Latest National news

Carbon tax's end benefited most but perhaps not air travellers

Peter Hannam 1:53 AM   Households are roughly $550 a year better off since the scraping of the carbon tax, but air travellers may wonder if they are being overcharged, the head of the competition watchdog says.

'You don't know anything' Kim Vuga told on Go Back To Where You Came From

"You have no idea who Reza Berati is. I knew him." Nicole Judge (right) told Kim Vuga on <i>Go Back To Where You Came From</i>.

Chloe Booker 1:32 AM   When Kim Vuga called Reza Berati a 'troublemaker', detention centre whistleblower Nicole Judge started yelling. 'You have no idea who Rezae Berati is. I knew him; I played soccer with him.'

Donors disguised through Liberal clubs

Abbott government frontbencher Kevin Andrews.

Royce Millar, Sean Nicholls 12:25 AM   Liberal donors appear to have used special fundraising clubs to avoid disclosure for millions of dollars in contributions to the party over the past decade.

AWU failed to declare hundreds of thousands of dollars it reaped from employers

Bill Shorten appearing at the Royal Commission into Trade Union Corruption.

Ben Schneiders, Royce Millar 12:24 AM   The Australian Workers Union failed to disclose hundreds of thousands of dollars reaped from employers in repeated breaches of notoriously weak political donations laws.

Judge butts in, orders parents not to smoke near child

A judge has ordered two parents to stop smoking near their child.

Harriet Alexander 7:02 PM   A Family Court order that prohibits parents from smoking around their young son reflects a tendency to intervene on behalf of children's health, researchers say.

Joyce accused of 'crocodile tears' over Shenhua project

Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce at the National Press Club earlier this month.

Peter Hannam 6:35 PM   Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce has been accused of crying "crocodile tears" over the approval of the giant Shenhua coal project planned for the Liverpool Plains, after department officials revealed he failed to seek detailed information or make any formal comments opposing the open-cut mine.

Primary schools included in extremist crackdown

Premier Mike Baird in Sydney on Tuesday

Emma Partridge, Rachel Olding 3:12 PM   Public school principals are being urged to call a dedicated hotline if they suspect extremist behaviour, following the announcement of a state-wide audit of student prayer groups.

The retirement trap awaiting public servants

The federal president of the Superannuated Commonwealth Officers' Association Dr Annette Barbetti.

Noel Towell 2:35 PM   Public sector workers who opt for indexed pensions over lump-sum payments could lose out on the age pension side.

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Let the games begin: your brief and video tutorial for the August Clique Challenge

The Clique Challenge theme for August is "Sport & Action". The deadline for this Challenge is Monday 24th August at 12 noon AEST. To enter visit smh.com.au/clique or theage.com.au/clique. Prize include a Nikon 1 J5 camera, $500 Nikon equipment voucher and a subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud.

1:40 PM   Football, swimming, tennis, ballet, or gymnastics ... your brief for the August Clique Challenge is to create a strong entry with a sport or action focus.

'We are failing': Public servants on notice

Digital Transformation Office CEO Paul Shetler.

Phillip Thomson 11:08 AM   'It's not a policy problem, it's a delivery issue': Federal bureaucracy's digital boss calls on public servants to do better.

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Frequent cold fronts set up chilliest July since 1998

Residents in Oberon say a mid-July snow dump was the biggest in 40 years.

Peter Hannam 9:49 AM   Sydney is likely to post its coldest July in 17 years in a month notable for the frequent cold fronts. But the cold snap is good news for ski season.

Getting around Australia's donations laws: a five-point how-to guide

photo montage featuring a ballot box being stuffed with money / cash
political donations
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Michael Bachelard 8:58 AM   A donor needs to reveal publicly that they are paying money to a political party only if the donation is more than $13,000, under Australia's political donation laws. 

Melbourne man charged over attempt to fight against Islamic State

An AFP car.

Tammy Mills, Adam Cooper 8:33 AM   Anti-terrorism police have charged a Melbourne man with attempting to travel to northern Iraq to fight with Kurdish forces against Islamic State.

Prisoner star 'The Freak' charged with child sex offences

Maggie Kirkpatrick as Joan Ferguson, aka 'The Freak', in the Australian TV show <i>Prisoner</i>.

Chloe Booker 7:22 AM   A star of the 1980s Australian TV soap opera Prisoner has been charged with child sex offences.

Daniel Andrews' big secret – who paid for Labor's election success

Daniel Andrews

Royce Millar, Ben Schneiders 6:25 AM   Who paid to put Daniel Andrews' ALP in power? It's the best kept secret in Victoria.

