Defence Minister 'regrets' canoe comments

David Wroe, Peter Hannam, Latika Bourke 10:09 AM   Defence Minister David Johnston has expressed "regret" over his extraordinary remark that he would not trust the government's shipbuilder ASC to "build a canoe".

Latest political news

Defence abuse: call for for royal commission

The Defence Abuse Response Taskforce's report released on Wednesday has called for a royal commission into abuse at the Australian Defence Force Academy.

David Wroe 11:11 AM   A landmark report into assault and abuse in the military has found that more than 1100 alleged abusers are still serving in the ranks.

PM 'not happy' about gay marriage bill

Not impressed: Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Judith Ireland 12:33 PM   Same-sex marriage advocates are rejoicing that Senator David Leyonhjelm will introduce his same-sex marriage bill to Parliament on Wednesday.

LNP senator to back medicinal cannabis bill

NSW is currently investigating decriminalising medical cannabis.

Dan Harrison 2:39 PM   Liberal National Party senator Ian Macdonald will co-sponsor a bill to legalise the medicinal use of cannabis nationally.

PM prepares to knock 'barnacles off the ship'

Budget gridlock: Prime Minister Tony Abbott might cut his losses.

Mark Kenny 6:37 AM   Tony Abbott has asked government MPs to maintain internal discipline in the face of the ABC funding controversy and bad polling,

Comments 203

'Ordinary working people': Ship stand-off over

Crew members aboard the Tandara Spirit.

Heath Aston 11:44 AM   Crew of the Tandara Spirit have ended their sit-in after nearly three weeks and will sail for Singapore by midday Thursday to avoid what they say is "destructive legal action" targeting them personally.

Iraq strike kills 100 but progress patchy

An RAAF F/A-18F Super Hornet.

David Wroe 6:54 PM   Sharp intelligence spotting by an RAAF airman has led to a major coalition assault on a sophisticated Islamic State cave system in Iraq.

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How Turnbull contradicted his own PM 

Fair cop: Communications Minister Malcolm Turnball concedes the ABC budget reductions are, in fact, cuts.

Lisa Cox 7:03 PM   Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has done what Prime Minister Tony Abbott has refused to do, admitting the government's cuts to the ABC and SBS are a broken promise.

Liberal dilemma over same-sex marriage bill

Liberal Democrat senator David Leyonhjelm

Lisa Cox and Judith Ireland 4:49 PM   Liberal Democrat David Leyonhjelm is poised to introduce his long-awaited same-sex marriage bill to the Senate, in a move that will increase the pressure on the Liberal Party.

Comments 37

Time for a new path to equality: Stanley

fiona stanley

Michael Gordon 6:32 AM   Australia needs to dramatically “scale up” its investment in early childhood and parental support to underpin the country’s future prosperity, says former Australian of the Year.

Comment & Analysis

Home truths: high prices are here to stay

Ross Gittins dinkus Dinkus

Ross Gittins 12:00 AM   The pressures of urban geography in Australia's largest cities are likely to stave off possible market collapse.

Comments 238

The ABC versus The Australian

Alan Stokes dinkus

Alan Stokes 12:00 AM   The Murdoch media business model simply delivers conservative confirmation journalism to what it sees as a like-minded audience.

Comments 158

Nincompoops consign ABC to churnalism

ABC support: Rallying against the federal government's severe cuts to the national broadcaster.

Quentin Dempster   There are forces at work out to destroy Australia's unique public broadcasting system.

Comments 288

Mark Scott's two hats make trouble for ABC

Jonathan Holmes

Jonathan Holmes   The broadcaster's combined managing director and editor-in-chief role is misleading and potentially unhealthy.

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A spur for action

Embracing change: Improved paid parental leave is just one part of the solution.

Michael Gordon   From almost the moment Tony Abbott announced it, his generous paid parental leave scheme was a policy in need of third party endorsements.

The ABC has flab to be cut

Pockets of the ABC have been allowed to get too fat, flabby, wasteful and unaccountable.

Louise Evans   When Louise Evans joined Radio National, the staff were like free-range chickens, wandering around at will, pecking at this and that, content that laying one egg constituted a hard day's work.

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The regime more dangerous than IS

<i>Illustration: Michael Mucci.</i>

Paul Sheehan   While the Western world rightly fears Islamic State, it has long faced a greater threat – a radical muslim theocracy edging ever closer to nuclear capacity.

Comments 189

Mighty duo scale tallest structures

Peter Hartcher dinkus

Peter Hartcher   Julie Bishop and Tanya Plibersek are both deputy leader. Can they gain the ultimate political promotion?

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A tale of two Tonys

Prime Minister Tony Abbott with Chinese President Xi Jinping

Michael Gordon   There may be some collateral damage over the contradictions flowing from the Abbott government.

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Dinky politics OK, but not parboiled policies

Judith Ireland

Judith Ireland   Brisbane's G20 Summit was Australia's chance to assert itself as a global player. Judith Ireland assesses its success.

What drug is Mark Latham on?

