We tease out the complex history behind those baffling events in the news.
Forced landing—Ryan Air Flight 4978
A scheduled Ryan Air flight from Athens to Vilnius was diverted as it flew over Belarus and told to land at Minsk because of a bomb threat. What can pilots do if there’s a bomb threat and how do we ensure international air safety?
How to carve up the riches of the sea—Australia, Indonesia, and the sea boundaries
In 2018 Australia signed a Treaty with Timor-Leste establishing sea boundaries based on a line equidistance from each other’s coasts. Yet Australia’s seabed boundaries with Indonesia, established in the 1970s are much closer to Indonesian than Australia. How did that happen, and is it fair?
Psychedelics—the curious journey from medical lab to party drug and back again
Around the world there is a rapidly growing body of scientific evidence suggesting that psychedelic drugs are safe and highly effective when used under medical supervision. Why did promising treatments first become illegal and how did drugs once seen as possibly leading to madness or death become once again treatments for mental illness?
Pentecostalism—the fastest growing religion on earth
Pentecostalism is a Christian religious movement with over seven hundred denominations world-wide and Australia’s Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, is a believer. What do Pentecostalists believe and what might be the political implications?
The American military abroad and the Australia US alliance
The US operates a global network of overseas military facilities that dwarfs that of any other country. How does Australia fit into this picture and what are the risks and benefits?
Palestinian politics under occupation
This week Palestinians should have been voting in their first election for 15 years, but the election was cancelled and now they are again involved in a battle with Israel. Why? The complexities of Palestinian politics are defined by the Oslo Accords and the Israeli occupation.