November 3 – 9, 2018

A refugee child on Nauru.


How Murdoch got the kids off Nauru

“If even the right-wing press were on board with the move to get children off Nauru, the situation had become politically untenable.”

Behind the snap decision to remove all asylum-seeker children from Nauru was a carefully orchestrated campaign to harness the power of the News Corp tabloids.


Cricket Australia’s outgoing chairman David Peever at a press conference in Melbourne early this week.


Cricket chairman’s slow reckoning

While cheating players were quickly sanctioned for what Cricket Australia’s Longstaff report damned as a win-at-all-costs mentality, the game’s administrators have been slow to accept responsibility.


Tax benefits of legalising cannabis

“Australia is yet to see a state government float the idea of legalising cannabis for recreational purposes. But figures from the Victorian Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) suggest the policy could generate $136 million in tax revenue from cannabis sales in Victoria alone.”

According to figures requested by the Reason Party, legalising cannabis and personal drug use would generate millions of dollars in tax revenue and benefit an overwrought legal system.

Image for article: Detained South Sudanese future unclear


Detained South Sudanese future unclear

The fate of a group of South Sudanese men awaiting deportation from detention on Christmas Island is unknown, after the closure of the island’s detention centre.


Intelligence agencies’ pitch for powers

“The traditional bargain up until about a decade ago was ‘we’re not going to talk about any of this, but you can presume that we’re keeping you safe’. People by and large accepted it.”

Growing suspicion over the government’s security and intelligence powers has seen the heads of two powerful agencies begin a charm offensive to try to win back public trust.

Boys outside the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, following the shooting on October 27.


The human cost of Trump’s rhetoric

Trump stays on message for midterms. Right-wing gains in Brazil and Germany. Constitutional crisis in Sri Lanka. Independence vote for New Caledonia. The debate over refusing China in our 5G network.

Australia's No.1 news podcast.



Andrew Leigh
Unions key to workers’ wage growth

“During the past six years, real wage growth has all but ground to a halt in Australia. Just as in the first 50 years of the Industrial Revolution, productivity is growing at a solid rate. But employees’ share of the national pie has been shrinking. Part of the explanation lies in the fact that just 13 per cent of Australian workers are in unions, down from half the workforce in the early 1980s. Trade union membership is lowest among private-sector workers (9 per cent), 20-somethings (9 per cent), recent migrants (5 per cent) and people who have been working for less than a year (5 per cent).”


Paul Bongiorno
PM Scott Morrison’s sinking popularity

“The near 20 per cent shift against the Liberals in Wentworth is the harbinger of impending doom for the Coalition government. The third Liberal prime minister in five years admits he has a significant challenge ahead but says he’s “getting on with the job”. Evidence shows he’s not up to it – and frankly nobody is. Because what is required is a complete rebuild of the edifice that is the federal Liberal Party. That sort of remake can only be undertaken in Opposition, with time to sort out differences and test policy directions that are acceptable to what John Howard called “mainstream Australia”.”


Richard Ackland
Gadfly: Inflight infotainment

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial


ReadCartoon image, links to full cartoon page

The dark room

When this story was published in 1973, it was as a thought experiment. The idea of perpetual suffering, forced on a child for the benefit of an otherwise benign society, of endless detention and terrible deprivation, was science fiction. And yet here we are. Even as the children are slowly pulled from Nauru, Peter Dutton defends the Omelas he has built. He refuses to accept there are humanitarian reasons for closing the camps.


Take action on asylum-seeker children

Martin McKenzie-Murray’s front-page story about the national apology to survivors of institutional child sexual abuse was masterful – complex, compassionate, critical where necessary, …

Strong women get their chance

Three cheers for Jane Caro (“Running against Tony Abbott”, October 27–November 2). And are we seeing the first pincer movement on the hard right that has insinuated itself into the …

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Nils Frahm


Nils Frahm’s melody makers

Nils Frahm brings a playfulness to his serious compositions for piano and electronics, which leaves audiences delighted as well as enraptured. He vividly remembers crying when listening to English jazz saxophonist John Surman’s 1987 album, Private City, which mixes synthesisers with improvised saxophone.“It’s overwhelmingly powerful, emotional music that made me feel things that I didn’t know were in me. And that’s a great discovery – when you realise that music is not just invoking emotions, but creating emotions.”

