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.



 



Bioethics

Unproven stem cell treatments pose risks


Michelle Henderson - AAP

Unproven stem cell treatments behind an increase in international 'stem cell tourism' are not just proliferating overseas. Similar treatments, without any medical evidence of their effectiveness or safety, are emerging in our own backyard, Australian stem cell experts warn. Professor Megan Munsie and Dr Dominique Martin, from the University of Melbourne, said just because the treatments were offered in Australia and were not illegal did not mean they were safe.


Charities & NFP

The case for an end to religious privilege


Moira Clarke - Online Opinion

It would be difficult, at this stage, for anyone to deny that the perpetuation and cover-ups of the sexual abuse of children and vulnerable adults is entrenched and systemic in certain religious institutions within Australia. It would be equally difficult to deny that the Catholic Church, ostensibly one of Australia's leading 'charities', is disproportionately involved. Evidence for this has existed for years, but only now have our political leaders agreed to a Royal Commission, and only under the pressure of overwhelming public outrage.


Children & Family

How to value a child


Mary Cooney - Mercator Net

Putting a price on the head of your potential child is applying the wrong set of values altogether.


Classification

Northern Territory gov to consider R18+ classification


Stephanie McDonald - Computerworld

While the Senate has passed legislation to introduce an R18+ classification, each state and territory in Australia also needs to pass its own R18+ games classification legislation. The R18+ classification for games will be put before the Northern Territory government this week. The amendments to the Classification of Publications, Films and Computer Games Bill include new guidelines for computer games, which are due to come into effect January 1 next year.


Drugs & Alcohol

Scipione 'frightened' by number of alcohol-related fatalities


Ilya Gridneff - Newcastle Herald

NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione has hit out after a weekend marred by numerous booze-fuelled incidents, including several deaths in the state. Mr Scipione was so annoyed by the volume of alcohol-related issues police had to deal with last weekend he released a statement on Monday urging revellers to enjoy themselves this summer, but sensibly.


Police charge 56 at Aussie music festival for drugs & weapons

Tone Deaf

Summer is almost upon us and festival season is well and truly in full swing bringing with it some of the finest musical talent from around the globe. But as thousands of ticket holders around the country begin to party under the sun, with it comes the annual crackdown on drug use that police use annually for high profile busts.


Education

Pyne vows to scrap My School rankings


Jewel Topsfield - The Age

The federal Coalition would review controversial NAPLAN tests and remove the publication of individual school results on the My School website if elected to government, to prevent the ''unnecessary stress'' being placed on teachers.


Gambling

Coles mulls $1 limit on pokies


Colin Kruger - SMH

The owner of Coles supermarkets, Wesfarmers, is considering $1 bet limits on the poker machines it owns as the company explores options to distance itself from the pubs and gambling business. Getup confirmed that it dropped Wesfarmers from the anti-poker machine campaign it launched earlier this year against Australia’s supermarket giants after speaking with management and being encouraged by its commitment to address problem gambling issues.


Subdued support for pokie reforms

AAP

A parliamentary committee has recommended the government's poker machine reforms go ahead. But the committee chairman and pokie reform crusader, independent Andrew Wilkie, says the reforms are deeply disappointing, while the opposition refuses to support them. The government introduced a package of three bills on November 1 to try to reduce destructive poker machine addiction.


Health

Labor needs to fight the black dog in the bush


Andrew Laming - The Punch

Male suicide is two and a half times more likely in remote Queensland than in our cities. Last week Mental Health Minister Mark Butler released the Suicide in Rural and Remote Areas of Australia report, which studies suicide in detail but offers precious few solutions.


Smoking linked to mental decline

AAP

Smoking and high blood pressure over the age of 50 both lead to accelerated mental decline, research has shown. Scientists analysed risk factor data for more than 8,000 older adults taking part in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (Elsa).


