The Signal

250 EpisodesProduced by ABC RadioWebsite

Sometimes the news can feel overwhelming. But The Signal is here to sort the news from the noise. It's your smart and sceptical dive into the stories that matter, delivered straight to your favourite podcast app every morning.

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What's Hong Kong's endgame?

September 19th, 2019


Hong Kong's protests have stretched on for more than 100 days, and they're still escalating.

Maybe not in numbers, but the front …

Is the Family Court hard on men?

September 18th, 2019


Pauline Hanson wants to fix the Family Court. She reckons men are getting a raw deal and has convinced the Government to hold an …

Why can't we quit oil?

September 17th, 2019


The attacks on a major Saudi oil refinery have reminded the world just how fragile the oil supply is, and how dependent on it we still are.

We used to worry that we'd run out of oil, but thanks to new …

Surviving Iran's Evin Prison

September 16th, 2019


Iran's Evin Prison is secretive, brutal, and known for its human rights abuses.

Right now, three Australians are being held there, …

How young is too young to go to prison?

September 15th, 2019


Ten years old is too young to do a lot of things.

You can't drive, vote, drink or go to war. You can’t even have a facebook …

How the 'dole bludger' was born

September 12th, 2019


'Dole bludger', is a uniquely Australian phrase, but we didn’t always talk about the unemployed in that way.

At last count, more …

Who is Gladys Liu?

September 11th, 2019


Liberal backbencher Gladys Liu has been copping questions about her past.

So what are the Chinese groups she's been linked to, and what have they got to do with the Chinese Government?

Living in the 'flame zone'

September 10th, 2019


Hundreds of fires are currently tearing through parts of Queensland and New South Wales.

It's looking like the earliest and most severe start to the bushfire season on record.

But even as fires get …

What happens in a recession

September 9th, 2019


It's been 28 years since our last recession, and we could be heading for another.

GDP figures released last week reveal the worst …

What the lockout laws did to Sydney

September 8th, 2019


Sydney's controversial lockout laws that radically changed the nightlife of Australia’s biggest city, will be rolled back.

The …

Boris Johnson's very bad week

September 5th, 2019


Boris Johnson's plan to get the UK out of the EU has gone pretty pear shaped.

A secret trip to the Queen to get her to suspend parliament was supposed to make Brexit easy, but it looks to have …

Why the Immigration Minister has "god-like" powers

September 4th, 2019


A Tamil family who was living in Biloela in Queensland is staring down imminent deportation, after the Home Affairs Minister decided not to use his discretionary powers to intervene and grant them …

Wait, who's allowed to discriminate?

September 3rd, 2019


The religious freedoms draft bill is finally here, but how exactly would it play out in practice?

What would this law mean for …

When a hurricane hits

September 2nd, 2019


Hurricane Dorian is the strongest storm anywhere on the planet this year. 

We look at the mechanics of its collision with a city, …

Is climate change an excuse to break the law?

September 1st, 2019


A climate change protester in Queensland is arguing that her actions were a reasonable response to the climate change emergency.

It's a legal tactic that’s worked for activists overseas, but never …

How vaping got political

August 29th, 2019


As the popularity of vaping grows it's starting to become a political force.

Libertarians are pushing to have nicotine vaping …

Can the gig economy last?

August 28th, 2019


When a former Deliveroo rider went through his earnings he realised he'd been taking home half the minimum wage.

He's now suing …

What happened to the boy in the 'Spider-Man' suit?

August 27th, 2019


On a spring day in 2014 three year-old William Tyrrell was wearing his favourite 'Spider-Man' suit and playing outside his foster …

Australia's cash crackdown

August 26th, 2019


The Government has a plan to ban cash payments above $10,000.

It's part of a crackdown on Australia's $50 billion ‘black economy,’ a market fuelled by people laundering money, selling drugs and …

How the Pentecostals got popular

August 25th, 2019


Religion is declining in Australia but Pentecostalism is bucking that trend.

The evangelical denomination of Christianity, known …

Why the Amazon is burning

August 22nd, 2019


The world's largest tropical rainforest is on fire and it's so bad you can see the smoke from space.

Environmentalists blame the Brazilian president for encouraging land clearing and development. …

How secret apps are being used to stalk

August 21st, 2019


Imagine if your partner or parents put a secret app on your phone, tracking your location, texts, and photos.

The technology …

SIGNAL SPECIAL: How Pell lost his appeal

August 21st, 2019


Cardinal George Pell has lost his appeal against his conviction on child sex abuse charges, with two of the three judges agreeing the jury's guilty verdict was reasonable.

He's back in prison to serve …

Understanding George Pell's appeal

August 20th, 2019


This morning three judges in Victoria's Supreme Court will decide whether to dismiss or uphold George Pell's conviction on child …

Can a banker change their spots?

August 19th, 2019


Fees for no service, dead people being charged for financial advice, credit cards for problem gamblers, you name it the financial sector tried it on.

Now, six months after this mismanagement was …

Buyer beware: Australia's nightmare apartments

August 18th, 2019


It's a crisis that's just beginning to unfold: thousands of dodgy apartments, riddled with defects, in cities across Australia.

Tiananmen survivor's warning to Hong Kong

August 15th, 2019


30 years ago Wu'er Kaixi led the protests in Tiananmen Square… today he's watching Hong Kong and nervously anticipating China’s response.

For over two months Hong Kongers have been protesting what …

How did Jeffrey Epstein die?

August 14th, 2019


Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein's death in his supposedly secure jail cell has baffled the world and sparked some wild conspiracy theories.

What really happened to America's highest profile prisoner, and …

Why Muslims are boycotting Mecca

August 13th, 2019


Millions of Muslims are making their way through Mecca in Saudi Arabia right now as the annual Hajj pilgrimage draws to a close.

