ABC News Daily


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Subscribers: 822
Reviews: 6

 May 9, 2021

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 Sep 10, 2019
Great daily podcast to help understand the bigger news stories a bit more.

 Jun 25, 2019
great, but don't like the swearing when my kids are in the car, really unnecessary too


ABC News Daily is the podcast that helps you understand the issues affecting your world. Every episode, host Samantha Hawley walks through one story with the help of an ABC colleague or expert in under 15 minutes. When you want coverage you can trust, listen to ABC News Daily.

Episode Date
The mysterious deaths of two Saudi sisters
When two sisters from Saudi Arabia were found dead and naked in their beds in a Sydney apartment earlier this year, it shocked Australians and puzzled police. It has raised questions about who the young women were and why they fled their homeland.  Today, Background briefing reporter Rachael Brown on her chilling investigation into their mysterious deaths and why other Saudi women in Australia are living in fear.  Featured: Rachael Brown, Background Briefing reporter
Aug 11, 2022
David Speers on jobs for mates and 'grey' corruption
There's a flourishing 'jobs for mates' culture in Australia, so it's hardly surprising when former politicians are appointed to lucrative overseas posts.  But do we really have to accept it?  In New South Wales a former deputy premier was forced to relinquish a plum United States post after a public outcry and now he's at the centre of an explosive inquiry.  Today, Insiders host David Speers on integrity in politics and why voters are demanding more of it.  Featured: David Speers, host of Insiders 
Aug 10, 2022
Why the big banks are betting on a recession
The reserve bank has spent most of the year furiously increasing interest rates but now the big banks are betting they'll start falling again soon.  It's not due to an improving economic outlook. It's because the rapid rate hikes globally could land us in recession.  Today, ABC business editor Ian Verrender on the 'miserable' state of the economy and why the credibility of the RBA is on the line.  Featured: Ian Verrender, ABC business editor 
Aug 09, 2022
'Haunting' memories of the disease on our doorstep
You would have heard by now Australia has stepped up its border security because of an outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease in Indonesia. So what would happen if the disease arrived here? Today we speak to a farmer who lived through a devastating outbreak in England in the early 2000s and the life-changing experiences of an Australian vet who went to help.  Featured: Robert Craig, dairy farmer, Cumbria UK Bill Sykes, cattle farmer and veterinarian
Aug 08, 2022
China, Russia and the race for new hypersonic missiles
Last year, China tested a hypersonic missile that circumnavigated the globe before hitting its target. It surprised the world, and it was a sign of just how advanced its military has become.  So amid calls for the US and its allies including Australia to develop better missile capabilities in response, how big is the threat?  Today, aerospace engineer and former NASA employee, Professor Iain Boyd, on the hypersonic arms race Beijing seems to be winning.   Featured:  Dr Iain Boyd, professor of aerospace engineering sciences, University of Colorado Boulder 
Aug 07, 2022
A referendum, a 'colonising' Queen, and the hope for a Voice
History shows us changing the constitution can be an unpredictable process, but Anthony Albanese has made it clear that's one of his main aims during his first term as leader.  He's pushing ahead with a referendum on a First Nations Voice to Parliament, which would enshrine in the constitution a body to advise on matters relating to Australia's first peoples, and already there's resistance.  Today, ABC Radio National Breakfast host Patricia Karvelas on what could be a difficult path ahead. Featured:  Patricia Karvelas, host, ABC Radio National Breakfast
Aug 04, 2022
When Nancy Pelosi risked war with China
There's already so much uncertainty in the world and now it's being compounded, with China scrambling jets in response to a visit to Taiwan by the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi.  The headlines are worrying, pointing to the risks of an all-out war.  Today, the ABC's East Asia correspondent, based in Taipei, Bill Birtles on the potential for a crisis in the Taiwan Strait.  Featured:  Bill Birtles, ABC East Asia correspondent, Taipei, Taiwan 
Aug 03, 2022
As interest rates rise, is honesty Labor's only policy?
Interest rates have risen again, this time by half a percent, and from all accounts the Reserve Bank isn't finished yet. The new Treasurer, Jim Chalmers, says it means millions of Australians will be finding it much harder to make ends meet.  So what is he saying he'll do about it? Today, economics reporter Gareth Hutchens on what we know of the new government's plans to ease the pain.  Featured:  Gareth Hutchens, ABC business and economics reporter
Aug 02, 2022
China's secret Pacific slush fund
We know China's influence is growing in the Pacific, but exactly how it operates is often opaque. Now, Four Corners has uncovered a paper trail that reveals just how far Beijing is willing to go to keep its friends in power. Today, reporter Angus Grigg on how a Chinese-backed multi-million-dollar slush fund is ensuring the Solomon Islands prime minister, Manasseh Sogavare, hangs on.  Featured:  Angus Grigg, ABC Four Corners reporter
Aug 01, 2022
COVID's deadly 'payback period'
Australian hospitals have never been so swamped by COVID-19 patients. We're heading for another peak in infections, and the daily death toll has never been so high, while worldwide we appear to be faring worse than just about anywhere else. But why? And how many more waves will Australia need to endure? Today, epidemiologist Professor Tony Blakely on why Australia's early success at keeping the virus at bay now seems to be working against us. Featured: Professor Tony Blakely, epidemiologist, School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne
Jul 31, 2022
'Cruelty compounded': Myanmar's executions
This week, four pro-democracy advocates were executed in Myanmar, a year and a half since the military seized control of the country from the former civilian leader, Aung San Suu Kyi. Today, Human Rights Watch deputy Asia director Phil Robertson on the first executions in Myanmar in 30 years, and why he fears there are more to come. Featured: Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director, Human Rights Watch
Jul 28, 2022
Is a recession the only way out?
The prices of everyday goods are going up faster now than at any other time during the past 20 years.  Yesterday we learned the inflation rate had hit 6.1 percent, and analysts says it's still heading up.  Today, the ABC's business editor Ian Verrender on whether all this means we're sliding towards the economic pain of a recession, and what we can all do if we are. Featured:  Ian Verrender, ABC business editor
Jul 27, 2022
An Australian journalist's escape from the Taliban
When an Australian journalist was detained by the Taliban and forced to apologise for her stories, it highlighted the threats faced by reporters since coalition forces pulled out of Afghanistan almost a year ago.  Today, we speak to Lynne O'Donnell about her escape, and the terror the Afghan people are facing.  Featured:  Lynne O'Donnell, reporter, Islamabad, Pakistan
Jul 26, 2022
Inside Scott Morrison's last-ditch election tactic
It's the first parliamentary sitting day of Anthony Albanese's government, but in recent days there's also been attention on the dying hours of Scott Morrison's leadership.  We now know that, as we were all casting our ballots, the government was scrambling to get news out about an asylum-seeker boat arrival.  Today, the ABC's political editor, Andrew Probyn, on how and why the long-standing convention to keep 'on-water operations' secret was broken.  Featured:  Andrew Probyn, ABC political editor
Jul 25, 2022
Alan Kohler on why the RBA needs a shake-up
The Reserve Bank governor, Philip Lowe, once suggested interest rates wouldn't rise until 2024, but already this year, they've gone up three times.  We're being warned there could be far worse still to come, which will only add to the financial pain millions of Australians are facing.  Now, the Government's holding a review of the bank, which the Treasurer Jim Chalmers says will dig into just how well the RBA is serving us.  Today, Alan Kohler, on the shake-up he says the bank needs.  Featured:  Alan Kohler, ABC news finance analyst
Jul 24, 2022
Are pro golfers being played by Saudi Arabia?
The international golfing establishment is in turmoil, with two Australians in the spotlight for very different reasons.  One, Cameron Smith, this week won the prestigious British Open, while the other, former tournament winner and golfing legend Greg Norman, is being accused of selling out golf to improve the image of Saudi Arabia.  Today, host of The Ticket podcast Tracey Holmes on the great white shark's brash moves.  Featured: Tracey Holmes, host, ABC The Ticket podcast
Jul 21, 2022
Satan, miracles and God's plan: Scott Morrison 'unplugged'
We haven't seen too much of him since he lost the election, but Scott Morrison has been back in the headlines after delivering a lengthy weekend address at a Pentecostal church in Perth.  In it, he referenced Satan, miracles and God's plan, telling the faithful it would be a mistake to trust in governments like they trust in God.  Today, Radio National Breakfast host Patricia Karvelas runs us through the key moments, and why they matter.  Featured:  Patricia Karvelas, host, ABC RN Breakfast
Jul 20, 2022
The boatloads of asylum seekers Australia forgot
One of the first things the Albanese government did when it came to power was to allow a Tamil family to return to the central Queensland town of Biloela.  That decision focused attention on tens of thousands of other asylum seekers here who have been waiting for immigration rulings for around a decade, and in some cases are living in poverty without access to Centrelink, Medicare or the ability to work.  Today, national regional reporter Nathan Morris takes us to meet some of them.  Featured:  Nathan Morris, ABC national regional reporter, Gatton, Queensland
Jul 19, 2022
One jab to end them all
A spike in COVID cases has led the Government to urge everyone over 30 to get a fourth vaccine. But how much longer will we need rolling booster shots? Today viral immunologist Dr David Martinez on the promising early signs in trials for universal vaccines that could ward off current and future coronaviruses. Featured: Dr David Martinez, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina
Jul 18, 2022
Putin can turn off gas to Europe. Will he?
Europe is bracing itself for an energy emergency, amid increasing fears the Kremlin could stop vital gas supply as a tool in its war.  Germany gets a large proportion of its natural gas from Russia, but the Nord Stream pipeline that provides it has been switched off, and there's growing concern Vladimir Putin won't put it on again.  Today, energy analyst Tom Marzec-Manser on how that could send not only Germany but the whole of Europe into recession, and mean we would be left paying more too. Featured:  Tom Marzec-Manser, head of gas analytics, Independent Commodity Intelligence Services, London
Jul 17, 2022
The controversy over a 'breakthrough' dementia drug
Even though half a million Australians live with dementia, much remains unknown about the disease. Recently, one global pharmaceutical company, Biogen, has been promoting a drug to combat its most common form, Alzheimer's, after it was approved for use. Today, the host of the ABC's Health Report, Dr Norman Swan, on whether the drug really does what the company claims.   Featured: Dr Norman Swan, host, ABC RN The Health Report and co-host, ABC Coronacast
Jul 14, 2022
BA.5 is taking hold. So where is the Omicron vaccine?
The BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants of Omicron are leading to a concerning jump in infections here and around the world. That's partly because while current vaccines are preventing death and hospitalisation, they're no longer as effective at stopping COVID-19 from spreading. Today, US virologist Jeremy Kamil on when Omicron-specific vaccines will be ready, and which nations will get them first. Featured: Dr Jeremy Kamil, associate professor of microbiology and immunology, Louisiana State University Health, Shreveport, Louisiana, US
Jul 13, 2022
The koala's slide to extinction
Did you know koalas were listed as endangered in Queensland, New South Wales and the ACT this year? The iconic Australian marsupial is on a slide towards extinction, and the animals could all be gone from the wild on the east coast in less than 30 years.  Today, ABC Background Briefing reporter, Rachael Brown, on her recent investigation into the multiple threats facing koalas, and the political in-fighting that's hindering efforts to protect them.  Featured:  Rachel Brown, reporter, ABC Background Briefing
Jul 12, 2022
Still traumatised, Lismore's flood victims wait for answers
As residents of Sydney, the Hunter and their surrounds begin another clean up from devastating floods, it's worth also remembering the residents of Lismore.  Thousands of residents there still haven't been able to return to their homes, more than four months after flooding destroyed large parts of the city in northern New South Wales.  Today, local resident and ABC reporter Leah White takes us there, as the community grapples with questions like whether to rebuild amid predictions of more rains to come.  Featured:  Leah White, ABC reporter, Lismore, NSW Lee and Mike Try, North Lismore residents
Jul 11, 2022
Boris, 'buffoonery' and British democracy
After dozens of ministerial resignations, Boris Johnson announced he would step down as the prime minister of the United Kingdom on Thursday, after surviving years of political scandals and personal missteps.  So what sort of politician was he really?  And what legacy does he leave behind?  Today, behavioural scientist Stephen Reicher on why he thinks Boris Johnson was far more dangerous for British democracy than his cavalier approach might suggest. Featured: Professor Stephen Reicher, behavioural scientist, School of Psychology and Neuroscience, University of St Andrews, Fife, Scotland
Jul 10, 2022
The day three men in a tugboat prevented a disaster
On Monday, three men embarked on a perilous journey to stop a catastrophe from unfolding on Sydney's shoreline. On a tugboat, in 9 metre swells, they worked for hours to prevent a cargo ship carrying fuel from ploughing into a cliff, saving the lives of 21 crew members and averting an ecological disaster. Today we talk to those men about their extraordinary rescue mission. Featured: Brad Lucas, tugboat captain Marius Fenger, engineer Alex Alsop, deckhand
Jul 07, 2022
Alan Kohler on the recession we don't have to have
The Australian economy is looking shaky right now, as life gets tougher for millions of Australians with mortgages with major banks passing on this week's interest rate rise.  But the worst could still be to come, as speculation builds we could end up in a recession.  Today, finance expert Alan Kohler on what that would look like, and who we should blame if it happens. Featured:  Alan Kohler, financial analyst
Jul 06, 2022
Rain, floods and the threat of a soggy summer
After months of torrential rain up and down the east coast, New South Wales is being hit by severe flooding again. Today, ABC journalist Gavin Coote takes us to the hardest hit communities and University of New South Wales climate scientist Agus Santoso explains why there could be much more rain to come. Featured: Gavin Coote, ABC Radio reporter, AM Jeremy Muller, Windsor resident Kevin Shaw, Camden resident Dr Agus Santoso, senior researcher, UNSW Climate Research Centre
Jul 05, 2022
The COVID deaths no one is stopping
More than 7,500 Australians have died from COVID-19 in 2022, and some think that number could reach 15,000 by the end of the year. So what, if anything, is being done to slow the death toll? Today we speak to a woman still struggling to comprehend the loss of a loved one and an epidemiologist about how Australia went from a world leader in controlling the disease to the bottom of the pack. Featured: Paige Carter, family member Professor Michael Toole, Associate Principal Research Fellow, Burnet Institute
Jul 04, 2022
Why are Australians worried about Roe v Wade?
Thirty-six years years ago, Melbourne woman Ilsa Evans had an abortion, a decision she says changed her life immeasurably for the better. On the weekend she was one of thousands of women who took to the streets to protest against the ruling in the United States to wind back abortion rights. Today, why Ilsa is worried about Australia's abortion laws and an expert on just how secure our reproductive rights are. Featured: Ilsa Evans, demonstrator and author Dr Prudence Flowers, senior lecturer in US history at Flinders University
Jul 03, 2022
The new Centrelink 'points' system making job seekers anxious
It's an unsettling time for Australians on unemployment benefits as they try to navigate a whole new set of rules. A new Centrelink system means they'll need to earn points for a range of activities or risk missing out on their income support. Today the ABC's social affairs correspondent, Norman Hermant on the anxious days ahead for hundreds of thousands of Australians as they try to make sense of the changes. Featured: Norman Hermant, social affairs correspondent
Jun 30, 2022
The final days of Mississippi's only abortion clinic
The decision by the US Supreme Court to overturn Roe v Wade has seen abortion clinics across America scramble to perform procedures before they're forced to close their doors. Today, US reporter Rosemary Westwood takes us to the only abortion clinic in Mississippi as it prepares to shut forever. Featured: Rosemary Westwood, public health reporter for public radio in Louisiana and host of the podcast Banned.
Jun 29, 2022
How much longer can Ukraine keep fighting?
When a missile hit a crowded shopping centre, killing at least 16 people, it reminded us Vladimir Putin is not willing to end the terror he is inflicting on Ukranian civilians. That attack and renewed bombings in the capital Kyiv come as soldiers continue the relentless fighting in the east of the country. Today, former Australian Army Major General Mick Ryan on why the battles remind him of World War 2 and whether the fighting could be over before the end of the year. Featured: Mick Ryan, retired Australian Army Major General
Jun 28, 2022
Big Tobacco and Australia's vaping addiction
It was originally hailed as a great way to quit smoking, but now there are serious concerns a new generation of Australians could become hooked on vaping, thanks to a thriving black market on social media. At the same time, big tobacco companies are working behind the scenes to relax laws and increase the use of e-cigarettes. Today, 4 Corners reporter Grace Tobin, on why the industry has gone underground and how cigarette companies are reverting to old tactics. Featured: Grace Tobin, 4 Corners reporter Correction: This story stated that at the time of Juul's testimony Phillip Morris International owned a third of Juul. This was incorrect. The parent company of tobacco giant Phillip Morris USA owned a third of Juul.
