1. Anti-vaxxers set up fake Church
The newest scam from the anti-vaccination campaigners is the creation of a fake Church which encourages people to join so they can bypass the “no jab, no play” childcare laws.
Currently in NSW, and soon to be introduced in Victoria, these laws mean parents must vaccinate their children to attend childcare or preschool – unless they lodge a conscientious objection where parents declare they have a medical reason or personal, philosophical or religious objection to vaccinations.
In order to lodge the conscientious objection, parents must take a Medicare form to a GP to receive counselling about the risks and benefits of immunisation. The doctor can then be asked to sign the form, which must be sent to the federal government’s department of human services.
In order to claim Family Tax benefit A the same form must be lodged.
The Australian Vaccination Skeptics Network Inc recommended in 2013 on its Facebook page for people to join the “Church of Conscious Living” which they say is a religion that is opposed to vaccination in order to exploit the loophole.
Fairfax Media reports that the Church of Conscious Living is not registered as a church or charity with the federal government’s Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, “but rather a business with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission” which has been set up for people to claim exemption from vaccination.
“We have decided to create a ‘religion’, so, amongst other things, we can claim ‘religious exemption’, if the need ever arises, for ourselves and our children, “says an AVN newsletter from December 2007.
For more on this issue, see this post here.
2. Islamic State: Japan vows to work with Jordan to secure release of IS hostage Kenji Goto
Japan has vowed to work with Jordan to secure the release of a Japanese journalist held by Islamic State militants after the killing last week of another Japanese captive.
But Tokyo has reiterated it would not give in to terrorism.
A video reportedly released by Islamic State on Tuesday made threats to kill the hostage and a Jordanian pilot within 24 hours.
Senior Japanese officials met early on Wednesday as authorities were attempting to verify the video which purportedly featured Japanese journalist Kenji Goto.
The hostage crisis has become a test for prime minister Shinzo Abe, who took power in 2012 pledging to bolster Japan’s global security role.
Mr Abe on Sunday condemned the killing of Japanese citizen Haruna Yukawa as “outrageous” and called for the release of veteran correspondent Kenji Goto, captured by Islamic State militants in Syria.