Jacqueline Maley dinkus

Jacqueline Maley   Mark Latham, former Opposition leader and distinguished Australian Financial Review columnist, is most certainly not on anti-depressants.

Satire died and your ABC isn't too chipper

John Birmingham dinkus

John Birmingham   The doctor in charge of an elite medical team which failed to save the life of Australian satire apologised to fans last night, saying there was nothing he could do.

Abbott decides climate thing needs a dust

Mark Kenny dinkus

Mark Kenny   At last the prime minister has changed gear and done what appears to be a neat U-turn on climate change.

Comments 311

Beware of cover for making bigotry OK

Most Muslim Australians are law-abiding and loyal Australian citizens who shouldn't be tarred by the brush of prejudice.

Tim Soutphommasane   When we see verbal and other attacks against Muslim Australians, it is often accompanied by a nastiness that resembles racial hatred.

Absence of morality in the Nauru netherworld

Nick Feik   Immigration Minister Scott Morrison's reaction to claims refugees on Nauru were self-harming and being molested was to attack those who made the allegations.

Nation state is key to peace and prosperity

world map

Peter Varghese   The great paradox of our time is that we live in a globalised and ever-connected world, yet we guard our sovereignty zealously.

Trade deal boosts negligible G20 legacy

Ross Gittins.

Ross Gittins   Treasurer Joe Hockey's shock jock tactics add little to the debate about carbon emission strategies.

Comments 191

ABC's poor satire not proof of political bias

Jonathan Holmes

Jonathan Holmes   An attempt to insert a light note into the current affairs program 7.30 fell flat, but political skits do have a place in public broadcasting.

Applaud men who learn from their mistakes

Elizabeth Broderick

Elizabeth Broderick   True equality for women will come when men become champions of change.

Comments 3

Who'll be the next judge of the High Court?

George Williams dinkus

George Williams   The Abbott government will soon make two very significant appointments. They arise due to the retirements of Justices Kenneth Hayne and Susan Crennan from the High Court.

Comments 25

Special features

Xenophon: Pyne could lose his seat

Christopher Pyne and at least two other South Australian Liberals are now in danger of losing their seats at the next election, according to South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon.

10 ways Captain Abbott can clear the decks

Tony Abbott has told nervous Coalition MPs he plans to knock "one or two barnacles off the ship" before Christmas. Here's how he could do it.

Abbott clueless on how to handle US and China

The PM is swinging wildly between two poles of regional power, probably mistaking insincerity for clever diplomacy.

He who laughs last...

Who will be laughing after the year's final two weeks of parliament? Analysis with Chris Hammer and Mark Kenny.

Budget, ABC cuts and the Senate crossbench

Labor MP Pat Conroy and Liberal Andrew laming join Breaking Politics to discuss the news of the day.

Nothing - except a handbag - gets in Bishop's way

Lattika Bourke Though short of sleep, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop keeps calm and focused while representing her country abroad.

Latham's put-down of Pryor a positive point in disguise

There are, essentially, three kinds of newspaper columns. All three kinds cost the writer something. And all three – if done well – deliver something to the reader.

ABC budget cuts: The fallout

Bloodletting is expected as the ABC absorbs a $254 million funding cut. The government argues programming should not suffer, but the organisation's future may be at stake, write Judith Ireland and Rick Feneley.

Dairy farmers ready to make FTA work

Down on the dairy farm they're talking about what the China free trade agreement will mean for them.

Abbott's 'conversion' to climate change exposed

Prime Minister Tony Abbott's apparent, if modest, conversion to the idea that climate change was an "important subject" was greeted with no small measure of cynicism.

Iron maiden

Julie Bishop can't seem to put a well-heeled foot wrong as Australia's foreign minister. Madonna King meets the woman behind that famous stare.

The art of pricking balloons like Palmer and Assange

Tony Wright Prick a balloon and it'll disappear right in front of your eyes. The ABC's Emma Alberici proved that with Clive Palmer Thursday night, just as the ABC's Sarah Ferguson discovered a few months ago.

The sound bite that bit back

In 10 seconds and 25 words, Tony Abbott delivered the soundbite that bit back.

Abbott, the ABC and SBS: when promises become lies

Ms Gillard, Tony Abbott declared over and over regarding the carbon tax promise, was a liar. If that were so, then so now is he.

Palmer disunited? send in the COCs

Mark Kenny Who's running this ramshackle operation we call the Australian Senate? Is it the PUPs or the COCs?

New senate paradigm forces FOFA changes

A so-called 'coalition of common sense' in the senate has reversed government changes to financial advice laws. Labor Senator Sam Dastyari explains how the coalition came to be, and what the changes mean.

How Narendra Modi turned Parliament House into a rock star's stage

Judith Ireland You got the sense there was something about Narendra Modi when world leaders had their official handshakes with Tony Abbott at the G20 summit.

Gough Whitlam: 1916-2014

See our complete coverage of the former Labor prime minister, including news, reflections, tributes, analyses, picture galleries, videos and cartoons.