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

Doctors: No reason to OK abortion after Savita Halappanavar’s death


Steven Ertelt - LifeNews





An American organization of pro-life obstetricians and gynecologists has released a statement on the death of Savita Halappanavar, a pregnant Indian woman who died recently in Ireland. Abortion campaigners in the mostly Catholic nation are exploiting Savita’s death in their push to get the country to legalize abortion. But the medical group from the U.S.has looked into the case and said it doesn’t believe abortion would have saved Sativa’s life.














It's a tough life! Amazing picture shows baby yawning in the womb

Fiona Macrae - Daily Mail





Some academics believe that rather than yawning, the babies are simply opening and closing their mouths. But researcher Nadja Reissland said the scans provided clear evidence that they yawn as well. On some occasions, a baby would slowly open their mouth, before quickly snapping it shut – characteristics of a yawn. The analysis revealed that the youngest babies yawned the most, but there was no difference between the sexes.
















Children & Family

It's final in Ireland kids, government rule in home over parents


Michael Haverluck - OneNewsNow





Pro-family groups are going on the offensive to stop an incoming barrage of internationalists' treaties as voters approve ballot measures on "children's rights." The results are in ... and parents in Ireland voted for their own defeat -- conceding that they are not fit to make decisions about raising their own children. They effectively handed over their parental rights to their own children and the government Saturday, as the final poll results show this week that 57 percent -- versus 43 percent -- of Irish voters believe that "children's rights" should usurp their own when making crucial decisions on the upbringing of Irish youth.












Family failed by a flawed system, but department blames mum for son's rape trauma

Renee Viellaris - The Courier-Mail





It's a gut-wrenching case with a heartless twist that will leave you stunned. A Queensland mother is suing the Child Safety Department for failing to reveal the sexual history of a foster child, 15, who allegedly raped her eight-year-old son. But in a move that could leave the family financially ruined, the State Government is taking action against the mother, alleging she is partly responsible for the alleged rape because she should have been supervising the children and protecting her son.


















Donor Conception & Surrogacy

Surrogacy ban held over to new year


Daniel Hurst - Brisbane Times





Controversial draft laws to ban single people and same-sex couples from having a child through surrogacy in Queensland will not be unveiled until next year. But the state's chief law officer insists the government is not rethinking its plans, announced in June, despite Premier Campbell Newman's pre-election comments rejecting surrogacy changes. Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie on Wednesday replied to two petitions on the issue, one launched by psychologist and cam paigner Paul Martin with 5377 signatures opposing changes. The other, organised by the Australian Christian Lobby's Wendy Francis and backed by 10,003 people, calls on the government to ban single people and same-sex couples from having a child by surrogacy.














Drugs & Alcohol

California drivers are twice as likely to be high on marijuana than drunk

Associated Press





Drunk drivers are not the biggest problem on California's roads according to a new survey from the California Office of Traffic Safety. Out of 1,300 drivers who were tested in nine cities on Friday and Saturday nights, 14 percent were found to have drugs in their system, while only 7.3 percent were found with alcohol. Marijuana was slightly more prevalent than alcohol, found in 7.4 percent of drivers. The official line from the director of the Office of Traffic Safety is that the "results reinforce our belief that driving after consuming potentially impairing drugs is a serious and growing problem."














Education

Girl, 17, dies in hotel fall at Schoolies on the Gold Coast


Stephanie Bedo and Nathan Klein - News Limited Network





A 17-year-old girl is dead after falling from a Surfers Paradise high rise building last night. It is believed the teenager fell from the 22nd floor of Tower 3 of the Chevron Renaissance building in Ferny Ave, about 9.30pm. Her body was found on the pool level, which is level 5. It is believed her body landed close to two teenage girls who were sitting around the pool. The girls were traumatised by the experience and late last night were being comforted by counsellors.














Environment

Burke unveils final Murray-Darling plan


Simon Cullen - ABC





Environment Minister Tony Burke has signed into law a final Murray-Darling Basin Plan aimed at restoring the long-term health of the river system. The multi-billion-dollar plan involves boosting environmental flows by 2,750 gigalitres, with the potential to increase that by 450 gigalitres through water infrastructure improvements.














Next step for forestry peace deal

ABC





Legislation to seal Tasmania's historic forestry peace deal is expected to pass the Lower House tonight with Greens support. Lara Giddings says she fully backs the agreement between the forest industry and environmental groups to end the conflict. The legislation is set to pass the Lower House with Greens support.














Gambling

Woolies wins pokies vote but loses PR battle


SMH





A majority of Woolworths shareholders have opposed a move to restrict the operation of poker machines by the supermarket giant. More than 200 Woolworths shareholders, led by social activist group GetUp!, have been seeking to impose limits on the 12,000 gaming machines operated by the retailer through its hotel business. At an extraordinary general meeting in Adelaide on Thursday morning more than 95 per cent of shareholders voted against GetUp!'s resolution.














Health

Fashion model's journey past disfiguring aeroplane propeller accident to see God's beautiful plan


Katherine T. Phan - Christian Post





As a model and fashion blogger, Lauren Scruggs built a life and career that prioritized beauty and physical appearances. She had interviewed tons of gorgeous celebrities and travelled to Paris, Montreal, and New York to report on Fashion Week. But when a horrific accident involving an aeroplane propeller sliced off her left eye and left hand , Lauren embarked on a journey of recovery and blessing that has helped see God's "beautiful" plan amid her tragedy.














