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Similar protests to those that rocked Brazil during 2013 will no doubt re-appear during the World Cup, as many locals aim to increase their social and political rights. EPA/Marcelo Sayao

Will the World Cup leave a positive legacy in Brazil?

During last year’s Confederations Cup football tournament in Brazil, hundreds of thousands of demonstrators took to the country’s streets to demand change. Protests that started with a clear opposition…
Queer content has been programmed into The Sims since its launch in 2000. EA Games

Trailblazing WooHoos: gay evolution in The Sims

Earlier this year, Russia slapped an R18+ rating on the soon-to-be-released The Sims 4 videogame, in compliance with its law restricting the depiction of same-sex relationships to minors. When I think…
Southern Stars: a new Australian flag design by Dr Benjamin T. Jones. Artwork by Jake Heath

Wave! It’s a flag for all Australians

Australia has never had a truly national flag. While we currently fly one of our dominion status ensigns, we have never had the same debate when we abandoned God Save the Queen and embraced an anthem of…
Facing wicked problems, can Tony Abbott deliver leadership that is ‘about vision, about people buying in, about empowerment and, most of all, producing useful change’? AAP/Lukas Coch

Leadership: what it is (and isn’t)

Despite our familiarity with – and craving for – leadership, its precise meaning is often elusive and resistant to consensual definition. Partly because of this, actions that are adjudged as exemplary…
Plenty of extreme wrongs are performed by comparatively ordinary people. Danny O'Connor

Does evil exist and, if so, are some people just plain evil?

You would have to be naïve to believe that evil exists, right? If you were asked to come up with examples of evil villains, you might think of the Emperor from Star Wars, Lord Voldemort from Harry Potter…
Many long-promised renewable and low-emission energy programs have been scrapped or cut back in the Coalition’s first budget. Lukas Coch/AAP

Billions axed in clean energy: renewable target is next

There are billions of dollars of broken promises in the Abbott government’s first budget for low-emission and renewable energy programs – and wiggle room to break even more in the next few years. Among…
The fair go has been selectively reinterpreted as applying only to competitive opportunities for the economically productive. John Englart (Takver)/Flickr

The state of Australia: welfare and inequality

In the lead-up to the budget, the story of crisis has been hammered home, but there’s more to a country than its structural deficit. So how is Australia doing overall? In this special series, ten writers…
Achieving a free trade agreement with China would be a major achievement for the Abbott government given the obstacles currently in the way. AAP/Daniel Munoz

Japan and free trade create twin challenges for Abbott in China

Despite the misgivings of the sceptics, prime minister Tony Abbott’s high-profile, potentially high-risk trade mission to northeast Asia could be a triumph. The free trade agreement (FTA) with Japan is…
Find a healthy eating regime you can stick to. foshydog/Flickr

Health Check: what’s the best diet for weight loss?

When it comes to weight loss, there are no magic tricks that guarantee success. What works for you is likely to be different to what works for your partner, neighbour or workmate. The best advice is to…
Already operating as a coal port, the disposal of dredge material from expanding Abbot Point is now the subject of a legal challenge. GBRMPA

Let’s dump Great Barrier Reef dredging myths: authority chief

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s recent decision to allow 3 million cubic metres of dredge material to be disposed of 25 kilometres off Abbot Point in north Queensland has attracted passionate…

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