Jun 27, 2022
Abortion, guns and an insurrection: Donald Trump's legacy
Donald Trump may have been gone from the White House for almost a year and a half, but a decision by the US Supreme court to effectively ban abortion in half of the country his finger prints all over it. Across the US, the ruling has created deep division at a time when Trump is once again in the spotlight over allegations he plotted to overturn the 2020 election. Today, legal analyst Jill Wine-Banks who was one of the prosecutors during the Watergate scandal that brought down President Richard Nixon on Trump's lasting legacy and what's going wrong in America. Featured: Jill Wine-Banks, legal analyst
Jun 26, 2022
The dangers of catching COVID again and again
COVID infections are on the rise again, thanks to the latest sub-variant of Omicron.  And if you think just because you've had COVID already you won't get it a second time, think again: even if you're vaccinated, your immunity only lasts a few months, and reinfection numbers are climbing.  Today, epidemiologist Nancy Baxter on the health dangers associated with having COVID-19 more than once, and why we should all be doing everything to avoid it.  Featured: Professor Nancy Baxter, epidemiologist and head of school, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health
Jun 23, 2022
How China's military build-up looks from Taiwan
It's always hard to tell what the Chinese government is planning, but what we do know is it's ordered a rapid expansion of the country's military, and it's testing it.  That concerns no-one more than the people of Taiwan, who are increasingly worried Beijing could be preparing to invade the island.  Today, the ABC's Taiwan-based East Asia correspondent, Bill Birtles, on what the world's largest military has been up to, and what it could mean.  Featured:  Bill Birtles, ABC East Asia correspondent, Taipei
Jun 22, 2022
How one swimmer's win became a loss for trans athletes
A victory by trans athlete Lia Thomas at an American university swimming competition in March has sparked a furore that's now contributed to the sport's peak international body restricting transgender competitors. This week, FINA effectively banned transgender women from the highest levels of competition, just as the world championships were getting underway in Budapest. While some of Australia's most successful swimmers welcomed the ruling, it was a devastating blow for the transgender community, with other sports signalling they'll follow FINA's lead.   Today, Tracey Holmes from ABC Sport on a divisive debate ahead, and what it means for transgender athletes. Featured: Tracey Holmes, ABC Sport senior reporter and host, The Ticket podcast
Jun 21, 2022
What next for Julian Assange?
He's been pursued by the United States government for more than a decade, and now Julian Assange is closer than ever to being extradited there on a string of charges including espionage. The 50-year-old WikiLeaks co-founder faces what amounts to life in prison if he's found guilty of publishing highly classified US defence documents. Today, international law expert Donald Rothwell on what's next for the Australian, and the implications for free speech if he ultimately ends up in an American jail. Featured: Professor Donald Rothwell, international law expert, Australian National University College of Law
Jun 20, 2022
Tracking the weapons pouring into Ukraine
Since Russia started its invasion of Ukraine, the west has been sending billions of dollars' worth of military hardware to give the country a fighting chance. The weapons are the key reason Ukrainians have held out for so long. Today, Hanna Homestead, an Associate at the Center for International Policy, on how much military might Ukraine has received, and how foreign weapons could fall into the wrong hands. Featured: Hanna Homestead, Center for International Policy, Washington
Jun 19, 2022
Introducing - Dig - Sirens Are Coming
Queensland in the 1950s: god-fearing, morally upstanding, tough on crime. Beneath the surface, a murky world of gambling, drugs and brothels kept in check by three crooked cops known as The Rat Pack. For thirty years, they ran a complex system of bribery and extortion as they pocketed the profits. But this trio never dreamed how things would end. That the women they exploited — madams, sex workers, entrepreneurs — would be their demise. Journalist Matt Condon shared a small taste of this story on last Monday's episode of ABC News Daily, and now we're sharing the full first episode of Dig - Sirens Are Coming. If you want to hear more, the full season is available now on the ABC listen app.
Jun 17, 2022
Have you tried switching the market off and on again?
You'd know by now we're in the middle of an energy crisis. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says policy failures of the former government have led to the lack of power across most of the east coast, which has seen control of the national market taken off the big power generators for the first time. Today, energy expert Matthew Warren, whose career has spanned the gas, coal and renewable sectors, on how we got to this point and what could have been done to save us from the threat of blackouts in the middle of winter. Featured: Matthew Warren, energy expert
Jun 16, 2022
Is a $40 pay rise really enough?
It's been an awful year for our personal finances, but at last around two million Australians are about to receive a bit more money in the bank. The Fair Work Commission has ordered a 5.2 per cent increase in the minimum wage but with the soaring cost of food, petrol and power is it really enough to help make ends meet?  Featured: Gareth Hutchens, ABC business reporter
Jun 15, 2022
Where has all the power gone?
So far it's been a pretty cold winter, so the thought of having no power at home probably sends a shiver down your spine. But millions of us are being told to switch off our heating and conserve power, with others plunged into darkness from blackouts. But did you know it has nothing to do with a power shortage? Today, Australia if you're listening podcast host Matt Bevan on why our warmth or lack of it is all in the hands of the big power generators and why government policies have failed us. Featured: Matt Bevan, host, Australia If You're Listening podcast
Jun 14, 2022
Monkeypox: from a Belgian rave to a global outbreak
There are still fewer than a dozen cases, but monkeypox is in Australia, and it's spreading.  It's highly unusual, because it's such a rare disease: our medical system has never had to deal with an outbreak before. At the same time, Europe, the UK and America are recording hundreds of new infections. Today, we speak to two US physicians about the treatment of a monkeypox patient, and we ask why the disease is suddenly on the move. Featured: Dr Amesh Adalja, infectious disease physician, Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, Baltimore Dr Paul Biddinger, vice chairman for emergency preparedness, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
Jun 13, 2022
Sex workers, cops and Queensland's history of corruption
Up until the 1980s, Queensland's police force was something else, led by crooked cops who thrived on bribery and extortion.  It was a murky world of gambling, drugs and illegal brothels that started to come crashing down when a small group of sex workers put their lives on the line to expose the racket.  Now, one of them has spoken out for the first time on the latest series of the ABC's Dig podcast, 'Sirens Are Coming'.  Today, its host Matt Condon on an extraordinary period in Queensland, and what it means for the state now as its anti-corruption watchdog faces fresh questions over its integrity.  Featured:  Matt Condon, host, 'Dig: Sirens Are Coming', ABC Podcasts
Jun 12, 2022
Booze and boos: how Boris Johnson hangs on
Can you imagine if an Australian prime minister broke strict COVID-19 lockdown rules, held more than a dozen parties at The Lodge, was fined by police for breaking the law, and still managed to keep the job? Well, in the UK, that's what Boris Johnson has pulled off, at least for now. But how? Today, the chief political commentator at The Independent newspaper in London, John Rentoul, on the boozy nights at 10 Downing Street, and the no-confidence motion this week that the UK leader narrowly survived. Featured: John Rentoul, chief political commentator, The Independent, London
Jun 09, 2022
Is rooftop solar the answer to rising energy prices?
If you want to avoid the big spike in energy bills, generating your own power looks like a pretty good start. On the back of the energy crisis, demand for rooftop solar panels in Australia is soaring. But how easy are they to get, how expensive are they, and if we all rush out to get them at once, will the power grid cope? Today, the ABC's regional energy reporter, Dan Mercer, on all things solar. Featured: Dan Mercer, ABC regional energy reporter
Jun 08, 2022
The biggest rate rise in 20 years is just the start
If you have a mortgage, it's a financially painful time, with interest rate hikes in consecutive months. The latest one caught just about everyone off guard, coming in higher than expected at half a percentage point - the biggest increase in more than 20 years. Today, the ABC's business editor, Ian Verrender, on why the Reserve Bank is hitting us so hard when the cost of everything else is going up too. Featured: Ian Verrender, ABC business editor
Jun 07, 2022
Your next power bill could hurt. Here's why.
By now, you've probably heard that your power bill is about to rise.  From next month, the energy costs for households could be as much as 18 percent higher, and if you managed to shop around for a cheaper deal with a smaller provider in recent years, it could be even worse.  Today, energy expert Bruce Mountain on the shock to come, and what the government could do to ease the financial pain.  Featured:  Bruce Mountain, director, Victorian Energy Policy Centre, Melbourne
Jun 06, 2022
Will Australia ever ditch the royals?
We've been having a very royal time of it lately, with the Queen celebrating her 70th year on the throne, and images of the royal family splashed all over our screens. But just before the Platinum Jubilee celebrations began, Anthony Albanese took a big step in reigniting debate over Australia cutting ties with the British monarchy. Today, author Dennis Altman on the appointment of Matt Thistlethwaite as Australia's first ever assistant minister for the republic, and whether Australians will ever vote to ditch the royals. Featured: Dennis Altman, author, 'God Save The Queen: The Strange Persistence of Monarchies'
Jun 05, 2022
'We never have teachers': the students forced to learn alone
Imagine a year 12 double maths class with no teacher, where instead of learning, students are sitting on their phones during class.  Or a school where almost a quarter of all teachers are away.  That's the reality of what some schools are dealing with as teachers complain of a severe shortage.  Today, Background Briefing's Mayeta Clarke, on her exclusive access inside a classroom and why we should worry about what’s to come. Featured: Mayeta Clark, reporter, ABC Background Briefing
Jun 02, 2022
Why the Nats dumped Barnaby Joyce
This week the Nationals underwent a fundamental change when they dumped Barnaby Joyce from the leadership. The party's new leader David Littleproud moved immediately to distance the Nats from Mr Joyce and his views on things like climate change, even though they didn't lose a single seat at the election. Today, Hon. Professor Geoff Cockfield from the University of Southern Queensland on the turbulent reign of Barnaby Joyce and whether his removal spells a new era for the Nationals. Featured: Hon. Professor Geoff Cockfield, University of Southern Queensland, Co-editor of The National Party; Prospects for the great survivors
Jun 01, 2022
How Putin's war made his neutral neighbours his enemies
Finland and Sweden are scrambling to join NATO, even though it was Ukraine's push to become a member of the military organisation that was used by the Russian President to justify his war. Today, defence expert from the American Enterprise Institute, Elisabeth Braw on Europe's rapidly changing security and why we haven't seen anything like it since World War II. Featured: Elisabeth Braw, American Enterprise Institute
May 31, 2022
How the 'wild west' of crypto crashed
Things aren't going so well for Australians who've invested in cryptocurrencies.  The digital currency world, buoyant for so long, went into meltdown this month, with prices collapsing to near historic lows, and over a quarter of the global market evaporating.  It's the crash of an unregulated market full of inherent risks, but it's also a market increasingly being used by criminal gangs around the world.  Today, ABC Four Corners reporter Stephen Long on cryptocurrency's dark side.  Featured:  Stephen Long, reporter, ABC Four Corners
May 30, 2022
The Uluru statement and Australia's next referendum
With a new Parliament to be sworn in soon, it's a momentous time for Indigenous Australians, who are now represented by more MPs and Senators than ever before.  Added to that, the prime minister Anthony Albanese is promising to deliver on the Uluru Statement from the Heart, after five years of delay under the Coalition.  That will require a referendum, the first Australians would face since the Republican vote in 1999.  Today, the ABC's Indigenous Affairs editor, Bridget Brennan, on what could be a difficult path ahead. Featured:  Bridget Brennan, ABC Indigenous Affairs editor
May 29, 2022
Can Anthony Albanese improve our global reputation?
Australia has taken a reputational hit on the international stage in recent years, mainly due to a stance on climate change that has lagged behind most other developed nations.  Now, it's up to Anthony Albanese to fix it, and to take on China as it seeks to push its way into the affairs of Pacific nations.  Today, ABC TV Insiders host David Speers on the new Prime Minister's first outing on the world stage, and the mounting challenges he faces.  Featured:  David Speers, host, ABC TV Insiders
May 26, 2022
The Texas school shooting
Once again, America is in shock after a mass shooting, this time in a primary school in Texas that left at least 20 dead. The US president, Joe Biden, has vowed to act on gun laws, but no leader before him has managed to overcome the might of the nation's gun lobby. And now, with a radically conservative Supreme Court stacked with judges appointed by Donald Trump, the right to carry a gun could be expanded even further. Today, we get the insights of a reporter who spoke to 12 mass shooters, as he investigated what could have been done to stop them.  Featured: Alex Hannaford, reporter, New York
May 25, 2022
The election 'Greenslide'
During the election campaign, the Greens say they knocked on 90,000 doors in Kevin Rudd's old seat of Griffith in Brisbane, a drive replicated in other key seats across the city too.  On Saturday, it all paid off, with the party securing the best result in its history.   Its success will change the dynamics of our parliamentary system, particularly in the Senate, where Labor already has a bitter history of negotiating with them on environmental policies.  Today, ABC 7.30's Queensland reporter, Peter McCutcheon, on how the Greens plan to translate their success into climate action.  Featured:  Peter McCutcheon, Queensland reporter, ABC TV 7.30
May 24, 2022
How Scott Morrison lost the Liberals their heartland
Voters in seats held by the Liberals for decades have rejected Scott Morrison and his party in droves, instead turning to independents with platforms on climate change action and integrity in government. Today, the ABC's Fran Kelly on how Scott Morrison stopped listening to his party's heartland, and the painful period ahead for the election losers. Featured: Fran Kelly, co-host, ABC TV Afternoon Briefing, ABC Radio The Party Room
May 23, 2022
Laura Tingle on what to expect from Anthony Albanese
It's the start of a new political era, with Anthony Albanese about to be sworn in as Australia's 31st prime minister. He'll be navigating a dramatically different parliamentary landscape: Labor and the Coalition have lost significant ground to a record number of independents and Greens, with the crossbench more than doubling in size. So why have voters turned on the major parties?  Today, ABC 7.30's chief political correspondent, Laura Tingle, on the delicate balance Anthony Albanese has ahead of him, and whether he can succeed. Featured:  Laura Tingle, ABC 7.30 chief political correspondent
May 22, 2022
Antony Green's guide to election night
Millions of Australians will head to the ballot box tomorrow, where they could deliver Scott Morrison a second 'miracle' victory, or this time prove opinion polling right and vote in Anthony Albanese.  The ABC's election analyst, Antony Green, is usually the first person to call the election result on the night.  So how does he do it? Featured:  Antony Green, ABC chief elections analyst
May 19, 2022
Annabel Crabb on the crucial women's vote
It's been an election campaign where Scott Morrison and Anthony Albanese have criss-crossed the country donning hard hats and high visibility safety vests.  But how does that resonate with Australian women, who will play a more crucial role than ever before in determining who our next prime minister will be?  Today, the ABC's Annabel Crabb on why women are increasingly angry at their treatment, and how the traditional party system seems to be ignoring them. Featured:  Annabel Crabb, ABC writer and presenter
May 18, 2022
How climate change became politically untouchable
It's one of the most critical issues of our time, and according to the ABC's Vote Compass it's the top concern for Australians as they head to the polls on the weekend.  And yet climate change has barely rated a mention from Scott Morrison or Anthony Albanese during the election campaign.  Today, the host of the ABC's Australia If You're Listening podcast, Matt Bevan, on the major parties' climate policies, and why their leaders seem so reluctant to talk about them.  Featured:  Matt Bevan, host, Australia If You're Listening podcast
May 17, 2022
Housing, super and the final plea for votes
In the final days of an election campaign dominated by cost of living concerns, Scott Morrison has announced a plan to allow Australians to dip into their superannuation to buy their first homes. As voting day approaches, both major parties will argue you’ll be better off financially if you vote for them. Today, the host of RN Breakfast, Patricia Karvelas, on who's campaigned best on cost of living concerns, and where what the parties are offering differs.
May 16, 2022
What happened to the 'COVID election'?
As Australians prepare to head to the polls on Saturday, one issue has been glaringly ignored throughout the campaign. Almost no-one has been talking about COVID, even though our infection rates are still, per capita, among the highest in the world. Today, Co-host of the ABC's Coronacast, Dr Norman Swan, on what's been happening with the virus, and why we ignore it at our peril.
