Wollongong lecturer leads UNESCO study on journalists rights to protect sources

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A Wollongong University journalism lecturer currently conducting research for the World Editor’s Forum in Paris is to become the chief researcher on a major United Nations study. Julie Posetti has been appointed chief researcher for a UNESCO investigation into legal protections for journalists in a changing digital environment. Ms Posetti says in some cases changes to national security laws to ... Read More »

Why Westerners are driven to join the jihadist fight

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Forget indoctrination, people become foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq for far simpler reasons: politics, persecution and peer-group pressure IT’S a question being asked around the world. How can you stem the flow of foreign jihadis making their way to Syria and Iraq? As New Scientist went to press, politicians on both sides of the Atlantic were finalising their game plans to ... Read More »

Office Plants Increase Productivity by 15%

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Do you have any plants in your office? What about at home? It may take a green thumb to keep these potted floras alive and well, but studies show that indoor plants have multiple benefits and are worth the care and attention. Some benefits include helping us breathe easier, purifying air and improving health, and even sharpening our focus. According ... Read More »

The UN Just Called Syria the “Biggest Humanitarian Emergency of Our Era”


The news: Just as the number of fleeing refugees passed the 3 million mark on Friday, the United Nations has declared the war in Syria to be the “biggest humanitarian crisis of our era,” according to a statement by António Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said in a statement that almost half of all Syrian citizens ... Read More »

HIV study promising for multiple sclerosis treatment

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People who are HIV positive are significantly less likely to develop multiple sclerosis, according a study that may lead to new treatment for one of medicine’s most confounding diseases. Multiple sclerosis is an auto-immune disease that typically strikes women in their early 30s with neurological symptoms including blindness, paralysis and loss of feeling. There is no known cure. But a ... Read More »

Study confirms water quality in glass and plastic bottles

The study indicate that the packaging, whether it be plastic or glass, and the bottled water are completely safe for health. Credit: Taro Taylor

Bottled water sold in Spain is practically free of constituents given off by plastic packaging or glass bottle lids. They are only detected in some cases, albeit in quantities much lower than limits found harmful for health. This was revealed by the analysis of more than 130 types of mineral water by researchers at the Institute of Environmental Assessment and ... Read More »

Peace Through Friendship


WHEN two groups are in conflict, how can you improve relations between them? One strategy is to encourage positive personal contact among individuals from each group. If a Catholic and a Protestant in Northern Ireland would only sit down together to talk — learning about one another’s families, hearing about one another’s fears — the encounter, according to this approach, ... Read More »

The World’s Most Livable Cities All Have One Thing in Common


None of them are in the U.S. If you’re fed up with the U.S. and looking for the expat experience, then you’ll want to head to one the world’s best spots to live — a place that boasts great culture, good education, accessible health care and few disruptive conflicts. The news: The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has declared the 10 most livable cities ... Read More »

Can Mexico save the endangered vaquitas?

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Editor’s note: Omar Vidal is director general of the World Wildlife Fund in Mexico. Robert L. Brownell Jr. has studied marine mammals all over the world since the 1960s. Zhou Kaiya is a professor at Nanjing Normal University and studied the baiji since the mid-1950s until it went extinct. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the authors. ... Read More »