Scott-free no more? Why the prime minister’s smooth media run may be coming to an end

Originally published on Wes Mountain/The Conversation, CC BY-ND Katharine Murphy, The Guardian Australia’s political editor, marvelled recently that Scott Morrison pulls what she called a “Jedi mind trick”, rebadging disasters as triumphs – and getting away with it. I don’t know enough about the Jedi to say if this is true, but it is […]

Government asks health experts for advice on mandatory vaccination for aged care workers

Originally published on National cabinet on Friday is expected to consider whether COVID vaccinations should be made mandatory for workers in aged care. Health Minister Greg Hunt on Monday said Scott Morrison and he had asked the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) to reconsider the matter. The AHPPC looked at the question early […]

View from The Hill: Porter decides it’s time to ‘fold em’ in ABC defamation case

Originally published on When he launched his defamation action against the ABC over an article reporting a claim of historical rape against him, Christian Porter boldly indicated he looked forward to going into the witness box to clear his name. His lawyers said: “Mr Porter will have and will exercise the opportunity to give […]

As Morrison and Ardern meet, differences of opinion give way to the enduring close relationship

Originally published on Scott Morrison can feel well satisfied after travelling to New Zealand for the final two days of May. Talks there with his prime ministerial counterpart, Jacinda Ardern, could have been uneasy. Instead, the warmth of the face-to-face meeting – a rarity in these pandemic times – underscored the geographic and cultural […]

What causes dry lips, and how can you treat them? Does lip balm actually help?

Originally published on Shutterstock As we head into the colder weather, many of us might be afflicted with the irritating ailment of dry and chapped lips. People have been trying to figure out how to fix dry lips for centuries. Using beeswax, olive oil and other natural ingredients have been reported as early as […]

‘I didn’t have a superhero that looked like me’: Marvel’s new female, culturally diverse and queer protagonists mirror our times

Originally published on Simu Liu plays the title character in the upcoming film Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Marvel/Disney Last week, the trailer dropped for what will be the 26th movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise: Eternals, directed by Chloé Zhao. Opening with a dreamy, misty shoreline, we hear Skeeter […]

Can I get AstraZeneca now and Pfizer later? Why mixing and matching COVID vaccines could help solve many rollout problems

Originally published on Attila Balazs/EPA/AAP In the face of changing eligibility for the AstraZeneca vaccine, new variants of the coronavirus and supply constraints, many people are wondering whether they can “mix and match” COVID-19 vaccines. This means, for example, having the AstraZeneca vaccine as the first dose, followed by a different vaccine such as […]

Joel Fitzgibbon says rank and file ballots for Labor leader should be scrapped

Originally published on Rebel federal backbencher Joel Fitzgibbon says Labor should scrap the rank and file’s role in electing the leader, returning all the power to the caucus. Fitzgibbon, speaking on Sky, said introducing the system that divides power in electing the leader between the caucus and the party membership on a 50-50 basis […]

‘Conditional commitments’: the diplomatic strategy that could make Australia do its fair share on climate change

Originally published on Shutterstock The International Energy Agency’s recent, landmark report put another glaring spotlight on Australia’s failure to act on climate change. On the same night the report was released, warning against any new fossil fuel projects, the federal government announced A$600 million for a new gas-fired power plant. This announcement is disappointing, […]

Daniel Kahneman on ‘noise’ – the flaw in human judgement harder to detect than cognitive bias

Originally published on Zarya Maxim Alexandrovich/Shutterstock Imagine two doctors presented with identical information about the same patient giving very different diagnoses. Now imagine the reason for the difference is because the doctors have made their diagnosis in the morning or afternoon, or at the beginning or the end of the week. This is “noise” […]