13 Dec 2019

Here's what we're reading this week

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The Afghanistan Papers, the future of Australia's public education system and the unfortunately named 'penis fish'. These are some of the stories that caught our attention this week.

Why almost everything you thought about running is wrong

ABC News / David Mark

This visual story analyses the different running styles of journalist Ruby Cornish and elite runner Jenny Blundell.


Media bosses' predictions on the year ahead

The Australian Financial Review / Max Mason

The AFR spoke to 21 Australian media executives and discussed their businesses, the shifts in the media landscape and their thoughts on what we can expect in 2020.


Sri Lanka team arrives in Islamabad ahead of Test series


Test cricket has returned to Pakistan for the first time since the 2009 attack on the Sri Lankan team's bus in Lahore.


Bougainville referendum: region votes overwhelmingly for independence from Papua New Guinea

The Guardian / Kate Lyons

Almost 98 per cent of people voted for independence, paving the way for the creation of the world's newest nation.

The Guardian's Pacific project is supported by the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism & Ideas.


Battle-scarred: the lasting impact of the PolyU campus siege on Hong Kong’s protest movement

Hong Kong Free Press / Holmes Chan and Jennifer Creery

“At one point, I was breathing in so much tear gas I nearly suffocated. I inhaled tear gas with every breath, and I could feel it in my lungs. It was so painful I felt I was dying.”


Thousands of ‘penis fish’ wash onto California beach

New York Post / Nadine DeNinno

Thousand of unfortunately shaped fat innkeeper worms washed up on a California beach.


Lovers in Auschwitz, Reunited 72 Years Later. He Had One Question.

The New York Times / Keren Blankfeld

David Wisnia and Helen Spitzer were Jewish inmates at Auschwitz. When they reunited in New York City, 72 years later, Mr Wisnia's had to ask: had Ms Spitzer saved his life?


Who keeps Europe's farm billions flowing? Often, those who benefit

The New York Times / Matt Apuzzo and Selam Gebrekidan

“The powerful people who have land and the powerful people in government work together. They both benefit from the program, and most people don’t know how it works.”


After the flush, India's bigger sanitation challenge

Nikkei Asian Review / Pallavi Aiyar

India has built more than 100 million toilets in the past four years in an effort to stop open defecation. There's still a lot of work to be done, with 90 per cent of surface water in India contaminated with human waste.


The reality of Australia’s free public education

The Saturday Paper / Vivienne Pearson and Margaret Paton

"Facing funding shortfalls, public schools have turned to fundraising and parental contributions, prompting debate about whether our education system remains free."

This reporting was funded by the Walkley Public Fund and the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism & Ideas through a Walkley Grant for Freelance Journalism.

See also: Walking our Walkley path — How freelancers Vivienne Pearson and Margaret Paton teamed up for the project.


How rich Chinese students with huge allowances are reshaping the West's retail scene, creating an industry aimed at marketing goods to them

South China Morning Post / Melissa Twigg

"Unlike domestic students ... most of whom have a paltry allowance that sees them head to Primark rather than Prada, Chinese youngsters studying abroad often have a disposable income of which most adults can only dream."


The weekend from hell: an ill-fated trip to KL

The Sydney Morning Herald / James Massola

The Herald's south-east Asia correspondent planned a quiet weekend trip to Kuala Lumpur with his young family. What could possibly go wrong?


At war with the truth

The Washington Post / Craig Whitlock

The Afghanistan Papers — hundreds of internal documents obtained by the Post under FOI — reveal high-ranking US officials' made "rosy pronouncements they knew to be false" and hid "unmistakable evidence the war had become unwinnable."