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South Africa must ban sugary drinks sales in schools. Self regulation is failing

By Agnes Erzse

In 2017, Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa voluntarily announced that it would stop supplying sugary beverages to primary school outlets. The company also pledged to remove all branding and advertising from schools. The...

As the Palestinian minority takes to the streets, Israel is having its own Black Lives Matter moment

By James L. Gelvin

The images and reports coming from Israel, Jerusalem and Gaza in recent days are shocking. They are also surprising to those who thought the 2020 Abraham Accords and subsequent agreements to normalize relations between...

The forgotten psychological cost of corruption in developing countries

By Shivani Sharma Et Al

Corruption is a crime which slows economic growth, undermines development, and causes inequality. With a cost to the global economy estimated at around US$2.6 trillion (1.8 trillion) a year, it is often linked to politics...

The Low and Middle Income Tax Offset has been extended yet again. It delivers help neither when nor where it's needed

By John Hawkins1 Et Al

The Low and Middle Income Tax Offset (known as the LMITO or lamington) has been given yet another new lease of life. What started in 2018 as a stop-gap until broader tax cuts were introduced, was extended because of...

3 reasons for making COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for children

By Anthony Skelton Et Al

On May 5, Health Canada approved a COVID-19 vaccine for use in children aged 12-15 years. The United States Food and Drug Administration quickly followed suit, and other countries are likely to do the same. Similar...

Tiangong: China may gain a monopoly on space stations - here's what to expect

By Steffi Paladini

China launched Tianhe-1, the first and main module of a permanent orbiting space station called Tiangong (Heavenly Palace 天 宫), on April 29. Two additional science modules (Wentian and Mengtian) will follow in 2022 in a...

How global tax dodging costs lives: new research shows a direct link to increased death rates

By Bernadette O'Hare Et Al

Tax abuse is an expensive business. According to a recent report by the Tax Justice Network, avoiding or evading tax deprives governments across the world of around US$427 billion (302 billion) every year. This is money...

Ramaphosa appears -- finally -- to have his grip on South Africa's ruling ANC

By Mashupye Herbert Maserumule

If the outcomes of the most recent meeting of the national executive committee (NEC) of South Africas governing party, the African National Congress (ANC), are anything to go by, the party has reached a tipping...

WhatsApp's controversial privacy update may be banned in the EU – but the app's sights are fixed on India

By Philippa Williams Et Al

The roll out of WhatsApps new privacy policy, which critics warn will lead to more data sharing with its parent company Facebook, received a blow on May 13 after German regulators temporarily banned the update. The...

Bill and Melinda Gates: philanthropy caught in the crosshairs of society's obsession with celebrity

By Beth Breeze Et Al

When does an extremely normal event become global headline news, and when does a historic achievement for humanity fail to create much of a ripple in the news cycle? When the key players in both stories are high-profile...

Apple threatens to upend podcasting's free, open architecture

By John Sullivan Et Al

Back in 2005, an ebullient Apple CEO Steven P. Jobs announced the integration of podcasting into Version 4.9 of its desktop iTunes software, calling podcasting TiVo for radio. Sixteen years later, during its April 20,...

Faith in numbers: Is church attendance linked to higher rates of coronavirus?

By Ryan Burge

The lockdowns that almost every state went into in order to combat the spread of COVID-19 in the spring of 2020 interrupted nearly every aspect of Americans lives. Businesses were shuttered, schools closed and social...

Protests by Palestinian citizens in Israel signal growing sense of a common struggle

By Maha Nassar

The worlds attention has turned again to deadly scenes of Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip and the launching of rockets by the militant group Hamas into Israel. It follows two weeks of protests in East Jerusalem...

Why is the FDA funded in part by the companies it regulates?

By C. Michael White

The Food and Drug Administration has moved from an entirely taxpayer-funded entity to one increasingly funded by user fees paid by manufacturers that are being regulated. Today, close to 45% of its budget comes from these...

Here’s how much your personal information is worth to cybercriminals – and what they do with it

By Ravi Sen

Data breaches have become common, and billions of records are stolen worldwide every year. Most of the media coverage of data breaches tends to focus on how the breach happened, how many records were stolen and the...

Who was better at predicting the course of the pandemic – experts or the public?

