Latest National news

Joe Hockey's defamation win highlights legal pitfalls of social media

Michaela Whitbourn 6:43 PM   Joe Hockey has become the first Australian politician to successfully sue for defamation over a tweet.

Signs are bad for rebadged Medicare Locals

 health

Heath Aston, political correspondent 6:24 PM   With just hours until the doors are due to open for the first time, staff at the Abbott government's new Primary Health Networks – the rebadged Medicare Locals – have been instructed to postpone the printing of any stationery and prevent the display of new signage.

How depression shrinks the brain

An illustration of the human brain with the hippocampus in yellow.

Harriet Alexander 6:00 PM   The region of the brain responsible for new memories and regulating emotions is smaller in the brains of people with recurrent depression, according to a global study that has implications for the treatment of young people.

Border Force public servants plan first-day no-show

More than 97 per cent of union members at the soon-to-be-merged departments voted to strike in a result announced on Friday.

Noel Towell 5:38 PM   Delays expected at all major airports on Wednesday morning as part of industrial action.

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China not fit for global leadership, says top Canberra official

Michael Thawley

John Garnaut and David Wroe 5:38 PM   Australia's top public servant has dismissed any prospect of China leading the world, saying the economic giant is neither willing nor able to solve global problems.

Win a holiday to Turkey with a berth on the Clique Photo Cruise with thanks to our friends at Mariner Boating Holidays

Clique members can win a photography cruise in Turkey with Mariner Boating Holidays.

4:15 PM   The Clique Photographer of the Year wins a berth on the Clique Photo Cruise to Turkey with Mariner Boating

IS supporters sent Lindt chocolates to recruitment target: report

Man Haron Monis

Rory Callinan 2:45 PM   IS supporters sent Lindt chocolates to a potential recruit as part of an indoctrination campaign that referenced the deadly siege at Sydney's Lindt Cafe, according to The New York Times.

Hiring 'freeze' to ease but limits remain in place

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Markus Mannheim 1:48 PM   On Wednesday, the government will relinquish control over recruitment and hand responsibility back to agency heads.

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'You were threatened with death'

Caroline Carroll: "There was plenty of abuse in my foster placements."

Paul Bibby 1:44 PM   Caroline Carroll did not look forward to the rare occasions that a welfare officer visited her foster home.

$10m couldn't bring in public servants

Still largely empty: 2 to 6 Bowes Street, Phillip (formerly known as Penrhyn House) was refurbished last year to attract new tenants.  Quintessential Equity directors Shane Quinn, left, and Harry Rosenberg and head of property Russell Bullen.

Phillip Thomson 11:16 AM   Owners say Woden "is a pretty challenging leasing environment" because of the outflow of employees to Civic.

Former head of Treasury slams government, Labor

Dr Martin Parkinson

Gareth Hutchens 7:49 AM   A former head of Treasury slammed the Abbott government and the Labor opposition for entrenching Australia in a "non-debate" about budget fairness on one hand, and ruling out much needed tax reforms on the other.

Prominent Liberal donor Scali investigated over bribery claim

Prominent Australian political donor and furniture king Nick Scali, pictured in 1982.

Nick McKenzie, Richard Baker, Michael Bachelard 5:56 AM   A prominent Australian political donor, furniture king Nick Scali, was subject to a serious investigation by Italian police over allegations that he tried to bribe a politician.

Sharrouf's mother-in-law makes an emotional plea on ABC

Karen Nettleton

Kate Aubusson 10:08 PM   The mother-in-law of terrorist Khaled Sharrouf has made an emotional plea on national television for her daughter and grandchildren to return home.

Hundreds more ATO executives to be culled

Tax Office

Noel Towell 11:30 PM   About 450 Tax Office middle managers slated for redundancies will walk away with golden handshakes worth just under $90,000 each on average.

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Scanning the brain's magnetic fields offers hope for epilepsy patients

Stewart Duguid is now living seizure-free.

Bridie Smith   Stewart Duguid used to have an epileptic seizure every fortnight. He never knew when they would strike. But the seizures were debilitating and proved impossible to control with medication.

Kathy Jackson declares bankruptcy, throws trial into doubt

Former HSU head Kathy Jackson.

