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The Signal

Author: ABC Radio

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The Signal is the ABC's daily news podcast that helps cut through the noise to cover the biggest stories, explaining not only what is happening but why. It's an entertaining 15-minute show, perfect for the daily commute.
778 Episodes
NSW authorities hope to crush Sydney's COVID outbreak using masks, social distancing and contact tracing. It's a plan that's worked well in the past, but is it really a match for the new, highly infectious Delta variant? And if it isn't, what needs to change? Today on The Signal, we ask how big a risk Delta might be to Australia's COVID strategy and, if we tried something different, what that would look like. Featured:  Dr Mary-Louise McLaws, Professor of Epidemiology, Hospital infection and infectious diseases control, University of New South Wales, and Member of World Health Organisation Health Emergencies Program Experts Advisory Panel for Infection Prevention and Control Preparedness, Readiness and Response to COVID-19
The attitudes of young Australian women are changing, and fast, on everything from marriage to kids and home ownership. That's according to one of the biggest surveys that gets done in this country. Australia Talks, a survey by Vox Pop labs in conjunction with the ABC, spoke to more than 60,000 Australians about what keeps them up at night. Today on the Signal, we're putting some voices to that data. So just how different is the future they have planned for themselves? Featured: Nina, 29-year-old from Sydney Jacinta, 26-year-old from Sydney Mannie, 28-year-old from Melbourne
There's one Tamil asylum seeker family that's put the Government in a very uncomfortable position lately. The Muragappans, known more widely as the Biloela family after the small Queensland town they lived in for years, have been trying to win the right to stay in Australia for almost a decade. The family has been on Christmas Island since 2018, and that seemed unlikely to change. But then on Monday of last week, their four-year-old daughter Tharnicaa became so sick that she was rushed to a Perth hospital with her mother Priya.  After immense public pressure, the rest of the family was allowed to follow. Today on The Signal, we ask why the Biloela family is proving to be such an exception. Is their case a one-off, or a weather vane for a much bigger shift? Featured:  David Speers, Host, ABC Insiders
One of Australia's most decorated soldiers, Ben Roberts-Smith, is suing Channel Nine over allegations of murders committed during his service in Afghanistan, and allegations of bullying and domestic violence. Ben Roberts-Smith strenuously denies the allegations. The defamation trial is already in its second week, and with a possible eight more weeks to go it's being billed as one of the biggest in Australian legal history. So what's come out in court so far? And what does it all mean for Channel Nine, for Ben Roberts-Smith, and for the Australian Defence Force? Featured: Matt Collins QC, Barrister specialising in defamation law Nick Grimm, Senior Reporter, ABC Audio News and Current Affairs
Australia's trade war with China is an instructive tale, and at the G7 meeting in Cornwall this week it was again front of mind. So what are the key lessons that the world is taking from the dispute? And why, after months of trade fights with China, has one key commodity been so far quarantined? Today on The Signal, we're teaming up with Matt Bevan, host of the ABC's new podcast China If You're Listening, to find out. We hear about this year's G7, and about how, despite the trade war, steel still welds China and Australia together. Subscribe to China If You're Listening here: Featured: Matt Bevan, Host, ABC China If You're Listening
Mass vaccination is our only way out of the COVID-19 pandemic. So far though, the take-up of vaccines in Australia has been slow, with those eligible delaying booking appointments, and up to 16% of Australians telling pollsters they don't want the jab at all. So is the media to blame? Today on The Signal, we're looking at how Australian journalists have done covering COVID-19. We ask whether coverage of side-effects and deaths linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine has gone too far, and turn the spotlight on ourselves here at The Signal as well. Featured:  Dr Denis Muller, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Advancing Journalism, University of Melbourne
Women behave a bit differently online to men. That's according to one of the biggest social surveys that happens in this country, Australia Talks, run by Vox Pop labs in conjunction with the ABC. So why is that? Today on The Signal, from organising boycotts and campaigns to withdrawing their support for public figures and products, we take a look at why Australian women are taking action online more often than men Featured:  Olivia Williams, Indigenous campaigner Hannah Diviney, writer and disability rights advocate Sianna Catullo, Indigenous campaigner
After three years of uninterrupted eavesdropping on the world's crime networks, a global police operation showed its hand this week. The Australian Federal Police, along with the FBI and the EU's Europol, finally pulled back the veil on Operation Ironside. They say it's led to hundreds of arrests and netted literally tonnes of drugs, cash, and guns. Their methodology has been hailed as ingenious: police accessed an encrypted app called AN0M from the outset, then distributed it to criminals. But how much damage does a sting like this do? And do Australian police really need the extra powers they're pitching for? Featured:  Dr Teagan Westendorf, Strategic Policing and Law Enforcement Analyst, Australian Strategic Policy Institute
Australia loves to see itself as an international COVID success story, and there's a lot of truth to that. But we used to have more company — Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam, just to name a few. In almost every case, that success has given way to a surge in recent months, as new, highly contagious versions of the virus, like the Delta variant, have spread around the world. And the parallels with Australia's situation are hard to ignore. Today on The Signal, it's the cautionary tale for Australia in Asia's latest COVID-19 surge. Featured: Mazoe Ford, South East Asia Correspondent, ABC Professor Nancy Baxter, Epidemiologist, Head of School of Population & Global Health, University of Melbourne
