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Two universities are conducting internal reviews of research collaborations linked to the suppression and surveillance of the Uyghur minority in western China. Tracey Nearmy/AAP

Australian universities must wake up to the risks of researchers linked to China’s military

China’s aggressive program of acquiring technology from abroad should be a cause of concern for Australian universities. Yet, our system of vetting research collaborations is clearly broken.
Australia could be breaching its international legal obligations if it is not fairly assessing asylum seekers who apply for protection at customs. BRENDAN ESPOSITO/AAP

We don’t know how many asylum seekers are turned away at Australian airports

Australia's immigration department doesn't keep a record of the number of people applying for asylum at airports. This means there is no oversight over the treatment of those seeking protection.
A Fairfax/ATO investigation suggests the tax office has broken the trust of taxpayers. www.shutterstock.com

When taxpayers do wrong, they cop penalties but erring tax officers do not

A Four Corners/Fairfax investigation shows the need for an advisory board to make sure that tax officers are accountable as part of the Taxpayers' charter.
Firefighting foams used to contain large quantities of PFAAs chemicals, but their use has been phased out. from shutterstock.com

The chemicals in firefighting foam aren’t the new asbestos

This week’s ABC Four Corners episode investigated contamination at defence force sites and surrounding aquifers with chemicals called perfluoroalkyl acids or PFAAs. Around 18 sites are reported to be affected…
Irrigation pumps along the Barwon River in New South Wales. AAP Image/Dean Lewins

Is the Murray-Darling Basin Plan broken?

The system that allocates water use in Australia's largest river basin relies on a shared commitment by states to uphold the rules. New allegations of water theft threaten to break that trust.
Some homeless youth facing criminal charges in NSW are being accommodated in prisons. Adrian Fallace/flikr

NSW bail laws mean well but are landing homeless kids in prison

Homeless children charged in NSW with a criminal offence who are unable to meet bail conditions are being kept in custody. It's due, in part, to a well-meant but flawed section of the Bail Act.

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