Abortion

Cecile Richards: We want to make pro-life candidates "completely unacceptable"


Voices for the unborn



Antagonism towards pro-lifers from the abortion lobby is nothing new. Andrew Cuomo notoriously said that pro-lifers are not welcome in the state of New York, for example. And Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards showed the utter contempt she has for pro-lifers in a new interview with pro-abortion sympathizer Jill Filipovic for Cosmopolitan magazine, in which she says that she wants to make pro-life candidates “completely unacceptable”




Mom who refused abortion when her water broke at 20 weeks celebrates her healthy son’s 1st birthday

Kirsten Andersen - Life Site News



A British mother who refused doctors’ pressure to abort her son after her water broke just halfway through the pregnancy is now celebrating his 1st birthday. Mhairi Morris had just had her 20-week scan – which revealed a healthy baby boy with no visible problems – when her water unexpectedly broke, leading her doctors to insist that she abort, reported the Surrey Mirror.




Classification

Don’t buy from these companies at Xmas! Collective Shout releases annual ‘crossed off’ list of corporate offenders


Melinda Tankard Reist blog



It’s that time of year again! With the Christmas season upon us, retailers are taking it up a notch competing for your business. Now is the time to remember the companies who objectified women and sexualized girls to sell products and services. They do not respect women and have refused to change their ways. They should not be allowed to profit on the backs of women and girls.




Education

National curriculum changes top of the agenda but agreement unlikely at Education Council meeting


Rebecca Barrett - ABC



State and territory education ministers will today meet their federal counterpart Christopher Pyne to consider the recommendations from the review into the national curriculum. The review by academics Kevin Donnelly and Ken Wiltshire made 30 key recommendations, including a back-to-basics approach to deal with an overcrowded curriculum, a greater focus on numeracy and literacy in the early years of primary school as well as reduced emphasis on Indigenous history and Asian studies.




NSW schools told to show how they are lifting standards

Alexandra Smith - SMH



Public schools in NSW will have to detail exactly how they plan to lift their HSC and NAPLAN results and identify ways to push their brightest students further and help their most disadvantaged out of a cycle of underperformance.




Euthanasia

Vermont: Pro-euthanasia politicians lose big in midterm elections


Life Site News



The Vermont legislators behind the 2013 passage of a bill legalizing doctor-assisted suicide faced major backlash in the 2014 elections.




Health

New stem cell opens door to regeneration


John Ross - News Corp Australia



Scientists have identified a previously unknown type of stem cell, raising hopes of a new source of personalised tissue and organ transplants. The discovery, announced this morning in two of the world’s top journals, brings the world closer to a new era of ­regenerative medicine in which currently incurable illnesses are conquered using patients’ own cells as an alternative to the ethically thorny harvesting of embryonic stem cells.




The AIDS problem in Papua New Guinea

ABC



Papua New Guinea, Australia's closest neighbour, is dealing with an HIV/AIDS epidemic. A high incidence of sexual aggression, violence against women, the impact of alcohol and drugs on sexual behaviour and commercial sex are just some of the reasons for the level of HIV infection in the country.




Three things Christian churches can do to fight ebola

Larry Ross - Time



Communities of faith are supposed to be about restoring lives broken by suffering and fear. The following are three practical ways local congregations can get involved in combating this deadly disease.




Indigenous

Number of indigenous in prison jumps 84pc in a decade


Patricia Karvelas - News Ltd



The number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in prison has increased by 84 per cent over the past decade, according to a new ABS report.




Tony Abbott vows to 'sweat blood' for Indigenous referendum

Michael Gordon - The Age



Tony Abbott wants a referendum to be held in May 2017 to recognise Indigenous Australians in the constitution, but won't commit to a date until he is confident it will succeed.




Abbott and Shorten to appear together to push Indigenous recognition

Michelle Grattan - The Conversation



Tony Abbott and Bill Shorten will make their first joint appearance to promote the constitutional recognition of Australia’s first people on Thursday night.




Marriage

Andrew Barr won't give up fight for same-sex marriage


Tom McIlroy - The Canberra Times



Andrew Barr has pledged to use his historic status as the nation's first openly gay head of government to continue to advocate for same-sex marriage in Australia.




Overseas Aid

Australia turns its back on a world in need


Paul O'Callaghan - Eureka Street



An extraordinary gathering of survivors and Catholic leaders occurred last week in Colombo, Sri Lanka, for the 10th anniversary of the Boxing Day Tsunami, the most devastating natural disaster in modern history.




Refugees

Christian leaders 'strip searched' over political prayer vigil


Stephanie Anderson - SBS



Fifty-three Christian leaders were arrested or removed from the offices of politicians on Wednesday as part of a nationwide prayer vigil to protest the detention of asylum seeker children.




Religious Freedom & Persecution

Why are we abandoning the Middle East's Christians to Isis?


Douglas Murray - Spectator



She took the call herself the night the Islamic State came into Mosul. ‘Convert or leave or you’ll be killed,’ she was told. The callers, identifying themselves as Isis members, knew the household was Christian because her husband worked as a priest in the city. They fled that night.




Open Doors thanks supporters at end of 'worst year' in Christian persecution

Gabriel Ruiz - Christian Today



Persecution watchdog, Open Doors USA, has thanked supporters at the end of what is being labelled the "worst year" in persecution against the church.




Other

Hope is contagious in Mongolia


Lindsay Steele - MNN On line





The church in Mongolia has seen spectacular growth since 1990 when the country moved from communism to a democratic form of government. At the time, there were only four known Christians in the nation of 3 million.




Ten facts about America's churchless

Barna Group



Fewer Americans are attending church. So, who are these new churchless Americans? Are there significant demographic or psychographic differences among those who attend church and those who don’t?