Donald Trump’s own goal on climate action

“Trump is so globally unpopular that other leaders have realised that by taking a contrary position they can boost their own electoral stocks.”

Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, and his visceral unpopularity, may actually lift efforts to halt climate change.



Terror attacks spark security rethink

“The upside for Daesh is you get a wide pool of idiots who will act in your name. The downside is you get a wide pool of idiots, not reliable foot soldiers.”

Recent terrorist attacks have state and federal authorities considering new policing methods, parole and bail conditions, and public awareness campaigns.


Foreign political donations and the promise of interference laws

Revelations of ASIO’s historic warnings regarding Chinese donations to political parties has belatedly prompted bipartisan support for foreign interference laws.


Merkel’s pragmatism may not deliver West from downslide

“Merkel and her ministers passed the buck around on a plan to close the border until they found themselves getting acclaim for their humanity and let them come.”

While many in the West are turning to Angela Merkel’s Germany for leadership in the face of Trump’s America, the chancellor is more a pragmatic politician than a visionary.


Copyright rules crippling artists

Unlike countries with a fair use exemption, copyright laws in Australia require artists to secure prohibitively expensive licences for even the smallest quotation of others’ work.


Paris accord with US may outlast Trump

May Day at the UK elections; Qatar cut off by Saudi, Egypt, Bahrain and UAE.



Paul Bongiorno
Playing the blame game on terror attacks

“Politicians playing the blame game are nothing new, especially in the current febrile climate. It is made all the harder for Turnbull because he is under fire from within his own ranks for not being more outspoken on ‘Islamic’ terrorism. As a result, it is a term he and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop are now employing more. ”


Tony Windsor
Inland rail a hollow promise

“Is Inland Rail a real goer or is it just doing the political rounds as once again the Nationals are threatened by One Nation? Will anything actually be done before the next federal election? Going by Australian Rail Track Corporation documents prepared for the government in 2015, there is still much to talk about, including the all-important route determinations – after 21 years of deliberation.”


Uncommon figure of speech

It was bopping at Sydney’s Cockle Bay Wharf Friday week ago. A couple of hundred true believers jammed in for a dinner that paid tribute to Norman Graham Freudenberg, AM, speech-weaver extraordinaire to Gough Whitlam, Neville Wran, Bob Carr and, I’d almost forgotten, Barrie Unsworth and Arthur “Cocky” Calwell.

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial



Gautam boys

The support of both governments for the Adani coalmine project is pathological. It speaks of the sickness at the heart of our politics. This is not about the meagre jobs the mine might create. It is about punishing the environment as if it were an enemy.


Open collaboration led to Uluru statement

The Uluru statement was a historic achievement of First Nations agency. The process was demanded, designed and led by Indigenous leaders. Delegates called for a First Nations voice in the constitution …

Leaders failing to lead

The comments of Senator Barnaby Joyce and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on the Uluru statement show a lack of leadership and vision. What divides us is not the amazing courage and leadership emerging from …

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Leigh Carmichael’s dark arts at MONA

For Leigh Carmichael, meeting MONA founder David Walsh was a life-changing moment. Now, as the creative director of DarkLab, Carmichael is changing the way people see culture.


The Return of ‘Twin Peaks’

As the latest Twin Peaks again pushes the boundaries of everyday morality, the viewer ponders its creator’s desire to illuminate the darkness in our souls.


Theatre director Adena Jacobs

“The play begins with a long, steady gaze at stillness. A white wall and a floor white with snow: we are in the avant-garde; we are in old, winter Europe; the vacancy of memory. In reality it’s chunks of polystyrene. And eventually there is the softest rustle and a small hand flutters into view. ‘I never see on the stage what I originally thought,’ says Adena Jacobs, director and co-creator of this scene.”




Beef brisket braised in mead and pickled walnuts

“Brisket is a favourite braising cut. Depending on the breed, it is usually well marbled and contains plenty of interconnective tissue, which transforms into a lovely gelatinous mass. Don’t attempt this if you are in a rush, though. ”


Beverley Farmer
This Water: Five Tales

Christopher Bollen
The Destroyers

Anna Spargo-Ryan
The Gulf



Rao’s restaurant in a New York winter

To get a table at quintessential New York Italian restaurant Rao’s you need to have got your name in the book in 1977 – or know someone who did. Yet the warm welcome you’ll get once inside, will stave off the winter cold.


Blockchain tech more than cryptocurrencies

While digital currency bitcoin has waned in popularity and value, the blockchain technology that enables it may yet revolutionise global trade, as corporate giants join forces with new sector leader Ethereum.


Striking out: Jamie Abdallah, 26, mixed martial artist

Mixed martial artist Jamie Abdallah on the art of cage fighting and his bid to break into the UFC.

The Quiz

1. A giant dying lion is carved out of rock as a monument in which Swiss city?
2. Which Beatles were left-handed?
3. Where on the Celsius and Fahrenheit scales is the temperature numerically exactly the same?
4. Name the feminist author of Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman?
5. Before being passed on to horses or humans, the Hendra virus mainly infects which animals?
6. Who is the host of the radio program This American Life?
7. Which country is the setting of the 2016 documentary film The Eagle Huntress?
8. Is gazpacho served hot or cold?
9. Name the French physician and astrologer (1503-1566) who published now-famous collections of prophecies?
10. What is the name of the character played by Drew Barrymore in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial? (Bonus point for naming the year the film was released.)

Click through for answers.



“You see a bit of it in Australia – people that just feel as though they have got to constantly be commentating, and I just don’t think I’ll do that.”

John KeyThe former prime minister of New Zealand takes a veiled swipe at Tony Abbott. Key intends to go back to a quiet life of pulling waitresses’ ponytails and joking that Maoris are cannibals.


“That wasn’t how these stories usually work.”

Shari Nementzik

The Woman’s Day journalist whose story is the subject of a defamation action by Rebel Wilson defends not contacting the actor over claims she lied about her age and name. Wilson says she lost two film roles and gained six years because of the piece.


“I Googled it and found Abraham Lincoln had a modification. ‘Things may come to those who wait, but those who hustle get what is left.’ ”

Matt CanavanThe resources minister misquotes the great American president, overcome by his enthusiasm for the Adani coalmine. While you’re there, Matt, other fun searches include “climate change facts” and “self-serving opportunism”.


“I don’t really fight nice if I’m pushed too far.”

Andrew BoltThe conservative commentator responds to being sprayed with glitter and allegedly punched. In a kind of interpretive physical theatre based on one of his columns, he hit one man in the face and the other in the groin.


“He said he had nothing to do with Russia, had not been involved with hookers in Russia, and always assumed he was being recorded when in Russia.”

James ComeyThe former FBI chief details exchanges in which Donald Trump pressured him to drop investigations into Russian connections. Trump was as shocked as anyone to learn the spies with which his campaign collaborated were Russian.


“To all the girls with books and pens, I hope your voices will be heard, that the extraordinary privilege that comes with being published will one day be yours.”

Jill SingerThe celebrated journalist offers wisdom to young women entering the profession. She died this week, aged 60.