But a number of Muslims say they'll boycott it because of the Saudi …

Changing sexual assault laws

August 12th, 2019


When she was 15, Grace Tame was groomed and raped by her high school teacher. Then she discovered she was blocked from talking …

On the climate change precipice

August 11th, 2019


Tuvalu is on the climate change frontline and is in danger of being swallowed up by the ocean.

The leader of the tiny pacific island has issued its neighbours with a challenge - 'if you can save …

How to start a currency war

August 8th, 2019


The world's two largest economies are at war and this week it boiled over to shake down global markets.  

It was caused by a fall …

Why Hong Kong is still protesting

August 7th, 2019


Violent protests have shut down streets in Hong Kong for nine weeks now, with no end in sight.

It all started with an extradition …

Why women are asking to be arrested

August 6th, 2019


More than 50 women have dared police to arrest them as New South Wales debates whether it should change it's 119 year old …

Why 8chan's founder wants it shut

August 5th, 2019


On Saturday a 21-year-old allegedly shot up a crowded mall in El Paso, Texas, killing 20 people.

Just minutes before the …

Lawyer X's double life

August 4th, 2019


During the height of Victoria's gangland wars Nicola Gobbo represented some of the big players, people like Tony Mokbel and Carl …

Suing to silence protesters

August 1st, 2019


When Sadie climbed on top of a coal train it was to protest climate change. Months later she was served with a $75,000 lawsuit.

She isn't the only one, four other climate activists have been served …

Hospitality’s moment of reckoning

July 31st, 2019


Former Masterchef star George Calombaris has publicly apologised for underpaying his restaurant staff $7.8 million. 

He's one of …

When Centrelink takes your tax return

July 30th, 2019


Tom Joyner was expecting a few thousand dollars back in tax this year. Instead, Centrelink took his entire tax return.

It’s being …

Amphetamines to gene therapy, the story of doping

July 29th, 2019


As Australian swimming is caught in a doping scandal and medals from the 2012 London Olympics are forfeited after re-testing, we ask where performance enhancement in sport is heading.

It's been more …

Canada killings: How the manhunt unfolded

July 28th, 2019


Two Canadian teenagers hit the road looking for work.

A few weeks later they're suspected of murdering three people, including a young Australian man and his American girlfriend.

The search for these …

Earth's sacrifice zones: the parts we can't save

July 25th, 2019


For a long time, the question has been how to stop catastrophic climate change.
But lately, we've started asking something …

Behind the Boris Johnson brand

July 24th, 2019


Forget what you think you know about Boris Johnson.

There's more to Britain's new Prime Minister than the bumbling eccentric you …

Are we heading for an accidental war?

July 23rd, 2019


Iran says it's captured 17 CIA spies and last week it seized an oil tanker and everyone on it.

If you didn't know better you'd say the US and Iran are heading for a war.

So does anyone actually want …

Is Mack Horton out of line?

July 22nd, 2019


Australian swimmer Mack Horton might have lost the 400m freestyle final at the World Championships, but he's certainly made his …

Has YouTube been hijacked?

July 21st, 2019


The internet can be a pretty dark place, where the nastiest strains of racism and sexism thrive, not to mention some dangerous conspiracy theories.

Most of the time you have to go looking for those …

When could we live on the moon?

July 18th, 2019


50 years after the moon landing, there's a new race to get back there.

This time, there are a bunch of countries in the contest, plus the private sector.

So why is everyone suddenly so keen, after …

Is there a case for human extinction?

July 17th, 2019


If you've had kids, Les Knight feels sorry for you.

He’s from the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement and he wants us to stop …

Our $36 billion population problem

July 16th, 2019


Australia is getting old. Our ageing population is pushing the private healthcare system into a 'death spiral' and it doesn't end …

Prepare for a space war

July 15th, 2019


It's been called the cold war of our generation: superpowers are arming up and heading to space.  

So what are the US, China, and …

Running out of water

July 14th, 2019


Imagine your town only has 200 days of water left.

You've cut down on your showers and your washing, but it's not enough - and day zero is fast approaching.

That's the reality for at least ten …

Can we stop festival deaths?

July 11th, 2019


Why are young people dying at music festivals?

That's the question a New South Wales inquest into drug-related festival deaths is asking right now.

In today's episode we look at what the inquest has …

Indigenous recognition explained

July 10th, 2019


Within a few years, you could be casting a vote on whether you think Indigenous Australians should be recognised in the …

Who is Jeffrey Epstein?

July 9th, 2019


Mega-rich American financier Jeffrey Epstein has been charged with trafficking underage girls.

He’s been associated with two US Presidents and British Royalty and now faces up to 45 years in prison.

Where are all the indigenous statues?

July 8th, 2019


Tear them down, leave them alone, crowd them out, or add new plaques?

No-one can agree on what to do with statues of early white …

Trying to survive mental illness

July 7th, 2019


Melissa and Gus met on a train when they were 18, but over the next six years they would find themselves in and out of hospital …

A surprising truth about whaling

July 4th, 2019


Arguments against whaling often hinge on the idea that whale populations are critically low.

But is it possible that modern …

Are we getting a 'Netflix tax'?

July 3rd, 2019


How would you feel about paying extra to stream video online?

NBN Co has been asking the 50 top internet service providers, Like …

Does Australia need nukes?

July 2nd, 2019


There are nine countries in the world with nukes, and dozens more that could build one at short notice.

So is it time Australia …

New Government, who dis?

July 1st, 2019


The election's over and Parliament's back, but what exactly is the Government planning, apart from tax cuts? 

Patrica Karvelas, the host of RN Drive and The Party Room podcast, takes us through the …

From Perth to Pyongyang

June 30th, 2019


Australia is scrambling to work out what's happened to its only citizen living in North Korea, who dropped off the radar almost a …

How not to save a soul

June 27th, 2019


Israel Folau's sacking is escalating into an international story about religious freedom.

His post on Instagram which said gay …

Why Facebook's 'bank' won't save the world

June 26th, 2019


There are about 1.7 billion people in the world who don't have a bank account and Facebook says it has a way to help them.

The world's biggest social media company is launching its own cryptocurrency, …

Why we're probably not alone in space

June 25th, 2019


Scientists have detected a methane spike on Mars, which has raised their hopes of finding microbial life there.

It's not a guarantee, but the statistical likelihood of life existing elsewhere in the …

There's a problem with wellness crystals

June 24th, 2019


The wellness industry is booming, and that includes crystals. But where exactly do they come from?

Plenty of crystals are mined unethically, using child labour or damaging the environment, and it's …

Inside the Situation Room of the aborted Iran strike

June 23rd, 2019


Last Friday morning, Australian time, the US was about to bomb Iran. But it backed off at the last minute.

The strikes were planned as retaliation for an Iranian attack on a US surveillance drone.

The …

Which Democrat could beat Trump and how?

June 20th, 2019


Top Democratic presidential candidates are polling ahead of Donald Trump, but they've all got very different ways of trying to …

Why are high-rise buildings falling apart?

June 19th, 2019


Imagine your partner shaking you awake and telling you that you've got 15 minutes to grab what you can and get out of your …

What's stopping euthanasia laws?

June 18th, 2019


Today is the first day in Victoria where in certain circumstances, terminally ill people can legally end their own lives.

National …

What killed Tanya Day?

June 17th, 2019


In late 2017 Tanya Day tried to catch a train from Bendigo to Melbourne. Two weeks later she was dead.

Today, we retrace that path; from being kicked off the train and being arrested in Castlemaine, …

Why New Zealand's media is censoring its biggest story

June 16th, 2019


Brenton Tarrant, who's accused of murdering 51 people in the Christchurch mosque shootings, is being tried in New Zealand.

The …

Understanding Bob Hawke

June 13th, 2019


Everyone has regrets, even Bob Hawke, and today's episode is all about the political paradox of trying to stay true to your …

Hong Kong's last stand

June 12th, 2019


About a million people have marched through the streets of Hong Kong this week, in sweltering heat. That's one in seven people …

What's wrong with a holiday in Chernobyl?

June 11th, 2019


Today we're going to some very dark places: massacre sites, prisons and the town next to an exploded nuclear reactor.

Chernobyl is having a tourism boom, bookings are up 40% this year alone, fuelled …

How China stole the US crown jewels

June 10th, 2019


Unit 61398 in the Chinese Army is full of hackers whose job is to steal US trade secrets.

It's not clear exactly how many years …

FEATURE INTERVIEW: The uncut story of the Tank Man photo

June 9th, 2019


Today's episode of The Signal is something a bit different.

So often, we have to cut our best interviews right down, but last week, we did one that was especially good, and we wanted to publish the …

Where have all the soldiers gone?

June 6th, 2019


The Australian Defence Force has been struggling to meet its recruitment targets for years.

The problem is so bad that an Australian warship has been stranded at a Perth dock for years because there …

Is the AFP really independent?

June 5th, 2019


It's not every day the media gets raided by the AFP, but it has happened twice in 24 hours this week.

First it was NewsCorp and then the ABC - both times over national security stories.

So is it …

Whatever you do, don't embarrass the government

June 4th, 2019


A NewsCorp journalist who wrote a story last year about new national security powers has had her home raided by police, who say …

How China forgot a massacre

June 3rd, 2019


It's been thirty years since the Chinese Government massacred hundreds, if not thousands of its own citizens, who were demanding democracy in Tiananmen Square, but the topic is still totally off …

The wellbeing experiment

June 2nd, 2019


New Zealand has introduced a new so called “wellbeing budget”.

So what does that mean? And should budgets be about more than …

Too popular to impeach?

May 30th, 2019


Robert Mueller has spoken for the first time about his Russia investigation.

He’s effectively told US Congress to re-read his …

Beware fishermen with lasers

May 29th, 2019


Australian Navy pilots in the South China Sea were forced back to base after being attacked by laser pointers.

It looks like China is responsible.

The South China Sea has a lot of strategic importance …

Rush hour at Everest

May 28th, 2019


The highest peak in the world is getting pretty crowded and the way people climb Mount Everest has changed too.

You might have …

Theresa May's out. What's next?

May 27th, 2019


British politics has been fully fledged disaster for ages, but things have really kicked up a notch in the past week.

Theresa …

Are we flirting with a recession?

May 26th, 2019


Analysts are warning that the economy could be about to tank, but how seriously should you take that warning?

Inflation, household …

Who is Albo, really?

May 23rd, 2019


Anthony Albanese is almost certainly about to become Australia's new opposition leader, now all the other contenders for Labor's top job have dropped out.

But what do we actually know about him?

He's …

Quitting white supremacy

May 22nd, 2019


In today's episode, you’ll meet an Australian couple who spent years bragging about being white supremacists.

They met and fell in love in an online Neo-Nazi community, and were in communication with …

What killed Bill?

May 21st, 2019


Reinventing yourself is standard practice after the kind of shocking defeat that Labor suffered on the weekend.

It's less clear what the party plans to turn itself into, apart from something more …

Could the US ban abortion?

May 20th, 2019


Conservatives are on the brink of a huge win in America's decades-long abortion rights war.

Bolder and bolder laws restricting …

Make polling great again

May 19th, 2019


Call it a miracle or a nasty shock, but almost no-one saw the election result coming.

So how did the polls fail to predict the …

You let who in?

May 16th, 2019


It's the day before the election, and it's emerged that Australia secretly agreed to take in two accused murderers as part of its …

Why first home buyers can't win

May 15th, 2019


The major parties say they want to help first home buyers, but what are they actually doing about it?

The Coalition has announced a plan to help first home buyers into the property market by lowering …

Can you fix a paedophile?

