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The flightless, nocturnal and sweet-smelling kākāpō was thought to be extinct, but during the 1970s, two remnant populations were discovered. One, in Fiordland, included only males. From Wikimedia Commons

Plant hormone boost for New Zealand’s critically endangered night parrot

New research suggests that New Zealand's bizarre nocturnal parrot, the kākāpō, needs plant hormones to breed successfully.
The prime minister’s office denied suggestions that Malcolm Turnbull had given support to Bill Shorten’s proposal for four-year terms. Paul Miller/AAP

Shorten and Turnbull to talk on four-year terms

Bill Shorten said the federal political system seemed 'out of whack in that everything is so short term'.
The Defence Act will be strengthened to enable defence personnel to play a bigger role in counter-terrorism. David Mariuz/AAP

Boost for military’s role in combating domestic terrorism

The changes are designed to assist in preparing for incidents, enabling a more comprehensive ADF response if needed, and improving the flow of information between the ADF and police.
South Korea’s subtly calibrated risk aversion in the face of outrageous North Korean aggression has kept the two countries from war. EPA/KCNA

Is the world really sleepwalking to war? Systems thinking can provide an answer

An aggressive posture is one thing – but doing something about it is another, as countries factor in the costs and risks of aggression.
Another leaked recording – this time of Tony Abbott – has the Liberal Party under pressure. Brendan Esposito/AAP

Leaky Liberals spill the beans again

Tony Abbott told a Liberal branch meeting in the Deakin electorate of Michael Sukkar that 'just at the moment … we're at a bit of a low ebb'.
Malcolm Turnbull is firm in his belief that his party is one of harmony and robust discussion. But Tony Abbott seems to have other ideas. Mick Tsikas/AAP

Tony Abbott says he’ll stay around – because he’s needed

Tony Abbott's second major public intervention this week prompted a radio interviewer to ask Malcolm Turnbull whether his leadership was under threat.
Scott Morrison talked about the challenges of a nation indifferent to the business of politics. Dan Himbrechts/AAP

Australians are increasingly non-partisan: Morrison

Scott Morrison's comments reflect the concern in the government at the difficulty it is finding in cutting through to the electorate.
More than a bit of harmless fun: last year there were 247 ambulance requests for young women aged 13 to 18 in Western Australia. Michael Discenza/Unsplash

Paramedics treating more young women for alcohol intoxication than men

A record number of underage drinkers sought urgent medical attention in Western Australia last year, and young women made up the majority.
The South and North islands of New Zealand, snapped from above by the International Space Station crew. Earth Observatory NASA

New Zealand joins a growing global Conversation

We're delighted to announce the appointment of The Conversation's first New Zealand Editor, who will share NZ's best academic research and analysis with millions of readers worldwide each month.
The government is making frantic efforts to seal a deal on its school plan before parliament adjourns for the winter break. Rob Blakers/AAP

Government reaches out to Catholics on Gonski 2.0

Simon Birmingham met Catholic education representatives on Monday night, receiving such a haranguing that at times it was difficult for him to get a word in.
The government is counting on a deal with the Greens or the support of most of the other Senate crossbenchers to pass its schools funding package. Brendan Esposito/AAP

Liberal backbenchers arc up on behalf of Catholic schools

Critics are expected to speak out in the partyroom on Tuesday, demanding more information about the effects of the schools package on the Catholic sector.
Antenatal care enables the early detection of maternal and fetal conditions. So why are pregnant women delaying their checks? Shutterstock

Two in five pregnant women don’t receive care in the first trimester

Teenagers, unmarried women and migrants are among those missing out on antenatal care in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy, according to new Australian research.