Latest National news

Madafferi's son facing theft and weapons charges

Johnny Madafferi.

Cameron Houston, Tammy Mills 8:55 PM   The son of prominent Mafia figure and convicted drug trafficker Francesco Madafferi has been charged with serious weapons and theft offences.

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 8:42 PM    Perhaps as befits a godfather of the Italian-Australian Mafia, Frank Barbaro was, in 2003, attending a funeral every fortnight.

Judge bribes, military arms sought: Mafia's alleged Australian operations

Plaintiff law firms argue contingency fees could enhance the class actions regime, but they are staunchly opposed by defendant firms.

Nick McKenzie, Richard Baker, Michael Bachelard 8:18 PM   An Australian Mafia boss allegedly paid $2.2 million in bribes to judges to get lighter jail sentences, and have approached defence force personnel to supply them with military grade weapons, top-secret police intelligence reports reveal.

Loss of a daughter haunts a grief-stricken family

Nikita Chawla's parents Umesh and Sunila and brother Tarang: "It's too late for Niki, but for other sufferers of abuse, there's hope that we can help them feel safe again."

Tammy Mills 8:11 PM   The last conversation Tarang Chawla had with his sister was so very ordinary.

Not one more Niki: a brother's plea

Tarang Chawla with his sister, Nikita.

Tarang Chawla 7:40 PM   My sister Nikita was killed in January. If she hadn't been killed, she would have just turned 24 years old.

Mormon chief fought ‘disease of profanity’

Boyd Packer.

6:59 PM   Boyd Packer was a religious leader who railed against the triple 'threat' of feminists, homosexuals and intellectuals.

Remembering victims of violence 2014 - present

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 17:  A young girl lays a bunch of flowers as a Floral tribute at Martin Place on December 17, 2014 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Fairfax Media)

Tammy Mills and Miki Perkins 6:51 PM   They were somebody's mother, daughter, child, colleague, friend. Victoria was their home, from tiny rural townships through to the bustling heart of Melbourne.

Weeks of chill ahead as polar air moves in over Australia

This will be the dress code for the next couple of weeks.

Peter Hannam 6:44 PM   Sydney's coldest stint since 1983 in the offing, and the cool conditions may linger for quite some time yet, meteorologists say.

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

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

Nick McKenzie, Richard Baker, Michael Bachelard 6:38 PM   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.

Nitschke's medical licence suspension unlawful: court

Philip Nitschke had earlier appealed unsuccessfully to have the board's decision to suspend him overturned.

Craig Butt 6:07 PM   A decision to suspend euthanasia campaigner Philip Nitschke's medical registration over his link to a suicide was unlawful, a court has ruled.

Mafia figures given free rein at Queensland casinos


Chris Vedelago, Cameron Houston 5:33 PM   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.

Power sector's emissions accelerate after carbon tax's demise

Power plants fired by brown coal have increased their emissions, a report has shown.

Peter Hannam 5:05 PM   Emissions from Australia's main power sector are rising at an increasing rate one year after the end of the carbon price, with plants in Victoria fired by brown coal the biggest contributors, according to an energy consultancy.

Abetz says vote should set example

Government leader in the Senate Eric Abetz opposes same-sex marriage.

Phillip Thomson 1:50 PM   How the Abbott government hopes one vote could force the main public service union into a retreat.

Labor expels figure linked with Mafia intimidation

Frank Madafferi and Michael Teti.

Nick McKenzie, Richard Baker, Michael Bachelard 12:37 PM   Victorian Labor party delegate and Moreland councillor Michael Teti allegedly supplied a gun to a Mafia henchman which was then used to threaten a woman, and has repeatedly moved funds on behalf of convicted crime boss Frank Madafferi.

School breaks century-old tradition to become co-ed

The Armidale School will the first GPS school to go co-ed.

Eryk Bagshaw 9:30 AM   After 123 years being a single-sex school, The Armidale School will enrol female students from next year.

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Record support for Indigenous recognition ahead of summit

Aboriginal leader Noel Pearson.

Michael Gordon 1:52 AM   Support for recognising Indigenous Australians in the constitution has reached a record high of 85 per cent as the Prime Minister hosts an unprecedented summit of Aboriginal leaders to plot a "road map" to the referendum.

Ex-mayor runs Mafia cell, answers to Italy

Tony Vallelonga,

Nick McKenzie, Richard Baker, Michael Bachelard 1:47 AM   A former Western Australian mayor is allegedly running a Calabrian mafia cell in Perth and answers to a mafia godfather in Italy, according to explosive court files.

The mafia, metadata and me

Australian Customs display some of the seized 4.4 tonnes of ecstasy (MDMA) tablets, in what they said was the biggest haul of the illicit drug anywhere in the world, in Melbourne on August  8, 2008. Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty said the seizure of the drugs, which were concealed in tins of tomato shipped to Australia from Italy, had resulted in the arrests of 16 people across the country in pre-dawn raids.  AFP PHOTO/HO/AUSTRALIAN CUSTOMS SERVICE - RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE

Nick McKenzie 1:47 AM   When the phone vibrated in my pocket in September 2007, I had no idea the incoming call would plunge me into the middle of Australia's biggest mafia investigation in decades.

Terror diverts focus from Mafia 'board of directors'

Mafia and organised crime influence in Australia.

Nick McKenzie, Richard Baker, Michael Bachelard 1:47 AM   Italy's top anti-Mafia prosecutor and Australian police are warning that the massive diversion of law enforcement resources to combat terrorism is eroding the fight against the Mafia and other serious organised crime groups.

Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard ponder the errors of their ways in The Breakfast Clubbing

Parody of the Killing Season.

11:21 PM   Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard have thrashed out their differences in detention – in an episode of The Breakfast Clubbing.

Cope's winning work questions obsession with authenticity

Artist Megan Cope at her Brunswick studio.

Dylan Rainforth 11:21 PM   Melbourne artist Megan Cope has won the prestigious 2015 Western Australian Indigenous Art Award, worth $50,000.

Union, member fined $24,000 for racial abuse against American

Union offends an American and pays the price.

Pallavi Singhal 11:21 PM   The national construction union and one of its members have been fined a total of $24,000 for abuse on a building site.

AFP 'stab us in the back then invite us to dinner'

A community rally earlier in 2015 to protest against Islamphobia.

Natalie O'Brien 11:18 PM   The Muslim community are angry about being stabbed in the back and then invited to dinner.

Why she told mothers to rock their babies

Kathryn Barnard.

Bruce Weber 10:26 PM   Kathryn Barnard 

NAIDOC Week kicks off in Canberra

Honey Beatty from hip-hop duo MajikHoney.

Tom McIlroy 11:30 PM   About $100,000 of works to upgrade a national memorial dedicated to Australia's journey toward Indigenous reconciliation has been completed in time for NAIDOC Week 2015.

ATO pays to fire, pays to hire

The ATO is advertising technical specialist jobs after hundreds of experienced and trained technical staff were declared redundant in the last year.

Noel Towell 12:15 AM   Tax Office hiring tax specialists just months after making hundreds of them redundant.

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Westfield makes pitch for Immigration to stay

Westfield desperately wants the Department of Immigration and Border Protection's headquarters to stay in Belconnen, but says rumours Frank Lowy is personally involved are wrong.

Noel Towell 12:15 AM   Westfield Belconnen wants the Immigration Department to stay put.

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Redeploy your lanyards, Defence public servants urged

A screen shot from the Securing Defence Capability site.

Noel Towell 11:45 PM   New lanyard laws at Defence sparks a protest movement.

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