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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Children & Family

UK: ‘Family breakdown causing misery’, say Tory MPs


The Christain Institute

MPs have called on the Government to do more to support marriage because family breakdown costs £46 billion a year and causes misery for children.










Classification

UK: Film ratings revamp: Stricter for kids, but weaker for teens


The Christain Institute



Films rated U will include less bad language, while movies aimed at teenagers over 15 will be “more flexible” on swearing than before, Britain’s film rating board has said.










Donor Conception & Surrogacy

Think all human trafficking is illegal? Think again.


Catherine Harmon - Catholic World Report







At The Public Discourse, Alana S. Newman has a fascinating look inside a recent convention held by the American Association for Adoption and Reproductive Technologies Attorneys. The other attendees of the conference were, by and large, lawyers involved in facilitating third-party reproduction, including sperm and egg donation, embryo donation, and surrogate pregnancy.








Drugs & Alcohol

Hello Sunday Morning - changing Australia's relationship with alcohol one Sunday at a time


Whitney Fitzsimmons - ABC





As the fallout from alcohol fuelled violence continues to grip Australia, many in the community are questioning the detrimental habits that have become normalised in society, and why so many of us drink so much. In response to this rising binge-drinking culture, an online community has sprung up. It's called Hello Sunday Morning, and its aim is to change Australians' relationship with alcohol - one Sunday at a time.






Pressure mounting after Sydney drunk brawl

AAP



Pressure is mounting on the NSW Government to explain why it hasn't acted on an approved alcohol-related violence plan following a serious assault in Sydney. Three men were knocked unconscious early on Saturday morning in a brawl in Sydney's CBD.










Euthanasia

French court rules against 'passive euthanasia' in tetraplegic case


RFI





A court in France ruled against the withdrawal of food and water from Vincent Lambert, a tetraplegic patient who has been in a state of minimal consciousness in hospital for five years, following a car accident.










Gambling

Twenty20 gambling in league of its own


Peter Lalor - The Australian







The Big Bash League might be a success on local television but it is overseas where the Twenty20 tournament is attracting the biggest financial investment. Extraordinary amounts of money are being gambled on each game and 97 per cent of the legitimate bets placed come from overseas punters who can't get enough money on the Brisbane Heat, the Perth Scorchers and whoever else is competing.












Marriage

Younger couples prefer marriage, survey shows


Cosima Marriner - SMH







A generational shift is taking place in attitudes to marriage, with younger couples appearing more committed to the institution than their older peers. Relationships Australia's Lyn Fletcher said ''thoughtfulness'' was apparent in younger people's approach to long-term relationships. ''Young people are thinking seriously about marriage and parenting before going into long-term relationships and having children,'' she said. ''If there is a thoughtfulness going into a relationship, they're less inclined to just jump out of it.''
















Overseas Aid

Federal Government confirms $100m cut to foreign aid budget, focus on recipients in Asia-Pacific region

ABC







The Federal Government has announced it will cut the foreign aid budget by more than $100 million this financial year and redirect funds to fighting poverty in the Asia-Pacific region. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said the total aid budget this year will be more than $5 billion - $107 million less than the year before - and will be tied to rigorous benchmarks.










Region shielded from Australian aid program cutbacks

Greg Sheridan - The Australian









The Coalition will impose greater transparency and accountability on foreign aid under a radical restructure of the program that cuts hundreds of millions of dollars in aid spending this year, but quarantines payments to key developing nations. As foreshadowed in The Australian this morning, the government today unveiled a 2013-14 budget of $5.042 billion - a cut of about $100 million on 2012-13 spending, but $650m below Labor's last budget forecasts.










Politics

Letting go of the Lord's Prayer in Parliament


John Dickson - ABC





The loss of the Lord's Prayer from the seat of national power would be lamentable, but so would allowing this holy tradition to become a piece of historical theatre, writes John Dickson. The proposal of the Greens to drop the Lord's Prayer from Parliament rightly saddens Christians around the country; but, then, so should the saying of a prayer that nobody really means. The Christian love of prayer is more than matched by the Bible's aversion to hypocrisy.










Dumped Greens play it cool in bid to rile Labor

Rosemary Bolger - The Examiner







Either Nick McKim and Cassy O'Connor took a Valium on Thursday, or the Greens are remarkably unfazed about getting booted from the governing table for good. The minor party has enjoyed two seats at the cabinet table for the past four years. Not only were the two Greens ministers sacked on Thursday, they were delivered the news that would seemingly relegate them to the crossbenches permanently.






2014 Tasmanian Election Guide published

Antony Green - ABC





With the Tasmanian election now set for Saturday 15 March, my ABC election guide has been published.






2014 Griffith by-election

ABC





Polling Day: Saturday 8 February.










The persecution of Cory

David Flint - The Spectator







Cory Bernardi’s book is a reminder of the traditional values that made Australia and inspired earlier generations to fight for its very existence. Which perhaps explains why The Conservative Revolution has provoked such confected furore. Already this year, the Liberal senator has been denounced as a ‘hater’, ‘sexual beast’ and ‘predictably outrageous’ — and that’s before parliament resumes.










Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

'What can I do to fight human trafficking?'


Christian News Wire





Right now there are more slaves on earth than at any other time in history: 27 million worldwide. Many people want to fight this injustice, but how? January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. And Moody Publishers is teaming up with Moody Radio to draw attention to this horrific problem and empower people everywhere to prevent slavery, and rescue and restore victims caught in this illegal trade.










Religious Freedom & Persecution

Killings of Christians by Islamists doubled in 2013


Majid Rafizadeh - Front Page Mag





Egyptian Copts are the largest community of Christians left in the Middle EastAccording to Open Doors, a non-denominational group that supports persecuted Christians worldwide, the official number of Christians killed for their faith around the world doubled in 2013, compared to 2012. According to the annual survey, the number of Christians killed in Syria in 2013 comes to more than the whole global total of 2012. Approximately 13 percent of the Syrian population is made up of Christians.




Syria: Young Christian man beheaded on the spot after Islamists notice cross necklace

Midnight Watcher blog







According to a statement sent to Fides by Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), violence against Christians in Syria, is becoming ‘one of the worst persecutions endured by Christians in this part of the third millennium’. According to the latest reports, more than 600,000 Christians – a third of the total Syrian faithful – are internally displaced or living as refugees in neighboring countries. Christian leaders confirm the massive exodus of Christians from Syria, which could seriously jeopardize the future of Christians in the nation.














Other

Losing Walter: Alexis Fretz on having a miscarriage at 19 weeks

Kate Midena - News Ltd





'While his heart was beating I held him to my heart, counted his toes and kissed his tiny head.'