Greens back restricting judge-only trials

ABC Online

The ACT Greens will support a Government plan to end judge-only trials for people accused of murder or rape.

Currently defendants charged with an indictable offence in the ACT Supreme Court can choose whether to face a judge alone or a jury of their peers.

Even tots need to be cyber-savvy


CYBER education for children should start in preschool, a major investigation of online safety has found.

More than a year in the making, the High-Wire Act Report makes dozens of recommendations to Parliament on how to educate children and teenagers on remaining safe in the increasingly complex online environment.

Labor leader Eric Ripper says party backs gay marriage

Joe Spagnolo - Perth Now

OPPOSITION Leader Eric Ripper says he expects the majority of Labor delegates at Saturday's Labor state conference to support his view that gay marriage should be allowed in Australia.

Woman convicted of police veil-lifting lie set to go free

Natasha Wallace – SMH

A MAGISTRATE had described the Muslim woman's crime as ''malicious'' and ''ruthless'' and sentenced her to six months' jail for falsely accusing a police officer of trying to rip off her veil during a random breath test.

Teen missing since 2002 used as surrogate mother

James Madden - The Australian

AMBER Haigh and Robert Geeves were a most unlikely couple.

When Ms Haigh moved in to his NSW farmhouse in 2001, she was just 18, and he, a married father of one, was in his early 40s.

Pokies reform is not perfect

Joe Kelly - The Australian

TASMANIAN federal independent MP Andrew Wilkie recognises that some problem gamblers will fall through the cracks in his scheme to set limits on the amount people can bet on poker machines.

The acknowledgement comes as the states -- which reap about $5 billion from gambling revenue annually -- depicted Mr Wilkie's reforms as an infringement of their rights.

Anglican church to approve gay bishops


THE Anglican Church was last night set to approve controversial guidelines allowing openly homosexual clergy to be bishops.

In a paper due to be published yesterday, the church will seek to align with Britain's Equality Act by updating its rules to permit celibate homosexual men to be promoted.

Church of England rule on gay bishops 'saddens'

Carolyn Webb - The Age

AUSTRALIAN gay rights activists have attacked as inadequate a new guideline from the Church of England in the UK that gays can apply to be bishops provided they are celibate.

The document states that there is no bar to the promotion of openly gay clergy to the Anglican bishopric as long as they are not sexually active, and never have been while priests.

Xenophon says plebiscite is only right


INDEPENDENT Senator Nick Xenophon looks set to back the Coalition's push for a plebiscite on the carbon tax saying it would be "the right thing to do".

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has said the Coalition would introduce draft laws into Parliament tomorrow which would require Labor's proposed carbon tax to be put to a public vote.

Learning humans rights lessons from Turkey

Gerard Oosterman - The Drum

Turkey promised to keep its borders open for the people fleeing the violence in Syria. Many thousands of Syrians have crossed into Turkey and footage shows men and women, children walking into that country.

Even though Turkey is a country with a large population of over seventy million and already coping with an overflow of many other nationalities, it has not lost its humanity in doing the right thing by extending its hospitality to those so much worse off. They are quickly opening disused buildings and building camps, constructing a temporary hospital.

Australia lagging in foetal alcohol research

Debra Nowland - ABC News

The Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Foundation is stepping up its efforts to tackle what it says is Australia's hidden disability - foetal alcohol disorder.

Synthetic marijuana: Don't believe the Kronic hype

Tory Shepherd - The Punch

It can make you paranoid and irrational, prone to making stupid decisions with bad consequences, and can ultimately cause serious harm. Yes, it’s the moral panic over drugs.  The latest burning issue is synthetic dope.