Bridget McKenzie’s political future could be determined by Scott Morrison’s inquiry into whether she breached ministerial standards. Lukas Coch/AAP

Grattan on Friday: Bridget McKenzie has made herself a sitting duck

The damaging longer-term risk for Prime Minister Scott Morrison is that some people have re-thought their view of him over the sports grants saga and his missteps in handling the bushfires.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has asked his department to probe whether Bridget McKenzie was in breach of ministerial standards in her handling of the sports grants program. Mick Tsikas/AAP

Why we need strong ethical standards for ministers – and better ways of enforcing them

Our government has grappled for years to devise ethical standards for ministers and other officials. But codes are only part of the answer – MPs must also take responsibility for their own conduct.
Two new studies have found a link between having antibiotics as a baby and an increased risk of obesity in childhood. From shutterstock.com

The link between antibiotics and obesity in children doesn’t mean you need to avoid antibiotics

New research finds taking antibiotics in early life is associated with an increased risk of obesity at age four. But that's no reason not to give your child antibiotics if they really need them.
AI systems may soon be able to generate texts that can pass for human work. Such technology has many positives, but could also result in widespread generation of false texts (including fake news). SHUTTERSTOCK

OK computer: to prevent students cheating with AI text-generators, we should bring them into the classroom

AI-powered text generators are becoming increasingly easy to access. Rather than banning their use by students, educators should think about incorporating such tools into their curriculums.
Health authorities are worried because they don’t know how dangerous this strain of coronavirus could be. Facundo Arrizaba BALAGA

Should we be worried about the new Wuhan coronavirus?

The virus seems to spread like any other respiratory illness – through coughs and sneezes, or contact with contaminated surfaces. Here's what we know about it so far.
The University of Wollongong Illawarra Flame House demonstrates how a typical Aussie fibro home can be transformed into a net-zero-energy sustainable home. Dee Kramer

Homes with higher energy ratings sell for more. Here’s how Australian owners could cash in

Buyers pay more for a home they know has a good energy rating. That's worth an extra 2.4-9.4% in the only part of Australia where energy ratings must be disclosed at the time of sale.
Margaret Court has used her platform in the sport to vilify LGBT+ people and many fans believe her name should be stripped from the arena at the Australian Open grounds. Dave Hunt/AAP

Can Tennis Australia honour Margaret Court and promote LGBT+ inclusivity at the same time?

Tennis Australia has faced criticism for its decision to celebrate Court's career next week. But at the same time, it's boosting its efforts at inclusivity with events like this year's Glam Slam.
When bushfires break out anywhere across Australia, a new national bushfire defence force – like army reservists – could be deployed. AAP/DFES Lewis van Bommel

Australia needs a national fire inquiry – these are the 3 key areas it should deliver in

There is a real risk a national inquiry could get bogged down in politics, or not lead to real change. But we need more federal action on bushfires. Our old approaches are broken.
About 195,000 Australians volunteer with the nation’s bushfire services. The NSW Rural Fire Service is the biggest, with more than 71,000 volunteers. Dan Himbrechts/AAP

Value beyond money: Australia’s special dependence on volunteer firefighters

Australia's rural firefighting organisations hold a special place in the nation's heart. Part of what makes them so interesting is how they are organised and funded.
Regular exercise reduces the risk of obesity and a number of chronic diseases. Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock

Sport can be an important part of Aboriginal culture for women – but many barriers remain

Just one in four Indigenous women play sport or are physically active, with many citing racism, cost and gendered expectations as barriers.

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