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

The heartbreak behind China's one-child policy


Philip Wen - SMH





Rui'an, China: Yu Rongfen was seven months pregnant when city officials came knocking at her door. It was her second pregnancy, and she was hiding the fact from authorities. Fearing the worst, she hid in an upstairs room. But she was helpless as dozens of men overwhelmed her family and took her to the city’s family planning bureau. There, it became apparent that staff at the bureau had orders to forcibly perform a late-term abortion, despite desperate pleas from Yu and her family.


















Children & Family

Husband loses $1 million after Family Court rejects his 'special skills'


Amy McNeilage - SMH





He paid $539,500 for the shares, against her wishes. By the time of their divorce they were worth $1.85 million, taking the total value of their superannuation fund to $3.4 million.
















Its every parents worst nightmare. And it happened in just a few minutes at a suburban Sydney park.

Mamamia News





Just a few minutes. That’s all the time it took for a depraved man to follow two little girls into the public toilets of a Sydney park and to subsequently indecently and sexually assault them. Just a few minutes. That’s all the time it took for this man to steal these girls’ innocence and change the course of their and their family’s lives forever.














Drugs & Alcohol

Steroid use soars among young men


Peter Munro - SMH





Steroids have become the drug of choice for people who start injecting illicit substances, eclipsing methamphetamines and heroin in popularity among young men.






Safer Sydney: NSW government considers alcohol crackdown

Sean Nicholls, Dan Harrison - SMH





The George Street area may be in line for a Kings Cross-style intervention, which could mean restrictions on late-trading hotels in the southern Sydney central business district in a bid to drive down alcohol-related violence.














Education

Pyne tackles 'bias' in classrooms with national curriculum review


David Crowe - The Australian





The Abbott government has moved to reshape school education by appointing strong critics of the national curriculum to review what children are taught, amid fears a "cultural Left" agenda is failing students.




Education reviewer Kevin Donnelly makes case for more religion to be taught in public schools

Andrew Greene - ABC





There should be more religious education in Australian schools, says one of the men tasked with reviewing the national curriculum. Former teacher and ex-Liberal Party staffer Kevin Donnelly says Australian education has become too secular, and the federation's Judeo-Christian heritage should be better reflected in the curriculum.










Learning to read is learning how to live

Kevin Donnelly - ABC







Getting your children to read does far more than improve their test results - it also teaches them invaluable life lessons about morality and empathy, writes Kevin Donnelly.












Environment

Global warming update: hot with a lot of ice


Anthony Cox - On Line Opinion





The Bureau of Meteorology [BOM] has released its report for Australian climate during 2013. According to the BOM 2013 was the hottest year on record, in Australia. However both satellite temperatures, RSS and UAH, and a global surface temperature, GHCN, all found other Australian years to be warmer: Naturally the pro-AGW people have been all over the BOM report claiming it as evidence for AGW, while ignoring the results from the other equally valid sources for temperature. But even if the BOM report is correct it is problematic whether AGW is the cause of the temperature. It is doubtful because during 2013 and for at least a decade the Diurnal Temperature Range [DTR] has not been decreasing but increasing.






The environment would pay for 'free trade'

Tom Warne-Smith - ABC







Under the secretive Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, Australia could be forced to pay foreign corporations not to dig up or destroy its coastline or native forests, writes Tom Warne-Smith.












Euthanasia

Top doctor admits he deliberately flouts Belgium’s euthanasia laws…police turn blind eye


Michael Cook - Life Site News





What was it Winston Churchill said about Russia: “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma”? With respect to social policy, much the same applies to Belgium. Supporters of euthanasia there just roll their eyes in exasperation when critics in the English-speaking world thunder about slippery slopes or violations of human dignity. The two sides are simply failing to mesh gears in the moral debate. The best example of this is a conversation in the leading Belgian newspaper De Standaard between Wim Distelmans and Marc Cosyns, two leading advocates of legalised euthanasia.












Gambling

Is Facebook turning your child into a gambler? Free games on social media introduce the thrills of betting, experts warn


Sarah Harris - Daily Mail





The rise of online computer games on social media sites could lead to a surge in childhood gambling problems, an expert has warned. They are introducing teenagers to the excitement and rewards of gambling even when they do not involve playing for money.












Health

Why HIV, syphilis, and gonorrhea are rising among homosexuals


Gerard Nadal - Life Site News





This week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its annual report, Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance 2012, to whining among journalists that the reason for the documented continued rise in syphilis (primarily affecting homosexuals) has more to do with homophobia than anything else.
















