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

UK: Health minister Anna Soubry scraps abortion counselling plan


Tim Ross - Telegraph





Plans to force pregnant women to undergo independent counselling before they can have an abortion have been scrapped, Anna Soubry, the Health Minister, has announced. The government had promised to launch a public consultation on whether to ban abortion clinics from offering in-house advice to women seeking terminations.
















Charities & NFP

Fault-finding, fear and fabrication – for whom?


Alan Austin - Online Opinion





The Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) is at it again. Undermining much-needed reform, attacking the Government for evils entirely concocted and protecting powerful interests it will not name. All under the guise of defending privacy and freedom. A diatribe of confected outrage against the new Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC) appeared in Murdoch's The Punch on Monday. The ACNC is the body devised to cut red tape for charities, weed out the shonks, ensure tax deductibility for genuine welfare providers and eliminate tax dodgers.
















Drugs & Alcohol

Crackdowns to stop liquor sales to minors


ABC





New research into the drinking habits of Hunter region teenagers has prompted a call to make it harder for teens to access alcohol, including introducing regular crackdowns on bottle shops. Researchers from the University of Newcastle assessed the drinking experiences of 13 to 17-year-old students at Lower Hunter Catholic and Independent schools.












Understanding Sunraysia's ice usage

Damien Hooper - ABC





Mildura police have recently expressed concern over the amount of meth amphetamine otherwise known as ice, being taken in the region. Explaining the effects and the feeling that go along with this drug is difficult without speaking to someone who has had a personal experience of taking ice. 'Chris' as he'll be known for this story, is from Mildura and was recently involved with taking and selling meth amphetamines and he says it's not difficult to locate the drug ice in this region.
















Education

Bowen defends change of heart on mainland excision


Judith Ireland - Brisbane Times





Immigration Minister Chris Bowen is making no apologies for changing his mind about excising the Australian mainland, saying he would rather save lives than be consistent. On Wednesday morning the government introduced legislation into the lower house that will excise the Australian mainland from the migration zone. If successful, this would mean all asylum seekers arriving in Australia by boat would be processed offshore.
















Environment

Wind power running out of puff


Mark Lawson - Online Opinion





Wind now accounts for about three per cent of power generated in Eastern Australia and significantly more in South Australia which is a part of the Eastern grid, but there may be real problems in expanding that capacity. For developers are not building enough green energy projects to expand the sector at anything like the rate demanded by those who are concerned over emissions, or to meet tough, government-mandated renewable energy targets.












Euthanasia

Ethics Poll: Euthanasia


St James Ethics Centre





Poll : Should euthanasia be legalised?
















Gambling

Accused UBS trader 'played God' over $2.1b loss


SMH





A banker accused of Britain's biggest fraud played God as he carried out "unprotected, unhedged, incautious and reckless" trades, a court has heard. Kweku Adoboli, 32, allegedly gambled away £1.4 billion ($2.19 billion) in "off-book" operations while working for Swiss bank UBS during the global financial crisis.












'Weak' pokie reform law to go ahead

Lisa Martin - Brisbane Times





The stalemate on pokies reforms has ended with the federal government set to introduce legislation into parliament after successfully wooing the Australian Greens. Community Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin will introduce the pokie machine reforms to the lower house on Thursday, which means stalled negotiations for the ACT trial of mandatory precommitment technology can now crank up again.










How low will bookies go as they worm their way into daily life?

Jonathan Horn - SMH





This week, while my train hatched for the inevitable 10 or so minutes between Richmond and Flinders Street stations, I contemplated the curious image of Sam Kekovich. Having spent the better part of his life barrelling torpedoes, swallowing dictionaries and fulfilling his lambassadorial duties, Kekovich is now the face of online bookmaker Sportingbet. Best Prices. No Queues. You Know It Makes Sense, the train door advertisement read, accompanied by an inexplicably bemused looking Sam.
















Human Rights

The battle for your digital trace begins


Matthew Hall - SMH





As companies ask consumers for trust while using their data to maximise profits, some businesses say the public must be educated about online privacy and retain the right to choose what information companies use. This ever-evolving online privacy conflict of interest, built on the dollar value attached to personal data, may never be resolved, according to senior industry insiders. Richard McLaren, chief technology officer for Australian media company Mi9, revealed that user information was now his company's main currency and that the public was often unaware of how their online activities were tracked.






