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Australia to Witness New Intelligence Laws By Sweeping Older Ones

Australian intelligence laws to be reviewed

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Australia's Defense Minister Marise Payne (L-R), China's PLA Lieutenant-General He Lei and Canada's Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan listens to U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis' address at the IISS Shangri-la Dialogue in Singapore, June 2, 2018.
Australia's Defense Minister Marise Payne (L-R), China's PLA Lieutenant-General He Lei and Canada's Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan listens to U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis' address at the IISS Shangri-la Dialogue in Singapore, June 2, 2018. VOA
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Australia’s intelligence laws are to be reviewed in the most comprehensive overhaul of national security legislation in decades.

The review will take 18 months and will be led by a former spy chief. It will be the most comprehensive review of Australia’s intelligence laws since the 1970s. Much of its terms of reference are being kept secret but officials say the shake-up will look at how information is shared among the nation’s six security and intelligence agencies, as well with other law enforcement bodies.

Analysts say the review is long overdue with existing laws designed for a previous era. They say the review would likely address the main threats facing Australia; terrorism, cyber-warfare and influence by foreign powers.

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Law books, Representational image, Pixabay

Australia’s federal Attorney-General Christian Porter says the overhaul will help to integrate the various agencies that keep the nation safe.

“The control, direction and coordination of all of these agencies, and the way they interact with non-intelligence agencies and state-based agencies, such as state police forces. It is looking at how we share information and whether or not that can be improved on.It is looking at the overall staffing and resourcing, so it has a very holistic approach, and the other thing it will look at is accountability and oversight,” said Porter.

The review comes amid rising fears in Australia over the influence of China in its domestic affairs.

Earlier this week media reports detailed allegations apparently contained in a top-secret report that China has attempted to influence Australia’s political parties for the past decade, as well as every level of government.

Beijing has previously accused Australia of being anti-China.

Last year the Australian government introduced new foreign interference laws into federal parliament, which, if passed, would put a ban on all overseas political donations. In January, Australian opposition Senator Sam Dastyari was forced to resign over alleged links to Chinese authorities.

Also read: More than 200 Commonwealth Games Athletes Seek Asylum in Australia and 50 go missing

Australia’s National Terrorism Threat Level remains set at “probable,” which means security agencies believe that individuals or groups have the intent and capability to carry out a terrorist attack in Australia. (VOA)

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You can Develop Intelligence, so Take it Easy

The authors suggested that students with changeable mindset may proactively solve their problems, for instance by talking with teachers or improving their skills, thereby allowing them to cope more effectively the next day

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To reach this conclusion, the team surveyed 499 ninth-grade high school students during their first semester, and assessed their perceptions of intelligence. (IANS)

If you think you can’t do anything about your intelligence as this is something that can’t be changed, check your stress levels as this may harm your studies.

According to the scientists, students’ mindset about intelligence that whether it is a fixed trait or can be developed is associated with the likelihood of overcoming the stressful transition into high school, particularly if their grades begin to drop.

The study showed that bad grades did not indicate a higher stress response for everyone instead indicated greater responses in students who had more of a fixed mindset — the idea that people’s intelligence is fixed and cannot change.

The authors suggested that students with changeable mindset may proactively solve their problems, for instance by talking with teachers or improving their skills, thereby allowing them to cope more effectively the next day.

“Declining grades may get ‘under the skin,’ as it were, for first-year high school students who believe intelligence is a fixed trait,” said lead author Hae Yeon Lee from University of Texas at Austin in the US.

“But believing, instead, that intelligence can be developed — or having what is called a growth mindset– may buffer the effects of academic stress,” Lee added.

To reach this conclusion, the team surveyed 499 ninth-grade high school students during their first semester, and assessed their perceptions of intelligence.

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Representational image.

The levels of cortisol — a “toxic stress” hormone secreted by the body — was measured through saliva sampling.

The findings, published in the journal Child Development showed that 68 per cent of students experienced a decline in grades during the first 12 weeks.

Further analysis showed that these students also indicated that they could not handle the stress they were facing daily. Even if their grades were fine, they reported feeling “dumb” on almost 31 per cent of the days.

Also Read: New Algorithm That May Predict Your Intelligence

Students with fixed mindsets who reported feeling stressed continued to show high levels of stress even on the following day.

Whereas those with growing mindsets showed a strong response on the day they reported feeling stressed but returned to normal the following day.

“If not addressed, early academic adversity during school transition periods could contribute to lasting educational gaps in school engagement, drop-out rates and college enrollment,” said co-author David Yeager, professor at the university. (IANS)