Image for article: Bohemian Rhapsody


Bohemian Rhapsody

While Rami Malek shines as Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, Bohemian Rhapsody plays it so safe and is so sexually sanitised it fails to truly rock us.


Image for article: Two Old Men Dying

Tom Keneally
Two Old Men Dying

Image for article: The Butcherbird Stories

A. S. Patrić
The Butcherbird Stories

Image for article: Evening in Paradise

Lucia Berlin
Evening in Paradise


Image for article: Furikake



Image for article: Premenstrual dysphoric disorder


Premenstrual dysphoric disorder

Women who experience premenstrual dysphoric disorder – a condition many degrees more severe than the more common PMS – face misunderstanding, misdiagnosis and restrictions on the lives they can lead.

Image for article: Midfield maestro: Jane Claxton, 26, hockey player


Midfield maestro: Jane Claxton, 26, hockey player

Hockeyroos Player of the Year Jane Claxton on family tradition, using injury to reignite passion for her sport and becoming a ‘crazy dog lady’.

The Quiz

1. What is the first name of the character played by Courteney Cox in the TV series Friends?
2. Name the winner of last year’s Melbourne Cup.
3. Which former Liberal Party leader held the seat of Wentworth from 1987–1995?
4. What is the name for a Japanese poem with 17 syllables and three lines?
5. Name the winning author of the 2018 Booker Prize? (Bonus point for naming the winning book.)
6. Lil’ Kim, Mýa and which two other singers performed “Lady Marmalade” on the Moulin Rouge! soundtrack?
7. How many sides does a heptagon have?
8. In which year was the first IVF baby born: (a) 1975; (b) 1978; or (c) 1980?
9. Where in the body are red blood cells made?
10. What is the surname of the actor with the given names Charles Spencer, born in England in 1889?

Click through for answers.



“I saw Geoffrey’s hand cupping around the body of EJ’s breast, which was something I hadn’t seen before on stage.”

Mark Leonard WinterThe actor testifies in support of actress Eryn Jean Norvill’s claim that Geoffrey Rush groped her during a production of King Lear. A rare member of the theatre community who’ll break the fourth wall and defend a woman’s experience.


“I’d like to be president.”

Hillary Clinton The former senator leaves open the possibility of a 2020 run. Unfortunately, there is still the lingering question of those emails...


“These people need to be expelled from the National Party … they do not need deserve to be part of our Australian way of life and community.”

Sharri MarksonThe journalist turned TV presenter condemns the neo-Nazis who infiltrated the Young Nats in New South Wales. Markson may well be the least charismatic TV talent since Andrew Bolt, but at least Sky News seems to have learnt that giving actual Nazis a platform is wrong.


“The fact that Steve Smith was captain of Australia, he is not a bad person. He did not run over a pram with a kid in it.”

Barnaby JoyceThe drought envoy defends the players caught up in the ball-tampering scandal after the release of a scathing report about Cricket Australia’s culture. Finally, Australia, the moral arbiter we’ve always deserved.


“This is not a foreign concept. This is something that is done in other parts of the world.”

Dan TehanThe education minister says academics will need to prove “the national interest” when applying for funding. Yes, it does appear the education minister doesn’t understand the term “foreign”.


“He was there to actually attend an oceans conference. The issues of trade and other things were not really part of the brief.”

Scott MorrisonThe PM upbraids his predecessor, Malcolm Turnbull, for talking diplomacy on a trip to Indonesia. Scott Morrison knows middle Australia and he knows you don’t go to Bali to talk world politics.