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New Zealand has increased its GST several times since it was introduced, so why does Australia find it so hard? Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com

Easy as, bro - raising the GST, New Zealand style

When long-time Kiwi expat John Clarke was asked why he left New Zealand, he said: “Because it was there.” Clarke at least knew what being “there” meant, in contrast to most of his new compatriots, whose…
At loggerheads: but Obama and Putin must come to terms over Crimea. EPA/Alexei Nikolsky/RIA Novosti/Kremlin Pool

Despite rhetoric, Russia and US can’t afford another Cold War

The United States has denounced the Russian involvement in Crimea as “a brazen military incursion” and its annexation of the territory as “nothing more than a land grab” by Moscow. In the pre-referendum…
Within eight months of taking office, South Korean president Park Geun-Hye embraced her predecessor’s green growth strategy and now champions the so-called Green Growth 2.0 policies. EPA/Kim Min-Hee

Green Growth: rebooted in South Korea, booted out in Australia

Like Australia, South Korea had a change of government last year. And like Australia’s, Korea’s new government was keen to distance itself from its predecessors’ legacies – particularly its “Green Growth…
Stormy weather hits New Zealand’s capital, Wellington. Flickr.com/wiifm69 (Sean Hamlin)

An insider’s story of the global attack on climate science

A recent headline – Failed doubters trust leaves taxpayers six-figure loss – marked the end of a four-year epic saga of secretly-funded climate denial, harassment of scientists and tying-up of valuable…
People report symptoms from wind farms even when the wind turbines aren’t in operation. Image from shutterstock.com

Wind turbines don’t make you feel sick or healthy, but spin can

Despite at least 19 reviews of the scientific evidence universally concluding that exposure to wind farm sound doesn’t trigger adverse health effects, people continue to report feeling unwell because they…
Not only has the way we look at our mobile devices changed, but they’re starting to look back at us. andres.thor

Apple’s Touch ID: time to come to grips with a touchy subject

Apple’s latest and greatest - the iPhone 5s - met a muted reception last week in San Francisco. Although the device’s admittedly evolutionary-not-revolutionary updates target early adopters and high-end…
Details have emerged of the US National Security Agency’s anti-cryptography effort, via whistleblower Edward Snowden. Ole Spata/EPA

NSA breaches a new level of social contract with Sigint

In the wake of the latest New York Times/Guardian UK/ProPublica triple team effort breaking news of America’s National Security Agency’s (NSA) anti-cryptography effort Sigint, a new level of social contract…
Exposure to infrasound, at the level produced by wind turbines, is an ordinary occurrence. Flickr/Wavy1

How the power of suggestion generates wind farm symptoms

A surge in health complaints linked to wind farms could owe more to increased discussion of health risk than the low-level sound generated by the actual turbines, according to a new study. The study by…
Samsung is a major player in technologies that will deliver future telecommunications services. Robert Schlesinger/EPA

Sorry, Apple: Samsung is winning the war on 4G platforms

In light of the much-publicised dispute over handset design patents between Apple and Samsung, many commentators have cast Samsung as the “fast-follower”, while Apple is pushing at the frontier of innovation…
There’s a broad base of public support for government action against smoking in New Zealand. Barbara Walton/AAP

Big Tobacco on the warpath against plain packaging in New Zealand

The tobacco industry has launched an advertising campaign against the New Zealand government’s proposal to introduce plain packaging of tobacco products. According to the media campaign, plain packaging…
Academic writing doesn’t have to be old and dusty. Wyoming_Jackrabbit

Seven secrets of stylish academic writing

Imagine that the editor of a widely-read magazine or, say, The Conversation has heard about your academic research and invited you to contribute an article. But you only know how to produce stodgy, impersonal…
There’s no evidence suggesting that a calcium-rich diet causes heart problems. Rachel James

Can calcium supplements cause heart disease?

People taking calcium supplements to mitigate their risk of developing bone disease (osteoporosis) may be doing more harm to their health than good. That’s because a growing body of research shows the…

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