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

Court rules unborn is 'child'


Bob Unruh - WND

A ruling from the Alabama Supreme Court has concluded that a reference in state law that prevents exposing children to dangerous chemicals also protects an unborn child. While the decision itself is unrelated to abortion, in a court where at least one justice has advocated overturning Roe v. Wade the decision today in Ankrom v. State undoubtedly will be referenced again. The case upheld the convictions of two women, Hope Ankrom of Coffee County and Amanda Kimbrough of Colbert County, who were prosecuted for using drugs during their pregnancies. The state law originally was intended to prevent parents from operating meth labs around children, or allowing children to be in meth labs, and does not mention the unborn. But the decision said “The plain meaning of the word ‘child’ in the chemical endangerment statute includes unborn children.”


Classification

Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge gets first R18+ label


Neil Keene - The Daily Telegraph

An ultra-violent computer game that shows characters being dismembered and decapitated has been slapped with Australia's first R18+ rating. The Classification Board deemed the action in Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge so "high impact" that it handed down the ruling less than two weeks after new legislation allowed such games to be released in Australia. Board director Lesley O'Brien said: "Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge contains violence that is high in impact because of its frequency, high-definition graphics and emphasis on blood effects."


Social media blamed for racial tensions boiling over in Logan

Heidi Braithwaite - Courier Mail

Social media is killing all the good work done by police to work with Logan's cultural communities, according to the city's top cop. Logan District Superintendent Noel Powers said he wasn't aware of a suspected gathering being organised on Facebook by Aboriginal youth in the wake of the weekend's violence at Woodridge, but admitted he was concerned.


Drugs & Alcohol

Cycling Australia review calls for ethics and integrity panel


Samantha Lane - SMH

The federal government-ordered investigation into Cycling Australia's anti-doping policies has made 16 recommendations to the organisation hit hard by the sport's latest drugs crisis. The urgent review of the governance of Cycling Australia, and its anti-doping strategies — first reported by Fairfax Media in October — was conducted by Justice James Wood, QC, and is now in the hands of federal sports minister Kate Lundy.


Euthanasia

'They were very happy': Belgian twin brothers choose euthanasia rather than blindness


Bruno Waterfield - SMH

Identical twins have been killed by Belgian doctors in a unique case under the country's euthanasia laws. The 45-year-old brothers from the Antwerp region were born deaf and sought euthanasia after finding that they would also soon go blind. They told doctors that they were unable to bear the thought of not being able to see each other again


Gambling

Labor slams O'Farrell for secrecy on casino report


Sean Nicholls - Sydney Morning Herald

Labor and the Greens have criticised the Premier, Barry O'Farrell, for refusing to release an independent report into James Packer's proposal for a $1 billion hotel and VIP-only casino at Barangaroo, arguing the decision undermines confidence in the assessment process. The NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet asked Deloitte to examine key aspects of the proposal, including whether a casino is necessary for the project to be financially viable, as claimed by Mr Packer's company, Crown Limited.


Aussie Senator to close gambling app loophole

Kotaku

Australian Senator Nick Xenophon, persistent anti-gambling campaigner, has announced he will introduce legislation to close a loophole allowing gambling apps to escape classification, which could have future ramifications for gaming. Slot machine app Slotomania allows players to buy virtual coins which they can then gamble away in a manner identical to the pokies room in your local pub. The catch is that players can never extract money from the app – which doesn’t technically qualify as gambling under our law, and is thus safe for children to play – and despite this inability to collect your winnings, Xenophon’s office has tracked it as Australia’s biggest selling app.


Homelessness & Poverty

Too many lack a place to call their own


Heather Holst - Canberra Times

Public housing has been run down physically and politically. Now new plans will diminish it further. If you have a serious health problem, are escaping from a violent home or have been sleeping rough for a few years, you can apply for priority access to public housing. This means that you go to the top of the list and might have somewhere to call home in two years - if you're lucky. If you don't qualify for priority access then you may wait more than a decade. Such is the lack of public housing in Victoria today.


Indigenous

School funding to hit indigenous boarders


Justine Ferrari- The Australian

The biggest boarding school for indigenous students in the Northern Territory is considering closing its boarding house this year - leaving 220 students from outback communities stranded - with the principal claiming changes to the federal government's funding arrangements for remote students are to blame.


Marriage

Hundreds of thousands take to streets of Paris in protest at Hollande's plans to allow gay marriages in France


Peter Allen - Daily Mail

Three hundred thousand people today took to the streets of Paris to protest against gay marriage in France. The massive turnout was in response to plans by Socialist President Francois Hollande to enact a same-sex marriage law by June. Around five TGV high-speed trains were specially hired to bring people to the ‘Demo for All’ from provincial towns, along with up to 1000 coaches. Organisers insisted it was pro-marriage, rather than anti-gay, but riot police were on the street after Civitas, a far-right Catholic group whose protests have been openly anti-homosexual, held a rival march. Between 50 and 88 per cent of people living in France are Roman Catholics, and conservative opposition to the proposed legislation has been enormous.


