Abortion

Catholic midwives’ abortion ruling overturned by supreme court


Libby Brooks - The Guardian



The UK’s supreme court has ruled that two Catholic midwives do not have the right to refuse to help other nurses with abortion procedures or planning.




Bioethics

Infanticide now ‘debatable’ in bioethics - on its way to ‘justifiable’


Life Site News



Thousands of medical ethicists and bioethicists, as they are called, professionally guide the unthinkable on its passage through the debatable on the way to becoming the justifiable until it is finally established as unexceptionable.




Classification

Ad Standards Board rules against Advanced Medical Institute for second time


Mumbrella



AMIA modified TV ad for the Advanced Medical Institute has been ruled against by the ad watchdog for ridiculing men with sexual performance issues, the same reason the Ad Standards Board ruled against the original version of the ad in October.




Drugs & Alcohol

Melbourne raids nab major drug haul, international trafficking ring


Herald Sun



Federal and Victorian police say they have shut down a multi-million-dollar international drug ring after charging eight people following raids across Melbourne. The joint taskforce seized what is believed to be 15kg of heroin worth more than $4.5 million, and what is believed to be 8kg of ecstasy tablets with a street value in excess of $1.5 million.




Euthanasia

French president approves report promoting ‘covert euthanasia’


Life Site News



French President François Hollande approved a report on Friday recommending that terminally ill patients should have a right to “deep continuous sedation,” prompting an announcement that the text will be submitted to Parliament by January.




Homelessness & Poverty

Working poor seeking help from Salvation Army as part of higher demand this Christmas


John Robertson - The Christian Post



The number of working people who have registered with the Salvation Army, which has seen an increase in demand, to receive charitable assistance this Christmas echoes the data collected by Sydney's Exodus Foundation last month, which reported a 25 per cent rise in the demand for free meals.




Putting welfare dollars to work

Kevin Andrews - The Australian



The Abbott government is committed to using income management to help stabilise the lives of some of the most vulnerable Australians. Income management helps families make sure money is available for the essentials, such as food, bills and rent, by quarantining a proportion of their taxpayer-funded social security payments.




Human Rights

Sydney siege: Press Council clouds own rules


Chris Merritt - The Australian



Weeks before Julian Disney leaves office, the Press Council chairman has triggered concerns about whether his organisation has abandoned the rules of ­procedural fairness. The rules require the organisation to hear both sides of an ­argument about media reporting before reaching a decision.




Religious freedom Bill passed in Michigan

The Christian Institute



A Bill protecting religious freedom has been passed by the US state of Michigan’s House of Representatives. Politicians voted 59 – 50 in favour of the legislation, which limits Government action that “substantially burdens a person’s exercise of religion”.




Overseas Aid

'Immoral' aid cuts see Australia hit a record low for generosity to world's poor


Daniel Flitton - Brisbane Times



Australia has transformed into the global Scrooge just in time for Christmas, with spending on foreign aid set to plunge compared to other wealthy industrial countries.




Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Prostitutes hidden in secret room at Paradise Playmates brothel, court hears


Herald Sun



A Melbourne brothel has been accused of using a secret wall cavity for the purpose of hiding illegal sex workers.




ISIS kills more than 150 women, girls for refusing ‘Jihad marriage’

Al Arabiya News



The Iraqi Human Rights Ministry has declared that an ISIS terrorist known as Abu Anas Al-Libi, has killed more than 150 women and girls for refusing to comply with the "Jihad marriage" (Jihad el-Nikah) order enforced by the extremist group.




Craig Thomson convicted and fined $25,000

Adam Cooper - The Age



Former federal MP Craig Thomson has been spared a jail term, but fined $25,000 for using union money on "self-indulgent" spending on prostitutes and fine dining.




Refugees

Morrison opens refugee housing on PNG


AAP



Fifty refugees will soon call a secure accommodation centre on Manus Island home. Immigration Minister Scott Morrison officially opened the $165.3 million Australian-funded centre at East Lorengau during his visit to the Papua New Guinean island.




Religious Freedom & Persecution

Islamic Saudi Arabia passes law that may impose death penalty on Bible smugglers


Heather Clark - Christian News



Recent reports state that officials in the Islamic country of Saudi Arabia have passed a law that may impose the death penalty on Bible smugglers and any others distributing religious materials that are not of the Muslim religion.




Chaplain reprimanded over Bible use in US Army seminar

The Christian Institute



A US Army chaplain who used Bible verses in a training session on suicide prevention has been reprimanded. Captain Joseph Lawhorn, who has himself suffered from depression, gave out flyers with Bible verses and details of other resources at the session.




Other

Behind the tragic Sydney siege


Family Voice Australia



“We salute the selfless courage of the two hostages who died. Café manager Tori Johnson was fatally shot while trying to grab the jihadi’s gun, allowing others to flee. Barrister and mother-of-three Katrina Dawson was killed while trying to protect her pregnant friend, Julie Taylor – who was wounded, but survived.”




The night before Christmas when astronauts read from the Bible as they orbited the moon

Jordan Lorence - Aleteia



Would video of Apollo 8 astronauts reading from Genesis be possible today? One of the earliest attempts at Christmas censorship occurred in 1969, after the crew of Apollo 8 read from the Book of Genesis during a telecast of their moon orbit on December 24, 1968.