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News

Wentworth: The race that has stopped the nation

“The Liberal Party’s Dave Sharma was missing. Much like his party’s climate policy.”

Politics is being held in stasis as the government awaits the outcome of the Wentworth byelection – even as the Liberal candidate is missing in action.

News

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News

The power of Alan Jones

“His influence is not easily resolved. If you’re an opposition leader, you’d rather a relationship than not, and any politician seeking power in NSW will want a dialogue with him. His personality and performance speaks for itself.”

As advertising on the Opera House shows the political influence of Alan Jones, his rivals and confidants marvel at his singular power.

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News

The fight to keep the Witness K case secret

The initial focus of the government’s case against Witness K and Bernard Collaery – resuming hearings this month – is on the fight to keep its potentially embarrassing proceedings confidential.

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News

Dennis Richardson: keeper of Canberra’s secrets

“You are naive if you ever think you’ve got the full story ... There were periods of time where they were less than fulsome in what they would share with us about a couple of Australians.”

Dennis Richardson was chief of ASIO and ambassador to Washington before heading the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and then Defence. Here, he talks about China, Trump and Australia’s foreign policy.

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News

Coercive control and domestic abuse

Legal experts and practitioners are studying Britain’s coercive control law – criminalising domestic abuse that doesn’t involve physical violence – to determine if Australia should adopt similar legislation.

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World

Pence drops bomb on China’s US influence

Pence adds to pressure on China, Brazil’s Duterte, Timor-Leste’s LNG pipedream.

Opinion

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Opinion

Tony Windsor
How climate change policy helps farmers

“Drought is ravaging the land. Large swaths of eastern Australia are experiencing some of the worst seasons on record. Frosts have wiped out large areas of crops in Western Australia, southern New South Wales and Victoria. Hail has beaten crops into the ground in Queensland. The government is scrambling to be seen to be doing something meaningful for farmers, particularly in Queensland where traditional National voters are looking to desert in favour of minor parties, such as One Nation and Katter’s Australian Party. At the same time, the climate change debate proceeds at a crawl.”

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Opinion

Paul Bongiorno
Morrison’s race to the bottom

“Morrison is signalling he wants stronger laws exempting religious institutions from Australia’s discrimination laws. Government sources say Morrison believes the Ruddock recommendations are too weak. For example, its recommendations on the legality of refusing gay students say a discrimination policy should apply only to new enrolments and when “the school has regard to the best interests of the child as the primary consideration in its conduct”.”

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Diary

Gadfly
Lord and hosts

As a good Gold Coast happy clapper, the unstoppable Stuey Robert, assistant treasurer of the Commonwealth, is likely to be redeemed of all his sins – such as running up a huge internet bill for the taxpayers, or going to China to eat roast duck at the behest of a Nasty Party donor, or juggling his directorships and shareholdings in companies with interests in transportation, gold and supplements for gym bunnies. He brings to federal politics all the glamour of the Gold Coast, including his Pentecostal zeal, which he shares with his lovely wife, Chantelle, and Skin Curling SloMo.

Letters & Editorial

Cartoon

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Editorial
Faith palm

Asked if he were comfortable with a child being expelled from a school because of their sexuality, he said: “It’s existing law.” This is how faith works. It is a kind of surrender to that which has already been written down. In politics, it functions as a defence of that which cannot otherwise be defended – a perfect link back to the past and to the morals that resided there.

Letters

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PM can’t handle the truth

Tim Flannery’s article (“Checking Morrison on climate change”, October 6–12) exposes, in a very measured way, some of the blatant lies recently put forward by Prime Minister Scott …

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Second Indigenous vote can be won

Thomas Mayor’s excellent analysis of our politicians’ rejection of the Uluru Statement from the Heart (“Unlocking political heart”, October 6–12) ends on a positive …

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Culture

Profile

The key concepts of Ryuichi Sakamoto

Ryuichi Sakamoto is perhaps best known for his many film scores, including The Revenant, but the composer and keyboardist’s long career spans the synth pop of Yellow Magic Orchestra, pioneering electro-funk and subtly complex ambient music. “Making music for me is a chain reaction, always going towards something. Some ideas, a glimpse of something, a fragment of a memory that triggers more images. Your mother’s smell, a person from TV news. That kind of imaginative fantasy, that journey, is already very musical. So, I hope my music can trigger some kind of image series for the listener.”

