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

Mitt and Condi? Pros and cons ...


Russ Jones - OneNewsNow





At least one pro-family leader is expressing concern over conjecture that Mitt Romney could pick former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as a running mate. A recent article on the Drudge Report claiming Condolezza Rice is a possible VP choice for Romney created a buzz with Washington insiders.


















Bioethics

Anti-ageing pills could be a reality


SMH





It sounds too good to be true: a pill that alleviates the worst aspects of ageing. But anti-ageing drugs could be closer than we think, according to international genetics and ageing expert Dame Linda Partridge. In fact, a drug already licensed to treat cancer is getting the results scientists are after in animals. However, the drug — a natural product initially discovered in the soil of Easter Island — has its downside.
















Children & Family

It's bye-bye backyard for families


Catherine Armitage - SMH





Sydney's present crop of families starting out in the housing market may come to be thought of as the ones who lost the backyard. The block with a swing, a trampoline or a makeshift cricket pitch out the back is increasingly out of reach for young couples. They are bringing up their kids in apartments or townhouses instead.














Drugs & Alcohol

Shopkeeper lauded for halting booze sales


Alison Caldwell - ABC





As New South Wales reels from the death of teenager Tom Kelly during a night out in Kings Cross, a Melbourne shopkeeper has won praise from police for voluntarily abandoning alcohol sales. For 15 years Grant Miles has run a licensed supermarket in Footscray in Melbourne's inner west. He says he has seen the effects of alcohol abuse in the streets around his business and he wanted to do something about it. "I've decided to tear up my liquor licence," Mr Miles said.












Action on Kings Cross

Josephine Tovey - SMH





The state government began an audit of all licensed premises in Kings Cross last night as politicians, police, representatives of the liquor industry and community members gathered at a packed public forum to debate how to tackle alcohol-fuelled violence in Kings Cross. The Hospitality Minister, George Souris, announced at a forum hosted by the Herald that the government would create a plan of management for the area, which the Premier's Department would draft.


















Environment

Brown wants no gas hub in whale nursery


Steve Lillebuen and Rebecca Le May - AAP





Scientists are still studying the "massive whale nursery" that surrounds Woodside's contentious gas hub project in Western Australia's Kimberley, former Greens leader Bob Brown says. Dr Brown will soon join activists from Sea Shepherd - better known for their efforts against Japanese whaling - in protesting against the Browse gas project. It's his first major campaign since retiring from politics last month.










Uproar over pig-dogging 'blood sport'

Caro Meldrum-Hanna - ABC





Animal rights activists are in up in arms over a brutal and highly aggressive form of hunting known as pig-dogging. The practice involves training dogs to hunt and kill wild boars and is the only form of conservation hunting in Australia that pits two animals against each other.














Homelessness

Making all the difference


Michael Short - The Age





Surely the measure of a society is how its most marginalised and vulnerable people are treated. Australia is one of the most prosperous nations; we should be making handsome progress ameliorating social and economic hardship. Well, although millions of people are striving to make things better through volunteering or donating or working with not-for-profit and community organisations, our population as a whole is not making the difference you might expect or even demand.
















Indigenous

APY women call for income management


Jeff Waters - ABC





The senior women of some of Australia's most remote Aboriginal communities say their children are suffering because they have been left out of the Federal Government's income management schemes. Community leaders in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) lands in South Australia say income management, which has divided opinion in the Northern Territory, would help stop domestic violence, child abuse and neglect.
















Politics

Gillard stuck in rut as Rudd battle looms large again


Lenore Taylor - SMH





The Labor Party is again battling leadership speculation as it languishes in the opinion polls and struggles to reach an agreement with the Greens to break the damaging deadlock on asylum policy. The chief government whip, Joel Fitzgibbon, insisted yesterday he had just been ''stating the obvious'' when he said on the Q&A program on Monday night that leaders who remained unpopular for a long time ''inevitably stop leading the party''.














Labor figures split on Gillard's future

Paul Osborne - AAP





Labor figures are split over the future of Prime Minister Julia Gillard, with the head of Australia's largest union saying she remains safe but others saying her days are numbered. Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees' Association national secretary Joe de Bruyn's support for Ms Gillard comes as the ALP resists opposition calls for senior MP Joel Fitzgibbon to step aside after he suggested Ms Gillard could not remain leader if her poll ratings remained poor.












