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

UK: 'Hundreds of women may have aborted perfectly healthy babies' after NHS staff at a major teaching hospital routinely failed to make vital checks


Kieran Corcoran - Daily Mail

Women at the University Hospital of Wales were given botched scans, which could have wrongly told them they had miscarried their babies.


In reversal, Court allows Texas law on abortion

Erik Eckholm - NY Times

Only three days after a federal judge blocked a new Texas law that threatened to shut down many of the state’s abortion clinics, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in New Orleans, reversed the decision, saying the rule should take effect while the case is argued in the months to come.


Canada: Conservatives support call to condemn sex-selective abortion, more divided on euthanasia

Laura Stone - Global News

Conservatives have condemned the practice of sex-selective abortion at their party convention, a topic that stirred some controversy in Parliament last spring. But they were more divided on the issue of euthanasia and assisted suicide, eventually passing a resolution that says the party will not support any legislation to legalize either practice.


Children & Family

A marriage of church and society

George Pell - Sunday Telegraph

Catholic theologians sometimes claim that "grace works through nature". Grace is spiritual energy, the nourishment God gives us for his purposes.


Donor Conception & Surrogacy

Dreams fulfilled as donor use soars


Julia Medew - The Age

Four years ago, Margaret Ambrose thought life couldn't get much worse. In the space of a year, she turned 40, her dog died and her long-term relationship broke down while she was preparing to start IVF. The Melbourne journalist who was yearning to be a mother thought she was facing a childless future. ''I thought there goes my dream of having kids,'' she said. ''I was 40 at the time so I thought, realistically, by the time I find someone, date them, decide to commit, how old will I be?'' Not content with her chances of finding a man in time to conceive, Ms Ambrose decided to join a growing band of single women who are using sperm donors to embark on motherhood alone.


Environment

AGL warned on fracking project risk


Michael West - SMH

Dr Philip Pells is no greenie. He consults to coal companies. But when it comes to AGL's controversial coal seam gas project at Gloucester, NSW, this engineer and water expert is strident in his criticism. Pells says the risk of fracking to the local community and its river system is too high. The underground aquifers are ''intimately connected'' with the surface water and AGL lacks a half-decent plan for disposing of salty waste water from its mining.


Health

Nothing sweet about this debate


Amy Corderoy - SHM

A science TV program has controversially challenged conventional wisdom on diet and heart health. But there is more to the story. It's the kind of vitriol usually reserved for climate science. But it's not the future of the planet that's at stake but the future of what we put in our mouths. Last week, the ABC's television science program Catalyst claimed the causal link between saturated fat, cholesterol and heart disease was "the biggest myth in medical history". It followed up this week by describing cholesterol medications as toxic and potentially deadly.


Human Rights

GG to highlight human rights


Tony Wright - SMH

The Governor-General, Quentin Bryce, wants to spend her last months in office promoting a national discussion to elevate the status of human rights for all Australians.


Marriage

Turnbull calls for conscience vote

Mark Kenny - SMH

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has called for a conscience vote on same-sex marriage, admitting that the matter is ''very likely'' to come before Federal Parliament this term. The call, which accentuates the distance between the moderate Mr Turnbull and his boss, Prime Minister Tony Abbott, came as the Greens party prepares for the reintroduction of a previously unsuccessful private member's bill.


The mess of marriage equality: the ACT and the constitution

Binoy Kampmark - On Line Opinion

Often noble sentiments can lead to ballsing up the law. The sentiment in Australia is certainly in favour of realising that same-sex couples should not suffer prejudice or sanction by virtue of their unions. The Australian Capital Territory, on October 22, capitalised on this sentiment, passing the Marriage Equality (Same Sex) Act 2013. Where that sentiment fractures is in the area of the institution of marriage.


Overseas Aid

The shame that is Abbott's foreign aid policy


Mark Baker - The Age

For a prime minister who won his office on the back of a deeply parochial agenda, it is striking that Tony Abbott has spent much of the time during his first weeks in the job immersed in the turbulent waters of international affairs.


Politics

Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss labels WA Senate recount a 'debacle'


ABC

Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss says the West Australian Senate recount has been a "debacle" and a "huge embarrassment" to Australia's electoral system.


Religious Freedom & Persecution

Age of intolerance: the war on religion

Barney Zwartz - The Age

As Christian villager Asia Bibi languished in a Pakistani jail awaiting death by hanging for drinking water from a Muslim cup, two suicide bombers killed 85 worshippers in a Peshawar church. For Egypt's Copts, who risk having the small cross-tattoos many wear on their wrists burnt off with acid by militant Muslims, the Arab Spring has been wintry. In August it got worse: Muslim Brotherhood supporters, blaming them for the army's removal of president Mohamed Mursi, attacked more than 100 Christian sites - 42 churches were razed.


Cairo, Muslim Brotherhood violence targets Church of Virgin Mary in Zaytoun

AsiaNews

Egypt's churches came under attack once again yesterday when a procession of students linked to the Muslim Brotherhood attacked the church of the Virgin Mary in Zaytoun , in the eastern part of Cairo, which marks the site of a famous apparition of Our Lady . The group - which came directly from Friday prayers in the mosque next door - clashed with some young Christians, who prevented the Islamists from storming the building.


Churches called to pray for suffering brethren

David Adams - Sight Magazine

Amid reports of growing suffering among Christians in many parts of the world, the persecuted church will be the focus of prayer next week as Christians across the globe mark the annual International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. The event is actually run over a week - 3rd to 10th November - with churches able to mark it on either the 3rd or the 10th (or both). In Australia - where event is also known as the International Days of Prayer for Persecuted Christians - hundreds of churches across the country are expected to take part.


Sexualisation of Society

Helen Razer’s beauty myth

Sarah Burnside - Overland

The mantra of self-esteem is everywhere these days. So Helen Razer’s recent diagnosis of a widespread tendency to write ‘as though the “right” to “feel beautiful” were something endorsed by John Locke and on a par with reproductive autonomy’ has real force. Consider Target’s current marketing slogan, ‘Every Australian has the right to look good and feel good about the way they dress and live’, which debases the language of human rights by commoditising it. Well might the sceptical conclude that ‘self-esteem’ often has more to do with consumer capitalism than it does with any genuine improvement in the lot of human beings of any gender.


Other

Germany allows 'indeterminate' gender at birth

BBC

Germany has become Europe's first country to allow babies with characteristics of both sexes to be registered as neither male nor female. Parents are now allowed to leave the gender blank on birth certificates, in effect creating a new category of "indeterminate sex".


Be careful not to sell the farm, Warren Truss warns

Canberra Times

Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss says Australia must control its food security and selling GrainCorp would give control of ports and handling facilities to a US firm. Mr Truss says both sides of politics want agriculture to be a key part of the nation's future, but it would be very difficult for Australia to make decisions for the sector to prosper without owning any of the supply chain.


Catholics to tackle the hard questions

Barney Zwartz - The Age

Catholics around the world are being asked their opinions of church teachings on divorce, same-sex marriage and contraception to inform a Vatican synod on the family next October. It is designed to help bishops strengthen Catholic families in the face of concerns ''unheard of until a few years ago'', such as unmarried couples living together, gay couples adopting children, single-parent families, ''forms of feminism hostile to the church'' and the ''culture of non-commitment''.