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Let there be no doubt: blame for our failing environment laws lies squarely at the feet of government

let there be no doubt: blame for our failing environment laws lies squarely at the feet of government
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Picture: Harley Kingston/Flickr A long-awaited draft review of federal environment laws is due this week. There’s a lot riding on it – particularly in light of recent events that suggest the laws are in crisis. Late last week, the federal Auditor-General Grant Hehir tabled a damning...

Trump is struggling against two invisible enemies: the coronavirus and Joe Biden

trump is struggling against two invisible enemies: the coronavirus and joe biden
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Picture: AAP The US presidential election is being shaped by the two crises that have defined 2020 so far: the coronavirus pandemic and the national reckoning over police brutality and racism. COVID-19 has infected millions of Americans and killed 125,000, while causing the worst economic crisis...

‘Kissing can be dangerous’: how old advice for TB seems strangely familiar today

‘kissing can be dangerous’: how old advice for tb seems strangely familiar today
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Image: Shuttlestock We’ve been reminded about avoiding hugging or kissing, especially among large family groups, in light of the recent Melbourne coronavirus clusters. But alerting the public to the potential for kissing to spread infectious diseases isn’t new. It’s been a feature of past pandemics, including...

Sunday essay: how a ‘gonzo’ press gang forged the Ned Kelly legend

sunday essay: how a ‘gonzo’ press gang forged the ned kelly legend
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Destruction of the Kelly Gang. Drawn by Thomas Carrington during the siege. State Library of Victoria Washington Post publisher, Philip L. Graham, famously declared that journalism is the “first rough draft of history”. It’s also the first rough draft of inspiration for movies and books “based...

You’ve got (less) mail: COVID-19 hands Australia Post a golden opportunity to end daily letter delivery

you’ve got (less) mail: covid-19 hands australia post a golden opportunity to end daily letter delivery
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Picture: Shuttlestock Australia Post delivered more than 3.3 billion items last financial year. That’s almost 14 million deliveries a day (not counting weekends and public holidays). Its 2019 annual report itemises the massive logistical network required: 15,037 street post boxes, 4,343 post offices, 461 sorting and distribution...

Illegal hunters are a bigger problem on farms than animal activists – so why aren’t we talking about that?

illegal hunters are a bigger problem on farms than animal activists – so why aren’t we talking about that?
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Picture: Sipa USA This month, the Victorian government announced on-the-spot fines for trespassers on farms following an upper house inquiry into how animal activism affects agriculture. It’s the latest in a string of new state and federal laws designed to crack down on activists who trespass on farms –...

Giving your details to restaurants and cafes: your rights, their obligations and privacy concerns

giving your details to restaurants and cafes: your rights, their obligations and privacy concerns
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Picture: Shuttlestock While lockdown restrictions have eased in many places, the coronavirus threat isn’t over yet. The number of cases globally has surpassed 9 million, and infections have slowly crept back for Victoria. Read more: In many countries the coronavirus pandemic is accelerating, not slowing Restaurants, pubs and cafes...

Latest $84 million cuts rip the heart out of the ABC, and our democracy

latest $84 million cuts rip the heart out of the abc, and our democracy
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Picture: Shuttlestock At the height of the coronavirus emergency, and on the back of devastating bushfires, Australia’s much awarded and trusted national broadcaster has again been forced to make major cuts to staff, services and programs. It is doing so to offset the latest $84 million...

In many countries the coronavirus pandemic is accelerating, not slowing

in many countries the coronavirus pandemic is accelerating, not slowing
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A mass grave in Manaus, Brazil. The country now has the second-most coronavirus cases and deaths in the world.  Sandro Pereira/Fotoarena/Sipa USA Around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating. While some countries such as Australia and New Zealand have managed to flatten the curve, in...

Australians pessimistic about economic outlook and even more suspicious of China: 2020 Lowy poll

australians pessimistic about economic outlook and even more suspicious of china: 2020 lowy poll
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Unsplash/Joost M, Author provided The Lowy Institute’s 2020 “Understanding Australian Attitudes to the World” poll has found “unprecedented shifts” in Australian public opinion, with more people feeling unsafe in the world, optimism about the economy at an historic low, and a precipitate decline in trust...