June 24 – 30, 2017

Health Minister Greg Hunt in the house of representatives last week.


The government’s war on the law

“The target of those seeking to impose an authoritarian state is the independent judiciary.”

An attack on the Victorian judiciary by three government ministers highlights a larger campaign against the powers of independent office.


Image for article: Terrorism and domestic violence


Terrorism and domestic violence

“Not only are scholars identifying that radicalisation involves grievance, but also empowerment.”

While terrorism is impossible to predict, a correlation may exist between those with domestically abusive pasts and those who hope to commit acts against the state.



Final chapter in Adani loan deal

“If it’s not viable, what is he worried about? We will go away. We will slip away into the darkness.”

While the dealings of the government’s Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility remain shrouded in secrecy, pressure mounts over funding for the Adani rail line.

Asylum seeker Ebenezer with his prison release papers, in Catania, Sicily.


Sicily’s tide of misery

The G7 summit in Sicily discussed aid and investment in Africa to stem the flow of refugees heading across the Mediterranean, but also brought tighter Italian maritime borders now threatening the lives of thousands.



Migrant language service budget cuts

“It says it all that at a time when the government is speaking about the need for people to speak English, those that teach English are losing their funding and losing their jobs.”

Federal budget changes to a program that teaches new Australians language skills are, according to the Adult Migrant English Service, prioritising cost savings above social integration.

Shuttered shopfronts sprayed with pro-Daesh graffiti in Marawi, on the Philippine island of Mindanao this month.


Duterte wants Daesh out by Ramadan’s end

Kurds could fight for Iraqi homeland; US hawks eye Iran forces in Syria; PNG elections begin

Australia's No.1 news podcast.



Jane Caro
Gonski’s troublesome twin

“While Birmingham and Turnbull adopted the original funding formula’s idea of an SRS – simply what a school needs to do its job properly – they appear to be using it in a way that risks abandoning the principle of funding schools according to student need. In other words, Gonski 2.0 may turn out to be a wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing funding formula. ”


Paul Bongiorno
Polls unmoved as parliament breaks for winter

“Turnbull has unveiled a needs-based schools-funding package winning Labor’s champion reformer David Gonski to its cause. And he began to look and sound like the Turnbull of yore with a clean energy target scheme that takes climate change seriously and sets out to reduce emissions. For good measure he has begun to bang the national security drum more. And yet the dark clouds have not lifted.”


Richard Ackland
Gadfly: Malcolm’s hokey poke

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial


ReadCartoon image, links to full cartoon page

Time to look within

Saturday marks the close of Australia’s Refugee Week. A week that began just days after our government expensively settled a class action on detention of refugees and that ends today with debate about the government’s proposed changes to citizenship law.


Numbers tell another story

Two articles in last week’s edition (June 17-23) report on continuing efforts by the Christian right to control Australia’s political agenda by recasting it in their own image (“Hardline …

Majority not being heard

I enjoyed Andrew Denton’s excellent column. As he noted, some 75 per cent of the population are in favour of doctor-assisted euthanasia, albeit Denton avoided that word, but there is a concerted effort …

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Ben Mendelsohn


Una’s Ben Mendelsohn on his American roots

Ben Mendelsohn, currently seen in the harrowing drama Una, has adapted to life in the US, where he has become an in-demand film actor. But his teen years spent living there were more tumultuous. “The cultural shift was profound and deeply weird to me. I couldn’t make any sense of who those strange beings were.”

Cynthia Nixon (above, centre) as 19-century American poet Emily Dickinson in 'A Quiet Passion'.


‘A Quiet Passion’ and ‘Whitney: Can I Be Me’

A film about Emily Dickinson and a documentary on Whitney Houston may seem worlds apart but both address – with varied success – the notion of divine gifts.

Sweatshop founder and director Michael Mohammed Ahmad.


Literary collective director Michael Mohammed Ahmad

“Michael Mohammed Ahmad, founder and director of Sweatshop – a western Sydney-based literary collective – is yelling as he drives. He’s not mad, that’s just how he talks, at a speed and octave a notch above what most people would find comfortable, but which is normal for an Arab. ”


Image for article: Ricotta dumplings with burnt butter, pine nuts and sage


Ricotta dumplings with burnt butter, pine nuts and sage

“These dumplings are quite rich and cheesy. They would be too much with a rich ragout. I like the simplicity of burnt butter and sage with this dish but, if you wanted to add to it, some blanched broccolini or grilled ribbons of zucchini could be turned through as well.”


Image for article: Selfie

Will Storr

Image for article: Australia Day

Melanie Cheng
Australia Day

Image for article: No More Boats

Felicity Castagna
No More Boats


Image for article: Craft beer the toast of Paris


Craft beer the toast of Paris

Craft beer is taking over Paris and persuading at least one committed wine drinker to change her order.

Image for article: Emma Mulholland’s label Holiday


Emma Mulholland’s label Holiday

Emma Mulholland’s new label Holiday returns to the retro beachside style that launched her career.

Image for article: Sumo lovin': Thomas Traill, 18, sumo wrestler


Sumo lovin’: Thomas Traill, 18, sumo wrestler

World Games representative Thomas Traill on the power, technique and challenging outfits used in sumo wrestling.

The Quiz

1. A singer from which country won this year’s Eurovision Song Contest?
2. According to Greek mythology, who were the creatures who, with their beautiful voices, lured sailors to their death?
3. Who plays the title character in the film Sully?
4. A sheep appeared on one side of the Australian $2 note. What food source appeared on the other side? (Bonus point for naming the year the notes were replaced by gold coins.)
5. Five United States state names end in the letter ‘s’. Name them.
6. A long-running British sitcom was called Last of the …?
7. Conchology is the study of what?
8. Which team won this year’s inaugural Super Netball competition?
9. Who is the author of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series?
10. Jetta, Tiguan and Caddy are car models made by which manufacturer?

Click through for answers.



“Sean got fatter.”

Steve BannonThe White House strategist explains why Sean Spicer’s briefings are no longer held on camera. It’s a cruel judgement from a man who looks, at best, like a half-eaten burrito.


“I’m disappointed to hear through the media of today’s developments.”

Jim LindsayThe chief executive of Ipswich City Council responds to news that the town’s former mayor has been charged with extortion. The charges have nothing to do with the $50,000 Paul Pisasale was caught carrying through Melbourne Airport or the dressing gown he wore at his last press conference.


“One of the great world leaders.”

George ChristensenThe conservative politician praises the murderous Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte. He didn’t specify whether it was the extrajudicial killings or the more generalised human rights abuses he liked best.


“We need to get rid of those people because you want everyone to feel good about themselves.”

Pauline HansonThe One Nation leader argues that autistic children should be pulled out of mainstream classrooms. She’s not a racist, but she sure does hate anyone who is marginalised or disadvantaged.


“It’s no coincidence that the leader of the opposition’s initials are BS.”

Scott MorrisonThe treasurer suggests Bill Shorten’s parents actively conspired in giving him a name that would be used to sledge him in parliament 50 years later. That, or it was a coincidence.


“Everything must change so that everything can stay the same.”

Alan FinkelThe chief scientist quotes Italian prince and writer Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa to make the case for overhauling the National Electricity Market. Because the lack of action on energy reform is mostly about a lack of appreciation for historical literature.