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

Indian campaign confronts fear of baby girls


SMH





Elsewhere it would have been front-page news: a couple on the run after being caught trying to bury their newborn baby girl alive. But in India, where there are now 914 girls for every 1000 boys, the case last week in Dausa, Rajasthan, warranted just 300 cursory words on an inside page. ''Yet another incident of apathy towards the girl child,'' said the Deccan Herald. Call it apathy, call it attempted murder.
















Bioethics

Bioethicists discuss their personal experiences with cancer in new book


News Medical Net





"Since my diagnosis, I had been immersed in a crash course in real-world medical ethics," writes Rebecca Dresser, editor of Malignant: Medical Ethicists Confront Cancer, published by Oxford University Press. She and five other bioethicists discuss their personal experiences with cancer or caring for loved ones with the disease, with lessons for doctors and nurses, patients, and caregivers.














Children & Family

Web hate fuels custody battle


Cosima Marriner - Sun-Herald





The international custody battle over four sisters has spilt into cyberspace, with supporters of the estranged parents setting up warring Facebook pages and accusing each other of stalking, harassment and theft. The girls - 15, 13, 10 and nine - are spending their first weekend alone with their Italian father since their Australian mother brought them back here in 2010 on the pretext of a holiday. Their mother has primary care of them until the High Court decides next month if the family must return to Italy for a custody hearing.














Classification

In a world full of guns, the dude with a knife is king


Kirk Hamilton - Kotaku



Knives are dangerous, there’s no doubt about it. If a person with a knife gets close enough to you, he can really mess your stuff up. And yet in the world of video games, knives have become a bit too deadly. They’re far more deadly than guns — in everything from Call of Duty to the recently released Spec Ops: The Line, guys can take three, maybe four rounds from an AK-47 and keep right on truckin’. But if you hit them once with a knife, they’re down forever.
















Education

Public Service Association slams loss of NSW disability services


AAP





Stripping millions of dollars in funding from disability services in NSW schools will seriously disadvantage students with special needs, a union says. Parents of special needs students rallied with representatives of the Public Service Association (PSA) in Dulwich Hill on Sunday, calling on the O'Farrell government to review its decision to cut funding.














Environment

Fishers want Coral Sea marine park reassessed


Ian Townsend - ABC





Commercial fishing operators want the Federal Government to take a closer look at the impact of shipping through the Coral Sea, before proclaiming it a marine park. The proposed Coral Sea marine reserve was announced last month as part of a series of 33 new marine reserves around the country.












Euthanasia

Dutch euthanasia figures present muddled picture


Michael Cook - Bioedge





Euthanasia in the Netherlands is nothing much to worry about, according to The Lancet. The latest survey shows that the overall levels of euthanasia and assisted suicide are about the same now as they were in 2002, when euthanasia was legalised. A small increase since 2005 is just due to the fact that more people are requesting euthanasia. At least that was the spin in The Lancet's press release. A closer examination of the article, "Trends in end-of-life practices before and after the enactment of the euthanasia law in the Netherlands from 1990 to 2010: a repeated cross-sectional survey", shows that there are many things to worry about.












Gambling

The bright side of gambling


Annabel Crabb - The Age





Gambling's bad. We've known that for years. When the Productivity Commission reported in 1999 that one in every five poker machines in the world was found in Australia, and they were sucking the life out of their mostly impoverished human playmates, even John Howard said he was ''ashamed'', and Mr Howard was certainly not in the habit of tossing that word around. Kevin Rudd was so worried about gambling nearly a decade later that he activated ''Code Red'' on the Rudd Response to Threat Scale: another inquiry by the Productivity Commission.














Marriage

Hartcher begs the marriage question


Andrew Bolt - Herald Sun





Marriage is not a weapon in the fight against homophobia. It is in fact a tradition whose social value lies in encouraging stable family units that are best for the socialising of children. Any change to that tradition should be judged by how it will affect that goal.










The case against legalising same-sex marriage

Simon Mann - The Age





They say they are not against homosexuals. Nor are they bigots, or religious zealots or people hankering after a bygone era. What they are against is same-sex marriage. In an often vitriolic debate now intensifying in Australia, some say their point of view has been ridiculed or simply disregarded.