Theatre

Barry McGovern’s Watt

Barry McGovern’s one-man adaptation of Samuel Beckett’s novel Watt is a masterpiece of poignant, pratfalling absurdity

Music

A Star Is Born OST

The soundtrack to A Star Is Born – featuring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper – unwittingly rebuts the film’s storyline, with the female star’s serious music less compelling than the pure pop she’s meant to have outgrown.

Portrait

Author Deb Kandelaars

The writer of Memoirs of a Suburban Girl on her long road out of a violent relationship. “There I am, right in the middle of my teenage years and suddenly in a serious relationship. A relationship that pushes away my other life. Being hit was beyond my world experience. I didn’t want it to happen again. I started treading a little bit more carefully, and that set up a power dynamic.”

Life

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Food

Amaretti semifreddo

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Life

David Goldblatt’s South Africa

Before photographer David Goldblatt passed away in June this year he took a final road trip across his homeland, South Africa.

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Sport

That daring young man: Matthew Wareing, 17, flying trapeze artist

Matt Wareing on why he gave up soccer for flying trapeze and how he came to be catching his mum.

Books

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Jeff Sparrow
Trigger Warnings

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The Quiz

1. What nationality was the composer Béla Bartók?
2. In the 2018 AFL and NRL grand finals, players named Luke were awarded the Norm Smith and Clive Churchill medals. What are their surnames? (Bonus points for naming the premiership-winning sides they play for.)
3. Fanny Brawne was betrothed to which English poet?
4. What poisonous plant was used to kill Socrates?
5. Sabah, Selangor and Sarawak are states of which country?
6. Which actor links the films Catch Me If You Can, Pulp Fiction and Jersey Boys?
7. Who is Australia’s shadow education minister?
8. Which musical note is pitched around 261.63Hz?
9. What is the symbol for the chemical element chlorine?
10. The sharemarket crash known as Black Monday – or Black Tuesday in Australia and New Zealand – occurred in which year?

Quotes

ISOLATION

“If we did, nobody invited me to join either of them.”

Peter CostelloThe Howard-era treasurer offers the fact he was never asked to join a Liberal Party faction as proof the party didn’t have them. That said, he never got asked to be prime minister, either.

CLIMATE

“We’re very comfortable with where we’re heading.”

Melissa PriceThe environment minister responds to this week’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, confirming the Coalition is comfortable to be careening towards a future of perpetual day, lit by the warm glow of all-consuming bushfires.

EQUALITY

“All four are women.”

Brett KavanaughThe controversial United States Supreme Court justice cancels out his karmic debt with the universe by hiring an all-female staff. Everything is totally fine now.

DEFAMATION

“I couldn’t cavil with the fact that the [first] defence was an interesting document.”

Clarissa AmatoThe lawyer representing Mark Latham in a defamation case shaves his original 76-page defence argument down to just three. Really, though, “I did accuse Osman Faruqi of aiding Islamic terrorism but I didn’t think he’d actually sue me” shouldn’t take up that much space.

WENTWORTH

“Emissions are at their lowest levels in 28 years.”

Dave SharmaThe Liberal candidate for Wentworth observes that his party has done enough on climate change. Easy enough to do, but he is confusing emissions with the Liberal primary vote in the seat.

REALITY

“Just don’t hassle me … I’m trying to chill out, copping enough crap from people like you, mate.”

Nick Cummins

The Honey Badger is cornered in a Port Moresby hotel by A Current Affair’s Reid Butler, who was outraged Cummins failed to marry one of the women he met on reality television. As always, ACA doing God’s work.