May 15, 2022
The enduring power of Donald Trump's approval
Donald Trump lost to Joe Biden a year and a half ago, but the former President's hold on his Republican Party seems to be stronger than ever. He has endorsed more than 150 candidates for the US midterm elections, which are also being seen as a referendum on Trump's enduring popularity. Today, political analyst and author Geoffrey Kabaservice on what drives Donald Trump, and why the world should prepare for his return. Featured: Geoffrey Kabaservice, director of political studies, Niskanen Centre, Washington DC
May 12, 2022
Have baby boomers already won the election?
As we head to the polls in just over a week's time, older Australians are benefiting from a system of tax and super policies that make their lives easier, while younger people struggle with rising prices for everything from housing to petrol and food. So why does it seem baby boomers are getting such a good ride from both sides of politics? Today, the ABC's business editor Ian Verrender on the reason he thinks Australia's youth are being done over. Featured: Ian Verrender, ABC business editor
May 11, 2022
What Vladimir Putin didn't say on Victory Day
Vladimir Putin's Victory Day speech failed to deliver what experts expected: A major shift in the course of the war in Ukraine. Instead, the Russian leader gave little away into what his next move will be, as Russian forces continue their protracted battle to take the east of the country. Today, former US state department official and Russia policy expert Max Bergmann unpacks Putin's highly anticipated speech, and sketches out one scenario for how the war will end. Featured: Max Bergmann, Russia policy expert
May 10, 2022
Mining our way to net zero
Did you know Australia's about to enter another mining boom?  This time, it's not coal we're digging up, but critical metals needed to build things like wind turbines and electric cars.  Today, ABC Four Corners reporter Angus Grigg on his investigation into the unusual conflict between miners who say they're helping to save the planet, and environmentalists who say the industry needs to radically change its practices to ensure precious land isn't destroyed forever. Featured:  Angus Grigg, reporter, ABC TV Four Corners
May 09, 2022
Skipping meals to pay rent
Homeowners have been slugged with an interest rate rise for the first time in more than a decade, but for Australians who rent it's bad news too. The number of rental properties available is at the lowest level in almost 20 years, and rents are soaring.   Today, ABC business reporter, Daniel Ziffer, on what's driving the nation's rental crisis. Featured: Daniel Ziffer, ABC business reporter
May 08, 2022
Why China won't end COVID lockdowns
While in Australia we're now learning to live with COVID, that's not the case in China.  For more than a month, dozens of cities including Shanghai have endured strict and at times bizarre lockdowns, as authorities battle to contain an outbreak of Omicron, and the capital, Beijing, could be next. Today, ABC East Asia correspondent Bill Birtles on why the Chinese government could stick to its COVID-zero policies for years to come.  Featured:  Bill Birtles, ABC East Asia correspondent
May 05, 2022
Is America about to ban abortion?
The United States could be on the brink of a seismic change to how it deals with abortion. A leaked Supreme Court draft report shows a landmark court ruling known as Roe v Wade that made abortions legal almost half a century ago could be overturned within months. Today, US history expert Dr Prudence Flowers on why it could mean abortion is banned in at least half of the country. Featured: Dr Prudence Flowers, Flinders University
May 04, 2022
Will Scott Morrison pay for the interest rate rise?
If you're paying off a home loan in Australia right now, it's about to cost you more for the first time in over 10 years.   It'll hurt those new to the market the most, who've been caught up in a housing boom and in many cases have borrowed up to six times their annual income.  Today, ABC TV Insiders host, David Speers, on why there are more rises to come, and the political pain for the prime minister Scott Morrison just over two weeks from voting day. Featured: David Speers, host, ABC TV Insiders
May 03, 2022
The company that made millions from COVID contracts
COVID-19 has left a huge toll on us all, and taken the lives of more than 7,000 Australians. But there are some companies that have simply thrived because of it, particularly those charged by the federal government with providing goods and services like masks and other protective equipment. So was there enough scrutiny over whom the government was awarding multi-million-dollar contracts to? Today, ABC Four Corners reporter, Linton Besser, on how one Australian company with financial woes but deep political links was awarded contracts worth more than one billion dollars' worth of taxpayer money. Featured: Linton Besser, reporter, ABC TV Four Corners
May 02, 2022
Why we're being told to 'prepare for war'
A Chinese security deal with a small Pacific island nation has become a central issue in the federal election campaign. Last week, it even prompted the defence minister, Peter Dutton, to warn that in order to 'preserve peace', Australia needs to 'prepare for war'. Today, the host of China Tonight on ABC TV, Stan Grant, on what Beijing's deal with Solomon Islands really means for the region, and why it will affect our security. Featured: Stan Grant, host, ABC TV China Tonight
May 01, 2022
What happens if Russia takes Mariupol
Russia has begun its final onslaught of the vitally important Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, which has seen some of the most intense fighting since the war began. Russian soldiers are closing in on the last remaining fighters in the city, holed up in tunnels beneath the Azovstal steel works. If they fall, Russia will be a step closer to controlling the east of the country. Today, Ukrainian MP Oleksandr Merezhko on what could be a decisive turning point in the war and how, incredibly, life is returning to normal in the capital, Kyiv.  Featured:  Oleksandr Merezhko, MP, Parliament of Ukraine
Apr 28, 2022
You're paying more but earning less. Why?
We haven't seen anything like it since the 1990s. As the cost of living soars by 5 percent a year, wages haven't risen for seven years. So why are our wages stuck? Today, ABC business and economics reporter Gareth Hutchens on why you're earning less, while almost everything you buy is getting more expensive. Featured:  Gareth Hutchens, ABC business and economics reporter
Apr 27, 2022
What does Elon Musk want with Twitter?
The world's richest person, Elon Musk, is buying Twitter. But why does he want it, and could his free speech stance prove a problem for the social media network? Today, Mike Isaac, a technology correspondent for The New York Times, on the global influence of the social media giant, and the billionaire's grand plans. Featured: Mike Isaac, technology correspondent, The New York Times
Apr 26, 2022
Arrested for nail polish in Putin's Russia
In the early weeks of the war in Ukraine, tens of thousands of people in Russia took to the streets to protest against the invasion.   But two months on, with the war in its next phase in Ukraine's east, they've either been silenced by the Kremlin through draconian laws, or influenced by a relentless propaganda campaign. Today, a human rights activist on why her fellow Russians are no longer speaking out. Featured: Maria Kuznetsova, human rights activist, OVD-Info, Tbilisi, Georgia
Apr 25, 2022
Australia Votes: The enduring appeal of scare campaigns
With election day now under a month away, both the Coalition and Labor have been rolling out targeted scare campaigns to try to sway undecided voters. Drumming up fear about the other side's policy offerings is a familiar tactic in Australian elections, so why has the scare campaign become so common?  Today, an Australia Votes special episode, as the prime minister Scott Morrison continues to crisscross the country, while Anthony Albanese's frontbench holds the fort as the Labor leader begins his fourth day of COVID isolation. Featured:  David Speers, host, ABC TV Insiders Annabel Crabb, ABC elections writer Andrew Probyn, ABC political editor
Apr 24, 2022
The gay hate killings ignored for decades
It was dubbed 'the case that couldn't be solved', and for more than three decades it wasn't. In 1988, American PHD student Scott Johnson's body was found at the bottom of a cliff in Sydney's northern beaches. 30 years on, his killer, Scott White, has finally been found and convicted, with his sentence set to be handed down within weeks. The case sparked a special commission of inquiry into suspected gay-hate deaths in Sydney, stretching back 40 years. Today, we speak to an American investigator about Scott Johnson's case, the failings of NSW police, and the path ahead as dozens of historic gay and transgender hate crimes are re-examined.  Featured:  Daniel Glick, investigative reporter and private investigator
Apr 21, 2022
Under fire in Kharkiv, as Putin's war escalates
This week, an ABC crew was caught up in a Russian artillery attack in Ukraine's second biggest city, Kharkiv. A fresh round of bombing across the country marked the beginning of the next phase of Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion, with a World War II-style ground offensive in Ukraine's east now underway. Today, Sean Rubinsztein Dunlop on his narrow escape, and why what comes next could be even more brutal than what we've already seen. Featured: Sean Rubinsztein-Dunlop, ABC correspondent, Kharkiv, Ukraine
Apr 20, 2022
The 'teal independents' targeting Liberal MPs
Climate activist, clean energy investor and son of Australia's first billionaire, Simon Holmes a Court, is on a mission this election to strip the Liberal Party of some of its safest and wealthiest seats. He's helping to fund the so-called 'teal independents', a group of mainly professional women campaigning on climate change and integrity in government. Today, the ABC's chief elections analyst Antony Green on their chances of success, and what power they'd have if we end up with a hung parliament. Featured: Antony Green, ABC chief elections analyst
Apr 19, 2022
Hey big spender: Clive Palmer's election splurge
The biggest spender this election will be Clive Palmer, the billionaire head of the United Australia Party. In 2019, the party didn't win a single seat, but is trying again and says it will be running candidates in every electorate this time. Today, ABC 7.30's Peter McCutcheon on how Clive Palmer became a big political name, and why the major parties will be worried about his unpredictable nature in the weeks ahead. Featured: Peter McCutcheon, ABC 7.30 Queensland reporter
Apr 18, 2022
The pre-election win for Indian migrants
There are more than 700,000 Australians of Indian origin and both parties want their vote. Ahead of the campaign, the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison announced for the first time university degrees of Indian migrants will be recognised in Australia.   Today, the ABC's South Asia Correspondent Avani Dias on what's behind the move. Featured: Avani Dias, ABC South Asia correspondent
Apr 17, 2022
Can $1 billion save the Great Barrier Reef?
The Great Barrier Reef could be completely destroyed this century, with the coral suffering through another severe bleaching event as water temperatures continue to rise. UN inspectors have visited the area, as they contemplate the health of the reef and whether they should strip it of its world heritage status. Today, national environment reporter Michael Slezak on whether a billion dollar funding boost from the federal government can really save a national treasure. Featured: Michael Slezak, national environment reporter
Apr 14, 2022
Is it time to end isolation for close contacts?
This week, some of Australia's biggest airports have been thrown into chaos amid the Easter holiday rush. It's partly because of staff shortages due to COVID-19 close contact isolation rules, which have seen hundreds of thousands of asymptomatic Australians stuck at home. Today, University of Melbourne epidemiologist Professor Tony Blakely on whether the rules are really still necessary, as the virus surges through the community for the second time this year. Featured: Professor Tony Blakely, epidemiologist, University of Melbourne
Apr 13, 2022
The rate rise no PM can stop
While our political leaders fight it out over who can better manage the economy, nothing either side does now will stop the financial pain many homeowners could be enduring by the end of the year.  Official interest rates could rise at least four times this year, and in the worst-case scenario they could go up 12 times by the middle of 2023.  Today, the ABC's business editor Ian Verrender on why there's also a risk the economy could be plunged into recession, which would affect everyone. Featured:  Ian Verrender, ABC business editor Editor's note, 19 May 2022: This discussion incorrectly referred to the official cash rate as being 'around 0.6 percent'; the correct rate is 0.06 percent.
Apr 12, 2022
Australia's secret interrogation centre in East Timor
The Australian-led peace-making mission in East Timor, known as INTERFET and overseen by the former Chief of the Defence Force and Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove, is regarded as a moment of national pride.  But 4 Corners has now raised serious allegations of a secret interrogation facility and the torture of more than a dozen suspected pro-Indonesian militia-men by some Australian soldiers.  Today, Gold Walkley-winning ABC 4 Corners journalist Mark Willacy on how his reporting on alleged war crimes in Afghanistan led him back in time to uncover allegations of another blight on Australia’s defence record.  Featured:  Mark Willacy, ABC 4 Corners reporter
Apr 11, 2022
Antony Green on where voters matter the most
The election campaign is underway, with the prime minister Scott Morrison yesterday nominating May 21 as the date we all head to the polls.  So will the promises the leaders make in the weeks ahead ultimately change the minds of voters?  The ABC's election analyst doesn't think so.  Today, Antony Green explains to us how he sees the election campaign unfolding, and which groups of voters and which issues really count in determining who can form government. Featured:  Antony Green, ABC chief elections analyst
Apr 10, 2022
How Hillsong amassed its millions
As controversy surrounds Brian Houston, the founder of the global megachurch Hillsong, attention has turned to how he built his multi-million-dollar religious empire. Hillsong is one of the fastest growing churches in the world; even the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, has on occasions been a worshipper. So how did Hillsong get so big, so quickly? Today, ABC 7.30 investigative reporter Hagar Cohen on Hillsong's property grab, and how some Australian churches ended up handing over everything.  Featured:  Hagar Cohen, ABC 7.30 investigative reporter
Apr 07, 2022
How school kids got hooked on vaping
Australia prides itself on having among the lowest rates of smoking in the world, but now a new danger is emerging in e-cigarettes. In some cases a single so-called vape contains the equivalent amount of nicotine as nine packets of cigarettes. Today, we speak to a Year 12 student about how prevalent vaping has become in the schoolyard, and to epidemiologist Professor Emily Banks on the growing evidence around the dangers it poses. Featured: Ari Katz, Year 12 student Professor Emily Banks, epidemiologist, Australian National University
Apr 06, 2022
Russia is losing, but it has a new plan
Russia wanted a quick victory in Ukraine, but it hasn't succeeded. Instead, it's withdrawing its troops from key cities, leaving in their wake shocking evidence of torture and war crimes. It's not the end of the war: It's widely thought the Kremlin will now focus on taking control of other parts of the country. Today, former US Army Major John Spencer, who was part of the advance group that captured Baghdad from Saddam Hussein in 2003, on why Russia has failed so far, and what comes next for Ukraine's terrified civilians. Featured:  John Spencer, retired US Army major and former Chair, Urban Warfare Studies, Modern War Institute, US Military Academy, West Point, New York
Apr 05, 2022
Is anywhere safe from Australia's worsening natural disasters?
Devastating fires one year, disastrous floods the next: it feels like Australia is being continually battered by natural disasters.  So what comes next, and is there anything we can do to stop it?  Today, Robert Glasser, a former UN adviser on disaster risk reduction, on how climate change is driving the crisis, and why nowhere in Australia will truly be safe.    Featured:  Dr Robert Glasser, Head, Climate and Security Policy Centre, Australian Strategic Policy Institute Virginia Guyler, Lismore resident
Apr 04, 2022
The uncensored photo defining Russia's war
A photo of members of a family killed in a Russian mortar attack near Kyiv, subsequently published unblurred on the front page of the New York Times, became the first defining symbol of the horrors of the war in Ukraine.  Now, amid reports of more atrocities and a Russian retreat from the Ukrainian capital, it could be used to help build a case that the Kremlin has committed war crimes.  Today, we speak to the New York Times photojournalist, Lynsey Addario, about the day she took the image, and we ask whether it's likely Vladimir Putin and his military chiefs will ever be brought to justice for the horrors of their invasion. Featured: Lynsey Addario, photojournalist, The New York Times  Professor Todd Buchwald, former head of the US State Department’s Office of Global Criminal Justice and professor of international law, George Washington University Law School, Washington DC Further reading:
Apr 03, 2022
Why no one is safe from long COVID
At the moment around the country, 60,000 people are catching COVID every day, and official figures show at least 4.5 million of us have now had the disease.  It means more and more Australians now have the debilitating condition known as 'long COVID'.  But how much do we really know about it?  Today, we speak to a Melbourne nurse who hasn't recovered from a bout of COVID she had in 2020, and we hear from a doctor at the forefront of global research into what remains a mystery illness.  Featured: Irene Tey, long COVID sufferer Dr David Putrino, director of rehabilitation innovation, Mt Sinai hospital system, New York
Mar 31, 2022
'Not fit to be PM': Why a Liberal Senator lashed out
Within days, the Prime Minister will call an election and ask voters to trust him to continue leading the nation.  So can we?  Not according to one of the Coalition's longest serving senators, NSW Liberal Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, who delivered a scathing character assessment of Scott Morrison in the Senate chamber and who claims many others in the party feel the same.  Today, the host of RN Breakfast, Patricia Karvelas, takes us through the extraordinary intervention, and what it means as we prepare to head to the polls.  Featured:  Patricia Karvelas, Host, ABC RN Breakfast
Mar 30, 2022
'Everyone's a winner': The 'Hot Chocolate' budget
It's a pre-election, 'no losers' budget from the Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, who says the worst of the pandemic is behind us and the economic outlook is rosy. Today, in a special budget lockup episode of ABC News Daily, our business editor Ian Verrender explains whether we can trust those forecasts and assumptions, and lays out what it all means for you. Featured:  Ian Verrender, ABC business editor
Mar 29, 2022
Why unaffordable housing is here to stay
Millions of Australians can't afford to buy a house, with prices skyrocketing since the pandemic began.  In its pre-election budget, the federal government is extending a scheme allowing first home buyers to purchase a property with just a 5 percent deposit.  But will it ease the crisis?  Today, ABC business reporter Michael Janda explains why much more needs to be done to help the Australians priced out of the market.  Featured:  Michael Janda, ABC business reporter
Mar 28, 2022
'Like a family': Housing Ukraine's desperate millions
As the number of Ukrainians fleeing their homeland continues to grow, a unique billeting scheme in the UK has been so well received officials can barely keep up with demand.  At least 150,000 Brits have offered to open their homes to desperate Ukrainians, and the British government has said it won't set a cap on the number of refugees it will take.  Today, we hear the moment two of these families meet for the first time, and we speak to Ukrainian-born Lesia Miroshnichenko, who lives in the English city of Derby, about how she's helping to unite them.  Featured:  Lesia Miroshnichenko, volunteer, England  Anastasiia Nitskevych, Ukrainian refugee  Daryna Nitskevych, Ukrainian refugee Olha Rozdaibida, Ukrainian refugee Valentyna Rozdaibida, Ukrainian refugee  Sally Eady, sponsor, Scotland  Marie Hendy, sponsor, Scotland
Mar 27, 2022
The flood dilemma: How do you move an entire town?
