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

Senator pushes to remove funding for abortions


Lenore Taylor - The Sydney Morning Herald





DLP senator John Madigan will introduce a private member's bill on Wednesday seeking to remove Medicare funding for abortions ''procured on the basis of gender selection''. Senator Madigan, who could hold a balance-of-power vote in the Senate after the September election, told Fairfax Media he would ''seek support from other politicians who are on the record as being pro-life''. Senator Madigan said he had ''seen data that abortion on the basis of gender selection is happening overseas and that means it is likely to be happening here'' although he conceded it was ''difficult to get Australian data'' on the issue.


















Children & Family

Cash Grab: Inactive bank accounts to be seized


Stephen McMahon - News Limited Network





Households face losing up to $109 million from their family savings as the Federal government moves to seize cash from inactive bank accounts. After legislation was rushed through parliament, the government will from May 31 be able to transfer all money from accounts that have not been used for three years into their own revenues.


















Drugs & Alcohol

Underweb anger as Silk Road seller does a runner


Asher Moses - SMH





The top Australian seller on underground online drug marketplace Silk Road has gone rogue and made off with tens of thousands of dollars, while several other Australian sellers appear to be missing in action. The exodus comes after 32-year-old Paul Howard was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in jail this month by a Melbourne judge after being caught using Silk Road to import a "smorgasbord" of drugs such as cocaine, MDMA and amphetamine, which he then sold.
















Education

Gillard ups the ante on schools


Jewel Topsfield - SMH





Victoria is expected to receive a quarter of the additional $6.5 billion a year to be spent on schools under the Gillard government's funding reforms - four times what the Baillieu government is offering in its alternative plan. Fairfax Media understands that, based on population share, Victoria would receive about $1.6 billion extra a year in combined state and federal funding by 2019, when the Gillard government's full school improvement plan would come into place.














Safe sex program launched in Newcastle

ABC





In an effort to boost safe sex practices in the Hunter, an education program is being launched to target people under 25-year-olds. As concern over the nation's sexually transmitted disease and infection rates rise, Family Planning New South Wales says it wants to go a step further than just giving out free contraception. Students at Newcastle University are being offered condom credits cards at various youth centres, which includes free contraception and a safe sex talk with a trained worker.
















Euthanasia

Husband avoids jail in voluntary euthanasia case


Jacqui Peake - ABC





The case of a man who was sentenced for the attempted murder of his sick wife has again shed light on the issue of voluntary euthanasia. Heinz Klinkermann, 73, of Yandoit, near Daylesford, was given an 18-month supervised community corrections order after attempting to kill himself and his terminally ill wife. The Victorian Supreme Court heard he had been communicating with the pro-euthanasia group, Exit International.






Tasmania leads way on voluntary euthanasia

George Williams - SMH





Australia's politicians have long had a deaf ear when it comes to community support for voluntary euthanasia. This looks set to change in Tasmania, where its leaders have begun the process of translating that support into law. This is happening in a way that bucks the national political narrative. Rather than replicating the messy divorce of their federal counterparts, Labor's Premier, Lara Giddings, and the Greens leader and minister, Nick McKim, have joined forces to champion the cause of voluntary assisted dying. They are the first leaders in government to do so for more than 15 years.












Health

Survey finds mental health ignorance


Clifford Fram - AAP





Australians are quick to use psychiatric terms to describe everyday feelings but many lack basic knowledge about mental illness. Research by the National Mental Health Commission has found many Australians, in fact, "don't know a single sign to look out for". A report on the research, titled Can we talk ... about mental health and suicide? is based on informal group discussions in several cities.
















Human Rights

Our freedom of speech is being eroded


Peter Bartlett - Herald Sun





These are troubling times for freedom of expression in Australia. Political correctness is being taken to new levels. The Federal Government is considering a myriad of proposals that would limit your right to know what you have a right to know and our media faces an onslaught of more restrictions. Freedom is a fragile thing in Australia - we have no constitutional protection for freedom of speech. We're not the United States where freedom of expression is protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution, or Europe where it's protected by Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. This lack of constitutional protection means we must be vigilant against threats to our fundamental rights - and we should be very worried.














