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The process of delivering the justice that foreign minister Julie Bishop demanded for MH17 victims will be neither simple nor swift. EPA/Andrew Gombert

Achieving elusive justice for flight MH17 victims will be a challenge

Addressing the United Nations Security Council, Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop condemned the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 as “barbaric” and “an absolute outrage”. She demanded justice…
Prabowo Subianto is to challenge the presidential election result in Indonesia’s Constitutional Court. AAP/Gabrielle Dunlevy

Audio Q&A: Prabowo’s appeal to the Constitutional Court

International leaders have begun congratulating Indonesia’s president-elect Joko Widodo. But losing candidate Prabowo Subianto is yet to concede defeat. After a dramatic withdrawal from the vote-counting…
Some unhappy state Liberals are pointing to an unpopular federal government and its budget as the source of their electoral woes. AAP/Joe Castro

Are voters set to stop giving first-term leaders a second chance?

In today’s politics, few governments are ever safe. Even freshly minted administrations now age at an incredible speed. The most casual observer will know how much trouble the Abbott government finds itself…
It seems things are not yet bad enough in the Labor Party to make significant reform, such as John Faulkner’s proposed changes to preselection, likely. AAP/Daniel Munoz

Faulkner’s reforms will fail as NSW Labor refuses to change

Labor senator John Faulkner does not anticipate that his moves to reform the party’s preselection processes will succeed at this weekend’s NSW State Conference. Faulkner is hoping to have the rules changed…
Tony Blair and Benjamin Netanyahu speak the same language when distancing themselves from the killing of civilians in military operations. EPA/Haim Zach/Israeli government press office

MH17, Iraq, Gaza and the deadly verbal dance around killing people

Some years back, award-winning British journalist Robert Fisk wrote an article in which he stated the apparent tautology that “murder is murder”. Fisk was writing on Israel’s policy of “targeted killing…
The government has manoeuvred itself into a position where its bluster has made it vulnerable to Clive Palmer’s bluster in the Senate. AAP/Lukas Coch

Early missteps show Abbott needs a plan B to deal with the Senate

Last week, television news presented grabs of former prime minister John Howard arriving in Canberra. It is unknown if Howard was there to share his wisdom with Coalition MPs on how to deal with minor…
President elect Joko Widodo’s success is hugely a result of the spontaneous popular support from largely non-organised groups of ordinary Indonesians. AAP/NEWZULU/Zoe Reynolds

Indonesia’s democratic masses brought victory to Jokowi

The 2014 Indonesian presidential election has been remarkable. Not only in comparison to the country’s long history of dictatorship that crumbled less than two decades ago, but also to democratic processes…
Australia’s judiciary has emerged as a political and activist institution, frustrating the militarised strategies of the Abbott government in asylum policy. AAP/Lukas Coch

High Court asylum case pits the executive against the judiciary

The full bench of the High Court will hear the case of 157 Sri Lankan asylum seekers currently on an Australian customs vessel over two days, starting on August 5. But when the High Court issued an injunction…
Papua New Guinea soldiers mark Remembrance Day at the Port Moresby war memorial depicting ‘fuzzy wuzzy angel’ Raphael Oimbari leading a wounded Australian soldier to medical aid. AAP/Lloyd Jones

Lest we forget the PNG soldiers who served in Australia’s military

As Papua New Guinea marks its Remembrance Day, July 23, in Australia the service of thousands of Papua New Guineans in the Australian military will go unnoticed. At Remembrance Park in Port Moresby, services…
Queensland premier Campbell Newman needs to sell substantive policy change as well as a change in personal branding if he is to be successful at the next election. AAP/Dave Hunt

Newman has time to learn from Stafford byelection defeat

The result in Saturday’s Stafford byelection in Queensland was entirely expected. Since the electorate was re-established before the 2001 election, Stafford had remained a safe seat for Labor. That was…
Joko Widodo has won Indonesia’s presidential election. AAP Image/Eka Nickmatulhuda

