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 argument has no end in sight


Rupert Cornwell - Canberra Times





Roe v Wade? No it's not, as Bob Hope memorably quipped about Dan Quayle a choice between two ways of crossing a river. It is the landmark ruling of the United States Supreme Court exactly 40 years ago that legalised abortion, a decision the court based on the constitutional promise of a citizen's right to privacy. And as anyone with the remotest interest in American politics will also be aware, the issue is today more divisive than ever.










The life of a 'right to life' activist

Sally Rope - ABC





It was the longest sentence ever imposed on an Australian right to Life Activist. Brisbane family man Graham Preston, a father of seven children, was arrested by police on Wednesday May 2 last year for refusing to pay accumulated fines of $8,000 for previous charges related to his activities. Graham is a social activist - not over the environment or coal mining but over pregnancy terminations. Abortion. Graham would sit down in the entrance of medical clinics. He was released from prison in the lead up to Christmas.
















Bioethics

Australia linked to fatal flaws in Indian drug trials


Ben Doherty - Fairfax Media





Evidence suggests pharmaceutical companies are conducting cynical - and fatal - drug trials on India's most vulnerable. Azghar Khan, 40, an Indian bricklayer, died suddenly in 2008. Two years later his family discovered he was part of a drug trial sponsored by the Australian government, that he and they knew nothing of.






















Drugs & Alcohol

NSW govt anti-binge drinking ad criticised


news.com





A NSW government campaign that promotes drinking wisely is just "tinkering around the edges", the state police association says. The $1.4 million government campaign, Know When to Say When, which was launched over the Australia Day weekend, will see a roll-out of television, print, radio and online advertising asking people: "When have you had enough?"






















Human Rights

Former High Court judge Ian Callinan urges community to rise up


Chrsi Merritt - The Australian





Former High Court judge Ian Callinan has called for widespread community opposition to the federal government's proposed changes to discrimination law, which he says are "outrageous" and a threat to community cohesion. "Every Australian with an ideal for democracy - and I hope that means most Australians - should do everything they lawfully can to oppose the introduction of this outrageous law," said Mr Callinan, who retired from the nation's highest court in 2007.












Legislative muzzle on debate a threat to society

David Penberthy - Herald Sun





It was one of the most confronting Australian news images of 2012. A little boy holding a placard reading "Behead all those who insult the Prophet", standing among the hysterical crowd at the Sydney protests against an obscure art-house film ridiculing Mohammed. The discussion inspired by that image was impassioned. The child, and particularly his parents, were held up as evidence that something was seriously wrong in sections of our multicultural society. The heated nature of the discussion was not surprising, even if some of it was unpleasantly over the top.












Marriage

Anti-gay marriage doctor Lachlan Dunjey cleared by Medical Board


Katie Robinson - Herald Sun





A Perth GP investigated after he led a group of doctors opposing gay marriage on health grounds has reportedly been cleared by the Medical Board. Founder of the Doctors for the Family group, Lachlan Dunjey, made a submission to a Senate inquiry into marriage equality last year stating gay marriage was a health risk.
















Anti-gay marriage GP cleared by medical board

Paul Smith - Australian Doctor





The doctor who claimed gay marriage was a health risk says he has been cleared of any wrongdoing by the Medical Board of Australia. Dr Lachlan Dunjey, a GP in WA and leader of the Doctors for the Family organisation, was one of 150 doctors who wrote to a Senate inquiry last year declaring marriage should remain a union between man and a woman.










MP’s accused of bullying, disrespect on Marriage Bill

Protect Marriage NZ





Family First NZ is accusing the Select Committee hearing submissions on the same-sex marriage bill of showing disrespect, bias, and of bullying young submitters who they disagree with but who have taken time to be part of the democratic process. They have released an 18 year old’s personal account of her oral submission against the Marriage Amendment Bill given in December. In the account, she accuses the MP’s of giving her an appalling reception that was “disrespectful, humiliating, and pro-bill biased.” During her short submission, the Chairperson decided it was time for food and refreshments, other MP’s showed animosity through their facial expressions and body language, and Green MP Kevin Hague bullied her by calling her ‘homophobic’ in what she terms “an unsavoury and menacing manner”.