May 14th, 2019


A shockingly high proportion of the adult population experiences some level of sexual attraction to children.

So if we're serious …

Is NewsCorp on the ropes?

May 13th, 2019


It's not exactly news to say the Rupert Murdoch's media empire has a conservative tilt, but lately it's faced some pushback.

Just last week the Labor leader Bill Shorten called out the Daily Telegraph …

The truth about paedophilia

May 12th, 2019


It’s scary to learn, but sexual attraction to children is a lot more common than most people realise.

Not everyone with that problem will meet with the clinical definition for paedophilia, but the …

The Clive Palmer you don't know

May 9th, 2019


On the off chance you hadn’t noticed, Clive Palmer is trying to make a political comeback.

He's a man with a long and strange CV …

Are we due for a super flu?

May 8th, 2019


Flu season is here, and it's a bad one.

A 15-year-old boy with no pre-existing medical conditions has died from the flu in South …

Not all women are created equal

May 7th, 2019


Olympic Champion, runner Caster Semenya isn't allowed to compete at a professional level anymore because of how high her testosterone levels are.

She has a medical condition known as …

So you're in an extinction wave

May 6th, 2019


Apparently, we're already in the earth's sixth mass extinction wave.

A new UN report released last night, the most comprehensive to date, provides a lot of support for that case.

It says we're on track …

The time bomb at Australian unis

May 5th, 2019


Australian universities are more dependent than ever on foreign students' fees.

As Government funding has been whittled away, …

Asbestos 2.0?

May 2nd, 2019


Imagine you're in your 20s and a doctor tells you your work is literally killing you.

Silicosis is an incurable lung disease caused by breathing in dust found in manufactured stone-style benchtops.

Julian Assange up close

May 1st, 2019


Julian Assange has been sentenced to almost a year in prison, for skipping bail back in 2012.

The Wikileaks founder always argued …

Bill Shorten's big gamble

April 30th, 2019


The election campaign has been bumping along for weeks now and it's a much closer race than it was at the start.

At first it …

Who wants a 20% pay rise?

April 29th, 2019


What if the Government offered to lift your wage by 20%?

Because that's exactly what could happen for 100,000 childcare workers if …

Australia's most controversial mine

April 28th, 2019


There were ugly scenes in a small Queensland town over the weekend when both sides of the Adani coal mine fight met face-to-face.

A convoy of anti-Adani protesters was confronted with a counter …

No nukes is good nukes

April 25th, 2019


Kim Jong-un and Vladimir Putin have been hanging out, which means the world is back to playing one of its favourite games: trying to denuclearise North Korea.

It's the first ever summit between the …

The world's looming memory cliff

April 24th, 2019


Anzac Day is all about remembering what's no longer in living memory, but who's backing up the National Archives?

What you might not know is there's a 2025 deadline coming up where we risk losing some …

Did the Government pay $80m for hypothetical water?

April 23rd, 2019


The former water minister, Barnaby Joyce, is copping questions about an $80 million taxpayer-funded water buyback.

The deal was made with a company based in the Cayman Islands, which was co-founded by …

Is Sri Lanka a new ISIS battlefield?

April 22nd, 2019


The Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka are among the worst terrorist attacks the world has seen in decades.

Beyond the sheer numbers of people killed, the bombings also had some unusual hallmarks.

The …

How far will house prices fall?

April 17th, 2019


House prices are on the slide, and there's no end in sight.

So what's driving the downturn, and could it become a full blown crash?

Notre Dame is dead, long live Notre Dame

April 16th, 2019


How would you feel if the Opera House burnt down?

Imagining that might give you some insight into how a lot of the French are …

A new kind of drug dealer

April 15th, 2019


The darknet drug trade has been around for years, but police can't seem to make any real headway in stopping it.

Every time a …

Australia's ISIS orphans

April 14th, 2019


The three orphaned children of Australian Islamic State fighter Khaled Sharrouf are stuck in a Syrian refugee camp.

Collectively …

Requiem for a Parliament

April 11th, 2019


The federal election has been called, and the 45th parliament is officially over.

But how will it be remembered?

Today's episode of The Signal is a look back at the last three years of government - the …

Not without my ute: the bizarre battle over electric cars

April 10th, 2019


The Federal Government has a message for you - Bill Shorten is coming for your ute.

It's the latest in the deeply weird and increasingly feral debate over electric cars at the moment.

So where's the …

Catching a catfish

April 9th, 2019


It's one of the weirdest and most tragic catfishing cases we've ever come across.

A fake celebrity profile was the bait, before the relationships escalated into ugly and abusive behaviour with …

Meet the biggest big brother in the world

April 8th, 2019


As far as government databases go, they don't get any bigger than this: the Indian Government's 'Aadhaar' system contains the biometric details of more than one billion people.

It's hugely …

Tripping as treatment

April 7th, 2019


For decades, governments all over the world have given psychedelics like LSD a bad wrap, making it difficult for scientists to …

When touchy feely gets creepy

April 4th, 2019


Former US Vice President Joe Biden has been out sort-of apologising this week, after four women came forward to complain about …

Is Antarctica up for grabs?

April 3rd, 2019


A lot of powerful countries, including China, are eyeing off Antarctica, and it could be about to get a lot more crowded.

The …

Budget 2019: the important bits

April 2nd, 2019


If you take the Treasurer at his word, the long-promised, long-delayed budget surplus is just around the corner, and Australia can afford major tax cuts too.

So how did Josh Frydenberg make his sums …

Why Newstart is stuck

April 1st, 2019


The dole has been going backwards in real terms for years, and there are estimates half the people living on it now are below the …

Are anti-vaxxers having a moment?

March 31st, 2019


We're on track for the second worst measles year in Australia since 1997, with nearly 80 infections recorded already.

