Pearls and Irritations provides the following links for weekend reading and listening:

Catalonia is terra incognita for Madrid Govt – Colm Toibin (Guardian)

Renewables will be cheaper than coal in the future. Here are the numbers – Ken Baldwin (The Conversation)

The new rich [in North Korea] may be affluent with much economic clout, but the old fashioned Stalinist apparatus is where the centre of gravity still lies” – Andrei Lankov (Korea Times)

Laura Tingle in conversation with Phillip Adams covers the recent German election campaign. Rather than trying to destroy one another the candidates actually argue about policy!

“Some church leaders  seem to be obsessed with issues of personal sexual morality … while seemingly less concerned with wider moral and ethical issues” – Jack Waterford in the Canberra Times

“Most private patients with private health  insurance  are wasting money on costly rehab after major knee surgery” – Justine Naylor (The Conversation)

A Syrian expert suggests that the conflict may be coming to an end, but foreign interference could still prolong the conflict – Ross Burns (The Conversation)

Shock-jock Alan Jones joins the Pearls & Irritations crew (there is a first time for everything) and talks to businessman Gary Johnston about the Government’s submarine purchase (audio)


John Laurence Menadue is the publisher of Pearls & Irritations. He has had a distinguished career both in the private sector and in the Public Service.

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