Nick Toscano, Ben Schneiders   An attempt by the Health Services Union to claw back $1.3 million allegedly misappropriated by former national secretary Kathy Jackson is on hold amid claims of a rapid deterioration in her finances.

Sharrouf's in-laws haven't ruled out sending family member to save wife

Karen Nettleton, Khaled Sharrouf's mother-in-law, at a Kurnell business where she works.

Rachel Olding   The family of notorious terrorist Khaled Sharrouf have not ruled out sending a male relative to Syria to spirit the terrorist's wife and children back to Australia as their situation becomes increasingly desparate.

Mystery woman in hospital has memories of Australia, but nothing else

The mystery woman has taken to social media in the hope someone can identify her.

Nick Ralston   She remembers eating breakfast at Perth's Cottesloe beach, dining out in Byron Bay and dreams of Sydney's Bondi. But this mystery woman knows nothing else about her life.

Canberra could lose Border Force, says airport

Manager of Canberra Airport Stephen Byron.

Noel Towell   "The rest of Australia is well and truly in the game."

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Greece over the brink

A Greek exit from the euro currency is unlikely to cause more chaos than the unpopular austerity measures.

Paul Krugman   Greek's banks are closed and a parallel currency may be needed to pay pensions and wages, so abandoning the euro may no longer be 'unthinkable'.

'It's not easy doing homework on the street'

Mandi Smith, Education Coordinator, at the Oasis Education Centre in Surry Hills. 26th June 2015 Photo: Janie Barrett

Eryk Bagshaw   At nine years old Oscar was homeless after his mother had passed away. He found himself doing his homework in the back seat of the car which doubled as his home.

Political donations wide open to Mafia corruption

A man who police believe is a Mafia boss and alleged hitman met then prime minister John Howard and other top Liberal Party figures at fundraising events.

Nick McKenzie, Richard Baker, Michael Bachelard   Calabrian Mafia infiltrates Australian politics using donations, personal appeals and ingratiation.

Glad-handing and influence: mafia taking fast track to the powerful

Tony Madafferi has been named in two coronial inquests as a Mafia boss and suspected hitman.

Nick McKenzie, Richard Baker, Michael Bachelard   When Tony Madafferi met John Howard, he was no ordinary glad-hander.

Walker's cancer crusade pays dividends

Ron Walker lobbied for Keytruda to be approved by the government after he experienced its impact during treatment for melanoma.

Anne Hyland   Ron Walker's campaign to turn a $150,000-a-year cancer drug into an accessible treatment has paid off, with the federal government deciding to list Keytruda on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

Federal funding cuts force closure of vital disability support service

Nican marketing manager Craig Wallace at the Mitchell office which will shut its doors for good after federal budget cuts.

Christopher Knaus   Cost-effective, essential disability support service forced to shut its doors after federal cuts.

Mafia godfather's son in Australian Rome embassy under Amanda Vanstone

Tony Madafferi has been named in two coronial inquests as a Mafia boss and suspected hitman.

Nick McKenzie, Richard Baker, Michael Bachelard   The son of an Australian Mafia godfather did work experience in our Rome embassy

'We have lost all faith in the department of education'

Executive director of NSW Public Schools Murat Dizdar told Ultimo Public School on June 17 that the school would be rebuilt on the same site.

Eryk Bagshaw   The NSW Department of Education has deliberately ignored its consultant's advice and overstated the cost of building a new inner city primary school.

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Another Agriculture Department boss forced out

Public service workers

Noel Towell   More trouble at the top of department still reeling from the sacking of its popular boss.

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How to Not Pay Your Debts author in debt again

Doug Constable, in YouTube interview on insolvency.

CAMERON HOUSTON CHRIS VEDELAGO   Marketing consultant Randal Glennon concedes he should have seen the warning signs when he agreed to work on a campaign for "insolvency expert" Doug Constable, who authored a book called How to Not Pay Your Debts.

'Hiding ethics classes is wrong'

Conservative Christian: Fred Nile.

James Robertson   Educators, including primary school ethics teachers and lecturers in ethics and philosophy, have co-signed a letter warning that the enrolment change will discourage children from studying ethics.