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News

David Johnston’s making as a defence minister

“He was incapable of answering the most basic of questions about why we are undertaking this military operation.”

The mixed reputations of David Johnston and Julie Bishop rest on the success of our military operations in Iraq.

News

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News

Terror laws also threaten right to protest

“We don’t need these powers, and the best way of demonstrating it is that they have not been used.”

Hidden in new anti-terrorism laws are wide powers governments want to silence dissent and quash protest.

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News

Turbulent times as Qantas fights for survival

Poor decision-making by the powers that be and decades of stoic resistance to change have sent Qantas’s fortunes into a tailspin.

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News

Our lady of laws, Helen Durham

She’s an expert in international humanitarian law, with her name immortalised in a pop song. Helen Durham is also arguably the most influential Australian woman you’ve never heard of.

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News

Witness for the prosecution

“While the questioning proceeds, I’m aware the defendant is watching me with eyes like rapiers, trying to stare me down. I meet his gaze and don’t avert my eyes.”

For victims of crime, a trial can be an incredibly stressful and intimidating experience. But what of the effect it has on those who are called to give evidence?

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World

War on opinion polls leads us back to Iraq

Iraq venture has eye on domestic politics. Industry support doesn’t include submarines. US action on Ebola.

Opinion

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Opinion

Richard Ackland
The murky moves towards metadata retention

“While Australia is busily seeking to expand the horizons of data retention, in Europe and the US there have been processes working in the opposite direction. ”

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Opinion

Paul Bongiorno
Black rights and white wrongs

“Abbott seems to be listening. He wants the recognition referendum to succeed. He’s burying the habit of a lifetime to be a national, inclusive leader. ”

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Diary

Gadfly
Taming the savages

Diarist-at-large Richard Ackland flys about the nation.

Letters & Editorial

Cartoon

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Editorial
Going to extremes

Letters

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Interpreting Nietzsche

Martin McKenzie-Murray (“Still in the woods, fighting a lost war”, September 13-19) notes Eric Abetz quoting Friedrich Nietzsche’s words that “There are no such things as facts, …

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Taking Abetz’s meaning

Martin McKenzie-Murray reported that Eric Abetz divined a truth that “anyone who asserts a capacity to determine and divine the truth and facts in all matters should by definition be treated sceptically …

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Culture

Food

Stephanie Alexander on The Cook’s Companion

A new edition of Stephanie Alexander’s A to Z kitchen bible The Cook’s Companion is a culinary event.

Film

Faulty shades of Gray leaves The Immigrant lacking

The Immigrant joins a long line of films tracing new beginnings in a foreign land. Sadly, this one fails to truly arrive.

Portrait

Suiting himself

A literally colourful character, running around northern NSW.

Food

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Food

Golden globes

Meet the film stars of the thistle world – artichokes.

Life

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Technology

Brain-changing apps

Can custom apps and video games really help us build up our mental muscle?

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Gardening

A time to kill those pesky garden pests

When uninvited pests come to visit, declare war with sustainable practices – and also an old-fashioned dose of hand-to-hand combat.

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Sport

Manly man: Geoff Toovey, 45, rugby league coach

Manly coach Geoff Toovey talks team culture and tactics ahead of his club's do-or-die NRL semi-final clash with the Canterbury Bulldogs.

Books

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The Quiz

1. What is the name for both a type of stringed musical instrument and a kitchen utensil used for slicing vegetables?
2. “Mrs Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me” is a line from which 1960s film? (Bonus points for naming the actor who delivered the line and the actress he said it to.)
3. The acronym EBITDA stands for earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and…?
4. Name Russia’s prime minister.
5. In Greek mythology, a minotaur has the body of a man and the head of a …?
6. Lapins, merchants and vans are all varieties of which fruit?
7. The string section of an orchestra is normally arranged into how many subsections?
8. Which company is the major sponsor of the Australian Wallabies?
9. What is the name of the defensive fortification built in Roman Britain in AD122 just south of the border between England and Scotland?
10. Which BAFTA-winning American actress welcomed her first child, Rose, this month?
 

Quotes

INTEGRITY

“Arthur is a wonderful person, a man of great personal integrity.”

Joe HockeyThe treasurer explains how Arthur Sinodinos, as the chairman of its finance committee, knew nothing of illegal donations being made to the Liberal Party.

SPORT

“I look forward to getting back out there to attack that tree like I planned on doing. No tree is going to keep me down.”

Greg NormanThe Shark is mauled by a chainsaw, but sustains only minor nerve damage. He was cutting down a tree.

MILITARY

“It’s a humanitarian mission with military elements.”

George BrandisThe attorney-general explains that Australia is not at war. They are peace bombs.

DRUGS

“The regulation of medicines is a thicket of complexity, bureaucracy and corporate and institutional self-interest.”

Tony AbbottIn a letter to Alan Jones, the prime minister voices his support for the medical use of marijuana.

SURVEILLANCE

“I don’t run the NSA any more than I run any other foreign intelligence agency or any other country.”

John KeyThe New Zealand prime minister accepts that Edward Snowden may have been correct when he said the country’s metadata was being harvested by America.

REFUGEES

“The operations’ successes speak for themselves.”

Scott MorrisonThe minister for boats confirms that 12 asylum seeker vessels have been turned back at sea, letting the on-water matters we cannot know about talk for themselves.