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What is sodium lauryl sulfate and is it safe to use?

By Yousuf Mohammed

If youve ever Googled the causes of a skin complaint or damaged hair, chances are someone on the internet has pointed the finger at SLS, or sodium lauryl (or laureth) sulfate, a common ingredient in beauty products,...

Science needs true diversity to succeed -- and Australian astronomy shows how we can get it

By Lisa Kewley

Australian astronomy punches well above its weight, in terms of the research it leads and the facilities it houses. We have made remarkable discoveries in the past year alone. Our scientists have recently narrowed down...

How minority governments can influence foreign policy

By Adam Chapnick Et Al

When Stephen Harpers government was defeated in 2015, we tried to figure out what drove its thinking on foreign policy. We did so by comparing the governments approach to a variety of international issues before and after...

The story behind the world's first private refugee sponsorship program

By David Pfrimmer

Forty years ago, an estimated three million Cambodian, Hmong, Laotian, Vietnamese and ethnic Chinese people fled their homes following the Indochina wars. Hundreds of thousands died. Many suffered brutal repression. Many...

Pop culture: restoring Namibia's forgotten resistance music

By Henning Melber

There is a rich history of 20th century music in Namibia that was suppressed and all but erased by political forces. Now an archive project called Stolen Moments Namibian Music History Untold is restoring it to the public...

Kenya's tax on digital trade and services: what's known and not known

By Mercy Muendo

Kenya will start levying new tax on digital markets under a new law signed by the president early in November. The Finance Act seeks to broaden the Income Tax Act net to include income accruing through a digital market...

How do you know when it's time to break up? Here's the research

By Veronica Lamarche

Christmas may be a time of giving, but its also a peak time for break-ups. Facing the prospect of spending yet another festive season with their romantic partner, many people start having doubts about their relationship in...

Brexit Britain: was Jane Austen an original little Englander?

By Thomas McLean

In revealing the charms and follies of genteel English society, Jane Austen has few competitors. Yet as Britain limps towards Brexit, I cant help wondering why there are no foreigners in her major fiction. Many thousands...

American influence could take the hit as Putin, Zelenskiy try to make peace in Donbass

By Erik C. Nisbet Et Al

President Vladimir Putin of Russia and his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, are set to meet Dec. 9 as part of efforts to end conflict in the separatist-controlled territories of Donbass. Zelenskiys electoral...

Why the US military usually punishes misconduct but police often close ranks

By Dwight Stirling

Many U.S. military members publicly disavowed President Trumps decision to pardon Edward Gallagher, the former SEAL commando convicted of killing a teenage detainee in Iraq in 2017. Gallaghers alleged war crimes were...

Hypnobirthing: can using self-hypnosis techniques reduce pain during childbirth?

By Kenneth Finlayson

The latest celebrity-endorsed health trend is the bizarre-sounding practice of hypnobirthing. Backed by the likes of Gisele Bundchen, Jessica Alba and, reportedly, Kate Middleton, women are using self-hypnosis to help them...

What would Russia prefer to happen in the UK election?

By Alexander Titov

The UK election comes against the background of one of the worst periods in Russian-British relations since the end of the Cold War. Badly shaken by the 2006 poisoning of the former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko in...

Emails outside working hours: are they against employment law?

By Darius Whelan

It is common for many employees to send, read and reply to work emails at all hours of the day and night, including weekends. This change in work culture developed in recent decades and has accelerated with the advent of...

This small German town took back the power – and went fully renewable

By Bertie Russell

The case for ambitious and transformative environmental policy is being made with increasing fervour and a series of Green New Deals a reference to Roosevelts economic reform programme in the 1930s have been proposed...

Economic democracy: why handing power back to the people will fix our broken system

By Andrew Cumbers

Behind the superficial froth of the UK election campaign, the competing parties are offering fundamentally different visions of the economy, who controls it and who benefits from it. The Conservatives and, to some extent,...

South African Airways is in business rescue: what it means, and what next

By Marius Pretorius

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has taken the decision to put South African Airways, the cash-strapped national flag carrier, into voluntary business rescue. Caroline Southey from the Conversation Africa asked...

'Stop-and-frisk' can work, under careful supervision

By Henry F. Fradella Et Al

In mid-November, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg apologized publicly for his backing of a practice intended to reduce violent crime that had for years been criticized as racially biased. I realize back then I...

