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

Abortion a key factor in deciding this year's US election


Rose Espinola - OnLine Opinion





Women's issues, primarily abortion, are a key which will decide the outcome of this year's US election. U.S religious conservatives have taken a steady leaning in recent years. As the country's conservative religious right gain precedence in mainstream thought and policy, the divergence between the religious right, and secular left is wider than ever, leading towards what is now a tight race where only a few states will ultimately decide the outcome.
















Donor Conception & Surrogacy

Britain's most messed-up family: When Mark donated sperm to Mandy he claims he never promised to be Daddy - but now the couple are in a bitter legal battle over child support


Barbara Davies - Daily Mail





When 12-year-old Shannon Baker is older, she wants to look her biological father in the eye and ask him: ‘Am I just a sperm donation or am I your daughter?’ It is a disturbing question and one which over the past week has been endlessly discussed, not just by Shannon and her 13-year-old sister Rianna, but by their gay father, Mark Langridge. Having twice donated his sperm to their lesbian mother, Mandy Baker, without, he says, intending to take on a parental role, he has suddenly found himself with a bill from the Child Support Agency.














Drugs & Alcohol

Town fights back against large-scale pot growers


The Associated Press





Happily isolated on California's remote Humboldt County coast, Arcata has long made room in its heart for marijuana. But the mellow days are coming to an end. Even Arcata residents who support legalization of marijuana have become fed up with high-volume indoor growing operations that take over much-needed housing and take advantage of the state's loosely written medical marijuana law. The neighbors of these clandestine pot farms complain of the skunk-like stink of cannabis, fire hazards, rising rents, vicious guard dogs, caches of guns, illegal pesticides, and late-night visits from shady characters.














Naked and psychotic: legal cocaine substitute offers a deadly high

Rachel Olding - SMH





It was an unbearable high that lasted several days and ended in a naked, bloodied death. A central coast truck driver, Glenn Punch, 44, and his girlfriend, Rachael Hickel, 42, injected a drug while in the cabin of his truck one afternoon two weeks ago. They thought it would just be some fun.
















Education

Students with autism and emotional disorders exiled for disorderly conduct


Bruce McDougall - The Daily Telegraph





Students as young as five are receiving multiple suspensions as schools struggle to contain extreme violence by children with autism and mental and emotional disorders. Some students prone to dangerous outbursts are attending school for one or two hours a day, while others are regularly sent home after attacks on teachers or other children. Schools now face a tsunami of kids with autism spectrum and mental disorders but parents claim suspension is not working and have called for teachers to be better trained to handle students with disabilities in the classroom.














Gambling

Are casino benefits a gamble?


Lawrence Bull - New Matilda





In August this year, a world-class publicity campaign serenaded New South Wales. A six star hotel; a high rollers casino; millionaire Asian tourists; hundreds of millions for the state economy. James Packer told ABC radio that there had never been a casino like it. The development might be without precedent, but Packer has made it look easy. His company, Crown Ltd, promised $300-440 million a year to the NSW economy. The numbers came from a report they commissioned by the Allen Consulting Group.














Gambling bill 'a start'

Loretta Johnston - The Examiner





Tasmania's peak welfare organisation says gambling reform legislation tabled in the Federal Parliament yesterday was a positive but very small step in the right direction. Tasmanian Council of Social Service chief executive Tony Reidy said he supported any move towards a better control of gambling but that the government's reforms - which include a $250 a day withdrawal limit from automatic teller machines in gaming venues excluding casinos, and introducing a system whereby poker machine users can set a limit on the amount they are prepared to lose - did not go anywhere near far enough.














Marriage

Disestablishing marriage


Scott Yenor - Mercator Net





Marriage is any consensual caring relationship, says a feminist philosopher who wants to create a new vision of an old institution. Elizabeth Brake’s Minimizing Marriage breaks new ground in the contemporary liberal critique of traditional arrangements. The object of her critique is what she calls amatonormativity—the belief that society should value two-person, amorous love relationships. Even same-sex marriage (SSM) advocates are too restrictive for Brake in that they would confer benefits on two people alone.










