LATEST ARTICLES

From ‘Lord of War’ to American bargaining chip: the life and crimes of Viktor Bout

From ‘Lord of War’ to American bargaining chip: the life and crimes of Viktor Bout

Dramatically called the Lord of War and the Merchant of Death, the convicted Russian arms smuggler Viktor Bout, now sitting out a 25-year prison sentence in a US federal prison in Illinois, has been reduced to the status of a “substantial” bargaining chip. The US government has offered to swap Bout, who was scooped up in …read more

With the US at a weak point, is Xi gearing up to echo Putin by tackling Taiwan?

With the US at a weak point, is Xi gearing up to echo Putin by tackling Taiwan?

The complicated dance of Taiwan diplomacy is becoming increasingly fraught, with a mooted August visit to the beleaguered territory by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi creating any number of potholes to trip up unwary politicians and unsettle the delicate balance of US-China relations. US President Joe Biden is expected to discuss these Taiwan tensions with …read more

Diamond’s edge

Diamond's edge

Alexis Clarke’s strawberry-blonde hair is pulled back from her face, and she’s wearing no-nonsense black leggings, black running shoes and an olive-green puffer jacket on this chilly day in Thirroul, a northern suburb  of the NSW coastal city of Wollongong. Glowing slightly, she looks as though she’s just arrived from the gym (and in fact …read more

Escape from Hong Kong

Escape from Hong Kong

SOPHIE MAK will probably never go home. She has been too vocal and too critical of both China’s and Hong Kong’s governments over the years, using Twitter to comment on the unfolding tragedy in her homeland, Hong Kong. With long black hair, a short-sleeved, bright red dress and a surprisingly deep and husky voice, Mak, …read more

A first for our Indigenous culture

A first for our Indigenous culture

A huge Aboriginal cultural centre under construction on Adelaide’s North Terrace will break design rules and set standards for immersive and creative storytelling. With an unusual and distinctive architectural design that evolved and changed with Aboriginal oversight, the centre will be managed by Aboriginal custodians and become a place of welcome and cultural rejuvenation for Aboriginal and …read more

Take two: women busy switching careers in strong job market

Take two: women busy switching careers in strong job market

After 20 years working as a graphic designer, both in Australia and overseas, Kylie McCaffrey started to look around for a different career, a profession with more stability and more face-to-face human interaction.“I started to feel the desire to study something else,” she remembers. “I felt like I was doing the same thing all the …read more

Joys of pre-loved luxury watches and the profits to be made

Joys of pre-loved luxury watches and the profits to be made

Three sleek and gleaming second-hand watches are presented on a simple tray for a customer’s perusal. Luxury, artisanal pieces, their value is astronomical – collectively worth just over $1 million and increasing by the day – elegant symbols of a world awash with Covid recovery cash with prices for prestige real estate, cars, jewels, art and …read more

Shop less and reduce, reuse and recycle this Christmas

Shop less and reduce, reuse and recycle this Christmas

A slightly marked white sofa bed; a pair of cream-coloured patent leather shoes (size 40); boxes of N95 masks; bags of peanuts in the shell (‘no expiry date, consume at your own risk’), tiny rocks for a fish tank or plant pot  – all free items recently listed on Hong Kong’s private Reduce Reuse Recycle …read more

Publishing in elite journals no guarantee of tenure

Publishing in elite journals no guarantee of tenure

Research by a team of US neuroscientists is intended to debunk widely believed myths that prestigious grants or publication in top-flight journals were necessary to obtain a tenure-track position. These myths could drive trainees to pursue large or complex time-intensive research projects, the paper’s authors said, and could unnecessarily prolong time in training.

A new tool to assess researchers for promotion and recruitment

A new tool to assess researchers for promotion and recruitment

Spanish researchers have developed a tool to measure academics’ knowledge, skills and abilities and improve research efficiency. In the past decade, despite steady growth in academic staff and investment, European universities have “not always reached the desired levels of research productivity”, write the authors of a study published in Science and Public Policyin August 2021. This …read more