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

House passes 20-week abortion ban


John Johnson - Newser





House Republicans got to make their stand against abortion today—they passed a bill that would outlaw the procedure nationally after 20 weeks, reports the AP. The final vote was 228-196 and almost entirely along party lines. (Six Democrats and six Republicans bucked their respective parties on the vote.)
























Drugs & Alcohol

Alleged drug syndicate face Perth court


Nine MSN





Four people charged over the importation of more than 35kg of methylamphetamine hidden in ceramic tiles from China have appeared briefly in a Perth court.


















Health

Teens play a deadly game - self-suffocation game at school


Katherine Danks - Daily Telegraph





A deadly game that involves teenagers partially suffocating themselves to get a cheap high has reappeared in school playgrounds. Despite years of warnings about the choking game - also known as roulette, rising sun, gasp, pass out or space monkey - a student was caught teaching others the dangerous activity at a north-western Sydney high school.


















Homelessness & Poverty

Vinnies chief calls on Abbott to back Labor's 2020 homelessness targets


Matt O'Neil - ABC





This Thursday over 1000 CEOs and politicians from across Australia will sleep rough as part of the Vinnies CEO Sleepout. Event organiser Michael Perusco hopes Christopher Pyne's and Malcolm Turnbull's involvement can foster bipartisan support for Labor’s target to halve homelessness by 2020. The CEO of the St Vincent de Paul Society Australia has asked the Coalition to back Labor’s 2008 pledge to halve homelessness by 2020.
















Human Rights

G8 calls for urgent Syria peace talks


Guy Jackson - AAP





G8 leaders have thrown their weight behind calls for a peace conference on Syria to be held in Geneva "as soon as possible", after a summit dominated by the country's civil war. At the end of two days of talks in Northern Ireland, the leaders on Tuesday also called for agreement on a transitional government in Syria "with full executive powers, formed by mutual consent".














Indigenous

Mayor attacks court ruling on booze bans


SMH





A court ruling in favour of indigenous alcohol limits relies on the same excuse used to justify the stolen generation, the mayor of Palm Island says. The High Court on Wednesday ruled alcohol management plans in 19 indigenous Queensland communities do not breach national and international racial discrimination laws.
















Marriage

DLP Senator John Madigan wants to outlaw gay marriage in Constitution as Greens move to recognise overseas same-sex unions


Jessica Marszalek - News Limited Network





The two extremes of the same-sex marriage debate are set to collide in the Senate, with a new call for marriage to be defined in the constitution as between a man and woman. The move by Victorian DLP Senator John Madigan for a referendum on the divisive issue comes as the Greens try to have overseas same-sex unions finally recognised in Australia.






Gay marriage motion passed in SA

SMH





The South Australian parliament has backed the idea of same-sex marriage ahead of a move to introduce legislation. Parliament's upper house on Wednesday passed a motion congratulating New Zealand on its marriage equality laws.














Politics

Gillard's fall is far bigger than Labor's


Tim Colebatch - SMH





The main change in politics since 2010 is that Australians have turned off Julia Gillard. While the polls show Labor is now facing a landslide defeat, its fall has been minor compared with the collapse of the Prime Minister's support. A comparison of Age/Nielsen polls in the 2010 campaign with those in the first half of 2013 shows Ms Gillard's net approval rating has slumped by a massive 33 percentage points.














Sydney gay politics overhaul?

Alex McKinnon - Sydney Star Observer





LGBTI politics in inner Sydney could be in for a shake-up if a proposed overhaul of state electorate distributions comes into effect later this year. Independent Sydney state MP and former head of Australian Marriage Equality Alex Greenwich will file objections to redrawn electoral boundaries that cut supportive suburbs from his seat, while the creation of a new electorate in the Inner West could see the rise of a fellow LGBTI-friendly independent.














