ACL compiles a daily media monitoring service of stories of interest to the Christian constituency relating to children, family, drugs and alcohol, marriage, human rights, religious freedom etc. Visit the ACL’s website each day to see what’s of interest in the news. Please note that selection of the articles does not represent ACL endorsement of the content.



 





Abortion

Now House of Horrors 2, and the media is still missing in action


Steve Jalsevac - LifeSite News





Kermit Gosnell has been convicted. He will spend the rest of his days languishing in prison. Never again will he brutally murder children, or exploit, injure, and kill their mothers. But this story isn’t over. Far from it. Douglas Karpen stands accused by former employees of brutally murdering numerous babies born alive. We barely had time to feel relief that Gosnell was off the streets, before we learned about another, and possibly even worse, “House of Horrors” – this time in Texas. It won’t come as a surprise that despite horrifying testimony and photographic evidence about how Texas abortionist Douglas Karpen is allegedly delivering living babies, and then killing them in ways that are almost impossible to imagine, the mainstream media has completely ignored this new House of Horrors – just as they ignored Gosnell.
















Bioethics

Human stem cells made from cloned embryos


John Johnson - Newser





Scientists have made a long-sought—and controversial—breakthrough: They created stem cells from cloned human embryos for the first time, reports AP. In theory, the development by researchers at Oregon Health & Science University means that doctors might someday be able to grow tissue from an ailing patient's own DNA, thus reducing the chance of rejection in a transplant. Commonly cited examples are growing brain tissue to help a patient with Parkinson's disease, or pancreatic tissue to help diabetics.










New spectre of cloned babies: Scientists create embryos in lab that 'could grow to full term'

Fiona Macrae - Daily Mail





The prospect of cloned babies has moved a step closer after scientists extracted stem cells from human embryos created in a laboratory. The breakthrough could lead to customised cells to help treat and even cure a range of diseases, from Alzheimer’s to multiple sclerosis. However, it also raises the spectre of babies being cloned in laboratories. This could allow couples who lose a child to pay for the creation of a ‘duplicate’.


















Children & Family

What is parenthood?

Peter Jon Mitchell - Mercator Net





In debates about the family, some social scientists are asserting the primacy of theory over facts. Is this science? In the March issue of Pediatrics, the publication of the American Academy of Pediatrics, an article called “Marriage and the well-being of children” appeared that considered the role of marriage in child outcomes. In a short statement, the authors dismissed the body of data on marriage and child outcomes as inconclusive. The authors went on to argue “even if empirical support for its claims was strong, the argument is morally insufficient for denying state recognition to other types of relationships.”










Community of life and love: The holistic vision of the family

Peter Elliott - ABC Religion and Ethics





In our distracted world, the family is often taken for granted. G.K. Chesterton told a story about a man who left home and travelled the world seeking "something," a paradise where he could be fulfilled. After many long journeys, he finally came over a hill and with joy beheld just what he had been seeking. Then he realised that he was back where he began. He was looking at the little house he had left behind long ago, the home and family he had taken for granted in all his restless wanderings.












New federal bill seeks to punish adoption agencies that give priority to married, heterosexual couples

Leonardo Blair - Christian Post





Adoption agencies receiving funding from the government that deny prospective foster and adoptive families the right to a child based on sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status could face penalties under a new federal bill being pushed by a group of U.S. lawmakers and gay activists. The Every Child Deserves a Family Act which proposes to cut funding from any government dependent agency that rejects a prospective foster or adoptive family based on sexual orientation, gender identity and marital status was reintroduced in Washington last Tuesday.












Classification

Gamers smash plan to tax violent video games


Lucy O'Brien - Adelaide Now





Gamers are outraged at a US proposal to tax violent video games and donate the proceeds to the victims of violent crime. US Vice President Joe Biden says there is "no legal reason" why taxing games such as Mortal Kombat would be an issue. The Vice President spoke after meeting with senior religious leaders, who suggested that proceeds of the tax should go towards victims of gun violence and their families, reported the website politico.com.












AANA launches AdWatch

BandT





The Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) has launched a web portal providing case histories of complaints cases to showcase changing standards of language, sex and nudity, violence and health and safety in Australian advertising. Called AdWatch, the site will explain to advertisers why public complaints have or haven’t been upheld by the Advertising Standards Bureau, making it easier for them to comply with the code and with the AANA self regulatory system. AANA Acting CEO, Alina Bain said: “AANA has responsibility for developing and maintaining the self-regulatory system and defining what’s in and what’s out.










AANA launches AdWatch guide to community standards

Mumbrella





The Australian Association of National Advertisers has launched AdWatch, an online guide for marketers on community standards in advertising.












Fears of Australian government’s web censorship emerge

James Hutchinson - AFR





Fears about the Australian government censoring internet content have emerged with revelations that agencies are invoking legislative powers to block local users from accessing some websites. The Australian Securities and Investment Commission confirmed on Thursday that it had requested some internet service providers to block access to two websites believed to be part of a share trading scam in late March, after a four-year investigation into ‘Boiler Room’ fraud.
