By Gabriel Recchia

Early on in the pandemic, it seemed as if the media was asking anyone with potentially relevant expertise scientists, doctors, statisticians to tell us what was coming. These individuals were frequently asked to give...

Vaccine passports: why they are good for society

By Barbara Jacquelyn Sahakian Et Al

As more and more people get vaccinated, some governments are relying on vaccine passports as a way of reopening society. These passports are essentially certificates that show the holder has been immunised against...

The Mitchells vs The Machines shows 'smart' tech might be less of a threat to family bonds than we fear

By Deborah Lupton

Robots have fascinated cinema-goers ever since Fritz Langs 1927 expressionist silent film Metropolis. The German dystopia film portrays a near future where a female robot (a gynoid) is built as an evil twin of Maria, a...

The RBA wants to cut unemployment, and nothing — not even soaring home prices — will stand in its way

By Richard Holden

Ahead of the definitive official read of the economy from the treasury in the budget on Tuesday, the Reserve Bank has given us two special insights into its own thinking in the space of 14 hours. They suggest that...

Print isn't dead: major survey reveals local newspapers vastly preferred over Google among country news consumers

By Kristy Hess

Newspaper readers in rural and regional Australia are five times more likely to go directly to their local newspaper website than Google or Facebook for local information, and almost 10 times as likely to go to their local...

US-backed vaccine patent waiver: pros and cons explained

By Farasat Bokhari

The Biden administration has now agreed to back a proposal to suspend intellectual property protection for COVID vaccines. This is a break from US governments long-held position on strong intellectual property protection,...

How Uber drivers avoided — and contributed to — the fate of taxi drivers

By Kam Phung Et Al

Countries around the world are wrestling with whether to classify Uber drivers and other gig economy workers as independent contractors or employees. But when Uber first came on the scene, the primary subject of debate...

Remote working has led to managers spying more on staff – here are three ways to curb it

By Evronia Azer

With so many more people working from home during the pandemic, employers have stepped up the extent to which they are monitoring them online. Not so many years ago, employees were having to adjust to having their work...

Making space for Buddha in the boardroom

By Dr Linda Kantor Et Al

It seems farfetched to imagine that an ancient meditation technique, practised by Buddhists over 2,000 years ago, could have a place in the 21st-century corporate boardroom. Yet, despite criticisms that it is just...

Kids with a desk and a quiet place to study do better in school, data shows

By David Rutkowski Et Al

Ask what students need to learn at home, and the answer often involves access to Wi-Fi or a digital device. For example, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 sets aside US$7.1 billion to support access to high-speed...

Unblocking the passage from India

By Michelle Grattan

It became clear this week repatriation flights for Australians stranded in India would have to resume ASAP after May 15, whatever the COVID situation in that country. By going too far in its effort to stop individuals...

Trump's Facebook ban upheld – but the future of the oversight board is in doubt

By Elaine Fahey

Referred to by some as Facebooks supreme court, the oversight board tasked with reversing or upholding Facebooks content moderation decisions has ruled that the social media companys ban of Donald Trump should be...

The government has pledged over $800m to fight natural disasters. It could be revolutionary — if done right

By Paul Barnes

To help Australia adapt to climate change and manage the disasters that come with it, the federal government this week pledged A$600 million towards establishing the National Recovery and Resilience Agency, and $210...

Why Facebook created its own ‘supreme court’ for judging content – 6 questions answered

By Siri Terjesen

Facebooks quasi-independent Oversight Board on May 5, 2021, upheld the companys suspension of former President Donald Trump from the platform and Instagram. The decision came four months after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg...

Scottish election: how Brexit and independence referendums split voters into four tribes

By Fraser McMillan Et Al

The previous Scottish parliament election, in 2016, came less than two years after the countrys historic referendum on independence from the rest of the United Kingdom. That contest a Pyrrhic victory for the pro-union...

For the EU's 'Green Deal' to succeed, economic theory must take into account qualitative growth

By Sergio Focardi Et Al

The goal of the EUs ambitious new Green Deal is to put Europe on a path toward zero emissions and sustainable growth decoupled from resource use. The plan marks a sharp departure from traditional ecological approaches...

