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.



 









Children & Family

Kids' care should be outsourced, says Queensland's child protection chief, Commissioner Tim Carmody


Alison Sandy - The Courier-Mail





Queensland's child protection chief says the State Government should be stripped of its role in placing children and become an oversight body. Commissioner Tim Carmody, who headed the child protection inquiry, says self regulation is risky and the Department of Child Safety should explain its decisions in allowing some children in care to remain in placements where they have experienced abuse.














Drugs & Alcohol

More hormones, steroids being seized


Sky News





More performance and image-enhancing drugs are being seized by customs officers, according to a national drug trends report. ACC executive director Paul Jevtovic says the commission's latest drug trends report, to be released in Sydney on Monday, shows law enforcement agencies are stepping up in the battle against illicit drugs with more arrests and drug seizures. He says one of the trends reflected in the Illicit Drug Data Report 2011-12 is an increase in illegal hormones and steroids being detected and seized at the border.












Canberra cocaine users face highest prices in nation

Stephanie Anderson - The Canberra Times





Canberrans are paying more for cocaine than the rest of the country, but have access to some of the cheapest ecstasy and ice, according to new figures from the Australian Crime Commission. Users in the ACT and the Northern Territory are paying up to $500 for one gram of cocaine, the highest street price in the country throughout 2011-12, according to the commission’s Illicit Drug Data Report issued on Monday.
















Gambling

SA to ban live sports betting ads on TV


AAP





South Australian television screens will no longer show advertising for live odds betting during sports broadcasts. Premier Jay Weatherill said live odds betting on television and its prominent inclusion during sports coverage was a blight on the sporting landscape. "It's staggering how much match-day broadcast time is being devoted to sports betting and live odds - it's become a pervasive part of the coverage," Mr Weatherill said at the launch of Responsible Gambling Awareness Week in Adelaide on Monday.










NRL better off without Waterhouse

Peter FitzSimons - SMH





Six weeks ago, at the conclusion of the Manly Sea Eagles v Canterbury Bulldogs match at ANZ Stadium, when Tom Waterhouse made his way into the Sea Eagles dressing-room after their win, one Manly official was heard to loudly remark: "What's he doing here? This is a Centrebet shed." Was that an elephant in the room, or a huge boa constrictor in the Zeitgeist zoo? I say both. It was emblematic of the fact that the whole gambling industry has now so wrapped its tentacles around rugby league and its followers that once proud league teams that were originally formed to represent their urban tribes now define themselves by which gambling outfit they are associated with. As to the NRL as a whole, however, some wonderful news has emerged today: a reported five-year, $50 million deal on the table for Waterhouse to be the official gaming partner for the whole competition has fallen through.
















Human Rights

No consent from Indigenous groups in overseas mining projects: Oxfam


Radio Australia





A major aid agency said Australia's mining companies were failing to get the consent of indigenous communities at their overseas mining projects. Oxfam Australia said Rio Tinto was the only one of the 53 biggest miners on the Australian stock exchange to have a public commitment to United Nation's principles on gaining consent from traditional owners. Oxfam Australia chief executive, Dr Helen Szoke says that Australian mining companies needed to develop policies that respected the rights of indigenous people.


















Marriage

Gay marriage plan will cost Cameron the election


Timur Moon - IB Times





Bob Woollard, chairman of the Conservative Grassroots umbrella group of local associations, led a group of 30 local party chairmen to Downing Street on Saturday 18 May to convey their views to the prime minister. They handed him a letter on behalf of the organisation warning that his backing for gay marriage was driving traditional Tory voters to switch to Ukip.












Gay marriage vote set to deliver Britains' Prime Minister David Cameron more problems

Agence France-Presse





British Prime Minister David Cameron faces further dissent from within the ranks of his Conservative Party as a bill to legalise gay marriage returns to Parliament Monday. Cameron faces a setback in the lower chamber, the House of Commons, if the opposition Labour Party joins forces with Tory rebels in a vote on his bill. While Cameron, several senior party colleagues and his Liberal-Democrat coalition partners back the bill legalising gay marriage, large sections of his Conservative party are fiercely opposed to the idea.










Rudd endorses gay marriage

James Robertson - SMH





Kevin Rudd has endorsed gay marriage, changing his position on the issue. "The secular Australian state should be able to recognise same sex marriage," Mr Rudd wrote in a blog post on Monday night. "This change in position has come about as a result of a lot of reflection, over a long period of time, including conversations with good people grappling with deep questions of life, sexuality and faith."












Kevin Rudd: my shift on same-sex marriage

Brad Norington - The Australian





Kevin Rudd has thrown his support behind gay marriage as an important social reform for the nation, in a dramatic reversal of his long-held public position. After what he calls a difficult personal journey, the former Labor prime minister says he has concluded the secular Australian state should recognise same-sex marriage, while religious institutions should be legally allowed an exemption maintaining their historic position that marriage is exclusively between a man and a woman.
















A fight for equality or a war on difference?

Brendan O'Neill - Mercator Net





To invite the government to give us phony equalities by recognising gay marriage is to invite greater state intervention into our personal lives. I think one of the most maligned words in the English language is “discriminate”. These days that word is mostly used negatively. It is primarily used to mean making harsh, even oppressive judgements against people based on their sex, or their sexuality, or their ethnic origins. The more positive -- and in some senses truer -- meaning of the word discriminate is getting lost. And that truer meaning is the cultured ability to perceive or note the differences between things.














