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

Tasmania stifles abortion protest with new law

Diana Hutchinson - Mercator Net





The island state has just approved a law which mandates referral and suppresses dissent.










Abortion rules are fiction: lawyers

Matthew Benholm - The Australian





Doctors can ignore restrictions on late-term abortions in Tasmania without fear of prosecution and potentially without any professional sanction, according to senior legal figures. The Reproductive Health (Access to Terminations) Act, passed by state parliament on Thursday, decriminalises abortion, but in a bid to win broader public and parliamentary support, it imposes conditions on terminations after 16 weeks pregnancy.










Christian lobby considers legal challenge to Tasmanian abortion clinic protest ban

ABC





Christian groups are considering a legal challenge to new Tasmanian laws which ban protests near abortion clinics. Changes to the abortion laws approved by parliament this week remove the medical procedure from the criminal code and also make Tasmania the first state to ban protests within 150 metres of clinics.






Abortion challenge concerns dismissed

The Examiner







The Human Rights Law Centre has dismissed a Tasmanian academic's concerns that new laws decriminalising abortion are vulnerable to a High Court challenge. University of Tasmania constitutional law lecturer Michael Stokes said the Australian-first introduction of 150-metre protest-free "access zones" around abortion clinics could be in violation of the implied right to political communication.












Children & Family

Red Frogs watching over schoolies

Kate Walsh - Illawrra Mercury.





Schoolies is well under way, as year 12 students across the country flock to warmer zones to celebrate the end of school. But while the 18-year-olds party, another group of young people will be busy making late-night pancakes and fielding calls from worried teens. The Red Frogs crew, about 1500 of them, head to schoolies hot spots in Australia and around the world to offer support throughout the week. As well as manning the Red Frogs hotline, the volunteers walk schoolies back to their hotels, clean up rooms, build friendships and provide emotional support to the teens through hotel chaplaincies.




Police get behind White Ribbon Day

AAP





Family violence has no place in Australian society - that's the message police across the country are sending as part of White Ribbon Day.










Classification

Billboard suggestive of a peep show banned by ad watchdog

Mumbrella





The advertising watchdog has ruled against billboard company’s advertisement due to its depiction of a woman that is “both exploitative and degrading” and is suggestive of a peep show. The billboard depicts an image of a woman’s chest and face which is visible through a hole in white paper. The woman is wearing a black bra and only her mouth and part of her nose are visible. The billboard’s slogan reads “Expose yourself”.










Drugs & Alcohol

Drug lords use Sydney students as drug mules


Mark Morri - Daily Telegraph









High school students are being paid by international crime syndicates to have their family homes used for drug drops. The 15 and 16 year olds get $300 to $500 to have illegal substances mailed to their addresses, without their parents' knowledge, and then collected later by a member of the gang.












Euthanasia

Death by doctor: Controversial physician has made his name delivering euthanasia when no one else will

Graeme Hamilton - National Post









As Canada moves toward legalizing assisted suicide, our four-part series looks at the places it is already happening.












Gambling

UK: Bookies machines known as 'crack cocaine of gambling' target most deprived areas

The Mirror





Betting machines as addictive as crack cocaine cost punters ­£8.5billion a year – and lead thousands of the most ­vulnerable people into desperate misery. Gamblers as young as 18 can even use bank cards to blow £100 every 20 ­seconds on games such as roulette on the 33,345 consoles around Britain – the vast ­majority sited in dole-queue blackspots.




NSW gaming chairman stuns the industry by admitting he 'hates gambling and despises pokies'

The Sunday Telegraph







The head of the State's independent liquor and gaming regulatory body has shocked the industry by openly admitting he "hates" gambling and "despises" poker machines.






US: Deli owners try to convince Lotto winner his $1 million ticket is worth $1000

Katherine Boniello - New York Post







This isn't the jackpot you were looking for - move along. Father and son deli owners from Long Island tried to pull a Jedi mind trick on a customer who came in with a $1 million winning ticket by pretending the prize was only $1,000 police said. A 34-year-old man came into the Peninsula Deli & Grocery in Hempstead Thursday presenting the valuable scratch-off ticket to Karim Jaghab, the owner's son.






Lottery millionaires Dave and Angela Dawes split up just days after another pair of lotto winners

News Ltd



Another lottery millionaire couple have split up, as the strain of how to spend their fortune reportedly took its toll on their marriage. Dave and Angela Dawes, from Surrey, England, were living in a 70 pound ($124) per week one bedroom flat when their lives were transformed after they bought only their third lottery ticket.