Survey shows some bosses are using the pandemic as an excuse to push workers

By Stephanie Ross Et Al

A middle-aged woman in the public sector says she and her colleagues have been underappreciated, overworked and mentally stressed out as they faced pandemic-related challenges and stresses, without any pay increase. An...

How scientists make plant-based foods taste and look more like meat

By Mariana Lamas

In 2019, Burger King Sweden released a plant-based burger, the Rebel Whopper, and the reaction was underwhelming. So, the company challenged its customers to taste the difference. Burger King Sweden created menu item...

IQ tests: are humans getting smarter?

By Roger Staff Et Al

From the algorithms that make our social media accounts function to the sleep-tracking technology in our smartwatches, the world has never seemed so technologically advanced and developed. Which is why it would be easy to...

COVID crisis in India: why its public health strategy failed

By Ankur Mutreja

Most countries have used whats known as the Swiss cheese model in planning their COVID response. In this risk-management model, each preventative measure is represented by a slice of cheese. No slice on its own can stop...

Climate change risk is complex: here is a way to assess it

By Nicholas P. Simpson Et Al

A key feature of climate change is that it doesnt pose one single risk. Rather, it presents multiple, interacting risks that can compound and cascade. Importantly, responses to climate change can also affect risk. In...

UK-India trade deal: why the timing is crucial for both nations

By Sangeeta Khorana

The UK and India have announced a new enhanced deal on trade at a virtual summit. The deal aims to double trade between the two countries by 2030 and declares their joint commitment to start working towards a comprehensive...

Taste alone won't persuade Americans to swap out beef for plant-based burgers

By Anna Mattila

The Research Brief is a short take about interesting academic work. The big idea Consumers are more likely to choose a plant-based meat substitute when the restaurants advertising highlights the social benefits of...

Do people become more religious in times of crisis?

By Danielle Tumminio Hansen

Organized religion has been on the decline for decades in the United States. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers found that online searches for the word prayer soared to their highest level ever in over 90...

Four ways to make sure your passwords are safe and easy to remember

By Steven Furnell

For more than 15 years, there have been various predictions from tech leaders about the death of passwords. Bill Gates predicted it back in 2004 and Microsoft have predicted it for 2021. There have been numerous similar...

NFTs hit the big league, but not everyone will win from this new sports craze

By Adam Karg Et Al

Some buy sporting memorabilia for love. Others for money. The world record for most money paid for a sports-related item goes to the original Olympic manifesto written in 1892 by International Olympic Committee founder...

Male voices dominate the news. Here's how journalists and female experts can turn this around

By Kathryn Shine

Last week, the ABC announced it had achieved a milestone it had been trying to reach for more than two years. For the first time, in the previous month of March, it had equal numbers of women and men appearing in its news...

China does not want war, at least not yet. It's playing the long game

By John Blaxland

Talk of war has become louder in recent days, but the drumbeat has been heard for some time now as Chinas military capabilities have grown. China does not want war, at least not yet. Its playing the long game and its...

New Chia cryptocurrency promises to be greener than Bitcoin, but may drive up hard drive prices

By Mohiuddin Ahmed

It has been a big year for cryptocurrency. Bitcoin is worth six times what it was 12 months ago, and the joke currency Dogecoin has seen a hundredfold increase in price. A boom in non-fungible tokens, or NFTs tradable...

Gut feel or rational analysis? Both may be vital in finding winning ideas for new markets

By Thomas Gillier Et Al

Expansion into new markets is often essential for companies to grow, and there can be a constant quest for ideas with market-creating potential. But what if the very processes designed to help find those breakthrough ideas...

India: election loss in West Bengal may be start of a backlash against Modi's handling of COVID crisis

By Saba Hussain

In what is widely being interpreted as a popular verdict on Narendra Modis handling of the COVID crisis in India, voters in West Bengal have returned the incumbent chief minister, Mamata Banerjee, and her regional...

The world’s data explained: how much we're producing and where it's all stored

By Melvin M. Vopson

Ancient humans stored information in cave paintings, the oldest we know of are over 40,000 years old. As humans evolved, the emergence of languages and the invention of writing led to detailed information being stored in...

