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

Gaynor quits Katter's party


ABC





Controversial Katter's Australian Party member and would-be Senate candidate Bernard Gaynor says he is quitting the party. Mr Gaynor says he is resigning because of the party's "silence" on the issue of abortion. He had been facing expulsion for comments he made about gay teachers, but denies he has jumped before he was pushed.


















Charities & NFP

Dole so low ‘jobseekers can’t even meet their living costs’


Damir Govorcin - Catholic Weekly





Australia has more than 600,000 jobseekers who are living in poverty because the current Newstart allowance does not enable them to meet essential living costs, let alone actively search for jobs, according to Catholic Social Services Australia (CSSA). “Just think for a moment of the high accommodation costs in most of our major cities and you soon realise that the current allowance falls short,” said SSA executive director Paul O’Callaghan. “While both of the major political parties acknowledge this, neither regards a more humane treatment of these jobseekers as an electoral priority.
















Children & Family

Best chance for addicts' kids lies in adoption


John Hirst - The Australian





The Queensland Police Union has recommended that drug addict mothers be monitored during pregnancy to protect their unborn children. In NSW, Family and Community Services Minister Pru Goward is already on the case. All states have child protection systems doing a difficult job not very well. Goward is the first minister with the intelligence and drive to create something different. She is taking particular interest in the vexed question of how to treat the children of drug addicts. Of all the roles philosophers and reformers envisaged for the state, none proposed that it pay drug addicts to set up households and produce children who are poisoned at birth or neglected and abused afterwards. Such, nevertheless, is the practice of our welfare state.
















Drugs & Alcohol

Drivers get stoned and take road test to evaluate Washington's marijuana DUI laws in entertaining video


Daily Mail





Three people smoked so much marijuana that one person couldn't touch their nose and another laughed and said 'I'm stoned' - and then they got behind the wheel of a car. It was part of an experiment for a local television news program to test Washington's new DUI laws for marijuana, which just became legal there and in Colorado. The two men and one woman, who soon lost the ability to drive safely after smoking just a few hits of weed, were on a closed course and had a driving instructor who had his own brake pedal in case they lost control.












Education

Vic govt under school maintenance pressure


Melissa Jenkins - AAP





Students in Victorian schools are putting up with old, rotting buildings while politicians play the blame game for a major maintenance shortfall. About one third of the state's public schools have buildings needing millions of dollars worth of repairs to remain safe and usable. Acting Auditor-General Peter Frost has found 2042 buildings across 505 schools need urgent work.










Gonski reform won't kill off private school funding: Garrett

Marissa Calligeros - Brisbane Times





Federal Education Minister Peter Garrett has rebuffed claims private schools stand to lose up to $5000 per student in government funding under the Gonski school funding model. Independent Schools Council of Australia has threatened to start informing more than 300 schools that they stand to lose money if the federal government doesn't detail its new funding model in the next two weeks. The model forms the centrepiece of Labor's re-election strategy.












Schoolyard bullying a matter of difference

Anna Morozow - ABC





A study by the ACT Human Rights Commission has found looking or acting differently is the most common reason children are bullied at school. Disability commissioner Mary Durkin and children and young people commissioner Alasdair Roy interviewed more than 150 children aged between 10 and 12 to see if having a disability made a child more likely to be bullied. The primary school students were asked their views on topics including 'what sort of person is a bully', 'what sort of person is bullied' and 'what is a disability'. Ms Durkin says the results were not clear cut.


















Gambling

Gambler tells how he swindled National Australia Bank


Angus Thompson - Herald Sun





A recovering problem gambler claims he swindled National Australia Bank out of hundreds of thousands of dollars in overdrafts by exploiting a bank system flaw. Belgrave man Daniel Saunders claims he splurged about $500,000 on luxury hotel suites, high-end fashion gear, restaurants and online betting during a Hollywood-scale spending spree from February-May 2011.














The crime in gambling

Roar blog





Two weeks ago, the ACC was an organisation unknown to most sports fans. Now, as Australian sport adds its own chapter to the Underbelly series, our sporting nation is still left in the dark with not a hint of a night light. Reports in the press by the ACC chairman John Lawler, haven’t allayed any sporting fan’s concerns.


















Politics

No peace in sight for Labor caucus


Mark Kenny - SMH





Divisions within Julia Gillard's Labor caucus are showing no signs of healing with her critics slamming suggestions their preference for Kevin Rudd was driven by resentment at being overlooked for promotion. Backers of a leadership change said a series of bad polls for Labor were the inevitable result of ''a catalogue of mistakes'' under Ms Gillard's leadership, singling out the abandoned surplus pledge and the underperforming mining tax.
















Greens split to save members: Husic

Katina Curtis - The Age





The real reason for the Greens' breakup with Labor is to save two of their sitting members, a government backbencher says. The minor party on Tuesday effectively ended the agreement that has kept the federal government in power in a hung parliament for more than two years. But it will still guarantee supply and confidence. The Australian Christian Lobby says it never wants to see another alliance between the Greens and a mainstream political party.










