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.



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Abortion

No need for foetal rights bill, says Law Society


Kirsty Needham - SMH

The controversial foetal rights bill Zoe's Law is unnecessary and will lead to unjust sentencing results, with its definition of an unborn child likely to spill into murder and manslaughter cases, the Law Society of NSW says. Weighing into the bitter debate over the bill, the Law Society has written to NSW politicians outlining its opposition to any change in the law, ahead of a conscience vote in the State Parliament. Zoe's Law seeks to define a 20-week-old foetus as a living person, so that charges of grievous bodily harm can be laid if a pregnant woman loses her unborn child in a motor vehicle accident or assault.


Bioethics

Crossover Kids


Dateline

How young is too young to change sex? Dateline reports on the complex issues surrounding transgender children.


Charities & NFP

Out-of-date databases a blight on charities

Rachel Browne - SMH

One donor had been dead for years and yet the charity which had benefited from his largesse continued to send letters asking for his money, much to the distress of his widow. A family who had recently lost their mother was surprised to continually receive direct mail from an organisation she supported, despite repeated requests to stop.


Donor Conception & Surrogacy

Surrogacy checks on foreigners


Telegraph India

Foreigners wishing to rent wombs in India will have to apply for medical visas from November 1 under rules imposed by India’s home ministry that forbid tourist-visa holders from seeking surrogacy services. The home ministry rules, part of a broad government effort to regulate India’s growing wombs-for-rent industry, will require egg donors to seek medical visas while their companions would require medical attendant visas.


Drugs & Alcohol

Cannabis use may have led to balloon pilot's deadly errors in NZ crash


AAP

The pilot of a hot air balloon which crashed killing 11 people in New Zealand had likely smoked cannabis before the flight and had made deadly errors of judgment, an inquiry has found. New Zealand's transport accident watchdog is now demanding a massive shake-up of drug and alcohol regulation for the ballooning industry to prevent future deaths.


Education

NSW school inspectors recommend closure of Australia's largest Muslim school


Rebecca Barrett - ABC

Australia's largest Muslim school, Malek Fahd Islamic School, is facing imminent closure after New South Wales Board of Studies inspectors recommended its registration not be renewed in 2014. ABC News has obtained a letter that NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli wrote to the school on Wednesday stating he was "gravely concerned" about the school.


Labor backs bill to prevent gay student expulsions

Josephine Tovey - SMH

NSW Labor will throw its support behind a push to abolish controversial laws that allow private schools to expel or discriminate against gay or transgender students.


Euthanasia

Belgium mulls law to allow euthanasia for kids


Laura Stampler - Time

The ruling Socialist party in Belgium has proposed a bill that would allow euthanasia for children. Belgium legalized euthanasia for people over the age of 18 in 2002, and the number of cases per year has gone up about 600 percent from 2003 to 2012, the Associated Press reports. The Netherlands currently allows for euthanasia in specific circumstances for children over the age of 12 with parental consent.


Gambling

Study shows that most gamblers are throwing away money


Amanda Macias - Business Insider

They may not admit it, but most people lose money through gambling — and heavy gamblers lose the most, according to a new analysis by the Wall Street Journal. The Journal drew these conclusions from a study of several databases and interviews with experts. 80-nine per cent of gamblers lost money in a study of 4,222 anonymous users of one online gambling network in Europe that includes games of chance like roulette, blackjack, and slots. In the small set of winners, few won more than $US150.


Marriage

How the ACT gay marriage law is designed to fail

Brian Greig - Crikey

The ACT gay marriage act is in deliberate breach of the constitution and is designed only to embarrass the Prime Minister, writes gay rights activist and former Democrats leader Brian Greig. Having now read the Australian Capital Territory’s Marriage Equality (Same Sex) Act 2013, I can reach no other conclusion than it is deliberately designed to fail. Far from being a genuine attempt to advance the cause of marriage equality, it seems little more than a political stunt aimed at trying to embarrass Prime Minister Tony Abbott.


Mixed views on NSW same-sex marriage bill

News Ltd

Same-sex marriage has been variously described as unconstitutional, evil and inevitable during debate in the NSW parliament. NSW on Thursday became the fourth Australian state or Territory, after Tasmania, South Australia and the ACT, to introduce a bill that would allow gay marriage.


Overseas Aid

Tanya Plibersek warns Tony Abbott against using conservative values to dictate foreign aid


David Wroe - SMH

Labor is warning Tony Abbott not to let his social conservatism dictate foreign aid by stripping funding from services that provide abortions and birth control in poor countries.


Politics

Clive Palmer wins Fairfax after marathon recount


Judith Ireland - SMH

Clive Palmer has won the hotly contested Queensland seat of Fairfax after a marathon recount was finalised on Thursday. The Palmer United Party leader extended his lead over Liberal National Party candidate Ted O'Brien to win by 53 votes.


WA Senate recount in turmoil as 1375 votes go missing

Judith Ireland - SMH

An inquiry has been called and a byelection for the entire state of Western Australia could be on the cards after the Australian Electoral Commission revealed 1375 ballot papers are missing from the WA Senate recount. Electoral Commissioner Ed Killesteyn has apologised for the missing papers, which he said could not be found despite "exhaustive efforts" to locate them.


Premier Lara Giddings remains defiant in the face of minority government critics as leaders set election battlelines

Matt Smith - The Mercury

Premier Lara Giddings has stared down divisions in her party, vowing to form minority government again if needed, despite pressure to distance Labor from the Greens.


Religious Freedom & Persecution

Can the Coptic Church survive? The Christian casualties of Egypt's struggle with modernity


Paul Marshall - ABC

Media reports on current events in Egypt have called a little attention to a fact frequently ignored: that there are millions of Christians in that country.


Sexualisation of Society

Pedophilia: Orientation or crime?


Patrick Ryan - The American Spectator

Modern Western society views the expression of sexuality as a primary component of human identity. As each autonomous individual can form his own happiness and welfare, sex is an essential component of human flourishing. As sex leads to the creation of life, it is indeed an essential human act. Yet the West is currently trying to isolate sex as a pleasurable, inconsequential form of recreation. The paradox rests in the very fact that it becomes banal, while also life-affirming and essential to our identities.


Other

Religion is the glue of our modern civilisation

Archbishop Julian Porteous - The Mercury

Our Australian civil society is founded on an understanding of human life that is inspired by Christianity. Western culture and its social constructions are the fruit of Christianity. Christianity and its teachings largely helped to form not only law but also learning and commerce.


'Mafia on wheels' heading for Australia in global bikie push

Candace Sutton - Herald Sun

They're called "mafia on wheels" and they want a piece of Australia's underworld drug and criminal empire. The Vagos - also known as "Green Nation" and "Green Hell" are headed for Australia as part of an international expansion of outlaw bikie gangs.