The Conversation (294)

How and why vehicle ramming became the attack of choice for terrorists

The recent car-and-knife attack in London was just the latest in a string of high-profile incidents where assailants have used vehicles as deadly weapons. This type of attack has over the past few years become a feature of violent terrorism in the West and elsewhere – so where did it come from, ...

Unleashed Latham too opinionated even for an increasingly opinionated Sky

Mark Latham's latest stint on Sky News was always likely to end in tears but he had to do a lot of bad stuff before he was sacked on Wednesday. He had insulted two fellow Sky presenters, and the wife of one of them, as well as an ABC host. He'd suggested a Sydney Boys High School student was gay ...

Brexit negotiations: the key players

The European Union has stuck to its line of no notification, no negotiation' since Britons voted to exit the bloc. It has not engaged in any formal discussions on Brexit. Now that Article 50 has been triggered, EU president Donald Tusk is calling a European Council meeting for April 29. This will ...

Article 50 triggered – but is a Brexit deal really possible in two years?

ShutterstockThe phoney war phase of Brexit is brought to an end by the UK government's decision to formally submit its request to leave the European Union. After a protracted period of speculation, now begins the two-year formal countdown for Britain to depart from the EU. But the question of ...

Article 50 triggered: here's what happens now

Now that Theresa May, the British prime minister, has triggered Article 50, the process of formally negotiating Brexit can begin. Here's what to expect in the next two years. First, the EU-27 will acknowledge the notification. The EU-27 will then focus on adopting guidelines' for the negotiations. ...

Brexit negotiations: what does Europe want?

ShutterstockTheresa May, the British prime minister, has triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. That means negotiations on the UK's departure from the European Union can begin. But this is not just about what Britain wants – the Brexit deal depends significantly on what the EU is prepared to ...

'Who needs another AIDS movie?' The crisis isn't over

After LouieAfter Louie, Vincent Gagliostro's debut feature film, which had its world premiere at this year's BFI Flare, encapsulates the generational tension in today's gay community'. It tells us the story of Sam , a chain-smoking middle-aged painter working on his first film project, a video ...

NGOs under attack for saving too many lives in the Mediterranean

European politicians and media have accused non-governmental organisations carrying out search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean of undermining their efforts to stem the flow of migration from Libya. Recent accusations by the EU's border agency Frontex mark a new low in the trend of ...

Art for art's sake

Most people who have completed a cultural studies or sociology degree in recent decades will have come across the world of Pierre Bourdieu, one of that army of extraordinary scholars who filled the 20th century with ideas and tools for thought. Central to Bourdieu's work on art and literature is the ...

A brain scan to tell if you're depressed – and what treatment is needed

zlikovec/ShutterstockWe currently diagnose depression based on what individuals tell us about their feelings – or those of their loved ones. People with depression usually describe feeling sad or say they are unable to enjoy the things they used to. But in many cases they don't actually realise ...

How to keep your mobile phone connected when the network is down

When Tropical Cyclone Debbie hit Queensland this week, one of the casualties was the region's mobile phone network. Phone towers can stop working because they have been damaged by the wind, or because they have run out of diesel to run their generators. Whatever the cause, the end result is the ...

Ahmed Kathrada: a simple life full of love after 26 years of incarceration

Ahmed Kathrada leaves a legacy filled with self-sacrifice and courage. Kopano Tlape/EPAAhmed Kathrada, one of South Africa's preeminent struggle stalwarts who has died at the age of 87, was best known to many as Kathy or Uncle Kathy. He was a most unassuming man. Shy and non-imposing, he would walk ...

Trump tears down US climate policy, but America could lose out as a result

US President Donald Trump has followed through on his promise to undo Barack Obama's climate policies, signing an executive order to review his predecessor's Clean Power Plan and any other regulations that burden the development or use of domestically produced energy resources'. The move potentially ...

Justice for all? Spanish lessons on corruption and 'draining the swamp'

A civil guard informs people of an ongoing raid as part of a corruption probe in Torrejon de Ardoz near Madrid, Spain. REUTERS/Andrea ComasCorruption has become a major issue in political agendas across the world, from Donald Trump's promise to drain the swamp' to the impeachment of South Korea's ...

How Arctic governance could become a testing ground for Sino-US relations

The Arctic is becoming an important testing ground for US-China relations. As the world tries to work out ways to deal with how climate change is altering the region, the Arctic has the potential to provide an example of how the two global powers can cultivate peaceful co-existence. Both countries ...

Beauty and the Beast censorship attempt shows the good, the bad and the ugly of LGBT rights in Malaysia

Walt Disney StudiosOriginally scheduled for release on March 16 in Malaysian cinemas, Walt Disney Studio's live-action version of Beauty and the Beast was initially banned in the country due an outcry over a short scene of two men dancing. Despite continuing objections from conservative NGOs that ...

Still here: Night Parrot rediscovery in WA raises questions for mining

The Night Parrot is unquestionably one of Australia's most enigmatic, elusive and enthralling species. The final frontier of Australian ornithology, this cryptic parrot eluded dedicated expeditions to find it for nearly half a century. Last week, a momentous chapter in the Night Parrot story was ...