With residents in flood-devastated towns across New South Wales and Queensland trying to clean up and get on with their lives, the question is: what comes next?  Should flood-prone towns be rebuilt? Or could they be moved to higher ground?  Today, the ABC's national regional affairs reporter, Lucy Barbour, takes us on a journey to the small town of Grantham, in south-east Queensland, to find a lasting solution.  Featured:  Lucy Barbour, ABC national regional affairs reporter  Gordon Linley, Gundagai resident  Shane Herrington, Wirajuda Warragul man  Rebecca Sparkes, Grantham resident  Tanya Hooper, Grantham resident
Mar 24, 2022
China's role in Russia's war
As the fighting drags on and the human toll grows in Ukraine, one of Russia's closest allies, China, is being accused of complicity in the invasion, as western leaders warn Beijing that harsh sanctions will be imposed if it supports Moscow militarily or economically.  Today, former White House Policy advisor Professor Evan Medeiros on China's dilemma, and why the decisions it makes now could lead to a change in world order.  Featured:  Dr Evan Medeiros, former Asia-Pacific Advisor to US President Barack Obama and Professor of Practice, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, Washington D.C.
Mar 23, 2022
Laura Tingle on 'factional bastardry' and a Senator's death
Since Senator Kimberley Kitching died of a heart attack on the 10th of March, the Labor Party has been embroiled in allegations of factional in-fighting and bullying.  Today, ABC 7.30's chief political correspondent Laura Tingle steps us through the scandal that's unravelled since the Senator's death, and what it means for Labor so close to an election.  Featured:  Laura Tingle, ABC 7.30 chief political correspondent
Mar 22, 2022
As COVID-19 cases rise again, what comes next?
Right now, more and more people are contracting COVID-19, as another wave of infection sweeps the nation. Driving the spike is a more infectious sub variant of Omicron, known as BA.2. Today, epidemiologist Professor Tony Blakely on how worried we should be, and the need to prepare for a more dangerous variant that could be on the way. Featured: Professor Tony Blakely, epidemiologist, University of Melbourne School of Population and Global Health
Mar 21, 2022
Inside the Ukrainian government's war bunker
As the war in Ukraine drags into its fourth week, Ukrainian life is largely lived underground, and it's from there the wheels of government continue to turn.  In a heavily fortified bunker in the capital Kyiv, the President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is leading the country's military operations and successfully galvanising his people in the face of the fierce Russian assault.  Today, ABC 4 Corners reporter Sarah Ferguson takes us inside that bunker, and to the frontlines above ground as Putin’s forces close in.  Featured:  Sarah Ferguson, reporter, ABC TV 4 Corners
Mar 20, 2022
Introducing Australia, If You're Listening
In 1987, scientists gathered in Melbourne for a landmark conference where they discussed, for the first time, the effects climate change might have on Australia. In the decade after that, two decisions were made by federal governments - one Liberal, and one Labor - which have shaped the climate debate in this country ever since.  Australia, If You’re Listening will look at why Australia’s found it so hard to tackle climate change since then, and what that means for the future. Guests: Dr Graeme Pearman - Former Chief of Atmospheric Research, CSIRO Graham Richardson - former Federal Environment Minister Ros Kelly - former Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill - former Federal Environment Minister
Mar 18, 2022
A scientific discovery that could free baby-killer Kathleen Folbigg
Kathleen Folbigg has served almost 20 years in jail for killing her four children, but now modern science is raising doubts about her guilt.  Today, Background Briefing’s Rachael Brown on growing calls to reopen her case and whether the legal system needs reforming to keep up with scientific advances.  Featured:  Rachael Brown, reporter, Background Briefing.
Mar 17, 2022
Why everything is so expensive right now
If you feel like you're paying more for almost everything, it's because you are: fuel, bread, beer, biscuits and even tinned food prices are all on the rise.  Today, ABC TV's Insiders host David Speers on why we are paying more, and how Scott Morrison could be punished for our hip pocket pain at the ballot box. Featured:  David Speers, Host, ABC TV Insiders
Mar 16, 2022
Battle of Kyiv: A war correspondent's account
The sprawling city of Kyiv is now all but lifeless, as Vladimir Putin's brutal war draws ever closer to the centre of the Ukrainian capital.  It's thought about half of the historic city's three million residents have fled, while many of those who remain are there to fight.  Today, Lyse Doucet, the BBC's chief international correspondent in Kyiv, on why Putin's war is an attack against us all, and why she stays to tell the story even while journalists are dying. Featured:  Lyse Doucet, BBC chief international correspondent, Kyiv
Mar 15, 2022
'Like being kidnapped': Australia's Britney Spears cases
It was a case watched around the world, as singer Britney Spears fought her own father to take back control of her life and money.  But it's happening in Australia too, and an ABC 4 Corners investigation has uncovered stories of Australians who've been virtually abducted by the state, stripped of their money, and silenced.  Today ABC investigative reporter Anne Connolly on the stories of some of Australia's most vulnerable, and why even telling their stories could have landed her in jail.  Featured:  Anne Connolly, ABC investigative reporter Chris Pearson, Public Trustee client, Queensland Inge-Marie Piekkala, advocate, Queensland Siham Benz, former charity founder, Western Australia
Mar 14, 2022
How Putin's bloody war on Ukraine is hurting Russians
As Vladimir Putin continues the relentless and senseless shelling of Ukrainian cities, he's also disregarding the welfare of his own people, who are grappling with the collapse of the Russian economy.  The severity of western sanctions and the decisions of multinational corporations to stop trading in Russia have seen the value of the rouble tumble by a third.  Today, Russia expert Professor Peter Rutland on why the sanctions could lead to an uprising in Moscow, even if they don't stop the war.  Featured: Professor Peter Rutland, Wesleyan University, Connecticut, US
Mar 13, 2022
Making sense of the endless rain
It's only March, but parts of the east coast have had more rain already than they normally get in a year.  It's led to deadly and devastating floods, but why is it happening?  Today, Dr Chiara Holgate, a hydroclimatologist, explains the rare weather event that's brought some of wettest conditions ever recorded, and why there's still more to come.  Featured:  Dr Chiara Holgate, hydroclimatologist, Australian National University, Canberra
Mar 10, 2022
The flood emergency where communities were left to save themselves
It's been declared a national emergency, as towns and cities along the east coast grapple with floods that have cost more than a dozen lives and destroyed thousands of livelihoods.  For residents in the hard-hit shire of Ballina, in New South Wales, shock has turned to frustration over why they were left to rescue each other from their homes as the waters surged. Today Sharon Cadwallader, the area's mayor, on the community's panic and desperation when communications were cut off at the height of the emergency, and the changes needed so it never happens again. Featured:  Sharon Cadwallader, mayor, Ballina Shire Council, NSW
Mar 09, 2022
The horror inside a Kyiv children's hospital
The brutality of Vladimir Putin's invasion is playing out in hospitals across Ukraine, where exhausted medical staff do all they can to save as many lives as possible.  As the relentless shelling of towns and cities continues, civilians are presenting with horrific shrapnel and gunshot wounds as the death toll climbs.  Today, Doctor Dmytro Ishchenko speaks to us from inside Kyiv's largest children's hospital about the babies he couldn't save, and the families destroyed.  Featured:  Dr Dmytro Ishchenko, neurosurgeon, Ohmatdyt Children’s Hospital, Kyiv
Mar 08, 2022
The women who needed urgent surgery but got Panadol instead
It's a disease that was all but eradicated in white Australia decades ago, but in remote towns like Doomadgee, in Queensland, people are dying from rheumatic heart disease without the care they need. In some cases, girls and young women in need of life-saving surgery have been offered nothing more than a Panadol passed through a hospital grate, and then sent away. Today, ABC 4 Corners reporter Louise Milligan on her investigation into a deep failing in public health, and why more young women will die. Featured:  Louise Milligan, reporter, ABC TV 4 Corners Dr Bo Remenyi, paediatric cardiologist Martin Evans, Doomadgee community member Marilyn Haala, Doomadgee community member
Mar 07, 2022
The no-fly zone Ukraine wants but the west rejects
There's no doubt they're managing to slow the Russian enemy on the ground, but in the air Ukraine is losing as Russian airstrikes escalate. Ukraine's President has been desperately pleading for NATO to enforce a no-fly zone, but that's been rejected amid fears it would risk a direct military conflict with Russia and evolve into a wider war with a nuclear-armed superpower. Featured:  Fedir Sydoruk, Ukrainian journalist, Kyiv.
Mar 06, 2022
A million Ukrainians flee after seven days of war
More than a million Ukrainians have now fled their homeland, a week since Russia began its brutal invasion.  Most are crossing the border into neighbouring Poland, a nation with a history of turning refugees away but which, for now, is doing all it can to accommodate them.  Today, ABC reporter Sean Rubinsztein-Dunlop updates us from the Polish border town of Medyka on the unfolding humanitarian crisis.  Featured:  Sean Rubinsztein-Dunlop, ABC correspondent, Medyka, Poland  Sofia Kochmar, Ukrainian journalist and refugee
Mar 03, 2022
The 'Nazi' propaganda Putin used to start the war
To the west, Russia's increasingly deadly invasion of Ukraine is a vicious and unjustified attack. But it's a very different narrative in Russia, where they're being told it's a humanitarian mission to save Russian separatists in the east of the country from a Nazi genocide. Today, ABC TV Foreign Correspondent's Eric Campbell on how the war looks through the prism of the Kremlin's relentless propaganda.  Featured: Eric Campbell, ABC TV Foreign Correspondent
Mar 02, 2022
The 'rain bomb' devastating eastern Australia
It's been described as a once in a thousand year event, as cities and towns across Queensland and New South Wales are left devastated by so-called 'bombs' of heavy rain. It's mother nature at her worst, but there are also questions over the management of state dams and whether water should have been released well before the storms hit.  Today, ABC reporters Bronwyn Herbert in New South Wales, and Rachel Mealey in Queensland, take us through an extraordinary and deadly few days.  Featured:  Bronwyn Herbert, ABC reporter, Wardell, NSW Rachel Mealey, ABC reporter, Brisbane
Mar 01, 2022
'You should believe him': Putin's nuclear threat terrifies Ukrainians
The conflict in Ukraine has escalated again, with Belarus providing extra support for Russia's invasion and Vladimir Putin threatening nuclear war as western countries step up support for Ukraine's military.  Today, former US state department adviser Max Bergmann on what Russia's dangerous nuclear warning means for Ukrainians and the world.  And we speak to international law expert Doctor Lada Roslycky, who's hiding in a safe house in Ukraine, on why citizens are terrified about what could come next.  Featured:  Max Bergmann, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress, Washington DC Dr Lada Roslycky, Black Trident Defense and Security Consulting Group, Currently sheltering in undisclosed location in Ukraine
Feb 28, 2022
The Ukrainian resistance Putin never expected
It's been a horrifying few days for Ukrainians, as Russia continues its full-scale attack on their homeland.  While tens of thousands of civilians have managed to make it to safety in neighbouring nations like Poland, others have stayed and taken up arms to help the Ukrainian military fight off one of the world's most powerful forces.   Today we speak with journalist Fedir Sydoruk on how Ukrainians in Kyiv are fighting back in a way Russia never expected, and we hear from the ABC's Europe Correspondent, Isabella Higgins, in Lviv.  Featured:  Isabella Higgins, ABC correspondent, Lviv, Ukraine  Fedir Sydoruk, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty journalist, Kyiv, Ukraine
Feb 27, 2022
'Shell-shocked': Russia's invasion of Ukraine begins
The Russian President Vladimir Putin has pulled the trigger for the invasion of Ukraine, after a televised speech that shocked the world.  As explosions rang out across Ukraine, western nations could do little more than monitor what was unfolding.  Today, Russia expert and former Moscow resident Professor Samuel Greene helps us make sense of a day that will reshape the world, and Kyiv resident Olga Polotska describes the moment Russia’s strikes on her hometown began.  Featured:  Professor Samuel Greene, Director, King’s Russia Institute, King’s College London  Dr Olga Polotska, Executive Director, Ukraine National Research Foundation, Kyiv
Feb 24, 2022
What could stop Vladimir Putin's war in Ukraine?
As Vladimir Putin moves closer to a full blown war in Ukraine by ordering troops into two separatist regions in the east of the country, western nations are rolling out sanctions in a bid to bring the Russian leader back from the brink.  Bill Browder, the American businessman instrumental in a long-running campaign to sanction the Kremlin, says only the toughest financial consequences will deter Putin, who's desperate to retain his immense wealth and stay in power.  Today, we ask him: What makes the Russian leader tick, and can anything stop a bloody, protracted war?  Featured:  Bill Browder, businessman and political activist
Feb 23, 2022
A rate rise is coming, ready or not
More than a million homeowners in Australia have never experienced a rate rise, but they're about to.  It's now widely tipped that the Reserve Bank of Australia is ready to push rates up within months, bringing pain to many overstretched mortgage holders.  Today, the ABC's Business Editor Ian Verrender on why you should start saving now.   Featured:  Ian Verrender, ABC Business Editor
Feb 22, 2022
'Stumbling into war': How Putin's bluff could backfire
The Russian President, Vladimir Putin, could be about to unleash the biggest invasion in Europe since the Second World War.  Western leaders warn a Ukraine invasion would be a bloody and protracted affair, sparking a migrant crisis and having deep economic implications across the world, including for Australians.  Today, long-time foreign correspondent for the ABC, Eric Campbell, helps make sense of the conflicting accounts of what's really happening on the ground.  Featured:  Eric Campbell, ABC TV Foreign Correspondent
Feb 21, 2022
Self-isolation is out, as Boris Johnson claims COVID 'victory'
Australia's begun reopening its borders to international travellers and some states are easing COVID restrictions, but it's just a fraction of what Boris Johnson is about to do in England.  The British Prime Minister's set to declare victory in the fight against COVID, and will this week move to scrap all restrictions including self-isolation rules.  It'll be a welcome distraction for a leader under immense pressure over the Downing Street lockdown parties scandal, but scientists say he's moving too fast.  Today, a former director of the World Health Organisation, Dr Anthony Costello, on Boris Johnson's litany of pandemic mistakes, and why nations like Australia shouldn't follow in his footsteps.  Featured:  Professor Anthony Costello, Institute for Global Health, University College London
Feb 20, 2022
David Speers on the China scare campaign
The head of Australia's peak spy agency, ASIO, says matters of national security shouldn't be politicised. But it's a bit late for that: All this week, the Federal Government's been on the attack, after it was revealed China had tried but failed to target potential Labor Party candidates in New South Wales ahead of the election. Today, the host of Insiders on ABC TV, David Speers, on the prime minister's 'reds under the beds' scare campaign. Featured: David Speers, Host, ABC TV Insiders
Feb 17, 2022
Prince Andrew's disgraceful journey to sex trial settlement
Prince Andrew's fall from grace is complete, after he settled in the rape case brought by Australian-based woman Virginia Giuffre.  It means the Prince avoids having to face a gruelling cross examination in a US court, which would have delved into the allegations as well as his ties to child sex trafficker, Jeffrey Epstein. Today, the ABC's Royal Correspondent, Juliet Rieden, on the journey of a disgraced prince and what it means for Epstein's other victims. Featured: Juliet Rieden, ABC Royal Correspondent
Feb 16, 2022
What drove the 'freedom convoy' to Canberra?