The situation is even worse overseas, with bad outbreaks in the Philippines, …

Can Port Arthur "truthers" be talked down?

March 28th, 2019


In a secretly recorded video, One Nation Leader Pauline Hanson has suggested the Port Arthur massacre may have been a government …

In defence of lobbyists

March 27th, 2019


There's been an exodus from the conservative side of politics lately, as the federal election edges closer.

It's a time-honoured …

Are gun rights a vote winner?

March 26th, 2019


Pauline Hanson's One Nation is in damage control over a scandal involving two party officials, a Qatari TV channel, and a series …

Was Donald Trump just cleared of collusion?

March 25th, 2019


Robert Mueller's report into whether US President Donald Trump's campaign colluded with Russia is finally out.

(Well, at least a …

Is the Coalition clawing back?

March 24th, 2019


The Coalition has hung onto power in NSW, with Gladys Berejiklian's government on track to be comfortably returned.

But dig down …

Your NSW election cheat sheet

March 21st, 2019


The NSW election is shaping up to be way closer than anyone predicted, with polls showing Liberal Premier Gladys Berejiklian and …

Is time up for big tech?

March 20th, 2019


Since the Christchurch massacre, Facebook has been accused of hosting hate speech and live streams of mass murder.

It's the latest in a long list of complaints about the platform, including concerns …

In the words of an ex-Nazi

March 19th, 2019


It's been five days since New Zealand's worst terrorist mass shooting happened in Christchurch, and the hatred and ignorance that drove it remains very hard to understand.

The Australian man on trial …

Why US life expectancy is falling

March 18th, 2019


For the first time since World War One, US life expectancy is falling.
It's partly to do with an increase in suicides, and partly to do with a spike in deaths caused by opioid overdoses.

It's a crisis …

Australia's deadly far right

March 17th, 2019


There are no words to adequately describe what happened in Christchurch on Friday.

But with a 28-year-old man from Grafton in New …

Return of the r-word

March 14th, 2019


Depending who you ask, it's either a made up term, or a warning bell for a recession.

Australia is officially in per-capita recession, but no-one can seem to agree on exactly what that means.

In …

Is six years enough?

March 13th, 2019


Cardinal George Pell is spending his 15th day in jail today after being sentenced yesterday to a prison term of six years with a …

Does a budget airline mean budget safety?

March 12th, 2019


The deaths of 157 people in a plane crash in Ethiopia this week has the world asking some tough questions about how safe it is to fly.

It's not the first time there's been a problem with this type of …

Are we really getting a new coal-fired power station?

March 11th, 2019


There's another big public fight happening about coal in Australia.

It's had a multi million dollar, secretive PR push, and …

Is evolution dead?

March 10th, 2019


A second man has effectively been cured of HIV, but scientists are reluctant to call it a cure.

That's because the method is …

So your caliphate has collapsed. What now?

March 7th, 2019


Islamic State is about to disappear off the map and thousands of men, woman and children who stayed until the bitter end are finally emerging.

Life is about to change a lot for any ISIS supporters who …

Could Brexit kill people?

March 6th, 2019


Brexit is creeping up at an alarming rate, and there's still no deal in place.

On March 29, The United Kingdom is legally bound to leave the European Union, almost three years after 52% of British …

Killing people to save animals

March 5th, 2019


There's a bloody, decades-old war raging all over the world right now, and you've probably never heard of it.

The ferocity of that …

161 years in prison for ratting out the Tax Office?

March 4th, 2019


Whistle blower Richard Boyle helped expose questionable practices at the Australian Tax Office, and now he's facing the possibility of 161 years in prison.

The case comes just months after Parliament …

Is this Islamic State's death rattle?

March 3rd, 2019


Islamic State is on the brink of territorial collapse, five years after it established a Caliphate in Iraq and Syria.

The US …

Trump and Cohen: the nastiest breakup in Washington?

February 28th, 2019


There's no doubt left that Donald Trump's former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, has turned on him.
The man who was one of the President's closest allies for more than a decade called him a racist, a …

Are Catholics in denial about George Pell?

February 27th, 2019


George Pell's spent his first night in jail, as his lawyer prepares to launch his appeal against his conviction on five child sexual abuse charges.

In spite of the unanimous verdict, a lot of …

George Pell: the story we couldn't tell - until now

February 26th, 2019


The world finally knows that George Pell has been convicted of child sex abuse.

Back in December, the man in charge of Vatican finances, a former Archbishop of Melbourne and Sydney, and Australia's …

Plan B to save the world

February 25th, 2019


As the deadline for the world to quit fossil fuels looms, scientists are working on a climate change Plan B.

From building fans to suck in carbon to spraying sun-reflecting gases into the …

Are we OK with selling weapons to the Saudis?

February 24th, 2019


Australia wants to become a top global defence exporter, and has already struck deals with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab …

My friends or my freedom?

February 21st, 2019


Sudanese refugee Abdul Aziz Muhamat is in legal limbo since seeking asylum in Australia six years ago.

For most of that time, he's …

Helloworld, is this free?

February 20th, 2019


Another day, another political expenses scandal.

This time, it involves the travel company Helloworld, the Finance Minister …

Why would you bother to hack the Australian Parliament?

February 19th, 2019


A foreign government has hacked the Australian Parliament's servers and the networks of three of our major political parties.

It's …

How did a company based in a beach shack snag a $423m contract?

February 18th, 2019


Hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars have been handed to a company whose local subsidiary was registered to a beach shack.

The …

Can a biscuit be racist?

February 17th, 2019


Alt-right groups have tried to lay claim to everything from the Eureka stockade flag and milk, to Pepe the Frog and Tim Tams, and …

Who can beat Donald Trump?

February 14th, 2019


The next US presidential election is 627 days away, but already Democrats are lining up to challenge Donald Trump.

With at least 11 Democrats announcing their bids in recent weeks, the field is …

Will the boats really come back?

