ACL in the news
Paris slaughter renews debate about Section 18C of Racial Discrimination Act

Australian Conservative

The murderous attack on the office of French magazine Charlie Hebdo has renewed the debate in Australia about Section 18C of the federal Racial Discrimination Act 1975.

Abortion
US: The Republican Party renews push to restrict abortion

Susan Davis – USA Today

Abortion and reproductive rights groups are readying for a renewed legislative fight in the new, GOP-controlled Congress. “The whole process is to go from defense to offense on this issue,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, which opposes abortion rights

Classification
Ad watchdog rules AMI ad too sexual for radio

Mumbrella

The ad watchdog has ruled against a radio ad for the Advanced Medical Institute (AMI) after ruling its sexualised content was not appropriate for the medium and did not treat the issue of sex with sensitivity to the relevant audience.

Drugs & Alcohol
Qld man dead after one drag of fake pot

AAP

A Queensland man who died of suspected poisoning took only one draw of a synthetic cannabis joint before falling unconscious. Two men, aged 33 and 41, have died in Mackay in the past two days after smoking “Full Moon” synthetic cannabis, sold at adult stores and over the internet.

Environment
Qld Labor to spend $100 million on reef

News Ltd

Queensland Labor has promised $100 million to help protect the Great Barrier Reef, but can’t specifically say what the money will be used for.

Euthanasia
Euthanasia activists use Robin Williams’ suicide to promote assisted suicide

Wesley J. Smith – Life News

The Humanist has an article out promoting assisted suicide as a “choice.” issue that should be available for anyone with more than a transitory desire to die. The issue of death-on-demand–which lies at the heart of the euthanasia movement–is mostly avoided by the media and in policy discussions.

Health
Medicare changes: How doctors’ anger and backlash from patients forced Government to scrap rebate cuts

Sophie Scott – ABC

As crisis meetings were being held in doctors’ surgeries across Australia about how to deal with the new Medicare rebate changes, the news came that the new Health Minister Sussan Ley was scrapping the changes.

Senate tackles issue of young people in aged care
Linda Belardi – Australian Ageing Agenda

The Liberal Senator who has initiated a Senate inquiry into the issue of young people with disabilities living in aged care says she hopes it will give younger people and their families a voice. Linda Reynolds said the issue of young people in aged care had “struck a chord” and she would like to see the inquiry deliver a strong report focused on “innovative and more flexible arrangements” for this group, as well as individualised support.

Homelessness & Poverty
Homelessness advocates say complaints show need for better support services

The Guardian

Melbourne residents’ complaints about unsightliness and poor hygiene of people sleeping rough highlight need for compassion, says Council of Homeless Persons.

Indigenous
Australia Day celebrations to feature Aboriginal dancers

SBS

This year, Australia Day commemorations will include an indigenous ceremony on the flight deck of the newly commissioned HMAS Canberra as it manoeuvres into Sydney Harbour’s Farm Cove. Historically January 26th hasn’t been a happy day for all in the indigenous community, with the day being labelled by some Aboriginal Australians both as ‘Invasion day’ and ‘Survival day’.

Indigenous nations demand to be heard ‘loud and clear’ on Murray-Darling Basin management practices
Gavin Coote – ABC

A coalition of traditional owners says management of the Murray-Darling Basin has failed the Aboriginal people, and is demanding an immediate re-think on how water’s allocated. At Menindee in far west New South Wales, Ngiyaampaa elder Beryl Carmichael said the dwindling waters at the Darling River and Menindee Lakes is a blow to her cultural heritage.

Marriage
Could millennials change their views on same-sex marriage? What Ryan Anderson thinks.

Kelsey Harkness – Daily Signal

Have conservatives lost millennials in the marriage debate? A pro-traditional marriage panel speaking on issues of life, marriage and religious liberty was challenged with that question yesterday at Heritage Action’s 2015 Conservative Policy Summit in Washington, D.C.

Politics
UK: Show Up: we need God’s vision for the future of politics
Gillan Scott – Archbishop Cranmer blog

Just in case anyone wasn’t paying attention to Twitter yesterday, ‘Christians in Politics’ – which is the umbrella group of Christians on the Left, the Conservative Christian Fellowship and the Liberal Democrat Christian Forum and backed by the Bible Society – has launched a potentially significant campaign entitled ‘Show Up’.

Qld election: The silence is deafening on policies to tackle domestic violence
James Farrell – New Matilda

With the Sunshine State set to go to the polls on January 31, none of the parties are talking about one of the big killers of women, writes James Farrell. When Queenslanders get off the beach and start to think about the upcoming election, there is a long list of issues that might influence their votes.

Prostitution & Trafficking
The high price of human trafficking

Elise Hilton – Acton Institute

Human trafficking is an open wound on the body of contemporary society, a scourge upon the body of Christ. It is a crime against humanity. The very fact of our being here to combine our efforts means that we want our strategies and areas of expertise to be accompanied and reinforced by the mercy of the Gospel, by closeness to the men and women who are victims of this crime.

Religious Freedom & Persecution
Open Doors: Worst persecution yet to come

J.C. Derrick – World News Service

Open Doors, a group that advocates for persecuted Christians, unveiled its annual World Watch List ranking the 50 most dangerous countries for Christians. North Korea topped the list for the 13th straight year, but conditions worsened the most across Africa, where eight of 12 ranked countries moved up the list.

Attacks on Christian communities give rise to concerns of deteriorating religious freedom in India
Christian Today

Violence and persecution against Christians in India continue to escalate, as two communities in India were separately attacked on Sunday by non-Christian locals.

Other
Hillsong Christian music documentary pulled from Warner Bros schedule

Dave McNary – Variety

Warner Bros. has pulled the Christian music documentary “Hillsong – Let Hope Rise” from its April 1 slot. The movie has been scheduled to open wordlwide on the pre-Easter date since last July, when Alcon Entertainment bought rights to movie. Easter Sunday is on April 5.