicked out

He brought it on himself:

On 26 March, WikiLeaks’ Twitter account announced that President Moreno is being investigated by Ecuador’s Congress for corruption, sparked by the INA Papers leak. The same tweet referenced President Moreno’s attempt to surrender Assange in exchange for US debt relief, a fact that had been reported by The New York Times.

The following day, Foreign Minister Jose Valencia said that the WikiLeaks tweet was “an absurd lie to harm the dignity of our country… we will not tolerate… inventions and insults… I cannot anticipate when and when we will take action in relation to this, but we will take action for certain.”

On 28 March, Communications Minister Andrés Michelena told CNN Español that the INApapers were part of a plot of Julian Assange, Venezuelan President Maduro and former Ecuadorian President Correa to bring down Moreno’s government. He added, “You have to understand how these people are connected, Mr. Assange is the Troll Center, the hacker for former President Correa, [Assange] handles the technological and social media side.”

There’s much, much for Ecuador to be unhappy about.

Read this

This is an amazing story from Cameron Stewart in The Australian about how the opioid epidemic in the US took off.

Read it. It’s is spectacularly frightening.