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

Killing babies doesn’t fit the media picture


Andrew Bolt - Herald Sun





Late-term abortions are too hard for the media. Too gruesome and too challenging to the convention that abortion is simply a woman’s right to choose: Infant beheadings. Severed baby feet in jars. A child screaming after it was delivered alive during an abortion procedure. Haven’t heard about these sickening accusations? It’s not your fault. Since the murder trial of Pennsylvania abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell began March 18, there has been precious little coverage of the case that should be on every news show and front page.










Four reasons why media isn’t covering Gosnell mass murder trial

Jill Stanek Blog





The media will likely never give the Gosnell story the attention it merits. It’s way too uncomfortable.














Cut-off changes fail to please everyone

Chris Pippos - The Advocate





A softening of Tasmania's proposed abortion decriminalisation law changes has failed to appease Australia's peak Christian lobby group, while others have welcomed the move as a sensible compromise. The ongoing controversy follows a decision by Health Minister Michelle O'Byrne to reduce the proposed cut-off point for an abortion from a 24-week to a 16-week gestation period.












Protest action

ABC





A Sydney psychologist has written to the Tasmanian Government calling for action against a school principal who took children to an anti-abortion rally. Southern Christian College students were among more than 200 people who rallied outside Parliament House on Wednesday against plans to decriminalise abortion. The Premier, Lara Giddings, condemned the involvement of children as young as nine. But school principal Alan Lawson said it was important students' voices were heard. Sydney psychologist Lyn Schumack believes the school should be held to account.


















Children & Family

Sex and the City drinking culture blamed for marriage breakdowns


Petra Starke - News Limited Network





Sex and the City syndrome is being blamed for causing the breakdown of a growing number of Australian marriages. In a seismic shift from a decade ago, family lawyers say more men are pointing to their wives' excessive drinking and drug use when filing for divorce, with an increasing number of husbands being awarded sole custody of their children because of it. Senior family lawyer at Slater & Gordon, Heather McKinnon, said about 30 per cent of the firm's cases before the Family Court involved substance abuse.




























Classification

Campaign for G-rated billboards goes national


Katherine Feeney - Brisbane Times





Tougher regulation of outdoor advertising is set to become a national issue again. Federal Labor MP Graham Perrett, who spearheaded a parliamentary committee aimed at the industry's reform in 2011, has thrown his support behind a call to "G-rate" billboards brought by Queensland's LNP Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie. As reported by Fairfax Media last week, Mr Bleijie has instructed his department to review legislation of regulation relating to outdoor advertising in response to a petition from the Australian Christian Lobby.












Advertisers query billboard crackdown

SkyNews





Advertisers say a Queensland government review of outdoor advertising at the behest of a Christian lobby group is costly, duplicative and heavy-handed. A state parliamentary review, announced on Friday, will examine if new laws are needed to crack down on sexually explicit images and slogans. Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie called for the process after receiving a petition from the Australian Christian Lobby, which included 1399 signatures.


















Donor Conception & Surrogacy

Concern as Australians turn to Thailand for surrogates


Kerri Ritchie - ABC





Concerns are being raised about the use of surrogates in Thailand as a growing number of Australians look to the country in their bid to have a child. The swing towards Thailand is the direct result of a decision by India to only grant medical visas for surrogacy to heterosexual couples who have been married for at least two years.












Drugs & Alcohol

Sydney drug house fitted with booby traps


AAP





Police have uncovered more than half a million dollars worth of cannabis in a suburban home, but there was another shock in store at the southwest Sydney property. The Cabramatta house was also fitted out with two electrical booby traps that police believe were designed to zap unwary trespassers.












Sales of synthetic drugs are on a high

Mark Morri and Ian Walker - The Sunday Telegraph





It was a massive haul - 40,000 packets of synthetic cannabis. But police didn't even know if they could charge the owners. The powder, which is usually diluted with nail polish remover, sprayed on to dried leaf then put in 1g, 3g or 7g sealed bags and sold through Sydney shops as a legal high, was seized in the western suburbs in October. What followed was an agonising wait as investigators worked through a canon of laws where the line between what is legal and illegal is constantly shifting.


















Education

Gillard to pull $2.3bn of funding from unis to pay for Gonski reforms


Stephen Matchett - The Australian





The Gillard government plans to slash $2.3 billion from its spending on higher education in order to fund Labor's Gonski school reforms, the biggest cut to the sector since John Howard's 1996 budget. While not outlining how much of the funds would go towards the Gonski reforms, Tertiary Education Minister Craig Emerson said the government had found three “substantial savings'' that would affect universities.
















Marriage

Republican Party says No to same-sex marriage


Zeke J Miller - Time





The Republican National Committee voted unanimously Friday to reaffirm the party’s commitment to upholding the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman, upending party efforts to grow support among younger voters.












