March 12–18, 2016

Liberal MP Trent Zimmerman, left, and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.


What’s next for same-sex marriage

“If Nikolic wants a free vote, argue for a free vote in the parliament. Let’s not waste $160 million…”

As the Liberal Party splinters further on same-sex marriage, both ends of the debate are arguing for a different kind of free vote.



The rich people who pay no tax

“The seriously rich are not helped by high-priced tax advisers alone, but also by an army of propagandists in the right-wing think tanks, sections of the media and in politics.”

Lost in the tax debate are the billions hidden in the cash economy, and the complex systems concealing the incomes of the very rich.


Bushfire prevention strategy questioned after Lancefield

“Frankly, we got jack of the rhetoric, state or federal. ‘Using fire to build forest resilience’ – it was all pissing in the wind.”

After the Lancefield fires, caused by a planned burn, the Victorian government has backed away from Black Saturday royal commission recommendations. But communities remain mistrustful of new strategies.


Australian links to FBI drug-smuggling bust

“Within hours of Owen ‘O-Dog’ Hanson being taken into custody on September 9, NSW Police also made a move in Australia.”

As the alleged leader of an illegal sports gambling and international drug-smuggling ring awaits trial in the US, four Australians are also accused of having links to the network.

Keep Sydney Open protesters last month.


Sydney’s casinos escape lockout laws, smoking bans and more

Not only are The Star and forthcoming Crown casinos omitted from NSW lockout zones, they also enjoy exemptions from smoke-free laws, the ‘Three Strike’ liquor licence scheme and violent venues list.

Riot police use tear gas to disperse protesting employees and supporters of Zaman newspaper in Istanbul, Turkey.


Turkish President Erdoğan edits out Zaman’s bad press

Republicans have some primary concerns; border guards on Timor-Leste; US bombers coming Australia’s way.

Australia's No.1 news podcast.



Ramazan Ali
Life in the Nauru detention centre

“Everyone was feeling despair and hopelessness inside the camp … in Afghanistan, you would be killed once and be free from this world, but here you die every moment.”


Paul Bongiorno
Jeff Kennett rounds on Malcolm Turnbull

“The mere spectacle of the leader who took the party from opposition to government sitting on the backbench puts up in neon lights failure and division.”


Richard Ackland
Gadfly: Let’s stick together

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial


ReadCartoon image, links to full cartoon page

Black history


A Nauru mother’s plea

I would like to share with you a message recently received from a mother on Nauru. While I can vouch for the authenticity of this message, for obvious reasons I cannot reveal the name of the family concerned, …

Big problem in small communities

I congratulate Ben Rice for his article on the proposed exclusion zones around women’s medical clinics (“Protesting from the sidelines”, March 5-11).

We have the same …

Read More


Image for article: English muffins with lemon butter sauce


English muffins with lemon butter sauce

Make your own fresh English muffins for breakfast.


Image for article: The Midnight Watch

David Dyer
The Midnight Watch

Image for article: Talking to My Country

Stan Grant
Talking to My Country

Image for article: Emperor of the Eight Islands

Lian Hearn
Emperor of the Eight Islands


Image for article: The science of editing a mosquito’s genetic make-up


The science of editing a mosquito’s genetic make-up

The fight against the Zika virus and other mosquito-borne illnesses turns to genetic engineering.

Image for article: Czech spa town Karlovy Vary


Czech spa town Karlovy Vary

In a picturesque spa town west of Prague, there’s not a lot money can’t buy – except time.

Image for article: Flying machine: Lydia Lassila, 34, aerial skier


Flying machine: Lydia Lassila, 34, aerial skier

The resilience of Olympic Games aerial skiing gold medallist Lydia Lassila.

The Quiz

1. What was the nickname of Melbourne-born Joseph Leslie Theodore Taylor (1888-1927)?
2. By area, which US state is the largest?
3. Which Australian cricketer’s Test batting average at the start of March was 95.50?
4. Which of the following is not a chemical element: (a) germanium; (b) americium; (c) europium; or (d) australium?
5. What nationality is best supporting actress Oscar winner Alicia Vikander? (Bonus point for naming which film earned her the gong.)
6. What is the cube root of 64?
7. What type of animal is a wrasse?
8. What links the songs “Heartbreaker”, “Islands in the Stream” and “Chain Reaction”?
9. What are Ursa Major and Ursa Minor?
10. The Boeing 787 is also known as what?

Click through for answers.



“I would feel worse if I didn’t have a go.”

Tony WindsorThe former member for the seat of New England announces he will run at the next election. He’d feel bad if he didn’t run, but he’d feel a lot worse if he were Barnaby Joyce.


“It could be angry and spiteful and divisive, the last thing we need.”

Alan JonesThe broadcaster argues against a plebiscite on same-sex marriage. Few people know what it is to be “spiteful and divisive” like the man who stoked the Cronulla riots, who encouraged the drowning of Australia’s first female prime minister and mocked her father’s death.


“Because Terry Bollea’s penis is not 10 inches, like you’re trying to say.”

Hulk HoganThe wrestler discusses himself in the third person, using his real name, as he explained the difference between the character he plays and himself during a $100 million invasion of privacy suit against Gawker, which published a sex tape in which one of them starred.


“I’m not in the business of raking over old coals, nor am I in the business of responding to scurrilous gossip.”

Tony AbbottThe former prime minister responds to the publication of Niki Savva’s book The Road to Ruin. In Abbott’s mind, the coals aren’t cold; they’re storing heat like a deluded hangi.


“We are not going to ban rugby league, we’re not going to ban ballet, we are not going to ban anal fisting. These things are dangerous, but we’re not going to ban them.”

Peter PhelpsThe NSW government whip speaks against legislation regulating eyeball tattooing. In fairness, a ban on the former would probably slow down the latter two.


“The world has lost a truly great man who left an indelible mark on my soul and the history of British music.”

Paul McCartneyThe second remaining Beatle mourns the passing of Sir George Martin, who was often described as one of four “fifth” Beatles. Martin was 90.