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

Why is Canada’s parliament tip-toeing around sex-selective abortion?


Margaret Somerville - Mercator Net





Recently, Stephen Woodworth tried to speak to students at the University of Waterloo, but the Conservative MP was shouted down by pro-choice supporters who oppose even discussing abortion, let alone having any law on it. His sin against the pro-choice commandments was introducing private member’s Motion 312 in Parliament that proposed considering when a child becomes a human being within the Criminal Code. So, once again, free speech on a Canadian university campus was subject to the limitations imposed by pro-choice ideology.
















New Planned Parenthood statement defends pro-infanticide remarks

Steven Ertelt - Life News





The Florida affiliate of the Planned Parenthood abortion business has released a new statement defending the remarks its lobbyist made that drew national condemnation for essentially endorsing infanticide. The pro-life bill, HB 1129, ultimately cleared the House Criminal justice Subcommittee. The bill would require that medical care be given to newborns, likely to be premature, who survive botched abortions. The care would be given at a hospital and not at the abortion clinic. Planned Parenthood has been condemned for what many see as promoting infanticide by opposing a bill in the state legislature that would provide medical care and legal protection for babies who are born alive after failed abortions. According to its lobbyist, “any decision that’s made should be left up to the woman, her family, and the physician.”


















Irish hospital 'told husband foetus would die'

SMH





An Asian dentist who died in an Irish hospital after she was refused an abortion had already been told by medical staff during her ordeal that the foetus could not survive, an inquest has heard. Savita Halappanavar died after a consultant told the couple an abortion was not allowed because "this is a Catholic country", her widower Praveen Halappanavar told the courthouse in Galway city.
















Charities & NFP

State Government crackdown will see Kilsyth Salvos store share in money to help stop rubbish dumping


Kimberley Seedy & Emma Hastings - Lilydale & Yarra Valley Leader





Local op-shops will be beefed up with fences and security cameras under a new State Government crackdown on rubbish dumpers. The government announced last week that 38 Salvos and Vinnies stores, including the Kilsyth Salvos store, would share in $500,000 funding to help prevent illegal dumping of unusable goods. Fences, cameras and surveillance systems, sensor lighting and a raft of signage will be trialled and assessed at stores across metropolitan and regional areas, including stores in Croydon and Ringwood.


















Children & Family

Dad's hotline to the womb


Jennifer Crawley - The Mercury





Fathers should start talking to their babies before they are even born, University of Newcastle family researcher Richard Fletcher says. Dr Fletcher spoke to health professionals about the importance of the father-child relationship at a Tasmanian Early Years Foundation forum in Hobart yesterday. Dr Fletcher said fathers had to be positively involved with the care of their babies. He said the relationship between a father and his child was as important as the relationship between the mother and the child.












Labor's tough love puts 4000 single mothers into work

Patricia Karvelas - The Australian





The Gillard goverment's tough-love budget decision to force thousands of single mothers on to the dole is achieving one of its key objectives, with almost 4000 parents who were relying exclusively on welfare now drawing their own income.














Legal aid cuts cause distress

Sally Sara - ABC





Due to cuts in the funding of Legal Aid women are being distressed and traumatised as they are cross examined in the Family Court by partners accused of abusing them. The former head of the Family Court, Alastair Nicholson, says women are being put through distress and justice is not being delivered as a direct result of cuts to Legal Aid. The retired chief justice says that the situation is so grim that men accused of physically or sexually abusing their partners are allowed to directly cross-examine their victims in court due to a lack of legal representation.




















Drugs & Alcohol

New laws target drug ingredients


Gordon Taylor - ABC





The ACT Legislative Assembly is set to debate changes to the Crimes Act today that will see much tougher penalties for people caught with the chemicals needed to make drugs. The Crimes Amendment Bill will mean that a person in possession of a substance that can be made into a drug will be presumed to be selling that drug, no matter how small the quantity.














Education

Qld premier lashes out at teachers' union


Kym Agius - Herald Sun





Queensland's premier and education minister say the teachers' union had better resign itself to the inception of the state government's education reforms. Campbell Newman's government plans to spend an extra $535 million on education over four years from 2015. Under the scheme, high-performing teachers would be paid bonuses, master teachers would be sent to struggling schools and principals would be put on performance-based contracts.










MOOCS: The future of education or mere marketing?

ABC





‘MOOCs’ stands for Massive Open Online Courses and, depending on your viewpoint, they’re either the future of education or a giant marketing scam. One thing’s for certain, they’re the buzz of the moment in the education sector and universities across the world are falling over themselves to get with the trend. It’s no exaggeration to say that MOOCs are the current buzz of the university sector. They may not have made it into the public consciousness yet, but they’re up for discussion at almost every major education conference or gathering these days.




















Gambling

Sydney Star casino seeks to extend licence


NineMSN





The proposal, if accepted by the state government, would effectively rule out James Packer's proposed $1 billion six-star Crown hotel and casino at Barangaroo. Premier Barry O'Farrell said the government received an unsolicited proposal from Echo Entertainment Group Ltd, operator of The Star, last month. The proposal seeks to extend the exclusivity aspect of the agreement, which limits NSW to a single gaming licence until 2019.
















