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

UK: Women wanting abortions will not have to see doctor


Telegraph

Abortion guidelines proposed by ministers state that there will be no legal requirement that a woman must consult a doctor before terminating a foetus.






Drugs & Alcohol

Police smash major drug ring spanning across WA, SA and NSW


Phil Hickey - Perth Now

Police have seized over $20 million worth of drugs following an investigation into an organised crime syndicate spanning across WA, South Australia and New South Wales. Seventeen people have been charged over their alleged involvement in the syndicate. Nineteen properties, luxury vehicles, bank accounts and boats have also been frozen.








It's time Barry O'Farrell acted on alcohol-fuelled violence

Robert McEwen - Brisbane Times







In the early hours of one Saturday morning in December, my son Michael encountered the dark side of humanity - or rather, his head did, as he was punched and then stomped on while he was prone on the ground. In the weeks that followed, we experienced the best of humanity as we were overwhelmed by an outpouring of support, prayers and love. People from all denominations were praying for Michael's survival and recovery, briefly united in a single cause.
















Education

Critics of school curriculum review too quick to perceive a threat instead of potential way forward


Kenneth Wiltshire - SMH

All too often, a review of government policy is seen as a threat - perhaps nowhere more so than in the field of education, where entrenched interests seem to be rife.


'Diversity' nonsense in physics

Babette Francis - Online Opinion

Marko Vojkovic is a brave teacher for pointing out in The Australian that "There's no Asian way of looking at physics" (11/1/14) and that sociology should not dominate physics. I once drafted a caption for a cartoon in which a feminist had devised a computer program to "examine gravity from a gender perspective". Some friends said I was exaggerating but they didn't realise the half of it.


US: Who has the right to form young minds?

Anthony Esolen - Mercator Net

A controversial national curriculum in the US raises a fundamental question.






Gambling

Gambling laws do ‘nothing to control’ sports betting

Jessica Gardner - SMH







Sportsbet chief executive Cormac Barry says the $591 million bet on cricket’s Big Bash League at rival Betfair shows legislation controlling online wagering, puts local companies at a disadvantage and the integrity of sports at risk. The online betting exchange Betfair has released figures on the first 23 matches of Cricket Australia’s Big Bash League that show local and international punters have bet on average $28 million per match so far this summer. In contrast, Betfair customers punted just under $6 million on the 2013 Melbourne Cup.
















Betting accused 'hid device in shorts' at Australian Open

AAP

The first person charged with the "courtsiding" betting offence in Victoria had a device concealed in his shorts to send live updates from the Australian Open to a betting agency, a court has heard. UK man Daniel Thomas Dobson, 22, was arrested after a match on Tuesday following intelligence received by Tennis Australia and passed onto police.
















Homelessness & Poverty

Experiencing homelessness in Perth


Aleisha Orr - WA Today

Conrad Liveris apologised for not making sense when he first answered the phone: "Sorry, I didn't get a good sleep," he told me. The night before as he slept outdoors in East Perth, he had struggled to fall asleep but admits it wasn't as bad as the previous night, when passers-by kept him awake in Northbridge before he was woken by sprinklers.






Indigenous

Summer camp aims to lift Indigenous uni enrolments


Tracy Bowden - Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Indigenous students are under-represented in higher education but one university summer camp is hoping to help change that.






Overseas Aid

Foreign aid funding cut by $95 million


Noel Towell - The Canberra Times

The federal government quietly chopped another $95 million out of Australia's foreign aid effort last month. The Department of Foreign Affairs has confirmed that Australia's share of the latest round of funding to the International Development Association, the World Bank’s lending arm, will be cut from $830 million to $735 million.


World nations promise $2.4 billion in aid to Syria

ABC

International countries have pledged more than $US2.4 billion in humanitarian aid for the victims of the war in Syria, at a donors conference sponsored by the United Nations. Delegates from nearly 70 countries and 24 international organisations attended the one-day event chaired by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.


Politics

Say a little prayer for Greens


Editorial - The Australian

No book has had a greater impact on Western civilisation than the Bible. Believers or not, few would disagree. The Bible has shaped our language, art and institutions. Its Christian teachings have informed our development from exploration to enlightenment, through customs to laws, forging countries and cultures. So the practice of beginning deliberations in federal parliament with the Lord's Prayer is not the imposition of a narrow religious code but rather a continuing thread of responsibility and respect for the burden of democratic decision-making.




Giddings dumps Greens ministers, vows to never share power

Hannah Martin - The Mercury







Premier Lara Giddings admits people will be sceptical about her pledge to never again have a power-sharing deal with the Greens. Ms Giddings sacked Greens ministers Nick McKim and Cassy O'Connor from Cabinet yesterday as she called the state election for March 15.




SA election preview: Labor could hold on, but does it matter?

Tom Richardson - Crikey







There is always much accompanying hyperbole and platitudes in the interminable lead-up to any given electoral contest. We will be told the March 15 South Australian poll is the most important in a generation. It’s not, of course. In fact, on balance, it’s among the least important in a generation.










Griffith by-election more than a two-horse race

Cameron Atfield - Brisbane Times

While Labor's Terri Butler and the Liberal National Party's Bill Glasson have been battling to fill the void left by former prime minister Kevin Rudd's retirement from Parliament, the "good burghers" of Griffith will have a wider field from which to choose.


Premier Denis Napthine refuses to back Speaker Ken Smith

Annika Smethurst - Herald Sun

In a major shift in his position, Dr Napthine said he will have discussions with Mr Smith about his future early this year. Mr Smith's position as Speaker has been under pressure since November when balance-of-power MP Geoff Shaw told State Parliament he no longer had confidence in him. Parliament then descended into chaos and was eventually suspended as Labor attempted to test Mr Smith's control of the Parliament.


Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Three Australians arrested in Philippines child sex raid


AAP

Three Australians have been arrested after federal police helped crack an organised crime ring that streamed live internet videos of child sex abuse from the Philippines.


Refugees

What future for refugees on Manus and Nauru?


SBS

The Immigration Minister is unable to say what will happen if thousands of asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus are granted refugee status.






Religious Freedom & Persecution

Coptic Christian children: Kidnapped and killed for cash


Raymond Ibrahim - Islam translated







Yet another Coptic Christian child was recently kidnapped in Egypt. Thirteen-year-old Cyril Rif‘at Fayiz was abducted in the Minya district by “unknown persons” who later called the child’s parents demanding one million Egyptian pounds, nearly the equivalent of $150,000 USD. This phenomenon—kidnapping and holding Coptic children captive for large ransoms—has become a regular feature of the Egyptian landscape, particularly in Minya, Upper Egypt.