ACL in the news

Churches blocking gay law reform, conference hears


Michael Koziol - Brisbane Times



Gay students, teachers and hospital staff should be granted the same legal protections as aged care recipients were afforded by the Gillard government, age discrimination commissioner Susan Ryan says.




Abortion

US: The coming wave of anti-abortion laws


Politico



The big Republican gains in the November elections strengthened and enlarged the anti-abortion forces in the House and the Senate. But it’s the GOP victories in the statehouses and governor’s mansions that are priming the ground for another round of legal restrictions on abortion.




Children & Family

New parents to benefit as Abbott Government dumps plans to hike university loan interest rates


Daily Telegraph



Stay-at-home mums and dads will secure a five-year freeze on their university loans under a breakthrough deal to deliver higher education reforms.




Mission Australia's 2014 Youth Survey reveals young people want good careers most of all

Norman Hermant - ABC



The largest annual youth survey in Australia has revealed that a successful career is the top priority for young people but many believe they will not meet that goal. Nearly 14,000 young people aged 15 to 19 responded to the youth survey by service organisation Mission Australia.




Classification

Protection of women before profits: survivors of violence call on Target to pull Grand Theft Auto

Melinda Tankard Reist blog



We appeal to you as women survivors of violence, including women who experienced violence in the sex industry, to immediately withdraw Grand Theft Auto V from sale. We note you are promoting this game in your latest catalogue. Grand Theft Auto V features graphic violence against women. This misogynistic game reduces women largely to strippers and prostitutes. Players of the new Grand Theft Auto 5 murder these women for entertainment.




“Piss up” ad offends some but ad watchdog delivers sober judgment

Kirsten Robb - Smart Company



A NSW government ad using the term “piss up” has drawn complaints from viewers, but the advertising watchdog has dismissed the objections, finding the term was used colloquially. The outdoor ad, which is slated to run again in December, features an image of a man sitting in a jail cell with the text, “Out for a piss-up? Stop before it gets ugly”. It is the latest advertisement to cop criticism for the use of offensive language.




Donor Conception & Surrogacy

Commercial surrogacy outlawed in Thailand after Gammy scandal


News Ltd



Thailand's parliament has voted to ban commercial surrogacy after outrage erupted over the largely unregulated industry following allegations an Australian couple abandoned a baby with Down’s syndrome.




Drugs & Alcohol

Drug possession arrests double in past six years across NSW


Amy Corderoy, Emma Partridge - SMH



The number of people arrested for possessing drugs in NSW has doubled over the past six years, with NSW leading a national trend towards increased law enforcement directed at individual drug users.




Education

Concert cancellation was a 'misunderstanding', says mother


Sunshine Coast Daily



A Gympie mother at the centre of an explosive online debate concerning the delivery of religious instruction in state schools has welcomed the discussion.




Health

Self harming report: Teens and children as young as three being hospitalised


News Corp



Children as young as three are being hospitalised for harming themselves, according to a groundbreaking report on youth suicide and self harm in Australia.




Marriage

Poly being seen as a next cool thing

Poly in the Media Blog



The poly movement is just one part of wider changes in attitudes about relationships, especially a growing public interest in what sociologists are calling "consensual non-monogamy," or "CNM." A much more dramatic shift, of course, has been the rapid public acceptance of gay relationships.




Politics

Uphill struggle ahead for Abbott as troubles multiply


Mark Kenny - SMH



Prime Minister Tony Abbott heads into the final sitting week of the parliamentary year on Monday with his government struggling to explain unpopular policies and his premiership facing its keenest test since he won the 2013 election in a landslide.




Victorian upper house: Daniel Andrews faces a big headache

William Bowe - The Guardian



Labor’s Victorian election win was a modest affair, coming down a handful of gains in Melbourne’s south-eastern “sandbelt” and the success of Labor incumbents in defending their seats in the face of adverse redistributions.




Nationals could lose party status after disastrous showing

Josh Gordon - The Age



The formal alliance between the Liberal and National parties in Victoria could be dumped after a disastrous performance by the Coalition in the regions.




Religious Freedom & Persecution

Christians in the Middle East threatened by radical Islamists


Daily Star



Christians, whose fate will be broached by Pope Francis on his visit to Turkey, have been rooted in the wider Middle East since their faith was born in ancient Palestine two millennia ago. A minority in all the countries they inhabit in the troubled region, they have been hounded, even killed, by Islamists in recent years.




Call for justice for murdered Pakistani Christians

The Christian Institute



A Christian group says the people who attacked and killed a young couple in Pakistan should be brought to justice. The British Pakistani Christian Association has launched a petition in support of the couple who were killed earlier this month. Shahzad Masih and Shama Bibi were attacked with sharp implements, stripped naked and burned alive in a brick kiln.




Sexualisation of Society

The true costs of sexual assault: two survivors speak

Melinda Tankard Reist blog

This week marked the International Day For the Elimination of Violence Against Women. If any voices should be heard at this time, it is those of survivors. Here are two, addressing the physical, mental, emotional, and financial costs of the harm done to them by male abusers.




Meet the Aussie journalist who tells on her internet trolls - to their mums

ONE News



Alanah Pearce, a gaming journalist from Australia, has been tracking down young people who send her abuse online, and showing the evidence to their mothers. "It was just a way to try to reach a resolution, to productively teach young boys it's not okay to be sexist to women, even if they're on the internet."




Other

Killing religion an own goal for ABC managers


Michael Mullins - Eureka Street



Religion is a particular target of the ‘reshaping’, with a 40 per cent staff loss compared to 10 per cent in other RN program areas. At the time of writing, the only program to remain in its current form is Andrew West's Religion and Ethics Report, though it will suffer from the 70 per cent cut to resources for religious programs.




Famed ‘pregnant man’ arrested for stalking ex-‘wife’

Kirsten Andersen - Life Site News



A female-to-male transsexual who received international fame and adulation as the world’s first “pregnant man” in 2008 has been arrested on charges of stalking the woman she fought to divorce in 2013. “Thomas Beatie,” 40, who was born Tracy LaGondino, was charged with felony stalking in Phoenix last week after her ex-“wife,” Nancy Beatie, discovered a GPS tracking device hidden on her car.