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

US Senate votes to begin debate on pro-abortion UN treaty


Steven Ertelt - LifeNews





The Senate voted to begin debate on a UN treaty that pro-life groups are worried would be used to promote abortion on a worldwide scale. Yesterday afternoon, the Senate took a preliminary vote on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The vote was on a “Motion to Proceed,” meaning the Senate gave permission to begin debate regarding the treaty.
















Children & Family

Family violence dominates Vic courts


Carl Dickens - AAP





Violence in the home figures in one in seven of Victoria's most serious crimes, as record levels of intervention orders are putting the court system under pressure. The Magistrates Court of Victoria says the increase in applications for family violence intervention orders has become a significant concern for the court. The Office of Public Prosecutions says that of the 2719 criminal matters it handled in the year to November 2012, 378 related to family violence.
















Classification

Social media control problematic: Leveson


Katie Hodge - AAP





British Justice Brian Leveson's landmark report has recognised that the online social media world remains beyond regulation. While the growth of blogs was "little short of phenomenal", he acknowledged such websites were "entirely unregulated" and this situation was unlikely to change. "Despite the efforts made to comply with national law, it is clear that the enforcement of law and regulation online is problematic," he said.




















Drugs & Alcohol

Plain packs 'put off' smokers


Kate Hagan - SMH





Reports from smokers that cigarettes in plain packs taste worse could be an early indication the new laws will be effective in reducing smoking rates, health experts say. Cancer Council chief executive Ian Olver said it was well-established through more than 20 years of research that branded packaging was a powerful marketing tool for recruiting new smokers.










AFL players turn to private rehab clinics to deal with serious illegal drug problems, claims report

Mark Butler and Michael Warner - Herald Sun





AFL players are turning to private rehabilitation clinics to deal with serious illegal drug problems out of fear of club consequences. At least two Melbourne-based footballers have sought help for treatment of addiction to methamphetamine, more commonly known as ice.










Collingwood chief executive Gary Pert claims substance issues in AFL ‘volcanic'

Michael Warner - Herald Sun





Gary Pert dropped his drugs bombshell at a meeting of club chief executives and AFL bosses the day before the national draft. It followed a long discussion about game equalisation strategies and took most of the league's powerbrokers by surprise. In front of an audience that included AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou, Pert took the floor for 30 minutes and described what he says is an alarming illegal drugs problem among AFL players.












Inquiry to report on fetal alcohol problem

Tom Nightingale - ABC





Australia's love of alcohol is well documented - even celebrated. Less publicised are the consequences of pregnant women who drink and damage their unborn babies. A report to be tabled in Federal Parliament today looks at the consequences of fetal alcohol syndrome and what might be done to curb the damage it causes. There is a move to put stronger warning labels on alcoholic drinks but manufacturers say the current voluntary labels are adequate and one research group says tougher warnings could lead to more abortions.












Big Tobacco’s packaging fight goes up in smoke

Daniel Piotrowski - The Punch





We’re nearly at the day where we (officially) won’t be able to tell the difference between packets of Winnie Blues, Marlboros and Long Beaches. From Saturday, durrie packets have to be coloured a particularly foul brown. But what’s stunning is how little fight the tobacco industry has put up against the packaging laws.
















Environment

Marine park named in Taylors' honour


ABC





A network of 19 marine parks has now taken effect across South Australia, despite opponents campaigning to protect fishing industries. Premier Jay Weatherill said the zones would be in immediate operation, but the effects on fishing would be phased in. The Government has decided the Neptune Islands marine park on the state's west coast will be named after the conservationists and film-makers Ron and Valerie Taylor.
















Gambling

Poker machine reform passes Parliament


ABC





The Federal Government's poker machine laws passed Parliament last night. Pubs and clubs will need voluntary pre-commitment technology on their machines, though the first venues will not switch it on until 2018. The Government got a one-vote majority in the House of Representatives and the the legislation passed the Senate on Thursday evening with the support of the Greens.














Health

Third of mental health patients should not be in care - Ombudsman


Melissa Davey - SMH





Patients admitted to psychiatric hospitals as teenagers are often still in care more than 40 years later, with some being discharged into nursing homes despite wanting to go home. A review by the state Ombudsman found about a third of psychiatric patients living in mental health facilities did not need to be there, but could not be discharged because no accommodation was available.




















Marriage

WA Greens table same-sex marriage bill


AAP





The West Australian Greens have tabled in parliament a state-based legislative solution for same-sex couples who want to marry. Greens WA marriage equality spokesperson Lynn MacLaren on Thursday presented the Marriage Equality Bill 2012, which she says gives same-sex couples the same recognition and arrangements granted to heterosexual marriages. It provides for the authorisation of celebrants and the registration of same-sex marriages via an amendment to the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1998.










