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

Abortion, birth control pills to blame for rise in breast cancer among young, say experts


Christian Post

Advanced breast cancer cases are increasing in young American women overall and almost twice as fast among African-American women, according to a recent study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association. And some experts believe the use of hormonal contraceptive steroids and abortions have a lot to do with the trend.


'House of horrors' abortion doctor on trial

The West

A US doctor accused of running a "house of horrors" abortion clinic will go on trial this week over the deaths of one woman and seven babies who prosecutors say were killed with scissors. Dr. Kermit Gosnell worked from the West Philadelphia Women's Medical Society but officials have described his squalid clinic as like something out of a horror movie.


Bioethics

Genetic Counselling and the death of medical compassion


Philip Burcham - ABC Religion and Ethics

The appearance of War against the Weak: Eugenics and America's Campaign to Create a Master Race a decade ago was a milestone in modern publishing. Informed by historical evidence gleaned by a team of researchers, the book drew the curtain on a dark period of American history. It also revealed unsettling Transatlantic links to the systematised brutality of totalitarian regimes in early-twentieth century Europe. While an appreciation of the past is valuable, a more critical question concerns whether Eugenicist prejudices persist in today's world.


Children & Family

With these assets, I thee wed


David & Libby Koch - News Limited Network

While the likes of Kim Kardashian and Tom Cruise appear to attach a prenuptial agreement with the marriage certificate, the future of financial agreements in Australia is looking uncertain. An upcoming decision in the Family Court is set to test the controversial legislation on which these prenups are based. As it stands, the law in this area seems so uncertain that many lawyers will no longer be involved in drafting financial agreements for fear of being sued in the future by disgruntled clients.


Classification



Australia's 'embarrassing' gay film ban



Canberra Times







A ban on a gay film, I Want Your Love, by the Australian Classification Board is ''embarrassing", says Hollywood star James Franco. Franco's interest in the film was largely due to the fact that he recently co-directed a bondage sex film,Interior.Leather.Bar, with I Want Your Love's director, Travis Mathews.





Drugs & Alcohol

Shooters were caught drunk and on drugs


Sean Nicholls - Sydney Morning Herald

Licensed shooters have been caught with prohibited firearms, using drugs and alcohol, and trespassing on restricted land, official reports reveal, as the NSW government prepares to expand amateur hunting of feral animals into national parks. Documents released under freedom of information laws describe almost a dozen examples of serious transgressions last year that were considered by the Game Council NSW, which is responsible for issuing hunting licences.


Education

Some Qld schools ‘worse off under Gonski'


Kym Agius - AAP

Queensland's education minister says more than 100 schools serving poorer students would be worse off under the federal government's Gonski reforms. The federal government wants to introduce a new school funding model based on the recommendations of the Gonski review, which calls for the states, territories and commonwealth to pool resources and stump up an extra $6.5 billion a year. Queensland is considering rejecting the plan and going it alone on education reform.


Education experts warn Queensland taking 'giant step backwards' by banning teacher professional development in school time

Tanya Chilcott - The Courier-Mail

Queensland is taking "a giant step backwards" in the classroom and defying world best practice by banning teachers from professional development during school time, national education experts warn. Principal and teachers warn student learning will suffer in state schools as a result of the controversial move. But Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek says parents want to see their children have the same teacher throughout every school day and denies the move is a cost-cutting measure.


Environment

Governments meet in a bid to end illegal wildlife trade


SBS

The head of the United Nations environment agency has warned that the world must clamp down hard on the illegal trade, calling it a multibillion-dollar criminal business that is threatening to wipe out some of the planet's most iconic species. Achim Steiner, executive director of the United Nations Environment Program, made the call during the Sunday opening meeting of the 178-nation Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, or CITES, in Bangkok.


Gambling

Call to ban gambling ads in sport


Sky News

Gambling advertising during sports broadcasts should be put in the same category as alcohol and smoking and severely restricted, a psychology expert warns. The federal parliamentary joint committee on gambling reform heard evidence at an inquiry in Melbourne on Tuesday into the promotion of live odds and gambling advertising in sport. Australian Psychological Society spokeswoman Heather Gridley told the hearing the proliferation of gambling advertising in sport has the effect of normalising it.


League scandal reignites

Kate McClymont - SMH

Rugby league's most sensational match-fixing scandal is set to be played out again with three key players behind a massive betting plunge on a Bulldogs and Cowboys match to face a Sydney court on the eve of the NRL season opener.


