Latest National news

The year's eight shonkiest products revealed

Esther Han 10:49 PM   Ikea's "leather" couches, Kleenex's "flushable" wet wipes and NAB's "low" rate credit cards have each snagged a Shonky Award for delivering the opposite of what was sold to consumers.

Your genes no longer owned by private company

Yvonne D'Arcy, who fought to have the breast cancer gene patent overturned, outside the Federal Court after it first ruled that mutations in the BRCA1 gene could be patented.

Amy Corderoy 10:46 PM   A 69 year-old pensioner has succeeded in a David-and-Goliath battle against a multinational corporation that claimed a patent over her genes.

Secret tape reveals Lomax knew of claims CFMEU's Kivalu was corrupt

A recording of a phone conversation revealed John Lomax knew of allegations his CFMEU colleague was corrupt before they were made public.

David Ellery 8:36 PM   Secret recording reveals John Lomax knew of allegations his CFMEU colleague was corrupt, despite saying otherwise.

El Nino unmasked, pointing to a hot, drier October for Australia

Long, hot summer: Adam Watkin douses spot fires near his home on Three Chain Road near Lancefield in Victoria.

Peter Hannam 7:35 PM   The impacts of the monster El Nino in the Pacific are likely to intensify across much of Australia, including worsening drought and an elevated bushfire threat, after conditions that were nullifying its effects suddenly retreated.


Melbourne Festival artistic director Josephine Ridge in the expanded Spiegeltent on the banks of the Yarra.

Debbie Cuthbertson 6:54 PM   It's not uncommon to feel a little disoriented after leaving the Spiegeltent, long a late-night staple of the Melbourne Festival. Yet festivalgoers might feel a little out of place before they even enter the big tent from tonight's festival opening.

Medical, pharmaceutical groups call for prescription monitoring to stop doctor shopping

Prescription opioids are used to manage chronic pain but more people are misusing the drugs.

Harriet Alexander 12:15 AM   No states or territories outside Tasmania have centralised electronic systems that capture in real time which controlled drugs have been prescribed and dispensed to individual patients.

A man who spoke out, no matter what

British Labour politician Denis Healey in 1977.

Douglas Martin 5:37 PM   In the quarter-century after World War II Denis Healey brought a fierce intellect and combative style to helping Britain map a more modest global strategy. 

Whirlwind ride through life with a legion of dear friends alongside

Victorian farmer/author Christina Hindhaugh.

Barbara Wenzel 5:30 PM   Farmer, author, public speaker, businesswoman – the list of Christina Hindhaugh's talents and achievements is so long and varied that she emerges as a  force of nature. For not only did she do a great deal in many and diverse fields, she did everything extremely well. 

Police raid home of former union official Kathy Jackson

Kathy Jackson has been a target of a police taskforce for several months.

Kate McIlwain and Andrew Pearson 5:25 PM   A major police operation is under way at disgraced ex-union official Kathy Jackson's Illawarra home.

Public servant wins legal fight over $20,000 breast surgery


Noel Towell 4:56 PM   But Federal Court makes no ruling on alleged "bias sarcasm and aggression" towards ATO official.

Tax Office targets Uber drivers

The Tax Office said as part of its data-matching program it will analyse data from financial institutions and identify drivers that earn income from driving for Uber and similar services.

Nassim Khadem 4:01 PM   Uber and other ride-sourcing drivers are being warned by the Tax Office to declare their income and pay GST before the end of the month.

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Gang-gang. 100 Years Ago. Stopping blinded soldiers dying of grief

World War I. Blinded (but still cheerful) veterans at St Dunstan's hospital, London.

Ian Warden 11:45 PM   One hundred years ago this week columnist "Celia" of Toorak asked "How many of our masseurs, I wonder, have volunteered to instruct blinded soldiers in the mysteries of their profession?"

HMAS Melbourne seizes 427kg of heroin in Indian Ocean

Officers process the seized drugs.