It was the biggest rally they'd managed so far: On the weekend, up to 10,000 'Convoy to Canberra' protesters gathered outside the parliament.  So who are they, what do they want, and why should you care? Today we speak to independent researcher into far right extremism and conspiracies, Dr Kaz Ross. Featured: Kaz Ross, independent researcher
Feb 15, 2022
'We've sacrificed so much': Nurses quit after Omicron
We all think we know how bad the Omicron wave was, but we're only now starting to get a better sense of just how dire things became at its peak in our hospitals.  More healthcare workers are speaking out about the chaotic scenes in emergency rooms and outside hospitals, where ambulances were kept waiting with critical patients onboard.  Today, ABC Background Briefing reporter Mayeta Clark on why nurses in NSW have voted to strike for the first time in 10 years, and why others across the nation are quitting their jobs.  Featured: Mayeta Clark, ABC Background Briefing reporter
Feb 14, 2022
Scott Morrison, Anthony Albanese and the swinging voters who’ll determine the election
In Australia, elections are always won or lost in a few dozen marginal electorates based on the views of the so-called undecided. So as this year's poll draws near, what do they make of Scott Morrison and Anthony Albanese?  Today, 4 Corners Reporter Sean Nicolls on the voters who really matter. Featured: Sean Nicholls, Reporter, ABC 4 Corners
Feb 13, 2022
The million Afghan children starving to death
The people of Afghanistan are starving to death. Almost six months to the day since the Taliban seized control, it's estimated 95 per cent of people don't have enough money for food, and at least 8 million people are facing starvation. Today, Australian journalist Yalda Hakim on the return to her birth nation for the ABC's Foreign Correspondent program and the desperation she found on the ground. Featured: Yalda Hakim, Reporter, BBC and ABC TV Foreign Correspondent
Feb 10, 2022
Patricia Karvelas on the explosive Tame and Higgins speech
Former Australian of the Year Grace Tame and former staffer Brittany Higgins have delivered an explosive address to the National Press Club that's left the Prime Minister on the backfoot just as he was trying to reset the agenda.  No sooner had Scott Morrison directly apologised to Brittiany Higgins, who was allegedly raped at Parliament House, than he was facing fresh questions about the political culture and treatment of women. Today, Radio National’s Patricia Karvelas on a reckoning over violence against women, and an explosive start to the parliamentary year. Featured: Patricia Karvelas, Host, ABC Radio National Breakfast
Feb 09, 2022
'Frankly, he's lost my trust': life in McGowan's Fortress WA
It's always been cut off from the wider nation, but never quite like this. As the rest of Australia opens up further, including by welcoming back international travellers in 12 days' time, Western Australia's Premier Mark McGowan still won't set a date for when his state's hard border will fall.  Today, two Perth businessmen on life inside Fortress WA, and the deepening toll it's taking. Featured: Paul House, CEO, IMDEX Brad Lowson, Director and Partner, Global Spill Control
Feb 08, 2022
Communities cut off as Omicron rips through the NT outback
While infection levels are beginning to drop in most of the country, Omicron is now ripping through remote Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory at an alarming rate, with hospitalisations now the highest per capita in the country.  Severe overcrowding is driving the spread, with dozens of people often forced to isolate together in derelict housing, while vaccination rates remain among the lowest in the country.  Today, the ABC's Indigenous Affairs Editor, Bridget Brennan, on a crisis politicians foresaw but failed to prevent.  Featured:  Bridget Brennan, ABC Indigenous Affairs Editor
Feb 07, 2022
Justin Langer saved Australian cricket after 'sandpapergate'. Now he's out.
He rebuilt the Australian cricket team after the international embarrassment of the so-called "sandpapergate" cheating scandal, and last month he took the side to one of its most emphatic Ashes wins. But now Justin Langer is out, after months of pressure from players unhappy with his style.  Today, sports commentator Glenn Mitchell on Langer's treatment and why he's been cast aside. Featured:  Glenn Mitchell, sports commentator
Feb 06, 2022
Laura Tingle on Scott Morrison's reset failure
With the federal parliament returning next week, there's a lot at stake for Scott Morrison as he prepares to face voters at the next election. There are only ten sitting days scheduled before he'll have to head to the polls, and while the Prime Minister hoped his first major address of the year would clear the decks, it only worsened his already tenuous position. Today, ABC 7.30 Chief Political Correspondent Laura Tingle on the sitting days Scott Morrison doesn't need, his reluctance to say sorry, and a tough road ahead. Featured: Laura Tingle, 7.30 Chief Political Correspondent
Feb 03, 2022
Ukrainian life in the shadow of war
Ukrainians are again living with the threat of invasion, with tens of thousands of Russian troops amassed along their country's eastern border. Russian President Vladimir Putin says his demands that NATO not be expanded are being ignored, and the west is luring him into conflict. But in Ukraine, many say they've been here before, with memories of when Russia invaded in 2014 and annexed Crimea. Today, we speak to two Ukrainians, one working with the Red Cross on the Russian border and one a reporter in the capital Kyiv, about life in the shadow of war. Featured: Alex Vlasenko, International Committee of the Red Cross, Donbas, Ukraine Sashko Shevchenko, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Kyiv, Ukraine
Feb 02, 2022
Loneliness, illness and death, as COVID hits aged care again
COVID is ripping through Australian aged care homes at a rate we haven't seen before, with more than 400 residents dying in January alone. In many cases they died still waiting for promised booster shots and without seeing their loved ones, because facilities were locked down to try to stop the spread.  Today, ABC investigative reporter Anne Connolly on the failure to protect some of Australia's most vulnerable and why the crisis is far from over.  Featured:  Anne Connolly, ABC investigative reporter
Feb 01, 2022
The Omicron surge, in the words of two American doctors
After record breaking COVID numbers during the Omicron wave, Australian doctors are hoping hospital admissions have plateaued. It's a similar story in the US, but on a much larger scale, with 2,500 people still dying every day, and 150,000 COVID patients in hospital at any given time. Today, we hear from two American emergency room doctors on a system close to collapse, and the lessons for Australia. Featured: Dr Morgan Eutermoser, emergency physician, Denver Health, Colorado Dr Jeremy Faust, emergency physician, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
Jan 31, 2022
School's back, but only for some
With some kids back at school already and others heading back to class today, how vulnerable are we all to another Omicron surge, and who's really making the decisions about whether it's safe to go back? Today we talk to the ABC's national education and parenting reporter, Conor Duffy, about the power of education unions across the country and the influence they've had in keeping schools closed in some states.  Featured:  Conor Duffy, ABC national education and parenting reporter
Jan 30, 2022
Introducing ABC News Daily
ABC News Daily is a new podcast that will help you understand the issues affecting your world. Every episode, host Sam Hawley will walk you through one story with the help of an ABC colleague or expert. When you want coverage you can trust, listen to ABC News Daily. Find it in your podcast feed from Monday, January 31 2022.
Jan 27, 2022
Goodbye from The Signal team
It's goodbye from The Signal team — join us to revisit our favourite episodes. (We've chosen from a pool of 900, so you know they'll be good.) Keep an eye out for the ABC's new daily news podcast, coming in early 2022! Featured: Ange Lavoipierre, Co-host, The Signal Stephen Smiley, Co-host, The Signal Chris Dengate, Producer & Sound Engineer, The Signal
Dec 09, 2021
What Omicron means for 2022
Ever since Delta, we've been talking about the inevitability of a new variant. And yet somehow, Omicron came as a surprise. Before Omicron, the end of the pandemic seemed close enough to touch. So was it all a mirage? Today on The Signal, we're asking Epidemiologist, Professor Tony Blakely from the University of Melbourne, about what to expect from the pandemic in 2022. Featured: Tony Blakely, Professor of Epidemiology, University of Melbourne
Dec 08, 2021
Can Scott Morrison win again?
In 2019, lots of people thought they knew what would happen at the federal election. And almost all of them were wrong. This time around, commentators are more circumspect. But if you're after an educated guess about the 2022 election outcome, what should you take into account? Today on The Signal, we speak with Patricia Karvelas about the answer to that question. Featured: Patricia Karvelas, Host, RN Drive and ABC Afternoon Briefing
Dec 07, 2021
Calling the next Trump-Biden race
The firehose of Trump-era headlines out of America has dried up, but Joe Biden hasn't been having an easy time during his first year in office. In fact, the President's popularity has taken such a knock that many Democrats are bracing for the loss of their wafer-thin majority in Congress during next year's midterms. So can Biden recover to win again in 2024, most likely in a rematch with Donald Trump? Today on The Signal, we're taking a long view of US Politics and daring to ask: what should we expect from the next Presidential race? Featured: Chas Licciardello, Host of the ABC's Planet America
Dec 06, 2021
How 2021 went for Scott Morrison (and a message from The Signal)
Parliament has risen for 2021 and it certainly looks and smells like an election campaign is underway. The prime minister Scott Morrison spent Sunday at the Bathurst 1000 V8 supercar event in NSW, while the opposition leader Anthony Albanese held a policy rally in the inner west of Sydney. So after a bruising final stretch this year, who's in pole position? Today on The Signal, we catch up with the host of Insiders on ABC TV, David Speers, to dissect the final sitting fortnight of Parliament, and take a look at the road ahead in federal politics. Featured: David Speers, Host, ABC TV Insiders And just a quick note to our loyal subscribers from Ange and Smiley: this will be our final week hosting The Signal. The podcast will undergo a refresh over the summer, and will be back in 2022 with a new host and name. Keep an eye out for it here in your feed!
Dec 05, 2021
Why contraception in Australia is stalled
Contraceptive choices for Australians haven't really budged in the last few decades. So what's the hold up? And how far off are some of those big breakthroughs, like male contraceptives? Today on The Signal, it's the future of contraceptives and why that future is taking so long to arrive. Featured: Georgia Hitch, ABC Reporter, Canberra Parliament House
Dec 02, 2021
Can Scott Morrison end trolling?
Scott Morrison has a plan to end online trolling in Australia. A draft of the Government bill released yesterday would force social media companies to keep a record of their users' real identity, as well as overturn a recent High Court decision that ruled social platforms are legally publishers, for defamation purposes. So are those ideas any good? And how would they work in practice? Today on The Signal, what we know about the Government's latest plan to get tough on big tech. Featured: Cam Wilson, Associate Editor,
Dec 01, 2021
Parliament's shocking sexual harassment problem
Sexual harassment and bullying are rife within Australian federal politics. That's the finding of a landmark report by the Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins, based on anonymous interviews with hundreds of people employed in parliamentary workplaces. Kate Jenkins' inquiry was initiated back in February, when allegations came to light that former Liberal Party staffer Brittany Higgins had been raped by a colleague in a ministerial office. So what has Kate Jenkins found? And will the Government accept her recommendations about what needs to change? Today on The Signal, what we know about the ugly workplace culture at the heart of our democracy, and whether there is sufficient political will to fix it. Featured:  Stephanie Dalzell, ABC Political Reporter, Parliament House Canberra
Nov 30, 2021
Everything we know about Omicron
The Omicron variant of COVID-19 was only named on Friday, but it's already notorious. Even though there are still more questions about it than answers, the new variant is already wreaking havoc worldwide, as governments pre-emptively throw up borders and reintroduce restrictions in a bid to slow its spread. So what do we know about Omicron for sure? And among the known unknowns, what is the greatest cause for concern? Today on The Signal: Omicron, the latest twist in the pandemic. Featured:  Professor Nancy Baxter, Head of Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne
Nov 29, 2021
Are we ready for the next pandemic?
This pandemic is far from over, with scientists scrambling to get a handle on the Omicron variant as governments worldwide throw up hard borders. Nevertheless, countries from around the world are already starting to prepare for the next one, with a meeting underway today to potentially thrash out a new pandemic treaty. So what options are on the table? And can the world's nations really agree on where they failed against COVID-19 in order to do better? Featured:  Professor Adam Kamradt-Scott, Chair of Global Public Health, School of Transnational Governance, European University Institute, Florence, Italy
Nov 28, 2021
Vaccinated, cured, or dead: Europe's fourth COVID wave
Vaccinated, cured, or dead: those are the three likely paths ahead for Germans, according to the country's Health Minister, as it prepares to plunge into pandemic winter. Many European countries are currently in the grips of a brutal fourth wave of COVID-19. It's so bad that Austria has just gone back into lockdown in an attempt to spare the country's already overwhelmed ICUs. Only two thirds of Europeans have been fully vaccinated so far, and many of those people are at a point now where their immunity is starting to fade. It's a pattern that's making health officials worried about what the next few months have in store. Today on the Signal, Europe's backsliding COVID situation. Is it a sign of things to come for Australia? Featured: Eva Schernhammer, Professor of Epidemiology, Medical University of Vienna
Nov 25, 2021
Scott Morrison's revolting backbench
Religious discrimination, voter ID laws, a federal anti-corruption watchdog: Scott Morrison's end-of-year parliamentary to-do list is long. So why is a group of the government's own parliamentarians trying to derail it with a fight over state vaccine rules? Today on The Signal, why backbenchers are revolting, and what it might mean for the Morrison government's re-election. Featured: David Speers, Host, ABC TV Insiders
Nov 24, 2021
Does Victoria have an illegal logging problem?
The Victorian Government's own logging business, VicForests, is facing new allegations of illegal logging. In the past it's been found to have been clearing in protected areas -- including the habitat of endangered species. This time, the allegations are to do with illegally clearing within the Melbourne catchment area in a way that scientists say could threaten the quality of the city's drinking water. Today on The Signal, a special investigation into allegations of illegal logging by a Government-owned company. Featured: Michael Slezak, National Science, Technology and Environment Reporter, ABC
Nov 23, 2021
Will Australia's harshest lockdowns protect the NT?
COVID-19 had been largely kept out of the Northern Territory, but in the past few days that changed. Now, residents in a string of communities are living under some of the harshest lockdowns yet imposed in Australia, as the virus spreads in Katherine and across the outback. So what went wrong? Today on The Signal, we're examining how the virus spread in the NT, and asking whether the lockdowns and a reinvigorated vaccination campaign will halt its spread. Featured: Jane Bardon, ABC Northern Territory reporter Deb Aloisi, Binjari Community Aboriginal Corporation Kevin Rogers, Rockhole resident Lisa Mumbin, Chairwoman, Wurli Wurlinjang Aboriginal Health Service, Katherine Jack Green, Garawa elder Malarndirri McCarthy, NT Labor Senator Dr Robert Parker, Australian Medical Association NT President John Paterson, Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance chief executive
Nov 22, 2021
Imagining a post-coal Australia
The Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been talking up the future of the coal industry in the decades to come. That's despite a COP26 promise to "phase down" coal, and frequent widespread predictions that market forces are already forcing coal into terminal decline. So who's right? Today on The Signal, the surprisingly bright future of mining in Australia. How much more coal are we really going to dig up and sell? And what other kinds of mining might take its place? Featured: Dr Richard Denniss, Chief Economist, The Australia Institute
Nov 21, 2021
Can we really count our emissions?
Most of the world's nations struck a major deal on Sunday in Glasgow to do more to bring down their emissions. But for the deal to be worth the paper it's written on, one key assumption has to be true: that we actually know what our emissions are. So can we really keep track of our climate-altering emissions? And if we can't, how much trouble are we in? Featured:  Dr Philippe Ciais, Researcher and Associate Director, Climate and Environmental Science Laboratory, Pierre Simon Laplace Institute, Paris
Nov 18, 2021
How Belarus engineered a migrant crisis
A new migrant crisis is building on the European Union's eastern frontier. At the border with Poland, thousands of migrants and asylum seekers are camped out in forests and woodlands in Belarus trying to enter. So how did they get there? And how does this impasse resolve? Today on The Signal, how Belarus engineered a migrant crisis, and why. Featured: Sara Cincurova, independent journalist, Bratislava, Slovakia
Nov 17, 2021
Why are there gallows on Melbourne streets?
You don't see gallows at a protest all that often in Australia, but they've appeared more than once lately in Melbourne. The scenes are just the most visible part of the backlash to the Victorian Government's new pandemic power bill, which has been described as an attack on democracy by the state opposition. So what is it about this bill that's inspired so much anger? Featured: Josh Taylor, reporter, The Guardian Australia
Nov 16, 2021
When will Australian kids be vaccinated?
