February 3 – 9, 2018

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at Bondi Beach.


A playbook for the culture wars

“His forays into the issues of the republic, the flag and Australia Day served to underline the contradictions between the old Turnbull and the new one, who is beholden to the hard right of the Liberal Party.”

Malcolm Turnbull is intent on launching the government into a series of Howard-era culture wars. The problem is he’s not very good at it.



Exclusive: All 57 ASIO refugee case warnings revised after review

“One cannot escape the conclusion that the department is using delaying tactics to avoid giving these people access to the courts or tribunals.”

As evidence emerges of Scott Morrison’s interference with ASIO’s refugee assessments, figures show every warning given by the agency since 2012 was ultimately revised down.

Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne in a Hawkei armoured  patrol vehicle.


A call to arms sales

The government’s desire to see Australia become a weapons powerhouse has brought howls of protest from humanitarian groups, and eerie silence from the Opposition.

US President Donald Trump delivers his first State of the Union address.


Scenes of monarchy at the State of the Union

Pomp and pageantry surround the State of the Union addresses and great importance is bestowed upon them. But did President Trump’s amount to anything more than a sideshow?


Skills recognition for refugees

“We’re missing out on so much potential to make a valuable contribution to this country.”

For skilled professionals forced to flee countries such as Syria, the challenges they face getting their qualifications certified in Australia harm the wider community as much as they harm them.

Members of the Free Syrian Army, backed by the Turkish army, in the mountains of Syria’s Afrin region this week.


Turkey moves to push back Kurds in Syria

Trump and the FBI memo. Berlusconi possible kingmaker. Germany close to coalition decision.

Australia's No.1 news podcast.



Liz Conor
#MeToo, corroboration and rape law

“#MeToo’s corroboration of multiple accusers offers women a chink of light in this judicial impasse. In this entirely untested extra-legal and post-hoc process, millions of women have made abundantly clear that corroboration is solidarity. The onus is now on law reformers to listen to this core articulation of #MeToo – embrace corroboration and change rape law to admit prior convictions as evidence. ”


Paul Bongiorno
Shorten outpaces Turnbull on vision

“Attorney-General Christian Porter seemed unwilling to replicate ICAC federally. Politicians nobbling such a body would be a very bad look, almost as bad as refusing to set one up now that it is squarely on the table. And that’s the challenge Shorten has given Turnbull. Parallels with Turnbull’s long reluctance to set up a banking royal commission are certainly not misplaced.”


Richard Ackland
Gadfly: The Pentecost of denying freedom

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial


ReadCartoon image, links to full cartoon page

Burning anger

The lie is that this country has a mature discourse, that the national conversation could be scandalised by an excess of rhetoric. It’s a lie of condescension, a lie that lets Jeff Kennett tell a young Indigenous activist to “buy a one-way plane ticket”. It’s the discourse that lets a News Corp columnist look at a hashtag such as #IStandWithTarneen and headline their corresponding piece “#InTheQueueAtMcDonald’s”


A compelling argument on Australia Day

Nakkiah Lui’s “Dated politics” (January 27–February 2) was so fresh, so honest and so very real. Compared with the “divide and rule” practices of our dated …

Nationals in agreement

Dear Nakkiah, how could you not feel worn down and confused by the ongoing negating of your culture and identity that you and others have to endure? If changing the date of Australia Day is indeed a way to …

Read More


Ivo van Hove


Theatre director Ivo van Hove

Theatre director Ivo van Hove is often drawn to adapting film screenplays for the stage, but his latest work, juxtaposing three warrior kings from Shakespeare’s histories, shows he also finds contemporary relevance in the classics. “Richard III just wants to be king, but once he’s got the crown, he’s totally bored. He can only reign, only live, only feel in order to have power.”



Hookworms’ ‘Microshift’

Hookworms’ third album Microshift sees the Leeds psych rockers take a krautrock turn to underpin lyrics that explore loss and trauma.


