tip off

Poll Bludger: Abbott’s ‘shirt-fronting’ machismo pleases men and women

Tony Abbott’s personal approval ratings have been enjoying a boost ever since international conflicts distracted from domestic issues. Interestingly, both men and women have bought the tough-guy shtick.

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iSentia Index: grand finals over, but football slang takes over political discussion

Tony Abbott’s comments about Russian President Vladimir Putin managed to divert attention away from Labor’s take on national security laws.

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Who really shot down MH17?

Crikey readers talk MH17, the ABC’s finances and notes at airports.

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Tips and rumours

Who is protecting Eric Roozendaal? … jobs go in the employment office … changes to the AFR’s subscription model …

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Media briefs: farewell Louise … getting shirty … Gotham boosts Nine lineup …

What’s the difference between a “shirtfront”, “shirt-front” and “shirt front”? And other media tidbits of the day.

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Some propaganda with your morning paper? Why Fairfax is spruiking for Putin

It’s easier than you think to get published in the world’s best newspapers, as the efforts of Russia Beyond The Headlines show. Myriam Robin and Glenn Dyer report.

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Meet the satirists who got Assange to don that mullet

Remember Julian Assange’s John Farnham turn during the 2013 election? The brains behind Juice Rap News talk to Crikey about rapping the news, a show with an agenda, and why they are bankrolled by the Kremlin.

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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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‘Tireless’ Bishop’s UN triumph no real biggie

Careful reading of Julie Bishop’s “momentous” UN Security Council resolution regarding flight MH17 reveals it isn’t such a big deal, writes an anonymous Canberra insider and former DFAT officer.

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Just the bill, thanks

Crikey readers talk shareholder activism, Putin’s MH17 mess and the etiquette of fine dining.

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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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In MH17 response, a rare — and surprising — win for Malaysian govt

Freelance writer Hari Raj compares the Malaysian government’s response to two unprecedented incidents in aviation history.

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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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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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Putin a 21st-century tsar, with Russians happy to trade freedoms for security

Russia’s default state is not that of a democracy; its authoritarianism has deep roots. And Russians are more than happy to trade liberties for security, says political academic Thomas Ambrosio.

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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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George W. Bush turns his hand to painting, but is he any good?

George W. Bush, one of America’s most polarising presidents, has opened a new art exhibition of his work. Freelance journalist Doyle Rader visits the exhibition in Dallas to find out if Dubya has any artistic ability.

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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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Australia’s moral duty to slap down US aggression

The United States is guilty of war crimes, human rights violations and extreme violence. As its ally, Australia’ silence on morally reprehensible behaviour constitutes complicity, writes Dr Scott Burchill, senior lecturer in international relations at Deakin University.

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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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