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.



 











Bioethics

Award for Singer 'madness'


Christian Kerr - The Australian





The award of the nation's highest honour to philosopher, bioethicist and activist Peter Singer has prompted outrage, with Nationals Senate leader Barnaby Joyce calling it "madness" and a Christian group slamming his ideas as "really, really out there". Professor Singer's views on euthanasia, abortion and animal rights have provoked a furore globally, with one disability activist describing him as a "public advocate of genocide' and "the most dangerous man on earth today". He caused a storm in 2001 by suggesting that "mutually satisfying activities" of a sexual nature between humans and animals should not necessarily be opposed. Roslyn Phillips, of Family Voice Australia, said the Queen's Birthday award to Professor Singer "dishonoured" the honours system. "His views tolerating bestiality and the killing of innocent infants are highly offensive," she said.


















Charities & NFP

St Kilda charities struggle to meat the challenge


Andrea Kellett - Port Phillip Leader





St Kilda’s Sacred Heart Mission and Christ Church Mission in Acland St both need more meat for their winter meals programs.Christ Church Mission volunteers are turning to tinned meat to compensate for fewer fresh donations from supermarkets. Spokeswoman Michele Sholl said as more supermarket shoppers snapped up discounted meat, less was left over for charity. “We’re all racking our brains to come up with creative solutions,” she said.


















Children & Family

My three-year-old autistic child is one of the lucky ones


Matthew Horan - The Punch





A sure-fire way to make the blood boil for the parent of an autistic child is to make them read stories about “over diagnosis”. In the past few days we’ve seen the predictable follow-ups to the Government’s decision to screen three-year-olds for mental illness, including autism.* “Parenting experts”, and the usual trolls who rabbit on about ADHD and Ritalin prescriptions, claim it’s all the parent’s fault and that kids will be diagnosed just so parents can access funding.










Melbourne slasher has jail time cut

The Australian





A teenage thug who scarred his victims for life in a string of slash attacks across Melbourne has had his sentence cut. Lee McGuigan used claw hammers, box cutters and meat cleavers in a spate of opportunistic robberies in 2008 in which he often cut the faces of his victims even if they offered no resistance. The Court of Appeal on Wednesday determined his 21-year jail sentence handed down in 2010 was excessive and resentenced him to a maximum 16-and-a-half years. But he could be eligible for parole in around eight years with time already served. Appeal judge Cameron Macaulay acknowledged the "gratuitous" violence in the attacks, but said it should not supersede the discount afforded to youthful offenders. He said McGuigan, now 23, had endured a troubled childhood and been homeless and exposed to alcohol and drugs at a young age.












Classification

US: Parents Television Council: Expansion of TV rating system just window dressing


Bill Bumpas and Jody Brown - OneNewsNow





With more and more people watching TV shows online, several networks -- ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, Telefutura, Telemundo, and Univision -- announced Monday that come December 1 they will expand their maturity rating system to web content. But a TV watchdog says that decision "rings hollow" without reform to a system it says lacks accuracy, consistency, transparency, and accountability. In a study it conducted in late 2010, Parents Television Council found that four of the most popular online distributors -- Hulu, Fancast, /Slashcontrol, and AT&T -- failed to provide consistent and accurate content ratings for parents. For that reason, PTC is pleased the networks have pledged to display ratings for their web content.














Classification concern

Spencer Howson - ABC





The Classification Review Board has come under fire for its decision to downgrade the classification of Ridley Scott's Prometheus from MA 15+ to M. This is despite the MA classification in the UK with classifiers there saying the film had "strong violence, gore, threat and horror" and "contains a number of scenes of strong violence that feature heavy blows and bloody detail." Prof. Elizabeth Handsley, President of the Australian Council for Children and the Media said 'an M rating gives unrestricted access to the viewing of this film in cinemas.












How to protect your kids online

SBS





Online child safety expert and former member of the Victoria police, Susan McClean says two main places that paedophiles visit are social networking and online gaming sites, where children are easy targets. “Young children are trusting and vulnerable so that’s the perfect canvas for a paedophile. They [paedophiles] pretend to be like-minded children and they gain their trust,” she says.