A global downturn looks likely, yet it's being totally ignored in the UK election

By Peter Bloom

For all the marked policy differences between the different parties in the UK election, they share a common blindspot. They all seem to assume that the UK is the sole determiner of its economic fate. There is nothing in...

Manchester City v Manchester United: a battle for ideological dominance

By Simon Chadwick

The Manchester derby is always a key clash in the Premier League calendar and all eyes will be on the Etihad Stadium when City take on United, as the two footballing giants face-off for the first time this season. Yet the...

Hong Kong: when the citizen-birds rebel

By Frédéric Keck

Over the past year, a number of nations around the world have been the scene of tumultuous popular protests, including Lebanon, Algeria, Bolivia, Chile and even France. While the protests in Hong Kong bear some...

To stop a tech apocalypse we need ethics and the arts

By Sara James Et Al

If recent television shows are anything to go by, were a little concerned about the consequences of technological development. Dystopian narratives abound. Black Mirror projects the negative consequences of social...

Why Americans are staying put, instead of moving to a new city or state

By Thomas Cooke

The story of America is one of moving. A total of 13.6% of Americans today were born in another country, and most of us are descended from immigrants. This story of migration also includes moving within the country....

GDP update: spending dips and saving soars as we stash rather than spend our tax cuts

By Peter Martin1

Australians saved rather than spent most of the budget tax cuts, almost doubling the proportion of household income saved, leaving spending languishing. The September quarter national accounts show that in the first...

Fingerprint login would be a more secure defence for our data, if we used it properly

By Nalin Asanka Gamagedara Ar

Our electronic devices store a plethora of sensitive information. To protect this information, device operating systems such as Apples iOS and Android have locking mechanisms. These require user authentication before...

The top ranking education systems in the world aren't there by accident. Here's how Australia can climb up

By Julie Sonnemann

The latest OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) results show a long-term decline in reading, maths and science skills for Australian students. In 2018, Australian 15 years olds performed more than...

Global emissions to hit 36.8 billion tonnes, beating last year's record high

By Pep Canadell Et Al

Global emissions for 2019 are predicted to hit 36.8 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO₂), setting yet another all-time record. This disturbing result means emissions have grown by 62% since international climate...

Love it or hate it, Tesla's Cybertruck is revolutionary

By Michael D. Mehta

With a collective gasp and puzzled looks, the world was recently introduced to Teslas newest vehicle. The so-called Cybertruck is an angular, stainless steel, all-electric pickup truck that quickly became...

Currency manipulation and why Trump is picking on Brazil and Argentina

By Farok J. Contractor

President Donald Trump slapped new tariffs on Brazil and Argentina after accusing them of manipulating their currencies to boost exports. It wasnt the first time Trump has labeled another country a currency manipulator...

At 70, is NATO still important? 5 essential reads

By Jeff Inglis

As the NATO summit begins in London on Dec. 3, it brings together leaders of the worlds most powerful military alliance, with 29 members on three continents. Celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2019, the North Atlantic...

How do you stop the youth exodus from private health insurance? Cut premiums for under-55s

By Stephen Duckett

Young people dont see private health insurance as good value for money. And theyre right: the cost of their expected use of private health care is significantly below what they pay in insurance premiums. Unsurprisingly,...

Did people or climate kill off the megafauna? Actually, it was both

By Frédérik Saltré Et Al

Earth is now firmly in the grips of its sixth mass extinction event, and its mainly our fault. But the modern era is definitely not the first time humans have been implicated in the extinction of a wide range of...

Time to end drug company distortion of medical evidence

By Ray Moynihan

While theres much to celebrate in medicine, its now beyond doubt that we have too much of it. Too many tests, diagnoses, pills and procedures are wasting resources that could be better spent meeting genuine need. As a...

The hidden costs of social media use in elections: A Ghana case study

By Gabrielle Lynch Et Al

Social media is becoming increasingly central to election campaigns around the world. In the process, it is transforming politics in a number of ways. Unsurprisingly, journalists and analysts have focused on the more...

Climate crisis: six steps to making fossil fuels history

By Stephen Peake

In shouting system change not climate change, young people understand that the 3-4℃ warmer world were headed for would be far more painful, costly and disruptive than any short-term costs or inconvenience we face from...