Cyclone Debbie: we can design cities to withstand these natural disasters

What happens after Cyclone Debbie is a familiar process. It has been repeated many times in cities around the world. The reason is that our cities are not designed for these types of events. So we know what comes next. Queenslanders affected by Debbie will complain about the damage, the costs and ...

Does it pay to get a double major in college?

Whether you have two majors or one, graduation is a celebration. Syda Productions/Shutterstock.comStudents are bombarded with an array of competing opportunities during college, all with the promise that each will lead to a better job or higher earnings upon entering the real world.' One such option ...

The rise of anti-immigrant attitudes, violence and nationalism in Costa Rica

Workers wash freshly harvested bananas on a banana plantation near Parrita, Costa Rica. AP Photo/Kent GilbertCosta Rica is often thought of as the Switzerland of the Americas.' With a stable democracy and no standing army, the small Central American country of 4.8 million is often referred to as the ...

What motivates moral outrage?

When 109 travelers entering the United States were detained by an executive order blocking citizens from seven Muslim majority countries, tens of thousands of Americans gathered all over the country to voice their anger. The policy had little to no direct effect on the protesters themselves. ...

Cuts to sole parent benefits are human rights violations

40% of children in sole-parent households are living below the poverty line. ShutterstockSole parents in Australia are economically vulnerable and are experiencing ongoing cuts to their social security. Legislation limiting welfare benefits that was rushed through the Senate last week will make many ...

Can the NDIS prevent abuse of people with disability?

Will abusers still be able to move to a new service and continue abusing under the NDIS? from shutterstock.comMonday's Four Corners program, Fighting the System, was deeply disturbing viewing. It detailed shocking sexual abuse allegations of two residents at a group home for people with ...

Trump slams brakes on Obama's climate plan, but there's still a long road ahead

Trump signed the executive order surrounded by coal miners, saying it was 'about jobs.' AP Photo/Matthew BrownBadly looking for a political win that would both fulfill some campaign promises to his political base and satisfy the demands of rank-and-file Republicans in Congress, President Trump on ...

Trump's energy and climate change order: Seven essential reads

President Trump holds up the signed Energy Independence Executive Order, Tuesday, March 28, 2017, at EPA headquarters in Washington, surrounded by coal miners and members of his Cabinet. AP Photo/Pablo Martinez MonsivaisEditor's note: The following is a roundup of archival stories. On March 28 ...

Trump's FCC continues to redefine the public interest as business interests

Speak up! Speech bubbles via shutterstock.comThe U.S. Senate voted last week to allow internet service providers to sell data about their customers' online activities to advertisers. The House of Representatives agreed on Tuesday; President Trump is expected to sign the measure into law. As far back ...

Tracking the storm: the science behind Tropical Cyclone Debbie

Tropical cyclone Debbie has made landfall in Queensland as a category 4 cyclone with winds of more than 150 kilometres per hour. The cyclone crossed the coast near Airlie Beach on Tuesday afternoon. Reports of wind gusts in excess of 200km per hour and rainfall of more than 200mm of rain have been ...

Hazelwood closure: what it means for electricity prices and blackouts

Hazelwood's closure does not mean imminent blackouts for Victoria. Takver/Flickr, CC BY-SAVictoria's Hazelwood power station will be shut down this week after nearly 50 years of supplying electricity. The imminent closure has led to concerns about blackouts, raised most recently by Deputy Prime ...

As Brexit begins, Australia mustn't get caught up in Britain's post-imperial fantasies

Despite our geographical distance, Britain leaving the EU will affect Australia substantially. EPA/Aly SongAfter nine months of uncertainty the moment has finally arrived: the British government will today officially serve notice that it will withdraw from the European Union. A lot has changed since ...

Deadly Funny -- a new brand of Australian comedy

Shiralee Hood performing in 2016: being a left-handed, Indigenous woman, she describes herself as a 'triple threat'. SuppliedAboriginal stand-up is a small, but increasingly recognisable, element of Australia's comedy scene. Melbourne's International Comedy Festival first held its Deadly Funny ...

Myth busting claims on the impact of the company tax cut

In the drawn-out debate on the value of a company tax cut to our economy, there have been a number of claims: that the plan would cost A$50 billion; that the cuts are just a handout to foreign investors; that there will be little benefit for many years; and that there are cheaper ways to ...

The seven deadly sins of statistical misinterpretation, and how to avoid them

Where are the error bars? ShutterstockStatistics is a useful tool for understanding the patterns in the world around us. But our intuition often lets us down when it comes to interpreting those patterns. In this series we look at some of the common mistakes we make and how to avoid them when ...

New study shows HPV vaccine is working to reduce rates of genital warts

For young women, receiving the cervical cancer vaccine has also meant a massive drop in genital warts, which are caused by the same virus. NHS Employers/Flickr, CC BY-SAThe human papillomavirus vaccine was introduced in Australia in 2007 and New Zealand in 2008 to prevent cervical cancer. It was ...

