Brown death has again infected Federal Parliament with renewed talk about euthanasia, writes Cardinal George Pell.
The euthanasia debate is part of a larger discussion about how we regard the end.
Rob Oakeshott says racism and a deep social conservatism within the Nationals made him realise he'd joined the party by accident, reports Claire Harvey, trailing the garrulous independent around Port Macquarie
The state has a responsibility to protect children from inadequate parents.
Dutch Christian Democrats are rebelling over plans to ban the burqa as part of a deal to create a liberal-conservative coalition supported by Geert Wilders, a far-right leader.
Figures from Office of National Statistics much lower than the most commonly used estimate of 5% to 7%
Men struggling to cope with the increasing demands of fatherhood are reluctant to ask for help or advice on raising children, state government figures show. Just one in 10 calls to the government-funded Parent Line comes from fathers. Community Services Minister Linda Burney is urging more dads to call the free counselling service, operated by CatholicCare. Her comments are echoed by father support groups who are urging men to make use of every available assistance for the good of their children. "Clearly, mothers are continuing to seek parenting support when they need it, yet fathers are not comfortable to do the same,'' Ms Burney said yesterday.
A shy smile is Saido Gali's answer, at first. The question is an obvious one: does she want more children? She has eight and another boy on the way. But before she can answer, Mrs Gali's eldest, daughter, Hafsa, 16, yells out. ''No!'' she says, to her siblings' giggles. Maybe, says Mrs Gali, 37. Maybe she will have more. Like many Horn of Africa refugees, the Somali-Australian would never rule out expanding her large brood. Children are financial blessings, not burdens. ''I like a lot of kids,'' she says, simply. And there are a lot of kids - not just here in this North Melbourne flat but right across the city's public housing estates. Australia's humanitarian resettlement of African refugees - 41,310 live in Melbourne - has thrown up a basic challenge for the state government: how to house the large families of people fleeing from places such as Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan. Many families choose to have a lot of children; others care for orphaned relatives.
Melbourne's rental crisis has become so extreme that some low-income families have to sacrifice necessities to keep a roof over their heads. While low-income tenants are being hit hardest, rising rents are also making it harder for average income earners to make ends meet. The median weekly rent in the metropolitan area reached $340 in March, up 5 per cent in the past year, according to the Office of Housing. The median weekly rents for a one-bedroom flat, a two-bedroom house and a four-bedroom house are $280, $350 and $380, respectively.
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