Marriage

Griffith by-election a win for same-sex marriage


David Alexander - Star Observer





Same-sex marriage will be the only guaranteed winner at next month’s Griffith by-election with the two major party candidates both supporting it.




'Sister Wives' family humbled by ruling decriminalising polygamy in Utah

News Ltd





There was no fist-pumping or wild celebrations by the "Sister Wives'' cast when a federal judge in Utah decriminalised polygamy.
















Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Fighting the cruelty of human trafficking


Tom Watson - Forbes





Today is Human Trafficking Awareness Day, and President Obama has named January as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month - public campaigns aimed at shining a light into the darkest corners of human cruelty: modern-day slavery and the trafficking of human beings in the United States and around the world.












Refugees

Tony Abbott compares stopping asylum-seeker boats to war


News Ltd





Tony Abbott says he wants asylum seekers to go back to where they came from and insists the heightened government secrecy over border protection is to stop people smugglers preying on the vulnerable.












Religious Freedom & Persecution

Report: 9 out of 10 top Christian persecution countries due to Islamic extremism


Michael Gryboski - Christian Post





Nine out of the ten countries ranked the most oppressive for Christians to live in were due to Islamic extremism, according to Open Doors' annual World Watch List, which was released Wednesday.












Christian persecution doubled in 2013, reports annual survey by Open Doors

Tom Heneghan - Reuters





Reported cases of Christians killed for their faith around the world doubled in 2013 from the year before, with Syria accounting for more than the whole global total in 2012, according to an annual survey.












Other

ABC doesn’t believe in Right to free speech

Piers Akerman - Daily Telegraph







The left, be they from the ALP or the ABC, oppose free speech when it is their ideology which is under scrutiny. That’s why there was a sustained outbreak of clamorous opposition to Senator Cory Bernardi’s middle-of-the-road discussion of cultural values last week. The South Australian Senator broke two of the rules laid down by the left - he asked why no discussion of abortion is permitted in Australia though there are anything from 70,000 to 100,000 abortions carried out in this country each year, according to evidence given in Senate estimates - and he questioned whether single-parent families are the golden standard for child rearing.










A review of The Conservative Revolution, by Cory Bernardi

Bill Muehlenberg - CultureWatch





Unlike perhaps 90 per cent of the haters bashing Cory Bernardi on various websites, I actually have his new book and have actually read all 164 pages of it (and all 137 footnotes). So that might make my review slightly more reliable than a good hunk of those from the various secular left trolls.






Why the media doesn't get Hillsong: Reflections of an Australian Pentecostal

Tanya Riches - ABC Religion and Ethics





Because the new-ish Manhattan Hillsong plant is going so well, there's growing interest in the United States in the church. Mainstream specialists in religion and religious movements are increasingly turning their attention to global Pentecostalism (or in this specific case, Oceanian charismatic evangelicals who really don't like "tags" being applied to them). This fuels more interest in Australia.










'A host for a foetus': Brain-dead pregnant woman kept on life support

Manny Fernandez and Erik Eckholm - SMH





The diagnosis was crushing and irrevocable. At 33, Marlise Munoz was brain dead afte collapsing on her kitchen floor in November from what appeared to be a blood clot in her lungs. But as her parents and her husband prepared to say their final goodbyes in the intensive care unit at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas, and to honour her wish not to be left on life support, they were stunned when a doctor told them the hospital was not going to comply with their instructions. Munoz was 14 weeks pregnant, the doctor said, and Texas is one of more than two dozen US states that prohibit, with varying degrees of strictness, medical officials from cutting off life support to a pregnant patient.






Pedophilia, Italy ... & us?

Kelly Boggs - Baptist Press





The conviction of a 60-year-old man for having sex with a pre-teen girl was overturned by Italy's highest court last fall according to a report by Agence France-Presse. Social worker Pietro Lamberti was sent to prison for five years for his relationship with an 11-year-old girl. It seems the Italian Supreme Court has joined a growing number who are more than willing to acquiesce to the prevailing winds of perversity in regard to adult depravity and child sexuality. Two respected publications have subtly promoted the idea in the past year that adults having sex with pre-teen children perhaps should not be viewed as taboo.








Britain sees Muslim baby boom

Dominic Kennedy - The Australian





Almost a tenth of babies and toddlers in England and Wales are Muslim, a breakdown of census figures shows. The percentage of Muslims among the under-fives is almost twice as high as in the general population. In an indication of the extent to which birthrate is changing the UK's religious demographic, fewer than one in 200 over-85s are Muslim. One expert said it was foreseeable that Muslims who worshipped would outnumber practising Christians.