November 25 – December 1, 2017

Scenes inside the Manus Island detention centre as it was destroyed this week.


Manus Island: Inside the brutal end game

“They are destroying everything. Shelters, tanks, beds and all our belongings. They are very aggressive and put our belongings in the rubbish bins. The refugees are watching them so scared. ”

As the government turns its back, the detention centre on Manus Island is smashed apart and the men there are brutalised.



How the ‘Yes’ vote changes politics

“Such are the tensions within Liberal Party politics. The irony is that by turning the marriage equality issue over to the electors, that estrangement has been put on public display.”

In the wake of the survey on same-sex marriage, the notion of a silent majority has been disproved and conservative battlelines are being redrawn.


Foreign policy depends on US priorities

“It’s mistaken for Australia to imagine that, at our urging, America is going to pour military resources into Asia.”

The new foreign affairs white paper – the first comprehensive review in 14 years – acknowledges the shift in power in our region from the United States to China, but has no prescription for how Australia should deal with it.

Nadine Stransen.


Fighting for Nadine

The body of transgender activist Nadine Stransen was discovered in her home days after her death. Friends and family wonder whether the official account of what killed her might reflect the discrimination she spent her life fighting.

Scrub turpentine infected with myrtle rust.


Tree disease threatens Australian forests

A disease that has devastated eucalypt plantations in Brazil has reached Australia, where strains of myrtle rust could threaten gums, tea-trees, bottlebrushes, paperbarks and more, at great environmental and economic cost.

People celebrate in Harare, Zimbabwe, after President Robert Mugabe resigned this week.


Trump returns North Korea to terror list

No government yet for Germany. Mugabe quits. US against Australian scientist's involvement in nuclear weapons program.

Australia's No.1 news podcast.



Rodney Syme
The state and the right to die

“This is a victory of the people over the church, of secular views over dogma, of human rights over religious constraint, and of empirical evidence over fear and doubt. The bill allows, very simply, for people who are terminally ill and suffering intolerably to ask a doctor for assistance to die.”


Paul Bongiorno
Queensland MPs threaten revolt

“The Turnbull government’s overdraft with the Australian electorate is well and truly spent. And the prime minister’s desperate attempts to keep his creditors at bay have only served to worsen his precarious position. His decision to cancel next week’s sitting of the house of representatives is akin to shutting the doors to stop a run on the bank. It cannot work and it won’t.”


Richard Ackland
Gadfly: Court of little public opinion

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial


ReadCartoon image, links to full cartoon page

The man with no face

There is no more “in spite of”. There is no longer any way a humane person could vote for the Labor or Liberal parties without giving thought to their position on refugees. This policy is bipartisan. The torture that killed Hamed Shamshiripour is the work of successive governments, elected by voters able to overlook their cruelty.


The domination of Murdoch

For 50 years Rupert Murdoch, directly and by race-to-the-bottom influence, has poisoned the epistemological covenant between Western voters and the governments we elect (Karen Middleton, “Rudd calls …

A media inquiry is needed

A royal commission into Australia’s media is a priority issue for any new federal government, if it has the crazy-brave courage needed. The history of News Corporation and its media spinoffs are …

Read More


Kenneth Branagh.


Actor and director Kenneth Branagh

Well known for playing some of Shakespeare’s most flawed characters on stage and screen, Kenneth Branagh is now searching for the emotional truth behind a famous detective. Here, he talks about embodying and directing Poirot. “I was incredibly concentrated in both ways: as Poirot I was listening and looking for the lie, and as director, I was in a way, listening and looking for the lie. Both things operated at the same time.”

Image for article: ‘The Killing of a Sacred Deer’


‘The Killing of a Sacred Deer’

Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Killing of a Sacred Deer is a dark parable about eye-for-an-eye justice. But at the heart of the film is the view that children are never innocent.


Fighting the good fight for veterans

“For 20 years, Terry O’Connor has advocated for the rights of service personnel to access their lawful entitlements, including the sought-after Gold Card, which grants unlimited access to medical services, or to gain compensation for post-traumatic stress disorder. ‘Cases are complex jigsaws,’ he says, ‘requiring the chasing down of witnesses, detective work and knowledge of military history, and can take years to appeal from the date of the original primary decision.’”


