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  • INTERNATIONAL

    'Forgotten' Tiananmen's shadow on modern China

    • Evan Ellis
    • 03 June 2014
    8 Comments

    Twenty-five years ago the tanks rolled into Tiananmen Square. One eyewitness kept a tally of the dead that reached 2600 before hospitals went mum due to pressure from above. If China is to overcome the challenges it will face in the decades ahead, it must draw upon the great reserve of strength, the spirit of solidarity that was on display among the protesters that spring. Instead there remains a concerted effort to forget.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    'Normal' royals are not like us

    • Ruby Hamad
    • 13 April 2014
    22 Comments

    By clinging to this notion that the royals are just like us, even as we treat them as anything but, we brush aside the inconvenient fact that their status is a relic of a bygone era in which royal rule was enforced through brutal means. Is it right to forget that the British monarchy presided over colonialist expansion with all its associated genocides? A class system that bestows inherited superiority is a remnant of a more oppressive era best left in the past.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The GST and Abbott's fair go for all

    • Michael Mullins
    • 06 April 2014
    7 Comments

    Federal Treasury secretary Martin Parkinson has called on the Government to increase the GST. In isolation this would hurt the poor and benefit the rich. But it could help the common good if it is part of a tax reform package that cuts tax avoidance strategies for high income earners, including superannuation concessions, negative gearing and trusts.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Bali fear beyond Rhonda and Ketut

    • Ali Winters
    • 16 March 2014
    14 Comments

    Insurer AAMI's 'Rhonda and Ketut' Balinese love story, teased out over four commercials and three years, has come to its soapy end. Whether you loved it or cringed, its camp, cocktail soaked tentacles have penetrated the Australian mainstream. But the knowledge Australians have for our closest Asian neighbour is poor. According to a DFAT report released last year, 30 per cent of respondents didn't know Bali was part of Indonesia.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Luckier man's lessons in grace

    • Brian Doyle
    • 03 March 2014
    9 Comments

    So let us review: a man sent me a deft wedding gift even though I was the man who was marrying the girl his son had loved for years ... The dad was sad when the young couple broke up. But he was delighted that she was married to someone she loved, he told me years later, and of course he sent me a present, out of affection for her and respect for me ... So it was that yet again I learned about grace, and about being an actual man ...

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  • RELIGION

    Coming out of Cardinal Pell's shadow

    • Chris McGillion
    • 25 February 2014
    75 Comments

    George Pell's promotion to Rome is proof of the powerful friends he has made. As for enemies, it is not hard to compile a list of those who will be glad to see him go. It would include most liberal Catholics, many priests, and a good many of his fellow bishops. One group who are likely to regret Pell's departure are the journalists and commentators for whom he has loomed large as a figure of ridicule if not outright contempt.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    On becoming a housewife for the first time

    • Lisa Brockwell
    • 24 February 2014
    13 Comments

    I find myself on tuckshop duty with my dearest friend; we didn't see this coming at university. I learn more than any woman like me needs to know about slashing paddocks. I visit the vet at least once a week. I picture my husband dying in a car crash; this dark bubble rises out of the mud of me much too frequently. Shouting at my five year old, I can't believe it is up to me to keep this baby alive when I am all naked flailing heart.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Cold silent life of a football monk

    • Frank O'Shea
    • 11 February 2014
    5 Comments

    He worked as a shoemaker in a local shoe store, and all the girls in town were secretly in love with him. In a football-mad town, he played at centre half back on the local team and was in that position the year they were beaten in the championship final. After that game, he disappeared. Finally, the truth came out. He had gone into a Cistercian monastery in the foothills of the Knockmealdown mountains.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    It's time to heatproof our cities

    • Greg Foyster
    • 09 February 2014
    23 Comments

    Climate change has loaded the dice towards hotter days and more frequent heat spells. Heatwaves are only going to get worse, and air conditioning isn't the godsend it seems. We need to start retrofitting our cities, suburbs and homes to withstand the sweltering summers to come. Any new houses that perform poorly in the heat are going to be a tremendous burden on the next generation.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Deciphering capitalism's corrupt metaphors

    • David James
    • 06 February 2014
    15 Comments

    'All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others'. This was George Orwell's parody in Animal Farm of the vicious use of language in communist states. It was one of his memorable depictions of how the absurdities of language not only reflect evil, but also predicate it. Language was a tool of oppression in communist states. In capitalism it is no less vicious.

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  • RELIGION

    Best of 2013: Advice for the Pope on reforming the Church

    • Geraldine Doogue
    • 13 January 2014
    13 Comments

    I wish he would invite me to be his temporary consultant, to offer him advice for his next 500 days. I'd begin by proposing a substantial Vatican-led inquiry, into why the Church has been so troubled by sexual abuse across various countries. Then I would point to the experiences of several large secular institutions, including the New York Times and US Army, that have rebuilt after crises.

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  • MARGARET DOOLEY AWARD

    Best of 2013: Slow down, you're just in time

    • Megan Graham
    • 07 January 2014
    1 Comment

    At a certain point, emotional and mental overstimulation leads to a sort of emotional numbness, as the brain and central nervous system can only respond to so much. With enough dopamine hits from 'likes' on Facebook, and adrenalin spikes from sensationalised news stories, one's emotions can become blunted. That is, with the notable exception of general irritability borne of expecting one's real life to be as fast-paced as one's online one.

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