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

Pro-life groups applaud selection of pro-life rep. Paul Ryan


Steven Ertelt - LifeNews





Leading pro-life groups are excited that presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has selected strongly pro-life Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate to take on pro-abortion President Barack Obama. By selecting Congressman Ryan as his vice presidential running mate, Governor Romney demonstrates his commitment to protecting American women and unborn children. A longtime pro-life advocate and a strong fiscal conservative, Congressman Ryan has insisted that there can be no ‘truce’ when it comes to advancing the rights of the unborn and achieving fiscal responsibility. He has a pristine pro-life voting record and will be an asset to Governor Romney’s campaign.














Bioethics

Health experts accuse pharmaceutical companies of wasting billions of dollars


Rosie Squires - News Limited





Health experts have slammed pharmaceutical companies for wasting billions of dollars developing new drugs that have few clinical advantages over existing ones. A controversial article published in the British Medical Journal argues most new drugs are no better than products already on the market - and some are harmful. The authors, Professor Donald Light from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and Joel Lexchin from York University in Toronto, claim companies are intentionally developing scores of minor variations of existing medicines they can profit from instead of developing breakthrough drugs. But not all medics agree.
















Children & Family

It smacks of ignorance to ban corporal punishment


Andre Renzaho - The Punch





Over the last five decades, Australia has experienced a cultural transformation due to increased migration. Migration brings with it some serious challenges. Family dynamics and gender roles change. You lose social networks and cultural identity. Then there’s the difficulty of interpreting and negotiating a new legal system. Yet one of the biggest challenges, that indeed divides Australian society, is that of parenting and parenting rules. Parenting in the new culture brings with it many intergenerational conflicts, simply because family values differ across cultures. Traditional parenting practices used in the home country may not be the norm in the new one.
















Donor Conception & Surrogacy

Govt backs egg and sperm donor ID


Andrea Hayward - NineMsn





It is up to the states and territories to legislate so that Australians conceived through sperm or egg donations can identify their donors, the federal government says. The government has backed a Senate committee's call for donor information to be made available but says there is no constitutional power for the Commonwealth to legislate comprehensively in the area.
















Drugs & Alcohol

Labor vows to get tougher on problem drinkers


Bridget Brennan - ABC





The Labor Party has announced plans to force problem drinkers on to income management if it is re-elected at the Northern Territory election. Chief Minister Paul Henderson says the government would also give police the powers to drug-test people involved in serious assaults, matching a Country Liberals policy announced earlier in the campaign. Mr Henderson says drugs and alcohol are often involved in violent crimes.














Education

Study in excellence as universities close on world's elite


Julie Hare - The Australian





Australia is on the way to having a world-class university system after five years of increased investment, says Glyn Davis, vice-chancellor of the country's top-ranked university. Melbourne is the highest-ranked Australian university in the latest Academic Ranking of World Universities, released today, which for the first time put five Australian institutions in the top 100. With 19 of its 39 universities in the top 500, Australia has the fourth most successful higher education system globally.














Gambling

Gangs no deterrent to Chinese gamblers


Leo Lewis - The Times





One hour 46 minutes was the length of the queue for immigration at the Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal in Macau last Saturday afternoon. Tedious, certainly, and a needlessly cruel time tax to impose on people about to drop stacks of money on the turn of a card, but not wildly unusual. Weekends normally strain Macau's hopelessly underpowered, bureaucratic infrastructure as thousands of Chinese jostle their way to the baccarat tables.


















Human Rights

US: State Department purges religious freedom section from its human rights reports


Pete Winn - CNS News





The U.S. State Department removed the sections covering religious freedom from the Country Reports on Human Rights that it released on May 24, three months past the statutory deadline Congress set for the release of these reports. The new human rights reports--purged of the sections that discuss the status of religious freedom in each of the countries covered--are also the human rights reports that include the period that covered the Arab Spring and its aftermath.














