ACL in the news
Eatons Hill Hotel Puppetry of the Penis billboard under fire

Dannielle DePinto – Courier Mail

A confronting billboard advertising world-­renowned performance Puppetry of the Penis in big, black, bold letters, has come under fire for its sexual ­innuendo.

Abortion
Fetus ‘dismemberment’ ban legislation touted as abortion game changer

Cheryl Wetzstein – The Washington Times

Legislation banning the “dismemberment” of a fetus is being pitched as a game changer because it could outlaw an entire type of abortion procedure, pro-life activists said. “Dismemberment” abortions refer to procedures in which doctors use surgical instruments, such as sharp-toothed forceps, to twist and tear away the limbs of a living fetus to cause its death.

Children & Family
Science says: eat with your kids

Anne Fishel – Mercator Net

As a family therapist, I often have the impulse to tell families to go home and have dinner together rather than spending an hour with me. And 20 years of research in North America, Europe and Australia back up my enthusiasm for family dinners. It turns out that sitting down for a nightly meal is great for the brain, the body and the spirit. And that nightly dinner doesn’t have to be a gourmet meal that took three hours to cook, nor does it need to be made with organic arugula and heirloom parsnips.

Royal Commission into family violence terms of reference released
Richard Willingham – The Age

Family violence offenders could face tougher punishments in the courts if the Royal Commission believes it will reduce a problem that is the leading cause of death and disability for women under 45 in Victoria.

Suspended and sent for ‘equality training’ – Christian magistrate who said: ‘Adopted child needs mum and dad – not gay parents’
Daily Mail

A Christian magistrate has been disciplined by a Tory Cabinet Minister for expressing the belief that children should be raised by both a mother and a father. Richard Page told colleagues behind closed doors during an adoption case that he thought it would be better for a child to be brought up in a traditional family rather than by a gay couple.

Donor Conception & Surrogacy
China’s black market for human eggs lures the young

Life Site News

Illegal clinics are luring high school and college-age girls in China with the promise of large payments for their eggs. The procedure can damage the girls’ health and future child-bearing, and the clinics are offering no legal or medical help if complications ensue.

Ironwoman Hayley Bateup is ‘super excited’ her partner April Zekulich is pregnant with their first baby
Courier Mail

Champion ironwoman Hayley Bateup is “super excited” her long-time partner April Zekulich is pregnant with their much-wanted baby. “We have hoped for this for so long,” says the three-time Coolangatta Gold winner.

Drugs & Alcohol
Methamphetamine crime skyrockets: Taking a hard line to stop our children dying

Daily Telegraph

Judges and politicians are being urged to radically change the way the state fights an “ice” epidemic, as new figures show use of the drug exploded last year.

Designer drugs too varied to control
The Examiner

Tasmania’s forensics experts have warned about the proliferation of designer drugs that in the words of one scientist are a bottomless pit when it comes to new varieties.

Men caught digging up $7 million worth of drugs in Adelaide Hills jailed
Loukas Founten – ABC

Two men have been jailed after being caught digging up $7 million worth of amphetamines in the Adelaide Hills.

Education
Abbott government asked to reconsider timing of introduction of higher-education reforms

Matthew Knott – SMH

The Abbott government is facing fresh calls to delay the introduction of its higher-education reforms, with a vice-chancellor breaking ranks with the sector to support limits on the amount universities can charge for a degree.

Euthanasia
Disabled lives ‘undervalued’ by Scots assisted suicide plans

The Christian Institute

Legalising assisted suicide in Scotland would only reinforce society’s view that disabled people’s lives are “not worth living”, a disability rights campaigner has warned.

Gambling
Finance chief ‘swindled $7m’ to fund gambling addiction: police

Emma Partridge – SMH

It took a few clicks of a mouse for a Sydney finance director to steal more than $7 million from his company, and another 86 for him to gamble most of it away, police will allege.

Health
Professor Peter Gøtzsche to deliver a powerful critique of psychiatry

Melissa Sweet – Crikey

No doubt there will be plenty of debate generated by a series of lectures in Australia next month by Danish physician Professor Peter Gøtzsche, managing director of the Nordic Cochrane Centre based at Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen. Professor Gøtzsche and two Australian colleagues, psychiatrists Professor Jon Jureidini and Dr Peter Parry, argue that the harms of psychiatric drugs have been under-played and the benefits over-sold.

Indigenous
Scullion makes school attendance top priority

Sky News

Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion has told Sky News his big priority for 2015 will be increasing school attendance as he tours Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Marriage
Pope Francis warns that same-sex marriage ‘threatens the family’ and ‘disfigures God’s plan for creation’

The Independent

Pope Francis has said “the family is threatened” by the efforts of those seeking to “redefine the very institution of marriage”, in a reference to same-sex marriage campaigners.

Politics
Queensland individual seat polls

Adrian Beaumont – The Conversation

Today we have had nine individual seat polls for the Queensland election on the 31 January.

Religious Freedom & Persecution
The world ignores Nigeria in the wake of France

Carrie Dedrick – Christian Headlines

Writers are speaking out about the way terrorist attacks in France have been covered in the media compared to Nigeria. Boko Haram continues to wreak havoc in Nigeria and its surrounding countries; a devastating attack in Baga last week left at least 150 civilians dead, though some reports claimed the death toll reached as high as 2,000. Still, coverage of attacks in Paris dominate news outlets.