UK: Government 'powerless to protect teachers from sack over gay marriage'

John Bingham, and Tim Ross





The Education Secretary issued formal reassurances that teachers and other staff who hold traditional views on marriage should not be punished for refusing to promote same-sex marriage at work. But a senior source in Mr Gove's department said the UK was not “in control” and that the ultimate decision might “inevitably” be taken at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. It comes as the Coalition prepares to publish a bill to allow same-sex couples to marry.












Overseas Aid

Sisters' practical mission of mercy


Guy Rundle - SMH





In 1996, two Australian nuns set out to help the war-torn community of Cerro Candela in Peru. Now they are leaving for poorer pastures. 'LOOK at this, it's a memory stick cover.'' In the makeshift shop, Sister Joan Doyle is sorting through the products made by the Cerro Candela Women's Centre - bags and dolls, iPad and Kindle covers, done in joyful Ayacucho colours. Amid the riot of rainbow stripes, Doyle and her colleague, Sister Patricia McDermott, white-haired, 60-something Sisters of Mercy, are dressed down for the dust, in T-shirts and jeans.














Politics

Federal Labor could lose 18 seats: poll


The Australian





An opinion poll of marginal seats across Australia suggests federal Labor could lose 18 seats. The result would cut Labor's numbers from 54 in the lower house, handing power to the coalition with 91 seats, The Australian Financial Review reports. The poll of 54 marginal seats conducted by JWS Research found the best-case scenario for Labor would be a loss of seven seats in four of the biggest states, but it would still lose government.














Protest grows over Peris nomination

Daniel Hurst - SMH





Three indigenous Northern Territory Labor members are vowing to seek preselection for the Senate, in a protest against Prime Minister Julia Gillard's push to elevate former Olympian Nova Peris to the top spot on the ticket. Ms Gillard stoked tensions in the Territory when she announced last week her ''Captain's pick'', saying she wanted Ms Peris to be the first indigenous woman to serve in federal politics.
















Religious Freedom & Persecution

Muslim group threatens Egypt's Coptic Christians; Tells them to 'Pay Tribute'


MidEast Christian News





An armed Islamic movement calling itself the "Brigade of Muslims" released a statement on Saturday threatening Egypt's Coptic Christians and asking them to pay tribute. "Egypt is an Islamic country and will be ruled according to Shariah," the statement added.










Pastor sentenced to 8 years in Iranian prison

Katy Moeller - Idaho Statesman





A Boise pastor who was accused of proselytizing in his home country of Iran — where it is illegal to preach Christianity to try to convert someone — has been sentenced to eight years in prison, according to the American Center for Law and Justice and U.S. Sen. Jim Risch's office. Saeed Abedini was found guilty of "threatening the national security of Iran through his leadership in Christian house churches," the American Center for Law and Justice reported Sunday on its Web site.














Kosovo’s Serb Christians face “rising attacks” against Orthodox sites

Stefan J. Bos - BosNewsLife





Serbian Orthodox Christians in Kosovo struggle with a "sharp rise" in threats and vandalism against their churches and other religious sites, human rights investigators told BosNewsLife Tuesday, January 22. Since this month's Orthodox Christmas assailants attacked a monastery, set on fire a chapel and wooden crosses, and destroyed over 100 Orthodox tombstones, reported Belgrade-based Balkan rights group Centar 9.














Sexualisation of Society

Give growing girls a map for living, advises author Steve Biddulph


Melinda Tankard Reist - Herald Sun





After writing the multi-million best-selling Raising Boys in 2003, psychologist Steve Biddulph thought his life's work was done. But the parenting guru and father of two kept hearing sad stories of friends' daughters and coming into contact with parents in despair about how unhappy their girls were. They were plagued by eating disorders, self-harm and depression.










Why 'women are watching porn' should not be a story

Emma Young - SMH





An American television network has recently solved the question of what women want. According to a report by CNBC, pornography has acquired a new viewing demographic: women. More women, they say, are watching porn and more production companies are paying attention to what this ''new market'' of female followers wants. The major change that has registered in how the industry does business is the increasing attention paid to plot. Scripts expected to attract female viewers, or couples, put more effort into constructing storylines to justify the sex, making it closer to a cheesy midday movie with sex scenes rather than standard XXX-rated fare.