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Rear Vision

We tease out the complex history behind those baffling events in the news.

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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Forced landing—Ryan Air Flight 4978

A scheduled Ryan Air flight from Athens to Vilnius was diverted as it flew over Belarus and told to land at Minsk because of a bomb threat. What can pilots do if there’s a bomb threat and how do we ensure international air safety?


20 Jun 2021

Rank #1

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How to carve up the riches of the sea—Australia, Indonesia, and the sea boundaries

In 2018 Australia signed a Treaty with Timor-Leste establishing sea boundaries based on a line equidistance from each other’s coasts. Yet Australia’s seabed boundaries with Indonesia, established in the 1970s are much closer to Indonesian than Australia. How did that happen, and is it fair?


13 Jun 2021

Rank #2

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Psychedelics—the curious journey from medical lab to party drug and back again

Around the world there is a rapidly growing body of scientific evidence suggesting that psychedelic drugs are safe and highly effective when used under medical supervision. Why did promising treatments first become illegal and how did drugs once seen as possibly leading to madness or death become once again treatments for mental illness?


6 Jun 2021

Rank #3

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Pentecostalism—the fastest growing religion on earth

Pentecostalism is a Christian religious movement with over seven hundred denominations world-wide and Australia’s Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, is a believer. What do Pentecostalists believe and what might be the political implications?


30 May 2021

Rank #4

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The American military abroad and the Australia US alliance

The US operates a global network of overseas military facilities that dwarfs that of any other country. How does Australia fit into this picture and what are the risks and benefits?


23 May 2021

Rank #5

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Palestinian politics under occupation

This week Palestinians should have been voting in their first election for 15 years, but the election was cancelled and now they are again involved in a battle with Israel. Why?  The complexities of Palestinian politics are defined by the Oslo Accords and the Israeli occupation.


16 May 2021

Rank #6

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Space junk—how did orbital debris become such a huge headache?

It’s unlikely that any of us will be hit by space junk here on earth but collisions in space are a real threat to the satellite systems we all take for granted. How did space become so polluted and what is being done to manage orbital debris?


9 May 2021

Rank #7

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Edward and Harry—the men who left the royal family

Prince Harry’s decision to renounce his royal role was not the first time a member of the British monarchy decided to opt out. Almost a century ago, King Edward VIII gave up the crown to marry Wallis Simpson, an American divorcée. These two decisions, several generations apart, engulfed the monarchy in turmoil and sent the media into meltdown. What do these two stories tell us about the British monarchy?


2 May 2021

Rank #8

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The Suez Canal—ambition, colonial greed, revolution and the ditch that reshaped global trade.

The Suez Canal is one of the world’s most vital trade routes. It’s the shortest sea link between Asia and Europe and about 12% of global trade passes through it each year. But the Canal is situated in one of the most volatile regions in the world and its history has been defined by that geography.


25 Apr 2021

Rank #9

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The Irish border—why is it there and what's it actually like?

The Irish border—running along five hundred kilometres of rural land—is a paradox. Both visible and invisible, it’s vital to peace in Ireland.


18 Apr 2021

Rank #10