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  • ECONOMICS

    Ukraine conflict heightens global economic split

    • David James
    • 28 April 2015
    2 Comments

    The conflict in the Ukraine has attracted a great deal of attention for its geo-strategic implications. Less noticed have been the economic implications. The sanctions placed on Russia have forced Russia to become even closer to China, and the alliance between a military superpower and an economic superpower is beginning to split the global economy in two. It may come to represent the biggest geo-economic and geo-political shift of the first half of this century, defining much of the future landscape.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Protestant and Catholic corruption in 1971 Belfast

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 26 March 2015
    2 Comments

    At the height of the Troubles in Belfast, a young British soldier becomes separated from his unit and spends a night lost in one of the city's most dangerous locales. The city is fractured along numerous lines: it's not merely Catholic versus Protestant; the radicalised youths of the Provisional IRA are at odds with their established forebears. Rarely have the Troubles been so grippingly portrayed.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    In memory of Leo

    • Diane Fahey
    • 24 March 2015
    8 Comments

    'If I'm deported back to Sri Lanka, torture is certain because I'm a Tamil.' On the day I hear of Leo's death I pass a tall maple, its star-like leaves, blood-red and flame-red, irradiated. The Australian government refused the visas applied for by Leo's family so that they might attend his funeral. As three Tamil men at a microphone sing a long hymn in Tamil the Basilica fills with an undertow of sound.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    In love with Sooty

    • Peta Edmonds
    • 18 March 2015
    10 Comments

    She waits for me to get home at night. She meows at the door, and when I return gets under my feet. Sooty has been one of the best things to come into my life. I get entranced by her eyes, and I'm in love with her softness. Now I don't talk to myself, I talk to her. One week, when I was so poor, I spent the last of my money on her, on cat toys and a can of cat food and chicken drumsticks.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The dark side of a migrant's American Dream

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 05 March 2015

    Abel's life is pointedly contrasted with Peter's, a young truck driver who has been the victim of several violent assaults on the job. Peter idolises Abel, for whom the Dream has apparently come true — if Abel can make it, so too can Peter. The problem is that Abel's Dream stands on the backs of ordinary workers like Peter. Peter is a tragic antihero coming to learn that for many, the Dream will remain just that.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Helen Garner's 'Best Essays' triumph

    • Barry Gittins and Jen Vuk
    • 13 February 2015

    The Best Australian Essays 2014 finely illustrates the unnervingly unclear line between essay and short story, but no-one plays with form quite like the indomitable Helen Garner. She offers such a brooding, aching ode to her mother. Proof again that good writing is an inexorable, spiritual exercise that seers itself into the reader's memory. How does she do it?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Palaszczuk shows Abbott how it's done

    • Moira Rayner
    • 03 February 2015
    18 Comments

    Queensland’s new premier is a plain-spoken, modest woman with a ‘foreign’ name. She was triumphant after the self-confident three year reign of Campbell Newman. Tony Abbott also did his bit for the Queensland result, as a man of power who characteristically overreaches and is yet to learn the lesson that the right to rule has to be earned, every day, from the people.   

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Australia out of step with Pope's climate action mission

    • Thea Ormerod
    • 27 January 2015
    33 Comments

    It is no coincidence that Pope Francis chose to visit the Philippines before he releases his encyclical on the environment, and that he made a point of visiting Tacloban, which was ground zero for super typhoon Haiyan. This follows the recent UN climate talks in Lima, where Australian negotiators so regularly blocked consensus that they won us the 'colossal fossil' award for 2014 from environmental observers.       

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  • RELIGION

    Fundamentalism in the land of Jesus

    • Lawrence Cross
    • 21 January 2015
    30 Comments

    Israel is demanding to be recognised as a Jewish state. The corollary is that they have an interest in getting Christians out. On the Palestinian side, the Islamic influence has been intensifying for decades. Fundamentalism creates the perfect audience for the disinformation and propaganda that masks the slaughter of some of the world's oldest Christian groups.

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  • RELIGION

    An Aussie Muslim's Taiwan Christmas

    • Irfan Yusuf
    • 19 December 2014
    6 Comments

    Christmas is a fabulous time to spend at home. Even those of us who aren’t terribly Christian can enjoy a free holiday with friends and family. And if you like choral music, you can always come along with me and a Jewish mate to St Mary's Cathedral. But last Christmas I found myself in Taiwan.

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  • RELIGION

    A messy birth and a vulnerable baby

    • Richard Leonard
    • 18 December 2014
    21 Comments

    At a Christmas party, I met the charge nurse of the maternity ward. Pleading that because I was a celibate I would never be at a birth, I enquired if I might be allowed to come and see'. … Mary and I met six hours into her labor, which was an unusual circumstance within which to meet your birthing partner.' She had very little small talk, maybe because she had no breath at all.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia turns its back on a world in need

    • Paul O'Callaghan
    • 12 December 2014
    14 Comments

    As we prepare to mark the tenth anniversary of the Boxing Day tsunami, Australia's proud achievement in being the largest per capita provider of overseas aid at the time is being overshadowed by reports of further devastating government cuts to our aid program. Successive cuts - including 20 per cent in the May Budget - mean that we are starting to be seen as a country turning inwards. 

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