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News

Banks royal commission won’t change culture

“Successive governments’ greater fear is not the suffering of customers and corruption in the banks, it is of a gigantic collapse.”

While banks at the royal commission admit to misleading conduct and corruption – permitted by a compliant regulator – they are protected by government as too big to fail.

News

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News

Comey, Trump and the Hillary emails

“The saga of Comey, Clinton and the emails is being bitterly reprosecuted in the media – and the credibility of Comey as a witness to Trump’s moral poverty is being undermined by Clinton aides who still consider him the devil.”

Despised by Trump supporters for one reason, and Clinton supporters for another, sacked FBI director James Comey is a critic of America’s ‘moral error’.

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News

Morrison’s budget strategy stymied

Treasurer Scott Morrison’s plan to frame the coming budget as responsible investment was derailed this week by conflicting government messages.

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News

The rise of homelessness and hunger

“If children are not being schooled adequately, or if the sick are denied health care, it is seen as a failure of the system more than the individual. Yet it’s not seen that way with housing.”

While the government remains focused on neoliberal solutions to inequality, homelessness and hunger worsen. Some in the sector wonder whether it is deliberate.

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News

Native title and mining leases

A series of legal battles to prevent mining exploration on Olkola land in Cape York has highlighted the limitations of native title and Aboriginal land rights without the right of veto.

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World

Syria and Russia dig in over chemical attacks

James Comey on press tour; Trump still pulling punches with Moscow; Israel–Iran hostilities deepen.

Opinion

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Opinion

Omar J. Sakr
Hiding anger in the face of bigotry

“I have lived my life in the shadow of a myth: the angry Arab, the enraged ethnic, the unruly barbarians. It was made mythic only by a white conservative media. At home I knew one reality close to this – worn Arab hands that held the cane, the belt, the brush, the wooden spoon, the broad shoe, the vacuum cord that split my skin – but this iteration of violence was not what the world feared. It was the public kind they knew and cared about, specific acts of violence by men of colour that could fire the torrid imagination.”

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Opinion

Paul Bongiorno
Turnbull’s home fires blazing

“Credlin is no run-of-the-mill commentator. One veteran Liberal says there’s no doubt she’s one of the key campaign strategists for the Abbott camp. ‘She’s a player,’ he says. Just how big a player is hard to determine. But so deep are the suspicions within the party that another backbencher says he wouldn’t be surprised if she had a hand in a sensational story, in the News Corp tabloids, saying Turnbull has personal investments worth a million dollars in a fund that profits when Australian companies lose.”

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Diary

Gadfly
Turnbulls face a star chamber

Hankies were dabbing at moistened eyes as soprano Nicole Car and the Australian Chamber Orchestra were at their most passionate on Saturday night. Mozart, Beethoven and Verdi were on the bill as the Melbourne soprano held everyone in her spell. Hairs on the back of eminent backs were standing on end all over Sydney’s City Recital Hall, and no doubt the ACO’s inaugural outing of the 1726 “Belgiorno” Stradivarius was partly responsible. There were so many celebs in the crowd that Gadfly lost count.


An insider’s outside view

Returning for a second season

The Lucky Country is an insider’s outside view of Australia’s most important political and economic debates. Hosted by The Australia Institute’s Chief Economist Richard Denniss, The Lucky Country is a weekly podcast from Schwartz Media which applies common sense to complex issues.

Find The Lucky Country on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.

Letters & Editorial

Cartoon

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Editorial
Time warped

It is important, though, to remember Hunt’s ministry – his responsibilities to health. It is as health minister that Hunt refuses to condemn gay conversion therapy. It is as health minister that he pretends the torment of young queer people in the name of religious doctrine is a freedom of speech issue. In other countries, this kind of psychological abuse is illegal. In Australia, the health minister entertains it on national radio.

Letters

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Cruel and unusual punishment

I am a nearly 70-year-old nurse and I have never been so ashamed of this country and the behaviour it is currently showing. From allowing animals to be put on a ship and sent to countries that we probably …

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Pulling police into line

And still it goes on (Marcia Langton, “Tough on crime fighters”, April 14–20). There is a strong case for a royal commission into police brutality. Justice is not being done in this country. …

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Culture

Profile

Evelyn Ida Morris’s piano forte

After a decade of critical acclaim as Pikelet, musician Evelyn Ida Morris is releasing the first music under their own name – a grand suite of piano songs, both sung and speechless, about the experience of being non-binary. “Non-binary is very strange, because it’s about preserving that internal space, and feeling proud of it, and finding ways to communicate it.”