28 million American children between the ages of 5 and 12 are lining up to get vaccinated against COVID-19, after health authorities there gave Pfizer's jab for kids emergency approval. In Australia, the health minister Greg Hunt says there'll be a little more of a wait, although he is indicating the first jabs could be administered to children by January. So what do we know about how COVID-19 affects children? And can the delay in vaccinating them be justified? Featured: Professor Fiona Russell, Paediatrician, infectious diseases epidemiologist and vaccinologist, University of Melbourne and Murdoch Children's Research Institute
Nov 15, 2021
Did the Glasgow climate summit fail?
After walkouts, tears and last-minute deals, the UN climate summit in Glasgow is over, and all 197 countries have signed up to the final agreement. So what's in it? Today on The Signal, we're bringing you the successes and failures of COP26. Where does the world stand after the most crucial climate meeting to date? Featured: Lesley Hughes, Professor of Biology at Macquarie University & Climate Councillor, Climate Council of Australia
Nov 14, 2021
Speaking about unspeakable crimes
Australia has undergone a revolution in how we talk about many crimes and disorders. Despite the new openness, discussing incestuous abuse and the condition it can trigger, dissociative identity disorder, remains largely taboo. So what, if anything, do we know about its prevalence? And how do its victims live with the trauma? Today on The Signal, we're talking with Tracey Shelton from the ABC's Background Briefing about the last unspeakable crime, and how those who've suffered from it find their voice. Featured:  Tracey Shelton, Reporter, ABC Background Briefing and ABC Asia Pacific newsroom
Nov 11, 2021
Have we u-turned on electric vehicles?
After declaring in 2019 that electric vehicles would "end the weekend", the Government has had a change of heart. It announced a 250 million dollar EV strategy this week, with a focus on funding public and household charging infrastructure. So will it give EVs the push-start they need? Or is it all talk? Today on The Signal, Australia's slow motion switch to electric vehicles. What will it take to speed things up? Featured: Gail Broadbent, postgraduate researcher on EVs, University of New South Wales
Nov 10, 2021
Can Joe Biden actually change America?
Joe Biden has passed a signature bill through Congress, but it's just a warm up for the next one. The Build Back Better Plan is facing an uphill battle, with members of the President's own party providing some tough opposition. So will his multi-trillion-dollar plan succeed? Today on the Signal, can Joe Biden actually change America, and is his plan worth the price tag? Featured: Bruce Wolpe, Senior Fellow, United States Studies Centre, Sydney
Nov 09, 2021
Will we need COVID boosters forever?
More than 80% of the eligible Australian population is now fully vaccinated against COVID-19. It's a major milestone, and it comes as the federal government's population-wide booster program gets underway. So what does the science tell us about why boosters are necessary? And will we all need more than one? Today on The Signal, everything we know and don't know about vaccines, boosters and waning immunity. Featured: Professor Tony Blakely, School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne
Nov 08, 2021
Has Glasgow solved climate change yet?
A week ago we were wondering what the UN climate summit in Glasgow, COP26, might deliver for humanity. We'd been told many times that the world is not on track to limit warming to less than 2 degrees, and that Glasgow was our best - if not our last - chance to fix that. At the halfway mark, Swedish activist Greta Thunberg says the talks have already failed. So is she right? Today on The Signal, while world leaders have mostly left, negotiations still have a week to run. So what's the world agreed to so far? And is there still cause for hope in the final week? Featured: Dr Matthew England, Professor of Climate Processes, University of New South Wales, Sydney
Nov 07, 2021
Is there a case for nuclear power?
A handful of Nationals have pitched nuclear power as a way to lower Australia's emissions. It's not the first time the idea has come up in Australia — but there's been a ban in place since 1998, and lacklustre public support since nuclear disasters such as Chernobyl. So is it a good idea now, either environmentally or financially? And would the public support it this time around? Featured: Ian Lowe, Emeritus Professor, School of Science and Environment, Griffith University
Nov 04, 2021
Australia's submarine war with France
France's fury with Australia over the decision to scrap a submarine contract isn't cooling. Less than a week after Scott Morison assured the public the relationship was on the mend, the French President Emmanuel Macron has accused him of lying, while the French Ambassador in Canberra Jean-Pierre Thebault says things are now at an "unprecedented new low". So is Scott Morrison making things worse? And as relations with France continue to unravel, what might happen next? Featured:  David Speers, Host, Insiders, ABC TV
Nov 03, 2021
Is Australia's climate record smoke and mirrors?
There's a lot of pressure on the leaders of wealthy countries gathering in Glasgow at the moment to be more ambitious on cutting emissions. When the focus turns to Australia, the prime minister Scott Morrison has a standard reply: Australia's record on cutting emissions shows that we always keep our promises. What he doesn't talk about, is how. Today on The Signal, Australia's true record on climate targets. How much of it is actually smoke and mirrors? Featured: Mikey Slezak, ABC National Environment, Science and Technology Reporter
Nov 02, 2021
Fortress Australia drops the drawbridge
After almost 600 days, Australia's borders have finally reopened to millions of citizens, permanent residents and New Zealanders who've been vaccinated. In that time, the closed international border has dramatically reshaped Australian society, in particular its workforce, which is undersupplied without migrants. Today on the Signal, 'Fortress Australia' is finally dropping the drawbridge, but how big is the immigration gap we need to fill? And will people still want in? Featured: Dr Liz Allen, Demographer, Australian National University, Canberra
Nov 01, 2021
What Gladys Berejiklian has to say to ICAC
On Friday, the former NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian gave long-awaited evidence at a corruption inquiry, and there's more to come. The former NSW Premier was questioned publicly about a series of tapped calls with her then partner, Daryl Maguire, who resigned from state parliament in disgrace in 2018, as investigators tried to discover how much she really knew about his conduct. So what's the damage so far? Today on The Signal, we bring you the key moments in Gladys Berejiklian's ICAC hearing, and find out all the ways that it could end. Featured: Paul Farrell, investigative reporter, ABC 7:30
Oct 31, 2021
What to expect at 'the last chance saloon'
The next two and a bit weeks of the climate summit in Glasgow could decide whether the world is still liveable at the end of the century. The whole point of COP26 is to get world leaders to agree to cut their emissions to a point that will limit warming to less than 2 degrees. So are we currently on track for that? And days out from the start of the conference, what should we realistically expect it to achieve? Today on The Signal, how the next two weeks in Glasgow are likely to play out. Featured: Professor Mark Howden, Director, Institute for Climate Energy and Disaster Solutions, ANU & Vice Chair, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Oct 28, 2021
Does anyone like Australia's climate plan?
Parts of Australia's new net-zero climate policy are finally public. But many who've read its 129 pages say the much-anticipated 'plan' is light on for detail, leaning heavily on existing policies, untested technologies, hypothetical future breakthroughs, and promises politicians will do as they say. So will it actually get us to net zero? And does it really protect the regions, as the Government claims? Today on The Signal we look at how Australia's two governing parties landed this deal, and ask whether the plan differs at all from the status quo. Featured: Professor Geoff Cockfield, Honorary professor of politics and economics, Institute for Resilient Regions and Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Systems, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Queensland
Oct 27, 2021
How Crown Casino got away with it
Most companies described by a royal commission as callous, dishonest and disgraceful would be done for. But yesterday, after those words and more were used by Royal Commissioner Ray Finkelstein in his final report to describe Crown Casino in Melbourne, the Victorian Government gave the company a lifeline. So how did that happen? And now Crown's been given an extra two years to clean up its Melbourne operations, what happens next? Featured: Dan Ziffer, Business Reporter, ABC Melbourne
Oct 26, 2021
Is the worst of COVID behind us?
Australia is clipping through its COVID vaccination milestones at breakneck speed. In Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney, lockdowns are over and restrictions are easing. Meanwhile, from Tasmania to Queensland, governments are finalising reopening plans, with a vision of a "normal" summer with interstate visitors coming into view. So are we through the worst of the pandemic? Today on The Signal, we're taking stock of Australia's progress on the path back to normality. Are there risks ahead? And if there are, then what's our plan? Featured: Professor Catherine Bennett, Chair in Epidemiology, Deakin University, Melbourne
Oct 25, 2021
What's in Australia's net zero deal?
It's been a long time coming, but the Nationals have finally agreed in-principle on terms for a net zero by 2050 target. Announcing the deal on Sunday evening, Barnaby Joyce wouldn't say what the final conditions were, and who in the party was still against it, but there are plenty of early indications. Today on The Signal, what do we know so far about Australia's all but finalised net zero deal? And how does Australia's brand new policy on emissions stack up on the world stage? Featured: David Speers, Host, ABC Insiders Dr Bill Hare, climate scientist & Director, Climate Analytics
Oct 24, 2021
Billionaires in space
More and more billionaires are jumping on rockets to try to reach space. Richard Branson was the first with Virgin Galactica, Jeff Bezos was next with Blue Origin, and they're both competing against Elon Musk's company SpaceX. The question is, what's in it for the rest of humanity? Today on the Signal, the dawn of the new space age and the billionaires funding it. What's it going to achieve, and is it worth the cost? Featured: Dr Bradley Tucker, Astrophysicist and Cosmologist, Australian National University Dr Eloise Marais, Associate Professor in Physical Geography, University College London
Oct 21, 2021
Is China winning the nuclear arms race?
China might just have taken a big step forward in its nuclear capability. It's reportedly been testing space missiles which could get around US defences, meaning that, theoretically, it's able to launch a nuclear strike on US soil. So how is the US likely to respond? Today on The Signal, China's expanding nuclear ambitions. How does a race like this end? Featured: Dr Jeffrey Lewis, Professor, Middlebury Institute of International Studies in California & Director, East Asia Nonproliferation Project
Oct 20, 2021
What Trump's Supreme Court judges are up to
Donald Trump's presidency is over for now, but he left a huge mark on the US Supreme Court. The former president appointed three of the court's six conservatives, and in the next few weeks they'll make one of the most consequential decisions in decades. So will the Supreme Court really let states ban abortion? And if it does, what will that mean for women, and for the court's reputation? Featured: Dahlia Lithwick, US Supreme Court reporter,
Oct 19, 2021
When can you book an overseas holiday?
After 19 months of being effectively cut off, Australia is less than two weeks away from reopening the border to outbound travellers. NSW is going even further, by allowing returning travellers back in without quarantine, with other states including Victoria potentially following suit weeks later. So how will the end of the travel ban work in practice? Today on The Signal, we're trying to answer all your questions about the gradual return of overseas travel. Featured:  Dr Leonardo Nogueira de Moraes, Tourism resilience and planning expert, University of Melbourne
Oct 18, 2021
Why we have a 70s economy
The global economy is in weirder shape than it's been in a long time. Major economies are emerging from lockdown, a complicated set of dynamics in Europe and Asia is causing energy prices to soar, and there's a new focus on driving down emissions. So do all these things taken together add up to an economic meltdown? Today on The Signal, we're speaking with the ABC's Business Editor Ian Verrender about whether we could see a repeat of the stagflation crisis of the 1970s, and how long it could last. Featured: Ian Verrender, ABC Business Editor
Oct 17, 2021
Why we're betting billions on hydrogen
It's been hard to open a news app this week without running headlong into a story about hydrogen. But for an energy source that seems to be all the rage, it's still pretty hard to come by, which might explain the generalised confusion about what it is, and how it works. Today on The Signal, we explain why everyone seems to be throwing money at hydrogen and ask: is Australia entering a new boom? Featured: Dr Patrick Hartley, Leader, CSIRO Hydrogen Industry Mission
Oct 14, 2021
Would Australia go to war over Taiwan?
For a private citizen visiting out of a personal interest, Taiwan sure made a lot of fuss over the former Prime Minister Tony Abbott. That's because his recent visit seems to be part of a larger, very complicated diplomatic dance Australia is engaged in, designed to keep China happy and Taiwan safe. So is it working? Today on the Signal, how close is China to invading? And if Beijing did decide to do that, would Australia join a war over it? Featured: Natasha Kassam, Director of the Lowy Institute's Public Opinion and Foreign Policy Program
Oct 13, 2021
Are we reopening too fast?
The end of Australia's lockdown era is approaching fast. In Sydney, pubs are open, schools are going back, and lines for haircuts trail around street corners. In Canberra too, a lockdown is ending on Friday, while in Melbourne 10,000 double-vaccinated spectators will be allowed to watch horse racing at Flemington in November, with more easing to follow. But is Australia reopening too fast? Today on The Signal, what the new era means for COVID case numbers, and how much to worry about the risk it could all end in misery. Featured: Professor Nancy Baxter, Head of School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne
Oct 12, 2021
Why renting is a health risk
Some health risks are obvious, like smoking, or eating too much sugar. But what about renting? As many as a million Australians live in housing that harms their health, with renters the worst off. So what's the health cost of having so much substandard housing? And how do you even begin to fix a problem like that? Featured: Alice, Sydney tenant Professor Rebecca Bentley, Director of the Centre of Research Excellence in Healthy Housing, National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Dr Kim Loo, General Practitioner
Oct 11, 2021
Are we doing enough for Afghan refugees?
Since the Taliban retook the country, millions of Afghans have been trying to get out. Many go first to Iran or Pakistan, and from there try for resettlement elsewhere. But it's a difficult, bureaucratic process, and for most it ends in disappointment. So is Australia doing enough to help? Today on The Signal, we're hearing about a group of Afghan orphans who've made it Sydney. How is Australia helping them, and their compatriots back in Afghanistan? Featured: Latifa, Afghan refugee Emily Clark, Reporter, ABC news international desk Kate Ogg, Associate Professor, Australian National University College of Law, Canberra
Oct 10, 2021
Watering down our anti-corruption efforts
It's been a busy time for Australia's state-based anti-corruption bodies. In New South Wales, an ICAC investigation has prompted yet another premier to resign, while in Victoria the IBAC is reportedly investigating Daniel Andrews and in South Australia observers say a lightning-fast legislative change late last month has rendered the ICAC there all but impotent. So what makes a state integrity body both effective and fair? And what does all this state-based controversy mean for the eventual shape of the national body? Today on The Signal, there's been a push to weaken anti-corruption bodies in Australia, right as the Federal ICAC is being designed. So is a weak ICAC better than nothing at all, or could it make matters worse? Featured: Han Aulby, Executive Director, Centre for Public Integrity
Oct 07, 2021
Why Facebook's in trouble again
Facebook is hauled over the coals by US congress on a semi regular basis, but this week has been especially damaging. Former employee Frances Haugen has blown the whistle on the company, leaking internal documents that reveal that it knew it was harming its users. Today on The Signal, what exactly has Facebook been keeping from the world? And what does the company have to say for itself? Featured: Siva Vaidyanathan, Professor of Media Studies, University of Virginia, US
Oct 06, 2021
Are Liberals in trouble in wealthy seats?
Australia's major political parties are gearing up for the next federal election. And it's not just political parties in preparation mode: there's also a growing clutch of climate-conscious independents planning on campaigning too. Their platforms are heavily focussed on more ambitious targets for climate policy, and the battlegrounds they're preparing for are a string of wealthy, Liberal-held seats in Sydney and Melbourne. So can these aspirational independents really flip some of the Government's most-prized electorates, from Wentworth and Mackellar in Sydney to Goldstein and Flinders in Melbourne? Could they flip enough of them to change the Government? Featured:  David Speers, Host, Insiders, ABC TV
Oct 05, 2021
Home COVID tests are on the way
Before long, Australians will be able to test themselves for COVID-19 at home. Rapid antigen tests deliver results within 20 minutes, and they're going to feature more prominently as we move into a post-lockdown world. Today on The Signal, how does the new, faster generation of tests work, how will they change our lives, and can we rely on them? Featured: Deborah Williamson, Professor of Microbiology, Doherty Institute
Oct 04, 2021
How NSW got a new Premier
If you blinked on Friday you might have missed Gladys Berejiklian's resignation. The NSW Premier made the sudden announcement within an hour of news breaking that she'd be the subject of a corruption investigation. So what are the tricky questions Gladys Berejiklian still has to answer? And what do we know so far about her anointed successor, Dominic Perrottet? Featured: Kathleen Calderwood, Reporter, ABC News Sydney Sean Rubinsztein-Dunlop, Investigative Reporter, ABC News
Oct 03, 2021
Are the climate wars winding down?
