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

Victoria's Premier confirms he advised maverick MP how to overhaul abortion laws


Alison Caldwell - ABC





To Victoria now where the Premier Denis Napthine has confirmed he did write to the independent MP Geoff Shaw detailing what would be required to overhaul the state's abortion laws.










Children & Family

Madison Ashton's children join fight over Richard Pratt's estate


Paul Bibby - SMH





The children of Sydney escort Madison Ashton have filed a cross-claim in her legal battle to secure part of the estate of billionaire Richard Pratt, arguing their mother may not “properly represent” their interests. Ms Ashton has long claimed that when she became Mr Pratt's mistress in the early 2000s he promised to “look after” her and her children. In the years since his death she has fought to have that promise enforced by the courts.












Lisa Harnum’s mother has a message for women everywhere. Please share it.

Jamila Rizvi - MamaMia





Lisa Harnum knew she was going to die. Prior to her death, she had made a final, desperate phone call home. She pleaded with her mother to come and get her, to save her from what had become nothing less than a living hell. Before ending her conversation, Lisa said to her mum “remember that I love you…. if anything happens.”














Drugs & Alcohol

Nigella Lawson: no one envies the Domestic Goddess now


Allison Pearson - SMH





A court has heard allegations celebrity cook Nigella Lawson had a serious drug habit allowing her personal assistants to spend a fortune on luxuries.






Police confirm link between meth producers and Simon Gittany

Jared Owens - The Australian



Police have confirmed a link between two methylamphetamine producers and convicted killer Simon Gittany, who started a company with the pair while defending his fiancee's murder.








Cigarettes will be sold in plain packets: Cameron's embarrassing double U-turn to defuse row over tobacco lobby

Jason Groves - The Daily Mail







Cigarettes will be sold in plain packaging by May 2015 following an astonishing double U-turn by David Cameron. Ministers today battled to insist they were not 'playing catch-up' as Labour claimed the government had only acted after being faced with the prospect of a major defeat in the House of Lords. Now new laws are to be rushed forward so that a ban on branded packets can be introduced before the next general election, ahead of a review of the evidence from Australia, the first country to impose plain packaging.


















Education

United Voice union says 'thousands' will strike over education job cuts


News Limited





Support staff in schools and hospitals across Western Australia will strike in protest at the state government's Workplace Reform Bill. The United Voice union predicts thousands of members will walk out next Thursday, and march on parliament on its last sitting day of the year.
















Environment

Drink companies intensify lobbying of NSW MPs over cash-for-cans deposit scheme


Sarah Whyte, Hugh Robertson - SMH





Alcohol and soft-drink companies have been aggressively lobbying state MPs over the cash-for-cans scheme up to twice a week, concerned NSW and Victoria are considering joining forces to introduce a joint recycling scheme. NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell and other MPs confirmed the beverage industry - including Lion, Carlton & United Breweries and Coca-Cola Amatil - had ''ramped up'' their lobbying in recent months.
















Indigenous

Wasted decade as indigenous health fails to show improvement


Inga Ting - SMH





Indigenous health has not improved at all in many areas of Australia over the past decade, data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday showed. The largest-ever survey of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health found rates of diabetes, kidney disease, asthma and osteoporosis have increased, and the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous measures has widened for smoking, psychological distress, heart disease and asthma.














Prostitution & Trafficking

Human traffickers are mostly women, Australian Institute of Criminology report finds


SMH





More women than men have been convicted in Australia for human trafficking and slavery and not one has had links to organised crime. Since Australia introduced tough laws to crack down on trafficking a decade ago, nine schemes have been successfully prosecuted in Australia.












French sex workers criticise proposed law

Aljazeera





Bill aims to decriminalise prostitutes by targeting clients, but critics say law would force trade underground.


















Refugees

Syrian refugees victim of short attention span


Hannah Wade - On Line Opinion





Australians are very generous in times of crisis. Holding benefit concerts, donating to appeals and holding an office fundraiser are commonplace in the aftermath of a natural disaster or for a good cause. Many have donated to the recent Typhoon Haiyan appeal in order to provide aid to those who need it most; to allow them to rebuild and recover.












Asylum-seeker disaster risk high as navy stays out of Jakarta's zone

Dennis Shanahan - The Australian





Asylum-seekers heading to Christmas Island are at greater risk of drowning if their boats sink, as Jakarta's ban on co-operation with Australia in the Indonesian search and rescue region has not been lifted. Indonesia has withdrawn search and rescue co-operation as a consequence of the spying controversy and a vast area of Indonesia's southern search and rescue zone is now virtually without naval monitoring or assistance for asylum-seeker boats in trouble.














Religious Freedom & Persecution

School children as young as 8 told they would be labelled 'racist' for missing school trip


UK Telegraph





Parents have criticised a school after children as young as eight were told they would be punished for racism if they did not attend a religious workshop about Islam. Angry mums and dads were sent a letter by Littleton Green Community School, in Huntingdon, Staffordshire, warning their children would be considered racist if they did not go on the school trip.








Islamic extremists kill at least 71 Christians in Nigeria

Morning Star News





Suspected Muslim herdsmen slaughtered 37 Christians in coordinated attacks on four Plateau state villages early this morning after Boko Haram terrorists killed at least 34 Christians in Borno state earlier this month, sources said.










Sexualisation of Society

Justin Bieber hits Sydney and heads straight for infamous strip club Bada Bing in Kings Cross


Jonathan Moran - The Daily Telegraph







Justin Bieber has hit Sydney and his first stop is believed to have been infamous strip club Bada Bing. The American pop superstar flew in by private jet straight after his Brisbane concert overnight and is understood to have been driven directly to Kings Cross.










Other

Christian B&B loses Supreme Court appeal


The Christian Institute





The UK Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal by a Christian B&B that only allows married couples to share a double bed. Owners Peter and Hazelmary Bull had been successfully sued by gay couple Martyn Hall and Steven Preddy, and ordered to pay £3,600 in damages. Mr and Mrs Bull say their policy – which was applied to heterosexuals as well as homosexuals – is based on their sincere Christian belief that marriage is the union of a man and a woman.














Christian B&B owners lose Supreme Court case over refusal to host gay couples

Stoyan Zaimov - Christian Post





The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom ruled on Wednesday against the Christian owners of a bed and breakfast hotel who refused to allow a gay couple to stay. "Sexual orientation is a core component of a person's identity which requires fulfillment through relationships with others of the same orientation," explained Lade Hale, deputy president of the Supreme Court, according to The Guardian.
















Mail Online coming to Australia in joint venture with Mi9

Mumbrella





Nine’s Network’s digital arm Mi9 has announced a new joint venture with the world’s most-visited news website, the Mail Online giving the British newspaper a local presence down under. The surprise announcement comes just a month after Nine bought out partner Microsoft to take full control of Mi9, and will see the site use its local editorial team to create content for the Mail Online.