The debate over transgender athletes’ rights is testing the current limits of science and the law

Originally published on The petition presented to parliament last week calling for trans women to be excluded from women’s sport is simply the latest round in a difficult and volatile global debate. Organised by Save Women’s Sport Australasia, the petition challenges Sport New Zealand’s “draft guiding principles for the participation of transgender players […]

Boris Johnson overstates Morrison’s climate ambition, as Australia-UK trade agreement reached

Originally published on British Prime Minister Boris Johnson put Scott Morrison on the spot when he told their joint news conference he thought the Australian PM had “declared for net zero by 2050”. When Johnson made the statement a journalist interjected to point out Morrison’s policy was to get to net zero “preferably” by […]

Word from The Hill: the Biloela Tamil family, G7 and the upcoming parliamentary fortnight

Originally published on As well as Michelle Grattan’s usual interviews with experts and politicians about the news of the day, Politics with Michelle Grattan now includes “Word from The Hill”, where all things political will be discussed with members of The Conversations’s politics team. In this episode, politics + society editor Amanda Dunn and […]

Biloela family to be released into community detention – what happens now?

Originally published on Federal immigration minister Alex Hawke has exercised his power to allow the Murugappan family from Biloela to live in the Perth community. The Tamil asylum seeker family was previously held in an “alternative place of detention” (APOD) on Christmas Island. Residence determination, also known as “community detention”, was introduced in 2005 […]

Climate explained: could biofuels replace all fossil fuels in New Zealand?

Originally published on Aleksandar Malivuk/Shutterstock CC BY-ND Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to Could biofuels replace all fossil fuels in New […]

The COVID-19 lab-leak hypothesis is plausible because accidents happen. I should know

Originally published on Chen Jimin/China News Service via Getty Images At the conclusion of the G7 summit yesterday, leaders called for a fresh and transparent investigation to determine how the COVID-19 pandemic began. I welcome the renewed interest in the potential “lab-leak” origins of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. It wouldn’t be the […]

Biloela family moved to Perth in holding decision by Immigration Minister Hawke

Originally published on AAP/Mick Tsikas Immigration Minister Alex Hawke has released the Biloela family from incarceration on Christmas Island but confined them to community detention in Perth while their court action proceeds. But he has not yet made a decision – required by a court order – on whether to lift the legal bar […]

Is a hybrid COVID strain behind Vietnam’s latest wave? Not exactly

Originally published on We recently heard a new “hybrid variant” of the coronavirus has been detected in Vietnam, amid a spike in cases in the country. The variant was originally described as a hybrid of the UK (now Alpha) and Indian (now Kappa B.1.617.1 and Delta B.1.617.2) strains of the virus. But what does […]

View from The Hill: Biloela family to be released but Hawke has yet to reveal the terms

Originally published on The Biloela Tamil family will finally be released from detention. Immigration Minister Alex Hawke will announce this on Tuesday, but we have yet to learn the terms of that release. There are several options. These include letting the Murugappan family live in the community while their current legal action continues, allowing […]

Netanyahu leaves behind a complex legacy in Israel. His successor will need to deliver change — and fast

Originally published on zz/Dennis Van Tine/STAR MAX/IPx/AP Israel’s 36th government was approved today, with a slim majority of 60–59 in the Knesset (parliament). The new prime minister is the leader of national-religious party Yamina, Naftali Bennett. A religious person, former commander in an elite army combat unit and successful high-tech entrepreneur, Bennett was forced […]