Christian organizations in Malaysia are accusing the government of defacing more than 5,000 Bibles by stamping them with serial numbers and the words “For Christians Only.” The government agreed earlier this week to release 35,000 Malay-language Bibles that had been held in customs since 2009 because they use the word “Allah” for God. A court ruled that year that religions other than Islam have the right to use the word Allah for God, but the government in the Muslim-majority country is appealing the ruling.
TV and radio identity Sami Lukis appears to be one of the lucky ones. Bright and successful, but in her own eyes, she's a 40-year-old single childless woman whose "biological clock is about to explode". After dating for two decades, and "one dysfunctional relationship after another", she still hadn't met Mr Right.
Almost 500 single women and lesbians have used IVF and other fertility treatments in the past year in Victoria.Taxpayers are subsidising the women who plan to raise children without biological dads. The law was changed in January 2010 to allow Medicare rebates for women who are not infertile to access assisted reproduction. IVF clinics are reporting a significant number of women accessing their services for the first time in Victoria.
Do we really need biological fathers? Yes, absolutely. In an ideal world all children would grow up with both male and female adults to care for them. But in the absence of a father, a father figure who might be a close male relative or family friend can possibly do the job just as well. It is a huge responsibility and one that takes time, love and commitment.
Child care!" yells the heckler from the rear stalls. "What about child care?" "Child care?" I hear myself say into the mike. "Maybe there's a point where you just have to suck it up." Then I hear the sharp intake of breath. I hadn't been discussing the ''women question''. That was the day before. For some reason, the vast London EcoBuild conference where I was speaking saw ''women'' as a natural agenda item. But the women-thing proved so hot it boiled over into my keynote.
Bob Brown has brushed off Julia Gillard's criticism of the Greens as an extreme party, dismissing the attack as "product differentiation". The Greens leader today denied his party posed a threat to Labor, despite plummeting support for the government on the back of its carbon tax plan. He said the Prime Minister would benefit from working with him and urged her to adopt more Greens policies.
The Legislative Council is part of the New South Wales Parliament. There will be 21 Councilors elected on March 26th, and nothing will become law until any measure has passed that Council.. A majority is 22 and at present there are 19 Labor Councilors (but the Labor President does net have a deliberative vote), 15 Liberal and National Party Councilors, 4 Green Councilors, 2 Shooters' and Fishers' Councilors and 1 for Fred Nile and for Family First. Ten Labor and 7 coalition Councilors come out at this election, as do 2 Greens, 1 Shooters' and Fishers' Councilor and the Family First Councilor. For the Legislative Assembly the voting is by constituency, each of which elects a single member. There are 93 seats (about 69.000 voters each) and the majority figure is 47. Government goes to the party getting a majority in the Legislative Assembly irrespective of what happens in the Legislative Council. All Assembly members come out at this election, unlike the Legislative Council in which only half come out. At present Labor has 50 seats, Independent Labor 1, the Liberals 24, the Nationals 13 and independents 5 (Bligh, Port Macquarie, Tamworth, Dubbo, Northern Tablelands - the member for the latter seat being Speaker).
Catholic bishops have warned the faithful against voting for the Greens in the state election, saying some of their policies were of ''grave concern''. Yesterday the NSW Greens outlined a plan which would transfer government funding from wealthy private schools to public schools. A two-page document entitled The Green Agenda is being circulated by Catholic agencies and through schools. It states the party's human rights and social policy areas are in direct conflict ''with the beliefs and values of virtually all religious people, and the beliefs of many other people as well''.
Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi says his forces will fight a "decisive battle" today after the US added its voice to efforts at the UN to impose a no-fly zone. Colonel Gaddafi's forces pressed rebels in the west yesterday and threatened their eastern bastion of Benghazi, despite calls from UN chief Ban Ki-moon for an immediate ceasefire. British Prime Minister David Cameron urged the UN to "show some leadership" as his quest for a no-fly zone over Libya exposed divisions with US President Barack Obama.
THE federal government has done a deal with ASIO to clear a backlog of about 900 asylum-seekers by the end of next month, as authorities on Christmas Island continue to struggle to control rioters who have given negotiators six demands. Revelation of the deal came as Border Protection Command confirmed the interception of the 11th boat to arrive this year, carrying 145 people, the largest to arrive in Australian waters since February last year and the third-largest since November 2007. There were more skirmishes at the Christmas Island detention centre yesterday, after fires, protests and escapes on Wednesday night.
Gamblers are stealing tens of millions of dollars a year to support their habits. In just three years gamblers were convicted of stealing $77 million from family members, friends, employers, the tax office, Centrelink and hotels. A report by private corruption investigation group Warfield & Associates throws weight behind federal moves for a crackdown on problem gambling. The study shows 190 convictions were made for cases of gambling-linked fraud between 2008-10. The convictions, and 147 subsequent jail sentences, were for cases where the proceeds of crime were gambled, or where gambling debts were the motivation for crime.
Author Andy Crouch argues that everyone should strive to make culture by humbly mastering a field that intersects with the world's brokenness. Christianity Today senior editor Andy Crouch graduated from Cornell and Boston University, was an InterVarsity campus pastor at Harvard, and served as editor-in-chief of Regeneration Quarterly. He's the rare author of an excellent book—Culture Making (IVP 2008)—who also can play a terrific piano. At what age did you start being a culture maker? Funny you should ask that: It's my earliest memory. I was 4 years old. My mom was a classical pianist and piano teacher. I remember her coming out of her studio, my babysitter bringing me in to see her, and I proudly performing the "ABC Song."
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