Afternoon Update: US investor dares Adani to sue over report; NBL pride jersey controversy; and a February events guide

The fallout has continued today after an explosive report accused the Adani Group of the “biggest con in corporate history”.

The Indian conglomerate – headed by Gautam Adani, the world’s third-richest man – is accused of “brazen stock manipulation and accounting fraud scheme”. The report from US investor firm Hindenburg Research resulted in the group losing US$9.4bn (A$13.2bn) in value.

The investor firm has dared Adani to sue after the company slammed the report as “maliciously mischievous and “unresearched”.

Adani operates the Carmichael coal and rail project in Australia via its rebranded subsidiary Bravus. The Hindenburg report cited the Australian operation as part of the alleged fraudulent scheme.

Top news

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese during a visit to the Thales Group manufacturing facility in Bendigo.
Anthony Albanese has outlined a timeline for the voice referendum to provide an opportunity for engagement and consultation. Photograph: Stuart Walmsley/AAP
  • Albanese outlines timeline for voice referendum | Before the referendum is held, a constitutional alteration bill will be introduced followed by “a parliamentary inquiry into that legislation where people have the opportunity to put forward their views”. This will present the opportunity to debate and discuss the Indigenous voice in detail, the PM clarified.

  • Pantera shows cancelled over Nazi salute | Three shows of Pantera’s forthcoming reunion tour have been cancelled this week, seemingly due to a 2016 incident in which frontman Phil Anselmo made a Nazi salute and yelled “white power” at a concert.

Isaac Humphries of Melbourne United
Isaac Humphries of Melbourne United, who came out as gay last year, is disappointed by the Cairns Taipans side’s decision not to wear the pride jersey. Photograph: Paul Kane/Getty Images
  • Cairns NBL team rejects pride jersey | A disappointed Isaac Humphries (pictured) – who came out as gay last November – has questioned the Cairns Taipans side’s decision not to wear jerseys celebrating the NBL’s inaugural pride round. Cairns coach Adam Forde insisted the club supported the pride round concept but was protecting its players, shutting down further questions and not allowing player Ben Ayres to respond when he was asked to explain the squad’s decision.

  • Brumbys numbers surge | Environment advocates say the New South Wales government is failing to meet its promise to control feral horses in the Kosciuszko national park after numbers increased by more than 4,000 in the past two years. Based on surveys conducted in November, the government estimates numbers have grown to 18,814, up from 14,380 in 2020.

  • Boost for Tasmania GPs | Tasmania has become the first state government to take up the commonwealth’s funding to deliver a program to improve regional healthcare. The prime minister, Anthony Albanese, was visiting the state where he announced $8m for a program to encourage rural and regional GPs.

  • Universities call for cost-of-living assistance for students | The Australian Technology Network of Universities has submitted its pre-budget paper to the federal government, calling for cost-of-living assistance for students and an overhauled strategy for international education.

Aerial view of the Amazon rainforest
Degradation of the Amazon rainforest may be twice as bad as previous estimates, a study has found. Photograph: Mauro Pimentel/AFP/Getty Images
  • Amazon rainforest degradation | Human activity and drought may have degraded more than a third of the Amazon rainforest, double the previous estimate, according to a study that heightens concerns that the globally important ecosystem is slipping towards a point of no return.

  • US raid in Somalia | A US military raid in Somalia ordered by President Joe Biden this week killed a key regional leader of the Islamic State group, Bilal al-Sudani, according to US officials.

  • Denmark to abolish public holiday to fund defence | Danes are furious with a government plan to make them work an extra day to help fund the defence budget. “It’s a big threat to the Danish model,” said Lizette Risgaard, the head of the nation’s biggest trade union.

Full Story

Red soil in the outback in Western Australia.
After the rains of La Niña brought floods, the arrival of El Niño could signal a return to drought and bushfires for Australia. Photograph: Taras Vyshnya/Alamy

It’s getting hot in here: the return of El Niño

After three years of rain and floods, Australia’s weather could soon flip into a hotter, drier phase – El Niño. Does that mean more bushfires to come? Listen to this 18-minute episode.

What they said …

Referendum Council co-chair Pat Anderson
Referendum council co-chair Pat Anderson says voice to parliament will help alleviate disadvantage in Indigenous communities. Photograph: Lucy Hughes Jones/AAP

***

“We encourage all Australians not to be swayed by the noisy few.” – Pat Anderson, Uluru Dialogue co-chair

The voice to parliament will help alleviate disadvantage in Indigenous communities, Anderson said, calling the Coalition’s “clamour” for detail “disingenuous”.

In numbers

Voting for Triple J’s hottest 100 has closed and the countdown for Australia’s biggest music poll has begun.

Before bed read

We’ve updated our summer guide so you can start planning your February activities. Whether you’re looking for free things to do in Sydney today, family-friendly shows in Melbourne this weekend or what’s coming up this month in Brisbane or Perth, search our guide to find what’s on near you

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