News

How Covid-19 energised conspiracy theorists

“If you already think there is something untoward going on in the background, then the Covid-19 pandemic is going to be the kind of thing you start factoring into these plots.”

Coronavirus has invigorated conspiracy theorists and brought together disparate groups, many of them flourishing as social media platforms stand down moderators.

News

News

Dutton pushing for new ASIO powers

“The federal government wants to expand the surveillance, questioning and data access powers of the domestic spy agency, putting two key pieces of legislation to a pared-down parliament during the Covid-19 crisis.”

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton seeks to allow the agency to plant surveillance devices with no warrant, among a raft of sweeping changes.

News

National Covid-19 Coordination Commission scrutinised

Questions are being raised about the government’s National Covid-19 Coordination Commission – its appointees, purpose and ties to the fossil fuel industry – but the group’s chairman is offering no answers.

News

Parliament bypassed for Covid-19 legislation

“Concetta Fierravanti-Wells said the ‘recent proliferation’ of exempt instruments in response to the Covid-19 outbreak fuelled a longstanding concern about the ‘inappropriate exemption’ of some delegated legislation.”

Even Coalition MPs are calling for increased scrutiny of legislation rushed through in response to the Covid-19 crisis.

News

Aspen Medical’s Covid-19 contracts

The awarding of $57 million in coronavirus-related contracts to the for-profit healthcare provider Aspen Medical is raising questions about state and federal governments’ continued willingness to outsource what were once public-led health responses.

World

Media wars press home US–China conflict

US and China in tit-for-tat media expulsions. Vanuatu reviewing “cash for passports” scheme. Russians back to work despite growing virus toll. India’s slum dwellers starving in lockdown.

We feed you

While the Covid-19 lockdown has affected us all, none have been as profoundly impacted as the migrant workers living in Australia with few protections – if any at all. Illustrations by Tia Kass.

Opinion

Opinion

Bill Bowtell
The risks as lockdowns loosen

“This weekend, Australians are emerging from the lockdown that placed the country into quasi-hibernation for almost two months. The emergence of coronavirus has ignited an economic conflagration on a scale only comparable with the disruption caused by the Great Depression and World War II. How these health and economic crises now interact with one another as they play out will deeply change and affect the lives, health and prosperity of us all.”

Opinion

Paul Bongiorno
Chokehold on the economy

“If anybody needed reminding, the Australian economy is in deep trouble, much deeper than either the treasurer or the prime minister realised at the beginning of last month. Then, the talk was of a ‘snapback’ from the damage of the coronavirus pandemic; now it is of a ‘sobering’ economic impact in ‘very difficult’ and ‘uncertain times’. Making these times even more uncertain is our biggest trading partner, China, none too subtly firing the first shots in a trade war.”

Diary

Gadfly
Quiet as a church mouth

Gadfly, along with an anxious nation, was looking forward to last weekend’s Catholic Boys Daily. Surely, it would be bursting with explanations from all the favourites on how the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse got it wrong in its unredacted report on the state of Cardinal Pell’s knowledge about the Ballarat Paedophile Club.

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial

Cartoon

Read

Editorial
Radio silenced

If 2GB was a crime family – if you can imagine it – Ray Hadley would be a violent foot soldier and Alan Jones would be the plotting, vengeful don. Ben Fordham would be adopted as a favour to his parents. With Jones’s retirement, radio loses an ugly voice. It loses a little of its racism and some of its misogyny. It loses some antique slurs and curious bigotry and graphic rhetoric. Most of this will be replenished or reimagined. Like sunlight, prejudice is inexhaustible. What won’t easily be replaced, and what made Jones different, is his capacity to manipulate power.

Letters

In Aunty we trust

The ABC has played a vital role during the bushfire and coronavirus crises. Mike Seccombe (“Hundreds facing the sack with ABC cuts”, May 9-15) records our collective indebtedness to the ABC and its profound …

Advice on repeat

I noticed. I noticed when programs started to be scheduled to run twice on the ABC. I noticed when programs started to be scheduled to run three times on the ABC. I noticed when features that I listened to a number …

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Culture

Profile

Singer-songwriter Moses Sumney

During his early career, the music industry was intent on fitting Moses Sumney into boxes. But as his latest album, græ, attests, he is an artist determined to seek his own truths beyond the confines of expectation and identity. “I’m really interested in the collapse of identity politics, increasingly. I want us to get to a place where we can seek equality for ourselves without having to define as anything that’s simple. It feels really petrifying, the idea that you explain yourself to someone in order to gain their respect [and that] in doing that, you’re kind of solidifying your identity in a way that feels quite limiting.”

Art

Exhibitions at Neon Parc, Melbourne

Open only by appointment due to Covid-19 restrictions, two exhibitions at Melbourne gallery Neon Parc provide a chance to reflect on the unseen labour of artists and arts workers.

Life

Food

Tuna sashimi

Health

Researching SARS-CoV-2

Amid the rush to unpick the mysteries of Covid-19 and its effects, clinicians are scrambling to understand the information they have and prioritise what needs to be looked at next.

Books

Philippe Sands
The Ratline

Leïla Slimani
Sex and Lies

Kimberley Starr
Torched

Puzzles

Quotes

ORATION

“Sorry. I’m lucky I’ve got some water.”

Josh FrydenbergThe treasurer, attempting to stifle a coughing fit in the middle of a key speech about the economic impact of Covid-19, sips forlornly from the smallest bottle of water in human history.

SACRIFICE

“If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me.”

Elon MuskThe Tesla founder “risks” jail time by illegally reopening his car factory. With their employer bravely shielding them from the law, all Musk’s workers have to worry about is potentially catching coronavirus.

PHILANTHROPY

“At the moment they are not useful.”

Professor Carola Vinuesa The Australian National University immunology expert says the 1.5 million antibody kits purchased by the Australian government to test for Covid-19 are incapable of testing for Covid-19. The government clarified it only ended up buying one million tests, so, basically, they saved money, if you think about it.

ADIEU

“Like Bradman and Menzies, Alan Jones is going out on top. No one ... provided so much well-researched, edifying information to the public, a wonderful service to his nation.”

Mark Latham The One Nation MLC overlooks Jones’s cash for comment scandal and his landmark defamation payouts to sing the praises of the broadcaster, who has announced his retirement.

LEADERSHIP

“It has blown me away. I’ve been thinking, ‘Oh my goodness me.’ ”

Jacqui Lambie The Tasmanian senator laments the lack of Covid-19 testing in parliament. Lambie said she thought politicians were meant to lead by example, which is a common misconception.

TRAVEL

“I guess it would be a grand opening or reopening of the Northern Territory.”

Dave BaticThe Alice Springs Major Business Group chairman proposes reopening the Uluru climb to boost tourism in the territory. If idiots who want to climb Uluru are our only hope to restart the economy, we really are doomed.