ABC News Daily



ABC News Daily is the podcast that helps you understand the issues affecting your world. Every episode, host Samantha Hawley walks through one story with the help of an ABC colleague or expert in under 15 minutes. When you want coverage you can trust, listen to ABC News Daily.

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1129 episodes

The mysterious deaths of two Saudi sisters

When two sisters from Saudi Arabia were found dead and naked in their beds in a Sydney apartment earlier this year, it shocked Australians and puzzled police. It has raised questions about who the young women were and why they fled their homeland.  Today, Background briefing reporter Rachael Brown on her chilling investigation into their mysterious deaths and why other Saudi women in Australia are living in fear.  Featured: Rachael Brown, Background Briefing reporter

Aug 11
David Speers on jobs for mates and 'grey' corruption

There's a flourishing 'jobs for mates' culture in Australia, so it's hardly surprising when former politicians are appointed to lucrative overseas posts.  But do we really have to accept it?  In New South Wales a former deputy premier was forced to relinquish a plum United States post after a public outcry and now he's at the centre of an explosive inquiry.  Today, Insiders host David Speers on integrity in politics and why voters are demanding more of it.  Featured: David Speers, host of Insiders

Aug 10
Why the big banks are betting on a recession

The reserve bank has spent most of the year furiously increasing interest rates but now the big banks are betting they'll start falling again soon.  It's not due to an improving economic outlook. It's because the rapid rate hikes globally could land us in recession.  Today, ABC business editor Ian Verrender on the 'miserable' state of the economy and why the credibility of the RBA is on the line.  Featured: Ian Verrender, ABC business editor

Aug 09
'Haunting' memories of the disease on our doorstep

You would have heard by now Australia has stepped up its border security because of an outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease in Indonesia. So what would happen if the disease arrived here? Today we speak to a farmer who lived through a devastating outbreak in England in the early 2000s and the life-changing experiences of an Australian vet who went to help.  Featured: Robert Craig, dairy farmer, Cumbria UK Bill Sykes, cattle farmer and veterinarian

Aug 08
China, Russia and the race for new hypersonic missiles

Last year, China tested a hypersonic missile that circumnavigated the globe before hitting its target. It surprised the world, and it was a sign of just how advanced its military has become.  So amid calls for the US and its allies including Australia to develop better missile capabilities in response, how big is the threat?  Today, aerospace engineer and former NASA employee, Professor Iain Boyd, on the hypersonic arms race Beijing seems to be winning.   Featured:  Dr Iain Boyd, professor of aerospace engineering sciences, University of Colorado Boulder

Aug 07
A referendum, a 'colonising' Queen, and the hope for a Voice

History shows us changing the constitution can be an unpredictable process, but Anthony Albanese has made it clear that's one of his main aims during his first term as leader.  He's pushing ahead with a referendum on a First Nations Voice to Parliament, which would enshrine in the constitution a body to advise on matters relating to Australia's first peoples, and already there's resistance.  Today, ABC Radio National Breakfast host Patricia Karvelas on what could be a difficult path ahead. Featured:  Patricia Karvelas, host, ABC Radio National Breakfast

Aug 04
When Nancy Pelosi risked war with China

There's already so much uncertainty in the world and now it's being compounded, with China scrambling jets in response to a visit to Taiwan by the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi.  The headlines are worrying, pointing to the risks of an all-out war.  Today, the ABC's East Asia correspondent, based in Taipei, Bill Birtles on the potential for a crisis in the Taiwan Strait.  Featured:  Bill Birtles, ABC East Asia correspondent, Taipei, Taiwan

Aug 03
As interest rates rise, is honesty Labor's only policy?

Interest rates have risen again, this time by half a percent, and from all accounts the Reserve Bank isn't finished yet. The new Treasurer, Jim Chalmers, says it means millions of Australians will be finding it much harder to make ends meet.  So what is he saying he'll do about it? Today, economics reporter Gareth Hutchens on what we know of the new government's plans to ease the pain.  Featured:  Gareth Hutchens, ABC business and economics reporter

Aug 02
China's secret Pacific slush fund

We know China's influence is growing in the Pacific, but exactly how it operates is often opaque. Now, Four Corners has uncovered a paper trail that reveals just how far Beijing is willing to go to keep its friends in power. Today, reporter Angus Grigg on how a Chinese-backed multi-million-dollar slush fund is ensuring the Solomon Islands prime minister, Manasseh Sogavare, hangs on.  Featured:  Angus Grigg, ABC Four Corners reporter

Aug 01
COVID's deadly 'payback period'

Australian hospitals have never been so swamped by COVID-19 patients. We're heading for another peak in infections, and the daily death toll has never been so high, while worldwide we appear to be faring worse than just about anywhere else. But why? And how many more waves will Australia need to endure? Today, epidemiologist Professor Tony Blakely on why Australia's early success at keeping the virus at bay now seems to be working against us. Featured: Professor Tony Blakely, epidemiologist, School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne

Jul 31
'Cruelty compounded': Myanmar's executions

This week, four pro-democracy advocates were executed in Myanmar, a year and a half since the military seized control of the country from the former civilian leader, Aung San Suu Kyi. Today, Human Rights Watch deputy Asia director Phil Robertson on the first executions in Myanmar in 30 years, and why he fears there are more to come. Featured: Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director, Human Rights Watch

Jul 28
Is a recession the only way out?

