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.



 







Donor Conception & Surrogacy

Why we just can't let go of our last embryo


Jen Vuk - SMH





In the same week I read about a soaring demand for donated embryos, we received our quarterly storage invoice. There are more than 100,000 frozen embryos - including ours, our last one - in storage in Australia and yet demand is now ''outstripping supply by about 20 to one, meaning hundreds of people are on waiting lists at IVF clinics hoping for an embryo'', as Fairfax reported earlier this month. It's a curious situation but, as researchers from the University of Technology, Sydney discovered, many Australian couples (more than 40 per cent) are simply refusing to donate their spare embryos.
















Environment

Combet ditches carbon floor price in deal with Europe


ABC





Australia and the European Union will be linked in what will become the world's largest carbon market under a deal announced by Climate Change Minister Greg Combet today. Mr Combet said Australia was ditching its earlier plans to impose a floor price on carbon when the current fixed-price carbon tax moves to a floating market mechanism in July 2015.
















Gambling

Pokies trial could be sunk: ClubsACT


Lisa Martin - news.com





A parliamentary deadlock could spell game over for a proposed trial of poker machine reforms in the ACT, ClubsACT warns. The Gillard government's trial of mandatory pre-commitment technology at Canberra gaming venues was due to start in February. Negotiations with ClubsACT have stalled while the federal government seeks support in parliament to introduce its gambling reform legislation.










Aristocrat leisure lifts profit by 40%

Trevor Chappell - news.com





Gaming machine supplier Aristocrat Leisure has lifted first half profit by nearly 40 per cent but says it is still has some way to go before reaching its full potential. The $34.7 million net profit for the six months to June 30 beat the forecast the company gave in July of a net profit between $30 million and $33 million. Aristocrat's net profit for the previous corresponding first half was $24.9 million.














Marriage

First Civil Union between three partners in Brazil sparks outrage


Christian Post





Controversy has been sparked as the first civil union between three separate partners was registered in Tupã, in the Northwestern region of Sao Paulo state, Brazil last week. The three-person union has shocked religious groups in the country, and sparked further concerns that the traditional family unit is being further eroded by the current day society. The actual declaration of the union between the man and two women was in fact made three months ago, but it finally became public this week.










Men and women are different, and so should be their marriage vows

Peter Jensen - SMH





Marriage really matters. Thank God we are talking about it. As Professor Patrick Parkinson said in these pages last week, marriage is ''by far the most stable, safe and nurturing relationship in which to raise children''. However, fewer people are choosing marriage as a way of relating to someone of the opposite sex and fewer people are nurturing children in a family with marriage at its heart.














Tas Parliament being used as a tool by Greens and activists

Ben Williams - International





The same-sex marriage legislation being tabled today in Tasmania, as well as surrogacy laws due to be debated this week, are both radical pieces of social legislation that should be rejected by the Tasmanian Parliament. According to the Australian Christian Lobby’s Tasmanian Director Mark Brown, it is absurd for Tasmania to be going alone on the issue of same-sex marriage when it is clearly a federal issue. “The last thing Australia needs is conflicting marriage laws throughout the nation,” Mr Brown said.












Tasmania takes first step to gay marriage

Annah Yard - Australian Broadcasting Corporation







Tasmania is a step closer to becoming the first state in Australia to legalise gay marriage. The Premier, Lara Giddings, today tabled a marriage equality bill in State Parliament. It should pass the Lower House by the end of the week, but faces a tougher battle in the Legislative Council, the state's upper house.














Cameron CANNOT protect Church against gay marriage laws (says his own Justice minister)

Jason Groves - Mail Online





David Cameron’s promise to protect churches from gay marriage laws could hit legal hurdles, a justice minister admitted yesterday. Crispin Blunt said it would be hard to guarantee that clergy would not face court challenges if they refused to preside over same-sex unions. ‘We’re seeking to protect, indeed, proscribe religious organisations from offering gay marriage,’ said Mr Blunt, who announced two years ago that he is gay.








Coffee with Wendy Francis

Chad St James - SameSame





One of the most outspoken opponents to any and all LGBT causes in Australia is undoubtedly the Australian Christian Lobby. And with her controversial tweets amid her constant campaigning against same-sex marriage and gay parenting, the ACL’s director in Queensland Wendy Francis has earned herself no shortage of enemies within the LGBT community. Same Same’s Brisbane editor Chad St. James sat down with Wendy to have a few burning questions answered.










Religious Freedom & Persecution

Prayer leader accuses Christian girl of 'conspiracy'


PakTribune





A cleric who handed over a young Christian girl to police on blasphemy charges after she burned papers containing Quranic verses said on Friday what she did was a "conspiracy" to insult Muslims. Hafiz Muhammed Khalid Chishti, the prayer leader of the mosque in the Islamabad suburb of Mehrabad, insisted he had saved the girl, Rimsha, from mob violence by handing her to police but said the incident arose because Muslims had not stopped local Christians' "anti-Islam activities" earlier. Rimsha was arrested and remanded in custody for a fortnight last Thursday.












Islamic groups in Pakistan support Christian girl on blasphemy charge

Saeed Shah - SMH





Islamic leaders in Pakistan have come out in support of a Christian girl with learning difficulties who is being held in prison, in an unprecedented public denunciation of the blasphemy law by hardline mullahs. The All Pakistan Ulema Council, an umbrella group of Muslim clerics and scholars, which includes representatives from fundamentalist groups, joined hands with the Pakistan Interfaith League, which includes Christians, Sikhs and other religions, to call for justice for the girl, Rimsha, who is accused of blasphemy. They demanded that those making false allegations be punished.












Ramadan: Islam’s ‘Holy Month’ of Christian oppression

Raymond Ibrahim - FrontPageMag





The month of Ramadan, which ended earlier this week, proved to be a month of renewed Muslim piety on the one hand, and renewed oppression of non-Muslim minorities on the other. In Nigeria, for example, Islamic militants are living up to the assertion that “Ramadan is a month of jihad and death for Allah,” proving that killing Christians is not only reserved for Christian holidays—like Christmas and Easter, when militants bombed churches killing dozens—but is especially applicable during Islam’s Ramadan.














Refugees

Fifth asylum boat in two days arrives


news.com





Another asylum seeker boat has been intercepted in Australian waters - the fifth in the past two days. ACV Hervey Bay intercepted the boat carrying an estimated 43 people north of Cocos Islands on Tuesday morning, Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare says. They will be transferred to Christmas Island for security, health and identity checks.
















Other

Neil Armstrong: A great American, a devout Christian


Christian Diarist





Neil Armstrong went to be with the Lord yesterday. He was a great American. He was a devoted Christ follower. Of course, you wouldn’t know about Armstrong’s Christian faith from the obituaries published by such bastions of liberal journalism as the New York Times and Washington Post. They didn’t consider it worthy of comment. But Armstrong’s life story cannot be told without mentioning his walk with Christ.










Unionist drove car at site manager after Grocon protest, court hears

Pia Akerman - The Australian





A senior union official who is suing Opposition leader Tony Abbott for allegedly implying he is a union thug deliberately drove his car at a building site manager following a violent protest in Melbourne this morning, a court has heard. CFMEU assistant secretary John Setka also allegedly hurled abuse at Grocon employees during a protest in Melbourne where construction workers trampled on police officers.