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News Wire

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Unwritten Law

Benjamin Law: I'm not making Christmas lunch this year

BENJAMIN LAW 1:00am Last year, I decided to host Christmas lunch myself.

Real Estate News

School catchment zones a key factor when buying property

Matthew Coley with children (left to right) Ethan, Zarah and Aidan.

LAUREN CROSS 1:00am With OP results out this weekend, families with younger children are already planning for the future.

Queensland

Indian cricketers eat out after Gabba food fails to appeal

A photo obtained by the QT shows fast bowler Ishant Sharma, batsman Virat Kohli and Indian

1:00am THE Indian cricket team has eaten a vegetarian lunch provided by Indian Mehfil restaurant on the Vulture St footpath after being dissatisfied with the food on offer inside the Gabba

Queensland

Cairns stabbing: When words aren't enough to convey the grief

Toys and candy canes were left among floral tributes near the home where eight children were found dead in the Cairns suburbs of Manoora.

NATALIE BOCHENSKI 1:00am No words can truly describe the effect learning of the deaths of eight children has on the body.

Queensland

Police embarrassed as Brisbane terror suspect Omar Succarieh wins bail

Omar Succarieh after his arrest in September.

KRISTIAN SILVA 1:00am Police have been left red-faced after failing to explain why bail shouldn't have been granted to a man charged with extortion and supporting a terrorist organisation.

Queensland

Cairns stabbing: The tragic events that scarred Queensland

Police on the scene of the multiple stabbings.

AMY REMEIKIS 1:00am Queensland has many dates etched in its collective heart.

Video Sports HQ

Steve Smith plunders century in second Test

12:50am Newly appointed Australian captain Steve Smith has proven that 'if you're good enough, you're old enough'.

Soccer

FIFA president Sepp Blatter's statement in full

12:49am World soccer's governing body FIFA on Friday agreed to allow the publication "in an appropriate form" of the report on the bidding process for the 2018/2022 World Cups.

Victoria

Three out five children leaving primary school can't swim shock statistics reveal

ALANA SCHETZER Kids under five need to be in arm's reach in the water at all times. Children under 10 should be within your sight at all times, researcher Bernadette Matthews says.

Soccer

FIFA to publish Garcia report into World Cup bidding process in 'appropriate form'

Michael J Garcia, Chairman of the investigatory chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee.

BRIAN HOMEWOOD FIFA's executive committee has unanimously agreed to allow the publication "in an appropriate form" of the report on the bidding process for the 2018/2022 World Cups, but gave no indication of when...

Victoria

Christian lobby boycotts gay student program

TIMNA JACKS The Australian Christian Lobby claims $8 million of federal funding is being wasted on the Safe Schools Coalition Australia.

Business

MYEFO forecast not for the real world

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ROSS GITTINS Did you catch the apparent contradiction in this week's midyear budget update?

Movies

Debut film director Russell Crowe keeps his cool over The Water Diviner

PHILIPPA HAWKER Russell Crowe awaits public judgment on his directorial debut, The Water Diviner.

Books

Top 10 bestsellers for week ending December 6, 2014

Ahead: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul by Jeff Kinney.

The best-selling book titles this week.

Books

Every writer needs a Vera

Partner in crime: George Eliot had her own version of Vera – an admirer and supporter who encouraged her to write fiction.

JANE SULLIVAN Where are the literary spouses of today? It's like looking for hen's teeth.

Books

No one wants to buy books, so what to do with a beloved book collection?

Books: A dying love affair.

STEPHANIE WOOD Nobody seems to care much about books any more. So can someone tell me how I'm going to get rid of more than a thousand that my late father collected and loved

Movies

Wayne Blair on why Flickerfest matters to filmmakers

Early work. David Michod won best direction and best Australian short film in 2008 and 2009.

GARRY MADDOX Wayne Blair, director of The Sapphires, credits Flickerfest with giving him confidence early in his career.

Books

The question of Jewish identity remains painfully unresolved

Courageous: <i>How I Stopped Being a Jew</i> by Shlomo Sand.

LOUISE ADLER How I Stopped Being a Jew will ensure Shlomo Sand is reviled as a self-hating Jew by Zionists, anti-Zionists, religious, secular Jews, Israeli, diaspora Jews, semitophiles and anti-Semites alike.

Books

Review: Six Capitals by Jane Gleeson-White on accounting for the environment

Metrics: <i>Six Capitals</i> by Jane Gleeson-White proposes measuring profit in a different way.

ROSS GITTINS Jane Gleeson-White makes a good case for the success of her unlikely revolutionaries.