Homelessness & Poverty

The new face of truancy


Michelle Paine - The Mercury

Concern is rising over falling attendance rates at Tasmanian public schools. The state's peak welfare advocacy group fears soaring rates of homelessness and rising housing costs are linked to the rise in school absenteeism. The Tasmanian Council of Social Service said the possible link warranted an urgent investigation. One in 10 government school students are away from school on any day for a mixture of explained and unexplained reasons.


Marriage

Tasmanian premier reignites marriage hopes


Star Observer Online

Gay marriage in Tasmania may have failed the first time, but the state government has reignited hope for advocates last week after it pledged to try again “as soon as possible”. Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings tabled a motion in Parliament last Thursday, stating “I move that this House notes the commitment of members of the Labor Party and the Tasmanian Greens to achieve, as soon as possible, this inevitable reform that is supported by so many in our community”.


Refugees

90pc of Sudanese refugees want to go home


Lindy Kerin - ABC

A new study has found the majority of refugees from Sudan who arrived in Australia over the past decade want to return home. Many of those surveyed experienced isolation and reported being discriminated against, particularly when it came to employment and housing.


Charities struggle to help refugees

Yolanda Zaw - The West Australian

WA charity groups have condemned the Federal Government's policy to dump thousands of refugees in the suburbs, saying they cannot deal with any extra demand on their already overstretched resources. In an attempt to relieve pressure on the immigration detention system, Immigration Minister Chris Bowen announced last week that asylum seekers who arrived by boat would be released into the community on bridging visas but given no work rights and only limited accommodation and financial help. Anglicare WA chief executive Ian Carter said the policy lacked foresight.


Visas for rich investors 'threaten national character': Bishop

Barney Zwartz - The Examiner

"Golden ticket" visas, with which wealthy investors can gain privileged access to Australian residency, could damage the character of the nation, according to Melbourne Anglican Bishop Philip Huggins. Bishop Huggins contrasted efforts by the Federal Government to contain refugee numbers with the open-door policy for those who had $5 million to spend in Australia under the "Significant Investor" visa program.


Sexualisation of Society

Prime Minister John Key weighs in on NZ ‘sex hotel’


Kate Shuttleworth - The New Zealand Herald

Prime Minister John Key said he didn’t think prostitution law reform had worked in New Zealand. Mr Key made the comments on Radio Live when asked about the Chow Brothers’ bid to build a 15-storey brothel and hotel building in the Auckland CBD. Mr Key said he didn’t think the Prostitution Law Reform Act 2003 had achieved a reduction in street prostitution and under age prostitutes.


Other

What China's seven new rulers mean for its 80 million Christians


Open Doors News

China has introduced the new seven-man team that will run the world's most populous country for the next 10 years. The once-a-decade transition in the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Chinese Communist Partyis important to China's 80 million Christians. They have enjoyed greater openness and toleration during the past 20 years, yet still must navigate a complicated relationship with a government which has no tolerance for competition.


Suspended death for two baby traffickers

Li Qian - ShanghaiDaily

Two ringleaders of an infant trafficking gang based in Ya'an of southwestern Sichuan Province were sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve, Xinhua News Agency reported today. Cai Liaochao and Chen Hongfeng were accused of selling 14 babies between July 2010 and May 2011, the Ya'an City Intermediate People's Court said. A boy is priced at 30,000 (US$4,818) to 40,000 yuan and a girl 10,000 to 20,000 yuan.


The ugly reality of violence against women

Ken Lay - The Drum ABC

In Victoria alone, police respond to incidents of violence against women almost every 10 minutes. But ultimately this isn't a police problem, says Chief Commissioner Ken Lay. It's ours. Violence against women is an issue which is often discussed in terms of statistics, so that the magnitude of the problem is communicated. But I want to tell you a bit about the reality and the ugliness that police see.


Bullying 'far too common' in the workplace

Peter Jean - Canberra Times

A national advisory service should be established to help workers and employers respond to bullying in the workplace, a parliamentary inquiry has recommended. The House of Representatives inquiry has also recommended that a national definition of bullying be adopted. Labor MP Amanda Rishworth, who chaired the inquiry, said bullying was happening far too often in Australian workplaces.