When the other TV options last Friday night were the AFL, rugby, Eurovision and 'Call and Win: Win Cash Live!', who tuned their sets to the First Leaders' Debate? Wade McCagh did, that's who. Here he runs us through the key takeaways and events, from the meat raffle at the start, to bulk billing announcements, to the all-important tie watch.
The Australian Government's offshore processing policy - introduced under Rudd and currently holding bipartisan support - is a project to side-step our humanitarian obligations by dumping the victims of global conflict into some of the most hopeless, isolated, and remote circumstances any individual could face. Ed Smith writes on the financial and human costs of this hard line strategy of so-called deterrence, and finds them hard to stomach.
After Turnbull successfully staged the failure of the ABCC Bill to pass the Senate for the second time, a double dissolution is on the cards for Australia - the first since 1987. Politics Editor Brad Griffin kicks us off on the long campaign trail in the first of a series of fortnightly posts covering, explaining and face-palming over the upcoming Federal Election.
"The repercussions of the Panama Papers have been proliferating steadily since they first made headlines back in the beginning of April this year," writes Leona Mpagi. She goes on to dig deeper, and ultimately reaffirm that global capitalism sucks.
"It’s important to remember that the media is beholden to the capitalist system and it must therefore be profitable in order to be viable. The news will, therefore, be delivered in such a way to make a profit – tailored to what the audience finds irresistible." Reece Gherardi writes on the skewed coverage of violence worldwide, and the banality of social media in mourning.
Poland's late political changes exhibit an uneasy mix of traditional authoritarianism and western capitalism, "typical of former Eastern bloc nations still struggling to come to terms with their past." Bradley Griffin and Leah Roberts write on the troubling consequences of this turmoil, and the rise of right-wing Law and Justice Party (PiS) under Jaroslaw Kaczynski.
'The UN is not irrelevant to history, as a lasting if imperfect monument to global political cooperation. Most importantly, the UN is not irrelevant to Australia itself.' Jasmine Ruscoe considers the purpose and use of a international body often described as purposeless and useless.