* Paul Weyrich, the American pro-family activist who generated controversy several months ago for a pessimistic review of current U.S. culture, has endorsed Steve Forbes for the Republican presidential candidate. In a report distributed by the Republicans for Life PAC (Political Action Committee), Mr. Weyrich is quoted saying: “While there are many good conservatives running for President in 2000, in my view Steve Forbes is the only economic,  social and pro-life conservative in the race with the ability to win the White House. …  When asked directly by NBC’s Tim Russert on Meet the Press what he’d do as President if he could only do one thing, Steve Forbes said he would ban abortion.”

* A report out of the Czech Republic indicates that abortions in that country continue to drop, continuing a trend evidenced through the 1990s. “The Czech News Agency reports that 62% of all pregnancies ended in births last year with the rest ending in abortion, compared with 51% in 1990,” reports the U.S. email service, Pro-Life Infonet. The number of births,  however, has dropped by 30% since 1990 to 90,535 last year.

* “The Life Research and Communications Institute has launched a web site to serve as a resource on life issues, bioethics and the dignity of the person,” reported Zenit news service yesterday. “With facts from credentialed research, we hope to better engage mainstream culture with the message of life,” said Robert Best, President of the 2-year-old Institute. 

* Justice Minister Anne McLellan granted an audience to the Canadian Civil Liberties Association this week so that they could explain to her the importance of legalizing kiddy porn. Ms. McLellan wouldn’t speak with reporters following the meeting, said the Edmonton Journal, but CCLA lawyer, Alan Borovoy said her response was “disappointing”, according to CBC Online news. Mr. Borovoy attempted to use the tried and true method of eroding laws against sexual perversion, an appeal to the freedom of expression needed by artists.

* Cabinet Ministers no longer have to refer to God in the oaths of secrecy they take when joining the government’s inner circle, reports the Ottawa Citizen today. The changes were made by Kim Campbell’s short-lived government and went unnoticed at the time. The Citizen reports opposition to the change from NDP MP Pat Martin, Reformer Peter Goldring and Tory Elsie Wayne. “I don’t know where we’re headed, what’s happened to this country. I really feel very strongly we should keep the reference to God. If we want to take a look at what’s wrong with our society, it’s steps such as this that come from government,” said Mrs. Wayne.