The Informer: When the grimmest of news comes from the very top

A four-year investigation is coming to an end. Photo: File
A four-year investigation is coming to an end. Photo: File

A prime ministerial warning should not be taken lightly.

When Scott Morrison today warned the nation to get ready to face some "brutal truths", you inhale sharply, almost involuntarily.

It's been four years since rumours and allegations about the conduct of Australian special forces in Afghanistan were referred to New South Wales Justice Paul Brereton for investigation. The findings are set to finally be made public, with some redactions, Sally Whyte wrote in the The Canberra Times.

A special investigator, the PM said, will be appointed to consider allegations of war crimes by Australia's soldiers in the Middle East.

"Given the likely allegations of serious and possibly criminal misconduct, the matters raised in the inquiry must be assessed, investigated and where allegations are substantiated, prosecuted in court. To undertake this role, the government is establishing the Office of the Special Investigator," Mr Morrison said today.

Defence Minister Linda Reynolds confirmed the controversy may indeed stripping soldiers of medals if misconduct is proven and they are consequently convicted of crimes. There is much ground to be covered and the actions of the vast majority Defence Force personnel should not be impugned between now now and then.

Today Victoria made it a baker's dozen of donut days when it recorded 13-straight days of no new cases in the 24-hours while the state's Mental Health Minister James Merlino announced $868.8 million in funding to reform the state's "broken" mental health system.

NSW has gone five consecutive days without a single locally-acquired case of COVID-19 being diagnosed and the federal government announced that elderly people, aged care employees and health workers will be first in line to receive coronavirus vaccines. The first jabs are expected to be available in March 2021.

Australia's relative success in combatting COVID-19 has sadly not been replicated with infections and deaths soaring the world over. Cases are still surging in the Americas, averaging 150,000 a day in the past week. Check out an overview here.

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