Poet Alan Wearne

“‘I wrote my memoirs when I was in Grade 5.’ Australian poet Alan Wearne absentmindedly ruffles a hand through tufting grey hair. ‘They were supposed to be memoirs of Grade 2, 3 and 4, but I never got to Grade 4. I called them The Good Old Days.’ ”


Image for article: Rolled pavlova


Rolled pavlova

“The thing I like about it was that the ratio of meringue to cream was more pleasing than the conventional version. The positive outcome of rolling a pavlova with its filling is about the change in texture. The crust breaks down and becomes lovely and chewy.”


Image for article: The Only Story

Julian Barnes
The Only Story

Image for article: Peach

Emma Glass

Image for article: Sign

Colin Dray


Image for article: Rewards and fitness apps


Rewards and fitness apps

Businesses have introduced reward schemes into health and fitness apps, even in the form of charity donations, but can such programs promote lasting lifestyle changes?

Image for article: Shanghai’s Long Museum West Bund


Shanghai’s Long Museum West Bund

The galleries of billionaire art collector Liu Yiqian’s Long Museum West Bund, in Shanghai, are presented with a chic industrial grandeur, but some of the rough edges are unintentional.

Image for article: Voice of wisdom: Mel Jones, 45, cricket commentator


Voice of wisdom: Mel Jones, 45, cricket commentator

The Channel Ten BBL and WBBL commentator and former Australian player on women in cricket and the IPL “circus”.

The Quiz

1. Kidnapped and Catriona are novels by which author? (Bonus point for naming the main character and narrator of both books.)
2. Which car manufacturer has a model named Qashqai?
3. Brothers Mitchell and Shaun Marsh represent Australia in cricket. Which one bats right-handed?
4. With the arrival of television’s first female Doctor Who, how many times has the character regenerated?
5. In 1868 Edmund McIlhenny created which sauce?
6. Which mediaeval castle is located in St Katharine’s and Wapping, London?
7. Is osmium a metal or a gas?
8. Which US state name is abbreviated to AR?
9. In what year was Mahatma Gandhi assassinated?
10. Parents David and Louise Turpin were last month accused of torture and false imprisonment of how many children in California?

Click through for answers.



“All points of view were canvassed including those of … Mr Andrew Bolt himself and backbench members of the government.”

Draft cabinet decisionDocuments obtained by the ABC show Andrew Bolt was consulted over changes to the Racial Discrimination Act. Bolt denies it, but then he also says he’s not a racist.


“I would also like [the National Security Committee] to consider whether amendments should be made to a suspect’s right to remain silent.”

Philip RuddockOther documents obtained by the ABC show the former attorney-general suggested removing the right to silence. Ruddock made the suggestion while Mohamed Haneef was being held without charge, and, presumably, while wearing his Amnesty pin.


“It is not clear that there is a strong evidence base for this approach.”

Kevin AndrewsThe then minister for social services prepares a briefing for Tony Abbott on cutting welfare to people under 30, revealed in documents obtained by the ABC. The same could be said about whatever Andrews is doing with his hair.


“We consider that producing cabinet-related documents to any court or tribunal … would not accord with legal practice and principle.”

Tom Howe, QCThe chief counsel at the Australian Government Solicitor argues against handing cabinet documents to the home insulation royal commission, according to documents obtained by the ABC. Better to leave them in second-hand furniture shops.


“It begins at a second-hand shop in Canberra, where ex-government furniture is sold off cheaply.”

ABCThe national broadcaster reveals the source of its multiple cabinet leaks this week: two second-hand filing cabinets, found in a Fyshwick shop. Such is the worth of government legacies.


“This was the outcome of a co-operative arrangement between the ABC and the Australian government – it was not a raid.”

Prime Minister and CabinetThe aptly named department confirms it has secured the documents held by the ABC. They no doubt long for a time when it was politicians who were for sale and not their furniture.