The Bank of Canada must seize the pandemic moment and do more for Canadians

By Peter Dietsch Et Al

The Bank of Canada, like central banks around the world, is currently facing enormous upheaval and uncertainty due to the enduring COVID-19 pandemic. Will its leadership seize the moment as an opportunity to innovate...

Sure, video games want to get you hooked on spending. But there's no evidence they can manipulate you

By Ben Egliston Et Al

The ABCs latest Four Corners report is an investigation into how videogames are deliberately designed to get people hooked. It describes the use of gambling-like loot boxes in games, the hotly debated notion of...

The budget is a window into the treasurer's soul. Here's what to look for Tuesday night

By Peter Martin1

What in America they call the State of the Union, in Australia we call the federal budget. As surprising as it may seem, Australian budgets arent really about money theyre about values. As a case in point, a key...

How can the world help India — and where does that help need to go?

India is in the grip of an unprecedented second wave of COVID-19. Official data suggests new cases have crossed 400,000 per day, and the daily death count is around 4,200. But the actual numbers may be significantly...

Japanese firms in India face cloudy prospects due to virus crisis

22:43 PM| Economy Business

A number of Japanese businesses in India were forced to halt production and bring staff members back to Japan due to escalating COVID-19 crisis that is triggering regional lockdowns. New daily infections remain over...

Bitcoin plunges 12% after Tesla announced it would refuse it as payment

23:02 PM| Economy Business

The price of bitcoin plunged around 12 percent early Thursday morning to about $50,900 after Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that his company was abandoning plans to accept the cryptocurrency as payment for electric...

Real estate investors in S. Korea shift towards logistics clusters, and away from Seoul

22:56 PM| Economy Business

Real estate investors searching for deals in South Korea were seen shifting from Seoul to logistics cluster cities such as Incheon and Yongin in the first quarter of 2021 due to changing investor preferences during the...

Top Stories

Digital Currency Revolution

What Elon Musk's bitcoin U-turn means for the future of crypto

By Gavin Brown - 11:29 AM| Digital Currency Investing

Teslas relationship with cryptocurrencies has been a stop-start rollercoaster. In February, the electric vehicle manufacturer announced it had purchased US$1.5 billion (1.1 billion) of bitcoin and planned to accept the...

Why the inflation rate doesn’t tell the whole story – all it takes is a spike in a category like used cars to cause consumer prices to soar

By Richard S. Warr - 11:31 AM| Economy

Markets, economists and policymakers have been fretting about inflation for months, worried that the trillions of dollars being spent in recent and future government stimulus programs could overheat the economy and send...

Using captured CO₂ in everyday products could help fight climate change, but will consumers want them?

By Lucca Henrion - 10:12 AM| Nature Economy

Would you drink carbonated beverages made with carbon dioxide captured from the smokestack of a factory or power plant? How would you feel if that captured carbon dioxide were in your childs toys, or in the concrete...

Microfluidics: The tiny, beautiful tech hidden all around you

10:15 AM| Science

When you think of micro- or nanotechnology, you likely think of small electronics like your phone, a tiny robot or a microchip. But COVID-19 tests which have proven to be central to controlling the pandemic are also a...

Yes, religion plays a more prominent role in politics. But 'secular Australia' has always been a myth

By Cristina Rocha - 11:21 AM| Politics

Religion and politics have long been uneasy bedfellows, especially in largely secular societies like Australia. But since September 11 and the sudden focus on Islam in Western politics, it has taken a far more prominent...

Econotimes Series

Economy

Starbucks Korea's Q1 earnings soar 78% to 33.6 billion won

Starbucks Korea reported a net profit of 33.6 billion won in the first quarter, jumping 77.8 percent on-year due to an increase in mobile orders and drive-thru store sales and a lower base effect. Sales surged 15...

Hyundai Motor to invest 8.1 trillion won for EV production in US by 2025

Hyundai Motor Group will invest 8.1 trillion won in the US by 2025 to produce electric vehicles, improve production facilities, and increase its presence in the smart mobility solutions area. South Koreas top automaker,...

S. Korea's logic chip capacity share expected to drop due to US expansion

South Koreas capacity share in the advanced logic chip market is likely to decline as the US attracts more global semiconductor firms to build plants on its turf, according to a report by Counterpoint Research. The...

