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

Vatican Cardinal Burke interviewed on Pope Francis: says ‘we can never talk enough’ about abortion


John-Henry Westen - Life Site News





Vatican Cardinal Raymond Burke has spoken publicly about remarks by Pope Francis that have been interpreted in the media to mean that the Church should focus on "essentials" rather than abortion or homosexual "marriage." “What could be more essential than the natural moral law?” said Burke in an interview which aired yesterday on the EWTN flagship program the World Over Live. “We can never talk enough about that as long as in our society innocent and defenceless human life is being attacked in the most savage way,” the cardinal told EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo. “I mean it’s literally a massacre of the unborn.”












Children & Family

Tony Abbott flags changes to make adoption system easier and faster


Latika Bourke - ABC





The Abbott Government is considering capping the length of time agencies have to process adoption applications to make it easier and faster for couples to adopt domestically and from overseas.










Loneliness…the greatest tragedy of all

Bernard Toutounji - On Line Opinion





Each year, as so many of us wrap gifts, baste the Christmas turkey and look forward to the holiday fun, there is a growing proportion who will neither receive a gift, enjoy a festive meal or have the opportunity to celebrate with loved ones. These people are not only the homeless, the physically and mentally disabled, the widowed and the elderly, but in the Western World they are increasingly people in our own circles, the work colleague, the friendly neighbour, or the migrant family.












Classification

Devondale request independent review on banned flavoured milk ad


Mumbrella





An ad for Devondale flavoured milk featuring a group of adventurous kids getting up to mischief, including taping one child to a wall, has been been banned by the advertising watchdog for presenting unsafe behaviour.








ICC - International Chamber of Commerce : APEC leaders identify development of regional advertising standards as 2014 priority

4 Traders





Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders recently endorsed development work on best practice standards for regulating advertising at their ministerial meeting in Bali. ICC continues to be actively engaged in supporting this process and welcomes the endorsement as a step forward validating previous work in this area to establish greater consistency in the rules and application of advertising frameworks in the region.










Drugs & Alcohol

Alcohol-fuelled violence on our streets: two nights of living hell in NSW

Taylor Auerbach - The Daily Telegraph







A person was arrested every three minutes across the state during a two-night blitz on booze-fuelled violence.












Bada Bing stripped of all-night trading licence

Yoni Bashan - The Daily Telegraph





Strippers driving home drunk, bikie ­shootouts on the dance-floor, security guards assaulting rowdy patrons and staff doing shots at the bar. These are some of the antics at Bada Bing nightspot that have led to the club facing closure after losing a battle with liquor authorities to keep its all-night trading licence. From this week Bada Bing will be forced to lock out patrons from 2am and close at 3am - a move its owners say will make it "commercially worthless".












Euthanasia

John Wise sentenced to six years in for shooting dead wife Barbara Wise in hospital 'out of love'


News Ltd





An Ohio man convicted of fatally shooting his ailing wife in her hospital bed was sentenced Friday to six years in prison and plans to seek clemency from the governor.




Belgian kids get the ultimate Christmas present

Michael Cook - Mercator Net















The outcome was expected, but observers overseas were astonished at the margin of victory. By a vote of 50 to 17 yesterday, the Belgian Senate approved euthanasia for children. When the bill finally passes – which now seems quite certain – there will be no age limit for choosing to die at the hands of Belgian doctor. The next step is a vote in the lower house, which will probably take place in May.




MS sufferer warns against ‘vague’ assisted suicide Bill

The Christian Institute







A retired surgeon who has multiple sclerosis (MS) has spoken out against MSP Margo MacDonald’s plans to legalise assisted suicide in Scotland. Professor Donald MacDonald said: “The current laws exist to protect the vulnerable and should not be changed.” He warned that the qualifying conditions for assisted suicide under the Bill were “so vaguely defined that they seem fairly elastic”.










Gambling

Crown wants tax relief on high rollers in response to pokies levy


Madeleine Heffernan, Jessica Gardner - The Age





James Packer's casino company Crown is expected to push for lower tax rates on high rollers in response to the Victorian Government's plan to tax its 2500 pokies to the tune of $56 million a year.




Debts may force The Edge investors to sell up

Stephen Drill - Herald Sun





Punters who lost money in The Edge punting syndicate will lose houses and be forced to live with their parents. Some punters redrew so much on their mortgages that even if they sell their homes they will not be able to pay off their debts.






Qld lifts pokies ban on big notes

The New Daily







Poker machines in Queensland’s pubs, clubs and casinos will accept notes bigger than $20 now the government has lifted restrictions on note values.












Indigenous

Gooda slams NT alcohol 'thought bubbles'


News Ltd





The Northern Territory's "thought bubbles" of alcohol management policies have serious human rights implications, Australia's indigenous rights commissioner warns. In his 2013 social justice and native title report, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda argues for a human rights-based approach to the contentious issue affecting indigenous communities.












Marriage

High Court uses slippery slope argument to defend same sex marriage. Where is Malcolm Turnbull now?


Andrew Bolt - Herald Sun





The High Court this week endorsed the “slippery slope” argument used by opponents of same-sex marriage - and unwisely sneered at by the likes of Malcolm Turnbull. In this case the argument is simple: once you insist that two gays should be free to marry each other on the grounds that they are consenting adults then you cannot logically oppose three consenting adults from marrying, either. Agree to same sex marriage and you must agree to polygamy, too.






Reverend Fred Nile marries Silvana Nero - says his late wife Elaine would have approved

Alicia Wood - The Daily Telegraph



It was NSW parliament's answer to the royal wedding - complete with a diamond tiara. Silvana Nero, 55, wore the jewel-encrusted headpiece and a floor-length gown as she married controversial MP the Reverend Fred Nile, 79, yesterday.