Mice are still multiplying in their millions across eastern Australia. Since September last year, the rodents have been devastating crops, drowning in swimming pools, and now their carcasses are even being coughed up by cod in inland rivers. So what's driving the outbreak? And with some drastic measures being considered, will anything bring the plague to an end? Featured: Phil Cleal, Forbes resident Dr Peter Brown, senior research scientist, CSIRO Anne Cullen, Coonamble farmer Mick Harris, Narromine agronomist and fisherman Stu Crawford, Narromine farmer Additional reporting by Lucy Thackray, ABC Dubbo
What began as a circuit-breaker lockdown for Melbourne is now in its second week, as contact tracers try to find the source for two new cases that seemed to appear out of nowhere. All the while, the theoretical end to lockdown on Friday is approaching, with no-one the wiser as to whether or not it'll be delayed. Today on The Signal, we're asking what it will take for Melbourne's lockdown to lift. Featured: Raf Epstein, ABC Radio Melbourne Drive Host
One of the country's biggest surveys shows that most Australians think it's harder for young people to get ahead than it used to be. So why do people feel that way? Today on The Signal, we're digging into the trove of information that is the ABC's Australia Talks study. We hear from young people all over the country, and ask why so many think things are getting worse. Featured: Georgia, 23-year-old from Victoria Mark, 31-year-old from South Australia Boris, 25-year-old from South Australia
Australia has a long history of calling out China for human rights abuses. This week, during a visit to Queenstown, the prime minister Scott Morrison and his New Zealand counterpart Jacinda Ardern issued a joint statement expressing concerns about abuses in Xinjiang and Hong Kong, prompting a swift and angry response from Beijing. But there've been other times when Australia hasn't got the facts about China right. In 1989, after tanks rolled into Tiananmen Square in Beijing and brutally ended weeks of protests, the then prime minister Bob Hawke gave a horrifying description of what Australia thought happened. But where did the account come from? And why was it wrong? Today on The Signal, we sit down with Matt Bevan from the ABC's new podcast China If You're Listening to discuss new information about the massacre, 32 years on. Featured: Matt Bevan, Host, China If You're Listening Blanche d'Alpuget, Biographer and wife of late former prime minister Bob Hawke Richard Rigby, Emeritus Professor of the College of Asia and the Pacific, Australian National University, Canberra
Australian wages have been stuck for a long time. In fact they've hardly twitched for about a decade now. The conventional wisdom as to why, is that we had an oversupply of workers, and not enough work for them to do. So with borders closed to foreign workers, and a number of industries desperate for local ones, what's keeping wages low? And could it be about to change? Featured: Sarah Hunter, Chief Economist, BIS Oxford Economics
At the start of the pandemic, conspiracy theorists pounced on the idea that COVID-19 came from a lab. At the time the theory was widely panned by scientists, but now it has a new lease on life. So what is the new information that’s revived the Wuhan lab leak theory? Today on The Signal, we speak to two of the reporters in the US who have been at the forefront of the global coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic. What are the gaps in our knowledge of the origins of the virus? And will we ever get conclusive answers? Featured:  Donald G McNeil Jr, former science and public health reporter at The New York Times Warren Strobel, National Security Reporter at The Wall Street Journal
Victorians know life in lockdown better than anybody else in Australia. On the three previous occasions the state has gone into a lockdown, the measure eventually achieved its aims. But this time it's a little different, with a new, more infectious variant spreading in the community, and at least one case that’s still a mystery. So is the lockdown working so far? And could it drag on past Friday? Today on The Signal we hear about the successes and pitfalls of the latest iteration of Victoria's COVID strategy, and ask what lessons the state has learned on the way. Featured:  Professor Tony Blakely, Professorial Fellow in Epidemiology, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne
The ceasefire in Gaza and Israel is a week old today, and tensions in the region are running hot. In Gaza, Palestinians mourning those killed by Israeli rockets say daily life is unbearable, and restrictions put in place by Israel make rebuilding impossible. Across the border, Israelis say they live in fear of more rocket attacks by the Palestinian militant group Hamas, as anger and hatred between Arabs and Jews in the country leads to death and violence. So can the ceasefire hold? Today on The Signal, we head to Gaza and Tel Aviv. We ask whether the causes of the recent fighting that claimed more than 200 lives in Gaza and 13 in Israel have been addressed, and whether peace and justice are now further off in the region than ever. Featured: Mosab Abu Toha, Poet and writer, Gaza Dina Kraft, Journalist and podcast host, Tel Aviv
We still don't have a handle on how big Victoria's COVID outbreak is going to be. But already the blame-game has started. From low vaccine take-up rates to contact tracing errors, delays in COVID testing and failures in hotel quarantine, the list of possible culprits is long. So is one factor more responsible than the others? And will the outbreak at least jolt people wary of getting vaccinated to roll up their sleeves? Featured: David Speers, Host, ABC TV Insiders
It's been 11 months since a big COVID-19 outbreak in Melbourne threw the city into lockdown. Now, the virus is again spreading in the city's suburbs, with new cases in the west and north. So have we got better at treating patients with COVID? Today on The Signal, we take stock of how COVID-19 treatments have evolved over time. We ask what hurdles remain, and what new options might be on the way. Featured: Tegan Taylor, ABC Health and Science Reporter and Co-host, ABC Coronacast
The Tokyo Olympic Games have already been delayed once. Now, eight weeks from the opening ceremony, opinion polls show most people in Japan want them scrapped altogether. But the International Olympic Committee is barrelling forward, insisting the Games must go on. So how can officials, athletes and their supporters have confidence they won't be a disaster? Today on The Signal, we speak to Tokyo-bound ABC sports reporter Tracey Holmes about how Japan is preparing for the least popular Games in history. Featured: Tracey Holmes, Host, ABC The Ticket
Comments (38)

