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The crime of blasphemy is about protecting God and Christian doctrine from scurrilous commentary, and Christians from offence. Shutterstock

Blasphemy is still a crime in Australia – and it shouldn’t be

Laws against blasphemy privilege the feelings of Christians over other religious people, and have no place in a modern, inclusive society.
Cynthia Nixon as Emily Dickinson (left) and Jodhi May as Susan Gilbert in A Quiet Passion. Production Co: Hurricane Films, Potemkino, WeatherVane Productions

At home with Emily Dickinson

A Quiet Passion, a film about Emily Dickinson's life, opens in cinemas this week. Dickinson wrote 1789 poems in her lifetime: only ten were published.
A parade in St Petersburg last year celebrating Bloomsday, the day on which Ulysses is set. Shutterstock

Friday essay: the wonder of Joyce’s Ulysses

Around the world today, fans of James Joyce's Ulysses will celebrate Bloomsday. This experimental novel can be bewildering to read, but for those who persist, it is a 'feast' of a book.
Most Sydneysiders are concerned about the effects of foreign investment on the local real estate market. Dave Hunt/AAP

Sydneysiders blame foreign investors for high housing prices – survey

Only 18% of Sydneysiders think foreign investors should be able to buy property. They simply don't accept arguments that this investment improves housing affordability by increasing supply.
Police guard the blockade line in Martin Place, Sydney, during the siege of the Lindt Cafe in December 2014. AAP/Jeff Tan

Should we negotiate with terrorist hostage takers?

Not every terrorist hostage taker will be open to hostage negotiations. But everything we know from psychology tells us that some of them might be.
Driven by higher returns on their equity, debt-financed investors are dominating the housing market and shaping its growth. Mick Tsikas/AAP

Investors are exploiting returns on debt financing to muscle out home buyers

New research shows the actual returns on equity for housing investors are higher than most people realise. This helps explain why investors are able to out-compete other home buyers.
Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band : is this the best popular music has to offer? Paul Townsend, flickr

Sgt Pepper’s at 50 – the greatest thing you ever heard or just another album?

Dubbed the greatest album ever by Rolling Stone, Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is turning 50. We asked six experts how it had stood the test of time and found opinions diverged widely.
The budget brought no increase in rent assistance to help low-income renters in the private rental market. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

Is this the budget that forgot renters?

For the majority of Australia’s renters, housing will remain unaffordable, insecure, and out of reach following the 2017-18 federal budget.
Infrastructure has been flagged as a major recipient of federal funds in the 2017 budget. Dean Lewins/AAP

Budget’s ‘good debt’ conversion underpins $70b-plus infrastructure program: experts respond

The Conversation’s economic experts react to the 2017-18 budget measures in the areas of living costs, economic management and infrastructure planning and investment.

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