Latest National news

Ten years with a camera in Papua New Guinea

Baruni garbage dump, Port Moresby, 2009, from Stephen Dupont's exhibition, The Outside Land, at the Australian Centre for Photography in Sydney.

Ella Rubeli 1:47 PM   Internationally acclaimed photographer Stephen Dupont's series on Papua New Guinea is on show in Sydney.

Mine will 'blow a 35-square-kilometre hole' in farmland

Opposition among farmers to mining on the Liverpool Plains.

Peter Hannam 1:36 PM   The $1.2 billion Shenhua Watermark has won federal government approval despite claims by the peak NSW farm group that the open-cut mine would "blow a 35 square-kilometre hole" in some of Australia's most productive farm land.

Attorney-General's Dept says no

Back to the drawing board: Attorney-General's Department Secretary Chris Moraitis acknowledged staff voted down the offer.

Noel Towell 1:33 PM   Attorney-General's public servants reject 1.5 per cent pay deal

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Transport safety staff the latest to approve wage deal

An Australian Transport Safety Bureau employee during the search missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370.

Markus Mannheim 12:10 PM   Just over half of the agency's workforce votes 'yes' to pay rises worth about 1.5% a year.

40 per cent of Australian mothers drink while pregnant: study

For most women, their binge-drinking days were abandoned once they discovered they were pregnant.

Bianca Hall 11:58 AM   Almost half of Australian women drink during their pregnancy, and health authorities need to craft new policies to reduce alcohol use in expectant women, a new study shows.

NSW mulls ban on international students at inner-city school

Executive director of NSW Public Schools Murat Dizdar told Ultimo Public School last month that the school would be rebuilt on the same site.

Eryk Bagshaw 11:41 AM   The government may ban international students to address a shortage of places in at least one inner-city primary school.

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Public service strike could kill, warns boss

Leigh Johns defends Australian Ballet School's purchase of a $4.7 million Melbourne mansion, which was part-funded by the Federal Budget.

Noel Towell 11:02 AM   Union criticises "wild assertion" from senior public service official.

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Sydney man diagnosed with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease

doctors

Kate Aubusson 10:21 AM   A Sydney man has reportedly become the "one in one million" to be diagnosed with a variant of mad cow disease.

What is Creutzfeld-Jakob disease?

Emergency sign

10:19 AM   NSW health authorities are assuring the public that the variant of mad cow disease that's left a Sydney man clinging to life is not contagious.

Police shooting linked to Williams crime clan

Police

Rania Spooner, John Silvester, Tammy Mills 10:13 AM   Victoria Police are examining links between the wounding of a young police officer in Moonee Ponds and a firebomb attack and drive-by shooting targeted at family members of slain underworld figure Carl Williams.

Drinking alcohol while pregnant is very common in Australia, study shows

Women who smoke are 17 to 50 per cent more likely to drink while pregnant.

10:36 PM   Women who smoke are 17 to 50 per cent more likely to drink while pregnant.

This story-teller had plenty to tell

Marcus Eyre.

Jaki Eyre 8:22 PM   Obituary Marcus Eyre was a well-travelled actor and teacher with plenty of tales of off-stage drama.

Abbott bureaucrat flaunts Confederate flag

Mark Coffey wins 'best dressed' in a Confederate flag shirt at the annual Beef Breeders dinner.

Tony Wright 8:01 PM   The TV series Dukes of Hazzard has been pulled from US screens because of controversy surrounding its use of the Confederate flag, beloved of white supremacists, but the Abbott administration's most senior indigenous affairs bureaucrat in the Northern Territory failed to heed the warning signs.

Union whistleblower accused of setting up secret slush fund

Former HSU head Kathy Jackson.

Nick Toscano 6:29 PM   Former high-profile unionist Kathy Jackson used a secret slush fund to ensure her lavish spending sprees and a slew of unauthorised payments were hidden from oversight, a court has heard.

Fraser apologises 'unreservedly' for Nick Kyrgios comments

Dawn Fraser on Today.

David Polkinghorne and Kate Aubusson 6:22 PM   Australian sporting icon Dawn Fraser has "unreservedly apologised" for her controversial comments about Australian tennis stars Nick Kyrgios.

