Abbott government plans to be rid of senate ’ferals’

Tony Abbott has a gun pointed at the senate: a chance to fix preference systems that advantage minor parties, then rush to a double dissolution.



Japan and US enclose Chinese coast within sensor net

“The underwater approaches to Japan are now guarded by the most advanced submarine detection system in the world.”

The US and Japan have quietly cornered the Chinese navy with an undersea surveillance ring that is framing Australia’s defence policy.


Islamic State’s online strategies

Hobart airport’s hacking debacle highlights the ways extremist groups are becoming more cyber-savvy.


Tackling FIFA’s World Cup corruption

“As Australian football fans we should be asking who FFA is voting for, and if they are continuing to vote for Blatter, the next question should be why.”

Hosting rights for the coming FIFA World Cups are tainted by corruption. Australians are driving reform of soccer’s governing body.


Resources bust worse thanks to Howard–Costello

“Abbott and Hockey have lately been talking a lot about the need to “future proof” Australia against economic shocks. But the time for future proofing was in the past, when Australia had the money to put into it.”

As Hockey finally acknowledges the budget’s revenue problems, there are serious questions about whether resources will ever boom again.


Hillary Clinton’s presidency bid two-edged for Australia

Julie Bishop in Iran. Australian soldiers face turmoil in Iraq. Mahathir calls out Najib Razak.



Paul Bongiorno
Unfriendly fire as Costello blasts Abbott government

“Peter Costello’s ‘look at me’ moment had invited closer scrutiny of his contribution. Labor couldn't believe its luck.”


Nick Dyrenfurth
Labor’s damaged Right faction must renew

“The faction of earthy “realism”, in touch with the humble concerns of mainstream Australia, now veers between extremes.”


A case in point

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

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial



Needle points


Political shift in values

Guy Rundle (“New dogs, old deals”, April 11-17) notes that Australia’s voting system has hidden the extent to which “the Greens have been colonising Labor’s vote”. …

The effects of war

The Howard government and in particular the Australian Defence Force have again failed badly if your story about Scott Moerland (“Testing claims”, April 11-17) is anything to go by. Having spent billions …

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A clever twist on the classic clams casino

Why not take a famous recipe, then make it even better.



Australian Fashion Week’s 20th anniversary

Two decades on, Australian Fashion Week shows for north and south.


Wind turbine syndrome answers blowin’ in the wind

Anti-wind farm groups insist the turbines are making people sick, but new studies suggest a surprisingly different cause.


The natural: Holly Ferling, 19, cricketer

Her dad thought girls don’t play cricket, but Holly Ferling, rising star of the sport, proved him very wrong.


Elena Poniatowska

Lisa Gorton
The Life of Houses

Mona Eltahawy
Headscarves and Hymens

The Quiz

1. Flight 9525, which crashed killing all on board on March 24, was operated by which budget airline?
2. Who composed the opera Rigoletto
3. Who played the title role in the 2002 film Secretary?
4. The flag of which Scandinavian country is a blue cross on a white background?
5. On the periodic table, what does S represent?
6. Are tempranillo grapes used to make red or white wine?
7. Leo Fender is famous for making what type of musical instruments?
8. Physicist and chemist Marie Curie was born in what country?
9. Who won the 100 metres men’s freestyle at the Australian Swimming Championships this month? (Bonus point for naming who won the 100 metres women’s freestyle event.)
10. The sum of the interior angles for any triangle always adds up to…?



“Crocodile has been removed from all menus at Palmer properties following today’s incident with a member of our Port Douglas golf course.”

– Clive PalmerThe parliamentarian moves to address a crocodile attack at his resort. Presumably he removed all the bricks from his home after Glenn Lazarus turned on him.


“Running around the streets of Byron Bay with no clothes on, I don’t know why you would want a kebab at that time.”

– Christopher O’BrienThe NSW deputy chief magistrate asks the serious questions of a law student arrested for public indecency in northern NSW. A conviction was not recorded.


“I’m not going to go into operational matters.”

– Kevin AndrewsThe defence minister appears unable to name the leader of the Islamic State during an interview with Leigh Sales. The answer is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Some things you can’t learn at marriage counselling.


“A mother’s love may be as great/ As any new vaccine.”

– Michael LeunigThe cartoonist proves he understands as much about medicine as he does about wit. If only the World Health Organisation would realise polio is no match for the whimsy of a ill-drawn duck.


“I honestly never ask, ‘How can I change myself to be more appealing to people?’ ”

– Malcolm TurnbullThe “primed minister” tells men’s magazine GQ about how he gets up in the morning, for a cover story on the subject of naked ambition and his own perfectness.


“The scorpion stabs him … and the scorpion said, ‘I can’t help it. It’s my nature.’ ”

– Karl KruszelnickiThe ABC science commentator explains why he is like a frog in bad shirts and the Intergenerational Report he agreed to promote before realising it contained no serious mention of climate change is like a scorpion. Obviously.