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US President Barack Obama has unveiled the United States' most comprehensive climate policy so far. EPA/Michael Reynolds/AAP

Obama takes ‘biggest step’ on US climate policy: experts react

US President Barack Obama's new climate plan aims to cut greenhouse emissions from the nation's coal-dominated power sector by 32% by 2030. Will it get through, and how will it affect this year's climate talks?
The use of Incirlik airbase by Turkish warplanes launching attacks across the border and its re-opening to the US Airforce reflect the domestic and international goals of Turkey’s campaign. FlickrUS Airforce

Turkey strikes back: the political ploy behind attacking both Kurdish and Islamic State forces

What prompted Turkey's punishing campaign against both Islamic State and Kurdish forces in Iraq and Syria? The explanation for this sharp reversal of policy may lie in calculations for fresh elections.
Is the data correct that there are fewer bullies in elite schools, or is something else at play? FoxSchumacher/Flickr

Is your child less likely to be bullied in a private school?

Recent survey data revealed that twice as many parents of public school students reported their children had been bullied compared to private school parents.
Townsville’s roads (pictured) may have their busy periods but is it the best place to start a solar charged ‘electric super highway’? Flickr/John Skewes

Where to put the first electric car charge station in the Sunshine State

If you want to kick-start the "electric superhighway" in Queensland then it makes sense to start in a populated area with the busiest traffic.
Music – as a tool of mobilising people against power – tends to suit a more progressive agenda. AAP/Richard Milnes

Barnes vs Reclaim Australia: does Khe Sanh work as a conservative protest song?

Cold Chisel’s Khe Sanh was played at Reclaim Australia rallies in various cities last weekend – but won't be again, after a public statement by the band's frontman, Jimmy Barnes. Was it a good song choice?
Shadow Assistant Treasurer Andrew Leigh has said the GST is as inefficient but less equitable than income tax. AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

FactCheck: is the GST as efficient but less equitable than income tax?

The Shadow Assistant Treasurer, Andrew Leigh, has said the the Government's latest tax discussion paper says the GST is as inefficient as income tax, adding he thinks it's less equitable. Is that right?
Making a splash in letters may be harder under changes to Australian arts funding. Orange County Archives Follow

Writers and publishers are all at sea under Brandis and the NPEA

It's hard to work out how funding for literature – if at all – fits into the draft guidelines of the new National Program for Excellence in the Arts. So what are the politics, and problems, at play?
Already having baby-naming regret? Don’t worry – look to the past for alternative role models. Still of Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird (1962). Universal Pictures

What’s in a name? Atticus Finch and his Roman forebears

Some parents have been horrified to discover that, in Harper Lee’s new book, Atticus Finch – long admired as a paragon of virtue – is a racist. Why? Because their kids are named after him. So, what now?
Usually I feel on edge during flight turbulence but recently I employed several techniques that helped to calm me down. Dawid Cedler

High anxiety: how I use mental exercises to ease my fear of flying

Many who suffer from anxiety tend to blame themselves for their "tricky" brains. Compassion-focused exercises can soothe horrible bouts of anxiety, as they did for me on a recent trip home from Bali.
Increased oil and gas revenues amid lifted sanctions are set to raise Iran’s economic fortunes, which ease Middle Eastern tensions. EPA/Abedin Taherkenareh/AAP Image

Energy and economic diplomacy can trump the nuclear ‘threat’ of the Iran deal

Opponents of the Iran nuclear deal say it raises the nuclear weapons threat in the region. But Middle East tensions are actually likely to ease as Iran grows richer without being shackled by sanctions.
Indonesia is turning to homegrown cattle for its beef needs, and cutting its Australian live imports. EPA/Hotli Simanjuntak/AAP Image

Lean times ahead for Australian cattle as Indonesia turns to domestic farming

Indonesia's shock decision to cut imports of Australian beef signals two things: Indonesia's desire to focus on domestic cattle farming, and Australia's lack of alternative options for exporting its own herd.
Cattle on the Liverpool Plains in New South Wales. The new coal mine is to be developed in the hills nearby. Image Library/Flickr

Shenhua mine: the federal government could have chosen farming over coal

Federal environment minister Greg Hunt has claimed that he had no choice but to approve Shenhua's controversial Watermark Coal Mine near Gunnedah in New South Wales. But the legislation suggests otherwise.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk (left) and Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt (centre) prior to the Queensland Budget being delivered in State Parliament in Brisbane. AAP Image/Dave Hunt

Queensland’s budget puts it back on track to be a smart state

The Palaszczuk government's first budget for Queensland has promised to drive new investement and jobs in the knowledge based sectors.
Solar thermal technology is still an outside bet - and not the kind of investment the CEFC was set up to make. WorleyParsons/AAP Image

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation is meant to back winners, not minnows

Environment minister Greg Hunt wants the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to focus on new technologies, not wind and solar. But that's not what it was set up to do, and Australia already has an agency for that.
Brian Wilson’s music – the subject of Love & Mercy – is like a lesson we relearn each time we listen. Francois Duhamel/image.net

Love & Mercy: what Brian Wilson’s story tells us about genius and music

Much like the music of the man it's based on, Love & Mercy is beautiful, complex, somewhat melancholy, and thought-provoking. It also teaches us some things about creative genius, innovation, and art.

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