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Saville’s Shout: Carr’s quest … trashing email … table for one …

Bob Carr’s diary has been rightly ridiculed, but it’s actually a cracking read. Plus how to make your office ever so much more efficient, and sad meals in sadder kitchens.

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How Australia should use the UN to lead on Syria

With the US poised to launch military action against Syria, can Australia’s UN Security Council presidency make a difference? Retired diplomat Bruce Haigh assesses the options.

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We’re on the Security Council: use it on North Korea

Australia has a Security Council seat — and is well-placed to show some leadership on North Korea. We used to be creative and front-footed on diplomacy, political commentator and retired diplomat Bruce Haigh argues. So let’s lift the ambition.

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Overstretched, under-resourced: DFAT has gone to ruin

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has suffered cut after cut in staff and funding. Australia’s foreign service is in shambles, argues Lowy Institute for International Policy research fellow Alex Oliver.

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North Korea risks sanctions to signal its greatness

The missile launch by North Korea yesterday — despite claiming it was a weather satellite — is another provocative strike against the West, writes Deakin University international relations lecturer Dr Danielle Chubb.

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Essential: voters positive about economy, grumpy about surplus

New polling from Essential Research suggests voters are happier about the economy but aren’t as committed to a budget surplus as Labor is.

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Could cutting sole parent payments cost Australia UN votes?

A campaign to stop planned cuts to sole parent payments is aiming at the government’s vulnerable underbelly in its bid for a UN Security Council seat. Harming Australia’s image may be justified.

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Essential: opposition to carbon prices falls, Labor’s stock rise

Opposition to the government’s carbon price scheme has softened despite voters seeing its impacts on the cost of living, today’s Essential Report shows.

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Tanner, Assange, Slipper and Labor: think globally, hacks locally

Lindsay Tanner’s critique of Labor has much to recommend it, but the week saw some interesting twists on one of his themes.

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Syria’s neighbours looking out for themselves

The Arab spring has become bloodier than we all hoped, but the autocrats are still losing ground. And Saudi Arabi’s intervention is deeply worrying.

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Foreign Policy | LINKS|

The worst UN resolutions ever

Here’s a clever list of the 10 best-forgotten decisions made by the UN Security Council. Like, when it released a resolution condemning Basque terrorist group ETA for the Madrid train bombings.

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The Daily Telegraph | FEDERAL|

Quentin Bryce goes on a $700k Security Council seat hunting safari

Governor General Quentin Bryce made an expensive trek to Africa earlier this year in an effort to help Australia score a seat on the UN Security Council — paying out $300,000 to Government officials and $64,000 on food, accommodation and gifts, according to the Daily Tele.

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