NSW Same-sex marriage inquiry announced

Star Online





The NSW premier has called for an inquiry into same-sex marriage legislation in the state. The announcement follows the establishment of a cross-party working group which is already investigating introducing same-sex marriage legislation into the NSW Parliament.














“Till death do us part”

Christine Proulx and Teresa Cooney - Mercator Net





As millions of divorced baby boomers age, some are rediscovering the meaning of their marriage vows.

You may know one of them, or even be one. They are divorced people, mainly women, who have taken on the care of their estranged spouse when he or she is facing serious illness or death. It is a surprising and, to some, a baffling development, but one that is significant enough for two researchers from the University of Missouri to look into.














Politics

Slippers $100,000 travel bill


Andrew Tillett and Nick Butterly - The West Australian





Former parliamentary speaker Peter Slipper chalked up a $100,000 overseas travel bill in the weeks before he relinquished his role presiding over parliamentary sittings. Federal politicians' expenses reports for the first six months of this year, tabled in Parliament yesterday, show Mr Slipper enjoyed a month-long taxpayer-funded jaunt to South Africa, Uganda, Britain, Russia, Kazakhstan, Hungary and the US.
















Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Sex trade bill withdrawn from SA Legislative Council, Christian group rejoices


Christian Today





FamilyVoice Australia has welcomed the announcement that a private member’s bill to decriminalise the sex trade will be withdrawn from the SA Legislative Council. The office of status of women minister Hon Gail Gago announced on Tuesday that she will no longer be seeking a vote on her Sex Work Reform Bill tomorrow. Instead, she will withdraw it altogether.
















Sexualisation of Society

Zoo Weekly slammed over Facebook pictures that degraded and exploited women


Petra Starke - News Limited





Aussie lads' mag Zoo Weekly has been forced to remove several pictures from its Facebook page after they were ruled exploitative and degrading to women by the industry watchdog. One picture, posted in October, showed a bikini-clad woman chopped in half across her stomach, along with the caption: "Left or right? But you've got to tell us how you came to that decision.''










UK: The minister who thinks that lessons in porn are acceptable: MP says schools are free to teach children despite impact of images on youngsters

Matt Chorley - The Daily Mail





Schools are free to give lessons in pornography, an education minister has admitted despite concerns about the impact of hardcore images on children. Campaigners have warned that growing numbers of youngsters are hooked on graphic films found online. While lessons on pornography would focus on the impact and dangers of graphic images online, they could backfire by alerting children to what can be easily accessed on the internet.
















Shock new details of lifesaving scandal including alleged male-on-male sexual assault, public masturbation and drug dealing

Travis Meyn - The Courier-Mail





Shock new details have emerged of lifesaving's alleged sex and drugs scandal, including an alleged male-on-male sexual assault, public masturbation and drug dealing - some of it caught on camera. Six members of Australia's under-20s lifesaving team and Gold Coast-based coach Barry Newman have been suspended after allegations of sexual assault and drug use at the world championships in Adelaide earlier this month. Surf Life Saving Australia has launched a full-blown investigation and police are also involved, along with the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority.












San Francisco bans public nudity, but with exceptions for LGBT events

Whitney Williams - Christian Examiner





On Nov. 20, in a 6-to-5 vote, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approve a ban on public nudity, The New York Times reported, but some wonder if it’s enough. Randy Thomasson, president of SaveCalifornia.com, said the ordinance is a start but that it still allows open nudity, demonstrations of sadomasochism, and other such practices at city events such as the annual lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) pride parade and the Folsom Street Fair. The ban also doesn’t include women who choose to go topless.














Other

Rick Warren: tolerance towards homosexuals does not mean approving homosexuality


Stoyan Zaimov - Christian Post





Warren, whose book has sold over 60 million copies worldwide, a record for a non-fictional devotional book, was asked by "CBS This Morning" hosts Charlie Rose and Norah O'Donnell a number of questions regarding morality, politics, and same-sex marriage. The California megachurch pastor said that according to the Bible, people need to be tolerant of all views, just like Jesus was – but that does not mean approving of all choices.










Indomitable Sydney? The challenge of Sydney Anglicanism

Michael Jensen - ABC





Sydney's Anglicans have inherited a wealth of spiritual and intellectual resources that ought not to be despised by themselves or by others. Sydney's opponents are wrong to dismiss them as lightweight, un-Anglican and anti-intellectual. Sydney Anglicans ought not accept these charges against them and behave as if they are true. Advocating the cause of the gospel of Jesus Christ is certainly not going to become any easier in the Sydney of the next few decades.