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

Mainstream news outlets ignore walk for life events


Bethany Monk - Citizenlink





Hundreds of thousands of pro-lifers participated in annual March for Life events across the country to honor preborn babies who have died from abortion. And even though the numbers were record-breaking, mainstream media failed to report anything about the marches. “The lack of coverage of pro-life events like the March for Life really demonstrates their pro-abortion bent.” said CitizenLink Bioethics Analyst Dawn McBane. “The important thing to remember here is that the liberal media doesn’t speak for the majority of Americans.” The March for Life was Friday in D.C., where hundreds of thousands marched to the Supreme Court building on Capitol Hill. On Saturday, a record-breaking 50,000 participated in San Francisco’s Walk for Life West Coast. Thousands more attended events across the country.


















Drugs & Alcohol

AFL's illicit drugs policy needs an overhaul, says McGuire


Adam Cooper - The Age





Collingwood president Eddie McGuire has called for the AFL's illicit drugs policy to be overhauled, claiming the system can no longer deal effectively with the drug problem. McGuire used a media report on Tuesday that a group of Collingwood players contacted the AFL last year to concede drug use as evidence the system needed readjusting. The Collingwood players - understood to be at least four - admitted to an AFL medical officer to drug use late last season, the Herald Sun reports, but escaped having a strike put against their names because they reported their drug use with impunity.










Butt out wherever you are: push for world's toughest smoking ban

Jason Dowling - The Age





Smoking would be banned in all public spaces in the City of Melbourne, including Bourke Street, City Square and even footpaths, under a radical proposal to make the city healthier and more attractive to visitors while reducing ambiguity for smokers. The move would make smoking bans in Melbourne some of the toughest in the world. The ban is being pushed by newly elected councillor Richard Foster, who said reducing the impact of smoking was an important cause for a progressive city such as Melbourne.
















Human Rights

Ask not who points the finger, as it points at you


Editorial - The Australian





While his partner Julia Gillard might not thank him for it, the man affectionately known as the first bloke has done the nation a great favour. Tim Mathieson's tasteless joke - complete with mildly racial and sexist undertones - has exposed the cant of the Prime Minister's misogynist campaign against Tony Abbott, and even underlined the absurdity of the government's proposal to further impinge on free speech through new anti-discrimination laws.






Big picture lost in debate over anti-discrimination laws

Anna Brown – ABC Drum





The debate over the proposed anti-discrimination legislation has focused on a few poorly chosen words rather than its overall objective in protecting the vulnerable, writes Anna Brown. The idea that an Indian family could be refused service at a restaurant because of their race or a worker denied a promotion because she is a woman is simply unacceptable to most Australians. In 2013, the social and economic benefits of equality are clear, as is the place for laws that provide redress for unfair treatment.






Censorship dressed up is denial of free speech

Christopher Bantick – The Australian





When Andrew Bolt was brought before the courts by a group of aggrieved Aborigines he had allegedly insulted and offended, he defended his views on the basis of fair and free speech. The record will show that Bolt lost. At the time, senator George Brandis noted that under section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, "we are not free as journalists, commentators and ordinary citizens to make critical remarks in the course of ordinary political exchange".












Marriage

Cameron’s mum: he ‘won’t be told’ over gay marriage


The Christian Institute





The Prime Minister’s mother was asked why her son is alienating voters by pushing gay marriage and replied: “I know, but David just won’t be told”. The comment, which was reported by The Daily Telegraph, was made at a lunch attended by Mary Cameron. She was asked why he was pressing ahead with the legislation when it was alienating so many of the Conservative Party’s natural supporters. Just a few days ago, a long-standing chairman of a local Tory association resigned because of the policy. Edmund Costelloe, chairman of Somerton and Frome Constituency Conservative Association, had been a party member for 49 years.












David Cameron's wife Samantha is the 'driving force’ behind gay marriage

Tim Walker - The Telegraph





Mandrake reported on Friday that David Cameron’s mother, Mary, had been asked why the Prime Minister was pressing ahead with plans to change the law in favour of same-sex marriage when it was alienating so many of the Conservative Party’s natural supporters. “I know, but David just won’t be told,” the retired Justice of the Peace replied. The answer may be close to hand: a cabinet minister points to Samantha Cameron’s influence on her husband. “Samantha is the driving force behind the policy,” claims the minister.














Politics

Iemma in box seat to stand for Barton


Daily Telegraph





Former premier Morris Iemma is the frontrunner for a federal seat after former attorney-general and Kevin Rudd supporter Robert McClelland announced his retirement yesterday. With a 6.9 per cent margin in Mr McClelland's seat of Barton, and swings of about 5 per cent against Labor expected in Sydney at this year's federal election, Labor officials see Mr Iemma's candidacy as a key to winning the southern Sydney seat. If Mr Iemma were to stand, he could become the third of the past six premiers (after Liberal John Fahey and Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr) to move from the state to the federal arena.












Robert McClelland confirms retirement

AAP





Former federal attorney-general Robert McClelland will retire from politics at the next federal election. Mr McClelland, who was dumped from the front bench by Prime Minister Julia Gillard after he supported Kevin Rudd in a leadership challenge in early 2012, confirmed his decision on Tuesday afternoon. "After almost 17 years in federal parliament my decision has not been taken lightly," he said in a statement.














PM gets tough on deals for well-off

SMH





The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, will commit her government to big ''structural'' cuts in spending, putting a range of concessions and tax breaks enjoyed by wealthier Australians in doubt. In her first big agenda-setting speech for the year, Ms Gillard will use an address to the National Press Club on Wednesday to say the cuts are necessary for the government to fund its signature education and disability reforms, which are likely to be the centrepiece of its campaign.














Refugees

Sri Lankan asylum boat sinks off Java


Paul Maley - The Australian





Indonesian investigators were last night trying to establish how a group of Sri Lankan asylum-seekers came to be off the central Java coast when their boat capsized on Monday night. At least two people drowned and one was missing yesterday after their fishing boat apparently struck a reef in heavy seas near Nusa Kambangan, a high-security prison island. The accident happened about 1400km east of Cocos Island, the destination of most Australia-bound Sri Lankan asylum-seekers in recent years.














Other

Boy scouts considers capitulation to homosexual activists


Bob Ellis - American Clarion





For decades, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) have heroically withstood attacks from homosexual activists. Now, officials from the organization have indicated that this may be about to change. The BSA says that it is “discussing potentially removing the national membership restriction regarding sexual orientation.”












Monash Uniting Church apologises to Islamic groups over mosque claim

John Masanauskas - Herald Sun





A church has apologised to Islamic groups for suggesting that an outer-suburban mosque could become a training ground for religious fanatics. Monash Uniting Church Congregation chairman Richard Farrell had written to Monash Council objecting to plans by an Islamic association to upgrade a house used for prayers to a mosque.