Climate crisis could reverse progress in achieving gender equality

By Nitya Rao

People who directly depend on the natural world for their livelihoods, like farmers and fishers, will be among the greatest victims of the climate crisis. In vulnerable hotspots, such as the arid lands of Kenya and...

Human genetic enhancement might soon be possible – but where do we draw the line?

By Tess Johnson

The first genetically edited children were born in China in late 2018. Twins Lulu and Nana had a particular gene known as CCR5 modified during embryonic development. The aim was to make them (and their descendants)...

London Bridge attack: why longer sentences for terrorist offences are not the answer

By David Lowe

Following the recent attack in London, where two Cambridge University graduates were stabbed to death and at least three other people were seriously wounded by convicted terrorist Usman Khan, many questions are now being...

How can we actually create happy societies?

By Sam Wren-Lewis

Imagine two different societies. In the first, people tend to be stressed, tense, irritable, distracted and self-absorbed. In the second, people tend to be at ease, untroubled, quick to laugh, expansive and...

Invasive grasses are fueling wildfires across the US

By Emily Fusco

The Santa Ana winds that help drive fall and winter wildfires in California have died down, providing welcome relief for residents. But other ecological factors contribute to fires in ways that scientists are still...

The tricky ethics of Google's Project Nightingale

By Cason Schmit

The nations second-largest health system, Ascension, has agreed to allow the software behemoth Google access to tens of millions of patient records. The partnership, called Project Nightingale, aims to improve how...

A quantum computing future is unlikely, due to random hardware errors

By Subhash Kak

Artists rendition of the Google processor. Forest Stearns, Google AI Quantum Artist in Residence, CC BY-ND Google announced this fall to much fanfare that it had demonstrated quantum supremacy that is, it performed a...

Alcohol deaths in the UK – second highest since records began

By Ian Hamilton Et Al

Its easy to forget how toxic alcohol is, although this collective lapse of memory is not accidental as the alcohol industry does all it can to curate a positive image of drink. In the UK, the industry depends on heavy...

3D printing is helping museums in repatriation and decolonisation efforts

By Myrsini Samaroudi Et Al

Manchester Museum recently returned items taken from Australia more than 100 years ago to Aboriginal leaders, the latest move in an ongoing debate over calls to repatriate museum artefacts to their countries of...

UK election 2019: why the BBC's approach to the IFS is a threat to its impartiality

By Mike Berry

During the 2015 election campaign, the BBC Reality Check page asked: Why should we trust the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS)? Its a pertinent question in this election, too, as it has become almost a ritual for the BBC...

Australia's threatened birds declined by 59% over the past 30 years

By Elisa Bayraktarov Et Al

Australias threatened birds declined by nearly 60% on average over 30 years, according to new research that reveals the true impact on native wildlife of habitat loss, introduced pests, and other human-caused...

The government is hyping digitalised services, but not addressing a history of e-government fails

By Bruce Baer Arnold

In politics, when you have little to show for your achievements, you can release a roadmap for what will supposedly be achieved in the future. You can look on the bright side. Use phrases such as ontology of...

The bizarre and ecologically important hidden lives of mosquitoes

By Daniel A.H. Peach

Mosquitoes. Hordes of them, buzzing in your ear and biting incessantly, a maddening nuisance without equal. And not to mention the devastating health impacts caused by malaria, Zika virus and other pathogens they...

Islamophobic attacks mostly happen in public. Here's what you can do if you see it or experience it

By Derya Iner Et Al

The second Islamophobia in Australia Report launched last month, in the same week a graphic video showing a pregnant Muslim woman being punched and stomped on circulated widely on social media. Earlier in October...

Westpac ticking every anti-money-laundering box wouldn't make much difference to criminals

By Ronald F Pol

The charges surrounding Westpacs alleged 23 million breaches of anti-money laundering laws have been called about as serious as it gets. They include, in the words of Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, giving a free pass...

Stimulus package: brain stimulation holds huge promise, but is critically under-regulated

By Adrian Carter Et Al

This year, a Chinese patient known only as Mr Yan became a medical pioneer. He agreed to have electrodes surgically inserted into his brain, allowing his surgeon, by touching the screen of a simple tablet computer, to...

