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

Tony Abbott defends his position on abortion after criticism from blogger Mia Freedman


AAP





Opposition leader Tony Abbott has defended his position on the controversial abortion drug RU486 while he was a health minister in the Howard government. Mr Abbott was responding to comments from blogger Mia Freedman that his attempts to keep a ban on the drug as minister remained an issue for some female voters.


















Classification

South Korea‘s porn fight ’like shoveling in a blizzard‘


Korea Herald





Moon Tae-Hwa stares at his computer, dizzy and nauseous from the hours of porn he‘s viewed online while his wife and children slept. He feels no shame only a righteous sense of mission. ``I feel like I’m cleaning up dirty things,‘’ the devout Christian and family counselor said.










'One of the most repellent movies I have ever seen': Film critic Christopher Tookey on a worrying trend

Christopher Tookey - Daily Mail





Christopher Tookey describes the British Board of Film Classification's decision to reverse a ban on Human Centipede II as 'the most lily-livered act in its inglorious history'. He says that such films would never have made it past the censors before controversial 1996 film Crash.














Drugs & Alcohol

Older teens keep up the binge


AAP





Older high school children are continuing to drink at risky levels but alcohol use by younger teenagers is dropping, a national survey shows. A survey of 25,000 Australian high school students, carried out every three years, found about one in five pupils were "current drinkers", having consumed alcohol in the past seven days.










Rapid detox director has licence taken

Deborah Snow - SMH





The director of controversial Sydney clinic Psych n Soul, which offered experimental naltrexone treatments and rapid detoxification for heroin and methadone addicts, has had his psychology licence cancelled after damning findings by the NSW Psychologists Tribunal. Ross Colquhoun, who was neither a medical doctor nor (the tribunal found) a formally qualified clinical psychologist, has been ordered to cease working in the field.














Education

Rankings highlight problems in reading levels for Australian primary school children


Justine Ferrari - The Australian





Primary students have a "substantial problem" in reading, with 25 per cent failing to meet the minimum standard for their age in international tests, while maths and science skills in primary and high school have stagnated over the past 16 years. In the first international test of primary students, Australian year 4 students scored the lowest of the English-speaking nations in reading, ranked 27th out of 48 countries tested, comparable to Bulgaria, Slovenia and Lithuania.
















Euthanasia

A path to oblivion?


Jacqueline Laing - Mercator Net





In 2008, a year after the Mental Capacity Act 2005 came into force, the Liverpool Care Pathway was recommended as the Department of Health’s end-of-life care strategy. Only a year later 300 hospitals, 560 care homes and 130 hospices in England had rolled out the programme. Around 130,000 people a year now are reported to die on the Pathway (29 percent of the annual 450,000). Freedom of Information Act requests performed by one enterprising journalist subsequently revealed financial incentives to hospitals and care homes that implemented the programme.


















Human Rights

'Crisis-hit' Vic Legal Aid cuts services


NineMSN





Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) is tightening eligibility criteria and cutting services, with lawyers claiming the system is in crisis. The changes, announced after lawyers told a rally VLA was in crisis due to increased demand and lack of funding, will mostly affect family law but also those facing criminal, children's and civil court proceedings.
















Marriage

ACT Marriage Equality and the Constitution


Glen Fuller - Crikey





The dust has settled on the recent ACT Election and a Labor-Greens government has been returned. Student journalist Jelisa Apps follows up on her earlier story to examine the issue of marriage equality and the Australian constitution. The legalisation of same-sex marriage is officially coming to the ACT. Marriage equality was announced by Shane Rattenbury on the 2nd of November as part of the Parliamentary Agreement between ACT Labor and the Greens. In his press conference he said, “we have agreed we will legislate for marriage equality in the ACT in light of the failure of the Federal Parliament to pass marriage equality laws at a national level.”
















Refugees

Government to defend right to indefinitely detain refugees


Harriet Alexander - SMH





The federal government will defend its right to keep refugees in indefinite detention by claiming a High Court judgment in relation to one Sri Lankan asylum seeker does not apply to boat people. Fifty-five asylum seekers are being held in detention indefinitely because they have been found to be genuine refugees, so they cannot be returned to their home countries, but ASIO has given them an adverse security assessment, so they cannot be settled in Australia. No third country is willing to take them.














Sexualisation of Society

Sex texts epidemic Experts warn sharing explicit photos corrupting children

Daniel Martin - The Daily Mail





Boys and girls as young as 13 routinely swap explicit pictures of themselves, a disturbing investigation reveals today.

Children are now so sexualised the practice has become ‘mundane and mainstream’. One girl told researchers: ‘I get asked for naked pictures at least two or three times a week.’ A boy said: ‘You would have seen a girl’s breasts before you’ve seen their face’ while another youngster referred to so-called sexting as ‘the new flirting’. Yesterday censors were forced to announce a crackdown on depraved films amid fears they distort the way teenage boys view women.












Other

Where’s the harm in teaching our kids about Christmas?


Dale Stephenson - The Punch





When my girls were in primary school more than a decade ago we saw the secularisation and commercialisation of Christmas, and it worried us. Today, it barely resembles what was a common cultural belief just a generation ago. Primary school Christmas carols rarely mention anything to do with the baby in a manger, let alone explain who he was. Sadly, many kids growing up in primary school today do not even know, let alone understand, the big stories that shaped our civilisation - like the baby in a manger. At the same time a small, angry minority wants to rid our society of any religion or spirituality.