kurt simon

Poor Palestinian, people say. Who just fired a thousand rockets. What the f***. Who does that?

May 17th

kurt simon

Bill Gates is hidden somewhere in the details. It's like the Willy Wonka wall signature the letters get the dot out of a dot out of a dot out size and you repeat for a trillion of a trillion. Sorry. Too harsh.

Feb 24th

kurt simon

if you ever ask if the 2020 U.S election was a fraud. The whole 2020 is the worst in history to every corner of the globe. Look what Biden is doing now? Not enough for you. The WORST IS YET TO COME and Death and Destruction and Chaos is coming fast. Wait and see you fuckers here at the Signal.

Feb 23rd

kurt simon

Yes Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, George Bush, Bill and Hillary, Susan Page, Fang-Fang, Andrew Cuomo, Eric Holder, Barack Obama, James Clapper and many more will never serve time.

Feb 17th

allan goldin

Hi I enjoy your format and like the way you deal with basically one subject a day with a very Australian perspective. Very much like we used to enjoy many years ago when 60 minutes and 4 corners first came on air

Feb 6th

kurt simon

Don't do it Australia. it's the path to the One World Government.

Nov 24th

Lis Stanger

well done

Sep 14th

Elliot Crain

This episode didn't mention that this new deal has a clause mandating that Murdoch Media gets a 28 day headstart in any changes to the FB/GGL Algorithms and small you tubers don't. This would give Murdoch and their like to put themselves above any other content creators and pushing their smaller competitors further down the recomeded-line

Sep 2nd

Joshua Hellyer

I moved to Melbourne a few years ago and the news from Cairns, my home town, has been nothing but youth crime. Only a few days ago three kids between 10 and 13 raped a ten year old boy. But the whole spin of your story seems really biased on one side this time. What would you have done with these kids? Teach them rape is wrong? They know that. It's clearly not enough to say kids just don't understand.

