A man, enraged, kicks his pregnant partner in the stomach until she miscarries. A baby he didn’t want. Later, she dies.
It’s a horrific image, a terrible crime. But should it be a double homicide?
The debate about the rights of the unborn is set to rev up – again – as South Australian Family First MP Robert Brokenshire prepares a Bill that declares it a crime to “destroy the life of” or do “grievous bodily harm to” a foetus.
Latest 2 of 186 commentsView all comments
Damn that Obama. He bamboozles you with a powerful speech and it’s only when he’s finished you realise he hasn’t actually committed to anything. Well, he committed to doing something. But it wasn’t gun control, not yet anyway.
It remains to be seen whether America would ever allow a black man to take away their precious guns – but his speech to the mourning people of Newtown offered, at last, a glimmer of hope.
Meanwhile, here, there’s a hint of the smugs about Australian gun control. Why can’t those crazy Yanks be more like us?
Latest 2 of 229 commentsView all comments
Fed up with the chances of Federal Parliament passing a gay marriage bill this year, marriage equality campaigners have turned their attention to two new arenas: the States and the High Court.
The weekend before last, Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings announced her state would legalise gay marriage if the state parliament says yes. And she was joined at the weekend by South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill, who has thrown his support behind similar plans in his state.
Depending on how it all pans out in the Tasmanian Parliament, gay couples could be getting married as early as this year.
Latest 2 of 213 commentsView all comments
The Australian Senate is currently debating the Government’s Clean Energy Future package and will shortly vote on these historic reforms.
Earlier this week, during debate on the legislation, I spoke about the unrivalled natural beauty of the Australian environment and landscape and of our profound relationship with the land on which we forge our lives.
We are a unique nation, and our identity stems from our landscape. We have developed our character through our values. We believe in mateship, we believe in backing the underdog and, importantly, we believe in a fair go.
Latest 2 of 94 commentsView all comments
The exhaustion and anger that came with getting Mabo laws through Parliament nearly 18 years ago are set to be repeated with the carbon pricing legislation.
Maybe even magnified, establishing a new record for bitter, marathon debate.
We will see whether a new record will be set when the bills are introduced next month, but already the Government is drawing up strategies it hopes will see carbon pricing become law by the end of the year.
Latest 2 of 166 commentsView all comments
In the wake of New York’s historic decision to legalise same sex marriages, I find myself increasingly frustrated by the Australian Government’s refusal to provide Certificates of No Impediment to Marriage (CNI) to same sex couples who wish to wed overseas in countries that recognise marriage equality.
As someone who is considering marrying their partner overseas, I am personally affected and outraged by this bureaucratic bigotry.
Certificates of No Impediment to Marriage are designed to assure foreign governments that the applicants can legally be married overseas; they confirm that applicants are of marriageable age, aren’t closely related to each other and aren’t currently married in Australia.
Latest 2 of 65 commentsView all comments
As a parent of a gay man and National Spokesperson for Parents with Lesbian Daughters and Gay Sons (PFLAG), I am encouraged by the most recent Galaxy Poll taken showing that 75 per cent of Australians “believe marriage for same sex couples is inevitable”.
This poll agrees with another Galaxy Poll taken a few months ago that showed 62 per cent are in favour of allowing same-sex marriages, and a NewsPoll that showed 65 per cent don’t have a problem with it.
But still MPs are hesitant to take the step. When I meet with them in Canberra and ask “why?” so often the answer is “fear of the religious minority and possible loss of votes at the next election.” At least they are honest. But is this a good reason to keep discriminatory legislation in place? I don’t think so.
Latest 2 of 285 commentsView all comments
Sharia should never be part of Australian law. In fact, Australian authorities should be making more concerted attempts to get to grips with sharia law as it is already practised in Australia, and to make sure that the benefits of a secular democracy are better understood in migrant communities.
First of all, though, let’s just be clear that what the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils has proposed in its submission to a multiculturalism inquiry is not about stoning women for adultery or lopping off hands for stealing. What they’re talking about – at this point – is family law; divorces and marriages.
And when AFIC says (in today’s news reports) that they want Government support for a wider spread of schools and halal shops to stop ‘enclaves’ forming, they’re not talking about empire building, but about community support.
Latest 2 of 593 commentsView all comments
The latest move by the Federal Government to make smoking a habit of the past is the latest salvo in the rapid expansion of the nanny state.
Recently the Health Minister Nicola Roxon re‑announced the government’s intention to force tobacco companies to adopt plain packaging for all cigarette brands.
From next year, smokers will be greeted with a standard olive‑green packet emblazoned with graphic health warnings screaming that “every cigarette is doing you damage”.
Latest 2 of 99 commentsView all comments
Smokers. The unthinkable may become a disagreeable reality. Smoking may be banned in private homes and apartments.
Scoff if you like about improbability of home smoking bans. How they would not only be unfair but unenforceable. Dismiss the concept as ridiculous.
Huff and puff about civil liberties, individual freedom of choice and the home being the family castle. Thump the table about government interference and intervention. About the spidery intrusion of the nanny state. But ignore the looming reality at your peril. The smokers’ nagging fear, that their final bastion will be invaded by smoke police, is already here.
Latest 2 of 278 commentsView all comments
Justice may be blind, but many Australian farmers find the scales are tipped against them as they struggle to come to terms with a growing minefield of environmental regulations on top of other natural enemies.
They are not fighting the concept of land management, but the way in which their properties can be ‘locked up’ or confiscated without proper compensation. They can be prosecuted for something suddenly illegal under frequent amendments to vegetation laws which can be applied retrospectively. The farmer is virtually presumed guilty until innocence can be proven, often at great expense.
Those who live in cities and urban areas might find this difficult to comprehend. The following events are more suited to a communist dictatorship but they happened in our “free country” …
Latest 2 of 168 commentsView all comments
Dr Phillip Nitschke’s pre-emptive move to set up a euthanasia clinic in Adelaide shows he has missed the purpose of the legislation before the Parliament.
The Criminal Law Consolidation (Medical Defences – End of Life Arrangements) Bill 2011 is purely aimed at giving a family doctor who has a long history with their patient the ability to use this legislation as a defence against a criminal charge should the medication given to their patient at the request of the patient result in the patient’s death.
The legislation does not legalise voluntary euthanasia. The legislation does not legalise assisted suicide.
Latest 2 of 90 commentsView all comments
I appreciate the high standard of human rights we enjoy in Australia just as much as the next person. But when it comes to the possession of illegal substances, I think it’s better to be presumed guilty rather than innocent, even if it intrudes on our basic right to a fair trial.
In 2008, solicitor Vera Momcilovic was convicted of trafficking ice found in her apartment, despite her claims that the drugs were her boyfriend’s and she knew nothing about it.
Now she’s challenging the legitimacy of the state’s drug laws in the High Court, claiming the Victorian Charter of Human Rights effectively invalidates them because they remove the presumption of innocence.
Latest 2 of 132 commentsView all comments
I recently wrote a letter of complaint to my local library.
Dear Sir/Madam, I am writing to lodge an official complaint with your management team regarding the horrible amount of noise that emanates from your establishment. I recently bought “A Touch of Frost” on DVD and your supposed “place of learning” has made it increasingly difficult to enjoy my purchase.
I constantly have to turn up the volume to drown out the hideous thumps coming from the library. Overwhelmed by this outrageous sound, I yesterday visited the building to investigate it. It has come to my attention that people are closing their books too loudly.
Latest 2 of 218 commentsView all comments
I once heard a story about a prostitute and a man who claimed to be her husband.
The prostitute, a middle-aged woman had complained about a car that was constantly parked outside her place of work and even sometimes as she made her way home.
Several weeks later, the car was spotted but when the man inside the car was approached and asked why he was parked there, he immediately started to cry. Pointing to the window of the brothel he said, “My wife is in there.”
Latest 2 of 74 commentsView all comments
Read all about it
Up to the minute Twitter chatter
@ClaireRPorter get out
The latest and greatest
Good morning Punchers. After four years of excellent fun and great conversation, this is the final post…
I have had some close calls, one that involved what looked to me like an AK47 pointed my way, followed…
In a world in which there are still people who subscribe to the vile notion that certain victims of sexual…