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

Royal at abortion protest


Nine MSN





A member of the British Royal family was among thousands of campaigners at an anti-abortion march in the Melbourne CBD today.












Pro-choice activists disrupt anti-abortion march

Stephen Cauchi - The Age





An anti-abortion march in the heart of the city has passed mostly without incident despite being disrupted by pro-abortion activists. Upper House state parliamentarian Bernie Finn, an organiser of the march, said "about 4000" pro-life supporters took part. He estimated there were 50 to 60 pro-choice activists present.


















Pro-abortion protesters storm church chanting, ‘If Mary had aborted, we wouldn’t have this nonsense’

Peter Baklinski - Life Site News





A Quebec pro-life conference was interrupted last weekend when about a dozen pro-abortion protesters stormed the evangelical church in which it was held and began chanting blasphemous slogans in front of the barricaded doors of the conference hall. Police had to bring in reinforcements to remove the protesters.












Bioethics

Disabled 'sterilised illegally'


Michael Inman - Canberra Times





Parents and carers of the disabled are regularly doctor shopping and going abroad to have their children sterilised illegally, according to the Australian Human Rights Commission. Under Australian law, only the Family Court or a guardianship tribunal can authorise the irreversible medical procedure.
















Children & Family

Dad's gentle touch goes a long way


Lisa Power - The Daily Telegraph





It is the gentle touch that can echo throughout a child's life and his own. Research shows a father's bond with his child can have significant impacts on his health, happiness and family life.
















Drugs & Alcohol

Industry revolts as federal health agency proposes ban on discount booze


Natasha Bita - News Ltd





Cheap wine will be banned under a federal health agency's plan to make drinkers pay at least $8-$10 for a bottle of booze. The Federal Government's Australian National Preventative Health Agency will advise this week that a "floor price" and new taxes be calculated as a way to make alcohol dearer.














Police raids net $19m in marijuana

Nino Bucci - The Age





Victoria Police has seized marijuana valued at $19 million in an operation involving raids on at least one property each day for almost seven weeks. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in hydroponic equipment was found in houses capable of producing $500,000 worth of marijuana every three months in new outer-suburban estates. Vietnamese crime families are believed to have spent millions of dollars buying many of the 47 houses that were raided.












Man charged with illegal ephedrine imports

Rebecca Richardson - SMH





A man charged with illegally importing up to 15 kilograms of ephedrine into Australia has been refused bail at Parramatta Bail Court. Fifty-year-old Hai Ngoc arrived at Sydney international airport yesterday with his pregnant wife and six-month-old baby on a flight from Vietnam.












Liquid nitrogen cocktails too risky for local licencees after UK woman loses stomach

Brad Crouch - Sunday Mail (SA)





South Australian nightclubs and restaurants have been banned from serving liquid nitrogen in cocktails. The move comes after the horrific case in Britain during last week, where an 18-year-old girl had her stomach removed after drinking the deadly liquid.












Education

Schools go man hunting as male teacher numbers sink to all-time low


Yasmine Phillips - The Sunday Times





Salaries of up to $99,000, 12 weeks holiday and the chance to shape the next generation: they're the selling points that will be put to WA students to boost the number of men taking up teaching. In the wake of new lows in male teacher numbers, Education Minister Peter Collier met the heads of the Catholic and public primary school principal bodies this week to map out a plan to stem the exodus.










Schools paying iPod bribes to stop truancy

Bruce McDonald - The Daily Telegraph





Truants are being bribed to attend classes with prizes such as iPods, barbecue lunches and canteen vouchers. The rewards are part of a stick-and-carrot approach being used by schools that also includes SMS messages to parents when children fail to turn up. Improving attendance rates - which are as low as 60 or 70 per cent in some areas - has become a critical factor in lifting the academic performance across the state, particularly in some poorer areas.














Environment

Global warming stopped 16 years ago


David Rose - The Daily Mail





The world stopped getting warmer almost 16 years ago, according to new data released last week. The figures, which have triggered debate among climate scientists, reveal that from the beginning of 1997 until August 2012, there was no discernible rise in aggregate global temperatures. This means that the ‘plateau’ or ‘pause’ in global warming has now lasted for about the same time as the previous period when temperatures rose, 1980 to 1996.




















