Politics + Society – Analysis and Comment

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko speaks to the media in Moscow. Alexander Zemlianichenko Jr/AAP

How Russian doping could lead to Rio 2016 ban

The entire Russian Olympic team could be banned from competing in the 2016 Rio Olympics. How can the International Olympic Committee ban an entire country?
Street protests in Turkey are denouncing the ‘traitors’, but the government has offered little solid evidence against those it accuses of plotting a coup. EPA/Cem Turkel

Turkey’s almost coup and the need for perspective

The Turkish government is accusing the Gülen movement of being behind the recent coup attempt, but there are reasons to doubt the claim.
Bill Shorten has expanded his shadow ministry to keep a place for Kim Carr. AAP/David Crosling

Shorten provides Kim Carr with life raft

Bill Shorten has found a way to keep Kim Carr in Labor's shadow ministry by expanding his frontbench – to the fury of the left, which had withdrawn support for the Victorian senator.
There are calls for Australia to focus on early intervention strategies to steer young people away from the path to radicalisation in the wake of events like the Nice attack. Reuters/Eric Gaillard

Calls for deradicalisation programs after Nice attack should be met with caution

The UK’s experience with its Prevent strategy over nearly a decade urges caution in how Australia should approach its own efforts to counter the threat of radicalisation.
The Western Distributor project announced by the Andrews government will benefit Melbourne’s suburban residents in the west and north, but inner-city elites are mobilising against it. AAP/Melissa Meehan

Inner-city bias: the suburbs need a fair go

It's a project that creates benefits for Melbourne's western suburbs and the state as a whole. But the inner-city elite don't like it and recent experience suggests their opinion holds sway.
In a citizens' jury, difficult issues are passionately but respectfully discussed by a cross-section of people from the community. NHS Citizen Assembly

City calls on jury of its citizens to deliberate on Melbourne’s future

A citizens' jury has been working to refresh the Future Melbourne strategy. It's part of a broader shift from government decision-making for communities to decision-making with communities.
The car that was set ablaze outside Perth’s Thornlie Mosque. Offensive graffiti was also scrawled on a wall nearby. AAP

Can religious vilification laws protect religious freedoms?

Legislating against racial and religious vilification is highly fraught, as the ongoing debate around Section 18C has demonstrated, and unlikely to become less so any time soon.
China has the most extensive high-speed rail network in the world, which has helped reduce the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions. Jason Lee/Reuters

High-speed rail? At $200 billion we’d better get it right

High-speed rail is now a well-established technology and Australia needs it, as long as the project ticks all the boxes needed to deliver both private and public benefits.