Second pokie lobby tips into Andrews-linked fund

Frontbencher Kevin Andrews is under fire over pokies money.

Royce Millar and Sean Nicholls 2:51 AM   A second pro-pokie machine lobby group tipped tens of thousand of dollars into a fundraising body that supports Abbott government frontbencher Kevin Andrews as he oversaw development of Coalition's gambling policy before the 2013 election.

Some patients 'hesitant' to use cannabis

NSW Premier Mike Baird and Minister for Medical Research Pru Goward visited Newcastle's Calvary Mater Hospital in Waratah to announce Australia's first medical cannabis trial.

Amy Corderoy 2:39 AM   New details of the medical cannibas trial show the innovative way it will appease those who are uncomfortable with the idea of using marijuana.

Australian Manus guards found naked with woman sent home amid drugs investigation

Asylum seeker tents at the detention centre on Manus Island in 2013.

Kate Aubusson   Three Australian guards on Manus Island found naked with a woman who claims she was drugged and raped were sent home before local authorities could investigate, the ABC reports.

Helpmann Awards 2015: Bogan-gate no barrier for Leo Schofield as Sydney sweeps pool

Hugo Weaving won best actor his role as the tyrant Hamm in Sydney Theatre Company's <i>Endgame</i>.

Louise Rugendyke   He was at the centre of a "bogans and third-generation morons" spat, but Leo Schofield had the last laugh at the Helpmann Awards on Monday, with an opera from his Brisbane Baroque festival beating Opera Australia to the coveted best opera award.  

No bones about it: chiropractors are losing their heads

Helen Alevaki has resigned as the president-elect of the Chiropractors' Association of Australia

Harriet Alexander   Already bent out of shape and weathering trauma from external forces, the peak body for chiropractors has now lost its head.

The Voice holds out MasterChef in ratings

Ricky Martin returns to The Voice Australia for its 2015 season.

The Voice has hit a successful new note after the first super battle round helped keep the penultimate episode of MasterChef from taking the top ratings spot.

Bird in the hand worth two in the face

Detail of <i>Sparrow Man</i>, 2008, by Rose Farrell and George Parkin.

Robert Nelson 5:00 PM   This meditation on the crazy chauvinism of aesthetics hits the high brow of European conceit but still lets us smile with a dangerously wide mouth.

Some global 'head scratching' on Australia's climate stance: Al Gore

Former American vice-president Al Gore.

Tom Arup   There is some international "head scratching" over Australia's national position on climate chang says former United States Vice President Al Gore, who has used his short visit to Melbourne to paint a bullish picture of the economic benefits of renewable energy and the prospects of this year's Paris climate summit.

Alleged terrorist supporter's family backed ABC

Adam Brookman pictured on a Facebook page wearing what appears to be an Ambulance Victoria graduate paramedic uniform..

Nino Bucci and Tammy Mills   The family of an Australian nurse who allegedly worked for Islamic State attended a protest supporting the ABC in the wake of the Zaky Mallah controversy.

Billions lined up for renewable energy in NSW

Wind power is increasing its footprint.

Peter Hannam   Renewable-energy backers are prepared to pour as much as $13 billion in new projects in NSW – provided the investment climate is right.

ATO hiring policy OK, between consenting adults

Unions cried foul after the ATO went to hire new specialist public servants just months after paying more than 400 employees tens of millions of dollars to leave their jobs in the same area.

Noel Towell    OK for ATO to hire new staff while paying redundancies, but only if its consensual.

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US to retreat on big pharma in trade pact

The United States is poised to concede some ground on protections it has sought for biopharmaceuticals in Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations.

John Garnaut   The United States is preparing to retreat from demands that could have pushed the price of innovative medicines out of reach of millions of patients with intractable diseases, as ministers arrive in Hawaii this week to seal a huge new trade deal.

Jehovah's Witnesses 'destroyed evidence'

Scales of Justice

Rachel Browne   The Jehovah's Witness Church in Australia hid allegations of child sexual abuse involving more than 1000 of its members over a 60 year period, a royal commission has heard.

Suitcase remains unlikely to be Madeleine McCann's, police say

Madeleine McCann, 3, was abducted in Portugal in May 2007.

AAP   The remains of a child found dumped in a suitcase in the South Australian bush are highly unlikely to be those of British girl Madeleine McCann, police say.

The 'gender paradox': Women's self-harm rates surge

Women have higher rates of behaviour such as planning or thinking about suicide.

Amy Corderoy   A sharp rise in the number of women who end up in hospital because of severe self-harm has prompted Suicide Prevention Australia to call for more to be done to help suicidal women.