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

Disappearing daughters: India's female feticide


George Thomas - CBN News





Every 12 seconds, a baby girl is aborted in India. That's about 7,000 girls killed every day just because they are females. The United Nations now calls India the most dangerous place on earth for a girl.
















Children & Family

Families feel the cold in bitter power slug


Damir Govorcin - Catholic Weekly





The St Vincent de Paul Society is concerned a rise by up to 21 per cent in household electricity prices from 1 July will force families to go without heating and warm food this winter, and may even lead to homelessness. The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) said heavy spending to upgrade the electricity network, coupled with the impact of the carbon tax, was driving electricity prices higher.
















Education

Urgent move to close loophole and keep chaplains in schools

Joe Kelly & Nicola Berkovic – The Australian





Emergency legislation will be introduced into parliament today to protect billions in funding for hundreds of government programs, after a landmark High Court judgment invalidated the national school chaplaincy scheme. The Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon, said proposed amendments to the Financial Management and Accountability Act would give program funding the legislative clout needed to prevent future legal challenges.


















How bad are our kids?

The Australian





Assistant principal at North Gosford Learning Centre Max Hoste summed it up when I visited the specialist behaviour school last week. Kids might behave badly, but it doesn’t make them bad kids. North Gosford is one of about 35 behaviour schools (called learning centres in one of the wonderful euphemisms that seem to abound in education) in NSW to deal with students when their behaviour, or misbehaviour, becomes too much for their regular school.














Euthanasia

Voluntary euthanasia back on Tassie agenda


news.com





Tasmania won't find itself a centre of voluntary euthanasia tourism if it becomes the first state to decriminalise the practice, advocates say. A discussion paper is due within weeks as premier Lara Giddings and Greens leader Nick McKim prepare to introduce legislation later this year. President of Dying With Dignity Tasmania Margaret Sing says a residency requirement in the bill will ensure that a fly-in mentality isn't allowed to flourish.














Gambling

Close gambling game loopholes: Xenophon


NineMSN





Gambling styled games on social media targeted at children are dodging federal government regulation and the loophole should be closed, independent senator Nick Xenophon says. In a submission to the Department of Communication the anti-gambling campaigner urged the government to "address a glaring loophole in the current Act that allows children to access gambling-style games on their phones and on social media sites".






Junior gamblers battle addiction, shows major study

Evonne Barry – Herald Sun





Children as young as 10 are battling serious gambling problems, a major study has revealed. And they have few difficulties side-stepping the law. The first national study of the gambling habits of Australia's youth has found a tenth of kids aged 10-14 fit definitions of "at-risk" or "problem" gamblers. And a third have adults willing to place bets on their behalf














Homelessness

Cold concrete is cold comfort


Rob Evers - Online Opinion





Last Thursday night, I was homeless. Sandwiched between two other people, I spent the night lying (very uncomfortably), on a makeshift mattress made out of cardboard, on top of cold concrete. A beanie pulled down over my ears, I curled up in my sleeping bag and tried to ignore the icy cold breeze that cut through to my bones. By the time morning came, I was cold (of course), sleep deprived, and in physical pain. But tonight, it will be different. I'll be at home, under a blanket. I am so blessed.












Indigenous

NT Police Association urges action on alcohol


ABC





The Northern Territory Police Association says constantly dealing with the effects of Aboriginal disadvantage in Alice Springs has become soul-destroying work for officers in the town. In a submission to the inquest into the death in custody of 27-year-old Kumuntjayi Briscoe, the association says officers are dealing with the effects of decades of policy failure, particularly in the area of alcohol.








Legal systems are failing to protect Aboriginal children

Patricia Karvelas - The Australian





Legal and child protection systems are failing to protect Aboriginal children from rape and sexual abuse and are adding to their psychological suffering, according to a controversial book to be launched today. In Our Greatest Challenge, human rights lawyer Hannah McGlade calls for a radical new approach that stops exonerating Aboriginal men and empowers communities to discipline perpetrators.
















Macklin in spat with indigenous campaigner

Lisa Martin - NineMSN





Opponents of a government plan to extend intervention in the Northern Territory are breaching the trust of Aboriginal people, Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin says. The group Stand for Freedom has collected more than 42,000 signatures against the government's Stronger Futures legislation, which is likely to pass the Senate this week.














Marriage

ACL renews call for same-sex marriage debate to be brought on


The International News Magazine





With debate now seemingly concluded on same-sex marriage in the Federal Parliament, a vote should immediately be brought on according to the Australian Christian Lobby. It is understood all the speakers who wished to put their name forward did so for today’s hour-long debate on Stephen Jones’ private members bill to redefine marriage.