Corbell moves for tough religious hate laws

Lisa Cox - Canberra Times





The ACT government will propose changes to the territory's Discrimination Act to make religious vilification illegal. Attorney-General Simon Corbell will introduce a bill in the Legislative Assembly next week in response to the secret campaign by the Concerned Citizens of Canberra against the Gungahlin mosque. The bill will make it unlawful to publicly incite hatred, contempt or ridicule of a person based on their religion.














Indigenous

UN indigenous rep to probe mining impact


NineMSN





The top United Nations indigenous rights representative will visit Australia next week on a fact-finding mission to see how the Australian mining industry impacts on Aboriginal people. The UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous people, James Anaya, is set to meet 75 people from indigenous communities, the federal government and mining industry officials at a round table in Melbourne.












No new funding for petrol sniffing program

ABC





The Federal Government will not renew funding to a pilot program aimed at reducing petrol sniffing on remote Aboriginal lands in South Australia's outback. The Petrol Sniffing Strategy program at Indulkana on the APY lands in the state's far north was set up at the start of last year to engage local young people. It aims to stop them turning to drugs, alcohol and petrol sniffing by providing opportunities for education and employment.










Marriage

Backing gay marriage may lead to polygamy, South Australian Catholic Church says


Daniel Wills - AdelaideNow





A senior member of the South Australian Catholic Church has warned Premier Jay Weatherill's backing of gay marriage will open the door to polygamy and "weaken the family as the basis of society". Mr Weatherill has backed a move for SA to go alone on gay marriage if Federal Parliament does not move. There are legal disputes about whether states have the power to regulate marriage. Port Pirie Diocese Bishop Greg O'Kelly today issued a statement attacking Mr Weatherill's position.
















Overseas Aid

Australia's UN seat bid enters final phase


SBS





Australia's bid for a seat on the United Nations Security Council is entering its final frantic stage. The federal government agrees its bid for a United Nations Security Council seat is ultimately likely to come down to a 50/50 contest between Australia and Luxembourg. Two months out from the October vote, Foreign Minister Bob Carr says Australian diplomats and special envoys are staging a final blitz to try and win support from those nations still open to "persuasion".
















Politics

Abbott ignores precedent over poll date


Phillip Coorey - Sydney Morning Herald





Tony Abbott is trying to pressure Julia Gillard into holding an early election by claiming she would be cheating the public if she went beyond next August, three years after the 2010 election. But according to the rules stipulated by the constitution and the Electoral Act, the Prime Minister is entitled to wait until as late as November 30, 2013. In a pledge to the independents who supported Labor to form minority government, Ms Gillard said the next election would be held sometime between August and October 2013.












Lindsay Tanner backs media's right to fight

Christian Kerr - The Australian





The media is right to fight the prospect of government regulation raised by the Finkelstein inquiry, says former finance minister and fierce media critic Lindsay Tanner. The Finkelstein inquiry has called for the creation of a taxpayer-funded, statutory super regulator embracing print, radio, television and online media - including blogs receiving as few as 43 hits a day - with the power to impose sanctions on journalists and media companies.












Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

City hotels 'unaware' of brothel business


Beau Donelly - Melbourne Times





A prostitution racket is running illegal brothels out of at least three inner-city hotels under the nose of a police taskforce set up to crack down on the multi-million-dollar unlicensed sex industry. A Weekly investigation has revealed that at least 19 women work for a Chinese syndicate operating out of hotel rooms at Southbank's Crown Metropol, the Hotel Grand Chancellor on Lonsdale Street and West Melbourne's Flagstaff City motel. The mobile brothel advertises through Sweetybabe.net and has started promoting its services interstate.














