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Free pollination services: a bee at an almond orchard in California. Randy Stiefer

Bringing scientific rigor to ‘ecosystem services’

Forests, wetlands, wildlife, waterways all provide valuable services to society. Would we take better conserve natural resources if we paid for these ecosystem services?
Hacking and making a profit isn’t as easy as it looks. Reuters

Hard Evidence: how much is cybercrime really costing us?

In the wake of the latest high-profile hack of Sony and claims of “cyber-vandalism” being thrown about, it’s normal to feel a sense of unease. Just this week, yet another proposal for new cybersecurity…
The author with his brother and father on the way to Florida

The last exiles

“Normalization” – that’s been the word of the week among Cubans and Cuba watchers. Set aside for the moment whether it’s really possible for a dictatorship and a democracy to have normal relations, since…
‘Plates of the Outback’ - A supercell thunderstorm near Urana, NSW drifts over the landscape. John Allen

Australia faces a stormier future thanks to climate change

The supercell that hit Brisbane on November 27 this year caused more than A$500 million worth of damage, produced hail up to 7.5 cm in diameter, and lashed the city with winds of more than 140 km an hour…
Ferguson after grand jury results announced Jim Young/Reuters

Ferguson: a tale of two competing narratives

Before the ambulance even came to collect the body of 18 year-old Michael Brown from the streets of Ferguson, it was clear that this case would be tried in the court of public opinion. Was Brown a “gentle…
Nobel Laureate Professor Joseph Stiglitz says Australia should make sure its international “brand name” is for its high-quality services. EPA/Arne Dedert

Audio Q&A: Professor Joseph Stiglitz on inequality, rent-seeking and Australia’s ‘brand name’

Nobel Laureate and renowned economist Professor Joseph Stiglitz has been packing out lecture theatres in Australia in the past week. During his whirlwind tour, he’s talked about why inequality matters…
You can tell me anything. Mother & son image via Shutterstock

Bonding with your child matters for their life chances

The idea that parenting matters for early child development is now widely accepted. We also now know a great deal about the role of parenting in social inequalities in development. Parents with more resources…
Genghis Khan’s army swept across Asia, fuelled by luscious green grass. William Cho

Wet climate helped Genghis Khan conquer Asia

After unifying the Mongols, Genghis Khan led his army from Northern Mongolia in 1211 to the Caspian Sea in 1224, forging the largest contiguous land empire in history. For centuries, common wisdom held…
For fleeing Sri Lankans who literally bear the scars of war that may be enough to attract brutal treatment as LTTE suspects when their boats are intercepted. AAP/CNN

Australia dangerously close to the abuse of fleeing Sri Lankans

I was the only lady in the group that was caught by [CID](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criminal_Investigation_Department_(Sri_Lanka) [Criminal Investigation Department]. CID beat the men but to me they…
Vice President Joe Biden’s nonverbal cues did him no favours. EPA/Jim Lo Scalzo

Biden laughs and loses the vice presidential debate

With more than 67 million people watching the first debate between President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney, the pressure was on Vice President Joseph Biden and Representative Paul Ryan to perform…

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