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

Jury finds abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell guilty of three murders


AP





A Philadelphia abortion doctor has been found guilty of first-degree murder and could face execution in the deaths of three babies who authorities say were delivered alive and then killed with scissors at his grimy clinic, in a case that became a flashpoint in the nation's debate over abortion. Dr Kermit Gosnell, 72, was cleared in the death of a fourth baby, who prosecutors say let out a soft whimper before he snipped its neck. Gosnell was also found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the drug-overdose death of a patient who had undergone an abortion.


















Bioethics

Premature babies used in East German drug trials for West


David Charter - The Times





Premature babies were among thousands of hospital patients in East Germany used as guinea pigs in drugs trials by Western pharmaceutical companies during the Cold War era, according to researchers who combed through security and medical files. About 600 clinical trials were carried out in 50 hospitals behind the Iron Curtain for the benefit of patients in the West, including tests of the hormone erythropoietin (EPO) on newborns to encourage red blood cell development.


















Children & Family

Budget 2013: Baby bonus and family funds take hit as government aims to save $43 billion


Malcolm Farr - News Limited





Funds for families will be scythed by close to $5 billion as the government sets out to harvest $43 billion in spending cuts over four years, the Budget reveals. It will be a bitter harvest for many voters in an election year, with extra household expenses for a range of activities - from having a baby to having a cigarette. Family-based payments will be cut by about $2.5 billion over four years and the pause in indexation of Family Tax Benefit-A continued, forestalling any rise in its benefits.
























Drugs & Alcohol

Meth use doubles across Melbourne: report


AAP





Ambulance call-outs for alcohol and drug abuse have dramatically increased across Melbourne, a new report says. The city's use of crystal methamphetamine, known as ice or meth, has more than doubled within 12 months, says the report, released on Tuesday. Paramedics were called to deal with 592 crystal meth cases across the city in 2011-2012, compared with 282 a year earlier, and 136 in 2009-2010.












Adult industry wants synthetic drugs renamed social tonics

Daniel Piotrowski - news.com.au





Synthetic drugs should be renamed "social tonics" to differentiate them from illicit substances, an Australian adult industry group has said. The Eros Association has controversially rebranded synthetic drugs - which are chemically-laced substances such as Kronic, a synthetic cannabis, sold over the counter at some adult-only shops and tobacconists - as "social tonics” in industry material.
















Gambling

Missing details: the sanitisation of Tom Waterhouse's Wikipedia page


James Robertson and Melissa Davey - SMH





He claimed vindication in Monday's Racing NSW inquiry, but staff for Tom Waterhouse have sometimes preferred to give the truth a nudge, rather than presume it will prevail on its own steam. Mr Waterhouse's employees have been sanitising the bookmaker's Wikipedia page, removing references to parliamentary inquiries into the march of sports betting into lounge rooms and even his turn on the Dancing With the Stars program.


















Indigenous

Aboriginal adoption 'ignores culture'


Paul Toohey - News Limited





Calls by Northern Territory Chief Minister Adam Giles for neglected Aboriginal children to be adopted into safe homes has met with both strong support and bitter personal recrimination. Mr Giles, an indigenous man, told News Limited that fears of another Stolen Generation had seen Aboriginal children left to wander, sniffing petrol, becoming sexualised and abused.












Marriage

Brazil clears way for gay marriage


AAP





A top judicial panel has cleared the way for same-sex marriage in Brazil, ruling that gay couples cannot be denied marriage licenses. The National Council of Justice, which oversees the Brazilian judicial system and is headed by the chief justice of the Supreme Court, on Tuesday said government offices that issue marriage licenses had no standing to reject gay couples.










Is the tide turning on gay marriage in the US?

ABC





In the United States there is a sense the tide is turning on gay marriage. The president Barack Obama has backed it, it's been on the Supreme Court's agenda and polls suggest the general public's view is evolving.














Overseas Aid

US, UK to push for new Syrian government


Kitty Donaldson and Roger Runningen - SMH





The UK and US aim to increase pressure on the Assad regime to provide humanitarian aid even as they work to strengthen the moderate opposition, in steps leading to a post- Assad democracy.










We cannot afford to break our aid promise

Simon McKeon - ABC





Subverting Australia's aid money for short-term political expediency risks the investment Australia and the world has made in aid over the last three decades, writes Simon McKeon. For the second time as Foreign Minister, Bob Carr is set to oversee a significant long-term cut to the aid program. Whilst the Gillard Government will meet its projected aid spend in today's budget, it has again deferred a longer term promise made to the world's poor.