Florist, told she must do gay wedding, sues

Michael Foust - BP News





A florist who was told by the state of Washington she must provide her services for a gay wedding is countersuing the state, saying she has served gay customers her entire career and is concerned the state's position on gay weddings will harm religious freedom. The countersuit by Arlene's Flowers came weeks after Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson sued the florist when its owner, Barronelle Stutzman, declined to design a wedding floral arrangement for a longtime customer who is gay. Washington legalized gay marriage last year.












Christian teachers, doctors to suffer discrimination if UK passes gay marriage, say church leaders

Stoyan Zaimov - Christian Post





Ahead of a same-sex marriage debate in parliament on Monday, a group of Christian leaders in the U.K. said that changing the definition of marriage can have a "chilling effect" on young people seeking careers as teachers and doctors. "These young people, from teenagers to 30-year-olds, will suffer discrimination, and will face new risks to their career and future," the group writes in a letter, signed by the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Southwark, the Most Rev. Peter Smith.
























Refugees

Oxfam warning on Syria refugee health


AAP





AID organisation Oxfam has warned that warmer weather will increase health-related risks for hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon, appealing for urgent funds. With temperatures set to soar up to 40C, and as refugees continue to flee to Jordan and Lebanon, "the health risks must be urgently addressed," Oxfam said in a statement on Monday.












Police arrest Iranian 'people smuggler'

Michael Bachelard - SMH





Indonesian police have arrested another alleged people smuggler as part of the most concerted effort in years to catch and lock up those who transport refugees by boat to Australia. Alleged Iranian smuggling kingpin Mohammad Hadi, also known as Sayed Ali, was arrested with two accomplices at 2am on Monday in an apartment block in Jakarta.
















Religious Freedom & Persecution

Testimonies from a war zone Syrian Christians share their stories


Patrick Sookhdeo - Barnabas Fund





Barnabas Fund’s International Director, Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, here shares first-hand accounts from Syrian Christians who he met last week in Lebanon. A tragedy of unbelievable proportions is unfolding in Syria. The Christians believe they are the meat in the sandwich, squeezed between the rebel forces with their extremist Islamist allies and the government forces. They are caught in the middle of a conflict not of their making. Increasingly the rebel forces are deliberately targeting them. When the al-Nusra Front takes an area, they systematically destroy all Christian symbols. The Christians are faced now with a disaster that is leading many of them to question whether the Church will survive in Syria.






'You're not doing this in my home': lesbian bed ban sparks threats and abuse

SMH





The owners of a New Zealand guesthouse who refused to let a lesbian couple share a bed are standing firm despite threats. Karen and Michael Ruskin, of Pilgrim Planet Lodge, in central Whangarei, say they have received death threats and verbal abuse over their stance on homosexuality. But they say they will not have their beliefs silenced, even if it puts their business at risk.










Muslim Militants shoot Christian leader

Joseph DeCaro - Worthy News





A Nigerian Christian leader was killed Wednesday after armed militants burst into his home, according to BNL news service. Two members of the Islamist Boko Haram sect shot Pentecostal Pastor Faye Pama Mysa, who was the secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria; the shooting followed President Goodluck Jona han's announcement of a state of emergency.
















Sexualisation of Society

Six years jail for 'evil' sex ring plot


AAP





A former teacher will serve more than six years in prison for plotting to start a doll making business in Thailand as a front for a sex ring involving fellow convicted pedophiles. Mark Pendleton, 53, was charged with conspiring between 2006 and 2008 to have sex with a child under 16 outside Australia after authorities sprung what was described as an "evil" jailhouse plot.










Sex contact begun: police

Nick Ralston, Lisa Davies - SMH





Renowned Sydney dance teacher Grant Davies allegedly groomed a pre-teenage girl for sex with the ''acquiescence'' of her mother, with whom he appeared to be having an affair, court papers have revealed. Police also allege the 39-year-old man had begun sexual contact with the girl before his arrest on Friday night. Mr Davies is accused of taking ''hundreds of photographs of naked children'', some estimated to be as young as six, who attended classes at his studio in Chiswick between 2004 and this year.






Breast shaped pizza means the lads are donating to breast cancer charity in their droves

Jasmin Lill - Quest Newspapers





Australian Christian Lobby state director Wendy Francis denounced the menu choice. ''Sorry, I find it a bit annoying that we've come this far in equality between men and women and we've got a pub in Brisbane encouraging their patrons to treat women as objects,'' she said. ''I think the men who go to these establishments are not respectful of women.'' Ms Francis said the donations to a breast cancer charity didn’t make it any better.












Other

On a dangerous mission to end discrimination


Jill Stark - WA Today





On Wednesday, Gene Robinson, the 66-year-old retired bishop of New Hampshire will arrive in Australia to meet church leaders as part of a tour that he hopes will help mend the ''immense psychological and spiritual damage'' religion has caused the gay and lesbian community.












Can a Christian be gay?

Larry Tomczak - Charisma News





Departing a restaurant where we celebrated my wife’s birthday recently, I got a 10 p.m. call on my cellphone. The lady in Kentucky needed help because her bank teller friend, who identifies as a Christian, was confused about homosexuality. Her unmarried female friend read a book called Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate by Justin Lee, 36-year-old founder of the Gay Christian Network that “helps educate the Christian community about sexual issues from a biblical standpoint.” Having feelings at times for members of the same sex, the woman's friend was being influenced by his theories and asking, “Is it OK to be a gay Christian?” “What about same-sex marriage?”