Refugees

Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia conflicts creating more refugees: UNHCR


Lauren Wilson - The Australian





The crisis in Syria and ongoing conflicts in Afghanistan and Somalia forced more people to flee their homes or seek protection as refugees last year than at any other time since 1994. A report out today by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has found 7.6 million people were newly displaced in 2012 due to conflict or persecution, with 1.1 million becoming refugees - the highest number since 1999.






UN convention turns Australia into a magnet for asylum-seekers

Greg Sheridan – The Australian





Is the Refugee Convention itself now the problem? The convention dates from 1951 and was designed to deal with people fleeing persecution across land borders in Europe. It had the Holocaust in mind. The idea was that if someone, generally a government, was trying to kill you because of your race or religion and you fled to escape death, you would not then be forced back to your persecutor.












Religious Freedom & Persecution

Canadian court rules that referencing the Bible on homosexuality is hate speech


Christian News





The Supreme Court of Canada has upheld the conviction of William Whatcott, who distributed flyers in 2001 and 2002 in the neighborhoods of Saskatoon and Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, that described the Bible’s ban on homos**uality. According to the court, distribution or speech of Biblical items regarding opposition to homos**ual behavior is classified as a hate crime.










Woman imprisoned, tortured by Muslim extremists for doing Christian work

Midnight Watcher blog





According to reports, another Christian woman has been imprisoned recently in Somalia, where Sunni Islam is the official religion and where there is a widespread assumption that all Somalis are born Muslims. Apparently the woman, known only as "Fatima," was arrested on Monday, May 27, for taking part in underground Christian work for the last 10 years. Reports say that she has been beaten, questioned and tortured by Somali authorities and the authorities say that they will keep her in prison for three months.






















Other

Maybe the ADF needs to recover a sense of chivalry


Mike Bird - On Line Opinion





Recent revelations that a group of soldiers, including a senior officer, collected and distributed offensive materials demeaning women, has shaken the Australian Defence Force (ADF). Even worse, this scandal comes on the back of a judicial inquiry into widespread sexual abuse across the ADF, covering some decades. And there was also an incident where a cadet at the ADF Academy live-streamed himself having sex with a female cadet while his friends watched. Let's face it. The ADF is getting a reputation for harboring thugs who prey on and exploit women.












Australian Lehman Brothers creditors may face long wait for cash

Elysse Morgan - ABC





Australian councils, charities and churches that lost hundreds of millions of dollars through products marketed by the failed US investment bank Lehman Brothers may have to wait several more years to get their money back.












Boy sues for right to use girl’s bathroom, claims it’s segregation

Christian News





Wyatt and Jonas Maines, 15, were born identical twins. However, Jonas, who loved to play with the usual boys’ toys, was completely different from Wyatt, who, from a young age preferred Barbie and other girls’ toys.












Church backed by top cop

John Ferguson - The Australian





Another high-profile commissioned officer has been revealed backing the Catholic Church's Melbourne-based sex abuse complaints system before the force went to war with the church under the direction of former Office of Police Integrity deputy director Graham Ashton. Former Victoria Police deputy commissioner Ken Jones is quoted in correspondence as saying Victoria Police was "very content" with the way the church had implemented its sex abuse complaints system and that the force was "very content that victims are being properly dealt with".












Squatters on Europe’s Christian heritage

Jeff Fountain - Mercator Net





As (non-believer) John Gray, formerly of the London School of Economics, wrote in his 2007 book Straw Dogs: humanists are simply Christians in disguise. If there is no God, there is no basis for human dignity and human exceptionalism. Humanism is the creed of those who have “given up an irrational belief in God for an irrational belief in humans”. The truth is, many Europeans are squatters living in a house built on Judeo-Christian foundations -- but they don’t want to pay the rent.










'I promise to be true to myself': Girl Guides no longer have to swear allegiance to God and country

Steve Doughty - The Daily Mail





Girl Guides will no longer pledge their loyalty to God and country under radical changes revealed yesterday. Youngsters joining the Guides and Brownies will instead promise ‘to be true to myself’ and ‘serve my community’.