Habbo Hotel bombarded by 'paedophiles'

SBS





Keeping your children safe on the internet is a constant challenge of modern parenting. One of the most popular online chat sites is Habbo Hotel. an investigation by Channel 4 in Britain has discovered that many young users are bombarded by explicit chat and asked to perform sexual acts on webcams. It's led to real concerns that many of the hotel check ins are paedophiles.














Donor Conception & Surrogacy

Qld surrogacy laws next Christian crusade


Kym Agius - AAP





Queensland's surrogacy laws are the next target of Christian lobby groups after the state government tweaked same-sex civil unions. FamilyVoice Queensland and The Australian Family Association (AFA) not only don't agree with homosexuals being parents, they want surrogacy scrapped altogether after it was decriminalised in the state in 2010. "It is like a stick of dynamite, you just never know when it is going to go off and somebody is going to get hurt," Geoffrey Bullock from FamilyVoice told AAP. "Children find it hard to find out who they are, their identity suffers."
















Drugs & Alcohol

No judicial sympathy for anti-abortion drug crop


Amy Remeikis - Brisbane Times





A man who grew one of Australia's largest marijuana crops said he had "no regrets whatsoever" and had intended to grow more before he was caught, to fund a nationwide anti abortion campaign. Michael Bennett Gardner Snr was arrested in 2008 when police discovered a drug production operation, worth more than $68 million, on his property.
















Education

Higher education lagging behind burgeoning Asia


Bianca Hall - SMH





Australia's standing as the regional educational beacon is fading, thanks to the burgeoning Asian higher education system, an international conference will hear today. A professor of higher education at the University of Melbourne, Simon Marginson, will tell the international Academic Consortium for the 21st Century conference in Adelaide that the rise of Asian universities will present a cultural and economic shock to western universities.
















Environment

ALP sets boundary for ocean park row


Graham Lloyd - The Australian





The world's largest system of marine reserves will be unveiled today with the release of plans that put limits on oil and gas exploration in Western Australia, extend reef protection in the Coral Sea and open the way for compensation potentially worth hundreds of millions of dollars for the fishing industry. The plan falls short of demands by environmental groups to create the world's largest single marine park in the Coral Sea in which all commercial activity would be banned.














Scientists use cane toads' own toxin against them

SMH





Scientists say they have found the best weapon yet to eradicate cane toads from isolated areas - using the amphibians' own toxin against them. Rick Shine from the University of Sydney's school of biological sciences said the system was already trapping tens of thousands of cane toad tadpoles, and could see the toads eradicated from some areas. "I think it is really exciting stuff," Professor Shine said today.
















Euthanasia

Euthanasia doctor fights to save job


Tom Bowden - Adelaide Now





Euthanasia campaigner Dr Philip Nitschke fears his medical licence is under threat over his involvement with the death of a Victor Harbor woman. Exit International, a pro-euthanasia organisation founded by Dr Nitschke, right, believes an Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency investigation into the matter has been compromised by Right to Life doctors. AHPRA said its investigations were "impartial".














Gambling

Punters tipped to add $70m windfall to state coffers


Justine Ferrari - The Australian





Gamblers will contribute an extra $70 million to the state's coffers next year alone, with the budget forecasting an average 4.6 per cent rise a year in revenue from gambling taxes over the next four years, with the total collection topping $2 billion in 2014. Gambling and betting taxes contribute about 9 per cent of all taxation revenue with poker machines in clubs and hotels accounting for more than half of the money collected from gamblers.














Homelessness

The Crows are sleeping out


Georgia Aish - AFC





The census undertaken last August revealed that nearly early 8,000 South Australians are homeless each night. This is likely to be a conservative number as people were trying to escape the cold. It is believed this is just the tip of the iceberg. St Vincent de Paul Society Chief Executive Officer (SA), Mr David Wark says, “A major issue faced by homeless people is the lack of community understanding about homelessness, its causes and effects.














Indigenous

Indigenous over-represented in crime stats


NineMSN





Fewer indigenous people are appearing before NSW courts but they remain over-represented in the state's legal system, new statistics reveal. The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) has released a report detailing cases in the local, children's, district and supreme courts in 2011.










