Issue #158 May 27 – June 2, 2017

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News

How subcontracting fuelled the alleged Plutus tax scam

The massive alleged payroll tax scam, carried out through government contracts, reveals the vulnerabilities of a cynical labour market.

News

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News

Peter Dutton’s asylum seeker deadline

“The concept that they’ve been somehow conning the system, somehow refusing to lodge, is just completely false.”

Peter Dutton’s crackdown on ‘fake refugees’ has sparked claims that his announcement is not only prejudicial but also purely political.

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News

Making sense of the Sydney siege

“The negotiators failed to pursue opportunities to attempt to engage with Monis because of a lack of experience in terrorist negotiations, a lack of flexibility in approach and a lack of initiative.”

The coronial inquiry into the Sydney siege finds mistakes made in awarding Man Haron Monis bail, and police tactics in need of review.

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News

The social impact of declining literacy rates

“When the system fails those with literacy struggles, it can mark the beginning of a vicious circle … Once individuals find themselves in prison, they have limited opportunity to improve their circumstances.”

As declining literacy rates in Australia feed into unemployment figures, some studies claim they can also be linked to crime statistics and recidivism.

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News

Sharia in Aceh

The adoption of strict Islamic law in Indonesia’s semi-autonomous Aceh province has delivered brutal public canings to punish the selling of alcohol, unwed couples spending time alone together and homosexuality.

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World

Weapons deal repays Trump’s Saudi pivot

Trump singles out Iran on terror; Trump in Israel; Jared Kushner next in Russian link investigation.

Opinion

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Opinion

Nayuka Gorrie
Cultural appropriation and power

“When our representations are reliant on non-Indigenous people they are bastardised in a way that is not empowering for us. In a world where we are not afforded representation, where our motifs and elements of our culture are ripped off and stolen, this bastardised representation informs and perpetuates ideas about who we are.”

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Opinion

Paul Bongiorno
Labor pushes on with budget reply

“Turnbull’s problem is he comes to the fray politically weakened thanks to his one-seat majority. It denies him clout in dealing with the hostile senate. ‘They can’t really govern,’ is the conclusion of one Liberal veteran. It’s certainly not in Shorten’s interest to make life easy for Turnbull, to just let go through everything the government bowls up. ”

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Diary

Gadfly
Last-ditch posting

Phillip Coorey, AFR’s political correspondent, the other day confirmed that PM Trumble’s pre-election frontbench reshuffle “would see the departure of Attorney-General George Brandis” – something that has been eagerly awaited for some time. He goes on to say that while London has frequently been mentioned as a likely destination for Bookshelves, “Wellington is now on the cards”.

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Letters & Editorial

Cartoon

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Editorial
Tinfoil witch trials

This is a defence of the ABC. It is a defence against a government with no apparent respect for the independence of one of this country’s most important institutions. It is a defence against the thuggishness of a minister such as Peter Dutton and the madness of a senator such as John Williams, against the blackmail and conspiracies that define politicians’ relationships with the national broadcaster.

Letters

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Other options for refugee situation

Since it seems unlikely that the United States will take a very large number of those refugees on Manus Island and Nauru, it does appear that Australia has real obligations to the remainder (Editorial, …

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Population growth and job insecurity

Full marks to Mike Seccombe and your paper for a balanced and informative assessment of immigration and population issues (“Migrants targeted as refugee panic founders”, May 20-26). …

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Culture

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Culture

Songwriter Jimmy Webb on his partnership with Glen Campbell

As his main muse, Glen Campbell, delivers a final album, songwriter Jimmy Webb looks back at his own career in which he delivered some of American popular music’s best-loved songs.

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Theatre

MTC’s ‘Minnie & Liraz’

In Lally Katz’s latest play, the MTC fails to capture the dramatist’s magic, despite fine performances by two grand dames of the stage.

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Portrait

Recycling artist Sarah Goffman

“In her current exhibition at Wollongong Art Gallery, Goffman is sharing her collection of rubbish made beautiful. She has transformed discarded plastics into intricate replicas of traditional Chinese and Japanese ceramics. They look deceptively fragile. The designs are a ‘forgery’, she says. ‘The eye is fooled, and that is an interesting thing in itself.’”

Food

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Food

Chestnut, rosemary and pine nut cake

“The real name for this is castagnaccio, which I can’t pronounce responsibly so I call it chestnut cake. It’s a recipe I first encountered in Italy quite a few years ago and enjoyed immensely.”

Life

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Travel

San Juan, Puerto Rico

San Juan’s rich mixture of cultures, colonial and indigenous, invites immersion in the Puerto Rican capital.

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Health

Cutting-edge research into corneal transplants

Ongoing research by an Australian team into the treatment of eye surface damage has the potential to restore vision and eliminate the need for third-party corneal donors.

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Sport

Routine pleasures: Danielle Prince, 24, rhythmic gymnast

She says she’s unco-ordinated on the dance floor, but in the rhythmic gymnastics arena Danielle Prince is a five-time national champion.

Books

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Kate Cole-Adams
Anaesthesia

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Ben Hobson
To Become a Whale

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Eliza Henry-Jones
Ache

The Quiz

1. Name the FBI director fired by United States president Donald Trump earlier this month.
2. Boko Haram is an Islamic extremist group based in which country?
3. In terms of diet, what do the initials LCHF stand for?
4. Calcium sulphate dehydrate is more commonly known as what, starting with ‘g’?
5. In which western German city will the 2017 Tour de France begin?
6. Which band declared, “All the leaves are brown/ And the sky is grey” in a 1966 hit song? (Bonus point for naming the song title.)
7. Enda Kenny is the outgoing head of government of which country?
8. What is the name of the cartoon character Tintin’s dog?
9. What are the bones or segments composing the spinal column called?
10. What is the name for a baby echidna?

Quotes

DISCOURSE

“The article continues to state that if a blast occurred in one of our studios, none of the likely casualties ‘would have represented the slightest reduction in humanity’s intelligence, decency, empathy or honesty’.”

Michelle Guthrie

The ABC’s managing director explains that edits to correct a piece in Quadrant wishing for the bombing of an ABC studio did not quite address the issue inherent in the article. The federal police investigated, and found no one read Quadrant.

MEDIA

“One down, many to go.”

Peter DuttonThe immigration minister celebrates a decision not to continue the ABC program hosted by Yassmin Abdel-Magied. Speaking of many to go, Dutton is on track to lose his seat at the next election.

DEBATE

“It’s very sad for Australian democracy and for enlightened liberal debate in this country.”

Gillian TriggsThe outgoing president of the Human Rights Commission reflects on attacks mounted against women in public life. No better place to do so, unfortunately, than in senate estimates.

POLITICS

“It’s unfortunate that this aggressive behaviour from a liberal journalist created this scene at our campaign volunteer BBQ.”

Shane Scanlon

The campaign spokesman for the Republican candidate for Montana’s congressional seat complains after his boss was charged with misdemeanour assault for allegedly slamming a Guardian reporter into the ground, smashing his glasses. The reporter was asking about healthcare.

EQUALITY

“I am disappointed that Qantas has become an active promoter for same-sex marriage.”

Margaret CourtThe former tennis champion explains that she will no longer fly Qantas, presumably because she believes equality interferes with navigational equipment. Brief reminder that tennis is a non-contact sport and this can’t be blamed on concussive injury.

TERRORISM

“An attack that targeted some of the youngest people in our society with cold calculation.”

Theresa May The British prime minister responds to a terrorist attack that killed 22 people at a concert in Manchester.