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The incoming head of the Australian Defence Force, Lt-Gen Angus Campbell (left), understands the importance of Australia’s relations with its nearest neighbours. AAP/Andrew Taylor

As a new defence chief comes in, Australia must focus its attention on its neighbours

The incoming Chief of the Defence Force, Angus Campbell, will need to focus his attentions on an array of conventional and non-conventional security concerns in the Indo-Pacific.
Both the Foreign Minister and Attorney General have stated Australia will investigate and prosecute alleged perpetrators of international crimes. AAP/Dan Himbrechts

ASEAN-Australia special summit has much work to do on women’s role in peace and security

Talks should include barriers to women’s participation in peace and security institutions, countering violent extremism, foreign fighters, sexual violence in conflict, and the Rohingya crisis.
The carbon farming initiative gives pig farmers the opportunity to earn carbon credits for reducing methane emissions from manure. The proposed change to this government policy may stall, or even end, this market. Alan Skerman/AAP

The Nationals should support carbon farming, not coal

Proposed changes to the government's climate change policies may stall, or even close down, the market for 'carbon farmers' to profit from reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
The Victorian mountain ash forest has been severely affected by fires and logging. To determine the actual health of the forest, we need to look at the quality, not just the quantity of what remains. Graeme/flickr

Why we are measuring the health of Australian vegetation poorly

In the aftermath of fires or logging, conservation needs to focus on recovering the health of the remaining vegetation, not just the size of the forest or woodland.
Paul Signac, France, 1863-1935, La bouée rouge (The red buoy), 1895, oil on canvas, 81.2 x 65 cm. Musée d'Orsay, Paris, France ©photo Musée d'Orsay / rmn

Art Gallery SA goes back to Impressionism’s colourful roots with masterpieces from Musee d'Orsay

The Impressionists were obsessed with the science of colour, which is celebrated in a new exhibition in Adelaide. At least 50 of the paintings have never previously been exhibited in Australia.
Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) in The X-Files is fond of joining seemingly unrelated dots to create a conspiracy theory – but in reality, the picture is more nuanced.

Online conspiracy theorists are more diverse (and ordinary) than most assume

Conspiracy theorists are commonly seen as fundamentally irrational, with an all-encompassing obsession. But new research suggests they may have quite different motivations, beliefs and attitudes.
Ambassador of the Russian Federation Grigory Logvinov speaks during a press conference at the Russian Embassy in Canberra. Lukas Coch/AAP

Politics podcast: John Blaxland on Australia’s expulsion of Russian spies

Politics podcast: John Blaxland on Australia’s expulsion of Russian spies.
The expulsion of two Russian spies from Australia will have a significant effect on Russia's espionage here.
The Commonwealth Games is often dubbed the ‘friendly games’, but its history shows that friendliness applies only to ‘the right sort of people’. AAP

The Commonwealth Games of exclusion: what are authorities so afraid of?

Preparations for next month’s Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast are pushing homeless people out of town, and out of the state. Sadly, that's not unusual for events of this sort.
Clive Hamilton paints a picture of China’s unrelenting determination not only to control those within the country, but also to dominate the world using whatever means at its disposal. AAP/Wang Zhou

Book review – Clive Hamilton’s Silent Invasion: China’s Influence in Australia

Clive Hamilton’s book is perhaps a useful reminder that we must not be naïve about our relationship with China, but his prescription is the wrong direction for tackling the genuine issues he raises.

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