Afternoon Update: Betting scandal rocks A-League; top swimmers back Rinehart over portraits; and the little penguins at risk of disappearing

<span>Ulises Dávila and two teammates from Macarthur FC have been charged by NSW police in relation to alleged betting corruption.</span><span>Photograph: Mark Evans/AP</span>
Ulises Dávila and two teammates from Macarthur FC have been charged by NSW police in relation to alleged betting corruption.Photograph: Mark Evans/AP

Good afternoon. A-League club Macarthur FC said it is “shocked” after three of its players were arrested and charged in Sydney in relation to an international investigation that uncovered an alleged betting corruption scandal.

New South Wales police said on Friday they had arrested and charged the three A-League footballers in early morning raids across the city, following an investigation by the organised crime squad which began in December and was assisted by the UK gambling commission.

Macarthur’s captain, Ulises Dávila, is the alleged “senior player” involved in the scheme, as well as teammates Kearyn Baccus and Clayton Lewis.

The alleged betting corruption uncovered by Strike Force Beaconview related to “yellow card manipulation”, the police said in a statement.

Top news

  • Peter Dutton and Bill Shorten clash over budget | The Labor frontbencher challenged Dutton over his budget reply speech, specifically the impact of foreign buyers on the housing market after the Coalition proposed to ban them for two years. The opposition leader did not provide the number of homes sold to foreign buyers each year, prompting Shorten to say: “I’ll tell you how low it is. It’s less than 5,000, Peter. [Over] two years, less than 5,000.”

  • Swimming boss defends athletes lobbying national gallery to remove Gina Rinehart portraits | The head of Swimming Queensland has defended a campaign that saw Olympic champions – including Olympic gold medallist Kyle Chalmers – lobby the National Gallery of Australia to take down portraits of their patron, Gina Rinehart, because they were deemed “offensive”.

  • Melbourne police hunt man who allegedly abducted woman and baby before forcing her to buy laptops | Victoria police are hunting a man who allegedly abducted a mother and her baby from a Melbourne shopping centre last week and then forced them drive to electronic stores to buy laptops. Police say the man got into the back seat with the woman’s child while holding a knife and demanded she buy him Apple MacBooks.

  • Frank Zumbo avoids jail for indecent assaults | The former chief of staff to federal MP Craig Kelly, Frank Zumbo (pictured), has avoided jail on a string of aggravated indecent assault convictions, despite a magistrate finding he had not displayed “any remorse or contrition” for his “pattern of ongoing criminal conduct”. Zumbo was sentenced to a two-year intensive corrections order, a custodial sentence that is served in the community.

  • Little penguins at risk of vanishing from WA island | A once-thriving colony of small penguins on a tourist Island off Perth’s coast is at risk after the population plummeted to no more than 120 birds. The latest population study on Penguin Island – 50km south of Perth – has revealed that penguin numbers have crashed by two-thirds in the past five years, sources say.

  • April 2024 was Australia’s coolest in decade – but world’s warmest ever | While Australia had its coldest April in nearly a decade, the rest of the world experienced monthly average temperatures that were the hottest on record, marking eleven straight months of record monthly highs. Mean temperatures across Australia were 0.51C below the 1961–1990 average, the lowest since 2015, thanks to a high pressure system that arose off Australia’s south-west coast in the middle of the month.

  • Environmental Defenders Office did not breach funding rules, review finds | The review found the office did not breach the conditions of its $8.2m in federal funding during a legal challenge against a Santos gas project. A judgement had previously found that one of its lawyers and a cultural heritage consultant engaged in a form of “subtle coaching” in a meeting with Tiwi islanders.

  • Francis Ford Coppola’s Megalopolis splits critics | After 40 years in the making, Francis Ford Coppola’s passion project Megalopolis has finally premiered at Cannes film festival. But it has divided critics, with some saying it is “staggeringly ambitious”, “absolute madness”, and “bafflingly shallow”

What they said …


“It is entirely misconceived and based on an incorrect understanding of the phrase”

The Australia Palestine Advocacy Network, the Australian National Imams Council and the Jewish Council of Australia issued a statement opposing a motion passed in the Senate yesterday that said the chant “from river to the sea, Palestine will be free” is “frequently used to intimidate Jewish Australians via acts of antisemitism”. Several mainstream Jewish groups have labelled the “river to the sea” chant as “hateful”, but defenders of the phrase say it has a variety of meanings and can also refer to equal democratic rights and freedom for all Israelis and Palestinians.

In numbers

Half a million Australians may have phones that won’t connect to triple zero after the 3G network shuts down, a situation the federal government says is “deeply concerning”.

Before bed read

All aboard! Why boat shoes are being worn nowhere near the sea

Why are boat shoes worn everywhere except around boats? Those “posh dad’ shoes associated with Cape Cod and the Kings Road are cropping up everywhere, and this great piece tracks their return.

Daily word game

Today’s starter word is: Bear. You have five goes to get the longest word including the starter word. Play Wordiply.

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