Senate committee finds in favour of gay marriage

ABC





A Senate committee investigating marriage equality has recommended the Federal Parliament pass legislation to allow same-sex couples to marry. The committee found significant support for marriage equality in the community, with almost 60 per cent of the 46,000 submissions received in favour of change.














Sheik Yahya Safi, head imam at Lakemba mosque, said same-sex marriage wasn't an issue in the Islamic community

The Daily Telegraph





A leading Sydney Muslim cleric has weighed into the same-sex marriage debate, claiming it is rare to find a gay Muslim. Sheik Yahya Safi, head imam at Lakemba mosque, said same-sex marriage wasn't an issue in the Islamic community: "In Islam we believe it's a major sin to have such relations between men and men, a sexual relation," he said. "We don't discuss this because it's obvious."








Gay marriage again on ballot in Maine

Katherine Seelye – NY Times





Three years after voters in Maine rejected same-sex marriage, they will consider the matter again in November. This time, advocates say they have reason for optimism. They point to a shift in public opinion, the personal support for same-sex marriage voiced last month by President Obama and what they believe is an effective door-to-door “persuasion” campaign throughout the state.
















Overseas Aid

Australia urged to divert aid to Samoan coffee


ABC





Australian Nationals Senator John Williams says a portion of Australia's aid funding in Samoa is better spent planting coffee than planting trees. Samoa has been growing coffee since the 1930s, which was planted on the island by German immigrants, but experts say those beans lack the high yields and disease resistance available in more modern varieties.






Aid needs to work more effectively

Judith Sloan - The Australian





During budget week, I was struck by a comment made by Tim Costello, chief executive of World Vision Australia. In response to the government's decision to defer for a year reaching the target of 0.5 per cent of gross national income to be spent on foreign aid, Costello claimed 200,000 lives would be lost. How could he make this claim? What are the precise mechanisms whereby Australia's foreign aid effort affects death rates? Simply saying "aid works, it saves lives" as Costello did at the time did not seem particularly convincing.




Politics

There are seven ways to save the Labor Party and set the standard


Nick Champion – The Australian





Over the past two decades, which spans my entire membership of the Australian Labor Party, the question of internal reform and its relationship to our support within the community has been endlessly asked and never completely answered. As a product of the factional system I confess to finding this question both irritating and interesting, but often irrelevant to the task of winning elections whether it was at the sub-branch or conference, or at state or federal elections.








Last independent standing? Andrew Wilkie may retain seat

Matthew Denholm – The Australian





Polling suggests at least one of the federal balance-of-power independent MPs - Tasmanian Andrew Wilkie - can defy predictions and retain his seat at the coming election. New polling commissioned by the ALP and obtained by The Australian shows the independent has grown his vote in the Hobart-based seat of Denison, despite a significant swing to the Liberal Party.










Refugees

PM Julia Gillard offers asylum olive branch

Patrick Lion - The Daily Telegraph





Labor has signalled it is ready to compromise on its immigration policy as Coalition ranks erupted into open criticism of its own policy yesterday. Prime Minister Julia Gillard said she is "open to further discussions" to revive stalled talks on offshore asylum seeker processing, offering to even go beyond supporting the Coalition's Nauru centre and a review of temporary protection visas in return for support of her "Malaysia solution".








Greens want refugee intake to be 25,000

Herald Sun





The Australian Greens want the country to almost double its annual humanitarian refugee intake. Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young said the minor party does not want people to make the dangerous sea journey to Australia. Instead she wants Australia to increase its refugee intake from about 14,000 now to 25,000
















ASIO lacks staff to vet refugees

Daniel Flitton - SMH





The spy agency vetting asylum seekers for potential security threats is struggling with the ''sharp increase'' in boat arrivals, rudimentary computer systems and 30 per cent fewer staff than needed, an audit has found. The investigation into the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation followed criticism of a lengthy backlog and delays in security assessments before asylum seekers are granted a visa.














Other

Jail time 'changed' Lindy, former husband says


SMH





Lindy Chamberlain became ''institutionalised'' after she was wrongly accused of killing her daughter Azaria and went to jail, her former husband says. Speaking in an interview with Channel Seven last night, Michael Chamberlain said he and his former wife were ''totally unprepared'' for the 1982 verdict that found Ms Chamberlain - now Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton - sentenced to life in prison for murdering their baby.