Combating indefinite detention for the intellectually disabled

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Numerous reviews and law reform agencies have recommended reforms to unfitness to plead laws. But changes have been laboured, when they’ve occurred at all. A new research project at the University of Melbourne is investigating support systems that may help prevent disability-based disadvantage and discrimination in the criminal justice system. Dr Piers Gooding is a part of this project, and spoke about what he’s doing.

New fish found in Kimberley waterways

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Researchers have discovered a record 20 new fish species while conducting fieldwork in the remote Kimberley, unveiling it as Australia’s most biodiverse region for freshwater fish. I spoke to Matthew Le Feuvre, an aquatic ecologist with the University of Melbourne who was part of the research up there, about this discovery.

Red planet breaks dry spell

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Scientists from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter mission have the week announced the discovery of liquid water flowing on the surface of the planet Mars. Astrophysicist Dr Katie Mack from the University of Melbourne says the discovery will help pave the way for eventual manned missions to the red planet.

Report finds Indigenous blindness preventable

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A new report from the University of Melbourne and the PwC shows that a future 32,000 cases of Indigenous blindness can be prevented. The report looks at the cost of preventing and treating long and short-sightedness, old-age vision degeneration, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy and the communicable disease, trachoma. I spoke to Professor Hugh Taylor, Chair of the University of Melbourne Eye Health, about the report, and the impact of vision disorders on the economy.

Australian government focusing in on Syria

Iraqi soldiers from the 1st Iraqi Army Division and U.S. Soldiers board a U.S. Marine Corps CH-53 Super Stallion helicopter at Camp Ramadi, Iraq, Nov. 15, 2009, during a static loading exercise being conducted to prepare for upcoming missions. The Soldiers are assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. (DoD photo by Staff Sgt. Daniel St. Pierre, U.S. Air Force/Released)

The Australian government has announced this week they are considering expanding their military mission to Syria, after requests from the US. I spoke to Dr Denis Dragovic, an Islamic State expert from the University of Melbourne, about what this expansion would mean for Australia, and the middle east.

New speaker means changes for parliament

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Bronwyn Bishop has been relegated to the back benches as Tony Smith takes on his new role as Speaker of the House of Reps. I spoke to Nick Reece, Public Policy Fellow at the University of Melbourne, about what we can expect to see from this speaker, and what effects the recent debacle may have had on government.