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

Abortion bill cuts criminal sanctions


Matthew Denholm - The Australian





At least one Tasmanian Labor MP will vote against major abortion-law reform sponsored by his party's Health Minister, while the changes face opposition in the state's upper house. Health Minister Michelle O'Byrne has unveiled legislative changes to provide easier, faster access to abortions and to end criminal sanctions against women and their doctors. A key change would remove the blanket requirement that women obtain approval from two doctors, and get counselling, before abortions can be performed. The need for two doctors to agree would apply only after 24 weeks of pregnancy.














Children & Family

Family values the driving force for new Premier Denis Napthine


Ruth Lamperd - Herald Sun





Jack was the luckiest of lost little boys. At first, his huge brown eyes would look away. He was short and stocky. For all his six years, he had barely spoken. When he joined the house that Denis and Peggy Napthine ran, things looked up for him. And they realised years later he was also giving them a leg-up. The newlyweds were in their late 20s. They'd taken on the role of parents for the Hamilton house that cared for up to 10 intellectually disabled residents.














I've got a big bone to pick with Elton's nanny strategy

Annette Sharp - The Daily Telegraph





Imagine for a moment you are a rich, much-indulged gay man. You have a loving husband and two much-wanted, beautiful miracle sons - the results of successful surrogacy. You also have enough money - $450 million give or take - to employ the very best nannies in the world to look after those children while you live your fabulous jet-setting life. So who do you recruit for your sons' care? In the case of Elton John and David Furnish, you choose not one nanny but a team of them. A veritable squadron of cuddlers and dribble catchers to attend to your baby sons Zachary and Elijah around the clock. Newspaper reports claim John, not one to do things by halves, also purchased a neighbouring apartment and installed the babies in there, with their nannies, in order to safeguard his sleep, sanity and relationship.














Donor Conception & Surrogacy

Couple Offers Surrogate $10,000 to Kill Baby


Jennifer Leclaire - Charisma News





When Crystal Kelley agreed to a surrogate pregnancy for a couple who wanted a fourth child, she never dreamed it would end with a bribe and legal maneuvers to force an abortion. The drama started when doctors discovered that the baby Kelley was carrying had a cleft lip and palate, a cyst in her brain and serious heart defects. At 21 weeks pregnant, CNN reports Kelley was “absolutely terrified” about the next ultrasound and the parents’ reaction.


















Drugs & Alcohol

Real estate agents charged over multi-million-dollar drug crop


Shannon Deery, James Dowling - Herald Sun





Two real estate agents involved in a multi-million-dollar drug ring used rental properties they were managing to grow thousands of marijuana plants as part of an elaborate drug syndicate, it has been alleged. Barry Plant Real Estate agents Chris Lio and Con Constantinou, both 52, were arrested and charged last week after police raided more than a dozen houses managed by the men in Melbourne's northern suburbs.














Education

Aspiring teachers face new literacy and numeracy tests


Josephine Tovey - SMH





The Gillard government will seek to introduce its own new standards for teaching students, including more complex entry requirements to teacher training courses and new literacy and numeracy tests. The move comes less than a week after the NSW government announced its own suite of reforms aimed at improving the quality of teaching, including setting minimum HSC requirements for school leavers hoping to enter teaching degrees.




















Politics

ALP leadership anarchy at breaking point as MPs meet to discuss crisis


Simon Benson - The Daily Telegraph





Bill Shorten has ruled out being drafted to take over from Julia Gillard as Labor MPs meet this morning desperate to find a circuit breaker to the crisis around the Labor leadership. The former union boss and Labor powerbroker has denied he was being urged to run or that anyone was running numbers for him. And supporters of Kevin Rudd were adamant the former PM would not even stand for the job if the caucus were to bring on a spill of the leadership. Senior Labor figures last night declared the party was now in a state of "anarchy" and that a "three-way stand-off" had emerged between Mr Rudd, Ms Gillard and her senior cabinet backers such as Wayne Swan, Stephen Smith and Stephen Conroy - who sources claimed were seeking any option that would block a Rudd return.












Greens battered in WA election

AAP





If Labor's performance in the West Australian election was bad, the Greens was worse - and the party's federal leader Christine Milne says it's a clear warning that Tony Abbott and last century conservatism looms large. As Colin Barnett's minority Liberal government was returned with a huge majority, the four per cent swing away from the Greens was even more violent than those that turned away from Labor. The Greens only hope of representation in WA's lower house is in the Kimberley, where local candidate Chris Maher and his opposition to the James Price Point gas project mobilised support. But across the rest of the state, the Greens vote plummeted, with the party predicted to hold just two seats in the Upper House as counting concludes.