Indigenous health professionals working in the alcohol and drug field deserve better

Melissa Sweet - Crikey





Indigenous professionals working in the alcohol and drug field have to deal with many challenges, including funding threats and insecure employment. They deserve better, says Professor Kate Conigrave, an addiction medicine specialist and one of the editors of a new handbook for the field.


















Marriage

Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches in UK issue defense of traditional marriage


Stoyan Zaimov - Christian Post Reporter





Anglican and Roman Catholic authorities in Britain issued on Tuesday official declarations stating their firm opposition to government plans to change the legal definition of marriage, saying that despite reassurances claiming otherwise, clergy may very well be forced to perform same-sex marriages. "The uniqueness of the institution of marriage is based on the fact that the human person exists as both male and female and that their union for the purpose of procreation, mutual support and love has, over the centuries of human history, formed a stable unit which we call the family," said the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales in a statement.
















Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Brothel receptionists acquitted


Louis Andrews - The Canberra Times





Two brothel receptionists who employed a teenage girl to work as a prostitute the day before she was found dead in their parlour have been acquitted of criminal charges. Diana Agnes Molnar and Eva Maria Sara were this morning found not guilty in the ACT Magistrates Court of permitting a child to provide commercial sexual services. It’s a tragic case that brought the territory’s Prostitution Act squarely into conflict with the Criminal Code.
















Refugees

Rights group asks Bangladesh to keep border open for Myanmar refugees


First Post





A global human rights group on Wednesday urged Bangladesh to keep its border open to people seeking refuge from sectarian violence in western Myanmar. New York-based Human Rights Watch said in a statement that Bangladesh should also allow independent humanitarian agencies free and unfettered access to the border areas. It expressed its concern after Bangladesh on Tuesday turned away three boats carrying 1,000 Muslims fleeing violence in neighboring Myanmar, bringing to 1,500 the number of refugees intercepted in recent days.










Teen face of evil trade - ruthless people smugglers sent this 14-year-old to sea

Gemma Jones - The Daily Telegraph





A 14-year-old was taken into the care of Australian authorities yesterday after being sent by people smugglers as a crewman on an asylum seeker boat - one of three boats to arrive since Tuesday. He spent the afternoon on Christmas Island, with a source saying last night he will be assessed by Department of Immigration staff, have a brief spell in care in detention and be sent home to Indonesia relatively quickly.












Sexualisation of Society

UK: 'Children as young as 11 are performing sex acts on rows of boys as online porn turns children into sex attackers,' ministers are warned in shocking report

Daily Mail





Girls as young as 11 'expect' to have to perform sex acts on rows of boys for up to two hours at a time in parts of London, a shocking report has warned. Child abuse is rife across Britain with many of the depraved sex attacks being carried out by youngsters who have had their minds warped by online porn, a government expert said yesterday. Deputy Children’s Commissioner Sue Berelowitz said there 'isn’t a town, village or hamlet in which children are not being sexually exploited’. And she said easy access to ‘extreme’ internet porn was to blame as it ‘affected children’s thresholds of what they think is normal’.














Other

Lindy forgives for persecution, ridicule


SkyNews





Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton says she was prepared for the Northern Territory Coroner to give an opposing finding in the Magistrates Court yesterday. But the mother who has now been completely cleared of any involvement in the death of her daughter Azaria, said it was a very special day. In fact, she hopes to holiday in the Territory in the near future. Mrs Chamberlain-Creighton has been on an emotional rollercoaster following Coroner Elizabeth Morris' historic ruling that her nine week-old was killed by a dingo.












Spirit of immorality conquers gay superheroes

Jennifer Leclaire - Charismanews





DC Comics has outed The Green Lantern. Despite his womanizing maneuvers in last summer’s Green Lantern movie, the alien ring-toting superhero has no interest in the opposite sex. It seems when he’s not wearing his neon green garb and accomplishing superhuman feats, the chiseled Green Lantern enjoys kissing his new boyfriend. And an upcoming issue of the comic will show just that to innocent children everywhere. Perhaps DC Comics is trying to compete with its rival Marvel Comics, which announced just days earlier that it would host the first gay wedding in the June 20 issue of Astonishing X-Men #51. Of course, Marvel Comics has long proved more progressive on the gay superhero front. Northstar, an X-Men character, became the first openly gay superhuman in American comic book history way back in 1992.