Politics

Nothing sweet in these numbers


Mark Kenny - SMH





Middle income families, parents to be, and smokers will lose out in Wayne Swan’s sixth budget designed to repair the debt-ridden bottom line and convince voters of Labor’s economic management credentials. Declaring the budget to be about ‘‘consistency’’, Mr Swan has eschewed the traditional pre-election spendathon, opting to challenge the opposition to ‘‘choose between making motherhood statements about ending the age of entitlement, or putting their words into action’’ by backing savings initiatives.
















Vote to bypass states doomed

Adam Creighton - The Australian





A referendum to recognise local government in the Constitution is poised to fail as at least two states, key Liberal MPs and leading academics voice strident opposition to the proposal. Hopes of bipartisanship -- considered crucial to the referendum's chances of success -- are crumbling and the NSW and Victorian state governments have announced their opposition to the referendum, which is designed to allow the federal government to bypass the states and fund local councils directly.














Refugees

Syrian refugees in desperate need of help, aid groups say


Meagan Fitzpatrick - CBC News





A group of major Canadian aid organizations is launching a new fundraising appeal aimed at Canadians who want to help Syrian refugees but who feel "paralyzed" and unsure about how to give. The Humanitarian Coalition told a press conference on Parliament Hill Tuesday that at least 6.8 million people are in need of immediate assistance in Syria and in the surrounding countries where they have fled. Three million children are among those in need and more than 1.4 million are living in refugee camps. Every day, thousands more leave their homes in Syria in search of safety.
















Religious Freedom & Persecution

Saudi Arabia to punish men over Christian woman convert


Reuters





A court in Saudi Arabia has sentenced two men to lashes and prison terms for converting a woman to Christianity and helping her flee the conservative Islamic kingdom, the Saudi Gazette reported on Monday. A Lebanese man was sentenced to six years in prison and 300 lashes for converting the woman, while a Saudi man was sentenced to two years and 200 lashes for aiding her escape abroad, the English-language daily said. It added that the pair had challenged the verdict and would appeal.














The endangered Arab Christian

Fiorello Provera - Project Syndicate





The recent abductions of Syriac Orthodox Archbishop Yohanna Ibrahim and his Greek Orthodox counterpart, Paul Yazigi, reflect not only the increasing brutality of Syria’s civil war, but also the escalating crisis for Christians across the Arab world – one that could end up driving them away altogether. According to the International Society for Human Rights, 80% of all acts of religious persecution worldwide in 2012 were directed at Christians. This surge in discrimination against Christian communities in countries where they have lived for many centuries can be explained largely by increasing Islamist militancy and the rise of political Islam in the wake of the Arab Spring.












Anti-Christian hostility behind Boko Haram killing spree in Nigeria

Morning Star News





Anti-Christian hostility drove an Islamic extremist killing spree in this village in northeastern Nigeria, though the attack was portrayed mainly as politically motivated, an area Christian leader says. In the course of an attempt to attack the deputy governor of Adamawa state last month, gunmen from the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram killed 14 Christians, including the cousin and two nephews of the Rev. Moses Thliza, head of a Christian organization dedicated to preventing AIDS and caring for AIDS patients and orphans.














Sexualisation of Society

Germany's Greens probe 'paedophile links'


Brisbane Times





Germany's opposition Greens party has decided to designate an independent researcher to shed light on the influence a pro-paedophilia group had within the party in the 1980s, a leading party member says. The advocates of legalising sex with children were part of a group also pushing for gay, lesbian and transsexual rights in the early days of the party that grew out of the 1970s peace, anti-nuclear and ecologist movements.
















Other

Top 5 Christian leaders targeted by gay activists


Napp Nazworth - Christian Post





Defending what the Bible teaches about homosexuality can often lead to public condemnation from gay activists. In recent years especially, Christians have been ridiculed and called bigots for their beliefs. Here are five well-known Christian leaders who have been targeted for their beliefs.






How Syria killed the “Arab Spring”

Daniel Greenfield - Front Page Mag





The best evidence of the unlamented death of the Arab Spring (2010-2013) was the nervous response in Washington D.C. to the Syrian crossing of the Red Line. The Red Line had been set up so that Assad would eventually run afoul of it, whether by using chemical weapons or by taking the blame for chemical weapons use by the rebels; as the UN alleges happened. Once the Red Line was crossed, the Liberators of Libya would use the opportunity to enforce the will of the people; at least those people with Qatari RPGs and Turkish machine guns.