3:00 PM   An Australian warship has seized 427 kilograms of heroin from a smuggling vessel it intercepted in the Indian Ocean.

Red Cross aid workers awarded highest honour for nurses

Nola Henry was awarded the Florence Nightingale Medal on Tuesday night.

Katie Burgess 2:50 PM   Four Australians who've served on the front line of disease control, disaster relief and health care in some of the most war-torn and remote outreaches of the planet have been awarded the highest international honour for a nurse.

'Tragedy like this only a matter of time', Zoe Woolmer inquest told

Zoe Woolmer

Inga Ting 2:05 PM   Little or no safety training is provided by many tour companies in central Australia, a coronial inquest has been told.

One in three cancers in Australia could have been prevented: study

Obesity or a poor diet were a cause of more than 10,000 preventable cancers in 2010, according to Cancer Council-commissioned research.

Craig Butt 10:40 AM   Almost one third of all cancers diagnosed in Australia could have been prevented, new research has found.

World famous 'Harperman' public servant pulls the pin

Tony Turner, a public servant at Environment Canada, who wrote and sang the protest song Harperman.

Noel Towell 10:28 AM   But former Canadian public servant has 'no regrets' about protest song.

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'The plain packaging fiasco for climate change'

"It means governments won't be bold and ambitious as they should be."

Peter Hannam 8:36 AM   The Trans-Pacific Partnership threatens to undermine environment protection and could limit governments' ability to ramp up necessary action on climate change, green groups say.

One in three diagnosed cancers in Australia could have been prevented: study

Obesity or a poor diet were a cause of more than 10,000 preventable cancers in 2010, according to Cancer Council-commissioned research.

Craig Butt   Almost one third of all cancers diagnosed in Australia could have been prevented, new research has found.

Sydney's heat to be blown away by damaging winds

Bronte Beach won't be so pleasant on Wednesday morning when the cool change arrives.

Peter Hannam   Sydney unusual early-season heat will come to an abrupt - if temporary - halt on Wednesday as a southerly buster moves up the NSW coast.

The arm wrestle over drugs: inside the TPP deal

Deserves credit ... Trade Minister Andrew Robb.

John Garnaut   The journey from Mike Froman's 12th-floor presidential suite to Andrew Robb's modest digs on the 58th can take as long as 10 minutes in the Westin Hotel – a gargantuan relic of the Atlanta Olympics, where the lifts go missing when most needed.

Young man with lymphoma needs $800,000 for another shot at life

Joey Lynch.

Julia Medew   Joey Lynch thinks he is an unlikely character for a cancer story.

Sex offenders bashed on Christmas Island

Christmas Island immigration detention centre.

Chris Vedelago, Cameron Houston   The Christmas Island immigration detention centre is in lockdown after a decision by the Australian Border Force to begin housing sex offenders there sparked brutal assaults.

Public service wages showdown looms in Turnbull's Prime Minister and Cabinet department


Noel Towell   Battlelines are drawn as the Prime Minister's public servants prepare to vote.

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Immigration's property saga costs industry millions

Canberra Airport  boss Stephen Byron says the "local impact" requirement could lead to absurd outcomes.

Noel Towell   Canberra property industry counts the cost of Immigration Dept's real estate saga.

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Fall in China's coal use here to stay, leading expert says

Professor Qi Ye, one of the world's leading experts on Chinese environmental policy, is in Melbourne this week speaking at a climate investors' conference.

Tom Arup   The historic fall in China's coal use is a clear and consistent trend and should be factored in by Australian business, one of the world's leading experts on China's environment policy says.

A tale of two Johns brothers, the legends who league fans keep forgiving

Andrew and Matthew Johns during Matthew's last home game for the Knights.

Rick Feneley   If it was only about the footy, Andrew 'Joey' Johns might have endured as a true immortal of rugby league. And his big brother Matty might have hovered eternally somewhere close to those gods of the game.

Bureaucrats' hidden gifts


Public Eye   No government agency makes its staff gift registry public. Why on earth not?