April 16–22, 2016


Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at Westpac’s 199th birthday lunch in Sydney last week.


An image taken during Terry Hughes’s Great Barrier Reef survey in March.
A Japanese Sōryū-class submarine, during a fleet review last year.



Grand theft Otto

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

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial


ReadCartoon image, links to full cartoon page

Please hold the line


Role of banks needs examination

Your editorial, “Bank maraud” (April 9-15), did well to parse Malcolm Turnbull’s address to a banking luncheon as “wet lettucing” rather than “excoriation” as …

Political climate could change, too

The Delusional Conservatives (Paul Bongiorno, “Masters of delusion” April 9-15) have much to answer for, not least of which is the dropping of a price on carbon. In his book Why Are …

Read More


Image for article: Homemade flatbread


Homemade flatbread

Delicious flatbread with toppings for brunch, or just brushed with olive oil.


Image for article: My Journey into the Heart of Terror

Jürgen Todenhöfer
My Journey into the Heart of Terror

Image for article: The Argonauts

Maggie Nelson
The Argonauts

Image for article: What Happened, Miss Simone?

Alan Light
What Happened, Miss Simone?


Image for article: Change they might believe in, in Havana


Change they might believe in, in Havana

Change is coming to Cuba, but in Havana on the eve of Barack Obama’s visit, they still don't know what form it will take.

Dr Emmanuelle Charpentier, at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research in Braunschweig, Germany.


Gene-editing poses ethical questions

Gene-editing offers hope of eliminating genetic disorders, but raises questions about how far we should go.

Image for article: The whistleblower: Eleni Glouftsis, 23, AFL umpire


The whistleblower: Eleni Glouftsis, 23, AFL umpire

Meet the AFL’s first female field umpire.

The Quiz

1. Who fronts the English rock band High Flying Birds?
2. What is the name of a type of gambling where competitors are auctioned off to the highest bidder and is also the former name of an Indian city?
3. Which teams won the men’s and women’s 2016 ICC World Twenty20 this month?
4. What nationality was artist Frida Kahlo? (Bonus point for naming her painter husband.)
5. Who played James Bond in The Spy Who Loved Me?
6. A bathometer is a device used to measure what?
7. Which Australian glossy national magazine closed last month after 44 years in print?
8. What is the chief constituent of the alloy pewter?
9. Name the stars of the television comedy The Two Ronnies?
10. If a circle’s radius is 10 centimetres, what is its diameter?

Click through for answers.



“So I was just riding the wave, minding my own business, and eventually there was this extremely attractive and very, very talented surfer on my left.”

Tony AbbottThe former prime minister explains that because of “the saltwater, or some genetic defect or whatever” he cannot see out of his left eye and sometimes drops in on 17-year-old girls before objectifying them on radio.


“Terry Smith was just, when you open a Yahoo account you normally put in a username you want to use. There’s plenty of people I’ve seen: Ferret, Dog, Rabbit…”

Clive PalmerThe miner reveals why he was using a fake name to direct operations of failed company Queensland Nickel. It makes perfect sense, if you don’t think about it.


“Sacha became an arse.”

Brian MayThe Queen guitarist explains parting ways with Sacha Baron Cohen, who was to play Freddie Mercury in a biopic. Mercury, who once flew a boyfriend across the world to break up with him in an airport and then stole his cat, was well known for his reasonableness.


“It’s always sad when the political debate starts becoming in the realm of litigious, the realm of the courts.”

Barnaby JoyceThe acting prime minister – repeat: acting prime minister – complains of a legal letter he received from Tony Windsor after suggesting Windsor sold a mine to the Chinese. Joyce would prefer the matter be settled with an old-fashioned dog slaughter.


“One has to recognise the canvas in question as a true original ... even if we do not have any tangible or irrefutable proof.”

Nicola SpinosaThe former museum director assesses an apparent Caravaggio found in a French attic. The front end of the sentence doesn’t entirely agree with the back end, but nor does everyone entirely agree with Spinosa.


“It is absurd that we should say that it is illegal that a person who is suffering terribly ... should be forced to continue to suffer.”

Bob HawkeThe former prime minister gives his support to voluntary assisted suicide. Paul Keating was unavailable for comment, but would presumably prefer to do him slowly.