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The Coalition is expected to announce a preference deal with Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party on Monday. Wes Mountain/The Conversation, CC BY-ND

State of the states: Palmer’s preference deal and watergate woes

Clive Palmer was in the news this week after the Newspoll that showed that his United Australia Party could change the result in marginal seats in several states.
Muslim clerics and members of the Pakistani Christian minority light candles to commemorate the victims of this week’s bomb blasts in Sri Lanka. Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attacks. Rahat Dar/AAP

Friday essay: how Western attitudes towards Islam have changed

For centuries, Westerners viewed Islam as an inherently violent religion. But the struggle today, for all religions, including Christianity, is between liberals and conservatives, fundamentalists and moderates, reason and revelation.
Relative sizes of planets that are in a zone potentially compatible with life: Kepler-22b, Kepler-69c, Kepler-62e, Kepler-62f and Earth (named left to right; except for Earth, these are artists’ renditions). NASA

Why the idea of alien life now seems inevitable and possibly imminent

The ancient question 'Are we alone?' has graduated from being a philosophical musing to a testable hypothesis. We should be prepared for an answer.
Podcasters can introduce new voices to the conversations about the cities we live in. Salim October/Shutterstock

Podcasts and cities: ‘you’re always commenting on power’

Podcasters are creating new conversations about who and what the city is for. But even in the podcasting world, powerful interests can make it hard for new and previously excluded voices to be heard.
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the Sri Lanka bombings – a clear signal the group is reforming in other parts of the world after its defeat in Syria and Iraq. M.A. Pushpa Kumara/EPA

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the Sri Lanka terror attack. Here’s what that means

The deadly Sri Lanka attacks show a return to the coordinated, sophisticated strikes employed by al-Qaeda in the 2000s, focusing on soft targets with vulnerable institutions.
Research has shown psychedelic drugs can have a positive effect on a range of mental health conditions, but there are side effects. From shutterstock.com

Psychedelics to treat mental illness? Australian researchers are giving it a go

Australia is about to start its first trial of psychedelic drugs for the treatment of anxiety and depression. If the results are positive, this could transform the way we treat mental illness.
Before Australia elects a new PM to manage the country’s foreign relations, it’s vital to have a bigger debate on foreign policy, so voters know how each candidate would lead. Mick Tsikas/AAP

Foreign policy should play a bigger role in Australian elections. This is why it probably won’t

There have historically been few key points of difference on foreign policy during elections. Despite daunting challenges on the global stage, this year's election campaign looks to be much the same.
Descendants of soldiers who fought in the Australian Light Horse Brigade took part in a reenactment to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the battle of Beersheba in Israel in October 2017. Dan Peled/AAP

Telling the forgotten stories of Indigenous servicemen in the first world war

In Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, Anzac stories are often coloured by racism and ongoing injustices that negate the myth of Anzac 'mateship'.