Baillieu gets tough on match fixers

Richard Willingham - The Age

Match-fixers will be jailed for up to 10 years under new laws to protect Victoria's lucrative sports industry. Sports Minister Hugh Delahunty told question time on Tuesday that the state government would introduce match-fixing laws this week. The laws, which have been months in the making, are aligned with laws already enacted in NSW and being introduced in South Australia.


NSW clubs revive pressure on Gillard government's gambling reforms

Patrick Lion - The Daily Telegraph

NSW clubs are trying to revive pressure on the Gillard government over gambling reforms, demanding proof of cost estimates for fitting poker machines with new harm minimisation technology. Ahead of a community meeting of the Problem Gambling Taskforce in Armidale today, Clubs Australia yesterday claimed the government's estimate of about $2000 per machine dramatically underestimates the burden on venues with older machines claimed to cost $9000.


Human Rights

Justice denied in legal aid funding shortfall, judge says


Miles Kemp - Adelaide Now

A Supreme Court judge has warned justice is being denied to some accused because of a legal aid funding shortfall. Commenting in the Court of Criminal Appeal judgment of arsonist Samantha Lillian Hallett, Justice Tom Gray criticised the difficulty lawyers found in working for legal aid. "It appears to be accepted that legal aid is chronically underfunded. Practitioners acting for legally aided clients receive limited professional fees," Justice Gray said in the judgment. "This is a difficult and complex problem and understandably, the absence of proper funding may give rise to injustices ... particularly with respect to sentencing matters."


Marriage

Muslim groups attack findings on sharia

Rachel Baxendale - The Australian

Muslim groups have criticised the findings of a forthcoming parliamentary report on multiculturalism that denounces Islamic law and polygamous marriages. Federation of Islamic Councils assistant secretary Keysar Trad said the report's findings, revealed in The Australian's Sunday edition yesterday, showed a "continued misunderstanding" of sharia. Mr Trad, who is known for his defence of polygamy, said the illegality of polygamous marriage would not prevent plural relationships. "Marriage is traditionally something under God, not a secular system," he said.


The many shapes of marriage?

Janie B. Cheaney - World Christian News

Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, a cutting-edge film of 1969, urged moviegoers to “Consider the possibilities.” Three years later, the book Open Marriage topped the bestseller charts, propelled by one chapter that explored the idea of inviting additional sexual partners into a relationship. These and other pop-culture phenomena represented the flowering of the sexual revolution of the 1960s, but with stagflation and a hostage crisis and another revolution named Reagan, they moved to the back burner. Twenty years later, a less-than-scientific article in Scientific American claims that “Polyamory may be good for you.” A lot has happened in those 20 years, including the coining of new words to accommodate new thought.


Politics

Refugees and Asylum Seekers



Claims smugglers pay for navy escort



The Age







Some members of the Sri Lankan navy are accused of being among the main players in the island's people-smuggling operations, helping asylum seekers leave the country in boats bound for Australia.





Religious Freedom & Persecution

Thousands of Christians flee religious persecution in Egypt

Voice of Russia

Life for Christians under the government of Mohammed Morsi in Egypt has become difficult. Reports are emerging that up to 100,000 Christians have left Egypt since the Muslim Brotherhood came to power. Some of those have arrived in Moscow. VoR’s Brendan Cole went there to investigate. This week Cairo saw the launch of a Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice designed to protect 'Islamic morality'. Many Christians fear that Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood may further limit their ability to live and worship freely.


Other

As casualties pile up, has our investment sector become too big to regulate properly?

Pat McConnell - The Conversation

Stephen Long’s story on the ABC’s Four Corners beautifully illustrated the human cost of financial misconduct, as retirees and widows described the pain of having lost their super funds and savings in dodgy financial schemes. It is yet another in the heartbreaking tales of ordinary people coming to grief in the wash-up of the Global Financial Crisis, as in the USA and in the United Kingdom. The difference is that politicians and regulators in the UK and USA are doing something about it. The regulator responsible in the cases documented by Four Corners is the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) whose chairman Greg Medcraft did not exactly cover himself with glory when questioned by Long.


Pope is outside popular politics

Greg Craven – The Australian

The Pope's farewell last Wednesday was far more than an occasion for the display of public affection. Yes, it was emotional. People love Benedict and were sorry to witness his farewell. But the overwhelming feeling running through the crowd was not sadness or regret, but an almost physical sense of vast purpose. This was not the end of a papacy, let alone the papacy, but the first vital step in its multi-millennial continuation.