Opera

Opera Australia’s ‘La Traviata’

Elijah Moshinsky’s interpretation of Verdi’s tragic masterpiece La Traviata has been wowing Opera Australia audiences since the ’90s. The latest iteration – both visually rich and lovingly handled by its stars – doesn’t let down the canon.

Portrait

Poet Hera Lindsay Bird

“The day is bright and the wind pulls at strands of Bird’s dark hair. She’s talking about poetry and process and her first book, Hera Lindsay Bird. She has a habit of not finishing her sentences, jumping from thought to thought. She pauses to see if I’ve caught up. ‘A lot of the real basic, good, dirty jokes in my book come from playing with metaphor. It’s just a fun, easy way to find it. If you just throw a whole bunch of dirty words in with a whole lot of poetic words…’ ”

Food

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Food

Potato gnocchi with brussels sprouts, hazelnuts and kaiserfleisch

“The tiny spud-pickers’ cottages dotted around the farms are testimony to a world where creature comforts were non-existent. And now at the beginning of May each year, when the harvest of potatoes is settling into full swing and the temperature is starting to drop, Trentham celebrates its heritage with a yearly Spudfest. So, to feel part of the local pride on May 5, here is a potato gnocchi dish, resplendent with brussels sprouts and hazelnuts – all things that thrive here in the hills of central Victoria.”

Life

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Travel

Shetland Islands

The windswept Shetland Islands harbour a culture equal parts Norse and Scottish, leaving English-speaking visitors feeling always on the edge of something familiar.

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Health

Getting benefits from placebos

Mounting evidence suggests genuine improvement from taking placebos, even when a patient is informed their treatment has no physiological benefit.

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Sport

Life on the edge: Rhiannan Iffland, 26, cliff diver

Rhiannan Iffland on the mental and physical challenges involved in plunging from a five-storey-high cliff.

Books

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Gregory Day
A Sand Archive

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Clemantine Wamariya
The Girl Who Smiled Beads

The Quiz

1. Which family has ruled Monaco since the 13th century?
2. Which ice-cream brand makes Drumsticks?
3. Extreme exaggeration is often referred to as what beginning with ‘h’?
4. Which is longer – a yard or a metre?
5. Arigato means what in Japanese?
6. Which film finishes with the line, “Sam? It’s nice to meet you.”?
7. In which English county was Captain James Cook born?
8. How many angles does a trapezoid have?
9. Complete the nursery rhyme: Jack Sprat could eat no fat/ his wife could eat no lean.
10. Who won the men’s 100 metres track gold medal at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games? (Bonus point for naming who won the women’s 100 metres freestyle swimming gold medal.)

Quotes

POLITICS

“I’m not Santa Claus.”

Scott MorrisonThe treasurer denies suggestions he is going to deliver a Father Christmas-like budget. He did keep a list of children in his last portfolio – none of them were naughty, but he still tortured them all in detention.

HUMOUR

“It stayed with me, that I’ve never seen him laugh. Not in public, not in private.”

James ComeyThe former director of the FBI reflects on the fact that he never once saw Donald Trump enjoy a joke. Either the president is too insecure to enter into the vulnerability inherently demanded by humour, or he found little levity around the man investigating whether he watched a Russian piss show.

GENDER

“I would never knowingly put in place a gender manipulation programme pretending to be about anti-bullying.”

Tony AbbottThe former prime minister denies introducing Safe Schools, except he did. He calls it a gender manipulation program, except it isn’t. Maybe he wouldn’t knowingly exploit vulnerable children for political gain, except he does.

DEPORTATION

“How exactly can someone pretend to ‘be Jamaican’ when they are British and have lived here all their lives?”

David LammyThe British Labour MP questions advice given to members of the Windrush generation before being deported, with government documents recommending they pretend to be Jamaican and adopt the local dialect. Lammy’s question describes obscene inhumanity and also the development of white ska music.

MUSIC

“When someone calls you racist, what they are saying is, ‘Hmm, you actually have a point, and I don’t know how to answer it.’ ”

MorrisseyThe musician answers once and for all the question “Are The Smiths overrated?” Yes, yes, yes. Also: their singer was a smug prick whose general lack of curiosity about anything but himself turned him into a condescending bigot and conspiracy theorist.

MEDICINE

“It’s time Australia joined them and legalised cannabis for adult use.”

Richard Di NataleThe Greens leader calls for legislation to make cannabis available to adults. In certain circles, this was reported as news.