Abortion doctor James Peters put 50 lives at risk, court hears

The Daily Telegraph
A doctor has been bailed on charges of endangering the lives of more than 50 women who allegedly became infected with hepatitis C at an abortion clinic. James Latham Peters, 61, must not work in any medical or health-related field and not contact staff at a number of Melbourne medical centres where he previously worked. He is charged with 54 counts each of conduct endangering life, negligently causing serious injury and recklessly causing serious injury.

He's not the son of God, just the support act

Aaron Cook - SMH
Christians in Sydney will have their core beliefs challenged by provocative advertisements due to appear on billboards and buses in the next month. The ads, paid for by an Islamic group called MyPeace, will carry slogans such as ''Jesus: a prophet of Islam'', ''Holy Quran: the final testament'' and ''Muhammad: mercy to mankind''. A phone number urges people to call to receive a free Koran and other Islamic literature. The organiser of MyPeace, Diaa Mohamed, said the campaign was intended to educate non-Muslims about Islam. He said Jesus was a prophet of Islam, who was to come before Muhammad. ''The only difference is we say he was a prophet of God, and they say he is God,'' Mr Mohamed said. ''Is it thought-provoking? Yes, it is. We want to raise awareness that Islam believes in Jesus Christ,'' he said.

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ACL NOTE : The  www.MyPeace.com.au website.  Possibly the  www.TheReligionOfPeace.com website is a more appropriate place to start your research.

R18+ computer game guidelines fly in the face of community concern

Lyle Shelton - OnLine Opinion
Bi-partisanship is rare in modern politics but on the failure of our film and literature classification system to serve the interests of children and parents, both sides are in furious agreement. Before the election Opposition Leader Tony Abbott told an ACL web-cast audience that the classification system was “broken”. And in a pre-election video interview with ACL’s Managing Director Jim Wallace, Prime Minister Julia Gillard responded to community concerns about the sexualisation of children saying that “there’s work to do on classifications and content” and that there would be a review in the light of the “new media environment”. She went on to say: “I think that’s an appropriate approach, so we know that we’re dealing with classifications properly across all media and are live to this issue, about what it means to young people and what it means to children.”

Climate and refugees Gillard's hurdle

Paul Kelly - The Australian
Despite bullish upgrades of the resources boom and higher national income, Australia now faces a crisis of governance and reform in the areas where Tony Abbott has established his huge electoral lead - climate change and border protection policy. These are two of three areas Julia Gillard pledged to fix in June last year within hours of deposing Kevin Rudd. Since August 2010 the carbon tax issue and boat arrivals have nearly crippled the Gillard government. They are the policies, along with the mining tax, where Rudd's failure cost him his job. And in the past 10 days West Australian Liberal Premier Colin Barnett, by hiking royalties, has challenged the basis of Wayne Swan's revised mining tax.

Shout the odds and all bets are off

Kirsty Needham, Brad Walter - SMH
Televison commentators will be banned from urging viewers to bet during live sport broadcasts, with federal and state ministers yesterday labelling the practice ''insidious''. The Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy, said: ''You won't need to have Richie Benaud telling you and urging you that here's the odds on who's going to get out next or who's going to bowl the next no-ball, and telling you to go online and start betting.'' The clampdown would reduce promotion of live odds on TV and at grounds that was ''targeting the vulnerable and the young as they are attending sporting events, as they are watching on television''.

From I do to you'll do: the rise of back-up spouses

Rachel Olding - SMH
Imagine getting to the age of 40 and not having a life partner. Tragic, right? Who's going to keep you company, watch the telly with you and fetch your slippers? That's where the marriage back-up plan comes in whereby you agree with your best mate that if neither of you are married by a certain age you'll marry each other. These days they're so ubiquitous even Ally McBeal had one. Julia Roberts's character in My Best Friend's Wedding had one. So did Joey and Phoebe in Friends.

STD testing rules relaxed for state's sex workers

Julia Medew - The Age
Victorian sex workers will face fewer HIV and other sexually transmitted infection tests from September after the state government decided to dump monthly testing. In Victoria, sex workers are currently forced to get monthly tests because it is an offence to allow a sex worker with an infection to work in a brothel, agency or other business. It is a defence if the person reasonably believed that the sex worker was undergoing regular monthly health checks and reasonably believed the worker did not have an infection. Three Australian studies have found that about one in every six men admit to having paid for sex at least once.

Greens to sink asylum seekers Malaysia Solution

Gemma Jones - The Daily Telegraph
A former federal human rights commissioner yesterday condemned the "Malaysian solution", with both houses of parliament set to vote to do the same to Julia Gillard's asylum seeker swap. Sev Ozdowski said shipping 800 asylum seekers to a country that canes immigrants and is not a signatory to conventions on refugees or against torture was "wrong, wrong, wrong and wrong". He said former prime minister John Howard's Pacific Solution with offshore processing in Nauru was more humane: "Malaysia has a very bad human rights record and Malaysia is not signatory to a refugee convention. "With Nauru, we could put the conditions, we were responsible for their accommodation, their food, we were responsible for access to medical services and also our immigration officials were looking to find a place for them, if not Australia another country."