Health

'There were days in my life that even now make me shudder'


Damien Murphy - SMH





The swimmer Ian Thorpe, one of the most popular and successful sportsmen in Australian history, has spent much of his life battling crippling depression. In a book about to be published, Thorpe revealed that his illness was so severe he considered suicide and planned specific places and ways to kill himself. He also confessed to drinking huge quantities of alcohol to rid his head of terrible thoughts and to manage his moods.
















Homelessness & Poverty

More than two million Australians in poverty


SMH





The federal government is being urged to increase Newstart payments after a damning new report revealed more than 2.26 million people are living in poverty. That’s an increase on the poverty rates recorded in 2003 - evidence that successive mining booms and sustained economic growth have done nothing to improve the lives of the nation’s poorest.
















Human Rights

A new form of radical centrist politics is needed to tackle inequality without hurting economic growth


The Economist





Does inequality really need to be tackled? The twin forces of globalisation and technical innovation have actually narrowed inequality globally, as poorer countries catch up with richer ones. But within many countries income gaps have widened. More than two-thirds of the world’s people live in countries where income disparities have risen since 1980, often to a startling degree. In America the share of national income going to the top 0.01% (some 16,000 families) has risen from just over 1% in 1980 to almost 5% now—an even bigger slice than the top 0.01% got in the Gilded Age.














Overseas Aid

Canberrans answering the call


Phillip Thmson - The Canberra Times





Every day in overseas countries, Canberrans such as 26-year-old Eliza Percival work under the looming threat of kidnap, bomb attacks and robbery. Living thousands of kilometres away from the safety of her home town, Percival is part of a growing number of Australians needed to work in dangerous countries and willing to be called upon. ''You watch your back all the time,'' she says. ''In a way you have to become a little immune, otherwise you could spend your life in fear.'' The Australian government will deploy more than 1000 volunteers to developing countries overseas in 2012-13, the largest number ever, according to AusAID.




















Religious Freedom & Persecution

Iran launching massive arrests of evangelicals


Stefan J. Bos - BosNewsLife





Massive arrests of evangelical Protestant Christians, including many former Muslims, are reported in Iran, with men and women being dragged to prisons across the Islamic nation. "We have learned that at least 100, but perhaps as many as 400 people, have been detained over the last 10 days," said Firouz Khandjani, a council member of the 'Church of Iran' house church movement.












Five Iranian Christian converts receive trial date

Mohabat News





Following a long wait and much uncertainty and after the judicial authorities rejected their appeal to be released on bail, five Christian converts in Shiraz officially received a trial date. They spent eight months after their arrest in prison with their fate unknown. The report received by Mohabat News indicates, these Christian converts are charged with "creating illegal groups", "participating in house church service", "propagation against the Islamic regime" and "defaming Islamic holy figures through Christian evangelizing".












Christians a target for Syrian rebels we back

Angela Shanahan - The Australian





One might think the recent reports of Australians recruited as jihadist fighters for the rebel cause in Syria would have been given front-page coverage and top billing on the nightly news bulletins. It is cause for alarm about fanaticism in our midst - much more alarm than the actions of an unruly mob a few weeks ago.










Cleric granted bail in Pakistan blasphemy case

ABC





A Pakistani cleric who accused a young Christian girl of blasphemy has been released on bail after being accused of framing evidence. The girl, Rimsha Masih, spent three weeks in an adult jail after she was arrested on August 16 for allegedly burning pages from the Koran. The case prompted worldwide condemnation following a medical report that said she was 14.














Refugees

525 asylum seekers arrive amid protests


ABC





More than 500 asylum seekers have arrived in Australia over the weekend amid protests among detainees on Nauru and Christmas Island. Six boats carrying 525 asylum seekers arrived in Australia over the weekend. The biggest was carrying 188 people and was helped by two Navy ships near Christmas Island.














Asylum seekers self-harm at Nauru processing centre

The Daily Telegraph





There are concerns for the mental health of asylum seekers detained on Nauru's processing centre, after three men harmed themselves in the facility in as many days. An Iranian man attempted self-harm on Thursday, while another two Iranians did the same on Saturday, an Immigration Department spokesman said.