October 20 – 26, 2018

Dave Sharma (left), Kerryn Phelps and Tim Murray.


How Scott Morrison changed his mind on Israel

“The policy shift on Jerusalem is among a number of changes floated ahead of the weekend byelection in socially progressive Wentworth.”

Three weeks ago, the prime minister said there would be no changes to his policy on Israel. Then, on the eve of the Wentworth byelection, he changed his mind.



Doctors demand medivac of Nauru children

“Unless it’s resolved quickly, and all these kids are assessed and treated, there will be a death. If the government and the courts keep assessing them case by case, this could drag on for weeks. Some of these children do not have weeks.”

After weeks of lobbying in Canberra, a leading paediatrician fears Australia’s toxic refugee politics will strand children on Nauru in a dire medical emergency.


Conversion therapy in Australia

“There are currently at least 10 organisations publicly advertising the provision of ex-gay and ex-trans therapies in Australia and New Zealand.”

A report released this week confirms conversion therapy is still practised in Australia, despite being deemed unethical and harmful by psychologists, as former Greens leader Bob Brown talks about his experience of similar procedures.

NITV presenter and journalist Rachael Hocking.


Indigeneity and DNA ancestry tests

The potentially dubious science of commercial DNA ancestry tests has serious implications for identifying Indigenous Australian heritage.


How the West offers Saudi impunity

“The moral questions of what violence the West is prepared to accept to preserve lucrative trade deals and oil dependency have always been difficult. ”

The mild response to the apparent murder of writer Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul is further evidence the West will turn a blind eye to the kingdom’s terrors to protect its oil and arms trade.

Image for article: China lashes out as HK club oversteps ‘red line’


China lashes out as HK club oversteps ‘red line’

Morrison’s embassy misstep; aftermath of Khashoggi murder; PNG’s APEC spending.

Australia's No.1 news podcast.



Ruby Hamad
Razing the white flag

“Perhaps they are afraid that one day it will finally dawn on us that to be “white” does not denote an inherited ethnicity but an acquired power. That if we were to untangle being white from being English or Australian or Canadian or European, then we will see whiteness for what it is: not something you intrinsically are, but something to which you are granted access. That whiteness exists only because systemic institutionalised racism exists, and to dismantle racism by definition entails dismantling whiteness. White people are bound not by a shared culture or skin colour but by power.”


Paul Bongiorno
Judgement day cometh in Wentworth

“The previous time a byelection was held to replace a prime minister dumped by his own party, the government lost the seat. It was 26 years ago, when Bob Hawke’s seat of Wills fell to the independent Phil Cleary. The Morrison government is giving every impression it fears the same is about to happen in Saturday’s Wentworth byelection. This is in itself remarkable, although the Wills precedent is pertinent. Labor had never lost the seat before its 1992 byelection defeat. Wentworth has been a non-Labor stronghold for 70 years and has close to an 18 per cent margin – twice what Labor had in Wills. But the stakes are infinitely higher this time.”


Richard Ackland
Gadfly: Wentworth prism

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial


ReadCartoon image, links to full cartoon page

Prisoners’ dilemma

Psychiatrist Dr Beth O’Connor was Médecins Sans Frontières’ longest-serving mental health professional on Nauru until she left the island last month: “Held in indefinite detention and effectively in a perpetual state of limbo for the last five years, these people have been stripped of any hope for a meaningful future, resulting in shocking levels of severe depression and anxiety in the population – with many having lost the will to live.”


Time to heed MSF call

Surely on the whole we in Australia are compassionate people (Behrouz Boochani, “Five years in purgatory”, September 29–October 5). How can we now ignore the pleas from the highly esteemed organisation …

Byelection on climate change

It appears Paul Keating was wrong – John Hewson has shown us a soufflé can rise twice (Mike Seccombe, “The race that has stopped the nation”, October 13–19). I hope the …

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Caroline O’Connor.


Caroline O’Connor’s high notes

She’s played everyone from Velma Kelly in Chicago to Judy Garland in The Boy from Oz, flawlessly channelling the great Piaf and Merman along the way. Now Caroline O’Connor takes the stage in her one-woman show, From Broadway with Love. For one night only, she’s looking forward to airing a repertoire of songs she knows as intimately as old friends. “I’m in love with this material; that’s why I’m doing it,” she says. “I’m just going to relax and enjoy the occasion.”

