Holiday Treats for Australian Readers -

Holiday Treats for Australian Readers

Credit: nytimes.com

  • Dec 07 2017 23:05About: 8 days ago
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Damien Cave, our Australia bureau chief, shares insights on global news, local recommendations and feedback from readers in this weekly newsletter. To receive it in your inbox, sign up here.

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The end of the year at The New York Times usually means a rush of big, ambitious stories — and don’t miss this examination of Harvey Weinstein’s complicity machine, detailing all the people who knew about his behavior and did nothing, or helped hide it.

But this week, I’m counterprogramming with a newsletter of (mostly) bite-size thoughts.

1.

Two of Australia’s biggest stories this year — same-sex marriage, and China’s influence on politics — reached their expected conclusions this week.

As you no doubt know, Parliament changed the definition of marriage, and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull proposed new laws that would limit foreign interference.


What stood out to me? Consensus.

At a time when democracy around the world often looks meek or messy, Canberra managed to look this week like a capital populated with reasonable adults. Bravo, folks, bravo.













2.

I watched “Animal Kingdom” this week, on the recommendation of a friend who works in Australian film.

Wow. Dark, dark, dark … and very good.

3.

Heads up, folks: The New York Times is a media partner of the National Gallery of Victoria’s Triennial exhibition, which launches Friday, Dec. 15, and runs until April 15, 2018.

This is the NGV’s first triennial, a major free exhibition featuring work from more than 32 countries. And from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 16 and Sunday, Dec. 17, we’ll be host for a series of free, half-hour conversations with local and international Triennial artists and designers in the Great Hall.

Matt Anderson, our International Culture Editor, who grew up in Adelaide and lives in London, and I will moderate.

Also, on Dec. 16, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., Matt will hold a round-table discussion with Triennial artists Alexandra Kehayoglou, Brodie Neill, FormaFantasma, Candice Breitz, Richard Mosse and Elliat Rich.

There will also be a meet and greet, starting at 6 p.m., for New York Times subscribers with, Matt, me and the artists from the discussion.

New York Times subscribers can register for the meet and greet and round-table discussion here.

4.

My daughter and son are quickly developing Australian accents, and my wife, Diana, who is our bureau’s video producer, have found it quite easy to adopt certain Australian terms, like bin, rubbish and jumper.


But others like arvo and “how ya going?” still feel unnatural.

Which got me wondering: Why do certain terms and words integrate into our vocabulary more easily than others? And what Americanisms do Australians have the hardest time with?

5.

Someone explained the difference between chips (thick) and fries (thin) to me this week. Thanks for that.

6.

Last week, I asked for your help signing up friends and family for this newsletter. Our contest with the Canada Letter continues and so far our growth is outpacing theirs, just slightly, so keep the sign-ups coming. (Here’s where people can sign-up.)

But this week, I have an even more playful request.

We want the little stories of your life that you find memorable and telling, about where you live, and about this country.

We just started a new weekly feature, Australia Diary, which is a collection of these tales — in word, image or artwork — and we’re on the hunt for more entries.



Read what we have collected so far for guidance. Share yours by emailing us: nytaustralia@nytimes.com.

… Now here are the Times stories that stood out for me this week, along with a roundup of Australia coverage, and a recommendation for those who are not “Animal Kingdom” fans.

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Russia’s Dashed Olympic Dreams




Russia’s Olympic team has been barred from the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and The New York Times is partly to blame.


Read The Times’s report that first laid out the details of Russia’s doping scheme, and the exclusive story of a whistle-blower’s personal diaries that were shared with investigators.

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The Year in Climate




Our climate change team expanded this year, and they were kind enough to round up some of their most compelling coverage. It’s a globe-spanning effort of enormous ambition and amazing photography, graphics and insight.

They also were kind enough to include a story I worked on about “assisted evolution” and the Great Barrier Reef.

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Trump’s Israel




Why did President Trump decide to move the United States Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem? Peter Baker offers one clue: to please big donors and supporters like Sheldon G. Adelson, the casino billionaire. “While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise,” President Trump said, “they failed to deliver. Today, I am delivering.”

Here’s the full video and transcript of the president’s speech.

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Oceania This Week




Same-sex marriage gets legalized. China and Australia argue over foreign interference.

What else?

• Amazon’s Australia debut fell flat (for now).

• Australia’s Ruby Rose moves from kicking butt to comedy in “Pitch Perfect 3.”

• Is the United States a reliable partner for Australia?

• Don Burke’s fall from grace and how it’s connected to the Weinstein scandal.

• Gillian Rolton gets a well-deserved New York Times obituary.

• How to have a luxurious vacation in Australia, for less.


• Besha Rodell’s latest review tells you where to eat in Brisbane.

New Zealand asks if Matt Lauer meets the “good character” requirement for his recent land purchase.

• A coroner concludes what Scott Johnson’s family long suspected: he died as a result of an anti-gay hate crime.

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Opinion | Selections




• Religious Freedom? The United States Supreme Court is hearing a case about whether a baker can refuse to serve gay weddings and here’s one gay cake-lover’s humorous take.

• Is Trump Crazy? Gail Collins and Bret Stephens debate whether President Trump is plain old crazy, or crazy like a fox.

• Why Do Nationalists Keep Winning? Orhan Pamuk, the Turkish novelist, explores how to defeat “the illiberal winds we face today.”

… And We Recommend

“Elf,” “Room” or Season 2 of “The Crown:” What do you want to watch on Netflix this month?

Here’s our latest monthly Netflix Australia guide, for December.










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This week’s Australia Letter includes events should attend stories tell difference between “chips” “fries.”

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