Australia's never been closer to adopting a net zero by 2050 target. The Prime Minister Scott Morrison's slow shift in rhetoric is now culminating in a very public showdown with his Coalition partners, the Nationals. Some Nationals cabinet members have spoken out against such a change, and the party's leader, Barnaby Joyce has also chimed in, pointing to the current energy shortage in the UK and Europe to illustrate his concerns about a shift away from fossil fuels. Today on the Signal, is the UK's energy mess really a window into Australia's net zero future? And will the Nationals ultimately get on board? Featured: Andrew Probyn, ABC Political Editor Akshat Rathi, Climate and Energy Reporter, Bloomberg News
Sep 30, 2021
Can we still trust COVID modelling?
The big Delta outbreaks in Victoria and NSW are on different trajectories, but this week there was a strange crossover moment. On Tuesday, NSW recorded 863 new COVID cases, while in Victoria the daily tally that day was higher, at 867. In NSW the signs are that the Delta outbreak is finally improving, while in Victoria the case curve remains exponential. So is this what the modelling predicted? And will things get worse or better from here? Today on The Signal, we're looking at what the various models being used by governments predicted would happen, and asking whether we can trust them to forecast the months ahead. Featured: Professor Greg Dore, Kirby Institute, University of NSW and Infectious diseases physician, St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney Professor Margaret Hellard, Deputy Director, Burnet Institute, Melbourne
Sep 29, 2021
Is China killing coal?
China is the world's largest public funder of coal-fired power overseas, and it's a particularly important source of funding for projects in South-East Asia. Last week at the United Nations, China's President Xi Jinping promised to end the cash-flow. So what does that mean for the fight against climate change? Today on The Signal, we're looking at the future of coal power worldwide. Who's still building coal, and if China's decision spells the end of it, what power sources will those countries turn to instead? Featured: Helen Mountford, Vice-President for Climate and Economics, World Resources Institute, Washington DC, US
Sep 28, 2021
China's "too big to fail" moment
The seemingly inevitable collapse of the major Chinese property firm Evergrande has economists around the world worried. The most pessimistic predictions are that its collapse could pull China's economy — and parts of the global financial system — down with it. Today on The Signal, is Evergrande too big to fail? And if the Chinese Government doesn't step in, how far could the fallout spread? Featured: Emily Feng, Beijing Correspondent, US National Public Radio (NPR) David Taylor, Business Reporter, ABC
Sep 27, 2021
Are the Taliban different this time?
The Taliban is settling back into power in Afghanistan, a month after their victory. Since then, the militant group has named an interim cabinet and ministry that's entirely male and mostly Pashtun, and in the latest gruesome display of their approach to justice, they hung a dead body from a crane at a busy roundabout in the city of Herat over the weekend. But despite the brutality and the lack of female representation, talk that the Taliban is different from the 90s persists. So what is the evidence for that so far? Today on The Signal we speak with the Chief of the Associated Press bureau in Afghanistan, Kathy Gannon. We ask her what daily life has been like under the Taliban already, 20 years after they last ruled one of the world's poorest countries, and what may lie ahead. Featured: Kathy Gannon, Afghanistan and Pakistan Bureau Chief, Associated Press, Kabul
Sep 26, 2021
Prince Andrew's legal battles
It's been seven years since Virginia Giuffre first made allegations against the Queen's son, Prince Andrew. The Prince has always emphatically denied the allegations, which include that he knew Giuffre was being trafficked by the now-deceased American financier Jeffrey Epstein when she was a teenager, and that he allegedly had sex with her anyway on three separate occasions. After an earlier criminal investigation into the allegations was wound up, Giuffre's lawyers have initiated a civil case against him in a court in New York. But it could be a drawn out affair, with even just getting the legal papers in front of the Prince proving to be tricky. Today on The Signal, what is Virginia Giuffre alleging? And if the case does get to trial in America, what will it mean for Giuffre, for Prince Andrew, and for the royal family itself? Featured: Mark Stephen, Media lawyer and Partner, Howard Kennedy, London
Sep 23, 2021
Who's really protesting in Melbourne?
Nazi cry babies, fascist morons, drunks, opportunists, or just really frustrated construction workers? There are a lot of opinions getting around about exactly who's been protesting on the streets of Melbourne this week. So after several days of clashes with police, what do we know about the real composition of the crowd that stormed the CFMEU headquarters on Monday? And what's driven people to show up every day since? Today on The Signal, Australia's ugliest moment so far in the fight against COVID-19 vaccines. Featured: Ben Schneiders, investigative reporter, The Age Michael Byrne, Partner & workplace relations lawyer, Swaab
Sep 22, 2021
Part 3, The Gap: Is self-determination working?
In many parts of Australia, Aboriginal community leaders want more control over local decision-making. They say it's a race against time to start reversing decades-old crises of substance abuse, incarceration, crime and joblessness. Often, community leaders point to existing examples of self-determination. So what are those models delivering? Today on The Signal, we travel to the communities on Groote Eylandt, off the east coast of Arnhem Land. How does self-determination work there? And could the same strategies be adapted elsewhere too? Featured: Jane Bardon, ABC reporter Tony Wurramarrba, Chairman, Anindilyakwa Land Council Glen Smith, General Manager, Gebie Civil and Construction Nesman Bara, Board-member, Aminjarrinja Enterprises Daniel Ngurruwuthun, Artist Constantine Mamarika, Traditional owner Ida Mamarika, Umbakumba Elder Fabian Lalara, Senior Mentor Supervisor, Gebie Gang Donovan Wurramara, Gebie Gang participant Jasmine Hastings, Leadership officer, Milyakburra Strong Women's Group
Sep 21, 2021
Will we spend 2022 in lockdown?
If you're locked down right now, you're probably spending quite a lot of your time imagining how much better 2022 will be. NSW and Victoria both have roadmaps out of lockdown that project a significant re-opening once 80% of the population older than 16 is fully vaccinated later this year. The national COVID plan sets out something similar for other parts of the country too. The reality though is that next year is far from certain. The rise and fall of case numbers, the death rate, and time spent in lockdown really depend on what we do next. Today on The Signal, we're looking at three different models for how 2022 could look in Australia, and what it'll take to pull off the best case scenario. Featured: Professor Tony Blakely, Epidemiologist, School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne
Sep 20, 2021
Why Christian Porter quit Cabinet
Things were looking shaky for Christian Porter for days before he resigned from the frontbench. In less than a year, the man formerly described as one of the most promising members of the Coalition's cabinet, has had a dramatic tumble from Attorney General to the backbenches. He maintains he's done nothing wrong, in spite of sharp criticism over an anonymous donation to help cover the cost of suing the ABC. Despite that, he's leaving Cabinet in the name of avoiding further distraction from the Government's efforts to govern. So is that the end of the matter? Today on The Signal, the reasons behind Christian Porter's resignation from the frontbench, and what happens next to the Member for Pearce. Featured: Patricia Karvelas, Host, RN Drive and ABC News Afternoon Briefing
Sep 19, 2021
Australia's nuclear option
It's the most significant defence announcement in Australia in decades. After months of secret talks, the US and UK will help Australia develop a new fleet of nuclear-powered submarines. It allows Australia access to one of the world's most exclusive weaponry clubs, and everyone knows the unspoken motivation is to try to contain a rising China. So will this make us safer? Today on The Signal, we explore what Australia's agreed to, and where it might lead. Featured: Stephen Dziedzic, ABC Foreign Affairs Reporter
Sep 16, 2021
Labor's awkward choices
Federal election season is fast approaching, and lately Labor has been trying to get itself into shape. While much of the party's policy platform remains a work in progress, personnel dilemmas have been the focus in the past few weeks. And there've been quite a few, with the retirement of the backbencher Joel Fitzgibbon, an unseemly jostle about who would make the cut for Labor's NSW Senate ticket, and the awkward parachuting of the party's Deputy Senate Leader Kristina Keneally into a likely safe Labor seat in Sydney's South West. So what's behind all the untidiness? And given the Labor Party seems to believe the election isn't far off, what do we know about when it will be? Featured: David Speers, Host, ABC TV Insiders
Sep 15, 2021
Can we still vaccinate the world?
If you thought Australia's vaccine rollout was on the slow side, then spare a thought for Ethiopia, Nigeria or Kenya, where vaccination rates are still in the low single digit percentage points. Many argue it's proof the system designed to level the vaccine playing field between rich and poor countries is failing dismally. So what went wrong with COVAX? And is it too late to turn it around? Today on The Signal, the yawning gap between countries like Australia and the world's poorest when it comes to vaccination, and what happens if that gap isn't closed. Featured: Andrea Taylor, Assistant Director of Programs, Duke Global Health Innovation Centre, Duke University, US
Sep 14, 2021
How sexual harassment laws are changing
Back in April, the Australian Government welcomed the findings of landmark report into workplace sexual harassment. The report followed an inquiry conducted by the Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins, and it contained 55 recommendations which the Government said it accepted 'in full, in part or in principle'. But this month, when the Parliament finally legislated the Government's response, several key recommendations didn't make it. So what's gone missing? And what happens now? Today on The Signal, how Australia's workplace sexual harassment laws are changing, what business leaders are saying about it, and what might happen next. Featured:  Rhiana Whitson, ABC Business Reporter Kate Jenkins, Australian Sex Discrimination Commissioner Sam Schreuder, Cafe owner, St Kilda, Melbourne James Fazzino, Champions of Change Coalition
Sep 13, 2021
Our not-so national COVID plan
Despite breaking its daily COVID record again on the weekend, New South Wales is now counting down to reopening in late October. It's more or less in line with the national plan announced by the Federal Government in August, which sets out that 'Phase B' begins when 70% percent of the population older than 16 has had both doses of a vaccine. But with every state in territory in a totally different situation, will everyone still want to stick with it? Today on The Signal, Australia's extremely patchy and halting return to normal. Do the states and territories have to stick to the national plan? And if not, what do the next few months look like? Featured: Dr Anne Twomey, Professor of Constitutional Law, University of Sydney
Sep 12, 2021
This Week: How 9/11 narrowed America’s view of the world
20 years after 9/11, we look at how the attacks fuelled American xenophobia and blinded the US to grave issues beyond terrorism. A view from a Pulitzer Prize winning foreign policy writer, Fred Kaplan, a witness to the Twin Towers catastrophe. Also why national debate about “opening up” must include wider use of rapid testing.
Sep 10, 2021
Does the four-day week work?
Being paid the same amount of money to work fewer hours is a strong pitch, so it's easy to see why workers might support a four day week. Surprisingly though, there's also growing evidence that it'll boost overall productivity. The four day working week is being trialled from Iceland and Spain to the US and Scotland, with more places contemplating the model. So if it's a win for businesses and workers, then why isn't it already everywhere? Featured: Professor Juliet Schor, Economist and Sociologist, Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences, Boston College, Boston, US
Sep 09, 2021
Can we really count on the US?
Australia's been positioning itself as America's best friend in the world for a long time now. It's 20 years since the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington, after which Australia followed the US into both Afghanistan and Iraq. It's also, co-incidentally, 70 years since Australia signed the ANZUS treaty with America, a treaty thought to guarantee mutual protection. In fact, the US alliance is the centrepiece of Australia's whole foreign policy. But what if it's not what we think it is? Today on the Signal, can Australia really count on the US? And if we can't, then what should we be doing differently? Featured: Dr Emma Shortis, Research Fellow, Social and Global Studies Centre, RMIT University, and author, 'Our Exceptional Friend: Australia's fatal alliance with the United States'
Sep 08, 2021
Part 2, The Gap: Why aren't mining royalties closing the gap?
Indigenous communities are calling on governments to find better ways of using mining royalties to close the gap. Many Aboriginal leaders had hoped that regaining land rights would improve community living conditions, and they're now sad to see cash royalties in some cases exacerbating social damage. In the Northern Territory, $3.2 billion has been collected in royalties over the last 40 years. So why hasn't this lifted people out of poverty? And is there a better way to manage all this money which traditional owners, governments and land councils could agree on? Featured: Jane Bardon, ABC reporter Allyson Croydon, Papulu Apparr-Kari Parent and Community Engagement Program Joebessgo Mayers, Papulu Apparr-Kari RSAS Truancy Program Linda Turner, Warumungu traditional owner Norman Frank, Warumungu traditional owner Dion Williams, Anyinginyi Health support worker Bonnie Camphoo, Tennant Creek resident Elliot McAdam, former NT Labor MP for Barkly Pat Brahim, Patta native title group
Sep 07, 2021
Why you can't trust the unemployment rate
On paper, the Australian economy seems to be going pretty well. We learned last week that we avoided a recession in the second quarter of this year, and according to the latest calculation of the Bureau of Statistics the unemployment rate is a healthy 4.6%. But with half the country in lockdown and the other half all but hermetically sealed from everywhere else, is that really the full picture? Today on The Signal, we catch up with the ABC's Business Editor Ian Verrender. We hear about what the latest numbers tell us, what they don't, and what may lie ahead. Featured: Ian Verrender, ABC Business Editor
Sep 06, 2021
How will ICUs handle the peak?
The number of COVID patients needing an ICU bed in New South Wales is expected to keep climbing into October.  The problem is that even now, with demand sitting well below the state's technical ICU capacity, hospitals are already feeling the strain. So what's the surge plan in New South Wales, and will it work the way the State Government is hoping?  Featured:  Dr Greg Fox, Professor of Respiratory Medicine at the University of Sydney, and respiratory physician, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney
Sep 05, 2021
This Week: More vaccines, but when can we make them here?
Australia is borrowing Pfizer jabs, while it waits for purchases to arrive. But when might mRNA vaccines be made onshore? And Indigenous communities are being targeted with anti-vaccination propaganda. We look at what went wrong with the rollout in Indigenous communities.
Sep 03, 2021
Wilcannia's unfolding COVID catastrophe
There's a lot of anger and frustration in the far-west of New South Wales. And Wilcannia, 11 hours west of Sydney and 8 hours north-east of Adelaide, is ground zero. The tiny outback town, with a predominantly Indigenous population, is facing what governments had been telling us they'd been working around-the-clock to prevent: a cluster of COVID-19 among some of its most vulnerable inhabitants. So how did this happen? Today on The Signal, ABC Radio reporter Carly Williams talks us through what's become Australia's single worst outbreak of the Delta variant so far. Featured: Carly Williams, ABC journalist Sarah Donnelley, teacher and community member, Wilcannia, NSW Chloe Quayle (Barkaa), performing artist and Barkinji woman  Monica Kerwin, Barkinji woman, Wilcannia, NSW Brendon Adams, Manager, Wilcannia River Radio
Sep 02, 2021
Can the Taliban run a country?
With the US and its allies out of Afghanistan, there's no real contest for power anymore. But the next challenge facing the Taliban is arguably even greater, albeit in a different way: how to run a country. Today on The Signal, major aid donors have frozen their support, and many public officials have fled the country or gone into hiding. So do the Taliban actually have the resources and know-how to run Afghanistan? And if they don't, where does that leave the Afghan people? Featured:  Dr Greg Mills, Director, Brenthurst Foundation, Johannesburg, and former advisor to International Security Assistance Force, Afghanistan
Sep 01, 2021
Part 1, The Gap: Fixing remote work for the dole
It's called the Community Development Program or "work for the dole", and in remote communities in the Top End many say the work and training they have been forced to complete for basic welfare payments is "gammon", or rubbish. Now, the Federal Government is promising a redesign, along with a pledge from the prime minister Scott Morrison to hand over more control of programs like this to Indigenous leaders as a way of Closing The Gap. Today on The Signal, ABC reporter Jane Bardon has been speaking to Indigenous people living in the Katherine region of the Northern Territory about what might replace the CDP. Featured: Jane Bardon, ABC reporter Esther Bulumbara, Jawoyn traditional owner Natalie Blitner, Wardaman ranger Antonia Burke, Indigenous healer and cultural trainer Lisa Mumbin, Jawoyn Association chairwoman John Berto, Jawoyn Association chief executive
Aug 31, 2021
Can the Family Court be fixed?
