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

Sex selection abortion


Sonja Couroupis - Online Opinion





"Feminist is as feminist does" was twittered some time ago by the President of Reproductive Choice Australia, Leslie Cannold… I agree, but in contrast to Ms Cannold consider that abortion has no place in true feminism, as it is "a reflection that the needs of women are not being met". What feminists fail to do also speaks volumes. The reaction to Senator John Madigan preparing a bill, to remove federal funding for sex selection abortions has been telling. The old tricks of the abortion lobby have been dragged out to avoid much needed consideration of the implementation of abortion in Australia – these tricks include undermining men who do not agree with their position (playing the exhausted misogyny card), assuming they represent all women and avoiding the issue at hand – in this case, sex selection.














Arkansas enacts tough abortion law, promises tougher

Mark Russell - Newser





Arkansas' Republican-dominated Senate voted yesterday to override a governor's veto a day after the House had done the same, banning nearly all abortions in the state after 20 weeks of pregnancy, reports the New York Times. Arkansas becomes the 10th state with such a law, despite a Supreme Court ruling that states cannot ban abortions before a fetus is viable—which doctors say usually coincides with the 24-week mark. The Arkansas Senate also passed an even more contentious bill yesterday that would ban most abortions after 12 weeks.


















Drugs & Alcohol

Fears rising over hazards of marijuana substitutes


David Ellery - The Canberra Times





Products sold as marijuana substitutes and reviewed by teenage customers as giving a 25-minute-long ''eight out of 10'' high continue to be sold in Canberra stores. A spokesman for the Million Dollar Kiosk at Belconnen's Westfield Shopping Centre confirmed on Thursday he was selling a substance known as Vortex Inferno and that it could be used as a marijuana substitute. ''I am aware of that,'' he said. ''As far as I am aware it is legal in the ACT. I've had police in here while I've been selling it and they haven't said anything.''












Too high to drive? Marijuana-friendly Colorado debates blood-level limits

Brady Dennis and T.W. Farnam - Washington Post





When is someone too stoned to drive? The answer, it turns out, has been anything but si mple in Colorado, which last fall became one of the first states in the country to legalize marijuana. Prosecutors and some lawmakers have long pushed for laws that would set a strict blood-level limit for THC, the key ingredient in cannabis. A driver over the limit would be deemed guilty of driving under the influence, just as with alcohol. Such legislation has failed several times in recent years in the face of fierce opposition from marijuana advocates and defense lawyers, who claim a one-size-fits-all standard doesn’t work for marijuana because it affects the body differently than alcohol.












Education

No control as kids go feral at school


Briana Domjen - The Sunday Telegraph





Children as young as five are bringing drugs to class and attacking fellow pupils with make-shift weapons as they run wild in primary schools across the state. Police were called to NSW primary schools on more than 40 occasions for violent or dangerous behaviour during term three last year - with many more incidents being dealt with by teachers. According to a detailed 310-page report, Incident Reporting in Schools, primary teachers also logged 116 incidents with the Department of Education's School Safety and Response Hotline in the first three terms of 2012.
















Ethics classes at risk as plea for tax relief refused

Josephine Tovey - SMH





The future of ethics classes in NSW is in doubt, the provider says, after the federal government refused to allow it to collect tax-deductible donations in the same way providers of scripture classes in state schools do. Funds established for providing religious instruction in public schools in Australia can claim Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status, a provision that is used by some religious groups to fund training and support for scripture classes in NSW.


















Environment

In this climate, one department's not safe


Joe Kelly - The Australian





Labor is considering dissolving the $218 million-a-year Climate Change Department as part of a cost-saving restructure that could see it merged with another government bureaucracy. The department is part of a $1.6 billion-a-year climate change behemoth in place to administer the government's carbon tax. It also includes the Clean Energy Regulator, the Climate Change Authority and the Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator.
















Marriage

‘Crisis’ for Cameron as gay marriage row aids Tory defeat


Christian Institute





The controversial push to redefine marriage is one of the reasons the Conservatives came third in yesterday’s important by-election, critics say. Same-sex marriage is ‘drastically unpopular’ with activists and supporters, “who have been less inclined to get out and campaign on the streets because of it”, one Tory MP said. And the result – which saw UKIP beat the Tories into third – was described as a “humiliating defeat for David Cameron’s ‘modernising’ agenda”, by one commentator. UKIP’s leader Nigel Farage said the Conservatives had failed because of Mr Cameron’s determination on un-Conservative issues like gay marriage.










Cam in a jam

Graeme Wilson - The Sun





Furious Tory MPs have warned David Cameron he is “out of touch” with traditional supporters after the party’s humiliation in the Eastleigh by-election. The PM was accused of ignoring grassroots Conservatives as the Tories limped home Third behind the Lib Dems and UKIP. Angry backbenchers told Mr Cameron he has until the summer to prove he can win the next general election. Peterborough MP Stewart Jackson fumed that the PM was “out of touch” with ordinary Tories. Mr Jackson warned: “Both gay marriage and EU migration feed into a narrative that too much emphasis is going to the liberal metropolitan elite and not enough to the blue-collar working vote that supported Margaret Thatcher.”












