ALP leader Bill Shorten faces big test on civil liberties

The opposition leader is being wedged on data retention laws, not just by the government and the Greens, but by his own party.



The ice epidemic destroying families

As police confess they are “treading water” on the ice epidemic, parents are forced into desperate measures to try to save their families.


Tony Abbott’s affinity with ADF reflected in parliament

The red and green houses of parliament are being tinged with khaki as an increasing number of former defence force personnel enter politics.


Learning the tricks of nonviolent direct action

“The key to winning a campaign is involving wide ranges of people in a way that works against the forces you are fighting.”

From exposing live-baiting in the greyhound racing industry to demonstrating against the detention of asylum seekers, nonviolent direct action is rising up as a means of protest.


Report offers little hope for families of MH370 victims

On the first anniversary of flight MH370’s disappearance, the Malaysian government’s report into its fate offers a wealth of data but nothing to explain to the families of the missing what happened.


Chinese feel less zen over growth targets

TPP concerns; Iran nuclear treaty; US dodges push to recapture Tikrit; Capital punishment double standards

The big story. Every day. Listen now.

7am is a daily news podcast from Schwartz Media. Every day it tells you what you need to know: who's involved, what it means and why it matters. It's news with narrative, every weekday. Follow 7am wherever you get your podcasts.



Richard Ackland
Treasurer for wail

“It is not attractive to see politicians suing for defamation ... It would be much harder to get to first base if the treasurer had brought his case in England or the US. ”


Paul Bongiorno
Abbott running short of spares

“Everything that is happening with the government is through the prism of leadership. The opinion polls are the pulse of the PM’s grip on his political life.”


Juan direction is what makes you dutiful

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

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial



Difficult things


Start with war on tobacco

If the Indonesian government wants to demonstrate its toughness on drugs (Hamish McDonald, “Foreigners fall guys as Jokowi stands firm”, March 7-13), it might start with the country’s …

Morrison’s next stage

Is there a genuine Scott Morrison or merely a version to suit the occasion? (Mike Seccombe, “The making of ‘Fluffy Morrison’ ”, March 7-13). How depressing that this MP, though …

Read More




Time to get on the sauce – tomato and plum, that is

An end-of-season fruit surplus means sauce is ripe for the making.


Åsne Seierstad
One of Us

Raj Kamal Jha
She Will Build Him a City

Gavin Extence
The Mirror World of Melody Black



Dion Lee’s positive bias for Autumn

Australian Dion Lee's crafted simplicity thrills New York Fashion Week with his Autumn/Winter collection.


The Genius of explaining the meaning of any text

The open source website Genius has expanded to take in annotations on any text, from poetry to presidential addresses.


Making waves: Felicity Palmateer, 22, surfer

A love of the ocean led Felicity Palmateer to both surfing and creating art.

The Quiz

1. Which theoretical physicist was born in Ulm, Germany, on March 14, 1879?
2. Name the latest film in the Divergent series, starring Kate Winslet.
3. The Italian musical instruction subito means what in English?
4. What is the currency of Brazil?
5. What is the term for the clear covering of the front of the eye?
6. Which is the largest of the Great Lakes? (Bonus points for naming the other four.)
7. What name is given to a triangle where none of the sides is equal in length to another.
8. Øresund Bridge links which two countries?
9. Titan is the largest of which planet's moons?
10. Name the winner of last year's Australian Formula One Grand Prix.

Click through for answers.



“In any campaign you’ll see people express themselves in all types of ways and we welcome it.”

– Mike BairdThe NSW premier addresses public opinion. The casual observer might not even notice he was talking about someone having spray-painted enormous penises onto the side of his campaign bus.


“That is where she belongs, above Lake Burley Griffin. That is where she was commissioned, she was born there, that is where she belongs.”

– Patricia PiccininiThe artist responds to news her pendulous boob turtle, Skywhale, will not be included in Canberra’s Balloon Spectacular. Criminally, funding was instead allocated to balloons representing Yoda and a character from Angry Birds.


“Fracas with a BBC producer.”

– Statement

The BBC explains why it finally suspended Jeremy Clarkson, host of Top Gear. Because homophobia is okay, and a bit of racism, especially directed at Mexicans, and the odd bit of sexism even, but you just can’t go around hitting people.


“This affects the creativity of young musicians who hope to stand on the shoulders of other musicians. Let my clients go forth and continue to do their magic.”

– Howard KingThe lawyer representing musicians Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke defends the fact all but two bars of their song "Blurred Lines" were lifted from Marvin Gaye’s "Got To Give It Up". It’s obviously hard to write your own melodies when you’re busy riffing humorously on date rape.


“People can change.”

– Myuran SukumaranThe Australian death-row prisoner inscribes a portrait he painted of Indonesian President Joko Widodo after learning his bid for clemency had been rejected. His final appeal, alongside Andrew Chan, has been set over for next week.


“It is not the job of the taxpayer to subsidise lifestyle choices.”

– Tony AbbottThe PM explains why he supports the closing of remote Aboriginal communities. Of course living in the community where you were born and where your family has thousands of years of connection is a lifestyle choice, like literacy rates and life expectancy and deaths in custody. Oh, and being a bigot.