Drugs & Alcohol

Plea for spending on pain


Zara Dawtrey - The Mercury





The growing number of Tasmanians addicted to opiates has put the state's health system under increasing pressure, specialists say. Doctors have called on the State Government to fund new pain clinics to battle the problem. But a new drug entering the market could provide the solution. Tasmania has only one specialist pain management clinic, run through the Royal Hobart Hospital under the directorship of rheumatologist Hilton Francis. A large number of Tasmanians using opiates do not have a legitimate reason to do so.
















Euthanasia and suicide

Tumblr post spurs 8-hour race to stop teen's suicide


Ruth Brown - Newser





USA Today recounts the incredible story of how one teen's cry for help in a May 6 Tumblr post set off a nationwide search to find the girl before she committed suicide. It started when 18-year-old Jackie Rosas from Cathedral City, California, saw the troubling post by the 16-year-old, whose blog she had read for a year. Armed with only the blog URL, the girl's first name, and the fact that she was in her school's color guard, Rosas called a suicide hotline and then local police. An officer took over the case around 5pm and set about tracking her down.












Bishops’ MPs plea: spare the suffering

Catholic Weekly





NSW Catholic Bishops have called on State parliamentarians to reject moves to allow doctors to administer lethal drugs to the terminally ill, saying legal euthanasia would bring pressure to bear upon vulnerable people to ‘volunteer’ for early death. Last week Greens MP Cate Faehrmann introduced the Rights of the Terminally Ill Bill 2013 which would legalise euthanasia in NSW. In a letter signed by the Archbishop of Sydney, George Cardinal Pell, on behalf of the NSW bishops, the Euthanasia Bill is described as “unsafe and unnecessary”.














Gambling

Call for drastic cut in sports betting advertising


Greg Baum - Canberra Times





Federal Parliament will be asked on Wednesday to curb what might loosely be called the Tom Waterhouse effect. The Greens will move a bill aimed at drastically reducing the promotion of gambling during sports broadcasts. They will also present a 20,000-signature petition demanding such action. The bill will seek to ban gambling ads before 9pm, ban the spruiking of live odds during sports broadcasts and other sports programs, and ban so-called ''cash for comment'', with commentators and guests paid to insinuate gambling information into their work.


















Marriage

Greens push for overseas marriage


Star Observer





Same-sex marriages performed overseas are in the sights of the Greens after they introduced a new bill into the federal Parliament today. Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has introduced the Marriage Act Amendment (Recognition of Foreign Marriages for Same-Sex Couples) Bill 2013 into the Senate.














Overseas Aid

Budgetary nihilism: Deferring foreign aid signals a distorted moral vision


Matthew Anslow - ABC Religion and Ethics





Yesterday, Foreign Minister Bob Carr announced that Australia had, for the second year in a row, deferred its life-saving foreign aid commitments, this time until 2017-18. In addition, the Minister confirmed that Australia would once again divert $375 million of the aid budget to fund Australia's domestic asylum seeker program in 2013-14. This will continue to make Australia, an OECD member, one of the biggest recipients of its own foreign aid.














Religious Freedom & Persecution

Mob attacks Copts and their businesses in Northern Egypt


MidEast Christian News





Coptic-owned businesses and pharmacies in Menbal village, Minya in northern Egypt were attacked by a mob, resulting in extensive damage and several injuries. "The thugs attacked my shop, assaulting it with stones. Some of the contents were damaged … they destroyed a number of Coptic-owned shops and pharmacies," Michael Sobhi, a witness from the village, told Mideast Christian News. "The Copts of the village couldn't confront the thugs, as their numbers increased. They had firearms and blades, so Copts tried to avoid fighting with them," he added.
















Other

Pope blasts "cult of money" that tyrannises poor


The Canberra Times





Pope Francis has denounced the global financial system, blasting the "cult of money" that he says is tyrannising the poor and turning humans into expendable consumer goods. In his first major speech on the subject, Francis demanded Thursday that financial and political leaders reform the global financial system to make it more ethical and concerned for the common good. He said: "Money has to serve, not to rule!"
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Major retailers refuse to sign Bangladesh agreement

Sarah Whyte - The Age





Some of Australia's biggest retailers have refused to sign an international agreement to improve fire safety and working conditions in Bangladesh after the country's worst industrial accident. Woolworths, Kmart and Target - that all have factories operating out of Bangladesh - have declined to sign the legally binding agreement, which aims to compel retailers operating in Bangladesh to improve conditions and pay for factory repairs and fire safety.














Christian leaders seek to overcome polarization

Lauren Markoe - Religion News





Twenty-five top Christian leaders gathered in the U.S. city with perhaps the worst reputation for civil discourse Wednesday (May 15) and committed themselves to elevating the level of public conversation. Meeting in a row house three blocks from the U.S. Capitol, the group spanned the Christian spectrum, and included officials from liberal churches and the most conservative of interest groups.












Liars, social media pests to face sack in new public service code

Noel Towell - The Canberra Times





Federal public servants who lied their way into their jobs could face the sack under a shake-up of the bureaucracy's disciplinary code. Changes to the Australian Public Service Code of Conduct will also extend bosses' power to punish staff for off-the-job misbehaviour, including conduct on Twitter and Facebook. But federal authorities say the Public Service Amendment Act 2013, which comes into force in July, will not regulate the private lives of public servants.