News

Exit Afghanistan: fear and retribution as Taliban takes control

“After months of pleading from Australian Defence Force veterans and others for a military evacuation, the dramatic collapse of Afghanistan’s government and security forces has meant Australia has finally begun an evacuation.”

As the Taliban takes control of Afghanistan, people connected to the West and trapped in the country describe scenes of fear and violent retribution.

News

News

Morrison ministers lobbied over Beetaloo Basin

The Morrison government has awarded $21 million to a fossil fuel company that helped draft the regulatory regime for the gas reserves it intends to exploit.

News

Leaked doc: National cabinet counts ICU beds, underestimates cases by 50 per cent

A leaked document shows that national cabinet has shifted its focus from vaccinations to working out how well hospitals will cope with Covid-19 surges.

News

Australia stalls vaccine supply

As Australia attempts to secure more Covid-19 vaccines, it is siding with major pharmaceutical companies in frustrating global efforts to introduce an intellectual property waiver that would allow generic manufacture.

News

‘Excited delirium’ used by police

A controversial medical condition is being used by law enforcement around Australia to defend the use of force and to explain deaths in custody – but it has no agreed definition and may not even exist.

World

China and Russia foster ties with the Taliban

Jacinda Ardern opts to go hard and early in New Zealand against the Delta variant. Malaysia’s prime minister resigns as country struggles with Covid-19. Woman tells of her imprisonment by Chinese officials in Dubai.

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Opinion

Opinion

Richard Denniss
Scott Morrison is stuck

“Scott Morrison has an answer for everything and a solution for nothing. Like the neoliberalism of which his party was once so proud, he is all promise and no delivery. His press conferences have long been a masterclass in dictating the terms of debates, dodging accountability and delivering attacks on his rivals.”

Opinion

John Hewson
The case for welfare reform

“It is difficult to understand how the government justifies setting the level of JobSeeker below the poverty line. It appears much of the government’s decision was based on the prime minister’s personal prejudice.”

Opinion

Paul Bongiorno
Always late to the rescue

“Morrison defended our 20-year ‘longest war’ as worthwhile in the name of freedom. Australian soldiers dying for freedom is never in vain, he said. But whose freedom is the question? Apparently, it is not the freedom sought by those who flee the Taliban’s tyranny.”

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial

Cartoon

Read

Editorial
Cruel to the end

To understand the inhumanity of Australia’s position on refugees from Afghanistan, it helps to understand the self-deception at the heart of our immigration policy. Decades spent arguing that any form of compassion would undermine the system have deadened our politics. They have created a kind of moral numbness that puts decisions outside the reach of logic or decency. To question one part of this would collapse all of it, and so no questions are asked.

Letters

Counting the cost

The New South Wales government is apparently keen for us to live with the virus because according to the treasurer, lockdowns are bad for the economy (Mike Seccombe, “Inside the NSW plan: Now live with the virus”, …

Independent actions

It was independent Rex Patrick who made the application to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal after the prime minister’s department rejected two FOI requests that resulted in Justice White’s historic …

Read More

Culture

Books

Pascal Janovjak (translated by Stephanie Smee)
The Rome Zoo

Sarah Walker
The First Time I Thought I Was Dying

Terri Janke
True Tracks: Respecting Indigenous knowledge and culture

Life

Food

Preserved sardines and squid (conservas)

Health

Kids and long Covid

Covid-19 has affected older people more severely than children, but scientists are increasingly concerned about long Covid in young people.

Fashion

Maticevski’s Pre-Fall 21 collection

Toni Maticevski’s Pre-Fall 21 collection acknowledges Australia’s sense of imbalance and anxiety in lockdown – meeting it with strong sculpted forms and the occasional surprise.

Sport

The beginnings of Paralympian Liesl Tesch

Liesl Tesch grew up with an unconventional childhood – before becoming one of Australia’s most celebrated paralympians.

Puzzles

Quotes

Outbreaks

“We have accountants, we have architects, we have a sex worker, we have members of the Orthodox Jewish community, and we have a pizza guy who works in a pizza shop.”

Jeroen WeimarThe Victorian Covid-19 response commander details a string of unconnected cases in Melbourne. No word yet as to whether SBS will option the series.

Science

“If there is no evidence of Covid spreading outside, why do we lock people in their homes?”

Matt CanavanThe Nationals senator shares his grasp of science and airborne sickness. Honestly, it makes his take on climate change look quite sophisticated.

Education

“Even Anzac Day is presented as a contested idea.”

Alan TudgeThe Education minister tells the country’s schooling authority its draft national curriculum will need to be substantially rewritten due to its “negative” view of Australian history. The day, of course, does nothing more than mark the invention of the popular biscuit of the same name.

Law

“Christian Porter is … seeking a safeguard over this defence not because he owns it but because he doesn’t like what is in it.”

Larina AlickThe solicitor for Nine argues against the attempt by the former attorney-general to block media companies from ever reporting the defence in his defamation action against the ABC. Possibly he should have thought about this before he tried to sue the national broadcaster.

Warfare

“So on that criteria, the mission, whatever may be said of it, has not been a failure.”

John HowardThe former prime minister defends Australia’s involvement in Afghanistan, saying there had been no terrorist attacks organised from the country since it was invaded. You could run an illegal war pretty much anywhere in the world on that logic.

Health

“We can’t pretend that we will have zero cases around Australia with Delta.”

Gladys BerejiklianThe NSW premier says any state that opens up from lockdown will have to accept cases of the Delta variant will “creep in”. Eventually you learn to live with it, like petty corruption in Macquarie Street.