Indigenous

Welfare, economic reform top indigenous wish list


Patricia Karvelas - The Australian









Cape York leader Richie Ah Mat wants to use his role on Tony Abbott's new indigenous advisory panel to encourage economic development and push for an overhaul of the welfare system. Mr Ah Mat also wants to pursue Noel Pearson's Empowered Communities agenda, designed to encourage collaboration between indigenous groups and improve relationships with government.
















Marriage

Monarchists not happy as Quentin Bryce backs republic, gay marriage

Sarah Elks - The Australian





Quentin Bryce has become the first serving Governor-General to publicly back Australia becoming a republic. Ms Bryce, whose term as the Queen's representative ends in March, also threw her support behind gay marriage as she delivered the final Boyer Lecture of the year, outlining her vision for the nation. Her stance puts her at odds on two key issues with Tony Abbott, who opposes both a republic and gay marriage.










Governor General comes out in support of a republic, gay marriage

Aisha Dow - SMH





Governor General Quentin Bryce has become the first governor general in Australia's history to declare their support for an Australian republic during a landmark speech in Sydney. Ms Bryce made the comments during the last moments of her final Boyer Lecture on Friday evening. She also indicted her support for gay marriage, when she said she hoped Australia might become a nation where "where people are free to love and marry whom they choose".










Overseas Aid

US: Humanists say Christmas gift collection is ‘unlawful’

The Christian Institute





The American Humanist Association threatened legal action against a school in Denver over its involvement with Operation Christmas Child. The school caved in, but students and parents vowed to carry on with the gift appeal in a rally outside the school gates.










Politics

Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard demand bigger perks for former Prime Ministers


Samantha Maiden - The Telegraph





Kevin Rudd bombarded the incoming Abbott government with demands for taxpayer-funded assistance for two Brisbane offices, staff and other perks, even ringing the Prime Minister to discuss his arrangements. The Sunday Telegraph can reveal former prime minister Julia Gillard, who is believed to have secured a six-figure cash advance to write her memoirs, also requested an office in Melbourne and Adelaide and also sought an extra staffer, citing John Howard's arrangements as a precedent. Her request for a second office was denied.










Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

French face fines for buying sex but critics warn if clients are forced underground, prostitutes will too

The Independent





A new law that will punish prostitutes’ clients goes before parliament this week, and is dividing feminists












Religious Freedom & Persecution

Largest massacre of Christians in Syria ignored

Raymond Ibrahim - FrontPage Mag





The worst Christian massacre—complete with mass graves, tortured-to-death women and children, and destroyed churches—recently took place in Syria, at the hands of the U.S.-supported jihadi “rebels”; and the U.S. government and its “mainstream media” mouthpiece are, as usual, silent (that is, when not actively trying to minimize matters).




Pakistan: Christians in Rimsha's village still homeless and fearful

Australian Christian Today



Release partners say that Christians forced to flee from their homes during the Rimsha Masih (also known as Rimsha Misrik) blasphemy row are still homeless – and increasingly desperate. Between 800 and 1,000 families from Mehrabad are still living in tents or makeshift shelters in a forest area near Islamabad, more than a year after fleeing their homes. They lack even basic services such as water and fear officials may soon move them on.





Pakistan: Christian girl of 13 abducted, converted to Islam and forced to marry

Shafique Khokhar - AsiaNews



For more than five months there has been no news of Saba Waris, a 13 year old Christian girl from Jameelabad. The little girl was abducted, forcibly converted to Islam and forced to marry Syed Munawar Hussain, a Muslim of 32 years. Naseem Bibi, the child's mother asks AsiaNews for "any help possible. I want my daughter back and I want justice." So far, the woman has gone to the police, but without success.








Sexualisation of Society

UK: Professor calls for lowering age of consent to 15, PM says no

The Christian Institute





The age of consent should be lowered to 15 so that teenagers can access sexual health advice, a public health expert has said. And homosexual rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said the age of consent should be 14, because the age of sexual arousal is at around 11 years old, and the current limit persecutes rather than protects teenagers. But the Prime Minister has rejected the call from Faculty of Public Health President Professor John Ashton, saying there are “no plans to change” the current age of 16.