Books

Alan Cumming's celebrity-free memoir confronts an evil father

Critically acclaimed: Alan Cumming and Liza Minnelli in Sam Mendes' <i>Cabaret</i>.

RICHARD FERGUSON Alan Cumming's new book may be laced with sentimentality but its central storyline could reduce the most resistant reader to tears.

Comment

Let there be no doubt: Monis was a terrorist

Jacqueline Maley dinkus Dinkus

JACQUELINE MALEY Beyond the sickening confirmation of the two innocent dead, there have been few certainties this week. But being human, we have had to assert them anyway, to impose some order on the inchoate.

Movies

Flickerfest showcases independent filmmaking talent

NICK GALVIN Flickerfest will screen more than 100 short films at Bondi Beach in January.

World

Millions of dollars for Aceh go missing

A decade after the tsunami, two girls play on the beach in Banda Aceh.

MICHAEL BACHELARD Millions of dollars donated to the Indonesian province of Aceh after the Boxing Day tsunami a decade ago have disappeared.

Comment

Julie Bishop and the empathy deficit

Michael Gordon.

MICHAEL GORDON Julie Bishop has presided over the biggest cuts to Australia's foreign aid budget in history.

DL Entertainment

A critics' Christmas: the best of Yuletide music, TV and film

Christmas classic: <i>Robbie the Reindeer: Hooves of Fire</i>.

BERNARD ZUEL The Herald's experts present the music, movies and television that will make you merry these holidays.

Comment

I want the pill no doctor will prescribe

AMY CORDEROY There is a pill to cure all ills, and I so wish my doctor would prescribe it to me.

Music

A critics' Christmas: the best of Yuletide music, TV and film

Christmas classic: <i>Robbie the Reindeer: Hooves of Fire</i>.

BERNARD ZUEL The Herald's experts present the music, movies and television that will make you merry these holidays.

Health

Age is just a number: study proves you're only as old as you feel

HARRIET ALEXANDER Life is good, age is irrelevant and the most energetic people are those who do not feel old, Harriet Alexander explains.

The Economy

As the mining boom ends wages just aren't what they used to be

LUCY CORMACK Sandra Bell loves her job in childcare, but at 66 years of age she could happily retire, if not for the one thing holding her back.

Books

Review: Sulari Gentill's A Murder Unmentioned investigates the past

Sulari Gentill likes to tease, blithely slotting real people and events into A Murder Unmentioned.

Art & Design

Public art and social history: is the monument dead?

Skate park built by Minecraft: The works at Monument Park in New Quay, Docklands by acclaimed artist Callum Morton, pictured.

GINA MCCOLL Ephemeral, pop-up and short-term works make up a large and growing part of public art. Is the monument dead?

Victoria

Plan to fix City Loop mobile black spot delayed

City Loop

ADAM CAREY Train passengers' mobile phones will not work inside the City Loop by year's end as was promised by the former Napthine government.

Books

Undercover: news from the book world

Small visual poems: <i>Interior Scene</i> by Cressida Campbell from her boxed sets of cards.

SUSAN WYNDHAM Affordable artworks; quick and dirty publishing; prime minister's summer reading; festival moves.

Markets

Directors trades: Santos boardroom lends its support

CHRISTOPHER WEBB The value of directors’ trades fell this week but nevertheless there was buying across a wide front of industrials and explorers.

Retail

Lifting the lid on Aldi

Aldi logo

MADELEINE HEFFERNAN How big can Aldi get in Australia? And how much secrecy is too much?

National

Christmas a time to reflect on reconciliation

Illustration: Matt Davidson.

BARNEY ZWARTZ Reconciliation is a wonderful concept often referred to at Christmas, but achieving it after injustices or hurt feelings is hard.

Obituaries

Obituary: Belgium's reclusive Queen Fabiola dies aged 86.

Palatial privacy: Queen Fabiola in the Royal Palace, Brussels, in 2002.

Belgium's reclusive Queen Fabiola has died aged 86.

Business

Friendly fire: Is the economy a victim of the Coalition's war on wages?

Oil prices and the Sydney siege have caused the Australian dollar to fall.

PETER MARTIN Like the punchline to a joke, Joe Hockey saved the best twist in the Coalition's war on wages until the end.

Victoria

Naked City: The bad, the mad and the courageous

Naked City John Silvester dinkus

JOHN SILVESTER Christmas is the time for family cheer, office parties, bad dancing, middle-aged men heading to pole-dancing clubs and end-of-year newspaper columns.

