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

Victimising the vulnerable


Jenna Price - The Age





Ever driven past an abortion clinic? Think you wouldn't know if you'd ever driven past an abortion clinic? They are the places where you will increasingly see hordes of men and women silently protesting. Occasionally, they chant or pray. They often parade placards and banners, with verses from the Bible or images of Jesus Christ. Sometimes they shout. Sometimes those women have to face offensive and graphic pictures designed to frighten them.
















Bioethics

US: Your doctor to become 1 person death panel?


Aaron Klein - WDN





A government-funded “mortality index” study – which helps doctors determine whether a patient has a “good chance” of dying within the next 10 years – raises renewed concerns about health-care rationing under Obamacare. Federal grants from the National Institute on Aging and the American Federation for Aging Research helped pay for researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, to create a “mortality index” designed to aid doctors in decision-making about “preventive intervention” for older patients.






















Genetic Counselling and the death of medical compassion

Philip Burcham - ABC Religion and Ethics





The appearance of War against the Weak: Eugenics and America's Campaign to Create a Master Race a decade ago was a milestone in modern publishing. Informed by historical evidence gleaned by a team of researchers, the book drew the curtain on a dark period of American history. It also revealed unsettling Transatlantic links to the systematised brutality of totalitarian regimes in early-twentieth century Europe. While an appreciation of the past is valuable, a more critical question concerns whether Eugenicist prejudices persist in today's world.












Classification

Growing anger at 'Soviet' media reforms


Gemma Jones and Bernard Humphreys - News Limited Network





Critics are lining up to reject the Government's media reform legislation, which has been likened to Soviet-style control of information. Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has announced the establishment of a "Public Interest Media Advocate'', among a raft of changes the government will attempt to push through parliament by the end of next week.










Fiat ad banned for being too excellent... sorry, 'sexaul'

Staff writers - news.com.au





A Fiat 500 ad described as one of the greatest ever made by, well, news.com.au, has been banned in Australia. Mumbrella reports the Advertising Standards Board has declared the ad too sexual. As opposed to, say, every ice cream commercial ever made.












Donor Conception & Surrogacy

Gay dads welcome US eggs deal


Staff Writers - Star Observer





A ‘limiting factor’ for gay Victorian couples wanting to start a family here in Australia, instead of overseas, will soon disappear following an international deal for Monash IVF. Monash IVF has signed an agreement allowing Australians undergoing IVF to import eggs from American women at a cost of $19,000, Fairfax Media reports. For gay dads-to-be, findng a suitable egg donor can be the most difficult part of starting a family through Victoria’s altruistic surrogacy laws.
















Education

More school performance data goes online


AAP





Parents can now see five years of data on how schools perform with the newest version of the MySchool website. The federal government MySchool website was updated to its fourth version today. New features include an extra year of NAPLAN testing results for every school, more information about vocational education and training (VET) in schools, and details of total capital expenditure from 2009 to 2011 on each school's finances page.












Environment

Coke chokes the NT container deposit scheme


Robin Tennant-Wood - The Conversation





A reported 10 billion drink containers are thrown away in Australia every year. Many of these are recycled, but many end up in landfill, on roadsides and in waterways. The danger posed to wildlife by plastic waste is well documented, as is the life of non-biodegradable waste in landfill or the landscape. Beverage containers comprised 38% of the waste collected on the 2012 Clean Up Australia Day. Despite these containers being recyclable, they are still ending up in our urban and rural landscapes.














Politics

Regional Australia says 'show us the money'


Haley Sheridan - The Examiner





Regional politicians have hit out at reports that Regional Development Australia funding could be heading straight for Western Sydney as an attempt to win votes, making it harder for country communities to receive infrastructure funding. Their concerns follow reports that 19 proposed projects Western Sydney applied for under the Regional Development Australia Fund have gone to the next step of approval where a maximum of three projects are allowed for other regional areas.










Mills dumped as Giles takes top Territory job

ABC





Country Liberals MLA Adam Giles has led a leadership coup against Terry Mills and is the new Chief Minister of the Northern Territory. Dave Tollner is reported to be the new Deputy Chief Minister. Mr Giles becomes the first Indigenous head of government in Australian history. Mr Mills is still in Japan and, according to some reports, was told of the news of a leadership spill by phone earlier today.
















Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Alice Springs's Madam set to close business after theft to become a truck driver in a mine


Conor Byrne - Northern Territory News





Alice Springs' only madam says the theft of her tools of the trade is the "last straw" and she may close her business to drive trucks at a mine. Tracey Randall - owner and operator of Minnie Maid's Escort Agency for the past 13 years- told the NT News she was "fed up" after a bag containing her professional tools was stolen out of her car in the early hours of Sunday morning. "I'm fed up with it," Ms Randall said.














Religious Freedom & Persecution

Iran: Five Christians receive exorbitant bail demands


Dan Wooding - Assist Ministries





Five members of the Church of Iran denomination appeared before a judge at the 14th Branch of the Revolutionary Court in Shiraz, Fars Province on March 10 and were handed exorbitant bail terms. Their trial was expected to commence on March 10; however, during their court appearance, Judge Sadati set bail for Mohammed Roghangir at US$ 200,000, while the others were asked for US$ 80,000 each. No date was set for the continuation of the trial.


















Other

Muslim hate-conference collapsing


Andrew Bolt - Herald Sun





What was billed as Australia’s biggest Muslim conference - allegedly starring a parade of star speakers, including bigots and extremists - is collapsing into farce and claims of deceit.












Showing support for our Aussie cardinal

Laura Bradley - On line opinion





I am surprised at the Australian secular media response to the papal conclave and the lack of support the secular media shows for a fellow Australian Cardinal Pell as he takes part in this historic event. Cardinal Pell's rough treatment by the media is not new. From the moment he was appointed Archbishop of Melbourne, some news media made clear their dislike of his appointment. Whenever the opportunity arises it seems Pell is taken out of context or unflatteringly portrayed. This is a real shame. I also find it surprising because if an Australian was competing in a global event such as the Olympics would we not cheer them on?












Why Australians have it so wrong about Cardinal Pell

Mary Broadsmith - On line opinion





Australians are always the first to criticise and attack their own. Even more worrying, we tend to soak up every rumour, false report, and accusation against big personalities in our country, as if we are wetting our lips for the delightful news of scandal. We love seeing the downfall of people in powerful positions, and sadly this delight comes at the expense of the truth. Ok, perhaps this is a harsh generalisation; however it can be a fair assumption when you consider the local reactions to Cardinal George Pell, the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, and the one and only representative from Oceania taking part in the Conclave to elect a new pope, beginning Tuesday 12 March 2013.










Argentina’s Cardinal Bergoglio becomes Pope Francis I

Barney Zwartz - SMH





Argentinian cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio has become the first-ever pope from the Americas in the history of the Church, taking the papal name of Francis I. French cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran made the announcement from the balcony of St Peter’s Basilica. Francis is the first non-European pope in more than 1200 years, a choice that reflects the shifting demographics of the Roman Catholic faith.














Atheist church’s faithless flock proves value of religion

Sam Clench - The Punch





The Sunday Assembly, as it’s called, convenes once a month in an old London chapel. It functions in much the same way as any other church, apart from the conspicuous absence of any reference to God, Jesus, Allah or that vengeful intergalactic dictator the scientologist nutjobs believe in. Old Xenu would probably find the lack of faith disturbing.