Labor, Greens ready to face-off in by-election

Alison Savage - ABC





After an increasingly bitter war-of-words between Labor and the Greens, the two parties will step into the ring in Victoria on Saturday to fight for the prized state seat of Melbourne. Held by Labor for more than a century, Melbourne gives the Greens its best chance of snatching its first seat in the lower house of State Parliament. It would also make the Victorian capital the only place in Australia represented by a Green at both a state and federal level.












Labor’s Green dalliance doomed from the start

David Penberthy - The Punch





To the extent that it is remembered at all, Simon Crean’s two-year stint as Labor leader is notable solely for the protracted and indulgent internal debate over union representation within the ALP. At one point Crean was depicted in caricature on the front page of Sydney’s Daily Telegraph holding a magnifying glass to his navel under the blunt headline Get On With It. The headline captured the sense that the party should better busy itself with the business of producing policy, rather than rabbiting on endlessly about itself. At least Labor was in Opposition at the time. Fast forward to 2012 and the party has again meandered into a lengthy external discussion rather than holding a swift and decisive internal debate about its relationship with the Greens.














O'Farrell 'comfortable' to vacate Heffron

AAP





NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell says he is comfortable with the Liberal Party's decision not to field a candidate in the August 25 by-election for the seat of his Labor predecessor Kristina Keneally. Parliamentary Speaker Shelley Hancock on Monday announced a poll date for the southeast Sydney electorate of Heffron, two weeks after Ms Keneally resigned from politics to head Basketball Australia.
















Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Death linked to alleged sex slavery


Nick McKenzie - The Age





Detectives have charged a suspected member of a sex trafficking syndicate with murder over the brutal 2009 death of Melbourne man Abraham Papo, who was allegedly killed while attempting to help a Korean prostitute.














Religious Freedom & Persecution

UK hotel replaces Gideon Bibles with pornographic novel 'Fifty Shades of Grey'


Nicola Menzie - Christian Post





Best-selling novel "Fifty Shades of Grey" by British author E.L. James may be outpacing the Bible in popularity, as one British hotel manager has decided to chuck Gideon bibles traditionally stocked in guest rooms for copies of the racy novel. Wayne Bartholomew, General Manager of Damson Dene Hotel in Cumbria, Northwest England, says he got the idea to swap out copies of the holy book for the otherwise unholy one after a discussion with fans on Facebook.








Gaza Christians protest 'forcible conversions'

The Associated Press





Dozens of Gaza Christians staged a rare public protest Monday, claiming two congregants were forcibly converted to Islam and were being held against their will. The small but noisy demonstration showed the increasingly desperate situation facing the tiny minority. "If things remain like this, there'll be no Christians left in Gaza," said Huda Al-Amash, mother of one of the converts.


















Refugees

Few signs of compromise on asylum seekers


AAP





There are few signs of a political compromise on asylum-seeker policy as an independent expert panel prepares to meet MPs in Canberra. The meeting follows the interception of another asylum-seeker boat off Christmas Island on Monday night. Australian Greens leader Christine Milne says expert opinion and real-world evidence might sway the panel towards her party's policy of onshore processing.














Sexualisation of Society

Covergirl Samantha Harris says 13 is not too young to model


Genevieve Gannon - AAP





Astralain covergirl Samantha Harris has defended a magazine modelling competition that named a 13-year-old girl as its winner. Dolly magazine sparked controversy earlier this month after it chose Kirsty Thatcher as the winner of its national model search. Thatcher's prize includes a cover shoot with the magazine and a contract with the high-profile Chadwick Model Agency.










Other

New political party ‘Australian Christians’ run into early opposition from their own side


Kaley Payne - Eternity Newspaper





A new political party, Australian Christians, can use its name despite complaints by some Victorian Christians, after a ruling by the Victorian Electoral Commission. Australian Christians has been set up by the Christian Democratic Party (CDP), trialling a broader brand name to gain traction for Christians in the Senate, according to CDP leader, Rev Fred Nile, who spoke with Eternity this morning.













br/>Retired judge Whitlam heads inquiry into church handling of 'Father F'

Leesha McKenny - SMH





The Catholic Church has appointed a retired Federal Court judge to head an inquiry into its handling of a NSW priest who admitted sexually abusing boys as young as 10. Antony Whitlam, QC, a former federal politician and the son of the former prime minister Gough Whitlam, was appointed to lead the independent inquiry jointly commissioned by the Bishop of Armidale, Michael Kennedy, and the Bishop of Parramatta, Anthony Fisher.