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

US: Supreme Court schedules arguments for Hobby Lobby case


Michael Gryboski - Christian Post

The United States Supreme Court has officially scheduled oral arguments for what many believe will be a landmark case regarding religious liberty. Hobby Lobby Stores Inc., a Midwest crafts retail chain, will get to present oral arguments against the Department of Health and Human Services' "preventive services" mandate on Tuesday, March 25. Owned and operated by a Christian family who hold religious objections to providing abortion-inducing drugs to its employees, Hobby Lobby is represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.


Abortion is 'horrific', says Pope

Michael Trimmer - Christian Today

The Pope made his strongest comments yet against abortion in an address to global ambassadors on Monday. "It is horrific even to think that there are children, victims of abortion, who will never see the light of day," he said in a speech delivered at the Vatican.


Bioethics

Pregnant woman on life support stirs political debate


Becca Aaronson - Texas Tribune

A pregnant North Texas woman being kept on life support against her family's wishes is stirring political debate in a state immersed in competitive primary races, and fresh off a legislative session in which lawmakers had tense debates over when life begins and how it can end.


Donor Conception & Surrogacy

How are babies made? Ask the Supreme Court, darling


Jennifer O'Connell - Irish Times

Parents entering into arrangements such as surrogacy are doing so in a legal vacuum, in which everyone risks being exploited. ‘My bumbling, embarrassed “a mummy and a daddy” explanation doesn’t cut it in the complex, uncertain and ever-changing world of family creation in the 21st century.’


Drugs & Alcohol

Accused killer driver Nei Lima DaCosta in court over Oakleigh smash that claimed three lives


Shannon Deery - Herald Sun

An ice addict charged with killing three people after losing control of his car was drugged and speeding when he caused the fatal crash, a court has heard. Nei Lima Da Costa, 29, was allegedly driving at 120km/h and had methylamphetamine in his system when he ran a red light and ploughed into pedestrian 45-year-old Anthony Parsons killing him instantly.


NSW booze policy run by industry: oppn

News Ltd

THE NSW government refuses to introduce meaningful measures to combat alcohol-fuelled violence because the Liberal Party's booze policy is controlled by the "powerful" hotel lobby, the opposition says. Premier Barry O'Farrell has also been described as "unbelievably stupid" for claiming earlier closing times, lock-outs and tighter restrictions on shots, wouldn't prevent assaults occurring earlier in the evening.


Gambling

Laurence Escalante - The next James Packer?


Small Business

He’s been touted as the next James Packer and Australia's newest gambling magnate. But 32-year-old Laurence Escalante admitted it's an "embarrassing" tag when KBB caught up with him this week. The founder and CEO of Perth-based startup Virtual Gaming Worlds is pushing boundaries in merging the online gaming and gambling industries – a bold move considering online gambling is banned in Australia.


Homelessness & Poverty

Melbourne's homeless 'moved on' from sheltering in cool public spaces


Aisha Dow - The Age

Homeless people are being chased away from airconditioned centres and harassed by ''cranky passers-by'' as they attempt to seek refuge from the extreme heat. The city's rough sleepers say it is too hot to sleep at night. During the day, they are often moved on from cool public places, including shopping centres, fast-food outlets and public toilets, according to support workers.


Indigenous

Push to expand indigenous reading

Emma Macdonald - The Canberra Times

A Canberra initiative to get indigenous children reading by giving them a Kindle has proved a success and should be implemented across the country, according to indigenous academic Marcia Langton. The Indigenous Reading Project is the idea of Canberra public servant Daniel Billing, who believed indigenous children would be excited by reading if they were given a Kindle.


Marriage

Fred Nile's marriage gives him new lease on life as he backs away from retirement plans


Charis Chang - Manly Daily

Reverend Fred Nile's new bride has given him a new lease on life and he says he has abandoned plans to retire next year. The controversial MP and his wife Silvana Nero have settled in Dee Why since returning from a Caribbean cruise following their wedding last year.


Overseas Aid

Tonga to decide on cyclone aid requirements at cabinet meeting


ABC

Tonga's deputy PM says the government will decide how much aid it requires at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.


Compassion gives water of life to vulnerable children

Carey Lodge - Christian Today

Over 1.1 billion people across the globe don't have access to clean water, which equates to about an eighth of the global population. A child dies every 15 seconds from water-related diseases, which has led Compassion International to begin a new 'Water for Life' initiative.


