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

Billboard campaign exposes how abortion replaces fathers


Steven Ertelt - Life News





A new pro-life billboard campaign will expose how abortion is frequently used to replace fathers — a topic that doesn’t receive enough attention in the national abortion debate. The Radiance Foundation, in partnership with the Virginia Coalition for Life, has launched a wide-scale TooManyAborted.com billboard campaign in Hampton Roads, Virginia, with the messaging: “Fatherhood Begins in the Womb.”














I back abortion limit of 12 weeks, says UK Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt .. but doctors fear women would have to decide too soon

Daniel Martin - UK Daily Mail





UK Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt last night made a provocative call for the abortion time limit to be slashed from 24 weeks to just 12 weeks. Mr Hunt said he had not changed his mind since 2008, when as a member of the Shadow Cabinet he voted in the Commons to halve the upper limit at which a woman can opt for a termination.














Charities & NFP

Vinnies backs call for debate on banks


Brian Davies - Catholic Weekly





A call last week by the Reserve Bank of Australia for a national debate regarding Australia’s banks and bank profits has been welcomed by church welfare agencies. The Chief Executive of the St Vincent de Paul Society national council, Dr John Falzon, said the call for a public debate on the size of the banks’ profits was a good idea.














Children & Family

Labor backbenchers angry over changes to parenting payment


Patricia Karvelas - The Australian





The Gillard government will this week seek to rush through changes to push 100,000 single mothers off parenting payments and on to the dole, despite two inquiries recommending the plan be delayed, with Labor backbenchers angry they have failed to win any concessions despite repeated complaints.












Father wants privacy in custody dispute

AAP





The father of four sisters at the centre of an international custody dispute has broken his silence to call for privacy to allow his daughters to adjust to being back in Italy. The Family Court in Brisbane last week ordered the four girls return to their father after their mother brought them to Australia for a holiday in 2010 and never went back.














Classification

Facebook lacks 'social responsibility', says top cop


Dan Oakes - SMH





Victoria's top policeman has savaged Facebook, declaring that the social media giant has incited hatred and undermined the state's legal system by hosting pages that could prejudice the trial of the man who allegedly raped and murdered Jill Meagher. Chief Commissioner Ken Lay said Facebook's arguments about why it cannot remove the pages — some of which call for Adrian Ernest Bayley to be executed — are "a nonsense", and that the company lacked a sense of social responsbility.










Facebook concedes to users and makes changes to historical messages

Rick Morton - The Australian





Social networking site Facebook says it has redesigned parts of its public display features after users from around the world discovered messages, thought to be private when they sent them, available for all to see. Users reported seeing comments they or friends had made discussing ending relationships, revealing their sexuality and financial or credit card details, all of which they thought would remain locked away.














Education

Class sizes will rise by close to a third, says Labor


Anna Patty - SMH





The average primary school class size will increase from 24 to 31, according to the NSW opposition. Infrastructure NSW this week recommended that 90 per cent of the extra 250,000 students expected over the next 20 years be squeezed into existing schools.
















Euthanasia

'I want time to make peace with my god': Brain cancer patient, 28, who fought her Christian parents for right to die now says she wants to live


Beth Stebner - UK Daily Mail





A terminally ill woman who was granted the right to die after a court battle with her own parents has had a last-minute change of heart. Grace Sung Eun Lee today signed a document allowing her deeply religious father to make all decisions about her healthcare.














Marriage

Gay marriage 'conclusively' defeated, says Kevin Andrews


The Courier-Mail





The gay marriage debate had been "conclusively won" and the matter was "settled", a Liberal frontbencher told a Christian lobby group today. Opposition families spokesman Kevin Andrews addressed the Australian Christian Lobby's national conference in Canberra today. He told the gathering that if the Coalition had granted its MPs a conscience vote in the gay marriage debate it would have made no difference to the outcome.














