Why conspiracy theorists won’t give up on MH17 and MH370

Was it the Illuminati? Credit: EPA

A huge criminal investigation is underway in the Netherlands, following the downing of flight MH17. Ten Dutch prosecutors and 200 policemen are involved in collecting evidence to present at the International Criminal Court in the Hague. The investigation may take time to find the real perpetrators, but that hasn’t stopped conspiracy theorists from speculating. Human beings are pattern-seeking creatures. We ... Read More »

Indian court orders release of woman on hunger strike for 14 years

Irom Sharmila began her protest after seeing the army kill 10 people at a bus stop near her home in Manipur. Photograph: Sajjad Hussain/AFP/Getty Images

“Irom Sharmila has been force-fed in prison hospital since beginning hunger strike in protest at human rights abuses An Indian judge has ordered the release of human rights campaigner Irom Sharmila Chanu, who has been on hunger strike for nearly 14 years in protest at a law granting sweeping powers to security forces in the country’s troubled north-east. Sharmila, 42, ... Read More »

Support our red-haired cousins, the orangutans, before it’s too late

Orphaned orangutans in Borneo. Rickina and Rocky’s mothers were probably killed by poachers. Photograph: Thomas Burns/International Animal Rescue

As orangutans are added to a list of the world’s 25 most endangered primates, we are discovering that these great apes are more like humans than we supposed Tuesday is International Orangutan Day. This year it follows hot on the heels of exciting genetic results from Sumatra made public at the International Primatological Society’s biannual conference on Sunday which suggest ... Read More »

If You Think This Woman Is Enjoying A Nice Swim In The Pool, Think Again

A tiny indoors swimming pool? No, not quite. The woman pictured in a dazzling pool of water is actually a painting by Venezuela-based artist Gustavo Silva Nuñez. Nuñez creates hyperrealistic paintings of swimmers floating and splashing about. His mind-boggling works are so close to reality, it looks like the canvas will come to life and leave you soaking wet. ... Read More »

A letter from Lisa Collyer to Scott Morrison MP

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Dear Minister I can only assume that you have never been to Cambodia independently nor have been briefed on the nation’s recent history and current issues. I’d like to begin with Prime Minister Hun Sen whom you are currently negotiating with to send 1000 refugees to Cambodia. Here are some facts quoted from the text ‘Cambodia: Report From a Stricken ... Read More »

Tensions in Asia are Rising: How Strong is the U.S.- Australia Relationship?

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With the annual Australia–US Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN) recently concluded in Sydney, it’s a good time to reassess the broader Australian–US strategic relationship. I want to frame that assessment here by employing a SWOT analysis. The methodology is clunky but simple enough to allow a set of insights about the relationship’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. I’ve allowed myself three of ... Read More »

US administration and Tony Abbott have ‘meeting of minds’ on climate change

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The Abbott government has discussed with the Obama administration the subject that was supposed to be unmentionable between them – climate change. A senior US official said ”there was a meeting of the minds on the significance of the challenge” when the two countries held their annual Ausmin consultations in Sydney this week. The subject was not mentioned at the ... Read More »