The Federal Government says a review of Australia's natural disaster funding system is not being motivated by the need to find budget savings.
Federal government departments are spending eye-watering sums to know what the public is thinking and what the media is saying about them, new documents show.
In some of the more surprising disclosures, the Department of Defence is spending more than $500,000 a year on pay TV and, between July and October 2014, splashed $454,125 - or about $5000 a day, on newspapers, magazines and other publications. Another department also spent nearly $90,000 on books over four months.
The poor face onerous rules while rich corporations avoid tax with impunity.
Australian politicians love the idea of mutual obligation. But the disparities underlying it are becoming more and more extreme. Welfare recipients are painted as getting “something for nothing”, and pushed into more and more restrictive versions of the social contract.
The effects of fracking could be as dangerous as asbestos, thalidomide, or tobacco toxins, the UK’s leading scientist has warned, claiming the government has adopted the process without considering the side effects.
In an interview with People magazine published on Wednesday, Mr Obama and his wife, Michelle Obama, said that before moving into the White House nearly six years ago, they faced prejudice, stereotyping and had trouble catching taxis.
"There is no black male my age, who's a professional, who hasn't come out of a restaurant and is waiting for their car and somebody didn't hand them their car keys," Mr Obama told the magazine, adding that this had happened to him.
Possibly the most lamentable outcome of the raised tension and insecurity that has accompanied the theatre of terrorism in Australia is the decline in our political culture, which will last for as many years as such a threat is declared – even if it is never fully demonstrated.
Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting fell into the "I'm not a feminist" trap and had to apologise to extricate herself.
A win for feminism or a win for anti-feminism? Maybe more like a win for tweet-shaming.
Cuoco-Sweeting, star of The Big Bang Theory, stepped into a wasps' nest when she made a mild comment about whether she considers herself a feminist in an interview with Redbook.
"Is it bad if I say no? It's not really something I think about," she mused. "Things are different now, and I know a lot of the work that paved the way for women happened before I was around. ... I was never that feminist girl demanding equality, but maybe that's because I've never really faced inequality."
America is a meticulously constructed brand; it is the indispensable nation with exceptional power. There is no country as adept at branding as the United States.
Popular international mega-brands like Apple and McDonald’s sell neat pre-packaged pieces of the American dream to eager international consumers. A complimentary national branding strategy sells "freedom" and "democracy" over international airwaves, in movie theatres and through diplomatic influence.
But if Brand America is the sum of the effects of its soft powers, can we really separate this cultural imperialism from the nation’s use of hard power?
The wealthiest 400 people in the world saw their combined net worth grow by $92 billion last year, hitting $4.1 trillion. The bonanza for the super-rich was underwritten by governments and central banks around the world, which fueled surging stock markets and record corporate profits by pumping hundreds of billions into the financial markets.
From Victoria Rollison
Abbott must be having a horrible Christmas break. He can’t have missed that his old buddy, his mentor Rupert has completely dropped him and in doing so, has given permission for his newspapers to admit that PM Abbott is a dud.
In June 2014 a very distinguished scholar was publicly wondering: “Is the Abbott government Fascist?” He felt justified in asking the question by the observation that “Since the last Federal election, people have been shocked at where Australia seems to be heading. So where is Australia heading? Towards fascism? There are straws in the wind.”
Fluffus clouds passing low through the city of Sydney, like "fog" patches. Unlike fog though, fluffus clouds are low altitude dependant, are not at ground level and are not dispersed by windy conditions. Picture by Gus Leonisky
The UN Security Council rejected on Tuesday a Palestinian resolution calling for peace with Israel within a year and an end to the "Israeli occupation" of Palestinian territories by late 2017.
What a winner! Billboard Bill sitting in an empty hall with that ‘WTF am I doing?’ look in his eyes. That image alone is sure to inspire millions of people. [Sarcasm for those who can’t spot it.]