Human Rights

The Church is not beyond reproach


Frank Brennan - Eureka Street





The following is from Fr Frank Brennan's presentation at the Anglican Church of Australia's Public Affairs Commission Conference The Nathan Project, University of Melbourne, 19 November 2012. This nationwide forum was named for the biblical prophet Nathan who confronted King David with God's displeasure over his behaviour.












Eritrean hostage given five day ultimatum by Sinai organ traffickers

Jeremy Reynalds - ASSIST News Service





A human rights agency has learned that an Eritrean refugee held hostage by Bedouin traffickers for three months has been given five days to raise US$25,000 or face illegal organ harvesting. A news release from Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) said his case highlights a continuing lack of protection and assistance for refugees and migrants from the Horn of Africa, who are routinely abducted and abused by people traffickers in the Sinai Peninsular.




Marriage

Offence the 'necessary price of free speech,' says judge in Facebook gay marriage case

UK Telegraph

A judge defended the right of people to speak their mind even if others are offended as the “necessary price” of free speech as he vindicated a Christian who was demoted for opposing gay marriage.








Overseas Aid

Endless cash donations do nothing to aid Asia


Chris Gardiner - The Punch





Britain has recently decided to stop overseas aid to India. It had become untenable for the Government to take money from British taxpayers to subsidise a nuclear power with a space program. It’s time Australia took a similar, hard-nosed approach to overseas aid. If the Asian Century means anything, it means Australians realising that the hubris, paternalism, and sentimentalism reflected in an old style ‘first-world helping out the third-world’ aid program is anachronistic.














Politics

Greens support sliding away


Matt Smith - The Mercury





The Tasmanian Greens and their leader Nick McKim have suffered a major slump in popularity, according to the latest EMRS poll. At the same time that the Tasmanian Liberals have continued a strong showing in the polls, Mr McKim's approval rating as preferred premier and that of his party have dropped to the lowest levels since the March 2010 election when the Greens formed government with Labor.










Honoring faith in the public square

Wilfred McClay - Christianity Today





Let's be frank: Religion in America really does enjoy 'special privileges.' Here are five reasons—plus one—why it should. During the past year, The Obama administration has been subjected to strenuous criticism for its perceived hostility, or at best cavalier indifference, to the cause of religious freedom in the United States.














Refugees

Asylum policy brings more cruelty, more boats


Ben Eltham - New Matilda





Labor's policy is now indistinguishable from John Howard's - asylum seekers will be issued with a version of the notorious Temporary Protection Visa and face years of uncertainty, writes Ben Eltham. Slowly, painfully, Labor continues to turn the screws on asylum seekers. The policy of exemplary cruelty that Labor signed up to thanks to the recommendations of the so-called "Expert Panel" — a panel, by the way, whose expertise many were dubious about — is now pushing the government into some very uncomfortable positions.














Religious Freedom & Persecution

American city does away with the manger


Rhys Blakely - The Times





The greatest story ever told will not be told in one Californian city this year. Since 1953 Palisades Park has been famous for its life-sized Nativity scenes. Each year local churches would craft more than a dozen dioramas, creating a spectacle that earned the host borough of Santa Monica one of its nicknames: the City of the Christmas Story.









Still time to write Pastor Benham Irani in prison

Stacy L. Harp - Persecution Blog





We have shared numerous times about the plight of Pastor Benham Irani who is suffering for his faith in Christ, while in an Iranian prison and today I wanted to just remind you about him and ask you to write a letter and pray for him and his family.










Blasphemy trial reconvenes in Algeria

Adrian Holman - All Voices





An Algerian Christian accused of defaming Islam was re-summoned to court Monday in Oran following the trial's nearly one-year adjournment so that new evidence could be presented. The case's verdict will reveal the government's commitment, or lack thereof, to religious freedom, rights advocates say. If convicted, the Christian could be sentenced to five years in prison. Siaghi Krimo, 29, was arrested on April 14, 2011 and detained for three days in Oran after giving a CD about Christianity to a neighbor who accused him of insulting the Muslim prophet Muhammad.












Converting Denmark into a Muslim Country

Soeren Kern - Gatestone Institute





Muslim immigrants in a town near Copenhagen have forced the cancellation of traditional Christmas displays this year even while spending lavishly on the Islamic Eid celebration marking the end of Ramadan. The controversy has escalated into an angry nationwide debate over the role of Islam in post-Christian Denmark, where a burgeoning Muslim population is becoming increasingly assertive in imposing its will on a wide range of social and civic issues.














Other

Parents not 'appy' with Hungry Jacks


AAP





Hungry Jack's and Chupa Chups have been named and shamed for their app advertising to kids. The burger giant and lolly brand took out the dubious top honours by claiming the Digital Ninja in the eighth year of the Parents' Jury awards held in Sydney. Parents are increasingly concerned about industry use of digital media to target children and teens, campaign manager Corrina Langelaan said.










European ATM skimming machine your credit card's new worst enemy in Australian crime first

David Murray - The Courier-Mail





Highly sophisticated bankcard skimming devices have been found attached to ATMs in Brisbane's Queen St Mall, for the first time in Australia. The devices are installed over the top of ATM card slots in just seconds and have put thousands of shoppers at risk ahead of Christmas, police warn.