Fact file: High Court decision on ACT same-sex marriage laws

ABC





By deciding that "the kind of marriage provided for by the [Marriage] Act is the only kind of marriage that may be formed or recognised in Australia", the High Court has in essence ruled out state laws being used to bring in same-sex marriage. The same-sex marriage issue is one that will have to be decided in the federal Parliament.










Same-sex couples knew risk of weddings, Tony Abbott says

Noel Towell - The Canberra Times





Gay couples who wed in Canberra on the weekend knew they ran the risk that their marriages would be knocked down by the High Court, Prime Minister Tony Abbott says. The Prime Minister reiterated his opposition to legalising same-sex marriage in Australia and would not commit to a conscience vote for his MPs and senators if a bill came before the federal parliament.












Free vote likely on gay marriage: Malcolm Turnbull

SMH





Senior Liberal MP Malcolm Turnbull says it is ‘‘likely’’ the Coalition government will allow a conscience vote on gay marriage before the next election, but it is too soon to say if it will be successful. After the High Court’s decision to strike down ACT same-sex marriage laws, attention has now shifted back to federal parliament.






Labor clarifies position on marriage referendum

Benjamin Riley - Star Observer





The Australian Labor Party sparked confusion on Monday after they voted in favour of a motion investigating a referendum on marriage equality, but have since clarified their position in opposition to such a referendum. The motion came from Democratic Labor Party Senator John Madigan and proposed a referendum to define marriage as between a man and a woman and to confirm marriage as solely the legislative domain of the federal parliament.












Politics

Lawyer Terri Butler wins preselection for Griffith, Rudd's former seat


Cameron Atfield - SMH





Labor has preselected lawyer Terri Butler in its bid to hold on to the seat of Griffith after the resignation of former prime minister Kevin Rudd forced a byelection.














Religious Freedom & Persecution

Egyptian convert to Christianity arrested on ‘Bogus Charges'


Barbara Boland - CNS News





An Egyptian convert to Christianity who sued the government for permission to change his religion on his ID card reportedly was arrested last week on "bogus" charges of inciting sectarian strife. Press reports say that Bishoy Armia Boulous, formerly known as Mohammed Hegazy, was arrested on Dec. 4 at a cafe in Minya, a city 161 miles south of Cairo, and is likely being tortured.






Iraq's battle to save its Christian souls: 'Christians are finished here'

Colin Freeman - The Telegraph





As the last remaining Christian priest in the Baghdad suburb of Doura, Archdeacon Temathius Esha no longer just puts his trust in God's all-seeing eye. Built into the wall of his vestry, amid pictures of Catholic saints, is a 16-screen CCTV monitor, keeping watch on every corner of his church in case of possible attack.




No tolerance without Christianity

USA Today







"Across the world, people are being singled out and hounded out simply for the faith they hold…. [Middle Eastern Christians] are rooted in their societies, adopting and even shaping local customs. Yet ... [a] mass exodus is taking place, on a Biblical scale. In some places, there is real danger that Christianity will become extinct."










Sexualisation of Society

Casual Seymour College athletics coach, 18, arrested over child pornography charges

Sheradyn Holderhead - The Advertiser





An 18-year-old who worked as an athletics coach within the SA private school sector has been arrested on child pornography charges. Parents at Seymour College received an email at 10pm on Thursday night, informing them that a casual athletics coach employed from February to May this year had been arrested, but that the alleged offence was in no way connected to the school.












How porn is destroying modern sex lives: Feminist writer Naomi Wolf has an unsettling explanation for why Britons are having less sex

Naomi Wolf - Daily Mail





These days, I am rarely surprised when, after a lecture or book signing, someone will try to talk to me about their addiction to porn and ask where he or she can get help. As an author and feminist social commentator, I often discuss my work at events and meet a wide spectrum of people who talk to me about sex, relationships and, more increasingly, the impact of pornography on their lives. There is no stereotype of what this person will look like.














Murdered by porn: We've all been horrified by high-profile cases of child killers hooked on extreme porn. But they're just the tip of the iceberg

Paul Bracchi - Daily Mail





He wore a freshly laundered shirt and smart dark suit for his appearance in the dock. Jamie Reynolds was also sporting a short new haircut and trim goatee beard instead of his scruffy stubble. In truth, he looked less like the man he is — a monster now locked up in the same psychiatric unit as Moors Murderer Ian Brady — than the boy he once was: a teacher’s son from a Shropshire market town, who had enjoyed a comfortable, middle-class upbringing. But the evidence that unfolded last week told the true story. Few defendants who have appeared at Stafford Crown Court — or any other court for that matter — could have derived such sadistic pleasure from their crimes.






Lingerie football — LOL

Wendy Tuohy - Herald Sun









Maybe it’s the time of year, being the silly season and all, but I’m struggling to get too exercised about the arrival of so-called “lingerie football” in Melbourne last night. For about seven reasons.












Other

New Victorian law to crack down on malicious sexting


Farrah Tomazin - The Age





Sending explicit images without consent will soon be a crime in Victoria, as the Napthine government moves to create Australia's first specific sexting law. But in a significant shift, young people who sext will not be prosecuted for child pornography, closing a loophole that has previously seen some children placed on the sex offenders register.






Rev. Billy Graham close to death, grandson says

Melissa Clyne - News Max









A frail and ailing Rev. Billy Graham is “close to going home to be with the Lord,” according to his grandson, Will Graham. Will Graham, the son of Franklin Graham, CEO of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, says his 95-year-old grandfather is not suffering but that “old age has caught up to him and is sucking the life out of him.”