Melbourne enters ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown

As concern grows about the spread from a Melbourne hotel of the UK’s virulent coronavirus strain, Victorian premier Daniel Andrews has announced a snap five-day lockdown.

News

News

Why Scott Morrison finally cautioned Craig Kelly

For as long as it was useful, the prime minister allowed the member for Hughes to spread conspiracy theories online. This week, the political calculus changed.

News

Asylum seekers to be vaccinated

Following inquiries from The Saturday Paper, the government has scrambled to reverse its exclusion of refugees from the Covid-19 vaccination program.

News

Collingwood and racism in the AFL

After a long history of AFL players of colour being abused and left unsupported by the league, it was not surprising when a report into Collingwood FC this week found systemic racism. Can Eddie McGuire start the process of doing better?

News

The threat of Covid-19 mutations

Although there are serious concerns about how easily the new variants of coronavirus can be transmitted, scientists remain confident that the vaccines in use will have a significant protective effect.

News

Push to reform political donations

“We’re at a crossroads. If we don’t fix this now, we might go down the path the Americans have gone. The last US election they spent $14 billion and [most] of that came from the wealthiest 1 per cent. Do we want that?”

Calls are growing louder for reforms to the political donations system, as billionaires such as Anthony Pratt and Clive Palmer pour money into their parties of choice.

World

Military coup ends Myanmar’s transition to democracy

Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest. The army leader acts after claiming widespread voter fraud. Joe Biden threatens to reinstate sanctions.

Opinion

Opinion

Richard Ackland
How Covid-19 transformed the courts

“The suffering has been intense. No costumes, no theatre, no crowds, no greasepaint. Barristers have been beside themselves for months as Covid-19 cancelled performances in courtrooms throughout the land. To have one’s stage so cruelly confiscated is a bitter pill for legal thespians who spent the best years of their life perfecting special flourishes and routines.”

Opinion

Paul Bongiorno
Election fever grips parliament’s return

“Try as he might, Scott Morrison can’t help letting slip his early-election ambitions. His most telling giveaway was in his first pep talk of the year to the Coalition party room in the Great Hall at Parliament House. But the prime minister merely confirmed the buzz of expectation that was already spreading through the corridors of power.”

Diary

Gadfly
Hosing down reckless Kelly

In the good old days, conspiracy theories were mostly limited to when your uncle had too much to drink at family dinners and would whisper unbelievable things with undue confidence such as: “The world is flat.” Or, “The moon landing was faked, and I don’t care how many people Buzz Aldrin punches."

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial

Cartoon

Read

Editorial
Stalling on the environment

Six months ago, Bob Brown launched a legal challenge many said would rival his storied campaign to save the Franklin River. If successful, the case would have invalidated Tasmania’s regional forestry agreement, which, like other such agreements around the country, is exempted from Australia’s key environmental law – the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. This week, the Federal Court ruled against Brown and his foundation. Tasmania’s agreement will hold.

Letters

Energy for change

Mike Seccombe’s important survey of our conga line of energy policy flip-flops (“2050 net zero: Australia left behind as Asia goes green”, January 30–February 5) makes sobering reading. As …

Coalition’s gas cloud

After years of our federal government’s intransigence with respect to climate change, how totally uplifting it was to read Mike Seccombe’s article about the phasing out of fossil fuels by …

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Culture

In Progress

Mo’Ju

Over the past year, parenthood and the pandemic have given ARIA award-winning artist Mo’Ju the chance to think big about her next album.

Fiction

Emily

“It was a short walk to the field. Do you remember the field, as you remember me? Small and plain – but good? Thankfully, it was no longer thick with snow. Just green and brown and pink under blues. As I told you, it was always my chapel where I gave thanks to God. Now it was holy again. I was resolved to meet Him soon. On two plain card tables shaded by cherry trees near the verge of wildflowers were slices of black cake and rye bread with butter. (No prize winners, these.) Also weak ale in cracked china mugs. Mr and Mrs E. D. had little to give – but they gave. Guests stood and ate politely. Then, in the field’s dewy middle: a mahogany gaming table from the last century, heavy, with fine marquetry. Satin pillows, with embroidery. And sitting on these: two sabres.”

Books

Carly Findlay (ed.)
Growing Up Disabled in Australia

Danielle Celermajer
Summertime

Jenny Hval
Girls Against God

Life

Food

Chicken liver parfait

Life

Skywhalepapa joins Skywhale

Eight years after Skywhale first took flight, it is joined by Skywhalepapa – mesmerising in its gentle weirdness.

Sport

Stage set for Australian Open

First in doubt and then delayed, the Australian Open is set to begin. But can the drama of coronavirus-positive international arrivals, hotel quarantine fears and social media volleys be eclipsed by actual action on the courts?

Puzzles

Quotes

Business

“Invention is the root of our success. We’ve done crazy things together, and then made them normal.”

Jeff BezosThe Amazon founder announces he is stepping down as chief executive. The line is alarmingly similar to messages he sent Lauren Sánchez, but mercifully did not include a picture of his penis.

Errata

“I apologise to Mr Rudd for any damage caused by him – to him – by my false statement.”

Peta CredlinThe Sky News host apologises for suggesting Kevin Rudd planned to misuse the email addresses from his petition for a royal commission into media influence. Next up, an apology for the “brutal retail politics” of framing the carbon price as a tax.

Sport

“I said it was a proud day for Collingwood and I shouldn’t have.”

Eddie McGuireThe Collingwood president apologises for his response to a report into the racist culture of the club under his leadership. He now understands “structural racism” is not “the good one you can build things out of”.

Science

“Craig Kelly MP is sharing the truth over and over again and keeps moving forward without fear.”

Pete EvansThe conspiracy theorist and chef finds accord with coronavirus misinformation being posted by the member for Hughes. Interestingly, activated almond is a popular nickname for Craig Kelly’s brain.

Covid-19

“We’ll be crossing to a press conference with Dan Murphy – uh, Dan Andrews, soon.”

Beverley O’ConnorThe ABC news anchor confuses the Victorian premier with a bottle shop. Which says a lot about state parliament on Wednesday night.

Welfare

“Ray, good to talk to you. Never thought you and I would be talking about prostitutes.”

Stuart RobertThe minister for the NDIS tells Ray Hadley he will pass legislation to prevent the insurance scheme from covering sex work. Hadley joked that if he did expect to talk about sex workers with the minister, it would not be in this context.