Children & Family

Dodgy family day care operators facing tough new laws


Patricia Karvelas - The Australian



Family Day Care Australia believes the legislative change to family assistance law announced today which prevents family day care educators from placing their own children in care “undermines parents rights”.




Classification

Target Australia pulls Grand Theft Auto V from shelves after customer feedback on violence

WA Today



Target Australia has pulled R-rated video game Grand Theft Auto V from its shelves and says it will no longer sell it following feedback from customers about the game's depictions of violence against women.




Drugs & Alcohol

Supplement store owner stashes drugs in $1.6m raid


Megan Mackander - Sunshine Coast Daily



Detectives cracking down on bikie gangs have seized cocaine and steroids during raids on Sunshine Coast homes and supplement stores.




Indonesia to execute five drug convicts

Sky News



Indonesia will execute five drug convicts on death row this month after their requests for presidential clemency were rejected. However, it's not known if two Australians will be among those put to death.




Education

Abbott government cuts university support; funds priests' training


Matthew Knott - The Age



Taxpayers would subsidise the training of priests and other religious workers at private colleges for the first time under the Abbott government's proposed higher education reforms.




School principals face threats and bullying from parents and students: survey

Sarah Sedghi - ABC



Assault, threats of violence and bullying are just some of the major difficulties school principals have reported they face in a nationwide survey released today.




Sanity and the National Curriculum

Kevin Donnelly - Quadrant



All too often couched in New Age jargon and psychobabble, the prevailing orthodoxy insists even the teaching of mathematics and science must be viewed through a politically correct prism focused on indigenous, Asian and sustainability perspectives. It is no way to open minds -- or secure a nation's future




Gambling

Tatts wins $540m claim from govt


The Australian



The newly sworn in Victorian government will pay Tatts Group $540 million in compensation, after the Victoria Court of Appeal dismissed the government's appeal. The Victorian government's battle with two gaming firms over huge compensation claims for the expiry of poker machine licences cames to a head on Thursday, with the unanimous decision handed down in the late afternoon.




Homelessness & Poverty

New healthcare alliance aims to help homeless


Echo Net Daily



A group of health and community sector workers on the north coast are banding together to help improve the healthcare and wellbeing of homeless people in the region.




Indigenous

Ice now top indigenous drug, rehab chief says


Patricia Karvelas - The Australian



The head of an Aboriginal rehab facility says alcohol, which has ­always been the top-presenting drug, has been replaced by amphetamines, mainly ice, for the first time.




Number of Indigenous Australians in prison a 'catastrophe'

Jessica Kidd - ABC



The over-representation of Indigenous Australians in prison is one of the most urgent human rights issues facing the country today, according to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda.




Marriage

Irish bishops say redefining marriage would be a ‘grave injustice’


David V Barrett - Catholic Herald



Irish bishops have issued a booklet on marriage ahead of referendum in six months' time. Marriage between a woman and a man is “the single most important institution in any society”. This is the message of the pastoral statement The Meaning of Marriage launched by the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference on Wednesday.




Politics

Prahran proving the dark-horse in three-cornered contest


Rachel Baxendale - The Australian



Largely overlooked as a potentially close contest due to incumbent Liberal Clem Newton-Brown’s 4.7 per cent margin, the inner-Melbourne seat of Prahran has emerged as a three-horse race, unlikely to be decided before the end of the week.




Religious Freedom & Persecution

Sudan: Church destroyed and young people arrested, pressure increases on Christians

Mark Woods - Christian Today



An evangelical church in Sudan's capital, Khartoum, was raided by police yesterday and 37 young members of the congregation were detained. The episode marked an escalation of attacks on the church by the authorities, which had already demolished parts of the building.




ISIS jihadists turn churches into prisons in formerly Christian city of Mosul

Christian Post



Terror group ISIS has been turning churches into prisons in the Iraq city of Mosul, which used to be the site of a large Christian community before it was driven out by the jihadists.




Other

Good without God? Morality's foundations crumble in the absence of Christianity


Peter Hitchens - ABC



In their attempt to argue that effective and binding codes can be developed without a deity, atheists often mistake inferior codes - "common decency" - for absolute moral systems. The Golden Rule, or doing as you would be done by, is such a code. But the fact that men can arrive at the Golden Rule without religion does not mean that man can arrive at the Christian moral code without religion




The rise of Christianity in Asia

Masako Fukui - ABC



While the Asian Century highlights the expected economic and political rise of Asia, Christianity in the region is also growing steadily. Some say China could become the world’s largest Christian nation by 2030.




Why do we wildly over-estimate the proportion of gays and lesbians?

Mercator Net



Why do people in the United States (and probably other Western countries, as well) over-estimate the proportion of gays and lesbians in the population? Ever since 1948, when the Kinsey Report suggested 1-in-10, Americans have accepted wildly exaggerated figures. Last year, The Smithsonian, the official web magazine of the famous museum in Washington DC, even suggested that it was 1-in-5!