It's a tight and ugly battle: Humphries

Ross Peake - The Canberra Times





Things are getting ugly in the ACT Liberals preselection, says Gary Humphries. The Canberra Liberal Party preselection battle is turning ugly with incumbent Gary Humphries being ambushed with claims he faced internal party criticism as long as three years ago. The media was told on Wednesday Senator Humphries was approached by a delegation of party members in 2009, led by former ACT opposition leader Zed Seselja.












Lara calls for level playing field

Philip Heyward - The Mercury





Premier Lara Giddings has lashed out at critics of Tasmania's economic performance and said the campaign by large Liberal states for a greater share of the GST would create an unequal Australia. Speaking at the National Press Club in Canberra today, she said tampering with Australia's long-established principles of tax distribution, would be disastrous for Tasmanians. "With a fixed pool of GST funds available, any change will be at the expense of Tasmania," she said.












Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Prostitution court case spotlights domestic trafficking in Fiji


ABC Radio Australia





A court in Suva is hearing what is believed to be the first case of domestic trafficking for prostitution in Fiji. The case involves two teenage girls, aged 16 and 17 and a 20 year old woman. One man has been charged with nine counts of trafficking children and prostitution, another man has been charged with three counts of domestic trafficking and prostitution.






Gladstone man found guilty of gruesome prostitute murder

The Morning Bulletin





His family members broke down when the jury yesterday read out the verdict which would determine James William Glenn's fate - guilty. The 20-year-old Gladstone man was sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering prostitute Shuxia Yuan at a Gladstone motel.












Refugees

One hundred refugees perish on voyage - Immigration Minister Brendan O'Connor


Gemma Jones - The Daily Telegraph





Almost 100 dead asylum seekers headed for Australia were thrown overboard one by one by starving shipmates - and new Immigration Minister Brendan O'Connor admits he has no short-term solution to slow down the influx of boats. Mr O'Connor said 98 Burmese refugees died terrible deaths as they drifted without food. Their boat was found off Sri Lanka this week. He admitted there had probably been other deaths in similar circumstances.












Religious Freedom & Persecution

Pentecostal Pastor Beheaded In Tanzania


Dan Wooding - ASSIST





Mathayo Kachili, pastor of the Pentecostal Assemblies of God church in Buseresere, Tanzania, which is affiliated with the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada was beheaded when a group of religious extremists attacked Christians at the church on Monday, February 11. 2013. This was revealed by the AG News (http://ag.org) who, in a story, quoted Mike McClaflin, AG World Missions regional director for Africa, as saying, “Escalating hostility and violence toward Christians in various places in Africa causes us grave concern for our brothers and sisters, and especially for our pastors.
















Sexualisation of Society

Still sexist: Why we’re not falling for Lingerie Football’s rebrand


Melinda Tankard Reist blog





When the Lingerie Football League (LFL) announced that it was starting the year with some big changes, I wondered whether they were finally going to do? something really radical. Perhaps like paying their players. Or could it be that they were going to stop making the women sign ‘accidental nudity’ clauses. But no, apparently not. Last month LFL Founder Mitch Mortaza announced a name change: from the ‘Lingerie Football Club – True Fantasy Football’ to ‘Legends Football Club –Women of the Gridiron’.














Other

Gay group not discriminated against: court


Daily Telegraph





A Christian camp says it refused a gay youth support group's booking to stay at a resort not because its members are homosexual, but because the group was promoting unmarried sex. Suicid prevention group WayOut, which works with young same-sex attracted people from regional Victoria, had tried to book the Christian Youth Camps' Phillip Island Adventure Resort in June 2007 for a workshop on fighting homophobia, but it was refused. In 2010 the group appealed to a Victorian tribunal, which upheld a discrimination complaint against a Christian Brethren-run business. On Wednesday Christian Youth Camps appealed the decision in the Victorian Court of Appeal arguing they did not discriminate against homosexuals.










Church group fighting gay discrimination ruling

Jane Lee - The Age





A Christian church would have to argue that homosexuality conforms with its beliefs to prove it did not discriminate against a group of gay teens, a court has heard. Christian Youth Camps Ltd is appealing a decision from the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, which found that its refusal of members of a suicide prevention retreat for gay and lesbian youth at a campsite was discrimination against the young people based on their sexual orientation. VCAT awarded the Way Out Project $5000 in damages three years ago.


















Knife killings on the rise in Australia as gun murders fall, says new criminology report

AAP





Australians are shooting each other less and stabbing each other more. The latest homicide in Australia report by the Australian Institute of Criminology shows 13 per cent of people murdered in 2008/09 and 2009/10 were killed by firearms, down from 25 per cent in the late 1980s. But knife murders have risen from 30 to 41 per cent over the last decade.














'Nightmare' for gun-control advocates: 3D printers

Matt Cantor - Newser





Gun-control advocates are facing a very modern problem: Anyone with a computer and a 3D printer—which use plastic instead of ink—could theoretically become a gun maker. Websites offer blueprints that users can download; within hours, they'll have brand-new rifle parts or ammunition magazines, the Washington Post reports. And the fact that they could skirt any new regulations with ease is a "nightmare" for the politicians pushing for new restrictions, says a pro-gun lobbyist.