Abortion

GOP hopes it’s cracked the abortion code


Burgess Everett - Politico



Republicans unite around a push to ban the procedure after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Republicans are more united than they have been in years on a national strategy to roll back abortion rights, using state legislatures and the new GOP Congress to push for banning the procedure after 20 weeks of pregnancy — a platform that also has the backing of the party’s presidential candidates.




US: March For Life 2015

March for Life



January 22, 1973 is ingrained in the minds of pro-lifers because on that infamous historic day the Supreme Court invalidated 50 state laws and made abortion legal and available on demand throughout the United States in the now-infamous decisions in Roe v Wade and Doe v Bolton.




Ireland: Abortion activist convicted of possessing more than 7,000 images of child porn

Life News



Pat Corcoran, a long-time pro-abortion campaigner and activist with Choice Ireland, has been convicted of possessing more than 7,000 images of child pornography. Although pro-abortion groups have moved to scrub most traces of Corcoran from their web histories, there are still many photographs showing him attending abortion events over many years. Choice Ireland, with whom he had a long association, has issued no statement on their connection with the convicted child-porn user.




Children & Family

Statistics reveal hundreds of children on family violence orders


Nino Bucci - The Age



More than 870 children were placed on family violence intervention orders in Victoria last year, Childrens Court statistics reveal, with 183 also found guilty of breaching an order and continuing their domestic abuse.




Classification

Ad Standards received record complaints in 2014, but none in top 10 breached code


Marketing Mag



Australia’s Advertising Standards Bureau received a record 5600 complaints about television ads in 2014, topping the previous record of 4044 from 2006. But the figure doesn’t necessarily show that more ads in 2014 were offensive than in other years. Ad Standards is attributing the high number of complaints to increased awareness of how to lodge complaints online, sparked by a public awareness television campaign it launched in March.




Drugs & Alcohol

Opposition grows to Syd lockout law review


SBS



Health professionals, alcohol experts and campaigners have attacked plans to review Sydney's lockout laws. The father of one-punch victim Thomas Kelly said NSW Premier Mike Baird had "categorically" assured him the laws wouldn't be changed before 2016, amid claims the government is buckling to the powerful alcohol lobby by undertaking a review in June.




NSW taser victim ‘addicted to ice’

AAP



A NSW man who died in custody after being tasered was reportedly battling an addiction to ice and had been on a bender. Police officers used capsicum spray and then a Taser to subdue 38-year-old Kevin Norris at a McDonald’s restaurant in Mittagong in the Southern Highlands on Sunday night. The roof tiler was then taken to Bowral police station where he later slumped to the ground and died.




Heroin charge: woman allegedly ingested more than 250 pellets before Sydney flight

Nick Ralston - The Canberra Times



A woman has been charged after allegedly ingesting more than 250 pellets of heroin before boarding a flight from Cambodia to Sydney. The 50-year-old was stopped by Customs officers at Sydney Airport on Thursday to have her luggage examined after arriving.




Gambling

Former Chief Minister Jon Stanhope calls for ACT Labor to sever its connection with the Labor Clubs


Kirsten Lawson - The Canberra Times



Former Chief Minister Jon Stanhope has forced the issue of ACT Labor's ownership of the Canberra Labor Clubs back on the agenda, putting a motion to his party sub-branch calling for the clubs to be sold. Mr Stanhope's move has upset the party hierarchy, which is not impressed at him raising an issue that caused such trouble for the party in 2009, when a sale plan was eventually shelved.




Move to allow $50 notes in Canberra poker machines withdrawn after revolt

Kirsten Lawson - The Canberra Times



Facing a revolt from Greens Minister Shane Rattenbury and opposition from the Liberals, Chief Minister Andrew Barr has reversed the move to allow $50 notes in poker machines, backing down on the change made in the days before Christmas.




Reformed problem gambler recounts struggle with addiction to the pokies

Kirsten Lawson - The Canberra Times



While John no longer goes near poker machines, he is left with a deep disgust at an addiction that resulted in the loss of his wife and family, his career, and about $60,000 over two years. "I was just so ashamed of it all. I hated it," he said on Monday, speaking to The Canberra Times after news that the ACT government has changed rules to allow gamblers to feed $50 notes into poker machines.




Human Rights

Tim Wilson joins call for changes to discrimination laws, says Charlie Hebdo cartoons would be banned in Australia


Jane Norman - ABC



Human rights commissioner Tim Wilson has joined calls for changes to racial discrimination laws, arguing many of the cartoons published by French magazine Charlie Hebdo would be banned in Australia under existing legislation. Citing concerns from the Muslim community, the Federal Government last year dumped plans to remove section 18C from the Act making it illegal to offend, insult or humiliate based on racial grounds.




Marriage

Gay marriage warning as Florida introduces redefinition


The Christian Institute



A US Christian leader has described the redefinition of marriage as a “vast social revolution”, as Florida became the 36th US state to introduce same-sex marriage. Albert Mohler, who leads one of the largest Bible colleges in the world, described marriage as the “most basic molecular structure of civilization itself”.




Is life after divorce better?

Nicole king - Mercator Net



January 5 was this year’s “divorce day”— the first Monday after the holidays, when the number of people seeking a divorce jumps one-third. Couples who decide to suffer through one last Christmas and New Year together—whether for the sake of children, or because they can’t bear the thought of telling family of a split right after carving the Christmas turkey—jump on the phone first thing Monday morning.




Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Man accused of murdering Sydney sex worker Ting Fang to apply for bail


Canberra Times



A man accused of the New Year's Day murder of a Sydney woman whose body was found in an Adelaide hotel room will apply for bail next week. Chungaung Piao, 27, has been charged with murdering Sydney sex worker Ting Fang, 25, whose body was found in a room at the Grand Chancellor Hotel in the city centre on January 1.






Religious Freedom & Persecution

Why North Korea is the most dangerous place to be a Christian


Mark Woods - Christian Today



For the 13th time the annual World Watch List published each January by Open Doors, the organisation that campaigns for persecuted Christians, has North Korea at its head. It is once again judged to be the most dangerous country in the world to be a Christian.




Other

Tanzanian girls return after escaping genital mutilation


AFP



Hundreds of Tanzanian schoolgirls returned home Monday after spending three months hiding in safe houses to escape genital mutilation, state television said.