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.



 







Children & Family

Last act of a dying hero


Nick Ralston - SMH





In his final moments, Detective Inspector Bryson Anderson made one last heroic gesture. Stabbed in the neck after a neighbourhood dispute had escalated ''beyond all reason'', the experienced officer cared little for his injuries, soon to prove fatal. Instead, he went to help a fellow officer also under attack. This last, courageous deed was revealed by the NSW Police Commissioner, Andrew Scipione, on Wednesday, as more than 2000 people bid farewell to the father-of-three.
















Drugs & Alcohol

New alcohol alliance predicts 300 drink deaths this summer


Amy Corderoy - Sydney Morning Herald





Heavy drinking will kill 300 people and cause thousands more to be assaulted or put in hospital this summer, according to fresh analysis from a new body, the NSW/ACT Alcohol Policy Alliance. The alliance of health and police groups is calling Thursday for urgent action to stop alcohol-related violence, injuries and harmful behaviour. It predicts there will be 300 deaths, 12,000 hospitalisations and nearly 7900 assaults linked to alcohol over the next three months, if patterns from previous years are repeated.
















US: Ignition locks for all drunk drivers

Associated Press





Every state should require all convicted drunken drivers, including first-time offenders, to use devices that prevent them from starting a car's engine if their breath tests positive for alcohol, the National Transportation Safety Board said today. The ignition interlock devices—already required for all convicted drunken drivers in 17 states—are the best currently available solution to reducing drunken driving deaths, which account for about a third of the nation's more than 32,000 traffic deaths a year, the board said.
















Education

Schools left in limbo by lack of principals


Anna Patty - SMH





A lauded strategy to give unprecedented authority to 15 new ''super'' principals at the state's most disadvantaged schools has left communities in limbo before the start of the new year. The state government has appointed just four of 15 executive principals who were to be hired on salaries of $200,000 a year in an attempt to reverse an entrenched culture of low expectations and poor results. They are offered a $50,000 performance bonus at the end of their contract, making them the highest-paid public principals in the state.


















Gambling

Heavyweights battle to be Sydney's king of gambling


Adam Harvey - Australian Broadcasting Corporation





It's the latest punch in a fierce brawl over a highly lucrative casino market, marked by claims of bullying, sexual harassment and political favouritism. Today the owners of Sydney's only casino appointed a new chief executive, charged with trying to rebuild the company. It's a tough job. Echo Entertainment has lost just about every bout with gambling tycoon James Packer, who now has his own Sydney casino project afoot.














Health

Campbell Newman caves to pressure and doubles National Disability Insurance Scheme spending


Koren Helbig - The Courier-Mail





Queensland will double its disability spending in the next six years but that is not enough to convince the Federal Government the state is locked into the National Disability Insurance Scheme. Prime Minister Julia Gillard last night counter-attacked after Premier Campbell Newman caved to pressure and threw his support behind the landmark scheme, promising a significant funding boost to $1.77 billion by 2018.














Homelessness & Poverty

Spare some cash for the homeless this Xmas


Arthur Sinodinos - The Australian





Christmas is a time for celebration, to give thanks for what we have and spend time with loved ones. It is also a time to remember those less fortunate and to lend a helping hand. This Christmas there are Australians who will feel vulnerable and unloved. While private charity and public welfare spending have their place, the priority must always be to tackle the causes of entrenched disadvantage directly.
















Human Rights

ALP dissent curtails Roxon on free speech


Milanda Rout - The Australian





Attorney-General Nicola Roxon faces dissent in her own ranks over new discrimination legislation, with Labor backbenchers concerned the proposed laws may restrict freedom of speech and make it unlawful to offend people. Victorian MP Kelvin Thomson, NSW MP Stephen Jones and West Australian senator Mark Bishop spoke out following comments by ABC chairman Jim Spigelman that the overhaul could redraw the line between permissible and unlawful speech.










No more sledging at the cricket or name calling under proposed laws

Tory Shepherd - news.com.au





Have you ever called the Prime Minister 'Juliar'? Or called a mate a dopey bastard? New laws could put a stop to name calling. Civil Liberties Australia (CLA) warn the PM herself could be in trouble for calling Opposition Leader Tony Abbott a misogynist if proposed amendments to anti-discrimination laws take effect - although Julia Gillard has the protection of Parliamentary privilege.
