The prices of everyday goods are going up faster now than at any other time during the past 20 years.  Yesterday we learned the inflation rate had hit 6.1 percent, and analysts says it's still heading up.  Today, the ABC's business editor Ian Verrender on whether all this means we're sliding towards the economic pain of a recession, and what we can all do if we are. Featured:  Ian Verrender, ABC business editor

Jul 27
An Australian journalist's escape from the Taliban

When an Australian journalist was detained by the Taliban and forced to apologise for her stories, it highlighted the threats faced by reporters since coalition forces pulled out of Afghanistan almost a year ago.  Today, we speak to Lynne O'Donnell about her escape, and the terror the Afghan people are facing.  Featured:  Lynne O'Donnell, reporter, Islamabad, Pakistan

Jul 26
Inside Scott Morrison's last-ditch election tactic

It's the first parliamentary sitting day of Anthony Albanese's government, but in recent days there's also been attention on the dying hours of Scott Morrison's leadership.  We now know that, as we were all casting our ballots, the government was scrambling to get news out about an asylum-seeker boat arrival.  Today, the ABC's political editor, Andrew Probyn, on how and why the long-standing convention to keep 'on-water operations' secret was broken.  Featured:  Andrew Probyn, ABC political editor

Jul 25
Alan Kohler on why the RBA needs a shake-up

The Reserve Bank governor, Philip Lowe, once suggested interest rates wouldn't rise until 2024, but already this year, they've gone up three times.  We're being warned there could be far worse still to come, which will only add to the financial pain millions of Australians are facing.  Now, the Government's holding a review of the bank, which the Treasurer Jim Chalmers says will dig into just how well the RBA is serving us.  Today, Alan Kohler, on the shake-up he says the bank needs.  Featured:  Alan Kohler, ABC news finance analyst

Jul 24
Are pro golfers being played by Saudi Arabia?

The international golfing establishment is in turmoil, with two Australians in the spotlight for very different reasons.  One, Cameron Smith, this week won the prestigious British Open, while the other, former tournament winner and golfing legend Greg Norman, is being accused of selling out golf to improve the image of Saudi Arabia.  Today, host of The Ticket podcast Tracey Holmes on the great white shark's brash moves.  Featured: Tracey Holmes, host, ABC The Ticket podcast

Jul 21
Satan, miracles and God's plan: Scott Morrison 'unplugged'

We haven't seen too much of him since he lost the election, but Scott Morrison has been back in the headlines after delivering a lengthy weekend address at a Pentecostal church in Perth.  In it, he referenced Satan, miracles and God's plan, telling the faithful it would be a mistake to trust in governments like they trust in God.  Today, Radio National Breakfast host Patricia Karvelas runs us through the key moments, and why they matter.  Featured:  Patricia Karvelas, host, ABC RN Breakfast

Jul 20
The boatloads of asylum seekers Australia forgot

One of the first things the Albanese government did when it came to power was to allow a Tamil family to return to the central Queensland town of Biloela.  That decision focused attention on tens of thousands of other asylum seekers here who have been waiting for immigration rulings for around a decade, and in some cases are living in poverty without access to Centrelink, Medicare or the ability to work.  Today, national regional reporter Nathan Morris takes us to meet some of them.  Featured:  Nathan Morris, ABC national regional reporter, Gatton, Queensland

Jul 19
One jab to end them all

A spike in COVID cases has led the Government to urge everyone over 30 to get a fourth vaccine. But how much longer will we need rolling booster shots? Today viral immunologist Dr David Martinez on the promising early signs in trials for universal vaccines that could ward off current and future coronaviruses. Featured: Dr David Martinez, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina

Jul 18
Putin can turn off gas to Europe. Will he?

Europe is bracing itself for an energy emergency, amid increasing fears the Kremlin could stop vital gas supply as a tool in its war.  Germany gets a large proportion of its natural gas from Russia, but the Nord Stream pipeline that provides it has been switched off, and there's growing concern Vladimir Putin won't put it on again.  Today, energy analyst Tom Marzec-Manser on how that could send not only Germany but the whole of Europe into recession, and mean we would be left paying more too. Featured:  Tom Marzec-Manser, head of gas analytics, Independent Commodity Intelligence Services, London

Jul 17
The controversy over a 'breakthrough' dementia drug

Even though half a million Australians live with dementia, much remains unknown about the disease. Recently, one global pharmaceutical company, Biogen, has been promoting a drug to combat its most common form, Alzheimer's, after it was approved for use. Today, the host of the ABC's Health Report, Dr Norman Swan, on whether the drug really does what the company claims.   Featured: Dr Norman Swan, host, ABC RN The Health Report and co-host, ABC Coronacast

Jul 14
BA.5 is taking hold. So where is the Omicron vaccine?

The BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants of Omicron are leading to a concerning jump in infections here and around the world. That's partly because while current vaccines are preventing death and hospitalisation, they're no longer as effective at stopping COVID-19 from spreading. Today, US virologist Jeremy Kamil on when Omicron-specific vaccines will be ready, and which nations will get them first. Featured: Dr Jeremy Kamil, associate professor of microbiology and immunology, Louisiana State University, Shreveport, Louisiana, US

Jul 13
The koala's slide to extinction

Did you know koalas were listed as endangered in Queensland, New South Wales and the ACT this year? The iconic Australian marsupial is on a slide towards extinction, and the animals could all be gone from the wild on the east coast in less than 30 years.  Today, ABC Background Briefing reporter, Rachael Brown, on her recent investigation into the multiple threats facing koalas, and the political in-fighting that's hindering efforts to protect them.  Featured:  Rachel Brown, reporter, ABC Background Briefing

Jul 12
Still traumatised, Lismore's flood victims wait for answers

As residents of Sydney, the Hunter and their surrounds begin another clean up from devastating floods, it's worth also remembering the residents of Lismore.  Thousands of residents there still haven't been able to return to their homes, more than four months after flooding destroyed large parts of the city in northern New South Wales.  Today, local resident and ABC reporter Leah White takes us there, as the community grapples with questions like whether to rebuild amid predictions of more rains to come.  Featured:  Leah White, ABC reporter, Lismore, NSW Lee and Mike Try, North Lismore residents

Jul 11
Boris, 'buffoonery' and British democracy

After dozens of ministerial resignations, Boris Johnson announced he would step down as the prime minister of the United Kingdom on Thursday, after surviving years of political scandals and personal missteps.  So what sort of politician was he really?  And what legacy does he leave behind?  Today, behavioural scientist Stephen Reicher on why he thinks Boris Johnson was far more dangerous for British democracy than his cavalier approach might suggest. Featured: Professor Stephen Reicher, behavioural scientist, School of Psychology and Neuroscience, University of St Andrews, Fife, Scotland

Jul 10
The day three men in a tugboat prevented a disaster

On Monday, three men embarked on a perilous journey to stop a catastrophe from unfolding on Sydney's shoreline. On a tugboat, in 9 metre swells, they worked for hours to prevent a cargo ship carrying fuel from ploughing into a cliff, saving the lives of 21 crew members and averting an ecological disaster. Today we talk to those men about their extraordinary rescue mission. Featured: Brad Lucas, tugboat captain Marius Fenger, engineer Alex Alsop, deckhand

Jul 07
Alan Kohler on the recession we don't have to have

The Australian economy is looking shaky right now, as life gets tougher for millions of Australians with mortgages with major banks passing on this week's interest rate rise.  But the worst could still be to come, as speculation builds we could end up in a recession.  Today, finance expert Alan Kohler on what that would look like, and who we should blame if it happens. Featured:  Alan Kohler, financial analyst

Jul 06
Rain, floods and the threat of a soggy summer

After months of torrential rain up and down the east coast, New South Wales is being hit by severe flooding again. Today, ABC journalist Gavin Coote takes us to the hardest hit communities and University of New South Wales climate scientist Agus Santoso explains why there could be much more rain to come. Featured: Gavin Coote, ABC Radio reporter, AM Jeremy Muller, Windsor resident Kevin Shaw, Camden resident Dr Agus Santoso, senior researcher, UNSW Climate Research Centre

Jul 05
The COVID deaths no one is stopping

More than 7,500 Australians have died from COVID-19 in 2022, and some think that number could reach 15,000 by the end of the year. So what, if anything, is being done to slow the death toll? Today we speak to a woman still struggling to comprehend the loss of a loved one and an epidemiologist about how Australia went from a world leader in controlling the disease to the bottom of the pack. Featured: Paige Carter, family member Professor Michael Toole, Associate Principal Research Fellow, Burnet Institute

Jul 04
Why are Australians worried about Roe v Wade?

Thirty-six years years ago, Melbourne woman Ilsa Evans had an abortion, a decision she says changed her life immeasurably for the better. On the weekend she was one of thousands of women who took to the streets to protest against the ruling in the United States to wind back abortion rights. Today, why Ilsa is worried about Australia's abortion laws and an expert on just how secure our reproductive rights are. Featured: Ilsa Evans, demonstrator and author Dr Prudence Flowers, senior lecturer in US history at Flinders University

Jul 03