February 13th, 2019


Australia has a new asylum seeker policy, but the details on how it will actually work are still pretty hazy.

The Government lost …

Why is the US trying to overthrow the Venezuelan government?

February 12th, 2019


The nation of Venezuela is turning into an enormous mess.

It's got one of the world's biggest proven oil reserves - around a fifth of the global total - and it's largely in the Government's hands.

So …

What the hell is a franking credit?

February 11th, 2019


Almost no-one knows what franking credits are, but they might decide the election.

Today, we unpack the Labor policy the …

Inside the brain of an internet scammer

February 10th, 2019


You've seen the emails: a little known Nigerian royal has passed away, left you a mountain of cash, and all you need do to claim it is transfer some money to a middleman first.

But there's a lot more …

What are we missing when it comes to Indigenous child suicide?

February 7th, 2019


There's been a spate of suicides in Australia this summer, five girls in a nine day period, all aged between 12 and 15, and all first nations.

Yesterday, the problem was back in the news again, when a …

Did a crypto-baron fake his own death?

February 6th, 2019


You really couldn't make this one up: according to court documents, a 30-year-old bitcoin entrepreneur is dead, his new wife is …

Could climate change make Australia uninsurable?

February 5th, 2019


Right now Townsville is underwater, and large parts of Tasmania are on fire.

Summer in Australia has always been extreme, but some corners of the country are experiencing worse climate-driven …

Was the Banking Royal Commission a fizzer?

February 4th, 2019


Australia's banking and financial services sector's under intense pressure right now, after an embarrassing Royal Commission ended yesterday in 76 recommendations for change.

But the banks have been …

Would you want to know how you'll die?

February 3rd, 2019


Genetic testing for serious illnesses is getting better and cheaper, and one day it could be standard practice.

But knowing about …

Up sh*t creek

January 31st, 2019


The Murray-Darling river system in south-eastern Australia is home to 2.5 million people and has an agricultural sector worth $24 …

Bahrain is trying to recall an Australian refugee. Here's how.

January 30th, 2019


Melbourne footballer and refugee Hakeem al-Araibi is still stuck in Thailand, after being detained there while on holiday two …

What's in a bad pill and what does it do to your body?

January 29th, 2019


In the last few days, at least 32 people have been admitted to hospital after doing drugs at a music festival.

That's on top of five drug related deaths in Australia since September.

"Bad pills" get …

Australia's incredible, shrinking government

January 28th, 2019


With a string of ministers announcing early retirement and a run of bad polls, things aren't looking too rosy for Scott …

Australia Day's controversial foreign cousins

January 27th, 2019


Every year the push to move Australia Day grows, with thousands joining annual protests calling on the Federal Government to "change the date".

The Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the Labor Leader …

Who's buying up your water?

January 24th, 2019


The world's drinking water supply is shrinking.

A global survey of 50,000 rain gauges shows that despite heavier rainfalls, less water is making it into catchments because of drier conditions linked …

How insurers could use your mental health history against you

January 23rd, 2019


Every year, hundreds of thousands of Australians seek treatment for a mental health condition, but what if just asking for help …

Have we killed the Murray-Darling?

January 22nd, 2019


More than one million fish have died in the Murray-Darling river system over the past few weeks, and with the drought dragging on and more hot weather expected, scientists think more die-offs are …

Why big tech wants your face

January 21st, 2019


The #10YearChallenge has become one of the big memes of the summer, with users on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram sharing photos of their faces from a decade ago, alongside snaps from more recent …

Everything you don't know about the US shutdown

January 20th, 2019


Later today the US government shutdown will enter its 30th day, and while there was movement on a possible end to the stalemate over the weekend, a deal still looks pretty unlikely.

President Donald …

2018: what just happened?

December 6th, 2018


You made it! We made it! It's nearly the end of 2018!

Today is The Signal's last episode for the year, but fear not: we promise to be back in your podcast feed early next year, trying to make sense of …

He gene-edited babies. Now he's disappeared.

December 5th, 2018


Last week, the scientific world was understandably rocked by news that genetically-edited twin girls had been born in China …

Australia's going to get new encryption laws. Should you be worried?

December 4th, 2018


The Government is desperately trying to change Australia's encryption laws, and it had been facing a lot of pushback.

But with just two days left of Parliament for the year, the Coalition struck a …

Can the Government survive until May? Or is it dreaming?

December 3rd, 2018


The Federal Government is having a moment.

Or several, to be precise.

More than three months after he was deposed, the former prime …

How China "disappeared" Interpol's chief and got away with it

December 2nd, 2018


It's been more than two months since the former president of Interpol Meng Hongwei was "disappeared" by China, with his last …

Adani's invincible mine: is coal making a comeback?

November 29th, 2018


The world had more or less given up on Adani ever building its massive coal mine in Queensland.

The project has been parked for years, because no-one wanted to finance it.

But yesterday, Adani …

Vladimir Putin's Ukrainian bluff

November 28th, 2018


There's been a skirmish off Crimea, with the Russians detaining Ukrainian sailors amid claims they've violated its sovereignty.

Where do you go when the last, last chance hotel shuts its doors?

November 27th, 2018


For more than 40 years, the Gatwick Hotel in St Kilda in Melbourne provided temporary accommodation to people at risk of sleeping rough, but this year all that changed.

Purchased by Channel Nine and …

Are Victorians more progressive than other Australians?

November 26th, 2018


Most of the polls were predicting a Labor win in the Victorian election, but the size of the swing took just about everyone by …

Is war getting worse, and can gaming teach fighters empathy?

November 25th, 2018


More armed groups have emerged in the last 6 years than in the last 6 decades, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

That trend has come with an increase in brutality, …

Did the mafia get away with murder?

November 22nd, 2018


Yesterday David Harold Eastman's conviction for the 1989 murder of senior Canberra police officer Colin Winchester was overturned …

Why is Donald Trump still friends with a murderous millennial prince?