El Nino tracks path of most intense event

The El Nino remains on course to be particularly strong this year.

Peter Hannam 5:43 PM   The El Nino climate pattern taking hold in the Pacific remains on track to be one of the strongest on record - a trend that may be lost on many Australians in the coming couple of weeks as a cool spell arrives.

Dawn Fraser's comments about Kyrgios and Tomic were racist, say experts

Dawn Fraser on Today.

Angus Holland 5:11 PM   Dawn Fraser's comments about two Australian tennis players are clearly racist despite her denials, according to an RMIT associate professor.

Public service sickies: the world gets tough

Methods used by Ireland to get on top of unscheduled absences, slashing entitlements in half, might find few fans in the Australian Public Service.

Noel Towell 11:30 PM   Getting tough gets results in Ireland while Canada muscles up to PS unions, and business as usual in Australia.

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The Big Picture reader photo competition: now part of Clique

Enter your best travel photo to win a trip to Japan.

Traveller 4:25 PM   Here's how to enter Traveller's fourth The Big Picture competition for amateur photographers.

'I want to cut open ISIS' stomach and pull out their intestines'

A member of the Kurdish "peshmerga" forces takes part in an intensive security deployment after clashes with Islamic State militants in Jalawla, Diyala province November 23, 2014. Iraqi forces said on Sunday they retook two towns north of Baghdad from Islamic State fighters, driving them from strongholds they had held for months and clearing a main road from the capital to Iran. There was no independent confirmation that the army, Shi'ite militia and Kurdish peshmerga forces had completely retaken Jalawla and Saadiya, about 115 km (70 miles) northeast of Baghdad. Many residents fled the violence long ago.  REUTERS/Stringer (IRAQ - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS MILITARY)

Rory Callinan   Kurdish supporters are using social media to rally foreign fighters - including Australians - to join them in the fight against Islamic State.

New Zealand photographer finds supernatural worlds in limestone caves

Joseph Michael's series, <i>Luminosity</i>, captures the light of glow-worms in limestone caves of northern New Zealand.

Ella Rubeli   Real images of cave interiors lit by glow-worms resemble imaginary landscapes

Mafia figures given free rein at Queensland casinos

Casino

Chris Vedelago, Cameron Houston   Bans imposed by Victoria and NSW police to stop money laundering and other criminal activity at the country's largest casinos are being circumvented by underworld figures, who are increasingly travelling to Queensland to gamble.

Loss of a daughter haunts a grief-stricken family

Nikita Chawla's parents Umesh and Sunila and brother Tarang hope their story can help other sufferers of abuse.

Tammy Mills   The last conversation Tarang Chawla had with his sister was so very ordinary.

Australian Mafia: the more it changes, the more it stays the same

Francesco 'Little Trees' Barbaro confronts AFP officers outside his son Pat's Griffth property.

Michael Bachelard, Nick McKenzie, Richard Baker    Perhaps as befits a godfather of the Italian-Australian Mafia, Frank Barbaro was, in 2003, attending a funeral every fortnight.

Freeze-that-wasn't finally ends

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Public Eye   In the first three days of the thaw, agency heads exercised their newly recovered autonomy by publishing 150 job ads.

Madafferi's son facing theft and weapons charges

Johnny Madafferi.

Cameron Houston, Tammy Mills   The son of prominent Mafia figure and convicted drug trafficker Francesco Madafferi has been charged with serious weapons and theft offences.

$2.2m in Mafia bribes to NSW judges alleged in top-secret police reports

The Mafia poses an "extreme" organised crime risk to the nation, police reports warn.

Nick McKenzie, Richard Baker, Michael Bachelard   An Australian Mafia boss allegedly paid $2.2 million in bribes to NSW judges to get lighter jail sentences,  top-secret police intelligence reports reveal.

Abbott's career echoes his hero Santamaria's

B. A. Santamaria

Stephen Holt   The Prime Minister's willingness to be associated with the late Alan Reid's novel shows a high level of self-awareness.

'The other girls in the office exclude me'

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Yvonne Richards   Public service advice column: we put your workplace conundrums to an executive coach.