Image for article: Empress Of and Oh Pep!


Empress Of and Oh Pep!

The second albums of Empress Of and Oh Pep! see the acts moving from electronica and alt-folk respectively into poppier territory, and making good use of collaborators to assist the transition.

Image for article: Monica the Tantanoola bartender


Monica the Tantanoola bartender

“There’s a tiger in Tantanoola, South Australia, at least that’s what the tourist signs on the highway say. They are compelling and I am sure I am not the first wanderer to follow the signs in an attempt to discover what the tiger is. They lead to a small town, a few streets of houses, a post office barely visible from where I am parked and a low pub of rendered painted stone. Atop its gable roof is a cutout of the legendary creature stalking dangerously. I step into a well-lit front bar, sit down, order a cider and strike up a conversation with Monica, one of the three women behind the bar. She was the first person I noticed when I entered the place. The only man who works here is the chef, and you see him only when he sticks his head slightly comically out through the service hatch.”


Image for article: The Arsonist

Chloe Hooper
The Arsonist

Image for article: Women Talking

Miriam Toews
Women Talking

Image for article: An Open Book

David Malouf
An Open Book


Image for article: Whipped smoked fish with broad beans, leaves and salted cucumber


Whipped smoked fish with broad beans, leaves and salted cucumber

Image for article: The science of saving the Barrier Reef


The science of saving the Barrier Reef

While political debate rages over the funding of Great Barrier Reef projects, CSIRO and Australian Institute of Marine Science researchers are determining the best approaches for the reef’s restoration and survival

Image for article: Shot stopper: Jada Whyman, 18, soccer player


Shot stopper: Jada Whyman, 18, soccer player

Western Sydney Wanderers goalie Jada Whyman on family sacrifice, breaking into the Matildas and becoming a stronger, prouder Indigenous woman.

The Quiz

1. True or false: Antarctica is larger than Australia?
2. What 12-letter word meaning someone who travels widely ends with the name of an aquatic creature?
3. In four of the past five years, filmmakers from which country have won Best Director Academy Awards?
4. Fattoush, solterito, horiatiki and goi ga are all types of what?
5. Who was the last Australian prime minister to serve a full term in office?
6. Is a bouzouki (a) a rocket launcher; (b) a Middle Eastern pastry; or (c) a musical instrument?
7. Which star of the TV sitcom Friends revealed in September he had spent the past three months in hospital?
8. What is the fifth book of the Old Testament?
9. Which former Collingwood Magpies and Australian Diamonds netball goal keeper last month announced she would play for Collingwood in the AFLW? (Bonus point for naming her netball-AFLW cross-code Collingwood teammate.)
10. What is the name for a baby swan?

Click through for answers.



“I don’t recall the complete conversation.”

Melissa PriceThe environment minister apologises for telling the former Kiribati president that “for the Pacific it’s always about the cash”. Let he who has not crossed a Canberra restaurant to insult a Nobel Prize nominee cast the first stone.


“The Government Senators’ actions in the Senate this afternoon confirm that the Government deplores racism of any kind.”

Christian PorterThe attorney-general tweets in support of the government backing a motion from Pauline Hanson that “it’s okay to be white”. Presumably, the senator means any kind of racism, except the kind where you vote in favour of a neo-Nazi slogan.


“There was no justification ... to trigger that termination clause.”

Michelle Guthrie The ex-ABC managing director sues her former employer over “adverse action”. She made this claim before it became clear she lost the SeaChange remake to Channel Nine.


“It’s taken a century to get to this point.”

Annastacia PalaszczukThe Queensland premier celebrates a landmark vote decriminalising abortion. By “this point” she means the late 1960s.


“I think there is a cancer in Canberra at the moment – it is people who background journalists.”

Michael McCormack The deputy prime minister and Nationals leader rejects reports his party is rallying against him. Of all the cancers in parliament, that one is a light sunburn.


“Absolutely not.”

Hillary Clinton The United States presidential runner-up denies her husband’s affair with Monica Lewinsky was an abuse of power as they were both adults. Asked why so many female voters were ambivalent about her run for the White House, Clinton said she had, quote, “no idea”.