Same-sex marriage question settled for some time, says Kevin Andrews

AAP





Bills to legalise same-sex marriage would have been defeated even if the Coalition had given its MPs a conscience vote, the Opposition families spokesman told a Christian conference. Addressing the Australian Christian Lobby's national conference in Canberra today, Liberal frontbencher Kevin Andrews said that the battle to protect marriage in the federal parliament “was conclusively won''. He said most MPs would now take the view that the matter was settled for some period of time.










Battle to save marriage won: Kevin Andrews

Nine MSN





If the Coalition had granted its MPs a conscience vote in the gay marriage debate it would have made no difference to the outcome, a Liberal frontbencher says. Opposition families spokesman Kevin Andrews addressed the Australian Christian Lobby's national conference in Canberra on Saturday.














PM backs federal marriage power

ABC





The Prime Minister will not say if she would back a federal challenge to any Tasmanian same sex marriage laws. More than 350 people attended a federal community cabinet in Launceston this evening. Julia Gillard said marriage was largely a federal issue.


















Politics

Nasty debate 'un-Australian': McClelland


Brisbane Times





Dumped Labor minister Robert McClelland has taken a swipe at the prime minister's advisers and decried a "rapid deterioration" in the quality of political debate as "un-Australian". Mr McClelland, a former attorney-general, addressed the national conference of the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) in Canberra on Saturday following Prime Minister Julia Gillard's decision not to attend.










Climate of 'vilification' declared un-Australian

Michelle Grattan - The Age





Tony Abbott has said that Julia Gillard must take responsibility for the personal campaign against him, as former attorney-general Robert McClelland at the weekend attacked the vilification used in current public debate as ''un-Australian''. Mr McClelland also suggested that political advisers to the prime minister and others should beware of encouraging personal attacks.












Religious Freedom & Persecution

Muslim trafficking networks target Coptic women


Gary Lane - CBN News





Recent attacks against churches are driving thousands of Egyptian Christians to seek asylum in the West. Many of them are women who fear they are targets for abduction, forced conversion, and forced marriage by Muslims.










Copt home attacked after Egypt president promises security

AFP





Gunmen opened fire on the home of a Coptic Christian in the Sinai peninsula on Saturday, hours after a visit by President Mohamed Morsi to reassure Christian residents they would not be targeted again. Gunmen "used automatic weapons when they opened fire on the house of a Coptic resident of Rafah hours after the president left," a security official told AFP.












Egypt’s Christians — Distraught and displaced

Raymond Ibrahim Bio - Front Page News





Reuters reported last week that “Most Christians living near Egypt’s border with Israel [in the town of Rafah in Sinai] are fleeing their homes after Islamist militants made death threats and gunmen attacked a Coptic-owned shop.” Photos of desecrated churches and Christian property show Arabic graffiti saying things like “don’t come back” and “Islam is the truth.”






















Refugees

Roxon mulls law change


Phillip Coorey - Sydney Morning Herald





The federal government is leaving open the possibility of legislating to overturn Friday's High Court decision which ruled a Sri Lankan asylum seeker could not be denied a visa on the ground he was deemed a security threat. The Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon, said a decision would hinge on talks tomorrow between the Immigration Minister, Chris Bowen, and his opposition counterpart, Scott Morrison. The opposition is pushing for an amendment to the Migration Act and Ms Roxon said yesterday ''it could mean legislative change in the end''.


















Other

The good fight


Caroline Overington - The Australian





There are quite a few grand old homes in Sydney's eastern suburbs but one of the oldest and grandest is the Gothic Revival mansion that stands near a corner of Greenoaks Avenue, Darling Point. The house is difficult to see from the street since it's at the end of a curved drive, behind iron gates and an enormous fig tree planted some time in the 19th Century. This is Bishopscourt, and it's where the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Peter Jensen, somewhat reluctantly lives.












Are generational factors affecting middle-age suicides?

Mal Fletcher - On Line Opinion





According to a report released recently by the Samaritans in Britain, however, middle-age may be the time when British men are at their lowest ebb. Men aged 34-54 are now more likely to commit suicide than any other group in the UK. Males in this middle-age bracket are more likely to take their lives than teenage boys and four times more likely to do so than women of he same age.