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.



 





Drugs & Alcohol

Vic police smash massive drug syndicate


Sky News





Police have shut down possibly Victoria's largest ever drug lab and smashed an organised crime syndicate after daylight raids on two homes in suburban Melbourne. Police said the houses were set up to produce tens of millions of dollars worth of drugs. Seven men aged between 26 and 44, including two Canadians and one Vietnamese national, have been charged with manufacturing and trafficking large commercial quantities of methylamphetamine following the swoop at residential Sunshine West on Friday afternoon.










Qantas pilot Captain Steve Anderson fears of drugs on planes

Bronwen Gora - The Sunday Telegraph





The black market in cost-price prescription drugs in Asia has triggered fears from pilots that pill-popping passengers are endangering lives. Cases of passengers leaping from their seats, "sleep walking" and, in one case, even trying to open an airline door while in flight are among random acts of behaviour that have horrified flight crews. Qantas pilot Captain Steve Anderson said the purchasing of prescription medicine over the counter in Asia without doctor's advice was rampant.








Education

Target Asia: education the key


Phillip Coorey - Sydney Morning Herald





Every school will be made to teach at least one priority Asian language under a national Asian studies curriculum, as part of a comprehensive embrace of the region aimed at exploiting its rapidly growing wealth over the next decade-and-a-half.










Environment

No forest peace in our time

Jennifer crawley - The Mercury





The future of what was once one of Tasmania's most thriving industries was in tatters yesterday, after marathon forestry peace talks were finally felled by warring parties. Even a $120 million assistance package to be used for industry restructuring and economic diversification, that was still sitting on the table, could not induce co-operation between forestry and conservation groups. The breakdown left a weary and visibly upset federal Environment Minister Tony Burke with the task of telling Tasmanians there would be no end to the decades-long conflict over the forests.














Euthanasia & Suicide

Let's put legalised euthanasia issue down


Piers Akerman - The Sunday Telegraph





There's been a half-hearted attempt at reviving discussion about euthanasia in NSW following a flurry of responses to a weekend column in one of the nation's parochial broadsheets. Former ABC reporter Mike Carlton, one of The Sydney Morning Herald's extensive stable of left-leaning writers, wrote a poignant piece about his aged mother who, since the early death of his father, had raised him as a sole parent - in the days before single mums were called sole parents. While one certainly empathises with his understandable distress at seeing his mother decline into dementia, the question of euthanasia needs to be examined in greater depth, and from many more perspectives, than exhibited in Carlton's naturally emotive writing.












Tormented 15-year-old Felicia Garcia jumped to death in front of train after bullying over sex with football players

Ben Chapman - New York Daily





The tormented Staten Island teenager who killed herself by jumping in the path of a train was bullied to death by classmates after she had sex with four football players, police sources said Thursday. Felicia Garcia, a 15-year-old freshman at Tottenville High School, was driven to her death when two classmates blabbed about the encounters — and she learned that it had been recorded.














Gambling

Profit wins as problem gamblers' plight ignored


Stephanie Peatling - SMH





With the O'Farrell government lighting the way for a second Sydney casino, academics and anti-pokies campaigners say there is a drastic lack of action to help people who are problem gamblers. The state government earned $441.3 million from taxes on gaming machines in the same three-month period, according to figures provided to The Sun-Herald by the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing.










Sports betting by AFL players has reached troubling levels, key figures say

Jon Ralph - Herald Sun





A chorus of leading AFL figures have warned sports betting by players has reached troubling levels. The combination of easy access to betting websites, 24-hour televised sport and high incomes is blamed for the escalating issue. Player managers, players and former problem gamblers in the AFL say too many sportsmen are splashing money they cannot afford to lose.
















Homelessness & Poverty

Thousands of children out on the street


Richard Baker and Nick McKenzie - The Age





More than 4000 of Victoria's most vulnerable children have been made homeless because they have been evicted from public housing. Some children have had to sleep rough or shelter in cars with their parents. Others have been referred to emergency accommodation of varying standards, with the worst places also housing drug addicts, convicted criminals and the severely mentally ill.


















Marriage

Chick-fil-A finds increase in business amid controversy


Michael Gryboski - Christian Post





A report from a California-based research group on the third quarter earnings of Chick-fil-A has shown that the company experienced growth in its business during the fallout from this past summer's controversy. According to Sandelman & Associates of San Clemente, the evangelical Christian-led fast-food chain experienced a 2.2 percent increase in visits from customers from July to September. Paul Clarke, spokesman for Sandelman & Associates, provided The Christian Post with a press release regarding the data from the group's Quick Track Study. "Despite protests and predictions that the fast-food chain would be hurt by the publicity, Chick-fil-A appears stronger now," reads the statement.
















Politics

Anthony Albanese attacks factions after Penny Wong relegated to No.2 Senate spot


Brad Crouch and Samantha Maiden - Sunday Mail (SA)





Factional heavyweight Don Farrell's victory over Penny Wong for the No.1 place on Labor's SA Senate ticket unleashes anger within the party's ranks. The result was blasted as "a joke" by Labor Minister Anthony Albanese.
