Image for article: Cured kingfish


Cured kingfish

“It was some of Charles Fourier’s wilder notions that created the fodder for my banquet menu. In my research I found lovely stories about old hens, his love of a funny little cake called a mirliton, and his much discussed notion to re-engineer the Earth’s climate in order to change the sea from an unpalatable brine to lemonade. And hence this appetiser or entree of cured kingfish. Salt and sugar in the cure, sprinkling a little on the fish afterwards to give a little crunch, the coldness of the fish’s flesh, the slight hint of lemon and a little garnish of mint. Pure, simple and redolent of a sea of lemonade. ”


Image for article: Border Districts

Gerald Murnane
Border Districts

Image for article: Wednesdays with Bob

Bob Hawke and Derek Rielly
Wednesdays with Bob

Image for article: Domestic Interior

Fiona Wright
Domestic Interior


Image for article: Online mental health services


Online mental health services

Online mental health services, including self-guided tools and live therapy sessions, address problems of access for people in rural and remote areas as well as cost-effectiveness of treatment.

Image for article: Art, robotics and technology

Visual Art

Art, robotics and technology

The frame between art, robotics and special effects is breaking down. All three are emerging from the ‘uncanny valley’. Academy Award-winning visual effects expert John Cox, robotics specialist Sam Kingsley and artist Shaun Gladwell discuss what this means.

Image for article: Roll playing: Tyan Taylor, 27, goalball player


Roll playing: Tyan Taylor, 27, goalball player

How visual impairment led Tyan Taylor to become a key member of Australia’s Paralympic goalball team.

The Quiz

1. Who was Australia’s first Australian-born governor-general? (Bonus point for naming the former governor-general who died last month.)
2. Which island is located 18 kilometres west of Fremantle?
3. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in which city?
4. Which country knocked Italy out of the 2018 FIFA World Cup?
5. Which island of Japan is further north: Honshu or Hokkaido?
6. Which American actress was also a scientist, co-inventing an early technique for spread spectrum communications?
7. Who is the current king of Spain?
8. In which century did the Salem witch trials take place in colonial Massachusetts?
9. What name starting with ‘s’ is given to a Hindu spiritual teacher?
10. Which artist’s tour is titled Nostalgic for the Present?

Click through for answers.



“The same-sex marriage debate has very much distracted us from this bid to legalise a doctor assisted dying.”

Tony AbbottThe former prime minister complains that his attempt to frustrate the wishes of the Australian people on one issue distracted from an attempt to frustrate the wishes of the Australian people on another. His career confirms he doesn’t believe in ending things or dignity.


“A dedicated, understanding and enthusiastic minister … a real Aussie country boy.”

Gina RinehartThe mining magnate gives Barnaby Joyce a $40,000 “prize” for his contribution to the agricultural sector. Joyce accepted the award but then realised he wasn’t really eligible because it sort of divided his allegiances, which is kind of like his parliamentary career.


“It astounds me that a member of our parliament would roll out the red carpet to a white supremacist and paedophilia apologist.”

Sarah Hanson-YoungThe Greens senator objects to David Leyonhjelm hosting a Parliament House event with human garbage bag Milo Yiannopoulos. The red carpet in question is usually rolled out by voters.


“She actually needs to get out of the sandpit and be the leader for this state.”

Pauline HansonThe One Nation leader opines that Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is acting like a “spoilt brat” by ruling out forming government with her after this weekend’s election. In fairness, sandpit construction hasn’t started but Adani is keen.


“More than 20 years ago I told crude and inappropriate jokes, which were completely unacceptable and I apologise unreservedly.”

John AlexanderThe Liberal candidate for Bennelong apologises for telling offensive jokes while fraternising with the cast of hit show Gladiators. Embarrassingly Australian behaviour for a British citizen.


“Gone in the sky the dead but never die.”

Charles MansonThe cult leader and murderer makes a final phone call from prison before dying at the age of 83. He leaves behind too many apologists and a completely offensive place in popular culture.