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.



 







Bioethics

Not with a bang, but a whimper


Michael Cook - Mercator Net





After more than a decade of research on embryonic stem cells, scientists are quietly moving on to greener pastures. Foes of embryo research were called troglodytes and religious fundamentalists. Their scientific credentials were questioned. They were accused of being callous and indifferent to the suffering of patients with chronic illness. And yet they were right.










More mothers want to choose baby's sex

Cosima Marriner - Sun-Herald





Half of Sydney women either expecting a baby or having fertility treatment believe they should be allowed to choose the sex of their unborn child, according to research. A survey of the women, who were patients at St George Private Hospital, found three-quarters were opposed to using IVF to select the sex of first-borns. But half approved of sex selection for subsequent children to gender balance families.












Charities & NFP

Charities struggle to fill jobs in remote towns


ABC





Charities and non-government organisations in Western Australia's north are finding it almost impossible to recruit people to fill key positions in remote towns. Anglicare has state funding to hire staff to respond to incidents of domestic violence in towns across the Pilbara and Kimberley, but so far has been unable to fill a single position.














Children & Family

The feminist, pro-father, and pro-child case against no-fault divorce


Ashley E. McGuire - Mercator Net





No fault divorce was greeted as liberation, but the result has been misery for all involved.












Classification

Facebook locks out campaigner against images of violence against women


Helen Davidson - Guardian





Facebook has blocked an administrator of an Australian feminist page for uploading a poster that encouraged people to voice their concerns over misogynistic and violent content on the social networking site. The Destroy the Joint page has been active in the fight for Facebook to remove sexually violent and degrading content from the social network which, until Thursday, was allowed to be freely shared. The poster listed content that Facebook allowed – pages about domestic violence and rape jokes – and content it did not, including pages about breastfeeding and reconstructive surgery.










Google donates just 90 seconds' profit to charity policing child abuse

Josh Halliday and Alexandra Topping - The Guardian





Google donated little more than £20,000 last year to the charity responsible for policing child abuse images online – the equivalent of 90 seconds' profit for the internet firm. The search giant was one of a number of firms, including Facebook and Microsoft, that pledged relatively small amounts to the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) in 2012, despite their multibillion-dollar turnovers.












Viewing Cultural Collapse at Cannes

L. Brent Bozell - CNS News





Decadence dominated the publicity oozing out of the Cannes Film Festival in France. The festival's highest honor, the Palme d'Or (or Golden Palm) went to "Blue Is the Warmest Color," which drew most of its buzz from an explicit 10-minute lesbian sex scene.




Doubts viewing porn leads to risky behaviour

Rachel Browne - SMH





Australian-led international research has cast doubt over whether watching pornographic material has a significant impact on the sexual behaviour of young people. While porn has long been blamed for a rise in risky sexual practices among teenagers, the study suggests explicit material has only a modest impact.
























SBS's brave nude world

Karl Quinn - Fairfax Media





There's a bold new wave of programming sweeping through SBS and Ryder Susman hopes to surf it all the way to a regular gig on TV. The 26-year-old youth worker last week made his broadcast debut, interviewing nudists at a health club in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne.


















Drugs & Alcohol

Pregnant teens still refuse to butt out


Alison Andrews - The Examiner





The number of Tasmanian teenage mothers who smoke during pregnancy continues to rise despite a raft of education programs to cut the habit, according to figures in the latest State of Public Health report. The report released earlier this week revealed in 2011-12 more than 30 per cent of Tasmanians aged 18-24 years were daily or occasional tobacco smokers. More than 23 per cent of Tasmanian women continued to smoke during pregnancy with the rate among teenage mothers in 2010 set at an alarming 46.8per cent.














Education

Schools beg for help to keep intruders out


Katherine danks - Daily Telegraph





Intruders are being reported on school grounds twice a week, with incidents including strangers caught rummaging through bags during assembly, a man grabbing a pupil's arm as he left a classroom and a mother who walked into her son's class and abused the teacher. Just two weeks after a stranger assaulted four children at Haberfield Public School, new education department figures reveal there were 20 reports of intruders at government schools during term 4 last year.














Gambling

Gambling inquiry off table for polls


Kirsty Needham - SMH





Premier Barry O'Farrell has vetoed a wide-ranging public inquiry into problem gambling being held during the federal election campaign to avoid creating a headache for Opposition Leader Tony Abbott and reviving the bitter poker machine debate.
















