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

Single embryo IVF transfers have better chance of survival

Julie Robotham – Sydney Morning Herald





The chance that a baby conceived using in-vitro fertilisation will be stillborn or die soon after birth is reduced dramatically when only a single embryo is returned to the mother's uterus, according to a Sydney study that adds powerful extra weight to specialists' campaign against double embryo transfer.












Children & Family

California Senator: Let kids have 3 parents—or more


Kate Schwartz - Newser





Meet Mom, Dad, and Dad? Maybe, if California state Sen. Mark Leno has his way. He has introduced a bill that would do away with the law that says kids can have a maximum of two legal parents, reports the Sacramento Bee. So if a lesbian couple conceived a baby with a male friend's help and he stayed in the picture, or if a pregnant woman started dating a man who raised the child in tandem with the biological father, all three people in each case could be deemed parents.














Lawyers prepare class action over forced adoptions

ABC





A law firm is preparing a class action for about 100 women who say they were forced to give up their babies during the 1960s and 70s. Porters Lawyers, a Canberra-based firm, is representing the women who claim they were forced to give up their babies at a number of institutions and hospitals run by charities and church orders around Australia.
















Classification

Some more ways video games are like porn


Kirk Hamilton - Kotaku





Yesterday, we ran a pullquote from independent game designer Eric Zimmerman in which he discussed some of the similarities video games have with porn. “Mainstream AAA video games operate on principles akin to porn,” Zimmerman tweeted. They are “highly repetitive activities premised on visceral pleasure and spectacle.” He went on to offer some elaboration, at least as much elaboration as Twitter allows. After seeing the discussion yesterday’s post raised, Zimmerman posted a follow-up post to his own blog in which he explains what he was saying with a much greater degree of nuance.










US: 28% of Teens 'Sext'

Evann Gastaldo - Newser





Disturbing news, particularly if you happen to be the parent of an American teenager: More than one in four has "sexted" nude photos. Around half of teens have been asked to do so, while one-third of teens have asked someone else to do so, according to a new survey. The 28% of teens who did sext were also nearly twice as likely to have actually had sex, Bloomberg reports.














Drugs & Alcohol

Vic drug import ring busted


Sarah Malik - Herald Sun





Police uncovered several kilograms of the drug pseudoephedrine and 300 grams of methamphetamine in raids in Melbourne on Tuesday. The Melbourne-based drug syndicate was importing over-the-counter medication ContacNT from China through the mail, Customs and Border Protection and Victoria Police allege.














Education

Sometimes, getting 99.95 out of 100 is good enough


Daniel Piotrowski - The Punch





It’s an injustice for the ages! A student of an elite Sydney private school who achieved a rank of 99.95 out of 100 in her uni admissions score has lost her appeal to higher authorities that she could’ve done better in her exams if she’d been given more special provisions. The student was claiming the Board of Studies had unlawfully discriminated against her in exams because they only provided her with rest breaks to help her recover from her hyper joint mobility of the wrist. She says she could’ve done that little bit better if she had a computer or some extra time,










Bumps and challenges in the road ahead

Verity Edwards - The Australian





A boom in tertiary education in south-east Asia could shake up the traditional model behind the sandstone universities over the next two decades. James McWha, who stepped down from the University of Adelaide at the end of last month, said the growing demand for education in China, Malaysia and India would result in the rapid growth of new universities. He said these institutions would become far more competitive in a short period of time, while Australian universities were "at best static".














Euthanasia

Is it possible to have safe, legal and rare euthanasia?


MercatorNet





A recent press release from the British Medical Journal states: "The BMJ supports a call from leading UK medical bodies to stop opposing assisted dying for terminally ill, mentally competent adults. Healthcare Professionals for Assisted Dying (HPAD) wants the British Medical Association and royal colleges to move their position from opposition to neutrality." It was an extraordinary failure of judgement on the part of what is probably the world's most prestigious medical journal. The royal colleges for medical specialists are opposed to assisted suicide -- as is the BMA. The BMA came under enormous pressure to adopt a position of neutrality at its annual delegates conference, but fortunately rejected it.
















Gambling

$40m tax fight linked to gambling syndicate


ABC





Tasmanian art philanthropist David Walsh has been accused of being part of a global gambling syndicate that has deliberately tried to hide its business records from the Australian Tax Office (ATO). Mr Walsh, who owns Tasmania's Museum of Old and New Art, is in a legal stoush with the ATO over whether his gambling winnings are taxable.












Homelessness

Little change in homeless figures


SMH





The Federal Opposition says new homelessness figures show Rudd and Gillard government policies have made little difference over the past five years. An Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report estimated 98,742 clients were helped by specialist homelessness agencies in the December 2011 quarter. Almost half of these were under 25 and one in five were aged under 10.






Indigenous

Tony Abbott ‘key’ to yes vote on referendum


Patricia Karvelas – The Australian





The Coalition says only Tony Abbott as a conservative prime minister can convince Australians to change the Constitution to acknowledge Aborigines, while Julia Gillard's advocacy would ensure the defeat of a referendum.














