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

Sex-selective abortion put on agenda

Caleb Taylor – Daily Advertiser





Controversial senator John Madigan has defended his decision to introduce a bill that will cut public funding of abortions used to select the sex of a child. The much maligned private member's bill due to be put before the senate on March 19 has been labelled a time-waster and a veiled attempt to create more restrictive legislation around abortion in Australia.








What "miracle babies" mean for abortion rights

Leslie Cannold – ABC





Premature babies may now have a greater chance at life, but we shouldn't let this welcome development be co-opted by anti-abortion legislators, writes Leslie Cannold. What do medical breakthroughs slated to improve the health of premature infants have to do with abortion rights?














Children & Family

Raising someone else’s kids is hard enough without penalty


Susan Wilson - The Punch





Reports this past week by the Create Foundation and Anglicare Victoria have highlighted the serious challenges facing children living in out-of-home care. With growing numbers of children unable to livewith their natural parents, government and welfare agencies are questioning what more can be done to prevent the emergence of a generation of children who are disadvantaged in critical areas like education, physical and emotion health.
















Drugs & Alcohol

Breaking bad habits: classical conditioning and smoking


Amy Reichelt - The Conversation





Addictions are difficult to break as we usually surround ourselves with people, paraphernalia or situations that trigger the behaviour that led to the addiction in the first place. But psychological conditioning can be used to break bad habits. Over a century ago, the Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov made a discovery that still resonates with both psychological experiments and popular culture. Classical conditioning predicts that by repeatedly pairing a motivationally significant stimulus (such as food) with a particular signal (such as a ringing bell) will result in a conditioned response when the signal is encountered (the bell rings in absence of food).












Synthetic high seized in adult store raids

Christopher Knaus - The Canberra Times





Drug investigators have seized a $12,000 haul of synthetic cannabis being openly sold from adult stores across the city, the first such raids that have ever been conducted by ACT Policing. The cannabis substitutes, which some users rate as giving a 25-minute high, are often marketed as a ''safe'' alternative to marijuana. Packets of the cannabis have been sold from a range of Canberra stores, with apparent confusion by staff over whether the synthetic compounds are legal. The formula for various types of synthetic cannabis is regularly tweaked to get around current legislation, creating a headache for law enforcement authorities and law makers.














Euthanasia

Mercy killing claims by Sydney man 'lies'


SMH





In the hours before Rodney Tuddenham shot dead his wife and then himself in their Sydney home, he wrote a message to his son saying he was ending her pain. But her sister has told an inquest into their deaths that his claims were "total lies". Marina Louise Tuddenham, 46, and Rodney Tuddenham, 55, died of gunshot wounds to the head at their Hornsby home in Sydney's north some time between the late hours of July 31 and the early hours of August 1, 2011. On the opening day of the inquest on Tuesday, Glebe Coroners Court heard that in the hour before shooting himself Mr Tuddenham sent three apologetic emails to family members.
















Gambling

No easy solutions and few winners in gambling probe


Greg Baum - Brisbane Times





An anomaly uncovered by Senator Nick Xenophon at a hearing into gambling reform on Tuesday served to highlight some of the fraught and conflicting forces presently abroad in professional sport. In Xenophon's view, the fact that the AFL's integrity department was not made aware of positive drug tests sat incongruously with a warning in the recent, famous Australian Crime Commission report that drug-using sportsmen were more susceptible to blackmail.


















Marriage

Wedded bliss rules burbs


Rick Morton - The Australian





Lauren and Glenn Uidam, like a growing number of married couples, have made a home for themselves and their family on the urban fringe of a large city where life is a fraction more forgiving. The couple put their roots down in The Ponds, a new built-to-order suburb in northwestern Sydney's Hills district, where 71 per cent of the population are hitched. The data sheds some light on the geography of relationship status, where those who have never married hug the inner city and those who have usually venture on to the outskirts.
















Public hearings start into same-sex marriage

Kelly Fuller - ABC





This morning public hearings started into introducing law to allow same-sex marriage. The NSW Government inquiry has broken records when it comes to the number of people who have made written submissions to it – receiving almost 9000 comments. Tamworth based Nationals MP Trevor Khan was appointed to a special parliamentary working group to develop the draft bill. We spoke to him on the Morning Show.


















