US: Fight over abortion shapes up in congress

US News

Abortion foes hope that legislation to limit the procedure will have broader implications.

Obama threatens to veto abortion bill
Sarah Ferris – The Hill

The Obama administration on Tuesday threatened to veto the GOP-backed bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks, calling it a “direct challenge” to a court-protected right for women.

An interview with Jeanne Monahan-Mancini, President of the March for Life
Susan Wills – Aleteia

Could you tell readers about the theme chosen for the 2015 March for Life events — “Every Life is a Gift”? Do you mean to draw attention to a particular subgroup of people, such as unborn children who are likely to be aborted? What do you hope to convey through this theme?

Children & Family
Fearful victims cower behind piece of paper

Luke Foley – The Daily Telegraph

We don’t want any more murders. That was the plea by the chief executive of Domestic Violence NSW on the front page of Monday’s Daily Telegraph. As leader of NSW Labor, and more importantly a husband and father of three young children, it’s a cry I’m determined to act on now.

UK internet company will automatically install anti-porn filter for 5.3 million customers

Life Site News

One of the UK’s largest internet providers is proving it is serious about it’s commitment to online safety, especially for children, by making its network-level content filtering software “on” by default, leaving it up to the customer to have to actively turn it off if they choose.

Drugs & Alcohol
Exposure to alcohol TV ads associated with underage drinking

News Medical Net

Seeing and liking alcohol advertising on television among underage youths was associated with the onset of drinking, binge drinking and hazardous drinking, according to a study by researchers at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center and Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock published online by JAMA Pediatrics.

Former Gold Coast Drug Council vice-president admits to being an ice addict

The former vice-president of the Gold Coast Drug Council has pleaded guilty to possession of ice and drug paraphernalia at a hearing in Queensland. The Southport Magistrate’s Court heard that Peita Louise Melville became a doctor after spending six years as a heroin addict in her early 20s.

Higher education reforms: Government flags further changes, Pyne says he’ll ‘do whatever needs to be done’

Naomi Woodley – ABC

The Federal Government has indicated it is willing to compromise further to get its planned changes to the higher education sector through the Senate. Education Minister Christopher Pyne has declared he will “do whatever needs to be done” to make sure Australia’s universities are the best they can be.

We cannot have “zero suicides” if we allow euthanasia

The Telegraph

Suicide does not magically become “assisted dying” when the poison is prescribed and the setting is pleasant. We’re either fine with it, or we aren’t.

Inquest to examine factors leading to self-harm deaths of six youths

David Killick – The Mercury

An inquest into the self-harm deaths of six young people has opened in Hobart. Coroner Olivia McTaggart this morning offered her condolences to the families of the young people and said the hearing was likely to be difficult, but she hoped that it was able to provide them some greater insight into the factors which led to the deaths.

Homelessness & Poverty
Fears family violence royal commission and cuts will spark homelessness crisis

The Guardian

Royal commission expected to lead to spike in women leaving abusive partners, meaning federal cuts to welfare services couldn’t come at a worse time, says Victorian minister Martin Foley.

Queensland election: ReachTEL poll puts LNP ahead of Labor

Amy Remeikis – Brisbane Times

With 10 days to go until the election, the LNP has pulled ahead of Labor in the polls. A ReachTEL poll commissioned by Seven News questioned 1635 Queenslanders on Tuesday night and found support for the LNP had grown by 2 per cent since the snap election was announced.

Prostitution & Sex Trafficking
Freed Yazidis tell of girls and women being raped and sold into sexual slavery by Isis fighters

Patrick Cockburn – The Independent

Many girls from the Yazidi community in Iraq are committing suicide after being raped and sold into sexual slavery by Isis fighters who captured them last August. And some 200 Yazidis, held prisoner for five months before being freed at the weekend because they were sick or old, report continuing mistreatment of those still captive.

First two refugees move out of Manus detention compound to resettlement centre

Sarah Whyte – SMH

An Iranian engineer and a Pakistani human resources manager who were found to be refugees while on Manus Island have voluntarily moved to new temporary accommodation on the outskirts of the island’s main town, in the country’s first step to resettlement.

Religious Freedom & Persecution
Growing tolerance, reduced persecution – Something to pray about

Martin Roth – Bos News Life

Events in the Middle East during 2014, and now in Paris at the start of 2015,suggest that militant Islamism is on the move. At the same time it often seems that the persecution of Christians is intensifying throughout the Muslim world.

Sexualisation of Society
This is why the demise of Page 3 Girls is so important

Clementine Ford – Brisbane Times

After 44 years, it appears that British tabloid The Sun has finally brought an end to the sexist spectacle that was the Page 3 Girl. Well, it’s only 2015 after all.