Indigenous

Poor attendance data hindering remote indigenous education


ABC





Remote Indigenous education is said to be suffering from a lack of consistent data on attendance rates in schools and preschools. The Federal Government's advisor for remote Indigenous communities wants regular figures published to better identify trends and develop strategies to boost attendance rates.














Marriage

Court rules against atheist group seeking to perform marriage ceremonies


Michael Gryboski - Christian Post





A federal court has rejected a suit by a nationwide secular organization to allow their Indiana chapter to oversee marriage ceremonies in the state. U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker of the Southern District of Indiana ruled Friday that the Center for Inquiry Inc. could not perform solemnization services for marriages, writing that CFI "have not succeeded on the merits of their First Amendment or Equal Protection claim."












Don't play politics with marriage

UK Coalition for Marriage





The Coalition for Marriage is an umbrella group of individuals and organisations in the UK that support traditional marriage and oppose any plans to redefine it. The Coalition is backed by politicians, lawyers, academics and religious leaders. It reaches out to people of all faiths and none, who believe that marriage is the most successful partnership in history and should not be redefined.










Politics

Hard to write off Assange's chances in upper house


Philip Dorling - SMH





The WikiLeaks chief has expressed an interest in an active role in politics, writes Philip Dorling.

"Senator" Assange of course would give journalists copies of every document that crossed his desk, writes Malcolm Farr.






Religious Freedom & Persecution

My Take: Let's protect religious counselors amid "Conversion Therapy" debate


Gabe Lyons - QIdeas





Can gay people become straight? Is human sexuality modifiable? Are we really still discussing this? Yes, according to U.S. District Court Judge William Shubb, who controversially ruled last week. that three licensed psychotherapists have the right to practice therapy that attempts to change the sexual orientations of gay and lesbian minors.










Prayer to God could be removed from pledge at Charles Sturt Council meetings

Holly Petersen - Weekly Times Messenger





A routine meeting procedure review created fiery debate at this week's meeting, when Cr Doriana Coppola moved a motion to change the pledge. Cr Coppola asked that the opening paragraph, which calls on the "Almighty Father" to grant members wisdom, justice and tolerance, be removed and replaced with words focused on the behaviours the council strived to uphold.










Parramatta councillors pray for guidance


Callan Lawrence - Parramatta Sun





A Christian prayer will be said before each Parramatta Council meeting after a divisive debate on the motion on Monday. The motion to re-introduced a prayer to the chamber was put forward by Liberal councillor Bakous Makari and won a narrow vote with the support of independent councillor Paul Garrard. Despite the diversity of faiths and beliefs represented in Parramatta, the three-minute prayer will be specifically Christian. President of Parramatta Mosque Neil El-Kadomi said the idea of a prayer at council was ‘‘silly’’ and ‘‘discrimination’’.
















Other

Is Planned Parenthood showing teens how to hide a beating with makeup?


Rita Diller - LifeNews





Planned Parenthood’s Info for Teens Facebook page is at it again. This time it is with a video that shows how to cover up those nasty cuts and bruises that result from a beating. The lead-in to the video says, “A recent study showed that almost one in 10 high school students has been hit, slapped, or physically hurt on purpose by a boyfriend of girlfriend in the last 12 months.” The link to the video bears the headline: “How to look your best the morning after.” It appears beside the picture of an obviously badly beaten young lady.












Fiery imam invited to speak here

Barney Zwartz - The Herald





It's billed as the ''largest, the biggest and the best-ever Islamic event in the history of Australia'' - a three-day festival for an expected 20,000 Muslims - and it will be held in Melbourne in March. But the chief attraction is a Saudi imam who has called for violent jihad. Dr Mark Durie, an Anglican priest, believes Dr al-Sudais should be refused a visa because he has called for the annihilation of the Jews, whom he called the ''scum of humanity'', ''rats of the world'', ''prophet killers'' and ''pigs and monkeys''.