New sabotage laws for attacks on Australia

Foreign-backed saboteurs who plant sleeper bugs in critical infrastructure such as telecommunications, power and water that could be mobilised to wreak havoc in the event of a war with Australia will face up to 15 years’ jail under the new foreign interference laws. The new laws reflect the changing nature of war, in which the […]

Big firms paid no tax in 2016, Tax Office says

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation paid no tax whatsoever in 2015-16 on an Australian income of $2.9 billion. Its competitor Fairfax Media, owner of The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, paid $16 million on a lower income of $1.48 billion. The payments are revealed in the third annual corporate tax transparency report required under legislation […]

Happy hour as political divisions dissolve in tears of joy

Rainbow coalition? It was a term designed for this moment. Around 9pm on Thursday December 8, an exhausted, exhilarated, energised Penny Wong led her staff to one of Canberra’s grittier watering holes, the Kingston Hotel. Governor General signs SSM bill Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Attorney General George Brandis present the same-sex marriage bill to […]

Joe Hockey warns North Korea crisis ‘has to come to a head’

Australia’s ambassador to Washington, Joe Hockey, has predicted the North Korea standoff “has to come to a head” – including possibly through military action – and firmly backed President Donald Trump’s “unconventional” approach to the nuclear crisis. Mr Hockey also said during a visit to Canberra on Friday that Australian cities were targets for the […]

No hugging, kissing, flirting or dancing

Social advisers say people should be cautious whether an innocent greeting hug is appropriate, as affection can be interpreted in different ways. “Long gone are the Christmas parties where people drank ’til they drop, speak appallingly about ­colleagues, tell the boss what they really think of them or flirt with a colleague you ­desire,” Zarife […]

Seedless fruit to reduce avo woes

British retailer Marks & Spencer has started selling cocktail avocados, which are pretty much smaller versions of regular avocados minus the seed, measuring 5-8cm long. The company claims this fruit is the solution to an issue that continues to plague avo lovers — the dreaded “avocado hand”. While in Australia, we are pretty adept at […]

Worst Christmas gifts of 2017

Underwear from the boss, chocolate body paint, a dustpan and brush, a bag of cat litter, a dead plant and a hairbrush are among the detested items unwrapped on Christmas Day. Topping the list because of their common place under the tree were a pair of slippers. But some people hated suggestive gifts even more, […]