Julia Gillard's decision to simultaneously attack the Coalition and the Greens appears to have borne fruit for Labor. After suffering the rude shock of falling to a record low in the primary vote following the Prime Minister's broken promise on a carbon tax, the ALP's support has bounced back after two weeks of talking about compensation for households and headlines about generous income tax cuts for middle- and low-income earners. For a government that was bleeding support to both the Coalition and the Greens, the Newspoll survey suggests there has been some stemming of the losses.
Queensland's embattled opposition leader says "faceless men" in his party are behind a secret internal poll canvassing support for a new leader. The ABC has cited Liberal National Party polling comparing John-Paul Langbroek's popularity with that of possible leadership contenders, including Brisbane Lord Mayor Campbell Newman. Mr Langbroek today admitted he'd been kept in the dark about the polling, and warned such action was undermining the party.
Facebook and three of Australia's largest web companies have criticised Labor's planned mandatory internet filter, saying it is not the answer to protecting Australians from the web's worst excesses. The comments - by security experts who are employed by Yahoo, ninemsn, Microsoft and the social networking pioneer Facebook - were delivered during a hearing of the joint select committee on cyber safety, formed to inquire into how best to protect Australian children online. ''I would hate for the public to get the wrong impression that there is a quick technological solution for inappropriate content, because there isn't,'' Facebook's chief privacy adviser, Mozelle Thompson, told the committee.
Michael Linden was a 26-year-old student in the spring of 1977 when he walked into a fertility clinic in Melbourne and donated his sperm. A friend had told him about the process, but he had not put any serious thought into it. ''I should have known better, really,'' the 59-year-old retiree said. ''It was just a bit of a lark … They paid you $10, which was a little bit of money in those days.'' He thought little of it until 2001, when he was contacted by what he calls his ''donor daughter''.
'I always knew there was something missing''. That is a line you often hear from those born through sperm or egg donation. The debate over whether information identifying previously anonymous sperm donors should be revealed is generally thought of as a conflict between the right of children to know their genetic heritage and the right of men to privacy. But as someone who was conceived through a sperm donation, I never understood the collective obsession with genetic heritage, or thought I was missing anything. For about 10 years sperm donations have only been accepted from men who agree to be contacted in future by children. This rule is based on the idea that genetic parents have so significant a role to play in our lives that it should not be denied to us. There are medical reasons too, but these could be taken care of by allowing access to anonymous medical records.
Many, many Coalition MPs were thrown out of Question Time yesterday. Speaker Harry Jenkins worked himself into a pre-emptive hissy fit early on and declared a general warning, which is - to Speakers - what "Don't make me come back there!" is to parents on road trips. Christopher Pyne was spared after strategically withdrawing the word "Harridan" from his sotto voce commentary on the Prime Minister, and Julie Bishop successfully appealed an expulsion order meted out after her attempt to table a DVD of a Channel Nine show.Aside from these mercies, however, Speaker Jenkins was relentless.
The ACT government is reviewing its 1992 Prostitution Act, and has called for public submissions. Not surprisingly, the sex industry has been quick to submit its wish-list on prostitution, and Phillip Thomson’s article in The Canberra Times nicely summarises the demands the industry is making of the ACT government. These include:* Normalise prostitution as a legitimate business activity by removing zoning restrictions on brothels that are currently relegated to industrialised areas* Open up more opportunities for organised escort prostitution networks by lifting the one-person ‘sole-operator’ restriction for prostitution businesses operating outside of industrial areas* Remove official registration requirements for one-person ‘sole-operator’ prostitution businesses
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December 14, 2017
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