SlutWalks planned for Brisbane, Melbourne

AAP
Thousands of women in fishnets and stilettos will take to the streets of Brisbane and Melbourne today to protest sexual harassment. The women will be participating in Australia's first SlutWalks. The global movement began in Canada, after a Toronto policeman said women should avoid dressing slutty in order to not be victimised. The Australian Sex Party Queensland branch has organised the Brisbane protest and have used Facebook to attract participants.



Early release for none-too-bright priest who lied to ICAC

Leesha Mckenny - SMH



An orthodox priest who admitted lying to the Independent Commission Against Corruption was released from jail yesterday after new evidence on his ''limited intellectual ability'' was accepted by the Court of Criminal of Appeal. Father Elias Khoury, from St Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church, in Punchbowl, was sentenced to 2½-years in jail in March last year after he pleaded guilty to falsifying community service orders for two offenders and lying about it to investigators from ICAC.




Reality of power a fine balance for the Greens

Lenore Taylor - National Times




The NSW Greens senator-elect Lee Rhiannon last month retweeted a link to the German magazine Der Spiegel, with the comment that it was an ''interesting article about tensions in the German Greens and how the different wings responded''. The article revealed tensions within the German Greens as they take power in a coalition government in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg. The rift is between the left wing and the more pragmatic ''realists'' who are moving further to the political centre and contemplating all the pragmatic compromises that come with political success rather than criticising from opposition.






Hold off the hate mail, sisters, but SlutWalk fails to light my fire

Julie Szego - National Times

Unless you've spent the past few weeks under sedation, the global SlutWalk movement will be old news to you. If Melbourne's SlutWalk passes without incident today, it'll be almost like the calm after the storm, a catharsis of fishnets and push-up bras and ''f--k you!'' camaraderie. To rehash: the event is the local chapter in a story of global outrage sparked by a Canadian policeman's advice earlier this year to 10 college students that they should not ''dress like sluts'' if they wanted to avoid being sexually assaulted. At times, the SlutWalk debate has sounded like a women's studies tutorial. Can the word ''slut'' be reclaimed, some asked. Can it be stripped of its power to shame, and should women even try? Who is a slut anyway? The argument touched on whether the SlutWalk organisers were affirming raunch culture, but it was basically a war of words about one word and as such a rather esoteric exercise.






Money for charities led by the nose

Matt Wade - National Times



There is an African proverb that Australia's overseas aid agencies should consider: ''If you have your hand in another man's pocket you have to walk where he walks.'' Julia Gillard's ''tough budget'' was very kind to non-government organisations involved in foreign aid and development, or NGOs as they are known. It increased public money available to the billion-dollar-a-year volunteer sector by about 40 per cent after a 25 per cent boost the year before. The main federal government funding pool for NGOs has ballooned by 75 per cent in two years to nearly $100 million. The extra money on offer to these NGOs, such as World Vision, Oxfam, Caritas and Save the Children, is part of a historic expansion in Australia's taxpayer-funded assistance to developing countries. Five years ago the government's foreign aid budget was about $1.8 billion. Now it is $4.8 billion and on track to reach $8 billion by the middle of the decade. Australia's contribution to global development stands at 0.35 per cent of gross national income, the highest level since the mid-1980s. What is more, both Labor and the Coalition are committed to lifting that to 0.5 per cent by 2015.






NSW puts hand out for pokies compo

Gemma Jones - The Daily Telegraph



The state government yesterday demanded billions in federal government compensation if mandatory pre-commitment was introduced on poker machines. Racing Minister George Souris told federal counterparts NSW would demand compensation for gaming tax losses and loss of revenue and business in the state's clubs and pubs. At a meeting of gaming ministers in Canberra there was agreement only for a voluntary pre-commitment for problem gambling. But implementing a mandatory scheme is vital to the survival of the minority Gillard government, which promised to cap pokies in return for independent MP Andrew Wilkie's support.







We're happy to lead the world in gambling

Mike Steketee - The Australian


We like to rank ourselves against the rest of the world but we could do without our status as the biggest losers. According to international gaming industry consultants H2 Gambling Capital, Australians last year lost close to $US1300 on gambling for every resident (not including tourists) aged 17 and over. Singapore, which recently built two mega casinos, was next on about $US1150. Those famously lucky Irish came in third, but were hardly in the race with less than $US600, while the Americans and British averaged losses of less than $US400. It would be one thing if Australians' willingness to bet on anything was no more than an endearing national characteristic. Instead, we have a problem on a uniquely Australian scale. This was brought home by a report last year from the Productivity Commission.