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  • EDUCATION

    Best of 2013: End of the education revolution

    • Dean Ashenden
    • 14 January 2014

    The backsliding began before Gonski even got started: his riding instructions were to ensure that 'no school will be worse off'. Since then one backward step has followed another. What the prime minister wants now from the state premiers when they meet on 19 April is not Gonski but the appearance of Gonski. She may not get even that.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Business voices competing for Tony Abbott's ear

    • Michael Mullins
    • 17 November 2013
    2 Comments

    Dr Maurice Newman is chairman of the Prime Minister's Business Advisory Council. It's his job to lobby for big business against, as it happens, the common good. But he is criticised even among some of his peers in the business world, particularly for his unwillingness to accept the need for a reduction in carbon emissions. Does Tony Abbott really listen to 'a range of voices' on business, as he claims?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Border protection transparency under Abbott

    • Tony Kevin
    • 10 September 2013
    13 Comments

    Labor's humanitarian achievements included routinely distributing media releases announcing every boat interception and every incident of assistance to boats in difficulty at sea. It would be tragic if under Operation Sovereign Borders the Coalition abandoned the present degree of public transparency and accountability for deaths in border protection operations on the spurious pretext that these are matters of national security.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Australia complicit in PNG's Bougainville blight

    • Ellena Savage
    • 01 August 2013
    1 Comment

    Even more disturbing than PNG's poverty and gender-based violence is its military and police human rights record. Evidence of abuses in the form of a military blockade, massacres, rape and torture during the Bougainville Crisis of the 1990s are well-documented. The history of this crisis reveals PNG as incapable of caring for its most vulnerable citizens due to systemic corruption.

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  • EDUCATION

    End of the education revolution

    • Dean Ashenden
    • 07 April 2013
    9 Comments

    The backsliding began before Gonski even got started: his riding instructions were to ensure that 'no school will be worse off'. Since then one backward step has followed another. What the prime minister wants now from the state premiers when they meet on 19 April is not Gonski but the appearance of Gonski. She may not get even that.

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  • RELIGION

    The difference one pope can make

    • Neil Ormerod
    • 20 March 2013
    7 Comments

    There are 57 cardinals over 72 years of age. If Francis is in office for eight years or more he'll have a direct hand in replacing each of them. Just as John Paul II shaped the college of cardinals for the election of Benedict, so Francis is likely to shape the college for the election of his successor. This is a long term impact.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Vatican secrecy ensures trivial media coverage

    • Michael Mullins
    • 10 March 2013
    4 Comments

    Channel 7's Weekend Sunrise mocked the Catholic Church during its papal conclave preview. The Vatican's culture of secrecy encourages journalists to act like children. Last week the US cardinals took a more open approach and got positive media. But they were slapped down and the coverage became trivial once again.

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  • RELIGION

    Church blame in the frame

    • Frank Brennan
    • 28 February 2013
    37 Comments

    There is a temptation to see justice, compassion and transparency as the obsessive concern of western liberals. They are much more universal than that; they are the contemporary, institutional rendition of gospel values. The unaccountable hiddenness of Vatican clericalism has reached its use-by date.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Oscar-winning racism in Hollywood's mixed bag

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 27 February 2013

    After cataloguing the ways in which the film belittles and marginalises the experiences of black slaves, Williams laments the fact that such marginalisation continues to exist seemingly unnoticed in mainstream popular culture. The Oscar awarded to Django Unchained is the epitome of popular culture 'not noticing'.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Evil is relative in the hunt for bin Laden

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 30 January 2013
    5 Comments

    The tagline 'history's greatest manhunt for the world's most dangerous man' is ironic. By the time of bin Laden's execution his dangerousness was arguably largely emblematic. Zero Dark Thirty portrays the manhunt as a quest for revenge, and leaves open to question whether America was enhanced or diminished by exacting its vengeance.

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  • RELIGION

    Vein hope for Pakistan's minorities

    • Irfan Yusuf
    • 20 January 2013
    7 Comments

    If Pakistan is to remain a nation with something resembling life and soul, it must protect its minorities. But instead, as with India, it is quietly eviscerating them. It isn't just extremists engaging in the self-harm, it happens at all levels of society. Before long the nation may find itself bleeding to death.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Not judging Ned Kelly and Lance Armstrong

    • Michael Mullins
    • 20 January 2013
    16 Comments

    Discussion of whether Ned Kelly and Lance Armstrong are heroes or villains is a distraction from the more important big picture reality such as crime and justice in 19th century Victoria, and performance enhancing drugs in sport today. If we are preoccupied with judging behaviour, we will miss the opportunity to promote better laws that will make our society fairer for all.

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