Leaked UNHCR report: Manus Island world’s worst

As the government prepares to meet with the UNHCR, urgent action is being demanded on mental decay.



Millions of Australians caught in health records breach

“Sussan Ley did not explain why, when doctors who discover a privacy breach are obliged to alert those affected immediately, the government waited 16 days.”

The government’s negotiations with doctors over the Medicare rebate is not helped by a breach of privacy on apparently anonymised health data.


Industrial tensions at CSIRO

“Because of the role I played in advocating for science, I believe I’ve been a nuisance to management, and they were seeking to reduce that influence.”

A senior researcher to be sacked from the CSIRO’s new Oceans and Atmosphere unit considers it retaliation for his role as an outspoken critic of changes in the agency’s focus.


Class action against Montara brought by West Timorese

West Timorese seaweed farmers have launched a class action against Montara for the devastating 2009 oil spill that has threatened their livelihoods.


Australia scoring low marks on education

“Australia, like a number of other countries that are sliding on international comparisons, tends to have a competitive, punitive approach to underperforming schools, threatening their funding.”

As elite private schools continue to benefit from government funding, Australian education standards are sliding in global terms and politicians remain reluctant to take a stand.


US hangs up on Russia over Aleppo bombing

Trump and Clinton recruit former CIA chiefs; Insiders vie to be Jakarta’s governor; Referendum blues in Hungary and Colombia

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.



Tony Blackshield
The constitution’s implied freedom

“It is not a matter of personal freedom for individuals to have their two cents’ worth, but only of ensuring ‘the free flow of ideas’.”


Paul Bongiorno
Parliamentary bank hearings inadequate

“ANZ’s Shayne Elliott, like CBA’s Ian Narev, came to the parliamentary hearing in sackcloth and ashes. But the penitent’s garb could impress only the most gullible. ”


Race to the bottoms

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

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial



Off Brandis


An old argument

The irony (intended, I presume) in your editorial (“Diminishing school”, October 1-7) of three times terming the notion of ceasing government funding to private schools “radical” has …

Wind-powered politicians

The attempts of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Nick Xenophon and Barnaby Joyce (Karen Middleton, “Power struggle after statewide blackout”, October 1-7) to discredit South Australia’s …

Read More




Herbs ride again

Why you can never use too many herbs.


Bob Ellis
Bob Ellis: In His Own Words

Katherine Johnson
The Better Son

Clementine Ford
Fight Like a Girl



Choose control

As her tumour returns, Georgia Blain knows the greatest comfort available to her would be the right to choose how she dies.


Bijoy Jain’s Mumbai-inspired MPavilion

The bamboo, rope and wooden pegs of Mumbai architect Bijoy Jain’s MPavilion are in keeping with a global trend in handmade building, even if not everyone can afford it.


Passion play: Sharni Layton, 28, netballer

Emotion in motion: Sharni Layton on the heart she brings to the netball court.

The Quiz

1. What colour wine is chianti?
2. Which Grammy Award-winning performer has siblings named Solange, Nixon and Bianca?
3. Name the three midcourt positions in a seven-player netball team?
4. What is the main type of rock in the oceanic crust?
5. Name the journalist author of The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference and Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking
6. For what purpose is baking powder added to recipes?
7. The Flying Scotsman, TGV and Shinkansen are all types of what?
8. Which American poet described the quality of her despair as “owl’s talons clenching my heart”? (Bonus point for naming her semi-autobiographical novel.)
9. Winona Ryder currently stars in which science fiction-horror television series?
10. What is the largest island in the Caribbean?

Click through for answers.



“Another government approached Mr Rudd to nominate him as a candidate for UN secretary-general.”

spokeswomanThe former prime minister claims through a spokesperson that he was in hot demand for the top job at the United Nations. A series of unnamed people also said he was a reasonable and skilled manager.


“It was clearly premeditated. They were wearing the budgie smugglers and had bought them in Australia.”

Julie BishopThe foreign minister shares her views on the nine Australians arrested for nuisance after stripping at the Formula 1 grand prix in Malaysia. One of the men works for Christopher Pyne, which was considered punishment enough.


“I’m not going to be drawn on interesting gossip or even uninteresting gossip.”

Malcolm TurnbullThe prime minister rejects reports Tony Abbott has been talking up his chances of returning to the leadership while on a trip to Britain. Abbott’s establishment there of a government in exile takes its lead from King Zog of Albania, among others.


“Notwithstanding that there is a difference between us on these matters … from a professional point of view we have never had a cross word.”

George BrandisThe attorney-general contradicts evidence from the solicitor-general, which suggested he misled parliament, and which in legal circles might constitute a pretty “cross word”.


“I’m sorry, there’s a family emergency — I have to stop the show.”

Kanye WestThe rapper stops a New York show after hearing his wife, Kim Kardashian West, had been tied up and robbed at gunpoint in Paris. Kardashian West was uninjured in the attack.


“Far from the daughter of a Neapolitan seamstress … real estate and financial records point to Anita Raja, a Rome-based translator.”

Claudio GattiThe journalist apparently reveals the true identity of Italian publishing sensation Elena Ferrante. In a follow-up report for the New York Review of Books, he promises to address other popular Google searches: “lost child ending”, “ferrante lost child synopsis” and “what happened to tina at the end of the lost child”.