tip off

Cutting staff at regional newspapers hurts the bush

Crikey readers share their views on MH17 and Fairfax’s new plans for its regional newspapers.

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Elvis on the grassy knoll

Crikey readers talk health messages at the opera and MH17.

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Talk of MH17 oxygen mask nothing but trash disaster porn

Media reports are saying one of the passengers of downed flight MH17 was “wearing” an oxygen mask. This isn’t true — and it’s nothing but disaster porn to say so.

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Coalition’s week that was had a familiar feel

The Coalition had a better week, indeed an almost Howardesque one, as it thrashed out a detail with Clive Palmer, intervened in Iraq and came up with nonsense about regional development.

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The Russian side of the story

Crikey readers talk the Ukraine-Russia conflict and the NBN.

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‘We don’t know what to do’: Ukraine’s desperate cry for help

Russia has invaded Ukrainian sovereignty, and without help it is unlikely Ukraine can hold off the Russian bear. Freelance journalist Charles McPhedran reports from Kiev.

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Follow Friday: @NataliaAntonova on the horror of watching the world collapse

If you’re looking for a unique take on current events in Russia, the Twitter feed of Ukrainian-born, US-raised, ethnically Russian journalist and playwright Natalia Antonova is a good place to start.

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With Europe on the brink, MH17 is Putin’s watershed moment

Vladimir Putin has built up enormous popularity based on Russian nationalism. To take a soft approach in Ukraine risks that, but to go hard risks war with Europe, explains Thomas Ambrosio, professor of political science at North Dakota State University.

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Can the AFP really help in Ukraine?

Abbott wants to send the cops into war-torn Ukraine. Is this a wise move? Andrew Goldsmith, strategic professor of criminology and Grant Niemann, senior lecturer in law, explain.

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MH17: decency and respect needed for victims — but it may be too late

There are procedures in place to honour those who have died in and ensure a fair and proper investigation. But so far, the Russian-backed separatists have not shown much willingness to abide by them.

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Rundle: Cold Warriors rattling kalashnikovs can’t give MH17 meaning

MH17 was almost certainly not shot down by the Russian military in a deliberate act of war against any nation with a citizen on board. But tell that to the Right.

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MH17: now not the time for diplomatic nuance — and G20 decisions can wait

Tony Abbott’s strong response on the issue of culpability for MH17 was justified and appropriate.

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MH17: backgrounder on the situation in Ukraine

The situation in Ukraine is not merely a border skirmish, it is a full-on war. Ukrainian journalist in the city of Odessa Mikhail Golubev reports on the situation on the ground today.

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MH17: why a commercial jet was flying over a war zone

The Russian separatists who shot down MH17 allegedly thought it was a military target — though it was easily distinguishable as a commercial plane.

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Follow Friday: @KevinRothrock, explaining the RuNet

If you want to know what’s happening in Russia, go straight to the source. Kevin Rothrock explains the “Wild West” of Russia’s internet.

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Look at the map, Ukraine’s separatism may have a life of its own

Russian President Vladimir Putin has lost control of the battle for hearts and minds in Ukraine. The situation in the divided nation is now even more complicated.

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An unwilling Ukraine being taught its role in a Slavic tragedy

The end game for Russia and President Vladimir Putin is not one that subsumes the Ukraine, but makes it more sympathetic to the Russian cause. It’s a deadly game of chess.

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Russia won’t invade Ukraine — as long as everyone does what Putin wants

Russia is still massing troops on Ukraine’s border. Most of the posturing is for effect — but if push comes to shove, Russia will be the one doing the shoving.

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The new tri-polar world: why Russia can do whatever it likes

The United States is effectively powerless in the empire-building of Russia. There’s three sherifs in the world right now, and America might not even be the most influential.

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Don’t overthink Russia, we’re all Transnistrians now

Vladimir Putin invaded Crimea because Kosovo. Because Mom jeans. Because shirt off. The neocon Right projects its own failed fantasies onto cautious Russian realpolitik.

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Follow Friday: @MarkAdomanis, injecting nuance and numbers into Russia debate

There’s plenty of myth and misinformation around Russia and the Ukraine. Writer Mark Adomanis wants to move beyond a debate which tends to be black and white.

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Media briefs: ‘Jagger’s GF’ reports … King of Brisbane media …

L’Wren Scott was a talented and successful fashion designer, but media coverage of her death reduced her to nothing more than a rock star’s girlfriend.

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European Union to Ukraine: sorry, you’re on your own

Through a lack of military might and political will, the European Union is not going to intervene in the Ukraine-Russia dispute, writes international affairs expert Donnacha Ó Beacháin.

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Crimea vote: Russia’s big win, but what now for Ukraine?

The people of Crimea have, overwhelmingly and expectedly, voted to throw their lot in with Russia. But there were a litany of problems in a referendum that was technically unconstitutional.

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In Russian-speaking Odessa, a call for calm as Putin advances

The Ukrainian town of Odessa has traditionally continued with business as usual even during times of war. But Ukrainian journalist (and chess grandmaster) Mikhail Golubev says Russian aggression has spurred the town into action.

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