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George Brandis, former NT chief justice Brian Martin, who will head the royal commission, and Malcolm Turnbull announce the commission’s terms of reference. AAP/Andrew Taylor

The NT royal commission: it’s a good start but more leadership is needed

The royal commission's terms of reference hold some promise, but more needs to be done about juvenile justice and child protection systems across Australia.
Following the failed coup in Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan ordered the sacking of nearly 1,600 deans, 21,000 teachers and 15,000 education bureaucrats. Tolga Bozoglu/EPA

Turkey coup: why have teachers and academics been targeted?

The sacking of Turkish education staff speaks to a broader agenda of control through removing educated dissident voices.
Street protests in Turkey are denouncing the ‘traitors’, but the government has offered little solid evidence against those it accuses of plotting a coup. EPA/Cem Turkel

Turkey’s almost coup and the need for perspective

The Turkish government is accusing the Gülen movement of being behind the recent coup attempt, but there are reasons to doubt the claim.
Idris Elba and Richard Madden in the terror thriller Bastille Day: the film has been pulled from French cinemas. Jessica Forde/StudioCanal

As life imitates art, how are we to read terror plots in film and TV?

The film Bastille Day – featuring a CIA agent trying to avert a terror attack in Paris – has been withdrawn from French cinemas after the tragedy in Nice. But what are we to make of Hollywood's fondness for these kinds of stories?
Attica from the Areopagus at dusk in July.

Greece 2016 — is there still no alternative?

A perfect storm ‘Perfect storm’ and ‘endless crisis’ are not phrases that easily come to mind as you sit atop the Areopagus Hill, just West of the Acropolis, and watch the orange sun disappear improbably…
Pauline Hanson, Michael Gove, and Donald Trump. Dragons Abreast Australia; Policy Exchange; Michael Vadon/Wikimedia Commons

Please don’t explain: Hanson 2.0 and the war on experts

The return of One Nation to parliament threatens to install expertise denialism and conspiracy theory in the heart of Australian democracy.
A hundred years later, the magnitude of the Battle of Somme can still be felt. Newzulu

Friday essay: the Battle of the Somme and the death of martial glory

A hundred years ago today, the Battle of the Somme began. This conflict, in which a million men died in order to move the front lines about six miles, spelled the end of courage as a cornerstone of masculine identity.
Classic Mega Man … storytelling gets inventive when your main character can’t speak. Brian Talbot

Explainer: the art of video game writing

Writers are vital to today's increasingly story-driven video games. Readers are active players and everything in the game – from the environment to the rules – can shape the narrative.
Neigeline advertisement, London, advertisement, 1895. Author supplied

Meg Ryan’s face and the historical battleground of ageing

The day after the horrific Orlando massacre, the highest-trending topic on Facebook was the appearance of Meg Ryan’s face at the Tony Awards. Like Renee Zellweger before her, the perception that Ryan has…
Isolating a child from their peers does nothing to address the underlying concerns that may have lead to a child behaving in this way. from www.shutterstock.com

Children with sexualised behaviours need support, not silence and stigma

The cultures of silence and denial that surround child sexualised behaviours mean that adults often lack the information they need to respond appropriately.
DNA Nation raises questions of genetics, identity and race. DNA Nation/SBS

DNA Nation raises tough questions for Indigenous Australians

The SBS documentary DNA Nation tracks three people on their 'individual genetic journey'. But for Indigenous Australians in particular, genetic testing is a can of worms - politically, ethically and technically.

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