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News

The money case for gay marriage

“For reasons unknown, the ‘Yes’ campaign has not put a lot of emphasis on the economic benefits of changing the Marriage Act. It’s odd, given all the evidence from other areas of social policy…”

Legislation for same-sex marriage overseas provides a series of natural experiments on social, economic and personal benefits.

News

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News

Last in space: our late agency plans

“Since 1985, when Barry Jones commissioned Sir Russel Madigan and the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences to produce the report ‘A Space Policy for Australia’, government reviews of Australia’s space industry have fallen like snow and melted away just as quickly.”

Thirty years late, and with a haste that surprised the industry, Malcolm Turnbull is taking Australia into space.

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News

The death in custody of Tane Chatfield

The death of an Aboriginal man in a NSW correctional centre has brought to light broader failings in the system of preventing – and recording – Indigenous fatalities in custody.

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News

Why we’re not getting a federal ICAC

“I don’t believe that Australian political leaders are serious about effective solutions to corruption. Some of them advocate for it, but in my experience they are more comfortable advocating than confronting corruption head-on.”

Whistleblowers suggest a senate committee’s failure to recommend the establishment of a federal anti-corruption body is another sign of a system unwilling to subject itself to scrutiny.

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News

Belvoir’s Eamon Flack on why the arts matter

Belvoir artistic director Eamon Flack on cuts to arts funding in Australia and the significance of art and culture in our lives.

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World

United States hoist by its own dotard

Shinzō Abe seeks military mandate. Australia’s support for Iran deal. Germany’s far-right party splits.

Opinion

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Opinion

Richard Ackland
The pointless exercise of suppression orders

“There is a tension between lawyers championing the cause of a free press and what the free press does once it gets its hands on the information. Last year, the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal made some important in-principle rulings about take-down orders affecting news media websites. Even though these judgements contained important rulings on the relevant law, they were themselves subject to non-publication orders because of trials that were under way.”

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Politics

Paul Bongiorno
Name-calling in the energy debate

“It is completely disingenuous for Turnbull to accuse Labor of not heeding warnings eight years ago on how the intense export drive could affect domestic supply and prices. Those warnings were offset by assurances from the exporters that it would not happen. Hollow assurances as it turns out. Sound familiar? ”

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Diary

Gadfly
Coleridge and the rime of the ancient marrier

It was uplifting to see Father Paul Kelly, editor-at-large of The Catholic Boys Daily, beating the drum for a religious freedom bill. Never mind that already we have too much religious freedom; Father Kelly wants more.


An insider’s outside view

A new podcast from Schwartz Media

Join Richard Denniss, The Australia Institute’s chief economist, as he tackles Australia’s most important political and economic issues in a new weekly podcast.

Find The Lucky Country on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.

Letters & Editorial

Cartoon

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Editorial
Talk of shame

Peter Dutton does not argue when Ray Hadley says the first refugees to leave Manus for resettlement in the United States, “looked like a fashion show on a catwalk somewhere in Paris or New York”. Instead, he lies.

Letters

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Chill out Tony and look at wedding gifts

I grow weary of Tony Abbott and his rear-vision mirror perspective of Australia (Editorial, “The ‘No surprises here’ case”, September 23-29). Just for once can’t …

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The definition of balance

Alex McKinnon (“How ‘No’ case is abusing the ABC”, September 23-29) makes the point that the ABC is forced to accept homophobic diatribes on air in the interests of “balance”. …

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Culture

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Culture

Oscar-winner Eva Orner on what drives her

Known as a fearless documentary filmmaker, Eva Orner has shone a light on tragic situations in Iraq, Kabul and Nauru. In her latest work, she turns her attention to the problem of mobile phones. ‘If I think it’s compelling, important, interesting, worthwhile, that overtakes everything else.’

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Television

‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’

Larry David’s return as a cantankerous version of himself in a new series of Curb Your Enthusiasm is a chance to reflect on the roots of comedy and the discontent that produces it.

