A senior manager at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) had to remind staff to remain impartial, following accusations of bias in its coverage of the same-sex marriage debate. The email, sent to staff in ABC’s news division by the corporation’s editorial policy manager Mark Maley, included a reminder that the preferred terminology of ABC is ‘same-sex marriage’, rather than ‘marriage equality’, or ‘gay marriage’ Politicians have agreed to hold a postal vote on the redefinition of marriage. ABC is a publicly funded organisation, and is required by law to be impartial in its programming. Last week, Australian Senator Zed Seselja spoke out against media bias in favour of same-sex marriage, and highlighted ABC’s partiality. “Even the ABC, who are tasked with being fair in their charter, haven’t actually been fair on this issue, and haven’t equally given both sides an airing”, he said.

The Catholic Church and local authorities have been criticised for claiming child sex abuse victims 'consented'. Lawyers representing some of the victims told the Sunday Telegraph that the defence is more frequently being used by private schools, religious groups and local authorities in a bid to avoid compensation payouts. The news comes after the discovery that the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme, a Government agency, was denying some children compensation because it said they had "consented" to abuse - even if they were of an age where they could not do so legally. Adults in a position of authority are not legally permitted to have sex with a child under their care, even if the child is 16 or 17 at the time

BEIRUT, Lebanon — The Lebanese army announced Saturday the start of an offensive against the Islamic State (IS) group close to the Syrian border in the east of the country, where jihadists have been operating for several years. “In the name of Lebanon, in the name of kidnapped Lebanese soldiers, in the name of martyrs of the army, I announce that operation ‘Dawn of Jurud’ has started,” army chief General Joseph Aoun said, referring to the mountainous Jurud Arsal border region. Hezbollah, which provides military support to Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria, launched last month an offensive to eliminate Syrian rebels as well as all jihadists formerly linked to al-Qaeda from the region.

MOSCOW - Russia's air force has destroyed a large column of Islamic State fighters on their way to the Syrian city of Deir al-Zor, killing over 200 militants, Russian news agencies cited Russia's Defense Ministry as saying on Monday. Islamic State is concentrating its forces around Deir al-Zor after being pushed out of the south of Raqqa Province and the west of Homs Province by Syrian land forces and the Russian air force, the ministry said.
It said its planes had also destroyed the militants' military equipment. It did not say when the strike took place. 

A Christian street preacher who was arrested and held for 13 hours in a police cell, after displaying placards depicting love for Muslims and criticising the ideology of Islam, has this week been informed by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) that no charges will be brought against him. Ian Sleeper was arrested outside Southwark Cathedral in June this year, under Section 5 Public Order Act 1986, religiously aggravated by section 31 Crime and Disorder Act 1998. He was released on bail after the CPS could not decide whether to charge him. Strict conditions were imposed preventing him from going into the Southwark Borough. Having been on bail for 6 weeks, the police have now decided to take no further action against him. Ian has been supported by the Christian Legal Centre throughout. Commenting on the result, he says: "It is reassuring to hear that I have not been charged for seeking to expose the truth about Islam. "Truth cannot be taken for granted in our modern world, and so I will be back out on the street soon."