Public needs to what deal - if any - has been done between Geoff Shaw and Premier Denis Napthine

Susie O'Brien - Herald Sun





Victorian families have every right to be concerned about the new-found power of former Liberal member for Frankston, Geoff Shaw. Don't buy the line that he's just a humble local member fighting for his community from the cross-benches: he will be wielding immense power both inside and outside the parliamentary chamber. Sitting as an independent in a Parliament with a one-seat majority gives Shaw influence that extends well beyond his single vote. Shaw says his "options are open", but we need to know exactly what that might mean. The big question for me is whether he will use his power to pursue his anti-gay, anti-abortion, conservative Christian agenda.
















Religious Freedom & Persecution

Lahore, more than 100 Christian homes burned over blasphemy charge


Jibran Khan - Asia News





The attack followed altercation between a young Christian and a Islamic barber: the Muslim insulted Christianity and then reported the boy for blasphemy. The mob looted, stoned, doused in acid and then burned the Christian settlement. Local imam: "We'll find the Christian and kill him."










Protests in Pakistan over anti-Christian riot

Waqar Hussain - SMH





Christians have demonstrated in cities around Pakistan after a Muslim mob torched more than 100 Christian homes following allegations of blasphemy. More than 3000 Muslims rampaged through Joseph Colony, a Christian area of the eastern city of Lahore, on Saturday after allegations that a Christian had made derogatory remarks about the Prophet Mohammed three days earlier. About 150 people have been arrested, police said, and though no one was killed the incident highlights the religious tensions affecting Pakistan as it prepares for an election expected in May, following a spate of deadly attacks on the minority Shi'ite Muslim community.












Sexualisation of Society

Internet porn is leading children on an 'unstoppable march into a moral wasteland'


Daniel Martin - Daily Mail





Former children’s TV presenter Floella Benjamin has warned of an ‘epidemic’ of violent online porn, which is leading youngsters on a ‘seemingly unstoppable march into a moral wasteland’. Baroness Benjamin – who sits as a Lib Dem peer in the Lords – said girls were becoming increasingly sexualised while more and more boys were treating them as little more than ‘sexual objects’. In an impassioned speech to mark today’s International Women’s Day, she said boys were pressurising girls into degrading behaviour.












Sex tape celebrities are leading our teens astray

Ron Luce - Charisma News





The perils of public exposure can sometimes be lost on our teens. We live in a society that celebrates and elevates people who make bad decisions. They don’t have to be sorry, they simply have to “be strong.” That’s the phrase tweeted out by former Miss Teen Delaware Melissa King after she was accused of starring in an amateur porn film when she was just 17 years old. King denied that the girl in the film, who looks like her, sounds like her and shares her birthday and her love of beauty pageants, is her. But two days after news broke that she had relinquished her crown over these accusations, she tweeted out to her followers: “Be strong, life has a funny way of working out. Kim K made it and now is one of the most powerful women in the US.”










Other

The church that doesn't mention God


The Australian





Echoing with joyful song and with a congregation bent on leading better lives, this London church is like any other - except there's no mention of God. Britain's atheist church is barely three months old but it already has more “worshippers” than can fit into its services, while more than 200 non-believers worldwide have contacted organisers to ask how they can set up their own branch, with one due to open in Australia next month. Officially named The Sunday Assembly, the church was the brainchild of Pippa Evans and Sanderson Jones, two comedians who suspected there might be an appetite for atheist gatherings that borrowed a few aspects of religious worship.












Canberra is 100: Australia City of Laws, Porn, Drugs

Christine Gaylican - International Business Times





As Canberra turns 100 on Monday, there are some interesting facts about Australia's capital that one ought to know beyond a city girded with parliament halls. The land of Australia's politicians is not without fun that residents share would put the city in a better light that doesn't involve the serious matters of the state and country. In the same city where the Lodge, the official residence of Australia's Prime Minister, and the House of Parliament could be reached is known to had allowed the making of hard core porn in its jurisdiction. Filming hard core porn and even selling the end-product has been made legal in the city, thanks to ACT's laws.