The many trials of Cardinal George Pell

As Cardinal Pell prepares for another child sex abuse hearing, his ‘company man’ style has made him enemies within the Vatican.



Malcolm Turnbull gives up on his beloved republic

“Turnbull was making the case that voters cared little for the cause to which he had, in the 1990s, dedicated years of his life and millions of his own dollars.”

Once the nation’s most prominent republican, Malcolm Turnbull is now content to let Labor steal the debate’s lead.


The plight of New Zealand ‘501’ detainees on Christmas Island

An increasing number of New Zealand citizens who’ve had their Australian visas revoked under strict new measures are being detained on Christmas Island.


Myanmar power plays ahead for NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi

Aung San Suu Kyi looks set to be the backseat driver of Myanmar’s next government. Unravelling a half-century of military control and cronyism now awaits her.


Nugan Hand Bank fugitive found in US

“They laundered drug money. No question. There were the names of 24 drug traffickers on a ledger in Nugan’s car. And there are telexes that show Nugan Hand trying to do deals with weapons.”

The true story of Sydney's shadowy Nugan Hand Bank, and its connections in the 1970s to the CIA, arms dealing and the Asian drug trade, may be closer with the discovery of Michael Jon Hand alive and well in Idaho.


Globe-trotting PM Malcolm Turnbull faces detention ire

GOP faithful falling; Modi dealt a blow in Bihar poll; Netanyahu visits Washington; writings land Iranian poets lengthy jail terms.



Clem Bastow
Generation X men

“Not only does this cultural ephemera overwhelm the collective consciousness, it is telling the same simple story over and over, and we don’t seem to mind.”


Paul Bongiorno
Shorten uses the Dismissal to seize republic debate

“Labor is hoping its leadership on the republican issue will send a message to progressive voters, who have deserted it for Turnbull.”


Born to mewl

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

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial



Christmas messaging


Legacy of lethal ‘sand’

I would like to add my voice to that of Linda Walker (Susan Chenery, “James Hardie’s asbestos mining ‘genocide’ ”, November 7-13). We appear to be the same age but I never …

Break the silence on euthanasia

Congratulations for being the only media outlet to criticise the Medical Board of Australia’s frankly outrageous display of arrogance in blackmailing Philip Nitschke into silence (Editorial, …

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The BRCA1 gene and science in the courtroom

The High Court’s decision against patents on isolated genes raised questions about how non-expert judges can rule on science.


The Equator Monument in Pontianak, Indonesian Borneo

Why a single pipe in the ground attracts an eager crowd in the midday sun.


Young gun: Minjee Lee, 19, golfer

Is Minjee Lee set to become Australia’s next golfing sensation?


Garth Risk Hallberg
City on Fire

Colum McCann
Thirteen Ways of Looking

Jenny Hocking
The Dismissal Dossier

The Quiz

1. The English city Newcastle lies on the banks of which river?
2. In what year was Osama bin Laden killed? (Bonus point for naming the country in which he died.)
3. Hg represents which chemical element on the periodic table?
4. How long did Oscar Pistorius spend in jail?
5. Australian nurse Elizabeth Kenny became famous for treating which disease?
6. According to mythology, how many labours did Hercules perform?
7. Which Australian jockey, known as “The Pumper”, retired during this year’s Melbourne Cup carnival?
8. Which 1966 book by Truman Capote carries the subtitle “A True Account of a Multiple Murder and Its Consequences”?
9. Jarlsberg cheese originates in which country?
10. Which current television series features the characters Bobo, Rowlf, Janice, Statler and Chip?



“We will place as many crocodiles as we can there. I will search for the most ferocious type of crocodile. You can’t bribe crocodiles.”

Budi WasesoThe head of Indonesia’s anti-drug agency describes his proposal for an island prison to hold inmates on death row. Because state-sanctioned murder isn’t barbaric enough on its own.


“I’ll have to remind those Bolsheviks at The Australian.”

Malcolm TurnbullThe prime minister responds to Cory Bernardi’s concerns that The Australian says raising the GST won’t aid growth. Turnbull was joking: they’re clearly Trotskyites.


“We are deeply sorry to everyone who has or will suffer for this terrible tragedy.”

Andrew MackenzieThe head of BHP apologises for the company’s part in a dam burst that has killed at least six people and displaced hundreds in Brazil. The dam held mine tailings.


My mother cried when I showed her my tattoo. She said to tell you, ‘Thank you for making me look so young and beautiful.’  ”

Derrick Belan The former NSW boss of the National Union of Workers thanks a tattooist for inking his parents onto his calf, paid for with $432 of union money. Belan denies wrongdoing – and yet the potato-headed vision of his mother, resting below his right kneecap, is a crime itself.


“It will come in handy to keep the flies off.”

Prince CharlesThe man who would be king accepts a sprig of peppermint gum from a Ngadjuri elder during a welcome to country. He is his father’s son, and as such our completely unelected future ruler.


“I find it incredulous that in what is now being described as a ‘drinks function’ was actually the final meeting in what was a coup to unseat a sitting prime minister.”

Cory BernardiThe Liberal senator worries at the attendance of Julie Bishop’s chief of staff at a meeting of anti-Abbott forces. The former publican clearly hasn’t heard of that other famous drinks function, the Beer Hall Putsch of 1923.