Politics

Carbon dealing not over for Labor as floor price put on the table


Sid Maher - The Australian





The government is negotiating with the Greens on changes to the floor price in its carbon tax scheme amid calls for it to be dropped and suggestions Labor is considering moving to an emissions trading scheme earlier than the scheduled start date of 2015. Just four days after the carbon tax was introduced, The Australian has confirmed talks between Climate Change Minister Greg Combet and the Greens on the final shape of the floor price.














Anger over MPs' pay rise

Jessica Wright - The Canberra Times





Three months after the nation's federal politicians were given hefty pay increases, MPs and senators have received another 3 per cent pay rise, a figure almost double the official inflation rate. Independent Senator Nick Xenophon has called for the pay increase to be scrapped immediately.
















Michelle Obama: There is ‘no place better’ than church to talk about political issues

Jon Street - CNS News





There is no better place than church to talk about political issues because they are ultimately moral issues, First Lady Michelle Obama told a church gathering on Thursday. “To anyone who says that church is no place to talk about these issues, you tell them there is no place better – no place better,” Obama told the African Methodist Episcopal Church’s 49th general conference, held in in Nashville, Tenn.










Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Legalized prostitution in Australia attracts traffickers


Youngbee Dale - Washington Times





It’s been two decades since the Australian government legalized prostitution. At that time, legalization sounded promising to many Australians as supporters said the measures would end violence against females, street prostitution, illegal brothels and police corruption. However, despite legalization, those problems have not diminished. Australia is still facing the same problems it faced in the past, and many have gotten worse. Legalized prostitution didn’t stop Australian sexual violence against women. According to the 2004 Australian national survey, 34% of women experienced sexual violence at least once in their lifetime.














Religious Freedom & Persecution

Christian photographers still looking for justice


Charlie Butts - OneNewsNow





OneNewsNow earlier reported about Elaine and Jon Huguenin, the owners of Elane Photography who declined to photograph a lesbian commitment ceremony because of their Christian beliefs. When the lesbian couple filed a complaint, the state Human Rights Commission ordered the Huguenins to pay $7,000 for discrimination on the basis of "sexual orientation." ADF attorney Jordan Lorence tells OneNewsNow Americans in the marketplace should not be subjected to legal attacks for simply abiding by their beliefs.












Activists outraged as Iran upholds 6-year prison term for pastor

Stefan J. Bos - Bos News Life





Rights activists condemned on Tuesday, July 3, an Iranian court's ruling upholding the six-year prison sentence for evangelical pastor Farshid Fathi Malayeri on charges that critics linked to his Christian activities. Mission group Elam Ministries said an appeals court convicted him last week for allegedly "being the chief agent of foreign organizations in Iran and of administrating funds for foreign organizations."
















Refugees

Scandalous SOS strategy as navy ship keeps watch on asylum seeker boat after distress calls


Gemma Jones - The Daily Telegraph





A navy ship was shadowing an asylum seeker boat as it headed towards Christmas Island last night in a new crisis for the government. Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare faced difficult questions yesterday about a new ploy being used by people smugglers and their passengers - effectively making Australian search authorities a "taxi service" for boat people. People smugglers are now instructing crews to call Australia and report the vessel is in distress, knowing a rescue ship will be dispatched.












Not our problem: the Indonesian p rspective on asylum seekers

Colin Brown - The Conversation





If the lead stories in the digital and print media are anything to go by, Indonesians have little interest in the recent asylum seeker boat sinkings and the accompanying loss of life. Over the past couple of weeks, headlines have been dominated by on-going corruption scandals, violence in Papua, the Eurozone economic crisis – and of course the European Cup. The sinking of another asylum seeker boat generally makes it to the middle of the paper or the news bulletin, along with other not-so-important international news.














Sexualisation of Society

UK: Jumping on the bonkbuster bandwagon! Mummy porn takes over as Mills & Boon launch new series to rival hit Fifty Shades Of Grey


Liz Thomas - Daily Mail





It is just a shade cheeky. Mills & Boon is jumping on the 50 Shades of Grey bandwagon with a new series of erotica. The title? Twelve Shades of Surrender. The publisher best known for old-fashioned romances is unveiling the series in e-book form, hoping to catch the sudden wave of interest in racy novels. EL James's 50 Shades trilogy follows the sexual adventures of a young student and a manipulative billionaire and features scenes of sado-masochism and domination.














Other

'Pressure' led to altering of hospital data


Peter Jean - The Canberra Times





The executive at the centre of the Canberra Hospital data doctoring scandal has apologised for her actions but said she altered hundreds of emergency department records because of the pressure she and her colleagues were facing. In a statement to Auditor-General Maxine Cooper, the woman said she accepted ''full responsibility for all the data alterations'' and had acted ''foolishly and stupidly'' to protect herself and the staff she worked with.