A pregnant woman in southern China was detained, beaten and forced to have an abortion just a month before her due date because the baby would have violated the country's one child limit, her husband claims. Construction worker Luo Yanquan said his wife was taken kicking and screaming from their home by more than a dozen people on October 10 and detained in a clinic for three days by family planning officials, then taken to a hospital and injected with a drug that killed her baby. Family planning officials told the couple they weren't allowed to have the child because they already have a nine-year-old daughter, Luo said. For the past 30 years, China has limited most urban couples to just one child in a bid to curb population growth and conserve its limited resources. China has the world's largest population, with more than 1.3 billion people.
Parents of children born through surrogacy would be given full legal recognition for the first time, under a bill introduced in Parliament last night. Couples would also be able to enter into surrogacy arrangements abroad. Couples would also be able to adopt a child born to a surrogate mother between 30 days and six months of birth. MPs will have a conscience vote on the legislation, and it is likely the Opposition will follow suit, although this is yet to be decided. Church groups are likely to oppose the legislation, which is expected to be less contentious than recent legislation to allow same-sex adoption, narrowly passed last month.
Drug addicts will remain a fixture in the main strip of Kings Cross with the controversial injecting room given permanent status by the Government. In an overwhelming show of support in State Parliament yesterday, a Bill was passed allowing the centre to permanently remain in the red light district. The legislation moves to the Upper House, which is expected to pass with Greens support. But residents and shopkeepers are upset, saying Kings Cross will forever remain degraded by the injecting centre, which is a "honeypot" for addicts.
More than 400 vulnerable children were exposed to further sexual or physical abuse within three months of their cases being closed by bungling child protection bureaucrats. In a shocking revelation, Freedom of Information documents show Department of Human Services management is putting children at risk of further violence as over-stretched staff battle to juggle a growing workload. Documents seen by the Herald Sun show 408 cases in the past two years where child protection workers closed files on children as nothing could be substantiated - only to reopen them within 90 days after abuse or neglect claims were confirmed. The worst-affected area was Loddon-Mallee with 58 files closed between January 2008 and March 2010 reopened within three months after abuse allegations were proved.
John Howard says that Peter Costello would have become PM in late 2006 but destroyed his prospects by attempting to force Mr Howard into retirement. The former prime minister says that in trying to pressure him to quit Mr Costello "completely misread both my temperament and my personality". In an account that casts Mr Costello as weak and vacillating, Mr Howard expresses surprise that the former treasurer "imagined I would succumb to the sort of rank amateur pressure placed on me through media briefings".
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