Analysis: I’ve given evidence at seven bushfire inquiries — this is what we should do instead of having another one

There have been 57 formal public inquiries, reviews and royal commissions related to bushfires and fire management since 1939. That is more than one inquiry every two years in the past 80 years. Do we really need yet [Read entire story]

Bulldust and broken dreams: Drought’s hold on town that never thought it would go dry

Gloucester is famed for its lush green hills, normally the beneficiary of reliable coastal rain. But today the land is brown and the town has run out of water. [Read entire story]

Why the racing industry remains at long odds to eliminate horse ‘wastage’

Thousands of ex-racehorses are retiring every year, and only some get re-trained or re-homed. Addressing the problem will require serious change from administrators, owners, breeders and others, according to racing [Read entire story]

‘I had to leave him’: Australian mother fights for the return of her son from PNG

Broome woman Charmaine Backhouse says having her 9-year-old son living in Port Moresby was never meant to be a permanent arrangement. [Read entire story]

Oh rats! Japan convenience store apologises after rodent video goes viral

Japanese convenience store chain FamilyMart has apologised after video went viral on social media of rats scurrying about one of its stores in Tokyo's popular Shibuya district, prompting it to close the outlet until [Read entire story]

Australian publisher jailed for 13 years in Myanmar over drug charges

A Myanmar court jails Australian publisher Ross Dunkley for 13 years on drugs charges, a year after police uncovered a stash of methamphetamines and opium at his home, his lawyer says. [Read entire story]

‘Enigmatic’ skull shows modern humans were in Eurasia earlier than previously thought

Early modern humans had made their way as far north as Greece 210,000 years ago, earlier than previously thought. [Read entire story]

Booksmart queers the high school comedy but sells its teen heroines short

This feel-good comedy about bookish best friends who break loose retools the genre for a contemporary audience — but ultimately, and ironically, plays it pretty safe. [Read entire story]

Sol Pais, teen ‘infatuated’ with Columbine school shooting, found dead after FBI manhunt

Hundreds of schools were closed in the state of Denver, affecting half a million students, in the wake of her threats, just days before the 20th anniversary of the school attack. [Read entire story]

Alt-right’s secret plan to bolster Fraser Anning’s re-election hopes revealed

The highly provocative material includes stunts during the federal election campaign, such as performing in blackface and burning of the Quran, to attract global attention and help Senator Anning. [Read entire story]

Analysis: Scott Morrison’s Government fired up over vegan trespasses as federal election looms

Australia's most senior politicians have spent a week weighing into a farm trespass battle in a bid to bolster their credentials ahead of the election, but it's got little to do with wooing farmers. [Read entire story]

‘A night of colossal victory’: Benjamin Netanyahu gets record fifth term as Israeli PM

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu secures a clear path to re-election, with religious-rightist parties set to hand him a parliamentary majority despite a close contest from his centrist challenger. [Read entire story]

Country town’s Great Quack Quest to attract more doctors

A small town in south-west New South Wales hopes a music video featuring jazz hands and a toe-tapping tune will help to bring more doctors to the community. [Read entire story]

Apathy and disillusionment on Christmas Island as residents prepare for federal election

They have WA laws, are governed from Canberra, and vote in the NT — and it's left Christmas Island residents feeling apathetic and frustrated. [Read entire story]

How Robert Richter’s ‘vanilla’ comment sparked outrage and why he said it

George Pell's lawyer sparked outrage when he characterised his criminal offences as "no more than a plain vanilla sexual penetration case", but one legal expert says this was just ranking the crime in the context of "bog [Read entire story]

Vatican launches investigation into George Pell’s child sexual abuse offences

The Vatican confirms it is investigating disgraced cardinal George Pell over child sexual offences committed in Australia, in what analysts say is a sign the global Catholic Church is taking the conviction seriously. [Read entire story]

May narrowly survives no-confidence vote after crushing Brexit defeat

The no-confidence motion was defeated 325 votes to 306, in a widely expected result that keeps Mrs May's Government in power. [Read entire story]

