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UN negotiators will struggle to balance the demands of countries that want binding emissions targets, and those that don’t. EPA/Paolo Aguilar

‘Legally binding’ demands are still the biggest climate dealbreaker

Could the preoccupation with legally binding targets sink the next climate deal in Paris in 2015? In the run-up to this week’s Lima talks, widely seen as a precursor to the Paris summit, the Abbott government…
Isolated by sanctions - but does Putin care? EPA/Mikhail Klimentyev/Ria Novosti

Explainer: how will sanctions against Russia work?

The sanctions against Russia just announced by the EU and the US are widely reported to be the harshest since the end of the Cold War. The package includes cutting off Russia’s state-owned banks from international…
Europe’s slow recovery from the GFC has had implications for its trade partners, including Australia and the US. Australian Government/AAP

Why Australia still cares more about the G2 than the G20

As debate about the economic versus political role of the G20 takes hold, it’s worth looking back at how successfully member countries cooperated in promoting economic recovery after the global financial…
American wolves show us how important large predators are for conservation. Doug McLaughlin

What American wolves can teach us about Australian dingoes

We know that introduced predators such as foxes and cats are one of the greatest threats to Australia’s wildlife, but what is the best way to control them? Many Australian ecologists argue dingoes are…
US summers are longer and hotter, which the new report warns is affecting power supplies. Last summer, the Pilgrim nuclear plant near Boston had to reduce its power output because the bay’s water was too warm to cool the reactor. Nuclear Regulatory Commission/Flickr

Obama hits TV with new weather warning, but will viewers tune in?

It’s been talked up as a “game-changing” new report, which shows ordinary Americans how climate change is already affecting their lives on everything from summer heat and power shortages, to pollen allergies…
We got credentialised! climbnh2003

The box-ticking future of a university education

Among the many changes currently sweeping through US public universities is a move away from traditional seat-time in class. Known as “competency-based education”, it is often done online, asking students…
New York’s superhero. Columbia Pictures

The amazing renaissance of the superhero post 9/11

The release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 comes in the middle of a slate of super heroic movies including Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: Winter Solider, and the second in a series of X-Men prequels…
Ukraine got rid of its nuclear weapons in 1994. EPA/Stringer

Ukraine nuclear security fears were exaggerated

As the curtain fell on the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit, the Dutch organisers must surely have experienced mixed emotions: relief that the summit was a success, yet frustration that media attention was…
Kerry and Lavrov keep talking. EPA/Martial Trezzini

Can the US and Russia talk their way out of crisis in Ukraine?

Talks between US secretary of state John Kerry and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, in Paris, followed after a week of high-level diplomacy, including a phone call between presidents Obama and Putin…
On message: a pro-Russian newspaper in Simferopol, Crimea. EPA/Yuri Kochetkov

Ukraine, Kremlin propaganda and the Cold War trap

Facebook can be a confusing place. For the follower of Ukrainian and Russian politics the messages could not be more different. At the same time that “Euromaidan PR” is posting pictures of “Putler” and…
Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey hosting the recent G20 finance ministers' meeting in Sydney, a lead-up event to November’s Brisbane Summit. AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts

Double or nothing: Australia’s G20 energy challenge

When Australia hosts the G20 Leaders' Summit in November, a top agenda item for its “Brisbane Action Plan” will be “practical actions to improve productivity and competitiveness”. So here’s a good place…
After destroying towns and cities, Syria’s civil war is spilling into Lebanon. Christiaan Triebert

No end in sight as Syria misery spreads across region

The second round of the Geneva II talks on Syria have ended with no agreement and without even a decision on the date of a further meeting. The highly experienced UN mediator, Lakhdar Brahimi, was clearly…
Glimpses of horror: while the West watches, Syria burns. SIcco2007

Syrians suffer as world plays politics with humanitarian aid

The humanitarian crisis in Syria is no longer news. It is simple fact: tragedy writ large, as cities burn and lives are ruined. Our eyes may widen at the sheer scale of this destruction: four million people…
Good morning America! Wikimedia Commons

All hail Beatlemania – when culture crossed the pond

Fifty years after the Beatles first appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show, the band is still the benchmark for Anglo-American relations. With their swift rise to fame in the US, they started the so-called British…

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