The recent deaths of several Australia Aboriginal prisoners in custody has sparked fresh criticism over the state's perceived failure to heed longstanding recommendations of a royal commission on the issue.
Glaciers now occupy the center stage in the debate over causes and impacts of climate change.
Australia is the only Western democracy where human rights are not formally protected, either by law or by the Constitution. Minorities, elderly, and disabled want a human rights charter. But a proposal for a charter has unleashed fierce opposition from church groups and opposition politicians.
The Samoa tsunami demonstrates a problem for early warning systems - massive waves crashed ashore before researchers could analyze the earthquake and sound the alarm. A second earthquake struck near Samoa Wednesday, where the death toll has topped 150.
Amid allegations of corruption and a drop in popularity, the party that has been in power for five decades tries to shore up support.
Acidification caused by carbon emissions could bring some oceans to a tipping point.