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Uncontrollable Irma and Fr John George

19 September 2017 | Andrew Hamilton

Hurricane IrmaI was reminded of the importance of the uncontrollable by the recent death of Fr John George, a Sydney priest who daily submitted comments on our Eureka Street articles, some of which we published. Though no Hurricane Irma, the literary Fr George, the only one whom we knew, was nevertheless easily seen as terrifying and fascinating. Our efforts to control George reminded us of how limited is our capacity to control and how, as we control, we can turn people into ciphers and threats to be dealt with.

Unfair and balanced

18 September 2017 | Fiona Katauskas

Cartoon by Fiona Katauskas

This week's offering from Eureka Street's award winning political cartoonist.

An interplanetary future favours the wealthy

18 September 2017 | Francine Crimmins

CassiniIn a ball of fire, Cassini's 20-year journey across the solar system came to an abrupt finale last week. The spacecraft's odyssey soon revealed not 12 but 62 moons orbiting the gas giant. The most significant of these is Titan, which harbours large quantities of liquid water, considered to be essential to the existence of life. Meanwhile back on Earth ...

What we think we know about the Syrian war

18 September 2017 | Justin Glyn

Deir ez-ZorYou could be forgiven for never having heard of Deir ez-Zor. There is virtually no mention of it in the Western press, except by British journalist Robert Fisk. Yet this ancient Syrian city of just over 200,000 people on the banks of the Euphrates is the site of what looks to be the final defeat of the dream of ISIS of creating an ethnically cleansed, sectarian caliphate in Syria and Iraq.

The sad history of Australian media reform

18 September 2017 | Andrew Dodd

Nick XenophonThe big media players eventually get what they want by wearing down the government of the day and latching on to whatever opportunity comes their way. This month the government handed them the reform they've long craved while Xenophon attempted to win some concessions. We can assume Australia's media market will now become more concentrated. What we don't know is whether Xenophon's trade offs will do enough to protect public interest journalism and media diversity.

Letter from Yangon

18 September 2017 | Peta Fresco

YangonMuch has been reported on the plight of the Rohingya in Rakhine state in Myanmar's west, where violence has seen more than 400,000 Rohingya Muslims cross into Bangladesh. Elsewhere in the country, local villagers continue to suffer the effects of a four cuts strategy, and are targeted if they are suspected of helping ethnic armies. In the country's north, aid has been slow to reach 20,000 Kachin villagers living in former gambling dens and warehouses along the China border.

Is Medicare-for-all an idea whose time has come?

1 Comment
17 September 2017 | Lesley Russell

Bernie SandersMedicare-for-all is best seen as aspirational: it is shorthand for policy ideals and papers over political realities. With Republicans in control of Congress, there is obviously no immediate chance of Sanders's bill becoming law any time soon. But with Republicans and the President viewed as ineffectual in implementing their healthcare commitments and uncaring about voters' concerns, it is advantageous for Democrats to be seen to have solutions to the problems that confront their constituents.

On the side of darkness, infinity

1 Comment
17 September 2017 | N. N. Trakakis

Light globesWe do not know what we want. And we do not want what we know. Like shadows hanging in the air, their threads of reality unravelling, absenting themselves from the world. She said time erases life. He said let's be timeless. She said it would be dark. He said he hated daylight. She said it would be lonely. He said he prostituted his mind talking to people. She said he is mad. He said may God preserve him from sanity. She said: God will. And God did.

Life lessons from the Abuja-Keffi expressway

1 Comment
16 September 2017 | David Ishaya Osu

Cartoon by Chris JohnstonOn 12 May 1996, I was knocked down by a car, along the Abuja-Keffi expressway in Nigeria. I was five years old, a small boy whose fingers almost always hung in my mama's. Nigerians call this 'mummy's handbag'. But I was impatient; I wanted to be the first to cross. The things that followed were: boom! Screeches, shouts of 'Jesus', etc. I woke up in the midst of people praying for me at the nearby hospital.

Raising girls in an unjust world

14 September 2017 | Rachel Woodlock

Girl faces woodsAs the mum of a 13 year old daughter, I'm trying to prepare her for adulthood in a world that will, at times, judge her for being female. She's at the beginning of her adolescent journey, when the future seems to hold so much promise but also new dangers. The one that gives me pause, in the odd moment when I allow myself to think about it, is what I can tell her about protecting herself from bad men who might want to harm her, without scaring her into believing all men are potential rapists.

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