Jokowi confirmed as Indonesian election winner, Prabowo rejects result: experts respond

Joko Widodo has won Indonesia’s presidential election, the Indonesian Election Commission’s (KPU) final tally shows. But his opponent, Prabowo Subianto, refused to admit defeat. Prabowo told a press conference…
Fred Chaney and Adam Goodes have teamed up to push for constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians, but it’s proving to be a long road. AAP/Newzulu/Hugh Peterswald

Constitutional recognition alive, but it’s still no ‘barbecue stopper’

Australia has taken another step towards constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The Joint Select Committee on Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait…
Tragedies such as the boat sinking off Lampedusa, Italy, In October 2013 help put Australia’s asylum ‘problem’ into a global perspective. EPA/Ettore Ferrari

Australia puzzles a world with far more asylum seekers of its own

From the perspective of the global north, Australia has always been an oddity. Its policies often seem as strange and inexplicable as its fauna. “They are strange those Australians, strangers to the world…
Using open data and crowdsourcing, volunteers keep a close eye on the vote counting process in Indonesia’s presidential election. Photosani/Shutterstock

Open election data + mass interaction = Indonesian public as watchdog

This year’s presidential election in Indonesia is unlike anything we’ve seen before. Not only for the stark differences between the candidates and the tightness of the race but also for the sheer public…
Pope Francis argues that the poor are at the heart of the Gospel and it’s the communists who have ‘stolen the flag’. EPA/Nicola Lanese

Is the Pope Catholic or communist when he speaks out on poverty?

A blog in The Economist recently accused Pope Francis of following the founder of the Soviet Union, Vladimir Lenin, in adopting an “ultra-radical line” on capitalism. The blog, “Francis, capitalism and…
Jailed Indonesian cleric Abu Bakar recently declared his support for the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS). EPA/Adi Weda

Indonesian cleric’s support for ISIS increases the security threat

Behind bars in Indonesia’s version of Alcatraz, radical cleric Abu Bakar Bashir has declared his support for the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS). After taking over Iraq’s second-largest city Mosul…
Tabloid media invite readers to ‘be the judge’ but when acquainted with all the facts of a case the public actually leans towards lighter sentences than the judges impose. Herald Sun

Tabloid-driven sentencing policies waste public money and lives

There are fault lines in all forms of government. Democracies are as vulnerable as any other to one of them: the charm of the easy and emotionally attractive answer to multi-faceted problems. This is not…
The 153 intercepted asylum seekers are reportedly being detained at sea aboard the ACV Ocean Protector, pictured here in Hobart. Flickr/Grahame Bowland

Court to rule on intercepting and transferring asylum seekers at sea

Lawyers for 153 Sri Lankan asylum seekers on a boat intercepted by the Australian government applied for a full bench of the High Court to hear its case on August 5 at a directions hearing on Friday. Whereas…
Pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine have successfully defied the government in Kiev, but will have gravely harmed their cause if they brought down flight MH17. EPA

Q&A: Flight MH17 and the spiralling conflict in Ukraine

The shooting down of flight MH17 has thrust the separatist conflict in Ukraine back into the international spotlight. The Ukrainian government and Russian-backed rebels have been locked in a military and…
Ukrainian separatist rebels under the banner of the ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’ are reportedly responsible for shooting down Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine. EPA/Stringer

Ukrainian rebels gain firepower but may have blown their cause

The downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine represents considerable escalation of the military capabilities of the insurgency based around the “Donetsk People’s Republic”. Although…
The fresh outbreak of violence between Israel and Hamas has not emerged out of a vacuum, and may yet worsen. EPA/Atef Safadi

Here we go again – Israel and Hamas resume their war

The prospect of another Israeli-Gazan conflict is upon us with the beginning of Israeli ground operations in Gaza. There have been suggestions that the Israeli action will be limited to the destruction…