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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia's OPCAT problem

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 17 November 2022
    1 Comment

    Australia’s ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT) came about as a reaction to the abuses recorded at the Northern Territory’s Don Dale youth prison. To monitor compliance with OPCAT, UN independent inspection teams are permitted to conduct unannounced visits to any place where people are deprived of liberty. But on October 24, a Corrective Services NSW spokesperson announced that inspection teams were ‘refused entry without incident’.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Rocker, writer, activist: The many lives of Paulie Stewart

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 17 November 2022
    2 Comments

    Paulie had a childlike delight in taking the mickey out of everything and everyone and acting outrageously. The stories of the Painters and Dockers’ engagement with their equally wild audiences and the public, full of hilarious encounters, display the same innocence and the same sublimated rage. If it was his brother Tony’s death that set him on his madcap journey, Paulie has shaped his own life as a monument for Tony more durable than marble. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Harlequin country

    • Paul Williamson
    • 16 November 2022
    3 Comments

    Along the tree lined rural highway / past paddocks where canola gleams / so cars stop for golden photographs / past paddocks where sheep graze / then clumps of darker remnant eucalypts / distant hills wear dancing patches of colour.

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  • CARTOON

    The Cruel Sea

    • Glen Le Lievre
    • 16 November 2022
    1 Comment

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  • ECONOMICS

    In finance, story matters most

    • David James
    • 16 November 2022
    1 Comment

    Financial markets are made up of human beings and human beings have always been storytellers — long before science, or modern finance, or accounting even existed. Accordingly, the main skill of successful analysts, advisers, financial gurus and commentators is the construction of compelling narratives. They are, if not exactly creators of fairy stories, not too far removed from it. 

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    In the US midterm elections, questions abound

    • Jim McDermott
    • 15 November 2022
    5 Comments

    In recent weeks it had become a foregone conclusion that the Democrats were going to post big losses in the midterms; it’s just the way American politics seems to work. The party in power loses seats halfway through a term. What are we to make of the fact that that didn’t happen, or that we didn’t see anything the protests and violence that ensued after the 2020 election?  

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  • RELIGION

    Catholic political leaders: Does faith matter?

    • John Warhurst
    • 15 November 2022
    16 Comments

    Australia is awash with politicians who identify or are identified as Catholic. And Catholic media always take some interest in Catholic politicians whatever their political stripe. But what does this mean to have Catholic politicians from a theologically and ideologically diverse church? 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Matters of interest

    • David Halliday
    • 14 November 2022

    How much financial strain can a system tolerate? With families simultaneously staring down the four horsemen of wage stagnation, higher prices of goods, higher bills, and higher mortgage repayments, something’s got to give.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The book corner: Dogging the man in the iron mask

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 11 November 2022
    3 Comments

    In Justice in Kelly Country, author Lachlan Strahan writes on the life of his great-great-grandfather, a policeman whose career stretched over thirty years. When a significant part of that story is intermeshed with such a fiercely contested story as Ned Kelly’s, telling it introduces the further complexities of the writer’s sympathies and judgments.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The hope of remembering

    • David Rowland
    • 10 November 2022
    3 Comments

    When people gather on Remembrance Day, commemorating the cease-fire at the end of the First World War, people take great pains to remember; a small acknowledgement of the horror of war, its loss, sacrifice and suffering. And in that time, it’s also worth pausing to reflect on those for whom wartime sacrifices and suffering are a daily reality. What do these people wish to remember?

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Why we need a special day to see the poor

    • Michael McGirr
    • 10 November 2022
    2 Comments

    There are many special days in the year and there’s no harm in celebrating umbrellas, origami or crochet. But surely the World Day of the Poor has a special place. It asks us to see the world for what it truly is and it is not always a pretty picture.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A brief comment on commentary

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 10 November 2022
    1 Comment

    Reflecting on the value of newspaper commentary on public life prompts self-reflection concerning the quality of what we columnists write and what we hope to achieve through our work. The ephemeral quality of a column suggests how important it is for us not simply to react to the news but to ask what lies beneath it.

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