Selective schools' long and tangled history with race and class

In the 1960s and 70s selective schools were seen to be old fashioned and elitist. from www.shutterstock.comSelective high schools in Australia are both popular and controversial. Many more children seek enrolment in them than gain entry. Public commentary since the late 1990s has accused these ...

Russian protests won't topple Putin but the Kremlin is right to be worried

When Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny announced his candidacy for the 2018 presidential election, he was seemingly blocked from running for office. But then, in early March, he posted an hour-long investigation into Prime Minister Dmitry Medevedev's wealth on YouTube. Using drone footage and ...

Five branding mistakes you should avoid in your small business

ShutterstockSmall and medium enterprises tend to underestimate the power of branding. This must rank as one of the deadliest mistakes in the world of making business. You have most likely read about the branding failures of large businesses in the news – those massive errors that spelled doom for ...

Why palpitations or an irregular heartbeat need urgent attention

A normal heart rate is between 60 and 100 beats per minute. ShutterstockWhen your heart's rhythm is faster than the recommended 60 to 100 beats per minute, it's time to listen to it. The Conversation Africa's Health and Medicine Editor Joy Wanja Muraya spoke to Dr Harun Argwings Otieno on why your ...

How to make an Internet of Intelligent Things work for Africa

The Internet of Things offers great opportunities for Africa. ShutterstockLate in 2016 Senegal's Banque Regionale De Marches announced the launch of the eCFA Franc; a cryptocurrency for the countries of the West African Monetary Union – Senegal, Cote d'Ivoire, Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, ...

Why collaboration could help the Niger Delta overcome its difficulties

ReutersNigeria is a country that has amassed major oil wealth, but also suffers from extreme poverty. The Niger Delta, the country's main oil producing region is one of the areas experiencing chronic underdevelopment and environmental degradation. Nigeria is Africa's biggest oil exporter and suffers ...

Zille, tweeting and inanity: more reasons for white South Africans to shut up

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille. Reuters/Mark WesselsIt's remarkable how much of a shitstorm Twitter creates when in the hands of politicians – with serious costs for the rest of us. Helen Zille, premier of the Western Cape province and former leader of the opposition Democratic Alliance's , is ...

Ahmed Kathrada: exhibit A of the values imbued in South Africa's Freedom Charter

Nelson Mandela and Ahmed Kathrada share a moment in South Africa's Parliament in 1999. Reuters/Mike HutchingsAnother South African legend has gone. Ahmed 'Uncle Kathy' Kathrada, an unassuming, quiet man who has left South Africans with a legacy that's immediate, not historical. Born in 1929, two ...

Now we are six. How The Conversation is transforming the media landscape

Transforming journalism Max Pixel, CC BY-SAIt has been 6 years since The Conversation started with a seemingly radical idea. Pair journalists, who know how to write and communicate to the general public, with academics who are experts in a specific area, and get them to produce analysis and opinion ...

Is violent political protest ever justified?

The mass protests against Donald Trump's election, inauguration, and executive actions might subside – but based on the scale and intensity of what's already happened, there's probably more to come. So far, most protesters have limited themselves to marching, placard-waving, and other peaceful' ...

Earthworms are more important than pandas

photographyfirm / shutterstock It may be doubted whether there are many other animals which have played so important a part in the history of the world, as have these lowly organised creatures. – Charles Darwin, The Formation of Vegetable Mould through the Action of Worms Not all wildlife is ...

Demonised migration brokers can point out where policy is going wrong

Bernard Spragg. NZ/FlickrIn the fight against human trafficking and the rise of modern slavery, a top priority for governments and human rights organisations has been to break the business model' of migration brokers thought to be the main channel for such exploitation. Those same governments might ...

IVF has little effect on health of the child

nevodka/Shutterstock.comThe rate of IVF births has risen dramatically in recent years as fertility rates continue to fall worldwide. To date, over 5m babies have been born with the help of these technologies. However, there have been concerns about potential health problems in children conceived by ...

Run, hide, tell – treat? The public now has a role to play in Westminster-style attacks

While debate continues about whether the events that unfolded in London on March 23 amounted to an act of terrorism, it has many people thinking about how they would react in a similar situation. The British government is constantly reviewing how prepared it is for terrorist incidents. Its official ...

Why gender can't be ignored when dealing with domestic violence

ShutterstockDomestic violence is a violation of human rights with damaging social, economic and health consequences. It is any incident of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse. That abuse can be psychological, emotional, physical, sexual and financial. The domestic' ...

How WhatsApp encryption works – and why there shouldn't be a backdoor

ShutterstockA battle between national security and privacy is brewing. Governments and secret services are asking encrypted messaging services such as WhatsApp to allow them access to users' data. Most recently, in the wake of the March attack at Westminster, Amber Rudd, the UK home secretary, said ...

Labor seizes 55-45 lead in Ipsos with the Greens at an unrealistic 16%

This week's Ipsos, conducted Wednesday to Saturday from a sample of 1400, had Labor leading 55-45, a 4 point gain for Labor since late November. Primary votes were 34% for Labor , 33% for the Coalition and 16% for the Greens . The headline figure in Ipsos uses the last election preferences method; ...