Australian politics, society & culture

Current Issue
Marco and Nick Nikitaras
Coles, Woolworths and the price we pay for their domination
By Malcolm Knox

The Nikitaras brothers’ corner store has a hallucinatory shine, like a set from a period movie. Staff in navy blue uniforms and white net caps smile from behind jars of preserved clementines and glacé peaches, pineapples and cherries. Glass cases present dioramas of stuffed olives, mushrooms and peppers; above them hang fragrant salami; the shelves are packed with Tasmanian wine and crusty loaves. In the fresh vegetables section, greens glisten and truss tomatoes blush.

July 2014
How the end of Gunns cleared a new path for Tasmania
By John van Tiggelen
Ship-loading tower, Triabunna mill wharf. © Mike Bowers
Four years ago, Greg L’Estrange, the chief executive of the Tasmanian forestry behemoth Gunns Ltd, raised the white flag in the state’s so-called forest wars.
September 2013
By David Marr
The presbytery of St Alipius is a redbrick gothic bungalow built when gold money was still washing through Ballarat. It sits in a Catholic compound of brick and granite schools and convents where the road from Melbourne reaches town.
How neonatal intensive care units rescue the tiniest infants
Rachel Buchanan
I stand in the quiet corridor and wait for permission to go in. Minutes pass. Carl Kuschel pushes the swing doors open and nods. He squirts green disinfectant on his hands. I do the same, rubbing my palms together. We enter the realm of the tiny.
Anwyn Crawford
I never thought that watching Courtney Love would be boring. The woman is a born agitator, and one of the most divisive figures that rock ’n’ roll has ever produced. Her fans are loyal and fiercely protective; her detractors, of whom there are many, take vindictive pleasure in tearing her down.
Bill Shorten's decision to yesterday name himself publicly as the focus of an historic rape investigation says something about the way politics and the media work now. The formal investigation has concluded, with Victoria Police and the...
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Israel kills 3 top Hamas leaders as latest fighting turns its way "Barrages of rockets from Gaza sailed into Israel nearly nonstop on Thursday, but they did little damage… Israel, meanwhile, killed three top commanders of Hamas’s armed wing in predawn airstrikes."

The men who killed James Foley "Foley’s execution was presented as a choreographed ‘message to America’ by this band of performance-minded terrorists, who seek to be seen, heard, and feared by as many people as possible."

Also: ...

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Current Issue
A decision on our underwater fleet cannot be put off much longer
By Claire Corbett
Illustration
If Australians felt blindsided in April when the federal government announced its purchase of an additional 58 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets for $12 billion, they’ll want to sit down with a strong cup of tea to contemplate the cost of our future submarine fleet. The new vessels...
Current Issue
Many online daters are trapped in a pornographic shopping mall
By Michael Currie
Jeff, a patient who had come to see me for psychotherapy, had problems with love. The night before our session, Jeff had been on his fifth date in a fortnight. Each had been with a different woman.
Current Issue
The science is clear, but the way forward is not
By Judith Brett
In April this year, Fiona Stanley told ABC’s Radio National that she was “anxious and angry” because the politicised climate-change agenda had led to the denigration of climate science and scientists.
Current Issue
Margaret Inamuka
Being a magistrate in the Eastern Highlands is not for the faint of heart
By Alana Rosenbaum
Early on a Monday morning, Margaret Inamuka woke to the sound of her mobile phone ringing. “The boys are on their way,” the caller confided, and then hung up. A raid on Inamuka’s village, Aseoka, was imminent. Hundreds of men were planning to charge down the dirt road, setting fire to houses and slaughtering livestock.
August 2014
Catching a ride with strangers is harder than it looks
By Robert Skinner
I stood outside Pakenham a hopeful man, trying to hitch a ride from Melbourne to Sydney. I watched all the sensible people drive past. After two hours I was so sunburnt I looked embarrassed to be there.
July 2014
How network companies lined their pockets and drove electricity prices through the roof
By Jess Hill
Electricity workers in Brisbane. © Tim Marsden / Newspix
In the past few years, our electricity prices have doubled. While the media has feasted on the likes of pink batts, Peter Slipper and Craig Thomson, the astonishing story behind these price hikes has been all but ignored. And yet, it may be one of the greatest rorts in Australia...
July 2014
Behind the wobbleboard
By Peter Conrad
Rolf Harris performing 'Jake the Peg' in 1966. © Bill Orchard / Rex Features
“Guilty on all counts, Your Honour.” So said Rolf Harris, weeping in contrition.
July 2014
Remembering “the oldest living transsexual in captivity”
By Meshel Laurie
Claudette was one of the oldest transsexual ladies we had on offer in our brothel. One of the oldest, but unchallenged for the title of meanest.

New

August 2014
Orange Is the New Black
Netflix; Foxtel Showcase
By Anwyn Crawford
In the concluding scene of Orange Is the New Black’s first season, we left the show’s ostensible protagonist, Piper Chapman, in a prison-yard fight to the possible death with her fellow inmate Tiffany “Pennsatucky” Doggett, a wild-eyed, rotten-toothed, Bible-bashing former meth addict.
August 2014
Timbaland and Boyz II Men haunt FKA Twigs’ ‘LP1’ and How To Dress Well’s ‘What Is This Heart?”
By Anwyn Crawford
A spectre is haunting contemporary pop music – the spectre of Timbaland.
August 2014
Anne Manne’s ‘The Life of I’ takes aim at a modern epidemic
By Linda Jaivin
Mass murderer Anders Breivik on trial. © Frank Augstein / AP
A recent cartoon by Alan Moir depicts four people sitting around a table: a woman in a wheelchair, an elderly man, a youth and, taking up as much space as the other three put together, a large middle-aged man in an expensive-looking suit. All four have straws in their mouths,...
August 2014
David Gulpilil brings Rolf de Heer’s ‘Charlie’s Country’ alive, but Nick Cave can’t save Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard’s ’20,000 Days on Earth’
By Luke Davies
David Gulpilil
“You’re going to report to me weekly,” says a parole officer (Bojana Novakovic) to Charlie (David Gulpilil). He’s about to be released from a stint in a Darwin prison in Rolf de Heer’s new film, Charlie’s Country (in national release). “You’re going to show up on time. And...
August 2014
At the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale, ‘Augmented Australia’ fails to impress
By David Neustein
Draped across the construction site of the new Australian pavilion in Venice’s Biennale gardens is a banner that brashly proclaims, “UNBUILT LEGENDS”.