Jul 30th

Joshua Hellyer


Jul 20th

Zac Gomes

I enjoy this podcast. A solid 10 or so minutes on one topic in depth is certainly a change, and very informative. Listen to this as part of a range of news sources. Only one side of topic is presented - left wing - which seems might be the intentional format. But I repeat, very informative. Some reviews say it dumbs it down. I need that if I don't know anything about the day's topic.

Jun 28th

Finlay Bender

love learning more info on news and listen to this podcast every day. I do think the journalists struggle to show both sides of a story in some issues, so keeping a critical, inquiring mind to look for what isn't said is key ( like almost everything)

Jun 24th

Jason McAndrew

Very unbalanced report which seems to have become the norm for this podcast. Fails to address a major and obvious factor in indigenous incarceration, namely high rates of offending.

Jun 11th
Reply (2)

Harry Burton

"...considered to be quite convincing... obviously by quite a few jurors in the first jury". How do you know that? Could have been as few as two jurors, or as many as ten. You just don't know, do you?

Mar 16th

Lia Mitchell

Great podcast! Thank you for well informed information from experts.

Mar 10th

Pippa Buchanan

thanks for clarifying some of my thoughts about the impact of the extreme rain event post bushfire. one thing that wasn't covered was the impact of fire retardant chemicals on drinking water quality / public health more generally. would appreciate an episode on this topic.

Feb 14th

Neatz Davis

I went to high school in tasmania in the 90s, I didnt learn anything about indigenous history, certainly nothing was taught about what happened in Tasmania that's for sure!

Jan 30th

Neatz Davis

I drove down the Bonang in far east Gippsland after the fire went through. We were heading to our home (I haven't lived there for a few years, I went to Melbourne so my son could go to highschool there but it's always been home even when I haven't lived there), the tiny town of Goongerah, a valley nestled between the errinundra and snowy River national parks, our green valley with the goongerah crk flowing into the Brodrib. Water so clean and cold you can see win and drink at the same time. I was standing in the Brodrib at our swimming spot once when I heard a noise, looked over, and I was sharing this amazing river with a platypus. The Bonang was 70ks of beautiful green, it's so windy it would take more then an hr to drive between goongerah and Orbost. It's amazing what you can take for granted, I never stopped to take pictures, it was pretty much our driveway. I would stop sometimes at the rest stop a bit over half way and situated at Martin's crk. The air is (was) different there, the smell intoxicating, your eyes are bombarded with different shades of green, with vines as big as my thigh, and ferns standing high above me making me feel almost childlike. The moss so green and soft and covered everything, the rocks sitting out of the water had a variety of small life, different mosses, insects and lizards catching the beams of sunlight reaching down through a thick canopy of leaves. Your ears would also delight in what they could hear, the kooky but magnificent Lyre bird making whatever noise it has learnt to mimic from its environment (I've heard them make chainsaw sounds, not what you want to hear from these birds), Bower birds song, the sounds of frogs, and the beautiful noise of water washing over rocks as it heads downstream. Martin's crk was a national site of significance for rainforest. It was the largest stand of warm temperate rainforest. Driving down the Bonang was glorious. The middle section of the trip is sardine crk, there you can drive through green for about five minutes, I passed smoking trees, and small fires, so even that section is getting smaller, the few people who live at sardine crk are working by themselves trying to save what they can. Our drive down that road hurt my soul. I try not to be melodramatic, I got a bit carried away writing this comment, but apart from sardine crk the whole forest, on both sides of the road and as far as your eyes can see (which now it's burnt you can see unnaturally far) is ash. Martin's crk has been completely and utterly destroyed. We have lost this important warm temperate rainforest, it's not coming back. It should never have burnt. It survived the last ice age but hasn't survived us. I know this is a massive ramble but we have lost so much and we can't lose more. Not one more stick, burnt or not burnt, people need to tell their politicians no. No to logging. we have gone too far, no to "salvage" logging, no to logging what was previously set aside for logging, definitely no logging in National Parks (are they crazy for even suggesting this????). NO MORE LOGGING.

Jan 29th
Reply (2)

Clint Hart

Has good subjects but is to short. you just start to get into it and it's over. personally I find podcasts less than thirty minutes a bit pointless.

Jan 25th

Malcolm Barnes

I really enjoy the content of the review and appreciate the strait insight it provides. However as a 54 year old listener I find the repetitive background music while people are talking unnecessary and particularly irritating.

Dec 7th
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