Analysis

Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi made an impassioned plea for the big powers in the region to stop bullying small Pacific Island nations just days before the 49th Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) was held in Nauru over September 3-6.

South Australia’s Liberal government gave final approval for Leigh Creek Energy to begin a three-month trial of an underground coal gasification (UCG) process, despite UCG technology being banned in other states due to its devastating impacts on the environment.

The five-year Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, which presented its findings last year, opened up a greater understanding of the problems in religious and community institutions’ dealings with children.

Events over the last few weeks have revealed just how politicised Australia’s immigration policy has become.

A 2014 military agreement means Australia is host to the United States military, from where it can launch hostilities against our neighbours in the Indo-Pacific-South East Asia region.

“Any leader of any country who believes that there is no climate change, I think he ought to be taken to mental confinement. He is utterly stupid”, Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said on August 31.

While the debate on free speech has largely focused on the "rights" of racists and bigots, federal and state governments have been quietly passing new laws that strip citizens of the freedom of speech that is essential to democratic deliberation.

Along with his affiliation with the Horizon Church in Sutherland, Sydney, newly appointed Coalition Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s commitment to conservative social movements and the number of Christian conservatives in the Coalition should ring alarm bells.

There has been ongoing reporting of individual instances of bank malpractice and occasional reporting of large scale institutionalised malpractice. Reporting of the banking royal commission hearings has quickened the pace. But nobody, including the media, joins the dots: the key financial institutions are structurally given to corrupt practices, writes Evan Jones.

Deposed Liberals Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull described the factional implosion in his party as “a kind of madness”. It sure looked like it — and there may be even more “madness” ahead.

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