The great seducer

Steve Kates - The Quadrant





It's not often an Australian innovation conquers the world, especially in politics, but we do seem to have had a first. Many in America are giving the laurel to Vladimir Putin, but unless there is a more ancient contender the true innovator was our own Sarah Hanson-Young. And that innovation is to have been the first to come up with the idea that a young woman's first vote is equivalent to her first experience of making love. A pathetic disgusting idea, it is true, but SH-Y may have provided an Australian first.










Planning day agenda reveals Greens imagine they're talking to aliens

Barclay Crawford - The Sunday Telegraph





The Greens are facing a return to political obscurity following election backlashes across the country, but rather than devise a strategy to win back disillusioned voters, NSW Greens MPs have decided to turn their attention to alien life forms. Despite losing three of their four seats in last weekend's ACT elections and suffering a swing of almost 5 per cent against them - the Greens spent last Monday discussing how they could describe their party to extraterrestrials. A copy of the NSW planning day agenda obtained by The Sunday Telegraph reveals Greens MPs were instructed to imagine they were talking to aliens to outline their policies.










Greens get a red light from voters on trust

Paul Howes - The Sunday Telegraph





Trust is an important commodity in politics. It's hard to win and easy to lose. Well, at least that's how it is for most mainstream politicians. For The Greens, however, their status as a minor fringe party has meant that they have not been subject to the same level of scrutiny as the major parties. In effect, they have been given a 'get-out-of-jail-free card' on the trust issue for much of their existence. Former Senator Bob Brown could get away with saying almost anything, no matter how wacky and contradictory his statements were. A wink and a smile from Saint Bob to his "fellow earthians" and all would be forgiven.










Greenwich 'passionate' about many issues

Sam McKeith - AAP





Newly elected independent MP for Sydney Alex Greenwich has denied coalition claims he is a single-issue politician after his landslide by-election victory. More than 48 per cent of voters chose Mr Greenwich in Saturday's poll, with the Clover Moore-backed candidate finishing with a two-party preferred vote of just under 65 per cent.










A Sheikhy time to be entering politics stage left

Malcolm Farr - The Punch





There is fresh evidence Australians are dividing between Labor and the Liberals and that the shift to the political poles is leaving the Greens adrift and losing much of the electoral ballast accumulated over the past five years. Voting last weekend in the Australian Capital Territory has followed the broad trend set in recent NSW local government elections and recorded in opinion polling.




















Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Pratt mistress puts her rivals on notice


Eamonn Duff - SMH





The former mistress of late billionaire Richard Pratt has vowed to give Sydney's brothel barons a run for their money by unveiling her very own five-star parlour in Darlinghurst.
















Religious Freedom & Persecution

RAAF warns military personnel not to send gift-wrapped presents to Afghanistan


Ian McPhedran - Adelaide Now





The Air Force has warned staff against wrapping gifts for military personnel serving overseas in Christmas paper due to "cultural sensitivity". A Flight Lieutenant based at RAAF Base Pearce near Perth sent an email to staff and cadets encouraging them to send Christmas care packages to Australians deployed in the Middle East Area of Operations this festive season.














Refugees

Customs swamped by flood of arrivals


Gemma Jones - The Daily Telegraph





Customs is struggling to crew patrol planes and boats as it battles record numbers of asylum seeker arrivals. A surge in boats from Sri Lanka intercepted off the Cocos Islands is challenging Customs "capacity to address and respond to other maritime sec rity threats and maintain awareness across the remainder of the Australian maritime domain", documents show.












Pakistani death squads spur desperate voyage to Australia

Matthew Bigg, Matthew Green and James Grubel - Reuters





It was 3 a.m. when Abid Warasi and his friend clambered into an Indonesian fishing boat, joining 300 other migrants packed into the hold. Only a few days away by sea, Australia seemed tantalizingly close. Six hours into the voyage, the craft overturned. The two teenagers clung to the upturned hull. One by one, survivors lost purchase and drifted away, their dreams swallowed by the warm waters of the Java Sea.
















Sexualisation of Society

Children becoming addicted to internet porn


Graeme Paton - SMH





Children as young as 11 are being given "unrealistic expectations" of sex after being exposed to internet pornography, according to research in Britain. Academics warned that it was "common practice" for school children to become desensitised to sexual images after accessing hardcore images at an early age.














Zoo Weekly: because chopping women in half is ‘men’s lifestyle’

Melinda Tankard Reist Blog





28000 – That’s the number of boys aged 14-17 estimated to read Zoo magazine each week. Despite its pornographic nature Zoo magazine is classified as ‘men’s lifestyle’ and therefore unrestricted – anyone can buy it. Zoo is conveniently positioned and priced for young readers to purchase in convenience stores, service stations and Coles and Woolworths. Zoo boasts that it is the largest selling ‘men’s magazine’ in Australia.


















Other

Good Book helps Solomon Islands' domestic violence


ABC





Domestic violence is a serious problem in a number of Australia's Melanesian neighbours. In Solomon Islands World Vision and the local Anglican Church, the Church of Melanesia, are working together to try to address the issue by using the Bible.