Comment & Analysis

Let's stay close together in time-honoured summer holiday spirit

Harold Mitchell dinkus Dinkus

HAROLD MITCHELL There’s excitement in the air. It’s finally time to get away from it all. Some will be travelling overseas, but the time-honoured Australian tradition is to head for the beach or the...

Comment & Analysis

Business section headlines for 2015

Marcus Padley dinkus Dinkus

MARCUS PADLEY While the Fairfax business folk drink celebrate their underfunded get-together, Marcus Padley takes a peek at the headlines ready for 2015.

Comment & Analysis

East West Link takes the wooden spoon for 2014

Malcolm Maiden dinkus Dinkus

MALCOLM MAIDEN You don’t have to look past the infrastructure sector to find the best and worst deals of 2014.

World

Revisiting seaside Sri Lankan village a decade after tsunami like sequel to a horror movie

Unforgettable moment: Akchay was just 18 months old and his sister Divya 9 years old when the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami struck.

TONY HESELEV A return to the seaside village of Unawatuna in Sri Lanka 10 years after it was devastated in the Boxing Day tsunami brought back good and bad memories for a Melbourne family.

National

Senator Faulkner and a trip to the heart aboard a bus

Australian War Veterans Minister John Faulkner, left, shakes hands with Australian World War I veterans Peter Casserty, centre, and Edward Charles Field after the remembrance ceremony in Paris, 1993.

TONY WRIGHT It was somewhere between Arras in northern France and the Belgium border when the little old man became agitated.

National

Tony Abbott commits to free vote on euthanasia

Tony Abbott made a promise to a dying man.

KATE HAGAN Prime Minister Tony Abbott has promised a dying man that he will allow Liberal Party members to vote with their conscience on a euthanasia bill being developed by a Greens senator.

Environment

Inaction means home is where the draught is: poor energy performance in our homes

construction

PETER HANNAM A survey of stakeholders in the construction sector found 65 per cent thought the building code energy-efficiency provisions were not implemented strictly, but no one is following this up.

National

Sydney siege: Man Haron Monis, 'humanitarian' and terrorist

Man Haron Monis

RICK FENELEY Man Haron Monis described himself as a ‘humanitarian’. But he was an unhinged attention seeker who hitched his personal grievances to the Islamic State bandwagon –with lethal...

Books

The dangers of signing off with an X

An x between friends. <i>Illustration: Simon Letch</i>

DAVID ASTLE X is the unknown, the explicit, the mystery factor and the treasure spot. It's multiplication and Malcolm, the criss-cross and the chromosome, the Files and the Box, but most of all, around this time...

Mining & Resources

Glencore buying Rio Tinto could burn hole in Hockey's pocket

Michael West dinkus Dinkus

MICHAEL WEST A Glencore merger with Rio Tinto would be damaging for Australia and ought to be, and very likely will be, knocked on the head by the Foreign Investment Review Board.

Comment

How prawn stars turn the Aussie Christmas into a feeding frenzy

DANNY KATZ The magical moment is when the host brings out ... The Prawn Platter.

Comment

Save the Palace Theatre and save face – everbody wins

SHANE GREEN Do the right thing, and the people will respond positively. But let the community down, and goodwill is replaced by hostility.

Comment

Leyonhjelm shoots from the hip

JOHN BIRMINGHAM Guns protecting us? It's nothing but a fetid fantasy, not backed up by facts.

Comment

A sanity lesson during the Sydney cafe siege

MARTIN FLANAGAN Ordinary people just want to get along

Column 8

Column 8: 'Tis the season

'Tis the season to be single, if you want to dine at PiaPia, a reader informs Column 8.

Obituaries

Maurice Saxby remembered as the Godfather of Australian children's literature

The Godfather of Australian children's literature: Maurice Saxby.

MARGARET HAMILTON The life of `the Godfather of Australian children's literature' Maurice Saxby 1924–2014 will be celebrated at the Great Hall of The University of Sydney.

World

Close, but no cigar: Cuba opens doors to the world

HARRIET ALEXANDER Cubans, weary of decades of isolation from the rest of the world, are relishing the rapprochement with the United States.

Technology News

What we found when we captured Senator David Leyonhjelm's metadata

Computer hackers who threaten British national security will be punished as harshly as murderers under new plans unveiled

MARK WHITE Liberal Democrat senator David Leyonjhelm gave permission for metadata from his business address in Sydney's inner west, an agribusiness consulting company, to be captured and analysed.

Featured Video More video

More than 100 children massacred

At least 140 people, most of them children, have been killed when Taliban gunmen stormed a school in the Pakistani city of Peshawar. WARNING: Disturbing images.