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



Rape, abortion and the fight for women’s rights in Turkey



Elif Shafak – The Guardian

In Turkey, outside big cities, social life concentrates on coffee houses, that is, if you are a man. This week, the customers of a coffee house in a village in the Mediterranean region saw a young woman carrying a bloody sack. Inside was a severed head.


Repeat abortions have repercussions for later pregnancy



Piriya Mahendra - News Medical

Women who have had three or more previous abortions have a significantly increased risk for having a first baby who is premature or of low birthweight.


Children & Family



Big rise in child abuse reports



Kate Bastians – The West Australian

There has been a 50 per cent increase in reports of child abuse and neglect to the Department of Child Protection over the past two years.


Donor Conception & Surrogacy



St Vincents Private hospital said no to surrogate birth



Siobhan Duck – Herald Sun

St Vincents Private hospital would not treat Tracey Osborn when they discovered she was a surrogate mum because the hospital is run by the Catholic Church, which does not support surrogacy.


Drugs & Alcohol



Decriminalise cannabis, ecstasy to curb addiction: report



ABC Online

A national report into illicit drugs has recommended decriminalising ecstasy and cannabis under a government-controlled program to help curb addiction.


Legal use of cannabis, ecstasy for over-15s backed by state medical body



Bianca Hall – SMH

A report by a group of prominent Australians that recommends Australia rethink its criminalisation of illicit drugs has been backed by the Victorian branch of the Australian Medical Association.


Drug gangs tap skills of uni students



Mark Morri – The Daily Telegraph

Chemistry students are becoming major drug manufacturers and dealers, using lab skills learned on campus.


Education



Is this the blueprint for better schools?



Caroline Milburn – Brisbane Times

School principals and staff who have turned demoralised schools into thriving, confident places estimate it takes about 10 years of intense, hard work to achieve sustained improvement.


Reversing the disability disadvantage in education



Stephanie Gotlib – The Canberra Times

Last week, Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced that the fundamentals of the Gonski Report would be accepted. Schools will receive a base level of funding per student and there will be additional money to support those with higher needs - such as students who have a disability or those who live in remote or low SES areas.


Marriage



Gay marriage: going to the chapel



Jonathan Milne – The New Zealand Herald

Civil unions are permitted in at least 19 nations, including New Zealand. This year, six countries are expected to vote on going all the way: gay marriage. But, almost swamped by the surge of liberal excitement, the Catholic Church and other dissenters have quietly made their unhappiness known.


Politics



Labor calls on Liberals to dump preferencing of Greens MP Bandt



Michelle Grattan – SMH

Union leader and ALP national executive member Paul Howes has urged the Liberals not to preference Greens MP for Melbourne Adam Bandt, as the Greens suffered a swing in key areas in the weekend council elections in New South Wales.


Momentum shifts to the Right as Labor steps up Greens attack



David Crowe – The Australian

Federal Labor will sharpen its attack on the Greens over core policy disputes after weekend elections that heartened ALP supporters angry at the concessions made to their allies in the minority government.


Religious Freedom & Persecution



Pakistan Christian girl accused of blasphemy released



BBC News

A Christian girl in Pakistan who was arrested on blasphemy charges has been released from prison in Rawalpindi, a minister has said.


Tolerance requires open debate, not closed minds



The Australian

Tolerance has often been a clarion call for the liberal left, but a creeping intolerance in political debate is emerging most fiercely from, of all people, progressives.


Refugees



Asylum seekers rescued from sinking boats



George Roberts – ABC News

More than 130 asylum seekers have been rescued from two boats en route to Australia overnight, with most reportedly being transferred to Christmas Island.


Nauru ready for asylum arrivals



Paige Taylor & Dennis Shanahan – The Australian

The first asylum-seekers from Christmas Island may be on their way to Nauru as soon as tomorrow.


Opposition demands asylum seeker move



The Australian

The federal opposition wants the Gillard government to move immediately in parliament to allow the transfer of asylum seekers to Nauru.


Gillard signs Manus Island agreement



Daniel Flitton – The Age

Labor has sought to fireproof its revived Pacific solution for asylum seekers from a High Court challenge by striking a new written agreement with Papua New Guinea.