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Celebrating: after being seen as a basket case for so long, Brazil’s economy is now powering. AAP

Brazil and Australia: the rise of the southern hemisphere powers

Few countries have been left unscathed by the global financial crisis and it seems that they are all situated in the southern hemisphere. Brazil and Australia are some of them. Recently, their economies…
We take animals’ liberty every day, but is calling them slaves accurate? Rev Xanatos Satanicos Bombasticos ClintJCL/Flickr

Can an animal be a slave?

Is the confinement of animals for human purposes akin to slavery? Are some animals slaves? Slavery is an evocative concept. Treating someone as a slave is one of the worst things you can do to them. Using…
Iraqi security forces inspect a taxi in the wake of a deadly attack on the city of Kirkuk last month. EPA/Khalil Al A Nei

Iraqi-Australians on life after the American war

Last week in Baghdad, 17 men were executed. Nothing special to note here in the conflict ridden, post-US withdrawal landscape of Iraq, except that this time they were executed by an Iraqi court. This was…
Home births for high-risk pregnancies and where a registered midwife isn’t present are risky. Deannster

For some women, unassisted home births are worth the risks

We live in a world with many different perspectives on risk. Entire professions now exist to advise us on how to recognise, avoid and manage risk. And the maternity and obstetric professions are no different…
Another election campaign, another out-of-this-world promise. Erik S. Lesser/EPA

A US moon colony? Does Newt Gingrich’s idea have a legal basis?

In Florida last week, Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich asserted that, under his leadership, the US would establish a “permanent moon base” by 2020. What’s more, he claimed, “it will be American…
The findings of the study don’t suggest that religion should be adopted as a tool for promoting health. Gauri Ma

Does religious faith make people healthier and happier?

As immigrants from around the world have joined Australia’s cultural mix, an inevitable rise in religious diversity has followed. But has this made for a healthier society? A recent VicHealth study showed…
Treasurer Wayne Swan is maintaining a slimmed down surplus for 2012-2013 - but storm clouds are rolling over the global economy. AAP

Slimmed down surplus as Swan unveils mid-year budget: experts respond

The Federal Government is still aiming to deliver a slimmed down surplus next financial year, but has downgraded economic growth forecasts amid a slowing world economy and news that Europe may already…
It doesn’t take much for sewage to break out of its pipes and into waterways. Claire Evans

Popping the pipe: how sewage gets out into the environment

Australia’s urban waterways are often polluted and sick. They suffer from a condition called the “urban stream syndrome”. A common factor that contributes is contamination from sewage. How and why does…
Boys’ educational outcomes are heavily influenced by positive male role models and effective models of discipline. The Tattered Coat

Life lessons: better education for boys means good health for life

As another set of high school exams roll through, there will undoubtedly be significant focus on how boys’ results differ from those of girls’. This is part of an ongoing focus on the trend of girls’ academic…
Can we expect more interest rate cuts this year?

Interest rate cut: experts respond

The Reserve Bank of Australia has cut the official cash interest rate by 25 basis points, from 4.75% to 4.5%, in a move matching most economists’ expectations. It was the first cut since April 2009. Westpac…
Vioxx was withdrawn from the Australian market in October 2004 and there’s an ongoing compensation case. DaGoaty/Flickr

Vioxx withdrawal: making sense of the fight for compensation in Australia

The enormous medical impact of modern pharmaceuticals has on occasion been matched by some large-scale litigation regarding adverse events. The Vioxx litigation in Australia and elsewhere is one such recent…
Defence policy in Australia will have undergone radical change by 2050. AAP

2050: Australian decision making

AUSTRALIA 2050 – So let’s imagine it’s the midpoint of the 21st century and Australia is enjoying its third decade as a recognised innovator in democracy. Australia routinely initiates global conversations…
Qantas: in danger of squandering good will for the bottom line? AAP

The passengers still call Australia home - but does Qantas?

For the marketer, as it is for the human being, your greatest strength is always your greatest weakness. Qantas is the quintessential Australian airline – more than an airline, in fact. It has become a…
Illness is inextricably linked to lifestyle stressors. Michael Clesle

To improve men’s health, treat the cause not just the illness

Whichever way you look at it, men’s health in Australia is uniformly worse than women’s. Men die, on average, five years earlier than women born at the same time and are likely to experience more health…
The only way out of this crisis is to dishonour some of the debt that is weighing down the global economy. AAP

Ireland, Greece … France? Accepting default is Europe’s only option

The dramatic falls in share prices of Greek debt-laden French banks overnight highlights just how closely tied the current market chaos is to the world’s worsening debt woes. Market crashes like that of…
Glenn Stevens has acknowledged the impact of deleveraging on Australia’s economy. AAP

On High Noon Tuesday at the RBA Corral, can we expect a rate rise?

I have a hunch that the RBA will follow its conventional “neoclassical” models and raise rates this afternoon, even though the economy is locked in “two speed” mode, and the global economy is racked by…

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