Most people who've taken more than a fleeting glance at Australia's Family Court, agree that it's broken, even if not everyone agrees on what exactly is wrong. The latest attempt at a solution comes into effect this week, when the Family Court and the Federal Circuit Court merge. So will it help Australia's most troubled court system, or just make matters worse? Today on The Signal, why the Family Court is broken, and what it'll take to fix it. Featured: Catherine Lumby, Professor of Media, University of Sydney & Co-author, 'Broken: Children, Parents and Family Courts'
Aug 30, 2021
How Donald Trump changed Fox News
America's biggest cable news network, Fox, played a decisive role on election night in 2020. With early states seemingly falling Donald Trump's way, the network put paid to premature claims the former President would win by calling the crucial state of Arizona for his rival, Joe Biden. Despite pressure from inside the Trump campaign for a backtrack, Fox News stood firm. So why did some of the biggest commentators at Fox later peddle the lie that the election was stolen? Today on The Signal, we catch up with ABC 4 Corners reporter Sarah Ferguson. We discuss Sarah's latest two-part investigation into Donald Trump's big election lie, and ask why so many of the former President's media allies came on board. Did Donald Trump's lies change Fox? And if so, what does that mean for America? Featured: Sarah Ferguson, Reporter, ABC 4 Corners
Aug 29, 2021
This Week: Can schools be COVID-safe?
As NSW charts a path to schools opening, experts say measuring and filtering classroom air is essential, alongside masks and vaccines, as we "learn to live with COVID". And from a mythically resistant valley, Afghanistan’s Taliban resistance assembles, who are they and what is the plan?
Aug 27, 2021
Why Lebanon's people are leaving
It's been over a year since an explosion tore through the centre of Beirut. The blast killed hundreds, injured thousands, and left hundreds of thousands without homes. But in the 12 months since it happened, living conditions in Lebanon have got worse, not better. Today on The Signal, we're heading back to Beirut. We're asking why life in Lebanon has deteriorated so rapidly, and what those who are part of an exodus from the country say about the broken homeland they're leaving behind. Featured:  Luna Safwan, independent journalist, Beirut
Aug 26, 2021
Reopening, ready or not
Every other day is a new worst day in NSW at the moment.  But despite the almost-daily rise in the number of COVID-19 cases, the NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian still wants to gradually reopen once vaccination rates hit a certain percentage.  While the Prime Minister Scott Morrison is in broad agreement, leaders in many other states are no longer so certain.  So why does the national reopening goal everyone agreed to in July seem to be shifting?  And why is the Prime Minister so insistent it must be met? Featured:  Professor Nancy Baxter, Head, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne  David Speers, Host, Insiders, ABC TV
Aug 25, 2021
What if housing never becomes affordable?
Everyone knows Australian house prices are completely bananas, but understanding why stumps even the experts. So will the current trends continue? And if so, where does that leave renters? Today on The Signal, we ask why our housing market is so weird, and explore one counterintuitive idea about how to improve it. Featured: Peter Martin, Visiting Fellow, Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University; Business and Economy Editor, The Conversation; and Co-Presenter, 'The Economists', ABC Radio National
Aug 24, 2021
Does offshore processing work?
Australia's off-shore processing policy towards asylum seekers arriving by boat is 20 years old this week. Over that time, the policy has often been credited with "stopping the boats", so much so that other countries over the years have been inspired to try to copy it. But did off-shore processing really stop the boats? Today on The Signal, with a new refugee crisis brewing in Afghanistan, we look at how our off-shore asylum seeker system actually works, and ask why the Government seems to talk about it less and less. Featured: Madeline Gleeson, Senior Research Associate, Andrew and Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, University of New South Wales, Sydney
Aug 23, 2021
When housewives go far right
It's not hard to understand why people might gravitate towards a simpler way of life in 2021. For some women who call themselves "trad wives", that means winding back the clock on gender roles 70 or so years. It's not all pickling and darning though — within the trad wife movement, there are women who have fused the lifestyle with white supremacy, and are pushing their message to thousands of social media followers. Today on The Signal, meet the online community with a wholesome aesthetic and a neo-nazi streak. Featured: Siobhan Marin, co-host, 'This Much Is True', ABC RN Dr Kristy Campion, far right researcher, Charles Sturt University Laura, 'trad wife'
Aug 22, 2021
This Week: Covid tightens grip on NSW
NSW case numbers skyrocketed this week, with the Premier extending the lockdown and admitting the state was no longer chasing "covid zero". What does it mean for NSW and Australia's plans to open up? And the Taliban are back in control in Afghanistan, we look at the history of the group and what it means for the future of the country.
Aug 20, 2021
Erasing Afghanistan's women (again)
Life has changed at a breathtaking pace for women and girls living in Kabul. In the days since the Taliban retook the capital, they've been disappearing from education, erased from the workplace, and blotted out from public view. There's no clue yet if, when or to what extent they'll be allowed to re-emerge. The Taliban claim they've changed in the last 20 years, and they're promising a more progressive approach to gender this time around. Today on The Signal, what's the reality of that promise so far? And what's in store for the millions of Afghan women who've fallen abruptly quiet? Featured: Nasrin Nawa, Afghan journalist and scholar
Aug 19, 2021
What's our COVID exit strategy now?
We're all used to bad news at this point, but even by 2021 standards, the numbers out of NSW yesterday were a horror show. The state managed to jump from 452 to 633 new cases in just one day. Today on The Signal, we find out what it means for Australia's exit strategy from this pandemic. Do we need to readjust our expectations, yet again, of how and when life returns to normal? Featured: Professor Tony Blakely, Epidemiologist, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne
Aug 18, 2021
Kabul after the fall
No-one knows what exactly comes next for Afghanistan. The country has fallen to the Taliban, nearly 20 years after the US and its allies first drove them from power. When fighters arrived in Kabul yesterday, as in almost every other part of the country that the Taliban have retaken, the transition was far swifter than anyone expected. Today on The Signal, as thousands scramble to flee their homeland by car, plane or on foot, we head to Kabul to hear from those preparing for a return to life under Taliban control. Featured: Obaidullah Baheer, Lecturer, American University of Afghanistan, Kabul
Aug 16, 2021
Was reopening the UK a mistake?
A month ago, people across England were celebrating 'Freedom Day'. Initially, it seemed the British Government's high-stakes gamble was paying off: despite all COVID restrictions in England being lifted, case numbers across the country briefly went down. But a few weeks in, they're again on the rise, with similar patterns in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. So has Britain's latest COVID experiment failed? And with governments here aiming to reopen once 80 per cent of Australian adults are vaccinated, what's Britain's lesson for us? Featured: Dr Christina Pagel, Professor of Operational Research, Department of Mathematics, University College London
Aug 15, 2021
Where did all the Trumpists go?
A lot of far-right Trump supporters were kicked off mainstream social media as part of a crackdown on misinformation in the past year. Now, there's another website trying to lure them in, but it's not what it first seems. Today on The Signal we're taking a tour of the platform touting itself as the new, free speech home for anyone who's no longer welcome on Twitter. So who's really running it? And could it actually succeed? Featured: Dr Kaz Ross, independent far-right researcher
Aug 12, 2021
Where your old clothes end up
Australians typically buy a whole lot more clothes than we need. Most of us eventually send the excess off to charity, but that's not necessarily its final destination. Plenty of those clothes wind up in Ghana, where they're creating an ecological catastrophe. Those that aren't resold end up clogging drainways, riverbeds and the seafloor, or even being burned in enormous pyres that emit noxious smoke. So why do our clothes end up in Ghana? And is there anything we can do about it? Featured: Linton Besser, Reporter, Foreign Correspondent, ABC TV Asare Asamoah, Used clothes importer, Accra, Ghana Emmanuel Ajaab, Used clothes importer, Accra, Ghana Liz Ricketts, Director, OR Foundation
Aug 11, 2021
A wake-up call on climate change
The news on climate change just keeps getting worse. A new landmark report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says Earth's temperature is likely to sail past its predicted 1.5 degree increase in as little as a decade. The updated advice is being described as a code red for humanity, as the crucial UN summit in Glasgow this November creeps closer. Today on The Signal, the alarm is being sounded, louder than ever. So who's listening, and how will they respond? Featured: Emeritus Professor Will Steffen, Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University, Canberra and Councillor, Climate Council
Aug 10, 2021
Do we need COVID vaccine boosters?
As if getting hold of your first two jabs wasn't hard enough, now there's talk you'll need a third. Less than a fifth of the Australian population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, but the Government has already signed contracts for tens of millions of booster doses, to top up our immunity as soon as next year. The thing is, there's no concrete evidence yet about when or even whether we'll definitely need them. Today on The Signal, we're exploring the incomplete science on COVID vaccine boosters. Featured: Professor Peter Collignon, Infectious diseases physician, Microbiologist and Professor of Infectious Diseases, Australian National University Medical School, Canberra Associate Professor Nick Wood, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney and Lead, NSW Immunisation Specialist Service, The Children's Hospital, Westmead, Sydney
Aug 09, 2021
Australia's biggest online quiz
Everyone loves an online quiz, but not everyone loves Australia's biggest online quiz — the census. The chaos of the 2016 poll is still legendary, having suffered the ignominy of being given its own hashtag — censusfail. So five years on, will census 2021 be a triumph or another disaster? Featured: Dr Liz Allen, Demographer, Australian National University
Aug 08, 2021
How life might change for the unvaccinated
Life could be about to get a lot harder for unvaccinated people. Not only because of their potential exposure to the virus, but because they might be barred from full participation in society. Vaccine passports have already been introduced in a number of countries, and Australia could follow suit soon. So is that fair, is it legal, and what happens if you don't have one? Featured: Associate Professor Maria O'Sullivan, Monash University Law School
Aug 05, 2021
Is America going to ban abortion?
America's fight over access to abortion is long, bitter and ugly. And with a conservative majority now sitting on the US Supreme Court, the rules might be about to change dramatically. Next month, the US Supreme Court is due to start hearing a case that could validate an effective ban on abortions after 15 weeks in Mississippi, in a case that will have far reaching consequences for the entire county. So what could it mean for women in Mississippi, and everywhere else in America? Featured: Kathryn Diss, ABC North America Correspondent Dr Colleen McNicholas, Obstetrician-Gynecologist in St Louis, Missouri, US Robin Utz, Missouri mother Angela Michael, Retired Missouri nurse Sam Lee, Director, Campaign Life Missouri
Aug 04, 2021
Is Delta worse for young people?
COVID 19 seems to be affecting young people like never before. Queensland's outbreak is still small next to Sydney's, but the virus is concentrated in schools. For example on Monday, the state recorded 15 new cases — ten of them were children younger than nine years of age. Today on The Signal, Australia's current outbreak isn't slowing down, and more children are being diagnosed every day. So how much worse is Delta for young people? Featured: Professor Kristine Macartney, University of Sydney, Paediatrics and infectious diseases specialist, Director of the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance Hellena Souisa, Journalist, ABC Asia Pacific Newsroom
Aug 03, 2021
Why Sky was banned from YouTube
Australia's biggest commercial news channel, Sky, is banned from posting on its YouTube account for seven days. The temporary block, which YouTube says is a "first strike" against misinformation, is one of the first for a major television network worldwide. So what's behind it? And could it be a test case for a new, tougher approach by YouTube to COVID-19 conspiracies and misinformation? Featured: Josh Taylor, Technology Reporter, Guardian Australia
Aug 02, 2021
What Australia's missing with the far right
The far right in Australia has changed. But the way Australia tries to manage the threat of violent extremism from that movement seems to be more or less the same as it always has been. So are we keeping up? Today on The Signal, what are Norway, New Zealand and the US doing that we're not? And do we need a rethink of how we deal with far right extremism? Featured: Jordan McSwinney, far right researcher & PhD candidate, University of Sydney Professor Tore Bjørgo, Director, University of Oslo Centre for Extremism Research
Aug 01, 2021
Are the Brisbane Olympics a mistake?
Winning always feels good, even if being the only one left in the race does spoil the buzz a bit. So why was Brisbane the only city in contention to host the 2032 Olympics? And could it be that the rest of the world knows something Australia doesn't? Today on The Signal, we're often told that hosting the Olympics brings the host city fortune, fame and decades of bragging rights. But does the data back that up? And if it doesn't, what does that mean for the future of the Olympic Games? Featured: Professor Andrew Zimbalist, Robert A. Woods Professor of Economics, Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts, US, and Author, 'Circus Maximus'
Jul 29, 2021
What if Sydney never gets to zero?
In Sydney, the reminders keep coming that this outbreak is not like past outbreaks. The NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian made the unsurprising announcement yesterday that the current lockdown would be extended for at least four more weeks, as daily case numbers of the Delta variant keep on rising. So has this outbreak gone so far that it's not possible to reach zero again? And if that's true, then what does opening up look like? Featured: Tony Blakely, Professor of Epidemiology, University of Melbourne
Jul 28, 2021
Will Australia regret the Afghanistan war?
How do you know if a war was worth it? As America and its allies complete their withdrawal from Afghanistan next month, marking the end of a 20-year-war, the Taliban is rapidly retaking its old territory.  So after tens of thousands of civilian casualties, the deaths of 41 Australian soldiers in the field, and billions of dollars in public money to fund the campaign itself, how will history record our involvement? Today on The Signal, we're asking what happens to Afghanistan now the war is over, and what that means for Australia. Featured:  Tyson Sara, former military strategist in the Afghanistan War and CEO, CMAX Advisory
Jul 27, 2021
Who's behind the lockdown protests?
Anti-lockdown protests were held in at least four capital cities on Saturday, and in the aftermath of the biggest march, in Sydney, police have made at least 60 arrests. Online, the organisers are defiantly planning further marches, prompting a warning the response next time will be even stronger. So what do we know about who organised the latest anti-lockdown rallies? And with so many people apparently buying their message, where does the movement go from here? Featured: Michael McGowan, Reporter, Guardian Australia, Sydney
Jul 26, 2021
Australia's eight year hard border
Australia's borders have been closed for 18 months.  But for one group of people, the entry ban goes back much further than that.  Lawyers estimate there are more than 1,000 people stuck in Australia's immigration detention system, and today on The Signal we're hearing from one of them.  Arab-Iranian refugee Loghman Sawari's eight years in and out of immigration detention tells the story of Australia's harsh yet inconsistent policies on refugees and asylum seekers.  So what's the point of keeping him and the others in legal limbo?  And will they ever get out?  Featured:  Loghman Sawari, Arab-Iranian refugee Dr Sara Dehm, Senior Lecturer, University of Technology, Sydney
Jul 25, 2021
Could oil rigs be good for the ocean?
More than a thousand oil and gas wells off the Australian coastline are nearing the end of their lives. Once they're decommissioned, it'll fall to the extractive industries to foot the $50 billion clean-up bill. There is a cheaper alternative though: for half the price, they can leave everything more or less exactly where it is. Today on The Signal, are these companies just pitching an elaborate version of ocean dumping? Or could it somehow be a win for the environment too? Featured: Mikey Slezak, ABC National Science, Technology and Environment Reporter
Jul 22, 2021
South Africa's perfect storm
It's been a deadly few weeks in South Africa. Before the police, the army and the security services intervened en masse, there was widespread violence, looting and protests.  Chronologically at least, it was all triggered by the arrest of the former president, Jacob Zuma, although South Africans say there's something much bigger at play. So what's really fuelling the rage and despair? Today on The Signal, we ask why South Africa remains one of the world's most unequal societies, and where the anger that's been boiling over goes next. Featured:  Sakhiseni Nxumalo, Multimedia Journalist, The Mercury newspaper, Durban, South Africa Associate Professor Geoffrey Hawker, Department of Politics and International Relations, Macquarie University and Editor, Australasian Review of African Studies
Jul 21, 2021
Should we be Mediscared?
Medicare's pricing system is changing, and Labor is resurrecting an old argument that the Coalition is attacking universal healthcare. But there are plenty of healthcare policy experts who say the changes are not only necessary, but overdue. So how worried should you be about Medicare? And could this fight decide the next election? Featured: Stephen Duckett, Director, Health Program, The Grattan Institute Patricia Karvelas, Host, RN Drive & Afternoon Briefing on the ABC News Channel
Jul 20, 2021
Being trans at the Tokyo Olympics
Very few athletes in recent history have provoked as much outrage as New Zealand's Laurel Hubbard. In Tokyo, the weightlifter will become the first out transgender athlete to compete in the Olympic Games, although not everyone agrees she should. Her inclusion in the Games is a big step for the trans community, but trans people's access to sport at all levels is still a long way from being guaranteed. Today on The Signal, we speak to trans athletes about what's fair and what's not when it comes to elite competition. Featured: Tracey Holmes, sports reporter, ABC Chelsea Wolfe, BMX rider, Team USA 2021 & trans woman Grace McKenzie, rugby player & trans woman
Jul 19, 2021