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

10 questions a pro-choice candidate is never asked by the media


Trevin Wax - The Gospel Coalition





Debate moderators and reporters love to ask pro-life candidates hard questions about abortion. Curiously, they don’t do the same for pro-choice candidates. Here are 10 questions you never hear a pro-choice candidate asked by the media.


















Children & Family

What place for children in a changing society?


Sarah Wise - On Line Opinion





In many ways the old saying "what you lose on the roundabouts you gain on the swings" sums up the state of modern childhood. While a range of extraordinary opportunities are open to children today, concern is deepening that pressures springing from family breakdown, the pervasiveness of advertising and digital technology as well as our culture of commercialism and individualism are contributing to unhappiness and disconnection among the current generation of children.












ACT has oldest first-time mums

Megan Doherty - The Canberra Times





The ACT has the oldest first-time mothers in the nation, according to new figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statisics. The figures also show more Australian women over the age of 40 are having babies than ever before. And the report also reveals a slight drop in the number of births in the ACT over the 12 months.
















Classification

NSW looking to re-rate some MA15+ games as R18+


Leigh Harris - MCV Pacific





New South Wales MP Greg Donnelly said today that he would be taking measures to re-classify upwards of 50 games when R18 arrives. As reported on Kotaku, Donnelly said: "“Following the introduction of the new framework on 1 January 2013, steps will be taken to look at what are colloquially referred to as the 50 video and computer games — at least 50 — that it is believed in one way or another have been shoe-horned into the MA 15+ category and should now be rated at the higher classification.”


















Drugs & Alcohol

Tobacco firm may have breached packaging laws


Latika Bourke - ABC





British American Tobacco Australia is being investigated over possible breaches to the Federal Government's new plain packaging laws. From October it became illegal to manufacture cigarettes for Australian consumption in breach of the new rules, but six brands are already being examined for potential violations.












Why didn’t Cycling Australia smell the doping stench?

Martin Hardie - The Conversation







It has become clear over the past two weeks that Lance Armstrong ran the most well-managed and professional doping system ever seen in professional sport. So how did he get away with it for so long? Questions of corruption remain unanswered by the International Cycling Union (UCI). In announcing the peak body’s decision to cut Armstrong loose in Geneva this week, UCI president Pat McQuaid was visibly agitated when questioned about the payments made by Armstrong to his organisation after the discovery of a highly suspicious test result in 2001.




















Health

Headspace launches schools program


Pro Bono





A new program has been launched by National Youth Mental Health Foundation headspace and the Federal Government to help secondary schools affected by suicide. headspace School Support will assist secondary government, private and independent schools to respond to and manage suicide related crisis’, mitigating distress to staff and students and minimising the risk of further tragedies.
















Homelessness & Poverty

Mission is to go west and help


Carleen Frost - The Daily Telegraph





Mission Australia has long been associated with inner-city homeless-ness, in particular through its Missionbeat program. Now the charity is extending its helping hand further across Sydney, with a new $13.7 million centre for disadvantaged families at Kingswood, near Penrith, opening today. The service operates 22 two- and three-bedroom units for struggling families, along with day care, outreach support, parenting programs and a toy library.












Human Rights

Violence against women: our hidden shame


Katie O'Byrne - ABC





On September 25, 2012, barely two days before Jill Meagher's body was discovered in its lonely resting place, it was announced that all Australian governments had finally agreed to an implementation plan for the first stage of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022. Amidst the public anguish for a young woman snatched savagely away, there was virtually no coverage of this announcement in the mainstream media.














Politics

History against Hunter as Greens limp away


Noel Towell - The Canberra Times





The ACT Greens slipped into deeper electoral trouble last night with updated vote counting showing for the second night running that their leader Meredith Hunter is heading for defeat. And history is against Ms Hunter in her Ginninderra electorate, where no independent or minor party MLA has ever lasted more than one term. Last night's updated interim preference figures show the Greens heading for a near wipeout, losing three of the four seats they won in their historic 2008 showing.


















Religious Freedom & Persecution

Christian Arabs targeted throughout the Middle East


Alan Carub - Family Security Matters





The nations of the Middle East have been steadily forcing out Christian Arabs that have lived there for centuries, often in the most brutal fashion. This is the hallmark of Islam that has no tolerance for any other religion.














Refugees

Bowen puts spotlight on increased refugee intake


Michael Gordon - The Age





''What hope is there for me?'' The question was posed this week to Chris Bowen in Beirut by a 30-year-old man who had spent his entire existence in overcrowded refugee camps. There was no easy answer, and the Immigration Minister did not offer one. But he did offer some reassurance: Australia was now taking 7250 more refugees, including up to 3800 from Syria, Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon and up to 2000 from countries neighbouring Afghanistan. If the exchange was confronting, so too was the news that a woman had been electrocuted in the camp while Mr Bowen was inspecting an area of just 500 square metres that accommodates about 30,000 people.














Asylum rioters rewarded with visa to stay in Australia

Gemma Jones - The Daily Telegraph





Asylum seekers convicted of participating in riots that caused more than $5 million damage to the Christmas Island detention centre have been handed protection visas to stay in the country. Just one of seven offenders convicted over the riots had his visa application rejected by Immigration Minister Chris Bowen on character grounds. Three men found guilty of offences relating to the March 2011 riots - in which accommodation and administration facilities were burned down and rocks thrown at police - have been granted protection visas to remain in Australia.
















Sexualisation of Society

Sex sale film a bid to be different


Marty Silk - AAP





An Australian filmmaker who auctioned the virginity of a young woman and man online for a documentary says the movie isn't really about sex. Justin Sisley, 30, from Melbourne, hopes viewers will witness the transformation of the lives of Alex Stepanov, a 21-year-old Australian student, and Catarina Migliorini, 20, from Brazil.














Other

A common prayer


Tim Connell - The Newcastle Herald





On Tuesday night, the Port Stephens deputy mayor used the C-word. Repeatedly. In an ultimately successful push for the phrase ‘‘in Jesus’s name’’ to be added to the council’s opening prayer, Councillor Sally Dover said, ‘‘This is a Christian nation, this is a Christian community and we have to be proud of our heritage.’’ Right. We’re not in the business of telling people what they can be proud of. But what of the claim itself? Are we a Christian nation? Not by law, it would seem.










Sharia & freedom: Religious relativism destroys conviction

Andrew McCarthy - Family Security Matters





‘Multi-religious prayer almost inevitably leads to false interpretations, to indifference as to the content of what is believed or not believed, and thus to the dissolution of real faith." So wrote Joseph Ratzinger in 1986. Even then, the man who would later become Pope Benedict XVI was renowned as a singularly deep thinker on the finer points of religious belief systems - to say nothing of the sweeping themes.