Premier tabled law day after Archbishop visit

Rosanne Barrett - The Australian





Cambell Newman held a private meeting with Brisbane Catholic Archbishop Mark Coleridge the day before tabling surprise legislation to abolish state-sanctioned civil unions. The Queensland Premier and Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie met Archbishop Coleridge at Parliament House on June 19 "to discuss the Catholic Church's issues regarding the legislation".










Overseas Aid

Is all aid good aid?


Matt Hilton - New Matilda





AusAID's involvement in the Cambodian railways project has come under fire from local groups alleging human rights abuses. Is aid always a good thing? Recently, something ground-breaking in the world of aid happened. After years of attempting to engage with AusAID, the Asian Development Bank and the Government of Cambodia, two organisations — Equitable Cambodia and Inclusive Development International — submitted a formal complaint to the Australian Human Rights Commission. The complaint was filed on behalf of 30 affected families, and is important because it alleges that AusAID breached the Australian Government’s human rights obligations during the Cambodian Railways Project.














Politics

Rudd labels Greens 'opportunistic' over mining resource tax proposal


Daily Telegraph





Kevin Rudd has had a go at the Australian Greens for seeking a renegotiation of the mining tax. Greens leader Christine Milne said yesterday that Labor should revert to the previous planned mining tax to find $26 billion in revenue over the next four years, instead of the projected $9 billion. But Prime Minister Julia Gillard said she would not be taking advice from anyone about a tax that was already in place.
















Religious Freedom & Persecution

Islam overtaking Catholicism as dominant religion in France


Soeren Kern - Gatestone Institute





A majority of people in France, according to a new poll, believe that Islam is too influential in French society, and almost half view Muslims as a threat to their national identity. The survey reveals a significant degradation of the image of Islam in France. The findings also show that French voters are growing increasingly uneasy about mass immigration from Muslim countries, which has been encouraged by a generation of political and cultural elites in France dedicated to creating a multicultural society.










Syria: Last Christian in Homs killed

ANSAmed





The last Christian who was in the centre of Homs was killed, after the civilian population was evacuated due to widespread fighting. According to the Vatican's Fides news agency, 84-year-old Elias Mansour, a Greek-Orthodox Christian did not want to leave his home on Wadi Sayeh street - even though he knew his life was in danger - because he had to take care of his handicapped son, Adnane.












Sexualisation of Society

Kill yourself, club owner tells schoolgirls


Cameron Houston - The Age





Victoria's liquor licensing authority is investigating a nightclub promoter who told several schoolgirls via social media to ''kill yourself'' after they asked to have provocative images removed from the venue's Facebook page. The young women had attended the Pens Down party at CBD nightclub Roxanne Parlour, where students celebrated the end of year 12 before VCE exams began last week.
















Other

Newborn left in controversial Belgian 'babybox'


SMH





A newborn baby boy has been left in a "babybox" in the Belgian city of Antwerp, the latest unwanted infant whose parents have taken advantage of a controversial charity scheme, the Belga news agency reported Sunday. The infant, who was apparently in good heath, was left on Saturday.














Blacktown Council welcomes back Queen and God

Ben McLellan - The Daily Telegraph





A newly elected Liberal council has brought back the Queen and prayers to meetings while scrapping an official acknowledgement of Aboriginal owners. The change of direction on Blacktown Council comes after the Liberals ended more than two decades of Labor domination at September's local government elections. New Mayor Len Robinson has ordered the Queen's portrait to be retrieved from storage and re-hung over the mayoral chair in the chambers.














Spector smartphone app helps you dodge the ticket inspector

Petra Starke - News Limited





A new Australian-made smartphone app that could potentially help public transport fare evaders and vandals avoid ticket inspectors has been condemned by transport authorities. Launched this week. the free "Spector" app invites users to flag by GPS the location of ticket inspectors they see patrolling trams, trains or buses to alert passengers to their presence in real time. Users in all cities can tag inspectors as either "uniformed" or "plain clothed", and can specify whether they are on a vehicle or at a station or stop. All tags remain visible on the map for 20 minutes.