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Chinese workers are often aided by NGOs and usually receive little to no help from the main Chinese trade union. EPA/ALEX HOFFORD

China’s growing labour movement offers hope for workers globally

The growing labour movement in China, as fragmented and repressed as it is, offers hope for workers everywhere as an example of organising against incredible odds.
Adoption should only be considered when other, less intrusive options, have been eliminated. Pavel L Photo and Video/Shutterstock

Adoption has a role in child protection but it’s no panacea

In response to the tragic death of four-year-old Chloe Valentine in South Australia, adoption has been raised as a solution to a "child protection crisis".
Do the Group of Eight universities actually have a cash-flow problem, or are they more concerned about increasing their prestige to attract international students? Flickr/sobriquet.net

Group of Eight’s change of tack smacks of self-interest

The Group of Eight have now withdrawn their support for fee deregulation, despite it already having caused fissures in the higher education system. But what are they worried about? And what sort of conversation do they want to have now?
Malcolm Fraser has passed away at the age of 84. AAP/NAA

Malcolm Fraser’s life and legacy: experts respond

In his time in office, Malcolm Fraser oversaw the acceptance of southeast Asian refugees and led economic and social welfare reforms.
Hizb ut-Tahrir, represented by spokesman Uthman Badar, has courted controversy and been criticised by Tony Abbott in recent times. AAP/Dean Lewins

Explainer: what is Hizb ut-Tahrir?

Hizb ut-Tahrir is not a political party. It is not active in any Islamic schools, mosques or institutes. It does not have any real influence on Australia's Islamic community.
Teachers have been found to mark boys higher than girls in maths, affecting their self-confidence with the subject. Shutterstock

Teachers' gender bias in maths affects girls later

New research has found some teachers mark boys' primary school maths tests more favourably than girls.
Since Kevin Rudd welcomed Tony Abbott to The Lodge 17 months ago, startling parallels between the prime ministerial struggles of the two populist leaders have emerged. AAP/Alan Porritt

Problem with cut-through politics is leaders can swiftly be cut down

The unsuccessful Liberal leadership spill on Monday arose from two disjunctures: between the electorate and the political class, and the leadership and backbench. This former disjuncture has occurred since…
World No. 1 men’s tennis player Novak Djokovic practises at the Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne, for this year’s Australian Open. AAP Image/Joe Castro

Rich rewards for those at the top in tennis, but what of the rest?

The world’s best tennis players are preparing to battle it out in Melbourne as the 2015 Australian Open gets under way this week. With rising grand-slam prize-money and better-than-ever exposure, you might…
The majority of Muslims have developed a humanitarian image of their prophet over a long period in their local cultures. Darulfatwa Australia/Author

Understanding Muhammad: we need a more informed approach

In any terrorist attack by Muslim extremists perpetrated in the name of Islam – such as the recent Charlie Hebdo atrocity – discussions about the Prophet Muhammad, his life and his teachings come to the…
There was no sense of recrimination at the Paris solidarity march in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks. AAP/Francois Pauletto

A million march in Paris with not a dog-whistle between them

On Sunday, millions of people turned out to reaffirm the unity of France in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attack. About 1.5 million people came to the march in Paris. For two hours before the march started…
In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attack, Parisians are defiant, not panicked. AAP/Ian Langsdon

Standing up for liberty in Paris as French eschew politics of fear

It’s evening now, and news reports are emerging that French police have homed in on an area north-east of Paris after two brothers suspected of being behind the Charlie Hebdo attack were spotted at a petrol…
The violence of the Exodus is disconcerting to a modern viewer, but the ancients would not blink an eye. 21st Century Fox

Ridley Scott battles with the essence of the Exodus

Ridley Scott’s 3D biblical epic Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014), an interpretation of the exodus of Israelite slaves from Egypt by Moses, sparked controversy last month when it was banned in Egypt and Morocco…
Westerners are rallying in support of free speech and the right to question religion but only recently has political Islam encouraged violent intolerance of acts or words deemed blasphemous. EPA/Sebastien Nogier

Islam, blasphemy and free speech: a surprisingly modern conflict

From the fatwa on author Salman Rushdie to the attack on the offices of French magazine Charlie Hebdo, the phenomenon of anti-blasphemy actions continues to be prominent in the Muslim world. At first glance…
Man Haron Monis, the perpetrator of the Sydney hostage siege, appeared to be unaware of basic Islamic theology. AAP/Dean Lewins

Sydney siege shows the rise of a new form of extremist

Man Haron Monis, the sole perpetrator of the Sydney hostage siege, is but one example of the recent development of a new form of Islamic extremist radicalisation. In recent years, Islamic extremism has…
The Senate has rejected Christopher Pyne’s fee deregulation plan, but that doesn’t mean the sector isn’t in need of reform. AAP

Fee deregulation is a bad idea, but our universities do need reform

Education Minister Christopher Pyne’s scheme for the deregulation of university fees is dead or delayed. Either way it has been exposed as bad for Australia. This is because it will put universities in…
New age ways of teaching where the children guide their learning rather than the teacher are perhaps not as effective. Shutterstock

‘Chalk and talk’ teaching might be the best way after all

Seventy teachers from the UK were sent to Shanghai to study classroom methods to investigate why Chinese students perform so well. Upon their return, the teachers reported that much of China’s success…
Jane Goodall is one of many scientists who have revealed how much there is to learn from animals about social organisation and communication. AAP/Julian Smith

If we could talk to the animals, what might they tell us about politics?

To endow animals with human emotions has long been a scientific taboo. But if we do not, we risk missing something fundamental about both animals and us. – Frans De Waal Some time ago I began reading scientific…

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