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Portrait

Composer Him Sophy

“‘With a requiem, as in Mass, you wish the dead body to become good in the next life, the same as bangsokol ritual,’ the composer tells me. ‘You remember your ancestors who have passed away. But bangsokol also gives hope to people who are still alive … It’s good to not only think about death, but also about the living.’”

Food

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Food

Catalan-style braised broad beans with smoked lardo

“The warmer weather is not the only indicator of spring. For me, the sign that spring is here is the appearance of certain vegetables. Broad beans represent the season perfectly, and always find a place on the menu when they’re available.”

Life

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Food

The best wine of spring 2017

A guide to the season’s top wines, from the experts at Cutler & Co, Supernormal, Cumulus Inc, Cumulus Up, the Builders Arms Hotel and Meatsmith.

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Travel

Nashville’s AmericanaFest

On a long-awaited trip to Nashville, the author soaks up her fill of country music. But while it more than satisfies, she takes a dimmer view of her fellow fans’ headwear.

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Sport

Shot caller: Caitlin Bassett, 29, netballer

Australian Diamonds captain Caitlin Bassett on her childhood struggles with body image, how she got mentally and physically stronger, and why she’d like to become a magician.

Books

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Jennifer Egan
Manhattan Beach

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C. K. Stead
The Necessary Angel

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The Quiz

1. What does the Spanish term hablar translate to in English?
2. Who shot and killed Lee Harvey Oswald? (Bonus point for naming how old Oswald was when he died?)
3. Which city straddles parts of both Europe and Asia?
4. Who was vice-president of the United States from 1989 to 1993?
5. What word starting with ‘p’ means to try to convert a person from one religion or belief to another?
6. Tens of thousands of Rohingya recently fled to which country from Myanmar’s western Rakhine state?
7. Lance Hill began production of which item in 1946?
8. Which unit of pressure is equal to one newton per square metre?
9. Who is the first African American to win all four major US entertainment awards (Academy, Tony, Emmy and Grammy)?
10. What is Australia’s floral emblem?

Quotes

ENERGY

“No, we’re not interested in a khaki solution.”

Scott MorrisonThe treasurer rejects Tony Abbott’s suggestion that wartime defence provisions could be used to force states into expanding gas production. Because it’s not enough for Abbott to divide the country; he wants to invade it.

MARRIAGE

“That’s like asking how much pocket money I give my wife – or how much she gives me, I should say.”

Cory BernardiThe conservative senator declines to reveal how much he is spending on robocalls against same-sex marriage, or how much he pays his wife. Here we were thinking there wasn’t enough pocket money in the world to make you marry Cory Bernardi.

SPORT

“Footy fans shouldn’t be subjected to a politicised grand final. Sport is sport!”

Tony AbbottThe man who coined the term “Team Australia” argues politics should stay out of sport, after the announcement that US “rapper” Macklemore will sing his hit “Same Love” at the NRL grand final. It could be worse; it could be Meatloaf.

TERRORISM

“One call was a wrong number; the other was a parent worried their kid was dating a Muslim.”

SourceThe $3.9 million helpline for people reporting radicalisation reveals it has received about five calls since it launched. The three others were from Bernardi on same-sex marriage.

FILM

“He wrote one of the worst scripts I’ve ever read … His fake Shakespeare-rap script about the LA riots. Oh, you’ve gotta read it. It’s just fuckin’ terrible.”

George ClooneyThe actor shares his views on one of Steve Bannon’s unmade films. The horror story Bannon is directing in the White House is playing to significantly bigger crowds.

NEW ZEALAND

“All I’m asking for is a bit of understanding rather than the tripe some people are putting out, malicious, malignant, and vicious in the extreme.”

Winston PetersThe New Zealand First leader castigates the press while refusing to be drawn on forming government. Coincidentally, “Malicious, malignant, and vicious in the extreme” is also Peters’ promise for government.