Religious Freedom & Persecution

Christian leader falsely charged of blasphemy in Islamabad


Jibran Khan - AsiaNews





Once again, Pakistan's blasphemy law has been used to bring unsubstantiated charges against members of religious minorities. Rev Zafar Bhatti, president of the Jesus World Mission, is in prison after he was accused of violating the 'black law.' Judges now must decide whether or not to heed the appeal made on his behalf and release him on bail. A Muslim leader said the Christian clergyman sent him text messages that insulted Islam and the Prophet Muhammad. Catholic leaders and human rights activists have responded immediately, pleading for his innocence, noting that police has been subjected to pressures and that the case is vitiated by errors in law.














Refugees

Army to build tent city for refugees


Gemma Jones - The Daily Telegraph





Asylum seekers will be forced to live in tent cities while waiting for abandoned detention centres to be rebuilt, it was reve led last night. In a clear message to people smugglers that Australia's borders are closed, the army is to begin setting up camps at Nauru and Manus Island by the end of the week. Preparing the facilities for up to 2100 asylum seekers will cost $530 million. Running the centres, where asylum seekers could stay for up to five years, will cost almost $1.8 billion.












PNG leader ready to talk and offer keys to Manus Island

Daniel Flitton, Jo Chandler - SMH





Papua New Guinea's newly elected leader is willing to negotiate with Australia to open a detention centre for asylum seekers on Manus Island. The Prime Minister, Peter O'Neill, said it was a tragedy when boats full of people sank, pledging PNG would help Australia tackle what was a regional problem. His comments came in a statement issued after the review headed by the former Defence chief Angus Houston called for Australia to immediately seek to open a centre on Manus Island.














Gillard moves swiftly on Nauru option

Judith Ireland - SMH





Australian troops and officials could start work on reopening asylum seeker processing on Nauru by the end of the week, with the opposition poised to broadly support the governments' plan. After meeting with Defence chief David Hurley this morning, Prime Minister Julia Gillard said that reconnaissance work could begin by Friday. This comes as Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said the opposition had agreed to back the government's asylum seeker legislation - which would see offshore processing on Manus Island as well as Nauru - with some minor amendments.










'We're still coming' - boat people won't be deterred

Michael Bachelard - SMH





A group of Afghan exiles clustered anxiously around a computer in West Java on Monday, devouring news of Australia's latest policy U-turn on asylum seekers. The new policy is designed to deter men like these ethnic Hazaras from trying to reach Australia. But they insist they are determined to board a boat and make the hazardous trip.














Other

Gillard agrees to address Christian lobby


NineMSN





Prime Minister Julia Gillard has agreed to address the Australian Christian Lobby's (ACL) conference in October. ACL managing director Jim Wallace said the organisation had a policy of alternately inviting a major political party leader to its national conference.










Atheist PM to woo Christian lobby

Christain Kerr - The Australian





Julia Gillard, an atheist, is to be a keynote speaker at the Australian Christian Lobby's national conference in October. The ACL is credited with swinging the 2007 election Labor's way after Kevin Rudd successfully wooed and won support from the body. But the regular churchgoer Rudd was a very different figure to the self-confessed atheist who took his job.










Catholic church backs mandatory reporting

Petrina Berry - AAP





The Catholic Church in Brisbane says it supports an inquiry's suggestion that religious authorities should be required by law to report suspected child abuse. The Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry has raised extending mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse to include priests, churches and other religious organisations. Teachers, police, nurses, doctors and child safety offices are already required by law to report suspected child abuse and neglect.












Halal takeaway

David Richardson - Today Tonight





In Australia, halal food has exploded onto the market. Up to 80 per cent of our supermarket shelves stock halal approved foods. Now fast food chains, takeaways, and restaurants are turning halal.












State's first consorting verdict is overturned

Stephen Jeffery - SMH





The first man convicted under the state government's consorting laws has had his conviction overturned, with prosecutors admitting the case against him was inadequate. Charlie Foster, 21, was jailed for at least nine months for associating with other convicted offenders in the NSW town of Inverell. Although the laws were introduced to curtail bikie-related violence in Sydney's west, Mr Foster has no connections to outlaw motorcycle gangs or organised crime.