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.



 







Children & Family

One for mum, one for dad & one for our ageing population


Kevin Andrews - The Punch





When Peter Costello famously encouraged Australian families to have a child for Mum, one for Dad and one for the country, he was focused on a significant national challenge, the ageing of the population. Population ageing is the product of two demographic trends, longevity and a declining birthrate. It is a challenge for many western nations, including Australia.
















Education

McKim won't support school law change


Dinah Arndt - The Examiner





Tasmanian Education Minister Nick McKim won't be supporting a law change that will give Catholic schools the power to preference students of that faith ahead of others. The Examiner revealed today that the Greens Party was concerned about the state government's proposed changes to the Anti-Discrimination Act. Mr McKim stressed today that his position on the issue would in no way affect funding decisions for non-government schools, now or in the future.










Primary education standards improving

Katina Curtis - AAP





The COAG Reform Council is disappointed that there has been little improvement in education outcomes since 2008 but deputy chairman Greg Craven says there are enough positive results to suggest good things are happening. The Council of Australian Governments' annual report on school education, released on Wednesday, says Year Three reading and Year Five numeracy improved in 2011 but overall there was little change in students' results from 2008.














Environment

Consortium pulls plug on $1.2bn solar energy project


Jason Tin - The Courier-Mail





The Solar Dawn Consortium has confirmed it no longer plans to develop its beleaguered Western Downs facility, dashing any hopes of resurrecting the nation's largest solar energy project. The $1.2 billion Solar Dawn project - which was to begin construction of a 250 megawatt solar thermal power plant near Chinchilla in 2013 - was dealt a blow earlier this year when the Newman Government pulled out $75 million in funding.










Chinese secure northern foodbowl as row over Ord River lease continues

Sue Neales - The Australian





Chinese property development conglomerate Shanghai Zhongfu has won the sole right to develop 15,200ha of high-value irrigated agricultural land in northern Australia after the state and federal governments spent $510 million of taxpayer funds building road, irrigation, port and local community infrastructure to support the deal.
















Euthanasia

Even euthanasia advocates are disturbed by this story


Mamamia





Think that you know where you stand on the euthanasia debate? Think again. Channel 7's Sunday Night program went to air last night with a story that was both controversial and deeply confronting. Susan Potts was a healthy 89-year-old. She was fit, physically mobile and by all accounts living a happy and enjoyable life; unencumbered by the illness and disease that plague many others her age.










Gambling

Blow the whistle on bad sports


Jeff Kennett - Herald Sun





I am not against gambling - generally, adults can spend their money as they see fit. But society does not allow the promotion of poker machines nor games at a casino. Why do we allow gambling or betting on sporting events? I have written to the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader asking them to prohibit such promotion, and to Senator Xenophon and Mr Wilkie asking for consistency in their concerns about the promotion of gambling. We need a strong government to protect our young, to act before a problem emerges that is so big we won't be able to address it properly.






















Health

Teens born with HIV not telling partners

Washington Times





A significant number of sexually active U.S. teens who were born with HIV either didn’t know their own status when they started having sex, or they knew it but didn’t disclose it to their first sex partners, a new study says. These findings underscore the need for counseling on sex practices to youth who have been living with HIV since birth, said the study, which appears in the Dec. 1 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases.














Homelessness

Homelessness should not be a first world problem


Michael Perusco - The Punch





New figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show an 8 per cent increase in the homelessness rate on 2006 figures, a fact that should be a matter of concern for all Australians. The figures demonstrate that there is still a lot of work to be done to address homelessness and that far too many Australians are being pushed to the margins of society; struggling to find a way out and rebuild their lives.
















Indigenous

Abbott beats drum for more Indigenous MPs


Emma Masters - ABC





Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says he wants to see better representation of Aboriginal people in the national parliament. Mr Abbott has defended his push for former Territory Labor and now Country Liberals minister Alison Anderson to be selected to run in the central Australian seat of Lingiari in the upcoming Federal election.


















Politics

Believers recall spin-less oratory


Troy Bramston - The Australian





Labor elder John Faulkner has criticised politicians for focusing on "how" they communicate rather than "what" they communicate, arguing those who rely on 10-second soundbites and political slogans "have no desire to inspire us" like Gough Whitlam did four decades ago.












US Treasury quietly warns: 'Expect debt limit to be reached near end of 2012'

Terence P. Jeffrey CNS News





The U.S. Treasury quietly warned at the end of a statement issued last Wednesday that it expects the federal government to hit its legal debt limit before the end of this year--which means before the new Congress is seated--and that "extraordinary measures" will be needed before then to keep the government fully funded into the early part of 2013. On Aug. 2, 2011, President Obama signed a deal he had negotiated with congressional leaders to increase the debt limit of the federal government by $2.4 trillion. But, now, after only 15 months, almost all of that additional borrowing authority has been exhausted.
















Religious Freedom & Persecution

Government regulates church communion


WND





A government agency that oversees charities in the United Kingdom has decided that a local Christian congregation cannot be registered because it does not open its communion services to just any outsider. The decision by the U.K.’s Charity Commission is being reported by The Christian Institute, which has been working on the case of the Plymouth Brethren assembly in Devon for seven years.














Refugees

Syrian refugees face 'unprecedented suffering'


AFP





Cardinal Robert Sarah, an envoy sent by the pope to Lebanon in lieu of a Vatican mission to Syria, said that he had witnessed "unprecedented suffering" among refugees fleeing the civil war. "I arrived at the border with Syria and, unfortunately, I saw unprecedented suffering," Sarah told Sunday's edition of the Holy See's newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano. "A mother wanted to entrust to me her four-month-old son, because she had left her husband behind in Syria and didn't know when she would see him again. Christian refugees asked me to beg the pope to help them return home," he said.














Sexualisation of Society

No more vanilla: how the internet killed the call girl


Annika Cleeve - Crikey





Porn is everywhere on the internet, giving people access to all sorts of different fetishes. Annika Cleeve, a sex worker with 18 years experience, says this is having a marked effect on people’s sexpectations. I started working in the sex industry in the early ’80s, at age 15, and retired in the early 2000s. During that time I have seen many changes, some good and some bad?—?namely changes to welfare policy, gender roles, public perceptions of sexuality and sex workers. The most glaring change has been what I refer to as client sexpectations.
















Other

Boycotting Jews yet again


Jonathan J. Ariel - Online Opinion





The caravan will roll back into Sydney later this week. The caravan of hate that is. This Thursday at 6:00pm at Parramatta Town Hall in western Sydney, a crowd of protestors will assemble before marching towards a suburban shopping mall in order to taunt the management, staff and patrons of a Jewish owned franchised café called Max Brenner.










Youth's disengagement is 'alarming'

Katina Curtis - AAP





It is alarming that a quarter of young Australians are not in full-time work or study, industry representatives say. The COAG Reform Council was baffled by the finding in its latest reports, released on Wednesday, that there was a significant group of young Australians who were neither earning nor learning. The council found the proportion of 18- to 24-year-olds fully engaged in employment, education or training had dropped to 72.5 per cent in 2011.