Australia: most mentioned issues in the media: 23 - 29 August 2014

Iraqi conflict continues to top the news ahead of international sport and budget issues. 

Ongoing fighting in Iraq and Syria continues to lead the news with the focus in Australia this week turning to onshore security threats. A Sydney man was stopped at Sydney Airport on Sunday and prevented from boarding a flight to Beirut, while another man was stopped at Melbourne Airport on Monday trying to leave with his family for Lebanon. These latest incidents have led to intensified efforts to prevent Australians from leaving the country to join international terrorist organisations. Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said the Government has drawn up a dossier detailing atrocities committed by the Islamic State.

It’s been a promising start for Australians in the US Open this week with Sam Groth winning in his New York debut. Groth earned direct entry into a Grand Slam for the first time in a three match win over Albert Ramos-Vinolas. Nick Kyrgios created a spectacle in his win over Russian Mikhail Youzhny when he earned three code violations, almost being ejected from the tournament. Fellow Australian, Sam Stosur, had a two match win over American Lauren Davis before asking tennis officials to clamp down on time wasters in the sport.

The public debate over the proposed $7 GP fee announced in the May Federal budget flared again this week. PUP leader, Clive Palmer, said his party’s senators will vote against the co-payment, The Greens and Labor also expected to vote against it. The Government however is refusing to concede defeat and has not accepted the Australian Medical Association’s amendments to the budget proposal. The AMA’s compromise would exempt pensioners, concession card holders and children under 16 years old from paying the fee.

Fashion on the red carpet is always a big driver in the news coverage of the 66th Emmy Awards which took place this week. True Detective fans were disappointed with Breaking Bad’s victory sweep at the Awards. Breakfast TV reported that Julia Roberts and Julia Louis-Dreyfus were among the best dressed on the red carpet.

An open-ended cease-fire began this week between Israel and Hamas ending the current conflict in Gaza. Fighting in the region lasted almost seven weeks and claimed more than 2,100 lives. It ended with a truce similar to the one signed by both parties in 2012. While there was some scepticism reported, most people in the region were pleased to see some hope of an end to the current crisis. 

Quote of the week: “He was quite simply my hero, my supporter, my counsellor, my friend” Michael Attenborough on the death of his father, movie maker Richard Attenborough who died aged 90 this week. 

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