November 21st, 2018


US President Donald Trump seems determined to ignore mounting evidence that Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

In the face of a leaked …

Facebook says it's cleaned up its act. Has it really?

November 20th, 2018


Facing accusations of dishonesty, sneakiness and aggressive tactics to discredit its critics, Facebook has gone on the defensive with a global PR blitz to rebuild its reputation.

The social platform …

Brexit 2.0?

November 19th, 2018


The UK Prime Minister Theresa May finally has a plan to exit the European Union, but it's going down like a lead balloon with her …

Why APEC got so awkward

November 18th, 2018


China's been trying to buy and win influence in the Pacific for more than a decade now, sometimes at the expense of Australia and its allies.

Those tensions really boiled over on the weekend at the …

Climate change 'dominos' to keep you awake at night

November 15th, 2018


We're all used to apocalyptic predictions of climate change, with regular forecasts of doom from scientists.

But what if the …

Are Muslim leaders doing enough?

November 14th, 2018


Last week's deadly Melbourne terrorist attack has kicked off renewed debate about fighting jihadi extremism in Australia.

The …

Should you opt out of My Health Record before tomorrow's deadline?

November 13th, 2018


More than a million Australians have already decided to opt out of the Government's online health database 'My Health Record', but millions more have decided to stay.

The Government has proposed a …

Life as a gay teacher at a religious school

November 12th, 2018


He just wants to teach. But being gay and working for a religious school in regional NSW means that isn't always simple.

Over 30 …

What workplace sexual harassment is really like

November 11th, 2018


New South Wales politics is in meltdown over a disputed allegation of sexual harassment.

Luke Foley quit the Labor leadership on …

What do the US midterms mean for Donald Trump?

November 8th, 2018


It's been a wild week in US politics, with the midterm elections and the demise of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

So what does it …

Are Scott Morrison's videos working?

November 7th, 2018


Queensland will be a key state in next year's federal election, and this week the Prime Minister Scott Minister has hit the road.

His trip up and down the coast has included blitzing local radio …

Hydrogen: Silver bullet for climate change or sci-fi?

November 6th, 2018


Hydrogen is emerging as one way to help the world wean itself off coal, and Australia's in the perfect spot to make a lot of it.

Should you sue over a Facebook post?

November 5th, 2018


The internet is full of defamation, but successfully suing can be eye-wateringly expensive and slow.

So do Australian defamation …

Voting in America is a mess. Could it help Donald Trump?

November 4th, 2018


Donald Trump’s not on the ballot tomorrow, but midterm voters are still passing judgment on his presidency.

But is the US system rigged? And if so, does it matter?

#MeToo comebacks: how soon is too soon?

November 1st, 2018


The #MeToo movement is more than a year old, and some of the men who’ve disappeared from public life are contemplating a comeback.

Is this one of colonialism's last stands?

October 31st, 2018


The Pacific island of New Caledonia is holding an independence vote on Sunday.

So is this what shaking colonialism looks like in …

If we close Nauru, will the boats return?

October 30th, 2018


The logic behind Australia's hardline asylum seeker policy has always been that it stops the boats.

But as more and more people …

Will the far-right's last online refuge survive?

October 29th, 2018


The man who shot dead 11 Jewish Americans on the weekend was an active member of Gab.

It's a social media site that's marketed as a far-right alternative to Twitter, and it's where a lot of white …

Australia's migrant worker underclass

October 28th, 2018


11% of Australia's workforce is made up of migrants, and most of them are paid less than the minimum wage.

In fact, research indicates the scale of unpaid wages this group is more than $1 billion.

It …

Is Brazil about to elect a pro-torture, totalitarian leader?

October 25th, 2018


Brazil is holding a run off presidential poll this weekend, and odds are it's going to elect Jair Bolsonaro.

He’s known for his …

Is the world headed for a nuclear arms race?

October 24th, 2018


US President Donald Trump has threatened to tear up a nuclear treaty which helped end the Cold War.

So is the world headed for a …

Why thousands are crossing Central America on foot

October 23rd, 2018


More than 7,000 people are streaming into southern Mexico, fleeing cartel violence and extreme poverty in Central America.

What …

How did the Liberal Party lose the unlosable seat?

October 22nd, 2018


The Liberals capped off a week from hell by losing the Wentworth by-election.

So how did they lose the unlosable seat? And are they about to be beset by independents?

Being a 'worthy' survivor

October 21st, 2018


Thousands of survivors of child sexual abuse are getting a formal apology, but not everyone is eligible for the Government's …

Khashoggi: the story so far

October 18th, 2018


Details about the grisly apparent murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside a Saudi consulate in Turkey are slowly …

A revenge porn arms race

October 17th, 2018


Thousands of Australian women's private nudes and videos are being spread around the internet without their consent.

Are our new revenge porn laws up to the job?

Why winning Wentworth matters

October 16th, 2018


The Government is moving heaven and earth and maybe even an embassy in its effort to win the Wentworth by-election this weekend.

So why is it so desperate?

Are we poisoning our pets?

October 15th, 2018


Pet food is a $4 billion industry in Australia, but it's a regulatory wild west.

So are we poisoning our animals?

Could your divorce get you fired?

October 14th, 2018


It's not just gay kids being kicked out of religious schools.

The list of things that can get you legally fired from faith-based …

Alt-right stealth tactics

October 11th, 2018


Members of the alt-right are covertly joining mainstream political parties, in an attempt to steer Australia politics to the …

How to hide a million people

October 10th, 2018


China has detained an estimated one million Uighurs in secret camps, and it's working overtime to hide them from the world.

So how do they do it, and why?

Quitting the c-word

October 9th, 2018


The latest IPCC report warns the world has just 12 years to avoid a climate change catastrophe, and phase out coal by 2050.