Homelessness & Poverty

Youth homelessness matters


Allison Jess - ABC





Young people do hold hope and they do want better things for themselves. They may not always chose the right things but they want a brighter tomorrow." Former homeless youth Jasmine Mohr. Many young people are homeless in the Goulburn Murray region. To raise awareness and challenge stereotypes a group of young people have created the photographic book Changing Perceptions of Youth Homelessness.
















Politics

Churches blast reform 'tsunami'


Michelle Paine - The Mercury





Tasmania's church leaders have united to try to stop the "tsunami" of social changes being pushed by the State Government. Anglican Bishop John Harrower and Catholic Archbishop Adrian Doyle were among those today calling for the Government not to ignore Christian values as it pushed for legislative reform on euthanasia, abortion and same-sex marriage.










Churches band together on social policy

Calla Wahlquist - The Examiner





Tasmania's churches have banded together to produce a political position statement on controversial social policy being debated in parliament this year. The Salamanca Declaration was devised by members of the Pentecostal, Anglican, Catholic, Presbyterian and Baptist churches and calls for a return to traditional family values. Salamanca Declaration spokeswoman and Examiner columnist Claire van Ryn said the document represented the views of the 170,000 Tasmanians who are a member of one of the five churches.


















Refugees

Alarm as asylum-seeker boat reaches mainland


Paige Taylor - The Australian





Two brothers testing out a new dinghy in Geraldton yesterday came across the first asylum-seeker boat in five years to come within sight of mainland Australia undetected, carrying 66 Sri Lankans. The 45-foot boat, thought to have been donated to Sri Lanka by Deutsche Bank after the 2004 tsunami, arrived at one of Australia's busiest regional ports and the nation's second-largest for grain export, 430km north of Perth, at 12.45pm local time yesterday.














Religious Freedom & Persecution

Religious tensions escalate in Egypt amid violence


David Greene - NPR





Egypt suffered the worst religious violence over the weekend that it has seen since President Morsi came to power last year. Egyptians are already struggling with an economic crisis and political instability. Now, religious tensions appear to be boiling over.












Weekend of violence in Egypt

MNN online





Over the weekend, Egypt suffered its worst religious violence since President Morsi came to power last year. Open Doors Minister-at-Large Paul Estabrooks says tensions had already built up. "In light of some violence that occurred just days before the weekend, there was a funeral at St. Mark's Cathedral--the Coptic orthodox cathedral--which is the home of the pope of the Coptic Church, the main cathedral for the Coptic Christian believers."












Muslim persecution of Christians escalating in Pakistan

Mohshin Habib - Gatestone Institute





There is no provision in Pakistan's blasphemy law to punish a false accuser or a false witness. Since 1990, more than 65 Christians have been killed for "blasphemy;" more than 165 cases are waiting for verdicts. In recent years, the Christians of Pakistan have become one of the most vulnerable religious communities in the world. Most of the time, the Pakistani extremists use two common accusations to persecute the Christians: defamatory remarks toward Mohammed, and burning pages of Quran. Christians in Pakistan, a news site on behalf of the Pakistani Christian community, predicted that the situation is becoming alarming. The site alleges that there are currently many cases being reported of Christians being targeted, but no action to reform or address the problem by any government official.






















Sexualisation of Society

Moms fighting Victoria’s dirty little secret


World Mag





Twenty-two years ago, my military-wife friends and I used to spend our Friday evenings at Victoria’s Secret looking for something special to wear when our Marine husbands returned home from the Gulf War. We each had different tastes, but most of us drooled over the classy underpieces, like cream-colored satin garters or shimmery pale pink robes. The store was filled with high-quality, beautiful underwear that any mature woman would enjoy wearing. After a recent trip to the mall with my married daughter, I can tell you, Victoria’s Secret has come a long way, baby, but in the wrong direction.














Other

Margaret Thatcher obituaries overlook her 'Devout Christian faith'


Jeremy Weber - Christianity Today





Obituaries are flooding the Internet following the death today of Margaret Thatcher, the United Kingdom's first female prime minister—and one of the most controversial yet influential to ever hold the post. But overlooked is how her Christian faith inspired the Iron Lady's politics. "Few obituaries are likely to mention her devout Christian faith, which was the foundation of her political programme and the bedrock of her conviction for less government, lower taxes, more freedom and greater personal responsibility," notes Cranmer, a British blog on religion and politics.














Coalition's NBN cheaper, better- Abbott

SkyNews





Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott and communications spokesman Malcolm Turnbull have launched the coalition's national broadband network policy. Mr Abbott launched the coalition's broadband policy in Sydney on Tuesday with communications spokesman Malcolm Turnbull. 'We believe in a national broadband network,' Mr Abbott told reporters.












US: Is concern over the rise of the 'Nones' overblown?

Ruth Moon - Christianity Today





A recent Gallup report suggests that the number of religiously unaffiliated Americans, or "nones," may not be growing as quickly as widely thought. The "nones," who today represent almost 18 percent of U.S. adults, grew by only 0.3 percent in 2012—the smallest increase Gallup has seen since 2008 (when they numbered 14.6 percent). "We're getting bent out of shape over nothing. Institutional affiliation is not a spiritual issue—it's a generational one. Nearly every membership-based organization is losing members. Most people still come to faith through a relationship—regardless of generation."