Politicians in New South Wales have voted to decriminalise abortion, despite more than 10,000 people protesting against changing the law. The Bill, which removes the killing of an unborn child from the criminal code, passed the Australian state’s upper house by 26 votes to 14. The new law will allow women in New South Wales to have an abortion up to 22 weeks, or later when two doctors agree. Over 100 amendments were put forward during the 70 hours of debate, and MPs opposing the Bill eventually secured more safeguards for women, doctors and babies born alive after abortion.

 

 

The canonisation of Cardinal John Henry Newman took place at the Vatican on Sunday, in a historic ceremony attended by tens of thousands. The Victorian priest, hymn writer, and poet was declared a Saint before a congregation of 20,000, at an open-air ceremony in St Peter's Square. The leader of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, Cardinal Vincent Nichols was alongside the Pope to witness the canonisation of the first English saint of the modern age. Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Vincent Nichols told Premier it's a day of celebration for Britain's Catholics: "I've been describing it as a party. "It is just a moment of great joy that this man who whose life is so full, and whose sensitivities are so important, and who struggles through so many difficulties, we can see much more clearly into his heart. And what a great disciple of Christ he was.” The former Anglican priest controversially converted to Catholicism in 1845 and went on to found a society of priests known as the Birmingham Oratory in 1848. Cardinal Nichols honoured Newman's dedication to the people of Birmingham, where he served as a parishioner for 40 years.

 

 

Former US defense secretary Jim Mattis has warned that the resurgence of the Islamic State is an “absolute given” unless the US manages to keep pressure on the group despite a planned pullback of troops northern Syria to make room for a Turkish offensive against Kurds there. “We have got to keep the pressure on ISIS so they don’t recover,” he told NBC’s Meet the Press, in a preview of an interview to be aired later Sunday. “We may want a war over; we may even declare it over. You can pull your troops out as President Obama learned the hard way out of Iraq, but the ‘enemy gets the vote’, we say in the military. And in this case, if we don’t keep the pressure on, then ISIS will resurge. It’s absolutely a given that they will come back,” he said.

 

 

 

A study which claimed that being religious makes children less generous and meaner than their non-religious peers has been retracted by its own authors. The study was prominently reported by The Guardian and The Independent when it was published in 2015, despite receiving strong criticism from academics. Professor Jean Decety has now admitted to making a “stupid mistake”, and asked Current Biology, the journal which published the study, to scrap it. In the paper, Prof Decety had claimed that children of religious parents exhibit less altruistic behaviour than others, and that they may inflict harsher punishments on people if given the opportunity. Altruism was measured in the children by playing a game in which the children were given ten stickers and offered the opportunity to share them with another unseen child.