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In the Press

  • The head of a Dutch fertility clinic has been accused of using his own sperm instead of that of chosen donors to father dozens of children.

    Twenty-three parents and children of those born through IVF treatment from the Bijdorp medical centre, near Rotterdam, have gone to court to ask for tests on the DNA of Jan Karbaat, who died aged 89 last month.

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  • The United Nations human rights office today urged the Government of El Salvador to take urgent measures to protect a prominent transgender human rights defender, Karla Avelar, and other activists and individuals working on similar issues.

    The vulnerability of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people in El Salvador is of "deep concern," Ravina Shamdasani, a spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) told reporters in Geneva.

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  • Facebook has reinstated the page of a pro-choice group that helps women access abortion pills hours after it was banned for breaking the site's rules. 

    The social network blocked the Amsterdam-based Women on Web group on Thursday for violating its policies against "promoting and encouraging drug use". But it soon backtracked, apologising to the group and saying it was blocked "in error"

    Women on Web helps women in countries where abortion is restricted access pills so they can conduct the procedure themselves. It offers advice on ways to access abortion pills and connects them with international doctors who can help. 

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  • Oregonians may soon be able to identify themselves as neither male nor female as Oregon works toward becoming the first US state to allow a third gender option on its drivers' licenses and state identification cards.

    Last June, Multnomah county circuit court Judge Amy Holmes Hehn granted a request by Jamie Shupe, an Army veteran who has been transitioning since 2013, to change the retired sergeant's gender from female to a third, non-gender option. It was believed to be the first decision of its kind in the United States.

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  • The Ashers Baking Company case is to go before judges at the highest court in the United Kingdom.

    The UK Supreme Court has listed a hearing to consider a possible appeal by the Belfast-based bakers, over their refusal to bake a cake bearing the campaign slogan 'Support Gay Marriage'.

    The Christian-owned company, operated by the McArthur family, has been dragged through the courts in Northern Ireland for more than two years by the country’s state-funded equality watchdog, the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland (ECNI).

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  • Rochdale, Rotherham and Oxfordshire. They have all become synonymous with horrific cases of child sexual exploitation. And they do not stand alone. Within the past five years, regions as far apart as Torbay, Liverpool, Thurrock, Hampshire and Bristol have also been the subject of serious case reviews in relation to the sexual exploitation of minors.

    The evidence from these reports is striking. They all reveal what can only be described as a paralysis in child protection. But why? How could professionals charged with keeping children and young people safe be so negligent and fail to take decisive action against the perpetrators of exploitation and abuse?

    When a 13-year-old girl from Liverpool became pregnant, why was it that 'no agency addressed the unlawful aspect' of her sexual activity? And why did the GP confirming the pregnancy ‘not think to raise the question of underage sex or the identity of the father’ with the child, her mother or anyone else?

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  • A blueprint for schism seen by Christian Today reveals extensive plans by conservative evangelicals to form a rival Anglican structure to the Church of England in the UK.

    The proposals, born out of concerns about liberal teachings on homosexuality, include suggestions for a new synod, new liturgy, an appointments system for new bishops, new church canons and new statements of belief.

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  • Babies learn faster if their fathers engage with them in the first few months of life, a study suggests.

    An active male role in the early stages of babies' development produced better performance in cognitive tests by the age of two, researchers found.

    The team from Imperial College London, King's College London and Oxford University, says the findings show the value of early paternal involvement.

    They said the signs could be seen from as early as three months.

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  • The Legislative Council (upper house) of the New South Wales parliament was brought to a shocked silence as one of the largest official parliamentary petitions in its history was tabled by the Hon. Greg Donnelly MLC.

    The petition with 56,559 signatures opposed the Abortion Law Reform (Miscellaneous Acts Amendment) Bill 2016. The Bill aims to "repeal offenses relating to abortion, to specify a ground of unsatisfactory professional conduct by a medical practitioner with respect to abortion, and to establish exclusion zones in order to prohibit certain behavior near premises at which abortions are provided."

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  • A police force has replaced helmets with caps in a bid to attract more transgender officers.

    Northamptonshire Police say research has revealed the new headwear will eradicate the issue of transgender officers having to make a choice between the traditional custodian helmets for male officers and bowlers hats for females.

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