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.



 







Children & Family

Child Safety Department tells three sisters they shared blame for sexual assault by foster child


Renee Viellaris - The Courier-Mail





Three sisters who were repeatedly sexually abused by a foster child have been told by the Child Safety Department they share the blame for failing to lock their bedroom doors. The sisters are suing Child Safety for putting them at risk of the sexual offender, who two years earlier was convicted of raping a three-year-old girl. But once again Child Safety has used taxpayer's money to take legal action against a mother, arguing she was at fault and should have better protected her children and should contribute to any court-ordered compensation.




















Drugs & Alcohol

Qld Drink Safe funding runs dry


Katherine Feeney - SMH





The state government extended the largely acclaimed Fortitude Valley Drink Safe Precinct trial to February without providing further funding to a key service provider forcing them to terminate operations this weekend, it has been revealed. Fairfax Media can confirm the Chill Out Zones, which operate at Fortitude Valley and Surfers Paradise, will shut down their Brisbane operations on Saturday leaving other DSP parties to plug a gap worth $500,000 a year to facilitate.










Australia warned ocean-going yachts the new vessel of choice for drug smugglers

Ken McGregor - The Courier-Mail





Authorities are on increasing alert for cocaine-packed yachts being sent to Australia by foreign drug lords. In the past two years, four yachts - each less than 20m in length - have been intercepted carrying a combined total of more than a tonne of cocaine. The huge quantities of illicit drugs involved were laid bare in October when a yacht bound for our shores was found marooned in the middle of the Pacific Ocean carrying more than $110 million worth of cocaine.










Education

Assault claims hitting schools


Briana Domjen - The Sunday Telegraph





Teachers are becoming so fearful about being falsely accused of assault they are now refusing one-on-one discussions with students and parents. NSW schools are adopting the policy to ensure no teacher is alone and left open to allegations of inappropriate behaviour.












How schools fail to curb bad behaviour

Anna Patty - SMH





School suspensions have risen by more than a third over the past six years but do little to improve the behaviour of children, research has found. The study, conducted by Uniting Care, has led to calls on the NSW government to review its education policy and allow for more in-school suspensions.
















School's out, Bali's in, toolies eye the pool

Michael Bachelard - The Age





Testosterone wafts off Shane Goodhew and his three shirtless mates in palpable waves. They are toolies - men in their 20s who are in Bali this week to muscle in, literally, to the annual schoolies celebration. They are on the hunt for 17- and 18-year-old girls. Goodhew, almost 21, says he is proud to be ''the bloke that parents warn their daughters about''. Over the past three years, Bali has become a favourite party destination for school leavers. A sign of the increasing popularity of Bali as a schoolies destination is the appearance for the first time this year of the Red Frogs, a Christian-based volunteer group which has patrolled annually in Australia since 1997, helping the ill and the drunk.












Environment

Anti-whalers stepping up campaign


ABC







Anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd says it will unleash its biggest, most aggressive campaign yet against the Japanese whaling fleet in the Southern Ocean this summer. Sea Shepherd will send four ships and 120 crew on the mission with one of the ships, Bob Barker, leaving Sydney tomorrow. Speaking in Hobart, the vessel's captain Peter Hammarstedt said a new ship, Sam Simon, would also be used in the fight but its identity and location were being kept under wraps.
















Gambling

Vic pokies spending down $62m after ATM ban


ABC





The Victorian Government has hailed its ban on ATMs in gaming venues a success after a $62 million drop in poker machine spending. The ban was introduced in July as part of the State Government's initiatives to fight problem gambling. Victoria's Gaming Minister Michael O'Brien says new figures show the move has already seen a 6.7 per cent drop in the amount of money being spent on pokies.
















Pokie reform bill should be just the beginning

Lyle Shelton - International





The Australian Christian Lobby has welcomed tonight’s passing of legislation putting modest curbs on harmful poker machines. Managing Director Jim Wallace said ACL hoped today’s reforms would be just the beginning of meaningful reform to stop the harm of poker machines to people suffering from addiction to them.












One-armed bandits

Heath Aston - Sun-Herald





A leagues club in one of Sydney's problem gambling hot spots was allowed to add 102 new poker machines in return for a donation to the local community. But the donation has been channelled into a new grandstand for its own football ground. Anti-gambling campaigners have blasted the pokies approvals system in NSW as ''a joke'' after Wentworthville Leagues Club was given clearance to spend $500,000 redeveloping its home ground, Ringrose Park.












