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Valley of the Dawn members celebrate ‘Day of the Indoctrinator’ at their temple complex in Brazil on May 1. This year’s event is postponed due to coronavirus. Márcia Alves

Brazilian mystics say they’re sent by aliens to ‘jump-start human evolution’ – but their vision for a more just society is not totally crazy

Brazil's Valley of the Dawn faith is often dismissed as a cult. But many of the group's fantastical rituals are a recognizable reaction to this harsh world of inequality, loneliness and pandemics.
Richmond captain Trent Cotchin and former Hawthorn captain Sam Mitchell were co-winners of the 2012 Brownlow Medal, after Essendon captain Jobe Watson was ruled ineligible. Julian Smith/AAP

Fairest and best? Status counts in the Brownlow Medal

Team captains have a slight statistical advantage in being judged best on ground, says sports economist Liam Lenten.
Worldwide, 1 in 10 presidents and prime ministers has relatives who were already in politics. Europe and Latin America, both democratic regions, have the highest proportion of leaders who come from political families. Shutterstock

Dynasties still run the world

To reach the highest rungs of power, a new study shows, it really helps if your dad was president.
Some countries seem to provide more equitable opportunities in schools and society in general. Others have work to do if they want to advance the adage that hard work and education afford success regardless of one’s existing social status. www.shutterstock.com

Education does not always equal social mobility

Conventional wisdom across much of the Western world says there's a strong link between education and upward social mobility. Really?

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