Hyundai, Kia to suspend plant operations due to chip shortages

Hyundai Motor Co. will suspend its No. 3 and 5 Ulsan plants for several days next week while its affiliate Kia Corp. will suspend its No. 2 Sohari plant due to semiconductor shortages. Operations at the No. 5 Ulsan...

Chick-fil-A limits sauce distribution to customers due to supply chain woes

Chick-fil-A announced it will be limiting customers to one sauce cup or packet per item ordered at most of its approximately 2,600 restaurants. The chicken sandwich company said it is making adjustments to quickly solve...

Politics

Ireland's shame: reforming an adoption system marked by secrecy and trauma

For the greater part of the 20th century Ireland was marked by a culture of shame that separated thousands of women from their children, many of whom were forcibly given up for adoption. The trauma inflicted by these...

World War 3: NATO allies warn Russia amidst tensions with Ukraine

Tensions at the eastern border between Ukraine and Russia have since escalated and became a cause of concern for NATO member countries. With tensions between the two countries potentially escalating into a world war,...

Joe Biden open to passing parts of infrastructure plan without GOP support

The passage of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan was done on party lines, with Democrats exercising their slim majority powers without a single vote of support from Republican lawmakers. In his recent interview, Biden...

Joe Biden hopes Israel - Gaza conflict to be over 'sooner than later'

The unrest in Israel and Gaza has escalated in recent days, especially among Israelis and Palestinians. Joe Biden said this week that he hopes the conflict that is ongoing could be resolved and added that Israel has the...

Kamala Harris meets with Indian-American Rep. Ami Bera to discuss India's COVID-19 crisis

India is currently experiencing an unprecedented crisis in its tackling of COVID-19. This week, California Congressman Ami Bera met with Vice President Kamala Harris to discuss Indias crisis with the pandemic. Bera, the...

Science

Space tourism – 20 years in the making – is finally ready for launch

For most people, getting to the stars is nothing more than a dream. On April 28, 2001, Dennis Tito achieved that lifelong goal but he wasnt a typical astronaut. Tito, a wealthy businessman, paid US$20 million for a seat...

From making wine to managing mine waste, clay is important for many industries

The discovery and use of clays dates back to 30,000 years ago, making clays one of the oldest materials used in society. Clays are naturally occurring materials that were first used to make pottery and are now used...

One incredible ocean crossing may have made human evolution possible

Humans evolved in Africa, along with chimpanzees, gorillas and monkeys. But primates themselves appear to have evolved elsewhere likely in Asia before colonising Africa. At the time, around 50 million years ago, Africa...

Inside the world of tiny phytoplankton – microscopic algae that provide most of our oxygen

Phytoplankton are microscopic algae living throughout the oceans surface waters. They cant swim and are at the mercy of the currents and tides. Despite their small size, phytoplankton enable life in the oceans and...

First human-monkey embryos created – a small step towards a huge ethical problem

Scientists have created the worlds first monkey embryos containing human cells in an attempt to investigate how the two types of cell develop alongside each other. The embryos, which were derived from a macaque and then...

Technology

‘Mass Effect Legendary Edition’ won’t come to Xbox Game Pass anytime soon

With plenty of EA-published games made available to Xbox Game Pass subscribers recently, it is a fair question to ask if Mass Effect Legendary Edition will be included in its library as well. However, the remastered...

Discord to launch Stage Discovery and Threads features soon

Discord has just been updated with new features, and the popular group-chatting client has more things lined up to improve users experience. Barely two weeks after the Stage Channels were launched, Discord has announced...

‘Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2’ might not be ready for a 2021 launch

A new report claims the development of Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 is close to its conclusion. However, this does not necessarily mean the much-awaited sequel is launching anytime soon. Legend of Zelda: Breath...

Sony unveils new colors for PS5 DualSense controller

Sony is giving fans a chance to play their favorite video games in style with the announcement of two new colors for the PS5 DualSense controller. The color options called Midnight Black and Cosmic Red, will not launch...

Google Pixel 6 goes through design overhaul, new leak suggests

All the disappointment Google fans may have felt when not much was changed in the Pixel 5s design last year may be reversed once the Pixel 6 series arrives. A new leak suggests the upcoming phones will sport...
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