Search Results: Black Saturday

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Chronicle of an asylum seeker's death foretold

    • Fatima Measham
    • 12 June 2014
    5 Comments

    As I take in the submissions presented to the Senate inquiry into the Manus Island riots, I am reminded of Gabriel Garcia Marquez' Chronicle of a Death Foretold. In it, nearly the entire town knew of Santiago Nasar's impending death; his assassins had made a point of divulging their intent to everyone they met over the course of the day. The prevailing impression from the Senate inquiry is one of similar inevitability and complicity.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Let's be good neighbours with Timor

    • Frank Brennan
    • 20 May 2014
    10 Comments

    In 2006 Australia and Timor Leste hastily signed the Treaty on Certain Maritime Arrangements in the Timor Sea (CMATS) at a time of considerable political instability in Timor. After last year's revelation of evidence of Australian spying on the Timorese during the negotiation of CMATS, the Timorese decided to challenge its validity, and in March this year they had a spectacular win in the International Court of Justice that caused great embarrassment to Australia.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Palmer power! Lessons from the Senate by-election

    • Ray Cassin
    • 10 April 2014
    2 Comments

    The most insidious outcome of the WA Senate election is the bargaining power it has delivered to Clive Palmer, the Queensland mining magnate who dominates the party on which he has bestowed his name. He massively outspent all his rivals, raising yet again the question of whether limits should be placed on private financing of political campaigns. It is a question that, because of his newfound clout, will not be answered anytime soon.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Be selfish, save the planet

    • Megan Graham
    • 01 April 2014
    3 Comments

    Just a few days after we marked the annual observance of Earth Hour, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its latest report, emphasising the likelihood of an increase in extreme and irreversible damage. In light of this, the fact that we deem Earth Hour to even be necessary seems akin to prompting a dog to notice its kennel is on fire. Unless the dog is in very bad health, it would do what it needs to do to save itself.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Colouring the fading customs of a Greek Lent

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 25 March 2014
    6 Comments

    The 'Lenten Lady' has no mouth, because Lent is not a time for eating. Her hands are demurely crossed on her breast, for it is a time for prayer and self-examination. And she has seven feet: every Saturday, with one week elapsed, housewives would cut one foot off, with the last cut off on Holy Saturday. This custom is very old, and supposedly Greece-wide, but neither I, my Peloponnesian children nor my Cretan daughter-in-law knew of it.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Gifts of blood follow Kunming horror

    • Evan Ellis
    • 06 March 2014
    4 Comments

    My tutor in Kunming was deeply shaken by the mass stabbings last weekend that left 29 civilians dead. When Chinese authorities put out a request for blood donors in the city, giving blood was all she wanted to do. The city's blood banks have struggled to accommodate the throng of willing donors, the upturned arms of ordinary citizens replacing some of the blood spilt by the long knives. This strikes me as profoundly Eucharistic.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Clean, bright, efficient death

    • Kristin Hannaford
    • 10 February 2014
    1 Comment

    The abattoir to the left funnels steam into the night, a long slow drag exhaled by a thousand beasts, also travelling tonight. Poor cattle, horses, and pigs. Some days, the air is so bloodthick it hinges at the back of the throat, a glottal of rusty muck. Not tonight though. The air is winter clear, glassy.

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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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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Silence won't answer the Woody Allen abuse allegation

    • ZoĆ« Krupka
    • 04 February 2014
    22 Comments

    On Saturday Dylan Farrow accused her adoptive father, the filmmaker and actor Woody Allen, of sexual assault for the second time. She first made these allegations when she was seven years old. There is a real ethical concern when allegations that have been denied in court continue to be raised publicly. We need to be able to forge a difficult balance between making space for ongoing doubt and fuelling public vilification.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Best of 2013: Australian connections to drowned asylum seekers

    • Marg Hutton
    • 15 January 2014
    5 Comments

    In 2001 Prime Minister Howard tried to distance Australia from the SIEVX tragedy, in which 353 asylum seekers drowned, by repeatedly referring to the sinking as having occurred in 'Indonesian waters'. If there was any doubt then that SIEVX was an Australian tragedy, in 2013 there is none. There are now young kids growing up in Australia, who were born here and speak with Australian accents, who had brothers and sisters who drowned on SIEVX.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    US gun lobbyists miss the logic of feeling

    • Fatima Measham
    • 12 December 2013
    14 Comments

    I woke up to the news on a Saturday morning. One year ago tomorrow, a man walked into the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, and opened fire. In the aftermath, gun lobbyists seethed with high indignation that President Barack Obama was politicising a tragedy. It goes to show that the ones who complain about the politicisation of tragedy tend to be the ones who do not want to do anything about it.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What the postmaster saw

    • Brian Matthews
    • 07 November 2013
    7 Comments

    Within an hour the shop is humming with talk and movement. Mac is courteous, but has some iron rules. A woman who talks ceaselessly into her mobile phone receives a steely glare and silence. Someone with both ears plugged into his iPod finds Mac has also suddenly gone deaf. Each new arrival is threaded into a sort of endless conversation which functions at two levels — greetings to the customer and side-of-the-mouth asides to me.

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