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The 1,200 year old Umayyad Mosque – also known as the Great Mosque of Aleppo – lost its minaret (on left) in 2013 after continued heavy gunfire between rebels and Syrian government forces. Reuters

Friday essay: war crimes and the many threats to cultural heritage

It is important to prosecute militants who destroy antiquities. But 'everyday' development - from dams flooding towns to the impact of mining on Indigenous rock art – does vastly more damage to heritage than war.
Sonic weapons usually leave no physical marks but can be devastating psychologically. Vikash Kumar/flickr

Friday essay: the sound of fear

From Long Range Acoustic Devices used to disperse protesters to ear-splitting military drones to songs blasted on rotation to prisoners, ours is an age in which sound has been repositioned as a tool of terror.
The logic is that violence is a choice, so men can be reasonably expected to stop. luxorphoto/Shutterstock

To stop domestic violence, we need to change perpetrators’ behaviour

Thousands of Australian men are sitting on waiting lists every year to get help to end their violent behaviour – even though behaviour change programs can reduce their likelihood of offending again.
Adam Goodes training at the SCG in 2015. David Gray/Reuters

Refusing to play the race game

For Indigenous people, refusal is a powerful act of sovereignty. In Grand Final week, it's timely to reflect on Adam Goodes' refusal to accept racism in football or an official send off when he retired - and the repercussions of his stance, a year on.
If businesses meet the needs of their employees they will feel like they are growing and will be more productive, research suggests.

How happiness improves business results

Happy employees, whose basic needs are met, are essential to a productive business.
A price on carbon introduced by the Labor government, dubbed the “carbon tax”, was more effective at motivating big emitters to act, compared to the current Direct Action plan. Mick Tsikas/AAP

Direct Action not as motivating as carbon tax say some of Australia’s biggest emitters

New research has found that carbon intensive companies have lost focus on reducing emissions under Direct Action, when compared with the carbon tax.
It may not be comfortable or easy to do but racist abuse needs to be challenged in sport and our society. Ben Macmahon/AAP

Eddie Betts and racism in sport: it’s not enough to just not join in

Sport can be a driver for change; it can make a difference in people’s lives and unify communities, particularly around national successes. But it can also create tensions and cause conflict.
Is the success of The Bachelor based on the spectacle of women psychologically tearing each other down for entertainment? AAP Image/Network Ten

How The Bachelor turns women into misogynists

The Bachelor, like most reality TV, thrives on drama. But its particular style of conflict illustrates an uncomfortable point: women can easily be sexist against other women.
Akbar Maulana, an Indonesian high school student in Turkey, talks with his teacher. Akbar is the main character in the newly released documentary Jihad Selfie. Aswan

Jihad Selfie: listening to ‘the other side’ in documentary film

Why do boys decide to join Islamic State? A new documentary focusses on an Indonesian teenager who considers becoming a foreign fighter but takes another path. The film is now being screened to young people across the nation.
The Australian netball team after their gold medal win at the Netball World Cup in 2015. AAP Image/Paul Miller

Is netball a feminist triumph? Let’s discuss

Netball – one of Australia's most popular sports – is on track to turn professional. Is this an exciting new chapter for female athletes? Or does netball's success draw attention from other sports, where women can smack balls, and roam freely?

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