keywords: How I Ended This Summer

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Smoke and the city

    • Daniel Sleiman
    • 13 January 2020
    4 Comments

    Canberra has a reputation for being banal, bureaucratic and the 'bush capital'. But come 2020 it was in the news for being the city with the worst air quality in the world. What followed were four days of intense heat, sunless mornings, Blade Runner sky hues and warnings to stay indoors as much as possible. But movement is life.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Dickens and Christmas as we grow older

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 13 December 2019
    5 Comments

    Dickens was a prolific writer, and one of patchy quality: the threat of sentimentality was never far away, so that this brief work is not one of his best. But in this consumer age it is salutary to have his definition of the Christmas spirit, which is one 'of active usefulness, perseverance, cheerful discharge of duty, kindness and forbearance'.

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  • RELIGION

    Movement for Church renewal keeps growing

    • John Warhurst
    • 11 December 2019
    52 Comments

    What's going on within the Catholic Church always matters more widely given its size and power. Lay participation in leadership, especially of women, is a major social issue. Observers of social trends should watch this space for its wider public policy implications.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Climate crisis spawns clowns not statesmen

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 09 December 2019
    29 Comments

    If the dark days of 1940 provided an opportunity for a chancer and publicity hound like Winston Churchill to emerge as an inspirational leader and reputed giant of the 20th century, why hasn't the catastrophic breakdown of the natural world done something similar for the likes of Boris Johnson, Donald Trump and Scott Morrison?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Just do something about NT homelessness

    • Mike Bowden
    • 06 December 2019
    8 Comments

    The stats are chilling. The rate of homelessness in the Northern Territory is 12 times the national average. Six per cent of all Territorians are experiencing homelessness. More than 16 per cent of Territorians under 16 are homeless. Twenty per cent of Aboriginal people in the NT are homeless. It's time to do something.

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  • MEDIA

    The killing of Daphne Caruana Galizia

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 05 December 2019
    5 Comments

    In Malta, shudders are being felt through the media and political establishment. Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has announced his intention to resign. Other officials are doing the same. Malta's equivalent of the accusing ghost of Banquo is that of the slain journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, killed by a car bomb in October 2017.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    A Tuesday tsunami of whiteness

    • Celeste Liddle
    • 05 December 2019
    7 Comments

    Whiteness — some days it's like a light mist constantly hanging around yet going mainly unnoticed as it stealthily seeps into one's pores. Other days, it hits you like a cascade, or a tsunami of whiteness. Tuesday, observing the news, felt more like one of the latter.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Righting the wrongs of robodebt

    • Darren O'Donovan
    • 27 November 2019
    7 Comments

    The uncertainties are not ended by last week's announcement. The statement only vaguely signals that the Department will 'work' with recipients to identify 'further proof points'. What constitutes a 'proof point'? The government needs to disavow its past conduct in a much deeper, detailed and clear way. Instead, it has gone silent.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The theatre of distance

    • John Allison
    • 25 November 2019
    2 Comments

    I dreamed Thoreau told me that whenever I was lost, if only I'd remember that it was not I but simply those familiar places of the world that were lost then I would realise at last the trick of standing upright here ... Everywhere, departure opens wide its gates into the nothing that awaits us in the dusk

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Getting serious about children's rights

    • Bree Alexander
    • 22 November 2019
    4 Comments

    From strip searches to a needlessly low minumum age of criminal responsibility, Australia continues to be a menacing place for children encountering law enforcement. The need to be seen as 'tough on crime' plagues the major parties and precludes nuances within the criminal justice sphere including the protection of the rights of the child.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    The power of gift-giving without the waste

    • Cristy Clark
    • 21 November 2019
    4 Comments

    As we pare back more and more, I have started to realise that there is a risk in taking things too far. The consumer orgy of the past may have been unsightly, but gift giving itself also serves a valuable social function, and we may be at risk of throwing out the baby with the bath water.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Conversations with refugees in PNG

    • Joshua Lourensz
    • 19 November 2019
    5 Comments

    'Refugees/not refugees — here it is all the same,' a man tells me with a shrug. There seems to be both recognition of the impossibility of the situation for all who have been left here — but also an attitude that no one should be left behind.

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