Double sex-swap wedding: Man who was a woman is marrying woman who was a man

Roland Leon - Mirror





When Felix Laws and Helen Morfitt gaze into each other’s eyes it’s clear to see that they can’t wait to tie the knot. Their huge smiles hide the years of torment and incredible changes they have been through before they became one of Britain’s most unusual couples. The lovebirds have both had sex changes. Felix, 46, was born a girl called Katy. And Helen, 56, was born a boy called Leslie.
















Politics

Joyce to challenge Windsor in New England


AAP





Senator Barnaby Joyce is the Nationals' choice to take on federal independent MP Tony Windsor for the NSW seat of New England. Senator Joyce was the favourite to win the preselection race against 34-year-old software entrepreneur David Gregory.










Denials of the flaky Sheikh

Troy Bramston - The Australian





In politics, one of the most prized virtues is authenticity. In an age where the shallowness of the political class is pervasive, public life has become largely devoid of conviction and courage. There is no better illustration of this than ACT Greens Senate candidate Simon Sheikh's repeated inability to accept his attempt to entice foreigners to join his campaign or to confirm his four-year membership of the Labor Party.
















Refugees

Five drown as asylum boat sinks


Peter Alford - The Australian





At least five people have drowned, another 53 are missing and 14 have been rescued after spending 24 hours in the open sea following the sinking off Indonesia of their asylum boat bound for Australia. The 14 were rescued by fishermen in the Sunda Strait last night after the sinking of their boat with 72 people aboard late on Wednesday - 24 hours earlier than first believed by Australian authorities.














Religious Freedom & Persecution

With death of another Christian, toll for sectarian clashes in Egypt reaches 8 since weekend


Associated Press





An Egyptian security official says a Coptic Christian has died of burns sustained during sectarian clashes, raising the death toll to eight since the weekend. The official says attackers doused Saber Helal, 26, with gasoline and set him on fire during clashes over the weekend between Muslims and Christians in Khosoos, a town north Cairo. Four other Christians and a Muslim were killed at the time.










Iranian Christians face captivity, persecution

John Waage - CBN News





The story of imprisoned American Pastor Saeed Abedini is focusing attention on the treatment of Christians in Iran. This week in Washington, DC, two Iranian Christian women told their own story of persecution at the hands of the Iranian authorities. Marziyeh Amirizadeh and Maryam Rostampour are co-authors of a new book called "Captive in Iran." They addressed a Hudson Institute panel on the plight of Christians under the Iranian regime.










Indian Kashmir, two Christians arrested on false charges of forced conversions

Nirmala Carvalho - Asia News





"The anti-Christian intolerance in Jammu and Kashmir is reaching alarming proportions" is the complaint of Sajan George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), after the arrest of two Christians in Srinagar, the capital of Indian state, on false charges of forced conversions. The arrest took place on April 10 last, after a Muslim mob attacked two men, five women and two children, all of British origin.














Lone guard at Canadian's Libyan gravesite no match for Islamist mobs

Geofffrey York - The Globe and Mail





With his 9-millimetre pistol tucked in his belt, bleary-eyed volunteer guard Naser al-Werfali is the last line of defence for the windswept graves of the “Desert Rats” who defeated the Nazis in North Africa. More than 150 graves, including that of a Canadian war hero, were smashed or desecrated last year by a mob of Islamist extremists who invaded the Commonwealth war cemetery in Benghazi. Months later, the cemetery was attacked again, wreaking further destruction to the graves and memorial crosses.






















Boys arrested in Audrie Pott cyberbulling case

AP





Police have arrested three boys after a teenage girl killed herself after being sexually assaulted and the photos posted online. Audrie Pott, 15, committed suicide eight days after she passed out at a party and was then humiliated by online photos of the assault. Pott posted on Facebook that her life was ruined, "worst day ever," and hanged herself. For the next eight months, her family have struggled to figure out what happened to their soccer loving, artistic, horse crazy daughter, whose gentle smile, long dark hair and shining eyes did not bely a struggling soul.














Other

News outlets should hire more Christians


John Johnson - Newser





Newspapers and other media outlets might like to trumpet how their diverse staffs reflect a diverse nation, but Matt Lewis at the Week thinks they're falling short in one key area: Christians. Generally speaking, people of faith are hard to find in journalism, which results in a secular bias that too often casts Christians as "fringe characters," he writes. "Media outlets who want to understand America should at least have a few journalists hanging around who share—or at least, aren't hostile to—the Christian faith."


































Changing mindset of young designers

Caroline Marcus - The Daily Telegraph





Federal Youth Minister Peter Garrett has thrown his support behind The Daily Telegraph's Get Real campaign for healthier-looking models. "This is an important issue and one that The Telegraph is right to highlight," Mr Garrett said. "We want the fashion industry to support the use of healthy, positive role models." Currently there are only voluntary guidelines for the fashion industry relating to the use of unhealthily-thin models, but these are not regulated.