December 14 – 20, 2019

Hillsong’s Pastor Brian Houston outside the White House in Washington, DC, last weekend.


Sexual abuse survivor rebukes Hillsong head

“It’s just hypocrisy, isn’t it? It’s nothing to them to walk over some people to achieve their dreams … They run a dreadful business and I use that word deliberately. It’s a business, not a church.”

While Brian Houston celebrates Hillsong’s new multimillion-dollar church in New York, a victim of his father’s sexual abuse crowdfunds to pay for cancer treatment.



Exclusive: Detainees denied cold water, cooling before NT prison riot

“The FOI documents make clear the frustration of the men was not limited to the day’s heat. It had been growing over broader prison conditions.”

Documents released under freedom of information reveal the brutal conditions as a riot unfolded at Alice Springs Correctional Centre.

Image for article: Labor changes message on coal


Labor changes message on coal

In an attempt to win back Queensland voters, Anthony Albanese expressed support for coal exports this week, confirming that Labor’s path back to government remains fraught.


Selling the real estate dream

“Buying and selling of real estate is much more managed than most people realise, and is highly nuanced with different sectors playing support roles for the main game of generating sales. Press coverage of the real estate market is very much a good news story. ”

News stories and real estate websites paint a picture of an ever booming and expanding property market. The reality may be quite different.

Image for article: Women campaign to raise Newstart rate


Women campaign to raise Newstart rate

Six women who have experienced the struggle of living on Newstart explain why they have turned to activism.

Image for article: NZ volcano: Australian death toll climbs


NZ volcano: Australian death toll climbs

Zelensky and Putin meet for the first time. Whakaari/White Island volcano eruption. Aung San Suu Kyi defends Myanmar in International Court of Justice. Widespread concerns about Afghanistan war revealed in Washington Post.

Australia's No.1 news podcast.



Peter Khalil
Australia should lead way on refugees

“Next week, the first United Nations Global Refugee Forum will take place, where member states will try to co-ordinate a response to the largest global refugee crisis since World War II. It is the first step towards a necessary international processing and resettlement agreement. Marise Payne, Australia’s foreign minister, has not committed to attending. Nor has the Morrison government made any public statement about what role Australia might play in the UN talks.”


Paul Bongiorno
PM’s clouded judgement on climate

“On a day when thick, acrid smoke made Australia’s largest city virtually uninhabitable, the prime minister claimed climate policy success. Scott Morrison told a news conference – which had been called not to respond to the crisis but to discuss the freedom of religions to discriminate – that ‘our actions on climate change are getting the results they’re intended to get’. No one could miss the irony.”


Houston calling

What a miracle it was that Brian Houston, leader of the Hillbilly Church and spiritual adviser to Schmo Morrison, managed to get his White House ban lifted. There he was inside the cabinet room, no less, announcing he had prayed for the Pussy Grabber, presumably asking God to remedy his bone spurs.

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial


ReadCartoon image, links to full cartoon page

This is an emergency

We don’t know for sure if Nero played violin while Rome burnt. If it did happen, it was likely a different instrument, perhaps a kithara. But that other question – of whether a leader could be so frivolous and uncaring in the face of such catastrophe – was answered this week by Scott Morrison.


Indigenous numbers beat Lambie’s

Senator Jacqui Lambie (Mike Seccombe, “Lambie’s secret medevac bargain”, December 7-13) only got 31,383 primary votes, and her preferences made up the Tasmanian senate quota, which …

Coalition does not care

With reference to Jenifer Nicholls’ letter (“What about duty of care?”, December 7-13), I believe there are two reasons the government is shirking asylum seekers’ care. One, they …

Read More


Lindy West.


Writer Lindy West

Using her brilliant wit as a tool for political activism, writer Lindy West has fought for social justice issues such as fat liberation and abortion rights. The author of Shrill – now an acclaimed TV series – and The Witches Are Coming speaks about her work. “There’s something intoxicating about being defiant, especially when you start to articulate all the ways in which your life has been made smaller and more difficult by systems of power.”

Image for article: Harry Styles’ Fine Line


Harry Styles’ Fine Line

Harry Styles’ second solo album, Fine Line, is at its best when the pop star reveals his vulnerable side, but the record needs some reining in.


Image for article: The Best Australian Science Writing 2019

Bianca Nogrady (ed.)
The Best Australian Science Writing 2019

Image for article: Wake, Siren: Ovid Resung

Nina MacLaughlin
Wake, Siren: Ovid Resung

Image for article: Incidental Inventions

Elena Ferrante
Incidental Inventions


Image for article: Tiramisu milk punch


Tiramisu milk punch

Image for article: Thalidomide survivors


Thalidomide survivors

A senate inquiry into thalidomide in March called for survivors to be better supported and compensated. Months later the government still has done nothing.

Image for article: Track cycling world champion Stephanie Morton


Track cycling world champion Stephanie Morton

Following Anna Meares’ retirement, Stephanie Morton has emerged as Australia’s new track sprinting star. This weekend the reigning world champion races in Brisbane, but her sights are firmly set on Tokyo 2020.




“I will say today don’t take those pills.”

Gladys BerejiklianThe NSW premier “closes the door” on pill testing at music festivals. In truth, she’s one of the few politicians you believe when they claim to have never taken a cap.


“I should not be the one to be person of the year, it should be everyone in the Fridays for Future movement ...”

Greta Thunberg

The climate campaigner responds to being named Time’s Person of the Year. After the Nobel nomination, the only gong left is getting more Instagram followers than Millie Bobby Brown.


“Each bushfire season we take the advice of the states and experts about what we can do to keep Australians safe.”

Scott MorrisonThe prime minister announces $11 million to assist aerial firefighting teams. A generous sum, about a fifth of what he gave the Captain Cook memorial.


“I have never thought about my age or gender.”

Sanna MarinThe 34-year-old comments on becoming the president of Finland, leading a coalition of five parties, each headed by a woman. You can be sure all reporting on the win will mention their age and gender.


“I erroneously tweeted that President Trump had posthumously pardoned Charles Manson. Glad to have been wrong.”

Marianne WilliamsonThe Democratic candidate corrects the record. She shouldn’t speak too soon though; her tweet is sure to give the president some ideas.


“I’ll be with you in a second.”

Boris JohnsonThe Conservative leader evades a question from a reporter before hiding in a fridge. Michaelia Cash, take note, that’s far more effective than a whiteboard.