Politics

Should we dump the Lord’s Prayer?


Neil Mitchell - 3AW

Should we dump the Lord’s Prayer? The Greens want to dump the Lord’s Prayer which is read before Federal Parliament sits each day. But why? Do you sing the National Anthem instead?


The success of the micro-parties in 2013

James Page - On Line Opinion

One of surprising results from the 2013 federal election in Australia has been the success of the micro-parties, notably in contesting the Senate. There is no exact definition for micro-party, although this is generally taken to denote a political party with no relevant parliamentary representation, and thus a political party with little or no resources. The success of the micro-parties in 2013 in Australia offers some important lessons for political campaigning.


McKim won't rule out no-confidence motion

Rosemary Bolger - The Examiner

Soon-to-be-dumped Cabinet minister Nick McKim has not ruled out the Greens moving a no-confidence motion in the government when State Parliament is recalled to debate the pulp mill. The Greens Leader fronted a media conference a short time ago after The Examiner revealed Labor's intention to recall Parliament before the election to remove any legal threats to the pulp mill. Premier Lara Giddings is expected to make the announcement tomorrow at the same time as sacking the two Greens ministers, saying yesterday she was considering all options.


Is the Geens bubble bursting

Paula Matthewson - The Hoopla

If the strategically placed leaks to the media prove accurate, by the end of this week Tasmania’s Labor premier, Lara Giddings, will have walked away from a power-sharing arrangement with the Greens. This will be the latest in a succession of political setbacks over the past year or two that suggest the Greens don’t have the cachet they once had with the Australian community, and can now be easily discarded by expedient political allies with nary a backward glance.


Refugees

Refugees 'fall through health gaps'


Sky News

Australian doctors should be mindful about the needs of refugees, many of whom are likely to be confused by an unfamiliar health system, say the authors of a new study. Although people on refugee visas have the same Medicare and social benefits as other permanent residents, many have mental health issues and illnesses that may be unusual in Australia.


Religious Freedom & Persecution

Persecution of Christians continues in India


Kelly Givens - Salem Web Network

The persecution of Christians continues in India, reports Mission Network News. In November, extremists used weapons and threats to force a Gospel for Asia (GFA) Bridge of Hope center to close. Threatened with death and under the pressure of their landlord, the center’s staff was forced to leave. More recently, four believers were forced to perform rituals of the area’s main religion, reports GFA. Unable to continue working under the group’s oppression, the GFA supported pastor left the village to work with another congregation.


Sexualisation of Society

Study: Teen girls targeted for sexual exploitation on TV


Jim Liebelt - HomeWord

New research from the Parents Television Council found that underage female characters on primetime broadcast television are more likely to be presented in sexually exploitative scenes than adult women, and the appearance of underage female characters in a sexually exploitative scene increased the probability that the scene would be presented as humorous.


App that let girls play plastic surgeons and said liposuction makes people 'slim and beautiful' dumped by iTunes after protests by 4,000 Twitter users

Sara Smyth - Daily Mail

A Twitter campaign against a children’s plastic surgery game that tells players that liposuction makes people ‘slim and beautiful’ forced Apple to remove the app from its platform last night. More than 4,000 Twitter users rallied behind a women’s rights group that called the app sexist and damaging to young women’s self esteem.


Other

Internet abuse: men must step up when women are shouted down


Ross Douthat - Canberra Times

The year is new, but we already have a candidate for the most troubling magazine essay of 2014: Amanda Hess on "Why Women Aren't Welcome on the Internet," in the latest issue of Pacific Standard. Hess takes a reality many people may be only dimly aware of - that female writers come in for an extraordinary amount of abuse online - and fleshes it out with detail, data and personal experience. The anecdotes, her own and others, range from the offensive to the terrifying, but there's also a thudding, soul-crushing sameness to them: graphic threats of sexual violence, rape and murder, intertwining and repeating.


Evolutionists criticize proposed bill allowing students to explore ‘scientific controversies’

Garrett Haley - Christian News

A lawmaker in Virginia has received sharp criticism from evolutionists after introducing a bill which would encourage public school teachers and students to examine the strengths and weaknesses of scientific theories.