The digital economy's environmental footprint is threatening the planet

Modern society has given significant attention to the promises of the digital economy over the past decade. But it has given little attention to its negative environmental footprint. Our smartphones rely on rare earth...

Norges Bank likely to keep interest rate unchanged in December

19:18 PM| Commentary

Norges Bank is set to meet next week for its policy decision. According to a DNB Market research report, the central bank is expected to keep policy rates on hold but hike the rate path in 2020 to 2022. The central bank...

Swedish CPIF inflation likely to have come below Riksbank’s forecast in November

18:40 PM| Commentary

Swedish inflation data for the month of November is set to release next week. According to a Nordea Bank research report, inflation will continue to undershoot the central banks view. Our call for November CPIF at 1.5...

University of Michigan’s preliminary consumer confidence index rises in December

17:47 PM| Commentary

Consumer confidence in the U.S. rises above expectations in December. The preliminary estimate of the University of Michigans consumer sentiment index came in at 99.2, as compared with consensus expectations of 97. Rises...

U.S. non-farm payrolls rise above expectations in October, jobless rate falls to 3.5 pct

16:28 PM| Commentary

U.S. non-farm payrolls rose above expectations in October. Employment rose 266k, as compared with consensus expectations of a rise of 180k. Also, the data for prior two months was upwardly revised by 41k jobs. The jobless...

German industrial production falls sequentially in October

11:47 AM| Commentary

German industrial production dropped sequentially in October, coming in much below than consensus expectations. Following the considerable fall in new orders, industrial production also dropped significantly by 1.7 percent...

FxWirePro: Asian markets flat, gold trades flat at $1,475 mark

06:28 AM| Commentary

All the major Asian indices were trading on a flat note on Friday. Gold was trading around $1,475 mark while silver was trading around $16.94 mark. Japans Nikkei was trading 0.25 pct higher at 23,358.50...

Top Stories

Litigation is the real reason financial reports are becoming harder to read

By Mark Humphery-Jenner - 06:01 AM| Insights & Views Law

Westpac can expect a bumper turnout of shareholders at its annual general meeting in Sydney on Thursday, many of them angry at its alleged role in facilitating child exploitation in the Philippines, its 23 million alleged...

A useful guide for CEOs on how to make ethical decisions in business

By Kenneth Amaeshi - 04:41 AM| Insights & Views Business

Chief executive officers (CEOs), like ordinary citizens, are driven by their values and convictions. These may not necessarily be just good for business. Examples abound. Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, speaks strongly for the...

Global and historical lessons on how land reforms have unfolded

By Ben Cousins - 04:42 AM| Insights & Views Economy

What can South Africa learn about land reforms from wider global and historical experiences in the 20th century? Most land reforms have involved transferring rights of ownership from wealthy landlords to poor, small-scale...

Climate Change Series

Flash flooding is a serious threat in the UK – here's how scientists are tackling its prediction

By Christopher J White Et Al - 04:46 AM| Insights & Views Nature

Its becoming a familiar scene on the news: sodden British people wading through streets up to their knees in flood water. From Stirling to Sheffield, many parts of the UK in 2019 felt the impact of severe surface water...

How to spot fake news this election

By Amy Binns - 04:45 AM| Insights & Views Politics

The 2019 UK election campaign has been particularly dispiriting for anyone who cares about the truth. Even established parties have proven they are not above using tricks to manipulate the news. Meanwhile, politicians are...

What makes Christmas movies so popular

By S. Brent Rodriguez-Plate - 04:42 AM| Insights & Views Entertainment

If you are one of those people who will settle in this evening with a hot cup of apple cider to watch a holiday movie, you are not alone. Holiday movies have become firmly embedded in Americans winter celebrations. The...

Econotimes Series

Economy

South Africa is missing out on fresh fruit export growth. What it needs to do

South Africas urgent need to create jobs requires that the country take advantage of opportunities in the global economy that it can convert into quick wins. The fruit industry presents such an opportunity. The countrys...

How to protect the NHS in a post-Brexit trade deal with the US

A US-UK trade deal is being negotiated, and drug prices are a key issue. Several US officials are demanding that foreign countries pay higher prices to US drug companies. The UK government is denying that drug prices will...

Market-led infrastructure may sound good but not if it short-changes the public

The privatisation of services in Australian cities has weakened public control of key infrastructure. This is likely to accelerate as governments look to market-led proposals to provide infrastructure. For nearly three...