Politics

State wakes to new premier as Baillieu falls on his sword


Richard Willingham - The Age





Former opposition leader Denis Napthine is the state’s new Premier after Ted Baillieu resigned under internal pressure and after the shock resignation of embattled MP Geoff Shaw. Mr Shaw, who is facing a police probe for misuse of his government car, quit the parliamentary Liberal Party on Wednesday morning, kickstarting a frenzy on Spring Street that reached fever pitch just before 7pm after he finally released a statement. "I believe my actions reflect the general loss of confidence Victorians are feeling in the leadership of the government," Mr Shaw said. An ashen-faced Mr Baillieu entered a special Liberal-only meeting at 7pm, and minutes later it was confirmed that he had resigned as premier. He will remain in Parliament as the member for Hawthorn.
















Refugees

Refugees living in a commercial building in Parramatta told to go


Elias Jahshan - Daily Telegraph





The asylum seekers who were living in a commercial building in Parramatta, and were evicted after a property inspection by Parramatta Council last week, are now in the care of Settlement Service International. A group of Tamil-Sri Lankans and Indians, who were on bridging visas, were living in single-storey houses on Marion St that were formerly an engineering consultancy business.












Pastor Brad Chilcott recognised in Multicultural Awards

Holly Petersen - Weekly Times





Brad Chilcott wants to change Australia's conversation about asylum seekers. The Activate Church Bowden pastor says instead of vilifying refugees we should welcome them with open arms. "There is a real contradiction inherent in our national psyche," Mr Chilcott says. "We constantly celebrate diversity at times like Australia Day and Harmony Day.














Religious Freedom & Persecution

Fears of bloodbath: Uneasy calm reigns in Assad stronghold


Thilo Thielke - Die Spiegel





The wealthy Syrian port city of Tartus, a stronghold of the Assad regime, is an island of calm in the war-torn country -- for now. Members of Assad's Alawite clan and the Christian minority are bracing themselves for a bloodbath if the city falls to the rebels, and partying while they still can.














Boko Haram victim recounts how husband, son were killed

Yemi Akinsuyi - ThisDayLive





Her narration was as spell binding as it was gruesome. Mrs. Deborah Shettima, 48, and mother of six, who in a day lost nearly all she had laboured for in life in an attack by Boko Haram insurgents on her household, recounted yesterday in Abuja, the blackest day of her life. She watched in horror as the Islamic fundamentalists first shot and killed her husband; a cleaner who was preparing to go and minister in a church when the death angels came calling. Though her life was spared, she lost an eye.


















Sexualisation of Society

Sexpo Australia invite biggest Twitter fan Kevin Rudd open show


Petra Starke - News Limited Network





Kevin Rudd has been invited to formally open a nationally touring sex and pornography event after being outed as its biggest Twitter fan. Sexpo Australia is among the almost 370,000 Twitter accounts followed by Kevin Rudd, the former PM in speculation to oust Julia Gillard before the September election, ensuring he receives their frequent daily updates about the event and its porn stars, as well as a host of saucy images.












Aussie 'Keep Calm' T-shirts glorify rape, murder

Asher Moses - SMH





An online T-shirt company founded in Australia is on its deathbed after a purported "computer error" saw it advertise shirts on Amazon glorifying rape, murder and sex crimes. The shirts, printed on-demand by T-shirt design firm Solid Gold Bomb, include dozens of offensive slogans such as "Keep Calm and Rape A Lot", "Keep Calm and Knife Her" and "Keep Calm and Kill Her".














Other

Extortion scam accuses you of child porn


Petra Starke - News Limited Network





An internet scam convincing some computer users they are being investigated for terrorism and child pornography by the Australian Federal Police is continuing to extort money from Australians almost a month after its creators were busted in Spain. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said it had last month received more than 300 complaints about the scam, which locks a user's computer with a hoax AFP warning notice saying the computer has been "suspended on the grounds of unauthorised cyberactivity" for child pornography, promoting terrorism and pirating movies.












Victoria slides into recession with SA, Tasmania

Tim Colebatch - The Age





Victoria has slumped into recession, along with South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT, as Australia's two-speed economy has sent much of the country into reverse. The Bureau of Statistics reports that state final demand - the total spending of consumers, business and governments - fell 0.7 per cent in Victoria in the December quarter, in trend terms, on top of a fall of 0.4 per cent in September.