Gay marriage opponents flood Paris

AFP

Hundreds of thousands of protesters have flooded the streets of Paris in protest at government plans to legalise gay marriage and adoption. With the proposed legislation due to go before parliament at the end of this month, opponents travelled from all over France for a demonstration supported by leaders of the mainstream centre-right opposition, the Catholic Church and France's five-million-strong Muslim community. Organisers of the 'demo for all' (a reference to the government's billing of its legislation as 'marriage for all') estimated attendance at 800,000, but the police suggested a figure of around 340,000 was nearer the mark.


Politics

Labor starts poll year with bounce: Newspoll


David Crowe - The Australian

Voter support for Labor has jumped to its strongest levels since the last election to put the federal government within striking distance of the Coalition after a dangerous setback last month. Labor enters the election year with a big recovery in its primary vote despite only marginal changes in personal satisfaction ratings for Julia Gillard, as the Prime Minister declares her readiness for a drawn-out political fight.


Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Passion 2013 conates over $3 million to fight human trafficking


Ruth Malhotra - Christian Post

The Passion 2013 conference, a four-day gathering of 60,000 university students, wrapped up last Friday with attendees donating over $3 million to fund the freedom fight for the 27 million human slaves currently trapped in the trenches of captivity. Passion founder Louie Giglio (refer further 'Giglio' articles below) and his wife, Shelley, shared an update on the "End It Movement" initiative to stop modern-day slavery and they expressed amazement at the students' generosity. "You guys are absolutely crazy people," Giglio said. "I don't know who counted you out, but they really underestimated the power of your generation."


Woman denies child prostitution charge

AAP

A Sydney woman has pleaded not guilty to prostituting a 14-year-old girl in a brothel near Kings Cross. Jennifer Ann Weatherstone, 49, appeared in the District Court in Sydney on Monday where Judge Andrew Haesler ruled she was fit to stand trial. Weatherstone is charged with two counts of causing a child to participate in an act of child prostitution at her Potts Point brothel on July 28, 2011.


Religious Freedom & Persecution

Egypt, 15 years in prison for mother and seven children, converts to Christianity


Asia News

The case concerns Nadia Mohamed Ali, a mother of eight children, born Christian, but converted to Islam to marry her husband. After his death, she decides to return to her original religion with her children. The authorities accuse her of having changed names on documents to skip procedure.


Christians' rights: Martyred on a cross of secular liberalism

Paul Diamond - UK Telegraph

I would like to pose a question: who was the last English martyr? You might think of the Reformation or perhaps the fate of alleged witches in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. But there is a much more contemporary answer; the last English martyr was arguably a 69-year-old street preacher called Harry Hammond. Twelve years ago, Mr Hammond went into Bournemouth city centre on a Saturday afternoon carrying a placard which read: “Jesus Gives Peace, Jesus is Alive, Stop Immorality, Stop Homosexuality, Stop Lesbianism, Jesus is Lord.” As he started to speak, a crowd surrounded him, pushed him to the ground, threw water and soil at him, and pulled down his sign. The police arrived, noted that Mr Hammond had been attacked and arrested him for the incitement of his attackers. They did not arrest anyone who had assaulted him.


Other

The Giglio imbroglio - The public inauguration of a new moral McCarthyism

R. Albert Mohler Jr - BPNews.

A new chapter in America's moral revolution came today as Atlanta pastor Louie Giglio withdrew from giving the benediction at President Obama's second inaugural ceremony. In a statement released to the White House and the Presidential Inaugural Committee, Giglio said he withdrew because of the furor that emerged yesterday (Jan. 9) after a liberal watchdog group revealed that almost 20 years ago he had preached a sermon in which he had stated that homosexuality is a sin and that the "only way out of a homosexual lifestyle ... is through the healing power of Jesus." In other words, a Christian pastor has been effectively disinvited from delivering an inaugural prayer because he believes and teaches Christian truth.


Obama inauguration committee to replace Louie Giglio with pro-gay pastor

Paul Stanley - Christian Post

Soon after the Rev. Louie Giglio announced he would no longer deliver the benediction at President Obama's second inauguration later this month as to avoid controversy over a past sermon on homosexuality, an inaugural committee spokesperson said the evangelical pastor would be replaced with someone who has pro-homosexual beliefs.


The end of courtship?

Jennifer S. Altman - New York Times

Maybe it was because they had met on OkCupid. But when the dark-eyed musician with artfully disheveled hair asked Shani Silver, a social media and blog manager in Philadelphia, out on a “ ate” Friday night, she was expecting at least a drink, one on one. “At 10 p.m., I hadn’t heard from him,” said Ms. Silver, 30, who wore her favorite skinny black jeans. Finally, at 10:30, he sent a text message. “Hey, I’m at Pub & Kitchen, want to meet up for a drink or whatever?” he wrote, before adding, “I’m here with a bunch of friends from college.”


The death of shopping malls and the future of church buildings

Thom S. Rainer - Christian Post

I remember the first time I went to a mall. Raised in a small town in the southeastern section of Alabama, I was amazed when I went to the "big city" mall in Montgomery. All the stores were under one roof. They were new and shiny. The venture became an adventure for me. But that was fifty years ago. Things have changed. Things have changed significantly. As Jeff Jordan notes in The Atlantic Cities, the future of American shopping malls is tenuous.