Church serves as shelter for war-hit Palestinians

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Some 400 Palestinians fleeing Israeli raids that have destroyed their neighborhoods have taken shelter in a Greek Orthodox Church in Gaza City. Desperate Gazans escaping from Beit Hanoun and Shejaia, where more than 70 Palestinians – many of them women and children – were killed on July 20, have entered the Church of Saint Porphyrius after Archbishop Alexios opened the door. The church ... Read More »

U.S. Lifts Ban on Flights to Israel as Gaza Death Toll Tops 700

A Palestinian woman sits in a debris-strewn street as she looks at houses damaged in an Israeli air strike that killed two children, Gaza Strip July 24, 2014. Suhaib Salem/Reuters

GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel won a partial reprieve from the economic pain of its Gaza war on Thursday with the lifting of a U.S. ban on commercial flights to Tel Aviv, as fighting pushed the Palestinian death toll over 700. A truce remained elusive despite intensive mediation bids. Palestinians said residents of two southern villages were trapped by tank shelling, ... Read More »

Catholic homelessness hostel at 120 per cent of capacity

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If St Vincent de Paul’s Samaritan House in Hackett was a luxury hotel, its directors would be laughing all the way to the bank. Every night, 365 days of the year, it is operating at 100 to 120 per cent of its 12-bed capacity. Catholic Archbishop Christopher Prowse says abuse victims are ‘the new missionaries’ While co-ordinator Rollo Brett says ... Read More »

Football superstars donate their World Cup prize money

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The World Cup may be over for Germany and Argentina, but players on both teams are putting their cash winnings to good use by donating them to worthy causes. According to the UK-based Express, 25-year-old German football star Mesut Ozil has donated his World Cup prize money – totaling more than $400,000 for winning the tournament – to various charity projects ... Read More »

Push for ‘more humane policy’ on asylum seekers

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The views of at least 1300 Canberra people who want urgent changes to asylum seeker policy will be put to federal MPs at Parliament House on Thursday. The recent packed meeting at Llewellyn Hall at ANU approved the statement, calling for a more humane and tolerant policy to be adopted. Organisers of the Refugee Action Committee say at least two ... Read More »

Creating a Long-Term Framework for Asylum Seeker Policy

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Last Friday 11 July 2014, I attended a roundtable at Parliament House, Canberra to discuss possible actions that could be taken to find a way out of the present divisive and harsh treatment of asylum seekers. The media release following that roundtable is reproduced below. The roundtable drew on  discussion paper ‘Beyond Operation Sovereign Borders’, prepared by Peter Hughes and ... Read More »

Voluntary euthanasia advocate Philip Nitschke under investigation by doctors’ regulator AHPRA

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Voluntary euthanasia advocate Dr Philip Nitschke is being investigated by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, which supervises the registration of doctors qualified to practice. The ABC understands AHPRA has launched the action as a result of an ABC 7.30 investigation. Dr Nitschke admits he supported Perth man Nigel Brayley in his decision to commit suicide, despite knowing he was not ... Read More »