Marriage

Cameron asked to reconsider gay marriage plan


ITV





The Prime Minister is facing fresh calls to halt his plans to allow gay marriage by a group of religious leaders, who argue the legislation is being rushed through parliament without proper debate. In a letter to the Daily Telegraph, signed by 61 religious leaders, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/letters/10092592/Same-sex-marriage.html it said: "The haste with which this legislation is being driven through Parliament and the failure to talk to all religions will mean that the problems which we have repeatedly highlighted will be written into law with serious and harmful consequences for the health of society, family life, and human rights such as freedom of religion and of speech. . . "






Pity the Child of Same sex union

David van Gend – The Australian





Atheist philosopher Bertrand Russell said, "It is through children alone that sexual relations become of importance to society and worthy to be taken cognisance of by a legal institution." The legal institution of marriage is, as anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss puts it, "a social institution with a biological foundation".












Kevin Rudd and same-sex marriage - leave Bonhoeffer out of it

Mark Lindsay - ABC Religion and Ethics





Embedded in the various responses to Kevin Rudd's about-face on the issue of same-sex marriage has been the curious but inevitable conjecture as to his motivations.














Politics

Getting old: 60-year-old Christine Milne calls 59-year-old Martin Ferguson an “old-stager”


Vexnews





Slagging people off for being too old for public service is mostly an impertinence best left to those who turned it into an art-form: the Baby Boomer generation. They’ve mostly been notoriously tough to move on from positions of power themselves. There’s no better example of that than the oldies dominated Greensparty that has the oldest political party leadership and yet constantly refers to “old parties.” Yesterday, their leader Christine Milne even slagged off retiring Labor legend Martin Ferguson as an “old stager.” Would it be impolite to point out her age?
















Refugees

Hell of a life in limbo for refugees living in squalor and poverty


Peter Rolfe - Herald Sun





Melbourne's outer suburbs have become home to a growing humanitarian crisis, with thousands of asylum seekers living below the poverty line while banned from working. Immigration documents reveal about 2000 adult male asylum seekers are living in the most basic conditions in our suburbs, many with no beds, suffering depression and living in fear without being able to earn a dollar.
















Religious Freedom & Persecution

Militants launch “Reign of Terror” against Christians in Central Africa Republic


BosNewsLife Africa Service





Islamic militants have launched a "reign of terror" against Christians in Central African Republic after Seleka rebels took control of the country in a March 24 coup, rights activists said. Armed with a "hit list" of pastors and places of worship, Seleka rebels systematically looted church property, even seizing money from collection plates, according to Barnabas Fund, a Christian aid and advocacy group working in the region.












Christians are the most persecuted group in the world, expert says

Hilary White - LifeSiteNews





In all, 15 European countries currently have laws on the books that effectively restrict the freedom of religious practice and speech of Christians, according to testimony at the annual meeting of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), May 22 in Tirana, Albania. Dr. Massimo Introvigne, an Italian sociologist and author said that Christians are the most persecuted group in the world, with one Christian being killed out of religious discrimination every five minutes, particularly in Islamic or Communist countries like North Korea.












Turkey's continuing siege: Remembering the fall of Constantinople

Dr. Elizabeth H. Prodromou and Alexandros K. Kyrou - Huffington Post





In some ways, Ankara's policies against Turkey's Christian citizens have added a modern veneer and sophisticated brutality to Ottoman norms and practices. Pogroms, persecution, and discrimination have been visited on Turkey's Christians. The Turkish press revealed only weeks ago that Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew was the target of an assassination conspiracy (the second such plot against his life in four years), and the constant threats and interference in the affairs of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Greek Orthodox community have led to the near extinction of that ancient Christian community.












Sexualisation of Society

Three years of silence from the FL


Melinda Tankard Reist blog





AFL star Lance “Buddy” Franklin is still promoting porn t-shirt brand to fans.














Other

‘Gay and Lesbian’ Mardi Gras returns


Alex McKinnon - Star Observer





At an Extraordinary General Meeting on Saturday, May 25, Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras (SGLMG) members voted unanimously to reinsert the words “Gay and Lesbian” into the name of the annual festival.












Legal recognition for those who don't identify as either 'M' or 'F'

Paul Bibby - SMH





People who do not identify as male or female have achieved formal legal recognition in Australia for the first time, after the NSW Court of Appeal overturned a ruling that everyone must be listed as a man or a woman with the Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages. In a landmark decision with major implications for thousands of intersex, androgynous and neuter people across the country, the court on Friday upheld an appeal by Sydney activist 'Norrie' against a decision by the Administrative Decisions Tribunal that people must be officially registered as 'M' or 'F'.










Profit above all else: how CBA lost savings and hid its tracks

Adele Ferguson and Chris Vedelago - SMH





It took nearly 16 months before the regulator was forced to act against serious flaws at Commonwealth Bank's financial planning unit.