• Parliament House has a cross on its roof, half of which is rusted and cobwebbed, the other half lush with green growth. Cartoon by Chris Johnston
    religion

    Catholic lobby the insider outsider

    • John Warhurst
    • 17 August 2018

    Political insiders are those forces that use economic clout, political connections, extensive networks and reliable access to decision-makers to influence political outcomes. Outsiders, by definition, lack these characteristics. The Catholic lobby now doubts its own strength and influence. The education sector is a good example.

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  • Tweedledum and Tweedledee
    australia

    Fraser Anning's enemy twin

    • Susan Connelly
    • 17 August 2018

    We see the occasional extreme Muslim cleric railing against the west. This week we witnessed a similar incident in Parliament, with a senator calling for a return to the White Australia policy and a ban on Muslim immigration. An insight of René Girard's assists in interpreting this incident and the resentment and fear which lies beneath it.

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  • Gas mask in Chernobyl
    environment

    Among the ghosts of Chernobyl

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 15 August 2018
    4 Comments

    The earthworms and bees were the first to know, wrote Nobel laureate and Belarusian native Svetlana Alexievich. The bees stayed in their hives; the worms buried themselves so deep that fishermen digging for bait on the banks of the Pripyat River were perplexed that they couldn't find any. The humans were slower to learn.

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  • Singaporean women

    Singapore punishes women for living longer

    • Sangeetha Thanapal
    • 07 August 2018
    1 Comment

    Singapore has one of the world's lowest mortality rates, with a general life expectancy of above 80. Singapore's women outlive men by about five years, making the country second in the world for how long its women live. It seems the Singapore state has decided to punish women for it.

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  • xxxxx

    Greeks pull together in the face of fire

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 30 July 2018
    11 Comments

    Greece is a fire-prone country, and climate change has meant an extremely hot summer. In addition, the austerity forced on Greece during recent years has meant a reduced fire service, with not enough firefighters and no money to buy the latest equipment. Even so, it is heartening to see the reaction of the Greek public to the fires.

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  • Protestor in Nicaragua

    Redrawing the lines of Nicaragua solidarity

    • Ann Deslandes
    • 25 July 2018
    5 Comments

    In the 1980s, the international solidarity movement for Nicaragua had thousands of supporters, including many in Australia. The nation was undergoing severe repression at the hands of dictator Anastasio Somoza. Fast-forward 30 years and a Nicaraguan rebel movement is again calling for international solidarity.

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  • Commonwealth Bank

    Banking on the common good

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 15 August 2018
    6 Comments

    If trustees don't understand the meaning of trustworthiness, all the penalties in the world won't encourage them to act in a trustworthy manner. What is needed is conversion — the recognition that the good of each individual depends on their seeking the common good, and the determination to ensure that this vision permeates corporations.

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  • Face with multi-coloured paint

    Don't buy the body lie

    • Amy Thunig
    • 10 August 2018
    4 Comments

    As a society we are exposed to more information on how to remove body hair, and minimise wrinkles, than how to identify a toxic or abusive relationship, or how to counter discrimination. My safety, worth, opportunities, and rights should not be determined by the body I was born into.

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  • CHARLES’ STORY

    Young men finding words and worth

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 08 August 2018
    18 Comments

    The path to adulthood is a process of learning words, coming to use them discriminatingly and discovering their resonance in relationships and in work. Where young people grow up in a world without stable relationships or words to negotiate the world, their education is likely to be an experience of alienation and rejection.

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  • Second Vatican Council by Lothar Wolleh

    What canon law is for

    • Justin Glyn
    • 08 August 2018
    18 Comments

    Canon law, not usually a household term, has come into the public eye of late, especially in the wake of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse. Given this newfound prominence, it seems a good time to have a look at what canon law is — and what it isn't.

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  • Angry people back-to-back, one pair turn to take each other's hand in forgiveness. Cartoon by Chris Johnston

    An atheist's take on the virtue of forgiveness

    • Ben Pobjie
    • 03 August 2018
    33 Comments

    I am not a fan of Christianity. For years I have been what some might call a 'militant atheist': the type who is far more likely to catalogue the pitfalls of faith than to highlight the benefits. But more and more I am enamoured of one element of Christianity that I consider its most striking, and most laudable, feature.

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  • Javier Rebolledo

    Chile must not forget dictatorship era crimes

    • Ramona Wadi
    • 03 August 2018
    8 Comments

    Last week, Javier Rebolledo, an investigative journalist specialising in uncovering dictatorship era crimes, was taken to court by a convicted torturer and former member of Pinochet's secret police. It is an act of political violence against a committed journalist. Chile needs people like Rebolledo if memory is to survive.

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  • Shopper with plastic bag

    Laying waste to waste

    • Cristy Clark
    • 02 August 2018
    2 Comments

    It is all too easy to make daily choices that negatively affect the environment, and there are many incentives for us to do so — cost, time, social norms. This is where policies like plastic bag bans come in — they change the incentives and not only help us to do the right thing but also to normalise it within our culture.

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  • Vegan man is plagued by other ethical food concerns. Cartoon by Chris Johnston

    Ethical eating demands more than veganism

    • Lika Posamari
    • 20 July 2018
    11 Comments

    If vegans are indeed recognising that 'the protection of the planet is fundamental to protecting both humans and animals', merely taking on a label such as vegan is not enough. We need to consider plants and people along with animals and environmental factors. We need to consider what kind of eaters we want to be.

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  • Lorne, Victoria

    Not owning but belonging to the land

    • Fatima Measham
    • 19 July 2018
    7 Comments

    There are severe limitations in the western ways we tend to think about land. Land is conceived in terms of ownership and property — ideas that are implicated not just in colonial histories, but in extractive industries and concentrations of wealth. In this model, land is a fulcrum of power.

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  • Julianne Nguyen in Grey

    Faith through a different lens

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 15 August 2018
    1 Comment

    Julianne Nguyen turns a smartphone, webcam and head-mounted go-pro to the purposes of self-examination. A child of Vietnamese parents but born in Australia, she practises Christianity and Buddhism, and is trying to parse these various elements. 'I'm Australian. I feel Vietnamese,' she says, then chants: 'West. East. No, West. No, East.'

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  • Caption: Vatican City - June 27, 2018: Pope Francis at the general audience in St. Peter's Square on June 27, 2018.  Date created: June 27, 2018  Image ID: 5b33f5d98cefb  Photographer: Daniel Ib��ez/CNA  Credit: Catholic News Agency

    Papal nation

    • Damian Balassone
    • 14 August 2018
    2 Comments

    Italians are a people of integrity / who celebrate a celibate celebrity.

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  • Children read library books while their iPad tablet battery runs flat. Cartoon by Chris Johnston

    A love letter to libraries

    • Sheila Ngoc Pham
    • 10 August 2018
    10 Comments

    We had some books at home so I wasn't wholly deprived but I did have to discover reading without any real parental guidance; English wasn't even our home language. But when I started working at my local public library, it became clear that while I might have been the child of refugees, for many, libraries themselves were a refuge.

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