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

Test raises fears of selective abortion


Ewa Kretowicz - The Canberra Times





A new, more accurate and less invasive test for foetal chromosomal disorders will be available in Australia next year, but concerns have been raised about it also being used for selective abortions based on gender. Non-invasive prenatal testing is available in the United States and blood tests from Australian women are now sent to America for screening at a cost of about $900.




Law on foetal rights 'will put many women at risk'

Kirsty Needham - SMH





The medical care of more than 100 women a year in NSW could be put at risk if a controversial law giving personhood status to a foetus of 20 weeks is passed through Parliament, the Australian Medical Association says. Fairfax Media has obtained data under freedom-of-information laws revealing public hospitals in NSW carried out 119 medical abortions for women who had passed the 20th week of pregnancy, for reasons including severe maternal distress, foetal death or severe foetal disease.
















Bioethics

Study: Pay people $10K to donate kidneys


John Johnson - Newser





It sounds at first blush like the ultimate in crass capitalism, but a new study suggests that paying people $10,000 to donate a kidney would actually cut down on health care costs in the long run, ease waiting lists, and improve the lives of patients, reports NBC News. The Canadian researchers say that even if donations ticked up a modest 5%, that would save $340 per patient, thanks mostly to reduced dialysis costs. If donations went up 20%, it would save about $4,000 per patient, reports CTV News.












Children & Family

A society that abandons children and elderly has a ‘dark future’: Pope Francis


Hilary White - Life Site News





The family founded on marriage is the “natural centre of human life” and protecting children and elderly people is a “choice of civilisation,” Pope Francis said in an address Friday morning. Speaking to the 21 plenary meeting of the Pontifical Council for the Family, the pope said, “Children and the elderly represent the two poles of life and also the most vulnerable, the most often forgotten.” “A society that abandons children and that marginalizes the elderly will sever its roots and dark future,” he said. “The family is founded on marriage,” the pope said. “Through an act of free and faithful love, newlywed Christians testify that marriage as sacrament, is the foundation on which rests the family and makes stronger the union of spouses and their mutual self-giving.”














Classification

Cougar life dating ad banned by Australian ad watchdog for unjustified violence


Anne Lu - IB Times





Cougar violence just won’t cut it on Australian TV. The Advertising Standards Board of Australia has banned the television commercial ad for the dating Web site Cougar Life for featuring unjustifiable violence by a woman to others. The ad watchdog has received complaints over the 30-second commercial, which is said to be sexually suggestive and is better suited to an “adults only” channel.










Execution on Facebook: a freedom too far

Theodore Dalrymple - SMH









Facebook's decision to permit, in effect, the universal dissemination of real beheadings to anyone with eyes to look at a screen is a contribution to the brutalisation of the world and ultimately a blow against the freedom of expression to which the company claims to be devoted.








SBS: Sex Broadcasting Service

Andrew Bolt - Herald Sun





SBS explains why taxpayers give it more than $200 million a year.














Drugs & Alcohol

Perth couple caught in $7m drug mule scam


Narelle Towie - News Ltd





The Perth couple who were unwittingly conned into become multi-million dollar drug mules after winning a dream trip to Canada feared they could have spent the rest of their lives in prison. The elaborate con duped the couple by taking them to Canada as "winners" of an all-expenses paid trip, which included accommodation and new luggage.


















Euthanasia

An Oregon doctor: Bill 52 is a license to kill


Canada NewsWire





Two days prior to "a vote in principal of Bill 52" at the National Assembly, the Coalition of Physicians for Social Justice presents an Oregon physician, Dr Kenneth Stevens, who will describe how the Oregon physician assisted suicide law has caused hundreds of physician assisted suicides over the past 15 years. He will also describe how if the current Bill 52 on euthanasia is passed in Quebec, hundreds of Quebecers will die annually at the hands of doctors.










Marriage

Gay marriage case hearing likely in Dec


AAP





The High Court could hear a challenge to the ACT same-sex marriage laws before any weddings are held. Chief Justice Robert French told a directions hearing on Friday he was working towards having the case heard when the full court sits from December 3 to 6.










High Court challenge to ACT same-sex laws may not be heard until December

ABC





The High Court has indicated a challenge against the ACT's same-sex marriage laws may not be heard before early December. On Tuesday, the ACT became the first jurisdiction in Australia to pass laws legalising same-sex marriages. But the Federal Government argues the laws are not consistent with the Commonwealth Marriage Act and is seeking an expedited hearing to prevent same-sex couples from marrying in Canberra.






