The ANZUS treaty does not make Australia safer. Rather, it fuels a fear of perpetual military threat

Originally published on In June 2020, the Australian federal government announced a new, A$270 billion defence strategy. Part of this entailed spending $800 million on new AGM-158C long-range anti-ship missiles from the United States. The new spend formed part of a long tradition of Australian defence procurement from the US. In 2017, the Australian […]

View from The Hill: Morrison yet to forge personal relationship with Biden as ANZUS turns 70

Originally published on On the eve of ANZUS turning 70 on Wednesday, Scott Morrison was asked whether he had spoken to US President Joe Biden since the fall of Kabul. “No, I haven’t as yet. I anticipate doing that not too far away,” he said on Queensland radio. When it was put to him […]

The first Indigenous COVID death reminds us of the outsized risk NSW communities face

Originally published on The second wave of COVID-19 in New South Wales brings concerns about vaccination rates in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Shutterstock On Sunday, New South Wales saw four more deaths from COVID-19. One of them was a man from Dubbo who was in his 50s and unvaccinated. It was the […]

My super fund just failed the APRA performance test. What’s next?

Originally published on iQonceptShutterstock Failure is only the beginning. Thirteen of Australia’s 80 closely-regulated MySuper superannuation funds have failed the APRA performance test. There’s a one in six chance you’re in one. The results were made public on Tuesday and handed to the funds on Monday. And from here on — for the people […]

What are the limits of dissent as NZ locks down, vaccinates and prepares to ‘open up’?

Originally published on Mark Mitchell – Pool/Getty Images As New Zealand grapples to bring a Delta outbreak under control and to accelerate the vaccination rollout, social cohesion is vital for a successful elimination strategy. Political consensus on elimination has endured so far. Unlike the anti-mask and anti-vaccination movements elsewhere, most New Zealanders continue to […]

Damien Hirst’s dotty ‘currency’ art makes as much sense as Bitcoin

Originally published on Shutterstock “The Art of Making Money” is the sort of book title you might see in an airport bookshop. But the (now not so) “Young British Artist” Damien Hirst has taken it rather literally. Hirst’s latest art project, called The Currency, comprises 10,000 A4 sized pieces of handmade paper covered in […]

China’s ‘surveillance creep’: how big data COVID monitoring could be used to control people post-pandemic

Originally published on China has used big data to trace and control the outbreak of COVID-19. This has involved a significant endeavour to build new technologies and expand its already extensive surveillance infrastructure across the country. In our recent study, we show how the State Council, the highest administrative government unit in China, plans […]

1 in 10 uni students submit assignments written by someone else — and most are getting away with it

Originally published on Shutterstock The worst kind of university cheating is also the hardest kind to catch, and more students do it than previously thought. Until recently, it was thought about 2-4% of Australian university students submitted assignments written by someone else. Our new research suggests the real figure is more like 8-11%. And […]

How long does immunity last after COVID vaccination? Do we need booster shots? 2 immunology experts explain

Originally published on An important factor in achieving herd immunity against SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) is is how long the vaccines protect you. If a vaccine continues to work well over a long period, it becomes easier to have a significant proportion of the population optimally protected, and in turn suppress or […]

Coalition slumps but Morrison gains in Newspoll; electoral changes to curb micro parties

Originally published on AAP/Mick Tsikas This week’s Newspoll, conducted August 25-28 from a sample of 1,528, gave Labor a 54-46 lead, a one-point gain for Labor since three weeks ago. Primary votes were 40% Labor (up one), 36% Coalition (down three), 10% Greens (down one) and 3% One Nation (steady). Despite the three-point loss […]