Opinion: What lies beneath the cracks in Opal Tower — and buildings across Australia

Building defects in apartment blocks like those found in Sydney's Opal Tower are far from unusual. We need to identify the systemic flaws contributing to them. [Read entire story]

Coffee grounds combine with light to boost oyster mushrooms

One NSW oyster mushroom producer finds coffee grounds, sugarcane waste, and compost provide an excellent base for gourmet oyster mushrooms. [Read entire story]

Putin warns of new arms race if US abandons nuclear missiles treaty

Russian President Vladimir Putin warns the United States that if it follows through on a threat to walk out of a key arms treaty and starts developing the type of missiles banned by it, Russia will do the same. [Read entire story]

The Melbourne lab making it easier for women to be mothers and scientists at the same time

The Baker Institute is implementing family-friendly meeting times and a gender equity fellowship to make it easier for women to go back to work after having children. [Read entire story]

Snakes ruin traditional Christmas tree preparation

Staff at a family-run Christmas tree farm are struggling to maintain their yuletide spirit as an inundation of deadly brown snakes leads to untended trees and dangers to browsing visitors. [Read entire story]

US Attorney-General Jeff Sessions resigns

US Attorney-General Jeff Sessions submits a resignation letter to President Donald Trump, one day after the US midterm elections. [Read entire story]

Analysis: Scott Morrison’s Queensland tour ends today. Here’s why he’ll be back

With just months until an election is called, sharing his profile is perhaps the best the Prime Minister can do to win over his edgy backbench. Which means more Queensland visits are inevitable, writes political reporter [Read entire story]

My phone is spying on me, so I decided to spy on it

Do you know what personal details your phone is sharing about you when you're not looking? We decided to try to find out for sure. What do you think we'll find? [Read entire story]

Saudi Crown Prince says journalist’s killing was a ‘heinous crime’

Saudi Arabia's powerful Crown Prince says the killing of Jamal Khashoggi was a "heinous crime that cannot be justified", in his first public comments since the journalist's death sparked international condemnation. [Read entire story]

Trump’s ex-lawyer Cohen won’t accept pardon, lawyer says

US President Donald Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen would not accept a presidential pardon, his lawyer says, a day after Mr Cohen pleaded guilty to eight criminal charges and said he acted at the direction of Mr [Read entire story]

Thai police seize $61 million haul of methamphetamines

In one of its biggest ever drug busts, Thai police seize more than 14 million methamphetamine pills that they say were headed for countries including Australia. [Read entire story]

Farmers head to Canberra effort to get their banking stories heard

Aggrieved regional bank customers are descending on Parliament House to "speed-date" crossbench senators, making short pitches on their plight to win support for a bill to extend the time the banking royal commission has [Read entire story]

‘A jackpot for hackers’: My Health Record still isn’t safe enough to proceed

The fundamental flaws in My Health Record haven't been fixed. This ill-conceived platform is neither useful nor safe enough to proceed, write Katharine Kemp, Bruce Baer Arnold and David Vaile. [Read entire story]

Uber accused of ‘wage theft’ by drivers, and hiding ‘surge’ notifications

Uber told its drivers they would get 'more trips' under its new policy, but nearly 90 per cent of the drivers we spoke to disagreed — strongly. [Read entire story]

Signs of a 20km-wide lake found under the surface of Mars

In a massive shot in the arm for the search for life on Mars, a giant "lake" of liquid water seems to be buried beneath the ice near the red planet's south pole. [Read entire story]

‘Lonely’ former Labor Senator Joe Bullock switches from red to blue

Former Labor Senator — and right-wing union powerbroker — Joe Bullock switches from red to blue, joining the Liberal Party after 39 years in the ALP, saying he felt "isolated and lonely" inside the Labor Party. [Read entire story]

Malaysia tries crowdfunding to help reduce the country’s staggering debt

Malaysia sets up a fund for members of the public to donate cash to help the new Government repay its hefty national debt, the finance ministry says, providing a bank account number for deposits. [Read entire story]