Top secret Australian files found in old filing cabinets

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"So the communicating of them, any of those documents that were labelled top secret, would come under an aggravated offence with a maximum penalty of 20 years for the journalist and potentially other people in the media organisation for communicating those documents". Those documents were eventually found by security staff, who saw them destroyed.

ABC chose to publish some of the files, containing information regarding Australia's counterterrorism strategies, missile upgrades and terror suspect profiles, because "national security and the inner workings of our governments affect the lives of all Australians".

Senior minister Penny Wong left almost 200 top-secret "code word protected and sensitive documents" in her office after her Labor Party lost the 2013 election, documents showed.

A spokesman for Wong told the Australian Financial Review on Wednesday the document safe had been deliberately left in the office because the aide with the key had left.

But Rory Medcalf, head of the Australian National University's National Security College, told news.com.au that the source was likely high up the food chain.

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Abbott ignored the advice of the AGS, and that of his own department.

He said those documents had already been examined by a royal commission inquiry.

"We consider that producing cabinet-related documents to any court or tribunal ... would not accord with legal practice and principle".

Among the revelations contained in the documents were details on former immigration minister Scott Morrison's treatment of asylum seekers' visa applications, former PM Tony Abbott's proposed welfare cuts and claims that Rudd and his successor (and predecessor) Julia Gillard knew of critical risks to the insulation scheme that killed four installers.

Early this morning ASIO provided the ABC with a new locked cabinet to secure the documents during the negotiations for their surrender.

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Tony Abbott's government meant to ban anyone under 30 from accessing income support.

The ABC defended the publication, insisting it was in the national interest, though former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said on Twitter on Thursday that he had launched legal action against the national broadcaster.

The ABC cited departmental report warning of "critical risks" in the scheme in April 2009, before it rolled out, saying "many of these risks can not be adequately managed in the lead-up to the July 1 start date".

Cabinet papers did not specify whether these were safety concerns, the ABC said.

He said in a statement to ABC: "The Royal Commission into the Home Insulation Program had unprecedented access to cabinet material and made no adverse finding against Mr Rudd".

Blackstone in talks to buy into financial information market
The news and data provider has a market value of about $31 billion and its shares trade on the NY and Toronto stock exchanges. Thomson Reuters would hold on to its worldwide news service, Reuters, along with its Legal and Tax and Accounting divisions.

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