So can we do it?

Does Alan Jones run NSW?

October 8th, 2018


The Sydney Opera House is moonlighting as a billboard, after shock jock Alan Jones threw his weight behind the campaign.

So is he …

Kavanaugh: Could it happen here?

October 7th, 2018


Justice Brett Kavanaugh has been appointed to the US Supreme Court, after one of the most bitter partisan fights in modern …

Paris targets: Are we dreaming?

October 4th, 2018


Why did the Government delay the release of emissions figures that suggest Australia might not meet its 2030 climate targets?

How bad are the numbers?

And can we turn them around?

Why Customs wants your passwords

October 3rd, 2018


The next frontier of airport security is your passwords.

New Zealand is the latest country to give Customs access to your devices and accounts.

Is there a way around it?

Can you change your memories?

October 2nd, 2018


Christine Blasey Ford is "100 per cent" certain US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh tried to rape her in 1982, and he's just as sure he didn't.

Is it possible they're both being honest?

Why Indonesians weren't warned

October 1st, 2018


Hundreds of people are dead after a tsunami in Indonesia, but many could have been saved by an early warning system which had …

Stalking's hi-tech evolution

September 30th, 2018


Technology is making everyone's lives easier, and that includes stalkers and abusers.

There's a new generation of techniques being …

Is the ABC really independent?

September 27th, 2018


The two most senior roles at the ABC are vacant, after the managing director was sacked and the chairman resigned.

So how did we …

Japan's lonely, sexless generation

September 26th, 2018


Record numbers of young people in Japan aren't hooking up, marrying or having kids, and say they're overworked and lonely.

So how lonely are Australians in comparison?

How to get a pay rise

September 25th, 2018


Wage growth in Australia is fairly flat, so if you want to get a pay rise it's down to you.

But how to you do it? And is it more …

What just happened at the ABC?

September 24th, 2018


The ABC's boss Michelle Guthrie has been sacked.

Almost no-one saw it coming, and the reasons it happened aren't clear.

So why …

How your tech could land you in jail

September 23rd, 2018


We're surrounded by more technology all the time, and in most cases it's making life easier.

But new tech is also providing police …

When to panic about household debt

September 20th, 2018


Australia's household debt is double the national disposable income.

So what does that even mean, and should we panic?

We explain …

Is aged care fixable?

September 19th, 2018


Assault, suicide, malnutrition and preventable deaths: we're about to find out just how bad aged care in Australia has become.

So …

Can bullying and politics be divorced?

September 18th, 2018


Several women MPs in the Liberal Party say they're being bullied, leading to accusations of a "women problem".

So would quotas …

What drives a copycat?

September 17th, 2018


People across the country keep finding needles in their strawberries.

So are all the cases connected?

Or is it the work of copycats?

Have millennials stumped the advertising industry?

September 16th, 2018


From diamonds to cars, millennials stand accused of murdering some of world's most iconic industries.

Advertisers are struggling to lure this savvy generation back.

How 'fair' is the national anthem?

September 13th, 2018


When a 9-year-old's protest against Advance Australia Fair can set the culture wars ablaze, you have to wonder, what's in an …

Is the International Criminal Court doomed?

September 12th, 2018


The International Criminal Court is supposed to prosecute war criminals, but the US and some other countries aren't fans.

So why does it have so many opponents?

How Sweden's Nazis rebranded

September 11th, 2018


A party that used to be full of Nazis has done really well in Swedish elections, winning about one in six votes.

But has the party …

Growing up trans

September 10th, 2018


There's been a steady increase in kids coming out as trans, with some blaming so-called "gender whisperers" in classrooms.

So …

How to thwart a President

September 9th, 2018


There are signs that a group of conservatives inside the White House is secretly trying to contain Donald Trump's worst ideas.

So what do we know about them, what are their methods, is it working, and …

Australia's underground frog poison scene

September 6th, 2018


Kambo is an Amazonian frog poison applied to burn wounds to bring on "purging".

Some claim it to be a powerful medicine, saying it …

Why you might never stop working

September 5th, 2018


Demographers reckon there's a chance that people joining the workforce now might never retire.

The Government's walked back a plan to lift the pension age to 70, but experts say it'll have to go up …

Democracy icon or bitter disappointment?

September 4th, 2018


Who is the real Aung San Suu Kyi?

From Nobel Laureate to allegations of genocide, what happened to Myanmar's great hope?

Has the Taliban won in Afghanistan?

September 3rd, 2018


The war in Afghanistan has dragged on for longer than the first and second world wars combined.

Could the Taliban be about to win?

Where does criminal evidence end up?

September 2nd, 2018


Criminal trials can capture everybody's imagination, with intense interest in characters, crime scenes and key items of evidence.

But what happens to the artefacts once the trial is over?

Chelsea Manning: too dangerous for Aus?

August 30th, 2018


To some she's a criminal, to others a whistleblower.

Either way the Australian Immigration Minister wants to keep American Chelsea Manning out.

So what is he so worried about?

What's the go with the au pairs?

August 29th, 2018


Peter Dutton is in hot water for granting a visa to a French au pair on humanitarian grounds.

Why would he do a thing like that?

Australia's trains way off track

August 28th, 2018


A huge chunk of Australia's rail network appears to be disability unfriendly.

One amputee recalls dragging himself up flights of stairs, others have been left stranded on trains.

When high tech gets under your skin

August 27th, 2018


Ever thought about an implant?

Not there.

In your hand.

You'll never lose your keys again.

Who is Scott Morrison, really?

August 26th, 2018


Scott Morrison, known as Scomo to his friends, is Australia's new Prime Minister.

But who is he really?

And, what does he stand for?

Inside a political makeover

August 23rd, 2018


It's been a long week of leadership speculation.

We may end up with Prime Minister Peter Dutton, a man with a reputation as a …

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