Politics

Gillard: Labor 'not done yet'


Sean Nicholls - Sydney Morning Herald





NSW Labor conference attendees are told the Greens are the enemy responsible for the downfall of too many Labor MP's. The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, has declared she will not "lay down and die" and that next year's federal election will be fought on Labor's entire record, not just the carbon price. Addressing the NSW Labor conference at Sydney Town Hall this morning, Ms Gillard said federal Labor was "not done yet".










Wise words from ALP elder

The Australian





At the NSW Labor Conference on Saturday, party elder Senator John Faulkner issued a stark warning to the cause to which he has dedicated his life: "Our party is facing a crisis of organisation and a crisis of belief, and instead of grappling with those threats to our survival as a party we're talking about the minutia of politics, tactics, preferences."












A byelection defeat for Labor will cause shock waves in Canberra

Michelle Grattan - The Age





When a government is in trouble, there is nothing like a byelection to send shivers up its spine and a frisson of excitement through the political system. Bass in 1975 heralded the end of the Whitlam government. Canberra in 1995 shouted that Paul Keating was doomed. The Liberals' loss of the ''safe'' Queensland seat of Ryan in 2001 appeared to toll the bell for John Howard. When, in midyear, the Liberals retained the Victorian seat of Aston, that become another turning point, signifying that the PM was pulling his team out of the massive trough into which it had fallen.










Politicians take it to the cyber streets

Misha Schubert - The Sunday Age





It is the new doorknock. Where once a politician might have turned up at your house or got up a line on the nightly television news, these days they are just as keen to get into your Facebook feed or tweet stream or sign you up to an email list. Especially if you are a time-poor working mother or someone who no longer bothers much with mainstream ''More and more that is where the people are,'' says Greg Jericho, whose book on social media and politics, The Rise of the Fifth Estate, will be out next month. ''Facebook, Twitter and certain webpages, blogs are where people are increasingly getting their news - whether it be links to stories on news websites or discussions.''
















Religious Freedom & Persecution

Tunisian man beheaded for converting to Christianity


Lawrence Jones - Christian Post





A graphic video of a Christian man being beheaded by Muslim extremists for converting from Islam to Christianity was recently shown on talk shows in Canada and Egypt. Footage of the incident, which reportedly took place in Tunisia, shows a young man being held down like "an animal" with a knife to his throat.












Refugees

Human rights lawyer Julian Burnside says add boat arrivals to refugee intake


Joe Kelly - The Australian



Human rights lawyer Julian Burnside has called on the nation's political leaders to smash the nexus between Australia's humanitarian intake and the increasing number of boat arrivals, saying the recent spike in asylum-seekers should not delay resettlement for refugees in overseas camps. Mr Burnside also attacked the tenor of the political debate, saying it was so toxic that any solution to the current border protection impasse devised by the government's expert panel - led by former defence force chief Angus Houston - was unlikely to garner bipartisan support.














Other

At least 1m march for Jesus in Brazil


AAP





At least one million evangelical Christians are taking part in Saturday's annual March for Jesus in Sao Paulo, police say. The event is organised by the Reborn in Christ Church and draws faithful from hundreds of Protestant churches in Brazil, which is the world's largest Roman Catholic country.










No room for married shooters Russell and Lauryn Mark

Jon Ralph - The Daily Telegraph





Australian shooter Russell Mark says he has been prevented from rooming with wife Lauryn while gay couples will share beds at this month's Olympics. Russell and Lauryn said they were last night officially notified by Australian chef de mission Nick Green that they would be prevented from rooming together.














'Farmer Dave' among new voices on AIDS

The Australian





A gay farmer turned reality TV star is among nine people selected to tackle the issue of HIV-AIDS in Queensland. David Graham left his Goondiwindi farm in 2006 to be a contestant on TV show Big Brother, where he revealed he was homosexual and that he'd been the victim of a hate bashing in Brisbane. The committee, to be chaired by Cairns sexual health service director Darren Russell, will take charge of a $2.6 million budget formerly given to Queensland Association of Healthy Communities. Supporters of the group continue to protest against its demise, but the minister argues it became too heavily involved in advocacy. The group famously locked horns with the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) over safe-sex ads on bus shelters, which depicted a gay couple hugging.