Comeback city? Lessons from revitalising a diverse place like Dandenong

In the 1990s, central Dandenong in Melbournes southeast was in decline. But, over the past decade and a half, this trend has been halted and in some areas reversed. Our research has identified key elements in this...

Black Friday: a logistical nightmare that’s bad for the environment

Black Friday and the ensuing Cyber Monday are once again upon us. Billions will be spent trying to snag a bargain in the approach to Christmas. But as scrutiny turns to whether or not the deals on offer are genuine...

Politics

Michelle Obama did not favor the initial draft of Barack Obama's official portrait, artist reveals

It has been more than a year since the official portraits of Barack Obama and Michelle Obama were unveiled. However, a piece of interesting behind-the-scenes information was revealed on Monday by Kehinde Wiley, the artist...

Rick Perry's belief that Trump was chosen by God is shared by many in a fast-growing Christian movement

In a recent interview with Fox News, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry stated that Donald Trump was chosen by God to be president. He said throughout history God had picked imperfect people such as King David or Solomon to...

Melania Trump reportedly lives a floor above where Donald Trump is sleeping in the White House

There has been so much interest around the marital status of Melania Trump and Donald Trump. Though the first couple has maintained their relationship is going well, it never stopped reports that they are sleeping in...

Radio as a form of struggle: scenes from late colonial Angola

One August night in 1967 in the village of Mungo in central Angola, the local colonial administrator walked into a bar to buy cigarettes. As he entered, he noticed furtive gestures. The barman, Timoteo Chingualulo, turned...

Do politicians break their promises once in government? What the evidence says

The conventional wisdom holds that politicians cant be trusted to keep their promises, yet decades of research across numerous advanced democracies shows the opposite. In truth, political parties reliably carry out the...

Science

Geminids 2019 meteor shower to appear in the skies next week

Among the amazing phenomena that could be seen up in the sky is in the form of meteor showers. Many celestial being enthusiasts might look forward to the upcoming meteor shower by the Geminids next week. It is...

Asteroids: Meteorite crashes could be what formed tectonics on Earth

From what is known about meteors or asteroids, is that these rocks have been responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs. However, experts say that these meteorite impacts could have been responsible for jump-starting...

NASA: 427-feet asteroid to skim Earth today

Many asteroids have been able to pass by Earth over the years, some getting a little closer than others. The latest asteroid that is reported by NASA to pass by the planet is going to do so today. NASAs asteroid...

Mars 2019: Living organisms can potentially survive and thrive in the Red Planet's conditions

Scientists and space agencies have long been studying and testing theories regarding the possibility of being able to survive on Mars. One scientist, in particular, made a discovery that can potentially hold the answer to...

NASA: Asteroid bigger than five double-decker buses to pass by Earth

Another asteroid is coming in within the vicinity of the Earth. NASA says that an asteroid larger than five double-decker buses is going to pass by the planet. Many asteroids have been spotted passing by the planet this...

Technology

‘PUBG Mobile’ v0.16.0 arrives on December 11 without Erangel 2.0

The 0.16.0 update is the most awaited content for PUBG Mobile right now. Luckily, gamers will no longer have to guess when the patch is arriving, but they should also not expect the Erangel 2.0 map to launch with...

iPhone 12 paves way for Touch ID’s return

Apples next premium line of smartphones, now widely dubbed as iPhone 12, is anticipated to be the highlight of a new decade for the tech industry. Apple fans will be more excited about it as several sources claim that the...

Why Pixelbook Go is not ‘Pixelbook 2’, Google explains

Many Chromebook fans were expecting Google to release a follow-up on its high-end product, Pixelbook, this year. It has been in the market for over two years now. But the company, instead, announced Pixelbook Go that it...

iOS 14 could no longer support iPhone 6S, 6S Plus

The range of compatibility of iOS 14 is one topic that Apple fans are most curious about, aside from its new features and stability improvements. Apple has yet to address this matter, but there are speculations that the...

iPhone SE 2 Plus without home button drops in early 2021

The previous months have been filled with reports about the anticipated release of iPhone SE 2. However, Apple now appears to have more plans for its more affordable smartphone lineup as iPhone SE 2 Plus is now predicted...
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