Saturday, 27 July 2013

Homes away from home in Iran

IN the northern Iranian city of Mashhad, in the years before the Islamic Revolution, there lived a young man called Vali. He was fascinated by the foreigners passing through his remote city. Many were heading into Afghanistan, back when it had a prominent spot on the hippie backpacking route.

You can read the full story here

Originally published in The Weekend Australian on July 27 2013.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Israeli political satire served up in English

Satire has long held a valued place in Israel’s public discourse. With a political situation that veers between grimly serious, to hysterically daft and back to tragic, Israelis need a pressure valve. What better way to try and come to terms with the political reality than by having a good belly laugh it?
For Hebrew-speaking Israelis, there have long been comedians willing to send up the most send-uppable of public figures. The classic is the current President, Shimon Peres, who for comedians must surely be a gift that keeps on giving. Ariel Sharon’s rotund gruffness and Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu’s omnipresent smirk are also favorites. Indeed, Netanyahu implicitly acknowledged the strong following satirists have in Israel with his recent appearance alongside his "Eretz Nehederet" doppelganger.
The full story can be found here (for free if you register for or subscribe)
Originally published in Haaretz 19 July 2013. 

Friday, 12 April 2013

Elusive ingredient a roadblock to fertile ambitions

As thank-you letters go, it is fairly unusual. Thank you so much for your sperm. This is essentially what Kelly Osterberg and her female partner wrote to the man who donated his sperm so that they could have their baby boy, Wyatt, in February 2012.

When they donate to sperm banks, men have the option of explaining their motivation for a big decision that doesn't necessarily spring to mind on a rainy day.

Read the full story here

Originally published in the Sun-Herald, April 7th 2013.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Geert Wilders in Melbourne—Farrago reports

Firebrand Dutch MP Geert Wilders warned last night that Australia faces the prospect of Muslim ghettos and Sharia law if steps are not taken to ensure freedom of speech and a debate in which people are allowed to “speak the truth” about Islam.
In his first address on a speaking tour of Australia—held at an outer-suburbs convention centre amidst intense security—Wilders pushed his key arguments of protection of freedom of speech and his view that Islam is not compatible with Western society.

Read the full story here.

Originally published online at Farrago February 20th 2013. 

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Legionnaires' disease kills Melbourne man, while four more are ill

HEALTH authorities are cleaning air conditioning cooling towers in the Melbourne suburb of Footscray after an outbreak of legionnaires' disease claimed a man's life.
The man, aged in his 50s, died today at the Western Hospital.
There are another four known cases of the flu-like illness, with a 75-year-old woman remaining in Sunshine Hospital.
Two men, aged 56 and 69, and a 93-year-old woman have already been released after treatment at Western Hospital.

Originally published on The Australian Online 24 Jan 2013, full story here.

Israelis abroad want election say

JUST 12 months ago, Harel Meshulam was dodging falling Palestinian rockets at a military base on the Gaza-Israel border. Now he is in Australia to work and travel but will be denied the right to vote when his compatriots in Israel head to the polls for today's general election.
Israel's electoral law prohibits citizens from voting if they are out of the country on election day.
Originally published in The Australian 22 Jan 2013, full story here.