Children & Family

Childcare costs turn parents off more kids


SEVEN out of 10 parents are delaying having more children because childcare is too expensive, a dramatic jump in just two years, a survey shows. A similar proportion of parents with kids in long-day care are seeking alternative care arrangements within their families instead of paid childcare, the What Parents Want Survey by the Australian Childcare Alliance has found.



Violent games don't really beget violence

Michael Duffy – The Age

VIOLENT video games do not encourage crime. They prevent it. Although hundreds of psychological studies show playing these games makes people aggressive, until fairly recently no one had looked to see if that mood change led to more crime.


Donor Conception & Surrogacy

Freezing embryos can reduce risks- study

Sky News

A study has found freezing embryos significantly decreases the risk of birth defects associated with assisted reproduction. University of Adelaide's Robinson Institute researchers have identified risks of major birth defects associated with different types of assisted reproductive technology, known as Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). Their study's co-author, Professor Eric Haan, says the key finding was that there is an increased risk of birth defects associated with ART.



$6m to tackle suicides

Russell Skelton – The Age

CANBERRA will spend $6 million on community-based suicide prevention strategies in the Kimberley region over four years, starting with an allocation of $1.5 million in tomorrow's budget. Mental Health Minister Mark Butler told The Age he acknowledged that indigenous suicide rates in the Kimberley were the highest in the nation and agencies needed to identify and respond faster to suicide clusters.



Grab a man or miss out, Church warns girls

Damien Currie and Brendan Lucas  - Herald Sun

WOMEN (who like men) should marry earlier and not be too picky to avoid an Aussie man drought, the Catholic Church has warned. Australia is experiencing a huge decline in the number of available men, with the church telling women they should also forget about living with their partners before tying the knot, the Herald Sun reports. Statistics have revealed that there are dramatically fewer eligible blokes than single women aged 25 to 34.



Sarkozy concedes defeat, steps back from politics


FRANCE'S President Nicolas Sarkozy conceded defeat to his Socialist rival Francois Hollande and signalled that he intends to step back from frontline politics. "The French people have made their choice... Francois Hollande is president of France and he must be respected," the outgoing leader told an emotional crowd of supporters, adding that he had phoned his successor to wish him well.


Greeks punish main parties in poll

Herald Sum

GREECE'S two main parties suffered big losses in elections, exit polls showed overnight, rocking the eurozone state's austerity plans. Anti-austerity parties, including a neo-Nazi group, could have won up to 58 per cent of the vote between them in yesterday’s election, the exit polls showed.

The conservative New Democracy led by Antonis Samaras was the largest party with 17-20 per cent of the vote, insufficient to give it an absolute majority and down from 33.5 per cent at the last election in 2009, the exit polls showed.


Dentists all smiles for Government funding blitz


The peak body for Australian dentists has praised today's pre-budget announcement of $500 million for dental care. The funding will be used to treat 400,000 people on the public dental waiting list and to help dentists relocate to rural and remote areas. The package also includes money to co-ordinate pro bono work for disadvantaged patients, although more than half of the funding comes from other health savings.


ACOSS wants PM to increase payments


The federal government has been urged to increase welfare allowances rather than cut payments to help tackle poverty in Australia. Among the announcements expected in Tuesday's budget is the transfer of single parents to the Newstart allowance once their youngest child turns eight, saving about $700 million. The Australian Council of Social Service says the expected change is "deeply disturbing" and would put an extra 100,000 of the most vulnerable families onto the lower Newstart allowance, losing them nearly $60 a week.


New senator a 'constitutional revolutionary'

Paige Taylor – The Australian

 THE nation's newest senator is a conservative "constitutional revolutionary" who believes states ought to be allocated High Court places and the right to initiate amendments to the constitution. Dean Smith, the son of a policeman and a housewife from the Perth suburb of Mirrabooka, was the first person in his family to attend university. He has been a member of the Liberal Party since 1987 and is "emphatically" opposed to a republic. He is gay but opposes gay marriage.


Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Escort agency offers virgin for sale

Ilya Gridneff - SMH

WHAT sort of man will pay $12,000 for an 18-year-old's virginity? This is what Sweet Girls Premium Escort, which is offering a Chinese-born Melbourne high school student, hopes to find out. The Sydney escort agency says this "rare opportunity" starts from May 19.



People smuggler or the Schindler of Asia?

Bruce Haigh – ABC The Drum

Ali Al Jenabi is a survivor; he is resourceful, and compassionate. He takes his responsibilities to others seriously, particularly toward his family which is central to his existence.  These responsibilities have cost him dearly. He has lost his wife, child and the only woman he loved. I have met Ali on several occasions, once in Villawood with my wife, he is a good person.


Asylum boat crew 'may be victims of trafficking'

Paul Maley - The Australian

DOZENS of Indonesians convicted of people-smuggling could be the victims of a crime rather than the perpetrators, with Human Rights Commissioner Catherine Branson QC warning they may have been shanghaied. With the Gillard government set to review the convictions of 23 Indonesian people-smugglers amid concerns some may be underage, Ms Branson said there was a "high risk" that significant numbers of minors were languishing in adult jails.


Sexualisation of Society

Schoolkids log on to sex sites as new technology puts porn in their pockets

Jackie Sinnerton and Anthony Gough - The Sunday Mail (Qld)

THEY are Generation XXX. Schoolchildren as young as 11 are spending up to 10 hours a day watching explicit adult material as new technology sneaks pornography into their pockets. Experts have warned of an increase in porn addiction in children as a new generation wired to smartphones and laptops have 24-hour access to hardcore material. Australian addiction specialist Robert Mittiga said the explosion in mobile technology had led to a surge in numbers of children dealing with porn addiction.