Just a quick note from me on the busiest weekend of the season to bring you some of the best reads the ABC has published this year.
From insider trading to Japanese princesses, there’s plenty to dive into when you finally get to put your feet up.
I’ll be back in your inbox in late January. They can’t throw anything at us that we haven’t managed this year, so let’s do it all again — OK maybe not all of it — in 2022.
When former basketball star Luc Longley sat down to watch the documentary series The Last Dance mid-last year, he was excited.
Here was the story of the Chicago Bulls, led by Michael Jordan, considered by many to be the greatest sports team of all time and one in which Longley played a key role.
So imagine Longley’s disappointment as each of the 10 episodes dropped and it became clear his contribution would be ignored. The 52-year-old had been wiped from history.
The story of women in Australian parliaments is a tale that turns 100 this year with the centenary of Edith Cowan’s 1921 election to the WA Parliament.
What is fascinating is the extent to which the voting fortunes of the female population have at key points turned on the judgement or instincts of a single man.
Lukas Kamay was winning. He drove a BMW Roadster, he had the fancy watches, the expensive suits, the glamorous girlfriend.
In one 25-minute burst of trading from a toilet cubicle at the NAB he turned $1.5 million into $2.54 million.
Kamay was confident, reckless, unstoppable and nearly untouchable — and he wanted more, and more.
Nadia Bach didn’t go to many high school parties. This one was an exception.
It was supposed to be a regular teen birthday party. Instead, it led to a police investigation, two trials and an experience one expert says should “shock our moral consciousness”.
This is the story behind the headlines of a family in limbo.
Media scrutiny of the Nadesalingams’ plight has been intense since Border Force descended on their place in Biloela at daybreak three-and-a-half years ago.
Vladimir Putin wants to reclaim Russia’s former glory, and he expects the support of Russians across the globe, wherever they may live.
A Four Corners investigation has uncovered the activities of a cluster of dedicated pro-Russian nationalist groups operating here.
Some are explicit about their mission — to wage a propaganda war to help further the Kremlin’s global agenda — prompting analysts to warn Australia that it should be paying close attention.
Ellen Fanning had been looking at the photo for about eight years. Two dark-skinned Aboriginal women. A laughing girl and a stern-looking matriarch. Both dressed in starched white maid uniforms, like plantation workers from America’s Deep South.
The women were not sitting in the lush garden of that vast sheep station by choice. Why were they in her grandmother’s photo album?
On the shores of the Dead Sea, a village lies in ruins, crumbling into great craters opening up in the earth.
This was once the beachside resort at En Gedi, Israel, where families would come to float in the ultra-salty lake at the bottom of the world.
Ghislaine Maxwell was once photographed with New York’s celebrity elite. Now she is known as inmate 02879-509 and is about to go on trial for grooming girls for Jeffrey Epstein.
Three-time Olympian, two-time world champion, fallen heroine, spat on in a parade, cancer scare survivor, soon to be mother-of-six, doctor, egg donor, TV warrior woman.
By her own admission, Jana Pittman feels like she’s “lived five lives” during her 39 years on the planet.
Grace Tame has lost track of the number of speeches she’s given since being named Australian of the Year. She just knows she can’t keep up this pace forever.
But the speech that had perhaps the most profound impact on her is the one she gave to senior students and teachers at St Michael’s Collegiate school in Hobart.
For it was here, 11 years earlier, that she was groomed and sexually abused over six months by a teacher. She was 15, he was 58.
When Japan’s Princess Mako announced she was planning to marry a commoner, it had all the hallmarks of a classic fairytale.
An old imperial law in Japan stipulates that female members are stripped of their title in the event they marry a commoner.
But her fairytale took a strange turn a few months after the news of the engagement.
This is a story of how a determined group of five ordinary men — a mechanic, a cook, duco sprayer, sheep farmer and a labourer — beat the odds. Their Homeric tale of resilience, which took place 80 years ago, can now be told for the first time.
First there’s only darkness as we pound across black water. Suddenly, the boat appears, illuminated in the moonlight. We slow the engine and pull up close enough to pass over life jackets, but not so close that they could grab our rescue craft.
More than 50 people are crammed into the small wooden boat — anxious mothers, crying babies, old men, young men, frightened children. There’s no navigator, no safety gear and just an outboard motor sputtering like it is running on fumes in the vastness of the Mediterranean.