Health

Further research into lesbians and alcohol begins


Star Observer





Lesbians and bisexual women are more likely to binge drink in Australia but Melbourne researchers are investigating how their sexuality is linked to this dangerous behaviour. Melbourne University and Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre are surveying same-sex attracted women across the country to understand how social attitudes affect their drinking habits. The latest research into Australian lesbians and alcohol abuse found 55 percent drank enough to put themselves at a lifetime risk of alcohol related diseases and injury, compared to just 11 percent of women in the wider community. Melbourne University associate professor Ruth McNair told the Star Observer that alcohol abuse in the LGBTI community was very significant.










Decades after Grim Reaper, HIV/AIDS diagnosis is grim

Miles Heffernan - The Punch





Today is World AIDS Day and the 30th anniversary of HIV/AIDS prevention programs. There’s good news: Young men are no longer attending funerals more than then their grandparents. But while life-saving medicine hides the physical signs of AIDS, it also masks the ugliness of the politics, infighting and sanitised messages to appease constituents surrounding it. Meanwhile, HIV infections are up 8 per cent nationally.






HIV diagnoses in UK homosexual men at all-time high

Life Site News





A report on HIV infection from the UK’s Health Protection Agency states that new diagnoses among men who have sex with men (MSM) reached an all-time high in 2011, with 3,010 new cases. The report, which was published on Thursday, says a “worrying” trend has developed since 2007, with rates of new HIV infections rising rapidly among homosexual men. Nearly one in 12 male homosexuals in London now has HIV. In the rest of the nation, one in 20 homosexual men is HIV-positive.


















Marriage

WA Greens to push ahead with marriage equality


Serkan Ozturk - Gay News Network





Western Australia has become the latest state or territory on track for equal marriage laws after Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren introduced a bill in the state’s Upper House of Parliament on Thursday morning. The Marriage Equality Bill 2012 will allow for same-sex marriage including the ability for couples to register their marriage and have it authorised by a celebrant.
















Politics

Time for union inquiry, says Michael Costa


Hedley Thomas - The Australian





Sixteen years after he opposed a call for a royal commission into union corruption and fraud, one-time union leader and former NSW treasurer Michael Costa has declared Australia now needs a public inquiry. Mr Costa told The Weekend Australian yesterday he was in "total agreement" about the need for a high-level inquiry run by a serving or retired judge to investigate the management of unions, following a series of scandals.
















Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Three out of ten Indian child prostitutes get AIDS


AGI





In India, three out of ten girls who are forced to prostitute themselves get infected with the HIV virus, according to the PLAN organisation. PLAN has set up a network for AIDS patients in Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh and has started an assistance programme for children who have been infected with the virus, supported by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS. Outside India, the situation is also very serious in Thailand, where 26,000 children have to live with AIDS. Around 300,000 children between 0 and 17 years old lost at least one parent to the disease in Thailand in 2009.




















Refugees

'Party time' as PM called a 'hero' over asylum-seeker detention policies


Jonathan Marshall - Daily Telegraph





Asylum seekers in Indonesia have swung into party mode and labelled Julia Gillard a "hero" after learning they will receive welfare payments and rent assistance should they make it to Australia by boat. The wannabe citizens are ecstatic the government has conceded detention centres are beyond maximum capacity and that asylum seekers would need to be released into the community while their applications for refugee status were processed.


















Religious Freedom & Persecution

What Egypt's Christians think of hastily completed Constitution


Jayson Casper - Christian Today





Addressing the nation in a televised interview Thursday, President Mohamed Morsi welcomed the sudden completionof Egypt's draft constitution after months of gridlock. Amid public outcry against his decision last week to grant himself immunity from judicial review, Morsi praised the constitution's speedy completion as a necessary step in order to end the nation's transition to democracy and reestablish separate executive, legislative, and judicial authority. He also dismissed questions about the legitimacy of the document, especially given the withdrawal of Christian and many liberal members of the assembly drafting it.










Potential mass genocide threatens Sudanese Christians

Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin





The threat of genocide looms in Sudan as Christian and non-Arab communities in three regions have been targeted by President General Omar al-Bashir, a notorious leader well known for the systematic slaughter of those who oppose Islamisation. When the mainly Christian south seceded from the predominantly Islamic north in 2011, the government of Sudan began to persecute “southerners” (those who are politically and culturally aligned with the south) living in the north, stripping them of their citizenship and denying them rights.










Sexualisation of Society

Spotlight attacked by Collective Shout for Playboy-branded goods


Petra Starke - News Limited Network





Angry shoppers are boycotting craftware chain Spotlight for "promoting pornography'' by advertising a line of Playboy-branded quilt sets in its latest catalogue. The national retailer's Facebook page has been flooded with irate comments from former fans over its latest "Big Deals'' catalogue, which promotes five quilt sets featuring the Playboy name and bunny logo. "Please don't stock Playboy merchandise that supports a multimillion dollar pornography industry that is tearing apart lives and families,'' wrote one user. Refer also