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A new national partnership agreement could allay a lot of CSG worries, if the states sign up. kateausburn/Flickr

National coal seam gas agreement an important step in protecting water

A new national agreement designed to protect water resources from coal seam gas extraction and coal mining could offer a level of protection so far unseen in Australian environmental legislation. Any states…
Burma’s military junta has held on to power through violence and intimidation for 50 years. EPA/Rungroj Yongrit

The Burma question: is reform possible after 50 years of military control?

Today marks the 50th anniversary of military control over the Burmese state, marking half a century of the Junta’s tight, often brutal grip on power. But within the last year, there have been shifts towards…
Julia Gillard claimed a definitive victory this morning: now the hard work begins. AAP

Gillard vs Rudd: the best of The Conversation’s coverage

From Kevin Rudd’s surprise resignation last week to this morning’s galvanising ballot, The Conversation has kept you up-to-date with analysis from Australia’s foremost academic political analysts. Just…
Gillard had strong support from caucus this morning. AAP/Alan Porritt

Julia Gillard wins ALP leadership spill: expert reaction

Prime minister Julia Gillard has defeated Kevin Rudd in this morning’s leadership ballot by 71 votes to 31. Rudd has said he will not initiate a further challenge to the prime minister’s leadership, but…
Debates about online copyright protection have been particularly heated of late. marfis75

Will the internet kill copyright? Here’s hoping …

IDEAS AND OWNERSHIP: The concept of protecting ideas and innovation by legal means dates back to antiquity. But many of our existing laws are under strain, their suitability and ultimate purpose called…
Rudd’s style is individualistic, Gillard prefers a more consultative approach. AAP/Alan Porritt

Rudd’s presidential politics vs Gillard’s Westminster wisdom: who will win out in the style battle?

It is fitting that Kevin Rudd’s official campaign for a return to the Labor leadership commenced in the United States, for his political project is one forged in the image of what many Australians imagine…
Rudd might think he’s the messiah, but Gillard begs to differ. AAP/Alan Porritt

The messiah or a very naughty boy? Kevin and Julia’s war of the words

He’s not the messiah … or is he? This morning Nicola Roxon went to the heart of the matter when she said of Kevin Rudd, “he’s not the messiah”. Most of us were hoping that she’d complete the statement…
When emotions meet economics: New York police and protesters clash during the Occupy movement protests on Wall Street. AAP

Economics and the brain: how people really make decisions in turbulent times

In a 2008 paper on neuroeconomics, Carnegie Mellon University economist George Loewenstein said: “Whereas psychologists tend to view humans as fallible and sometime even self-destructive, economists tend…
Art reflects back the crisis we’ve created. Simon Hennessey: Sunset over Metropolis

Can art change minds where science can’t?

“Artists are shape-shifters and in this there is a perennial, ferocious hope; the hope which transforms, which whispers of possibility, of vision, of change and radical healing. Existing art about climate…
Have scientific standards negatively affected legal reasoning? Alberto Martin/EPA

Contador, doping and the need for speed

On the day the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) handed down its decision on the Alberto Contador doping case, Cadel Evans – Australian Tour de France champion – was quoted in the cycling press repeating…
Consumers are making the switch to online retailers, and stores such as Dick Smith Electronics are paying the price. AAP

Store bores: pulling the plug on consumer electronics

Retailers: be careful what you underestimate. Whether it’s the competition, the consumer or the channel to market, if the writing is on the wall - you’d better read it. Globally, the consumer electronics…
Broadcast rights have turned two giant telcos into sporting rivals. Judy **

Optus and Telstra do the techno-legal time warp

Telecommunications giant Optus managed to convince the Federal Court in Sydney this week that there’s a legal blindspot in relation to its download pay-per-view service. Telstra – given its business relationship…
Many Syrians prefer the stability of the Assad regime to the chaos they saw after dictators were deposed in Libya and Iraq. EPA/Youssef Badawi

The Syria roulette wheel – where nobody wins

The stench of hypocrisy is a hard one to wash out for the West in the Middle East. We shook Gadaffi’s hand and pretended we liked his outfits when he coughed up for Lockerbie and we snuggled with Mubarak…
If you’re not meeting your weight-loss targets, you need to eat less or move more. Flickr/lism

Monday’s medical myth: ‘my slow metabolism makes me fat’

People who struggle to lose weight often blame their difficulty achieving a healthy weight on their “slow metabolism”. So is this a real barrier to weight loss, or is the real culprit an excess of food…
First the boom, then the bust: property bubble deniers had better brace themselves. justmakeit

Housing bubble trouble: separating facts from fiction

In a previous article, I analysed four of the common arguments used by those who deny there is a bubble in Australia’s residential property market. The bubble deniers have employed other explanations for…

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