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Ireland’s abortion laws may go to a referendum, but will it turn out like marriage equality?

This week a citizens’ assembly will meet in Dublin to take the first step towards a referendum on the contentious issue of abortion. ABC Keri Phillips While the Irish may have established their progressive bona fides last year with their vote on same-sex marriage, a vote on abortion could produce a very different result. In almost all circumstances, abortion is… Ireland’s abortion laws may go to a referendum, but will it… Read More »

It’s time to relax the rules on growing human embryos in the lab

Labs - New Scientist

Researchers can only study human embryos up to 14 days past fertilisation, but new techniques can go beyond that – a change in the law would benefit all of us New Scientist Sam Wong WHEN it comes to studying our earliest existence, how far are we willing to go? Growing human embryos in the lab beyond the seventh day after fertilisation – the moment when embryos normally implant in the wall of the uterus – has been a long-standing challenge ... Read More »

There’s great potential in maritime heritage

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Leaders recently adopted the African Charter on Maritime Security, Safety and Development. Daily Nation By PAUL ODHIAMBO The charter has been developed at a time when African states are rethinking the potential of the blue economy in their territorial waters and… There’s great potential… Read More »

Under Donald Trump, the US will no longer be the beacon of the free world

Trump Tower - The Guardian

Other nations look to America as an example. The Guardian Richard Wolff The president-elect’s attitude to his business interests won’t help efforts to spread good governance. Somehow Donald Trump manages to dumb down… Under Donald Trump, the US will no longer be… Read More »

The world’s most generous countries

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It seems that lending a helping hand to a stranger can be more than just a good deed. By Lindsey Galloway In fact, according to research consulting company Gallup, a culture’s willingness to help others is a strong indicator of… The world’s most… Read More »

Lawren Harris painting goes for record $11.2 million

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Auction house estimated Harris 1926 oil canvas painting “Mountain Forms” would go for $3-$5 million. By LAUREN LA ROSE The Canadian Press The Lawren Harris painting Mountain Forms smashed a Canadian art record in Toronto on Wednesday night by selling for just over $11.2 million, more than double the… Lawren Harris painting… Read More »

Revenge porn civil penalties considered by Government to give victims faster access to justice

Revenge porn civil penalties - ABC 1a

The Federal Government is considering a new range of civil penalties to try to help victims of so-called “revenge porn” get justice more quickly. Abc Naomi Woodley and Josie Taylor The states and territories are already discussing ways to harmonise their laws which criminalise the sharing of intimate photos without someone’s consent. But the Federal Government said… Revenge porn civil… Read More »

John Rau’s Senior Counsel application given special consideration, confirms SA Chief Justice

John Rau - ABC 1d

Special consideration was given to an application by Attorney-General and Deputy Premier John Rau to become a Senior Counsel (SC), South Australia’s Chief Justice Chris Kourakis has confirmed, as it would spare any public embarrassment if it had been rejected. ABC Nick Harmsen and Angelique Donnellan The Chief Justice absented himself from considering Mr Rau’s application to avoid any perception of a conflict of interest. Mr. Rau’s ultimately successful application was submitted after a… John Rau’s Senior Counsel application given ... Read More »

Megan Latham resigns just days after Government passed legislation which effectively sacked her

Megan Latham - ABC 1f

Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) commissioner Megan Latham has resigned. ABC Sarah Gerathy Her resignation comes just days after she learnt she would have been forced to reapply for her job under changes to the ICAC’s structure that passed New South Wales Parliament last week. The legislation prompted claims that the State Government was effectively forcing Ms Latham out of her job, as… Megan Latham resigns just days after… Read More »

Freedom of speech? More like freedom to be a racist

Freedom of speech - The Canberra Times 1a

To no one’s great surprise, I guess, the government has finally caved in to pressure and announced an inquiry into “freedom of speech”. The Canberra Times Sarah Gill A better title might be the “freedom to be a racist” though, in view of the fact that the Racial Discrimination Act is the sole focus of the inquiry. Announced by Attorney-General George Brandis on November 8, the inquiry of the Parliamentary Joint Committee will consider whether the act imposes “unreasonable restrictions” on… ... Read More »

Let voters elect weirdos and the imperfect

Let voters elect weirdos and the imperfect - Crikey 1a

Constitutional rules surrounding Australian elections represent centuries-old British legal language and morality. And they should be done away with. Crikey What sort of electoral system tries to forbid electors from voting for one of their own to represent them? Ours. Much hullabaloo has followed Attorney-General George Brandis’ announcement… Let voters elect weirdos and… Read More »

NT child abuse reports skyrocketing, children’s commissioner report shows

NT child abuse reports - ABC 1e

Almost 1,800 children have been abused or neglected in just one year in the Northern Territory, and Territory Families failed to protect almost a quarter of them from more abuse, a new report has revealed. ABC Neda Nanovac and Eleni Roussos The NT children’s commissioner has released her annual report, finding that the number of notifications potential harm to children has more than doubled in the past five years. Last year alone, there was a 20 per cent spike in ... Read More »

Anglican priest undressed, touched boy in South West town, WA court hears

Anglican priest undressed - ABC 1c

A man has told a Perth court he was repeatedly undressed and touched in the groin by an Anglican priest in the late 1970s, while going to church with his mother. ABC Emily Piesse Retired priest Raymond Sydney Cheek, 84, has pleaded not guilty to five charges spanning 30 years, including indecent dealing with a child under 14 years. The first charge related to an alleged offence on… Anglican priest undressed, touched boy in… Read More »

Children in 20-hour lockdown at Barwon prison: lawyers

Teenagers - the age 1b

Teenagers are being kept in 20-hour lock down in cells designed for hardened murderers such as Peter Dupas and Julian Knight, their lawyers say. The Age Bianca Hall The state government has imposed a detention-centre style secrecy on the fate of the young prisoners sent to adult maximum-security prison near Geelong, and Victorians may never know how many children will be sent to Barwon prison. The Department of Health and Human Services says it will not provide “daily discussions” on the… Children ... Read More »

First Int’l Bank in Swiss unit sale talks

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The advantage of confidentiality in Swiss banking has been eroded and banks frequently find no substantial added value to offer their customers. Irit Avissar First International Bank of Israel (TASE: FTIN), controlled by Zadik Bino, is in negotiations to sell its business in Switzerland. The bank… First Int’l Bank in… Read More »

Old public housing to be bulldozed for new homes for family violence victims

State acts as one in five apprehended domestic violence orders breached - SMH 1a

Ageing public housing units will be bulldozed to make way for new homes for family violence victims under a $200 million plan from the Andrews government. The Age Richard Willingham The overhaul is part of the government’s 10-year family violence strategy, to be released on Thursday, in response to the Royal Commission. Service providers briefed on Wednesday heard that long-term targets for… Old public housing to be bulldozed for new homes for… Read More »