Marriage

US: Polls showing increasing support for gay marriage accused of being 'skewed'


Leonardo Blair - Christian Post





Results of two polls recently published by the Washington Post suggesting that Americans are increasingly in favor of same-sex marriage and opposed to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) have come under criticism from the Pennsylvania Pastors' Network, which contends that the results "are likely skewed" in favor of the gay rights advocacy groups that commissioned them.




















Politics

WA leaders tackle tricky moral queries


Kate Emery - The West Australian





Premier Colin Barnett and Opposition Leader Mark McGowan fielded questions last night from church leaders on same-sex marriage, abortion and prostitution but the closest thing the audience got to an election promise was a pledge to make Easter Sunday retail-free, Mr McGowan made the vow in his opening address to the Australian Christian Lobby forum in Perth, saying "it should be a day of rest" like Anzac Day. Mr Barnett used his address to about 300 people to spruik what he said was the Liberal Government's strong record on social justice.






Barnett, McGowan debate before Christians

Nine News





An audience of Christians has given conservative West Australian Premier Colin Barnett rousing applause at an election debate but opposition leader Mark McGowan got the most laughs despite the weighty topics. Speaking at an Australians Christian Lobby forum on Tuesday night, Mr Barnett said he would push ahead with plans to regulate the prostitution trade, possibly adopting a Swedish law, whereby it is illegal to procure sexual services.














Refugees

Legislation on Manus to go to PNG cabinet


Eoin Blackwell - AAP





Legislation allowing the processing of asylum seekers housed on Manus Island is expected to go before Papua New Guinea's cabinet on Wednesday. The announcement, by PNG Immigration Minister Rimbink Pato, comes after his Australian counterpart, Brendan O'Connor, paid a visit to the three-month-old, Australian-run centre on Monday. "It will be approved by cabinet tomorrow and I should be able to sign off soon thereafter," Mr Pato told AAP on Tuesday.


















Sexualisation of Society

Why unlucky thirteen is the danger age for girls


Kerrie Davies - The Punch





When my 12 year old daughter finished year six, we had an end of primary school disco party on our apartment building’s rooftop. They danced and giggled; my main concern was if there was enough food. That party would also be a farewell to innocence. Within six months, she’d been invited to a 13 year old’s harbour boat party with the invite warning: “No alcohol. Bags will be searched.” She’d feel the peer pressure to have sex. And she’d smoke and drink.














Other

$110,000 wasted with gay abandon at Taylor Square


Vikki Campion - The Daily Telegraph





Oxford St's rainbow crossing has cost ratepayers $1018 per sq m - even though the controversial stripes will have to be cleaned off the road in a month. Sydney City Council has allocated $110,000 for the crossing, including $40,000 for paint and traffic management, $7400 for road safety audits, $7100 for video surveillance, $5000 for variable message boards and $6000 for RMS traffic crossing markings and $30,000 to remove it. The council hired 20 contractors to paint the crossing, measuring 6m x 18m, in one night.
















The increasing threat from Islam

Des Moore - Online Opinion





The anti-Islamic presentations by leading Dutch politician, Geert Wilders, during his visit to Australia have produced dismissive reactions from many quarters. But these are instinctive reactions that indicate a failure to properly examine the analysis presented by Wilders (and others). By comparison, the Muslim organisers of a "Peace Conference and Exhibition" at Melbourne Showgrounds appear to have been allowed to import 15 international speakers who include extremist Muslims who have made outrageous statements. The organisers also claim that Prime Minister Gillard will attend the conference.














California Bill to remove boy scouts' tax exemption could backfire, says pastor

Michael Gryboski - Christian Post





A conservative pastor who opposes a proposed bill in California that would remove the Boy Scouts of America's tax exemption status has stated that the effort could backfire on gay rights advocates. The Rev. Lou Sheldon, founder of the Traditional Values Coalition, told The Christian Post that Calif. Senate Bill 323 "may never see a vote." "Maybe this will be the beginning of cracking the steel fist of the Democratic Party over the people of California," said Sheldon.