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Politics + Society — Analysis and Comment

Today FM faces enforcement action by ACMA after a long-running legal challenge to the media regulator’s powers ended in defeat for the broadcaster. AAP/Warren Clarke

High Court rejects attempt to make media watchdog toothless

After a High Court win over Today FM, ACMA is likely to be able to deal more swiftly with this kind of case – and with less risk of incurring large legal bills.
An Australian study found certain elite athletes were more at risk of taking drugs than others. Lee Morley/Flickr

Sports stars do take drugs – but not as much as the rest of us

Our study found that 8% of the 1,684 elite Australian athletes we surveyed said they had used at least one of six illicit drugs – including ecstasy, cocaine and cocaine – over the previous year.
Could former Florida governor Jeb Bush (right) join his brother George (left) and father in having held America’s top office? EPA/Shawn Thew

Family ties: why political dynasties rule in America’s democracy

Political dynasties have played a significant role throughout America's history. Their ongoing existence and prominence convey a level of inequality in access to political influence.
Tony Abbott and Bill Shorten are united in condemning violence against women and children, but both overlook the young people who are victims too. AAP/Lukas Coch

Sidelined and scorned: young people are set up to be soft targets

Responses to family violence by Tony Abbott and Bill Shorten and the terms of reference for Victoria's royal commission fail to mention young people. Such a lack of recognition has dire consequences.
Anti-communist groups recently attacked victims of Indonesia’s 1965 anti-communist purge, unfurling banners with violent messages. This one reads ‘Crush the PKI from the motherland!!!’. Joint Secretariat on '65

Violent anti-communism is alive and well in democratic Indonesia

Gatherings of victims of Indonesia's 1965 anti-communist purge were attacked by groups of people last week in West Sumatra and Central Java.
Gold Coast Titan Greg Bird could face action by WADA on top of court charges stemming from drug supply allegations. AAP/Dave Hunt

Illicit drugs: Australian sports intervene while WADA spectates

The World Anti-Doping Authority looks on from the sidelines in case there is an opportunity to punish athletes' involvement with illicit drugs out of competition.
If you think someone is experiencing domestic violence, don’t dismiss it, don’t blame the victim and don’t look the other way. Kamira/Shutterstock

What you can do at work to stop the violence in our homes

When Barbara, a 28-year-old mother of two pre-school boys, Josh and Noah, left her violent husband, she never expected to be punished for it at work.
The number of refugee deaths at sea is on the rise internationally. AAP Image/Scott Fisher

FactCheck: did 1200 refugees die at sea under Labor?

It is broadly correct to say 1200 asylum seekers died at sea under Labor. Globally and in our region, however, more asylum seekers than ever are leaving their country by boat.
The continued focus on aerial bombardment of Islamic State’s military and economic assets risks alienating Iraq’s Sunni population. EPA

Military-based strategy in Iraq risks entrenching divisions

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced a further deployment of Australian troops to Iraq to train Iraqi forces in the fight against Islamic State.
Some argue that the Martin Place siege shows why citizens would be safer if allowed to carry weapons, but the global evidence disproves that. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Martin Place siege review makes case to tighten, not relax, gun laws

The recommendations of the joint review into the Martin Place siege confirm Australia is on the right path with tight gun controls but needs to clamp down on illegal firearms in the community.
The Power of 1 exhibition explores differences in perceptions and forms of political participation across generations and how these are likely to affect the direction of our democracy. Museum of Australian Democracy

Generational divide when ‘doing politics’ vanishes on need to fix it

Australians divide along generational lines when it comes to participating in politics. Less predictably, they are almost united on the need to fix the political system and the best ways to do that.
Hizb ut-Tahrir, represented by spokesman Uthman Badar, has courted controversy and been criticised by Tony Abbott in recent times. AAP/Dean Lewins

Explainer: what is Hizb ut-Tahrir?

Hizb ut-Tahrir is not a political party. It is not active in any Islamic schools, mosques or institutes. It does not have any real influence on Australia's Islamic community.
When Manal Kassem laid her bridal bouquet at the tribute to the Lindt Cafe siege victims in Sydney, onlookers applauded – no-one cast doubt on her sincerity as a Muslim in the way Tony Abbott’s words have done. AAP/Supplied

Playing the Muslim card: Abbott’s loose lips threaten to sink unity

By casting doubt on the sincerity of Islamic leaders when they condemn terrorism and extremism, the prime minister risks alienating Muslims and dividing instead of uniting the Australian community.
The slow pre-dawn commute on the M5 from western Sydney is more than a pain for these drivers: it comes at a high social and economic cost. Dean Lewins/AAP

Sydney’s stuck in traffic, putting the brakes on women and the west

Our new analysis reveals nearly a third of full-time workers in Sydney commutes for more than 10 hours a week. Those workers are spending almost three full weeks a year just to get to and from work.
Development is underway all around Sydney harbour – but has the public interest been well served? AAP Image/Dean Lewins

Sydney risks becoming a dumb, disposable city for the rich

The major political parties seem captive to an ideologically driven obsession to privatise public spaces – including the Powerhouse Museum site in Ultimo and other harbour-front sites.
Mike Baird concedes there are ‘challenges’ facing the federal Liberal Party, led by Tony Abbott (right), but says voters want him to focus on state issues. AAP/Paul Miller

NSW Premier Mike Baird on health, privatisation, and Abbott’s shadow

'There's no doubt there's challenges in Canberra ... I would like Canberra to get on with the job of actually looking after the people it's supposed to be representing.' – Mike Baird
Asked about what he would consider a good result at the upcoming state election, Mike Baird joked he’d be happy with a win. AAP/Dan Himbrechts

In Conversation with Mike Baird: full transcript

'I would be incredibly disappointed, I can’t tell you how disappointed I’d be, if I didn’t have the opportunity to continue beyond March ... [these are] some of the most exciting times in politics'.
Victoria’s new Labor government has set up an Australian-first royal commission into family violence. AAP/Julian Smith

Explainer: Victoria’s Royal Commission into Family Violence

It is difficult to capture just how important a royal commission with this focus is. For too long, family violence has taken, threatened and pervaded the lives of so many in the Victorian community.

VIDEO: Michelle Grattan on Abbott’s leadership

University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor Stephen Parker and Michelle Grattan discuss the week in politics including the New South Wales state election, if Tony Abbott is likely to be replaced and who would gain from a leadership transition to Malcolm Turnbull.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott confers with his chief of staff, Peta Credlin, during question time. AAP/Lukas Coch

Why Credlin is seen to have gone too far as PM’s right-hand woman

Peta Credlin is in the classic "double bind" of all women in power: if they take charge, they transgress the gendered expectations that "female qualities" are best suited to a supporting role.