‘Bride & Bridegroom' removed from marriage certificates

Family First NZ





Family First NZ says that the terms ‘Bride’ and ‘Bridegroom’ will be removed from Marriage Certificates if the same-sex marriage bill is passed by politicians. The Select Committee report on the same-sex marriage bill has already confirmed that the terms ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ will be removed from 16 pieces of legislation as it seeks to redefines marriage. “In the proposed new marriage certificates, brides and bridegrooms will simply be referred to as ‘parties’, and the ‘parties’ will have to clarify what sex they are. If husband, wife, bride and bridegroom are no longer used, what will be next – mother and father? In Spain, the term has already been changed to ‘progenitor’,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.


















Politics

Ted Baillieu slides as Labor's lead safe: Newspoll


John Ferguson - The Australian





Dissatisfaction with Ted Baillieu's leadership climbed markedly at the start of the year as voters hardened their stance against the Victorian Premier and Labor retained an election-winning lead. The latest Newspoll survey, conducted exclusively for The Australian, shows satisfaction with Mr Baillieu's leadership has returned to a record-equalling low at the same that dissatisfaction has jumped five points amid rumblings about his performance.














It's (back) on: Libs to hold new preselection meeting

Noel Towell, Lisa Cox - The Canberra Times





The ACT Liberals will hold a new divisional council meeting to thrash out the bitter Senate preselection process that has divided the party since Zed Seselja's win over incumbent Gary Humphries last month. An offiicial notice issued by the party's central office on Friday night said the meeting would be held on Friday, March 15, and warned party members that ''to be able to exercise voting rights you must have voting status''.






Prostitution and Sex Trafficking

Asian 'madams' new face of Queensland sex trade


The Australian – Josh Robertson





Enterprising young Asian "madams" running multimillion-dollar call-girl rings are the emerging face of Queensland's lucrative illicit sex trade. Organised crime bosses of old have been eclipsed by a new breed who don't need underworld muscle to run their rackets, just a steady stream of in-demand sex workers from China, Taiwan, Korea and Thailand.














Religious Freedom & Persecution

Religious persecution and safe havens


Evelyn Gordon - Commentary Magazine





In recent months, a new consensus has emerged: For the first time in millennia, Judaism has lost its title as the world’s most persecuted religion; today, that dubious honor goes to Christianity. “Christians are targeted more than any other body of believers,” wrote Rupert Shortt in a 54-page report for the London-based Civitas institute in December, which meticulously documented their persecution on a country-by-country basis. Even politicians have begun grasping this fact: German Chancellor Angela Merkel publicly deemed Christianity “the most persecuted religion in the world” in November. In short, as one commentator put it last week, Christians have become the new Jews.












Pakistan ‘blasphemy’ pastor free after accuser admits ‘mistake’

BosNewsLife





A pastor, who had been languishing in a Pakistani jail since October for "blaspheming Islam", was free on bail Thursday, February 28, after the complainant admitted he had mistakenly charged him, Christians said. Karma Patras, 55, was detained by police October 13, when a Muslim mob attacked his home in Sanghla Hill in central Punjab province.










Mass arrest and torture of Christians in Libya

Raymond Ibrahim - Front Page News





Last week’s news of four Christian missionaries in Libya placed under arrest, possibly facing the death penalty for “proselytizing,” is apparently the tip of the iceberg. Yesterday, Arabic media reported that over 100 Christian Copts from Egypt, who have been living and working in Libya, were recently arrested in Ben Ghazi—also on the accusation, or pretext, of being “Christian missionaries.” One video, apparently made by the Libyan militia interrogators—most of whom look like Islamic Salafis, with long beards and clipped mustaches—appeared on the Internet yesterday. It shows a room full of detained Copts. They sit hunched over on the floor—with all their hair shaven off, looking like dejected, or doomed, concentration camp prisoners. According to one source, many of these Copts have been tortured. Some have had the famous Coptic cross often tattooed on the wrists of Copts burned off with acid.
















Sexualisation of Society

Stealing the innocence of children


Deborah Snow - SMH





When are you too young to be the butt of a dirty joke? A baby's jumpsuit emblazoned with the slogan ''All Daddy Really Wanted was a Blow Job'' was for sale on the mainstream retail site Amazon.com this week. Sized for ages three months to 18 months, it was priced at a bargain $18. A few clicks away, the online world of T-shirt Hell encourages customers to send in photos of themselves or family members wearing the company's products. Among the montage of images posted on the website were sweet-faced infants and toddlers wearing shirts branded with jokes like ''Hung like a Pony'' or ''Hung like a Five Year Old''.