As a physician engaged in a busy child and adolescent psychiatry practice, I see far too many teenagers with symptoms of anxiety or depression, problems with substance abuse or self-injurious behavior because they were not yet mature enough for sex. “Accepting attitudes” about sexual behavior under the family’s roof may reduce conflict between parents and their teenagers, but at what cost to the emotional well-being of our kids?
All of us have been shocked by the deadly rampage of the Norwegian mass murderer, Anders Breivik, who killed 77 people. The question is, "Are we shocked by the fact that Anders grew up as a fatherless child?" Anders was abandoned by his father, Jens Breivik, when he was only one year old. If we know our history and the social science statistics, this information should not surprise us. Some of the most famous killers in human history grew up in fatherless homes: Adolf Hitler, Saddam Hussein, Billy the Kid, Mark Lepine and Charles Manson to name a few. Crime authorities are well aware of fatherlessness in criminal profiling.
It’s finally happened. American gamers are jealous of us Aussies. For countless years, our cousins across the Pacific have laughed at our obscene game prices, our draconian games classification regime, and our barren release schedules. But it’s getting better to be an Aussie gamer every day. For starters, it looks like we will finally get an R18+ games classification after countless years of campaigning.
A Sydney man could become the first sperm donor in NSW, and possibly Australia, to have his name forcibly removed from his child's birth certificate in a court battle that will test new same-sex parenting laws. The man yesterday pleaded for a judge not to agree to the request by the birth mother's lesbian ex-partner, who has taken him and the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages to court. ''The person who's going to suffer is my daughter. She knows that her father is going to be removed from her life. She's going to have three mothers and no father and I think the whole thing is an absolute outrage.''
New research is revealing the havoc caused by HIV and the drugs used to suppress it. HIV/AIDS has been around for 30 years and thanks to anti-retroviral drugs, the virus no longer has to be a death sentence. But longer lives are coming with a cruel catch; many long-term HIV survivors are ageing far too soon. Conditions such as dementia, brittle bones, frailty and cardiovascular disease are happening to people in their thirties, forties and fifties.
Barry O'Farrell has defended his decision to consider a bill to remove ethics classes from schools as a matter of ''process'' that will be afforded to every piece of legislation introduced to Parliament. But the Premier's comments prompted an attack from Labor after the government agreed it would also consider bills proposing to ban abortion in NSW and allow shooting in national parks ''on their merits''. Mr O'Farrell met the Reverend Fred Nile, of the Christian Democratic Party, last Thursday.
Mitchell Drage understands the complexities of not only getting indigenous kids into some of the country's most remote schools but keeping them there. Whether they be children who find themselves at a funeral for someone they've never met in a place they've never been, or initiated teenage boys who believe school is no place for men, the challenges to keep up school attendance in the outback remain all-consuming. But a new software program being tested in the Kimberley and earmarked for schools such as Nullagine, perched on the edge of the Great Sandy Desert 1364km northeast of Perth, is changing long-accepted ways.
There’s been a long-standing, slightly confused and often-broken taboo on reporting suicides. Many believe – perhaps without basis – that just talking about suicide could lead to ‘copycats’. But all the important players agree that it should be discussed, and today the Australian Press Council has released new standards for media coverage of suicides. The Punch spoke to Press Council chair Julian Disney about the changes and what he hopes they’ll achieve.
'Sydney or the bush' is an old Australian expression meaning to bet bravely, an all-or-nothing gamble. It matches the perception many Victorians have of New South Welshmen as brash, opportunistic, risk-takers, just as Sydneysiders see Melburnians as conservative, cautious and risk averse. Betting figures supplied by the totalisator monolith, Tabcorp, suit these stereotypes. While the average bet size in both states is approximately the same - $11.35 on the NSW Tote and $12.05 in Victoria - NSW punters clearly prefer to gamble on a win, rather than each way.
Seventy people who call the streets and underpasses of inner Sydney home will be put into permanent housing under a new scheme, as figures show a jump in the number of homeless. Platform 70, a project supported by state and federal governments, will involve placing the rough sleepers from Woolloomooloo into heavily subsidised private rental accommodation, to be managed by community housing providers and supported by a range of social services.
The Baillieu government is under extreme pressure to overhaul or dump the nation's most extensive charter of human rights as senior legal figures and institutions highlight weaknesses in the law. Former Victorian governor James Gobbo has joined a chorus of criticism in submissions to a parliamentary inquiry. Sir James, a former Supreme Court judge, submitted to the inquiry that in health cases the law added nothing to say a patient had a right to proper care when the sick were already protected by family, the health sector and charities. Sir James said that even examples provided by the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission failed to furnish evidence the previous Labor government's charter was necessary.
A federal Labor backbencher who wants his party's gay marriage supporters to join the Greens is facing a backlash from his grassroots support base. John Murphy, a western Sydney MP for the seat of Reid, last week said he did not believe there was overwhelming public support for same-sex marriage and wants a referendum on the matter. Mr Murphy said Labor members who support marriage equality should "join the Greens".
More than 575 members have now joined the campaign for better gay rights at St Mary's Anglican Girls School in Perth. The Facebook group swelled from about 40 members after The Sunday Times revealed on the weekend that past and present students of the leading Perth girls’ school had launched a campaign for the right to bring same-sex partners to their school formal. A number of current and ex-St Mary’s students have jumped to the school’s defence on the page, while those of other schools have stepped forward to say the issue is more widespread.
It's been a bit of a Bizzaro World in Australian federal politics in recent weeks. First we had the opposition saying they were concerned about the human rights of vulnerable people who will be expelled to Malaysia under the asylum seeker people-swap arrangement.
Police in northern Iraq say a car bomb has exploded outside a Christian church in the ethnically-divided city of Kirkuk, wounding at least 23 people. Authorities said the blast Tuesday damaged the church as well as homes in the area. As many as 1.2 million Christians lived in Iraq before the 2003 invasion to oust leader Saddam Hussein. However, many have since fled abroad in the wake of stepped-up violence by al-Qaida-linked Muslim insurgents.
Thousands continue to stream out of drought ravaged Somalia towards doubtful sanctuary over the border in Kenya, many leaving belongings, livestock and children in their wake. Bandits are also targeting the refugees, with theft, rape and assault on the increase.
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