Politics

Miners stockpile MRRT credits


Dennis Shanahan - The Australian





The Gillard government faces a new threat to the estimated $2 billion in revenue it expects to raise this year from the mining tax because the biggest iron ore and coal producers are rapidly building up state royalty "credits" to offset their commonwealth payments. While BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Xstrata did not make any profits-based payments under the new minerals resource rent tax in the first quarter of its existence, they are accruing millions of dollars in unexpected deductions from the tax.












Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

How can human trafficking still exist? Answers to viewers' questions


Larisa Epatko - PBS NewsHour





After a report aired on the NewsHour about what's being done to counter human trafficking in the Philippines, we invited you the viewers to send us your questions about the problem in the United States and abroad.














Refugees

Thomson turns his back on Labor


Phillip Coorey - Sydney Morning Herald





The former Labor MP, Craig Thomson, has labelled his old party hypocritical and will vote against its legislation to excise the Australian mainland from the nation's migration zone. The controversial bill was introduced into Parliament on Wednesday and is set to pass the lower house before the end of this month with the support of the Coalition.
















Religious Freedom & Persecution

Muslim Persecution of Christians: September, 2012


Raymond Ibrahim - Gatestone Institute





Swedish authorities are actually trying to find the 28-year-old Saudi woman, Maryan, who converted to Christianity, to extradite her back to Saudi Arabia to face Sharia justice, possibly including execution.












A minor Christian girl kidnapped in Islamabad territory

Dan Wooding - ASSIST Ministries





A 14-year-old Christian girl, Timar Shahzadi, was kidnapped by Muslim men in the twin cities of Islamabad/Rawalpindi on Monday, October 22, 2012, as she was returning from school. Shamim Masih, a ANS correspondent in Pakistan, said that according to Pastor Farooq Sadique, the girl was with friends when the abductors pounced and dragged her away. Mr. Masih says that her family fear that she could be “forcefully converted to become a Muslim and then married off if immediate steps are not taken.”














Sexualisation of Society

Jimmy Savile scandal sparks soul searching


news.com





Jimmy Savile was one of Britain's biggest stars and allegedly worst sexual predators. Now the nation is asking whether there was a link between them. Was this abuser at the heart of the nation's popular culture a product of the permissive 1960s and '70s, or do the conditions that let him get away with the abuse still exist, even as awareness of child sex abuse is more widespread?
















Other

Superstorm Sandy: Christian relief organizations ready for massive deployment


Alex Murashko - Christian Post





Several Christian disaster relief organizations, including those focused on providing emotional support to victims, announced yesterday that they are ready to head into the heavily damaged areas of northeastern United States in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. As the storm made landfall a little after 8 p.m. EDT, it was declared a post-tropical cyclone with damaging winds reaching lower hurricane strength.














Powerless in NY, Christians respond with hope

MN Online





While Hurricane Sandy's category 1 rating was low compared to other storms to hit Florida and Louisiana in recent years, it has created widespread devastation. According to reports, millions of people have lost power, levees have been breached, homes have been devastated, subway tunnels are flooded, and the financial districts were forced to close. The impact of the storm won't be known for days, maybe even weeks.














How many homosexuals are there in Australia?

Family Voice Australia





There has often been confusion in the minds of the average Australian about the number of homosexuals and other people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) in Australia. This is understandable because of the media attention and the often loud voice this group of people have. This confusion has been seen in the USA. A Gallup poll in 2011, asked people to estimate how many Americans were homosexual. The majority of people estimated 25 per cent, but the actual number, reported recently by another Gallup poll, is 3.4 per cent










Scientists offer quantum theory of soul's existence

Courier Mail





A pair of worl -renowned quantum scientists say they can prove the existence of the soul. American Dr Stuart Hameroff and British physicist Sir Roger Penrose developed a quantum theory of consciousness asserting that our souls are contained inside structures called microtubules which live within our brain cells. Their idea stems from the notion of the brain as a biological computer, "with 100 billion neurons and their axonal firings and synaptic connections acting as information networks".