New board makes first rulings on ads

The Australian

The first official meeting of the new Advertising Standards Board, which rules on matters of taste and decency in advertising and administers the Australian Association of National Advertisers’ self-regulatory codes, was held earlier this month. The new board, which includes seven new members, upheld a complaint against Builders Academy Australia for showing unsafe use of a chisel and nail guns, but dismissed complaints that three different car ads breached the rules.

Drugs & Alcohol

Psychiatric units struggle with scourge of smuggled drugs

Beau Donelly - The Age

Illicit drugs and alcohol are being smuggled into mental health wards run by the state's busiest public hospitals, undermining patient care and putting psychiatric staff at risk of violence.

Bottle babies: the devastation of foetal alcohol spectrum disorders

Fiona Harari - SMH

No one's sure how many Australians are affected by foetal alcohol spectrum disorders, but the consequences for those who are can be devastating.

Police find 28 kilograms of drugs in vehicle in Curtin

Henry Belot and Michael Inman - Canberra Times

Canberra police have seized a record 28 kilograms of suspected methamphetamine hidden in a car in Curtin on Thursday afternoon. ACT Policing allege the drugs were destined for the Victorian market and had a street value of $26 million - or 280,000 street deals - and had an estimated purity of 80 per cent.


Victorian school fights to keep its welfare support worker secular, not religious

Karen Percy - ABC

A central Victorian school is taking on the Federal Government over its policy to fund religious chaplains in public schools.


Palmer's softer line increases government hopes on direct action climate change policy

Lisa Cox - Canberra Times

Senior Abbott government members are increasingly confident a deal to pass its direct action climate change policy will be reached before Christmas after Clive Palmer appeared to soften his party's hardline position on the scheme.


Euthanasia advocate and cancer sufferer dies after appealing online for a lethal drug, NT police investigating

Jesse Dorsett - ABC

A voluntary euthanasia advocate who used online video to appeal for a lethal drug has died in Darwin, triggering a police investigation. Martin Burgess, 71, was a member of the euthanasia advocacy group Exit International and a candidate for the Voluntary Euthanasia Party in the 2013 federal election.


Bill Shorten preaches marriage equality, while Scott Morrison says the government has 'no plans' to change the laws

Peter Terlato - Business Insider

While Opposition Leader Bill Shorten addressed the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) on the topic of marriage equality, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison threw his support behind Australia’s existing legal arrangements.

Gay marriage and religious freedom cannot coexist

Napp Nazworth - Christian Post

Gay marriage proponents will not allow for religious freedom of their political opponents because their belief system does not allow for the fact that dissenters can be reasonable people of goodwill, Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University, argued at the Institute on Religion and Democracy's 2014 Diane Knippers Memorial Lecture.

Twelve surprising facts about non-monogamy

Zhana Vrangalova - Polyamory in the News

Consensually non-monogamous relationships... are slowly gaining visibility in the media.... Here are 12 things that recent research reveals about these relationships and the people involved in them.


Victoria: Labor maintains an election-winning lead, Herald Sun/Galaxy opinion poll shows

James Campbell - Herald Sun

Labor is holding an election- winning lead over the ­Coalition with just 33 days until voters head to the ballot boxes — 52-48 ahead. Less than five weeks out from the November 29 decider, a Herald Sun/Galaxy opinion poll has found Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews is on track to be Victoria’s next premier with Labor on the same 52-48 per cent two-party preferred lead it had in August.

Labor declares victory in NSW byelections

Jason Gordon - SMH

Labor has claimed victory in both of Saturday's byelections with Opposition Leader John Robertson boldly declaring that Newcastle voters had "put their faith back in Labor".


We 'might' keep boat turnbacks: Labor


Labor has signalled it might continue the federal government's policy of turning back the boats, but only if it is safe to do so and has Indonesia's backing.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

China: Fewer abortions? But more persecution

Christian Telegraph

China's newly announced switch to a two-child population control policy does not resolve the coercive nature of the program, pro-life leaders say, reports Baptist Press. The disclosure of the change came even as the communist government imposes the most severe oppression in four decades, according to a leading advocate for the Chinese church, Christians face the "worst persecution in China since the Cultural Revolution."