January 31 - February 6, 2015

Besieged prime minister Tony Abbott.


What’s happening in Tony Abbott’s office?

Leadership tension has spilled into the Nationals, as the Coalition tries to understand the chaos in the Prime Minister’s Office.



Sinhalese asylum seekers’ on-water claims accepted by UN

“In the middle of the sea I saw the Sri Lankan navy uniform and my wife held my hand tightly ... we never thought they would hand us over to the Sri Lankan navy.”

EXCLUSIVE: Asylum seekers sent back to Sri Lanka after Scott Morrison’s ‘on-water’ interviewing have been confirmed as refugees by the UNHCR.

Some of Myuran Sukumaran’s artworks.


Life on death row for Bali Nine inmates

“While in Myuran's presence it’s easy enough to forget what brought him to where he is. What’s more difficult to reconcile is that his judgement is anachronistic. ”


Foreign currency earned on Security Council

“Despite the prime minister’s lack of interest, Julie Bishop told her department: 'Our remaining 18 months on the UN Security Council has to be as productive as possible.'”

Fears that Australia’s term on the Security Council would be undermined by the UN-averse Abbott government were happily unfounded.

An escaped hostage runs to armed tactical response police officers from the Lindt cafe in Martin Place.


Inside the Sydney siege

State and federal inquiries are under way. But is there sufficient independence to assess potential shortcomings at the policing, intelligence or political levels?

An office worker on her mobile phone in downtown Yangon is a sign of the modernising under way in Myanmar.


Myanmar’s hesitant steps to catch up

Suu Kyi’s resurgence. Patchy reforms. Buddhist violence. Thai ‘prison’ boats.

Australia's No.1 news podcast.



Robin Bowles
What lies behind ICAC’s Margaret Cunneen investigation?

Chris Wallace
Troubled waters for a failing captain

“Sovereign risk from poor national government is on the verge of becoming the greatest risk Australia faces today ... Who wants to back a country that can’t run itself properly?”


Richard Ackland
Gadfly: Abbott and knight checkmate

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial


ReadCartoon image, links to full cartoon page

Chief concern


Business as usual

The significance of the impending legal challenge from the Mackay Conservation Group and the Environmental Defenders Office NSW (James Rose, “Reef motif”, January 24-30) cannot be overstated. …

Freedom to know the truth

The thought strikes me that there is not a government in the world (elected or otherwise) that stands to benefit by diminishing the ignorance of its populace. This thought seems to have become the primary …

Read More


Image for article: The Illuminations

Andrew O’Hagan
The Illuminations

Image for article: Clade

James Bradley

Image for article: The Torch

Peter Twohig
The Torch


Image for article: Singing the praises of kale and cauli, baby


Singing the praises of kale and cauli, baby

When it comes to being a great green, the brassica family of cauliflower and kale does it easy.

Image for article: Slim pickings for obese Australians needing bariatric surgery


Slim pickings for obese Australians needing bariatric surgery

Why is it so difficult for obese people to access life-saving weight-loss surgery in our public health system?

Image for article: Sharp shooter: Jordan McRae, 23, basketballer


Sharp shooter: Jordan McRae, 23, basketballer

Melbourne United and Philadelphia 76ers shooting guard Jordan McRae on college basketball, prayers and doing it for his kids.

The Quiz

1. Which tennis player this month notched up his 1000th singles career win? (Bonus points for naming the two other men who have had more.)
2. The city of Antwerp is in which country?
3. Name the housekeeper and main antagonist of Daphne du Maurier’s 1938 novel Rebecca.
4. Totem is a touring show of which Canadian entertainment troupe?
5. Which major retailer is the parent company of fashion label Country Road?
6. How many square metres are there in a hectare?
7. Who appeared on the first cover of Playboy magazine in 1953?
8. What is a four-letter word beginning with ‘t’ for a small mountain lake?
9. George W. Bush was once governor of which US state?
10. What is the atomic number of carbon?

Click through for answers.



“Prince Philip’s long life of service and dedication should be honoured by Australia.”

– Tony AbbottThe prime minister announces he will be knighting the Duke of Edinburgh. Which is kind of like giving Star Wars memorabilia to George Lucas.


“Do you still throw spears at each other?”

– Prince PhilipThe sir duke addresses Aboriginal leader William Brin in 2002, part of his lifelong service to Australia and flatulent racism.


“Abbott knighthood a joke and embarrassment. Time to scrap all honours everywhere, including UK.”

– Rupert MurdochThe dirty digger offers his thoughts. Especially brave for a Companion of the Order of Australia and Knight Commander of the Order of St Gregory.


“Oh, no, I might catch some ghastly disease.”

– Prince PhilipHis royal highness refuses to touch a koala on his 1992 visit, long before details of the species’ chlamydia problem were widely known.


“In the end this is my call and I’m happy to take these things on the chin.”

– Tony AbbottThe prime minister responds to what may euphemistically be called national incredulity, wishing his chin were as big as his ears.


“Any bloody fool can lay a wreath at the thingummy.”

– Prince PhilipAustralia’s newest knight explains to the BBC’s Jeremy Paxman his role in public life. While not necessarily inspiring, at least the statement wasn’t racist or misogynistic or otherwise bigoted.