For better or for worse, MPs to say I do ... or I don't

Sean Nicholls - Sydney Morning Herald





Even with the Premier and Opposition Leader on side, the politics of legalising same-sex marriage in NSW is complicated.










How marriage does benefit your wealth, health and children... by think tank that used to say it didn't matter

Steve Doughty - Daily Mail





Married couples enjoy far greater wealth and health than those who cohabit, an influential think-tank revealed yesterday. They are more likely to own their home, have better jobs and be more highly educated – and less likely to struggle to pay the bills. They have less chance of splitting up and their children are less likely to smoke or take drugs, a report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies said.














National Day of Action against Abbott’s High Court block

Serkan Ozturk - Star Observer





Nationwide protests have been planned for next month in response to the Federal Government’s attempts to overturn successfully enacted state or territory based same-sex marriage laws through the High Court. The rallies, set to take place in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth on November 23, will call for marriage laws – such as those recently passed by the ACT Parliament and to soon be considered by NSW’s parliament – to be upheld while also highlighting the need for reforms at a federal level. Cat Rose, co-convener of Community Action Against Homophobia, said though the success of the ACT legislation on October 22 was a historic day it was likely that state or territory-based same-sex marriage laws will not provide full marriage equality, particularly for transgender or intersex people.












Intersex rights: the next fight

Star Observer





Saturday marks Intersex Awareness Day. Sadly, the ACT government’s move to legislate for full marriage equality was scaled back to provide only same sex marriage.














Politics

Labor MP Brenton Best calls for Premier Lara Giddings to be replaced by David O'Byrne


Lucy Shannon - ABC



Behind the scenes rumblings in the Tasmanian Government have exploded into the open after backbencher Brenton Best called for Premier Lara Giddings to be replaced. Mr Best told The Advocate newspaper: "I just can't see a way forward with the current leader." The Labor backbencher has been openly critical of his party's power sharing deal with the Greens and has repeatedly attacked Greens Leader and Cabinet Minister Nick McKim.












Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Reduced jail sentence for Canberra brothel madam


Ewan Gilbert - ABC





A Canberra brothel madam who kept a Thai woman as a sex slave has had her jail sentence cut after an appeal. In 2012 Watcharaporn Nantahkhum, 46, was found guilty by a jury of six charges including that she had kept one of her employees as a slave.












Refugees

Malaysia back on board to stop the boats, says Scott Morrison


Lanai Scarr - News Ltd





Immigration Minister Scott Morrison says Australia has "rebooted" its relationship with Malaysia in an effort to tackle the people smuggling trade. In his weekly briefing on Operation Sovereign Borders Mr Morrison said a meeting yesterday with Malaysian Minister of Home Affairs Dr Ahmad Zahid Bin Hamidi had resulted in the restarting and upgrading of two important initiatives to stop the movement of asylum seekers across the nation's borders.












Religious Freedom & Persecution

Iran: Four Christians sentenced to 80 lashes for drinking communion wine


National Council of Resistance, Iran





A court in the Iranian city of Rasht has sentenced four members of the Church of Iran denomination to 80 lashes each for drinking wine during a communion service.












Muslims in Pakistan arrested on forcible conversion charges

Morning Star News





Police in Islamabad have arrested three Muslims for pistol-whipping a Christian and his teenage nephews after they refused to convert to Islam, sources said.












Sexualisation of Society

Brothers in harm


Christopher Knaus - The Canberra Times





It was an impulsive plan, the abhorrence of which appeared to escape Dylan Deblaquiere in the crudely written text message he sent to his fellow ADFA officer cadet Daniel McDonald.
















Other

Child sexual abuse and the churches: A story of moral failure?


Patrick Parkinson - ABC Religion and Ethics





Some pe ple may be puzzled, even angered, that the title to this lecture ends in a question-mark. Surely, we already know that the story of child sexual abuse in churches is a story of shocking moral failure. Story after story has appeared in the media in Australia in recent years of terrible sexual exploitation of children - and if that were not bad enough, the cover-up of those crimes by superiors in the Church who, for whatever reason, chose not to involve the police or to act protectively towards children.






Call for Aussie supermarkets aisles

Darren Gray - The Age







Supermarkets should have a designated Australian-only aisle, or aisles, according to a farmer who says the scheme would generate an ''absolutely huge'' boost in sales of locally grown or made goods, protect local jobs and stimulate the economy.