Vladimir Putin’s decade-long campaign against the newer members of NATO and the European Union, and the former Soviet republics to Russia’s west, has brought territorial gains, huge domestic rewards and manageable external stresses.
Articles from Inside Story
The Øresund Bridge sweeps nearly eight kilometres in a dramatic curve across the strait between Sweden and Denmark. Seen at dusk from the air, its arc of moving lights forms the centre of a spectacularly beautiful panorama; beneath it, though, something very dark indeed is about to take place.
Theresa May and Vladimir Putin share a macabre slice of luck. Both won an election just a week before a horrendous fire in a public building killed dozens of people, exposing failures in basic security procedures and provoking society-wide distress. Britain’s prime minister squeezed home in June last year just before an inferno in Grenfell Tower, a west London high-rise housing block.
When I was a university student in Melbourne some years ago — all right, many decades ago — and was not much taken with the prescribed eighteenth-century novels, I often went to the movies. This was seen as acceptable if the film was subtitled: there was an implied element of cultural improvement in a “foreign” film. The next best thing was a “good British” film, usually to be found at the Athenaeum in Collins Street, the Grosvenor in Little Collins Street, or the Odeon in Bourke Street.
For the best part of a year, the crisis in Rakhine State has dominated Myanmar’s domestic affairs and international dealings. Everything else seemed insignificant, a sideshow at best. But suddenly, just like that, party politics is back.
It has all the elements you expect in an action movie. The elite special forces team with the hardnosed captain, the laconic demolitions expert, the crack sniper, the GI Jane — as tough as her male counterparts in hand-to-hand combat — and the young kid who has to step up and save the day. The enemy, of course, is a bunch of merciless jihadists bent on stealing nuclear material for a dirty bomb, under cover of a military coup.
For someone who is supposed to be inside the cabinet tent, Peter Dutton gets away with a lot of freelancing. It’s one thing for backbencher Tony Abbott, a former prime minister nursing a damaged ego, to set himself up as an alternative leader. There’s nothing anyone can do about that.
Voters in the City of Melbourne go to the polls in May after the resignation of lord mayor Robert Doyle ahead of a damning report on his alleged sexual misconduct. The circumstances that led to the vote are concerning enough, but the nature of the vote itself will once again raise awkward questions about what democracy means in this busy metropolis.
In a symbolic way, federal government funding for non-government schools — “state aid” as it was known at the time — began fifty-six years ago, in Goulburn, New South Wales. At the time, Catholic schools were under pressure from uncertain finances and rising enrolments.
How was the City of Melbourne transformed from the “doughnut city” it had become in the 1970s, empty of life at the centre, into one of the world’s coolest and buzziest places? This is the fascinating question examined, but only partly answered, in the twelve essays and the extended interview that make up Urban Choreography.
The book’s editors begin by describing Collins St 5pm, John Brack’s renowned painting of Melbourne in the 1950s: