Daily News - Friday 13 February 2015

Posted 13 February 2015 10:13am



Children in detention: Tony Abbott takes aim at the messenger

Michael Gordon - The SMH

The first response of the Abbott government to the most comprehensive inquiry conducted into children in immigration detention was to bury it by delaying its release until late on the last possible night it could be tabled in the Parliament.

The second response was to denigrate it, with Tony Abbott accusing the Human Rights Commission of being blatantly partisan and saying it should be ashamed of itself. This is a direct attack on the professionalism, competence and impartiality of the commission president, Gillian Triggs, a lawyer of 46 years experience.

Scott Morrison was almost as contemptuous, dismissing the evidence assembled over eight months by experts as out-of-date "allegations" and asserting that, in any case, "the children are pretty much out".

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Legal bodies shame govt over children in detention report

Felicity Nelson - Lawyers Weekly

Lawyers have spoken out against the mandatory detention of children following the release of a “deeply shocking” report by the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC).

Claire Hammerton, spokesperson for Australian Lawyers for Human Rights, said the report revealed that the Australian government was engaged in “systematic child abuse”.

“There is no reasonable justification for the policy of keeping children in immigration detention,” she said.

The Human Rights Law Centre’s director of legal advocacy, Daniel Webb, called Australia’s treatment of asylum seeker children “one of the most punitive policy approaches in the world”.

“It’s harmful. It’s a breach of international law. It must end,” he said.

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Startup Accelerator Scholas.Labs Announced by Pope Francis

The Inquisitr

Startup accelerator Scholas.Labs was announced last week during an education event hosted by Pope Francis. Although one hardly expects to hear “startup accelerator” and “pontiff” in the same sentence, this enterprise is quite real and is aimed at assisting education projects all over the world.

According to what we know by now, Scholas.Labs will be a non-profit organization with the main purpose of selecting and supporting technological projects that may help improve the quality of education all over the globe. So far it was stated that it will support ten projects every year – it may not seem like much, but these projects will be selected for maximum innovation and effectiveness, and all assistance provided by Scholas.Labs will be completely free of charge.

Catholic Church isn’t the only organization backing it up – it received support from a number of tech companies like Microsoft, Google, IMB and Argentine Globant.

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Pope asks cardinals to back Vatican reform

Yahoo News

Pope Francis on Thursday urged Catholic cardinals to back his plans to reform the scandal-hit Vatican bureaucracy in order to help the Church reach out to believers more effectively, including on issues such as the environment.

The message came at the start of a two-day meeting of senior clerics from all corners of the globe which will review plans for the creation of two new super-ministries, one of which will include environmental issues among its responsibilities.

One ministry will focus on laity, family and life issues, the other on charity and peace, which will include the green issues on which Francis has indicated he wants the Church to take a lead.

The elevation of the environment to such a prominent position in the Church's priorities is particularly significant in light of Francis's view that climate change is mostly man-made.

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