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

Pope Franics: Abortion part of 'throwaway culture'


News Ltd





Pope Francis on Monday criticised abortion as evidence of a "throwaway culture'' that wastes people as well as food, saying such a mentality is a threat to world peace. Francis also urged better respect for migrants and denounced the persecution of Christians in Asia, Africa and the Middle East in his global survey of world crises delivered to diplomats accredited to the Holy See.






Abortion laws must recognise scientific changes

Jennifer Oriel - The Australian





Senator Cory Bernardi's book The Conservative Revolution has been portrayed as a tirade against women's reproductive choices. The senator's penchant for polemics certainly reaches a zenith when he describes pro-choice women as pro-death. But he is mostly concerned with conservative faith in the sanctity of life and countering an emergent discourse that would permit the murder of healthy newborns as "post-birth abortion".










Roe v. Wade's days are numbered

Timothy C. Morgan - Christianity Today





Forty years after the U.S. Supreme Court issued its Roe v. Wade decision, a leading pro-life legal expert believes the decision has never been more vulnerable to being overturned.












Charities & NFP

People are being fooled by hundreds of street donation bins that benefit big business rather than a good cause, investigation finds


Kylie Adoranti - Herald Sun





More than 80 per cent of donation bins across Melbourne are operated by commercial businesses rather than recognised charities, a Leader investigation has revealed. Householders wanting to help charities are being easily fooled, and a national charitable group says stronger policies are needed to stop commercial operators from disguising their donation bins as charity drop-points.
















Children & Family

US: Liberals won’t and don’t need to “collectivize” your kids: “Youth rights” and the shrinking power of parents


Mary Rice Hasson - Family in America





Conservatives lit up the airwaves, blogosphere, and Twitter earlier this year, expressing outrage over comments by MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry, who urged Americans to embrace a more “collective notion” of children—one that sees all children as “our children.”1 Harris-Perry’s remarks, part of an ad campaign supporting increased government spending on education, also exhorted Americans to put aside the “private notion of children,” where “your kid is yours” and “kids belong to their parents or kids belong to their families.” Instead, Harris-Perry insisted, “Kids belong to whole communities.”














Classification

UK: Maintaining public trust in film classification

David Cooke - Huffington Post







Public trust is crucial to an organisation such as the British Board Of Film Classification (BBFC). It is vital that the public - parents in particular - trust that the classification decisions we make reflect their own sensibilities. If for example, we were to classify depictions of strong, unsimulated sex as suitable for all, or restrict mild language to older teens or adults only, the public would soon start to lose confidence in, and so ignore, the BBFC's classifications.












Donor Conception & Surrogacy

Doctors transplant wombs into nine women


News Ltd





Nine women in Sweden have successfully received transplanted wombs donated from relatives and will soon try to become pregnant, the doctor in charge of the pioneering project has revealed. The women were born without a uterus or had it removed because of cervical cancer. Most are in their 30s and are part of the first major experiment to test whether it's possible to transplant wombs into women so they can give birth to their own children.












Drugs & Alcohol

Bulked-up body, short fuse mind: steroids and rage


Peter Munro - SMH





The rage would come without warning. He once punched through the bathroom wall after failing to fit a tie around his neck, so muscled had it become. Smashing his right fist through the gyprock over something so small. ''I had a very short wick,'' says Aaron, 37. "I would become quite aggressive. If waiting at a set of lights, I would get agitated and frustrated … I would just snap."








Daniel Christie death: Shaun McNeil charged with murder over New Year's Eve assault

ABC





A man has been charged with murder over the one-punch assault of 18-year-old Daniel Christie in Kings Cross on New Year's Eve. Shaun McNeil, a 25-year-old builder, will face court tomorrow charged with murder after Christie's life support was turned off on Saturday.




Young man's death highlights the tragic reality of online illegal drug stores

Rachel Olding - SMH







Alanna Skelly's son Daniel was just a normal 21-year-old northern beaches boy. ''He was a happy kid,'' she said. ''He was bright, he was bubbly, he rode his pushbike to work, he always liked to have a joke. He was just a normal, happy kid.''














Education

Where does the west begin and end in education?


Fotis Kapetopoulos - On Line Opinion





Recently the Minister for Education Christopher Pyne announced his intentions to review the national school curriculum as reported 'amid fears a "cultural Left" agenda is failing students' (The Australian). Mr Pyne wants to restore an "orthodox" curriculum and named former teacher Kevin Donnelly and business professor Ken Wiltshire to lead the review.














Curriculum review must focus on the needs of children

Editorial - SMH





Parents who expect their children to receive certainty, continuity and impartiality in education must be shaking their heads. The Abbott government has appointed two like-minded independent experts to review the national curriculum barely two years into its operation.














Gambling

Retail tycoon Gerry Harvey loses $700,000 in Bill Vlahos fire sale at Magic Millions


Tom Minear - Herald Sun





Retail tycoon Gerry Harvey has lost more than $700,000 after collapsed punting club founder Bill Vlahos failed to pay for horses he bought in Harvey's Magic Millions sales.






Churches urge MPs not to undo pokie reform

Richard Willingham - The Age







The Australian Churches Gambling Taskforce has written to all federal MPs before the resumption of Parliament, urging them to ignore vested interest groups and to block the government's plan to repeal poker machine reforms.


















Indigenous

New partnerships support Indigenous health


Joe Fennessy - The Age









Shayne Bellingham possesses an unrelenting commitment to the study of genetics and what his research means for brain diseases. Since completing his PhD at the University of Melbourne in 2005, his research has continued to focus on genetics for diagnosis and understanding of Alzheimer’s and Prion diseases.














Marriage

Outrage over Nigeria anti-gay marriage law


SBS





The international community has condemned a bill in Nigeria outlawing gay marriage, which proposes up to 14 years in jail for those in same-sex unions.












Overseas Aid

Urgent call to prevent lost generation of Syrian children


Christian Today



World Vision, UNICEF, UNHCR, Save the Children, and other agencies united behind a call to governments, aid agencies and the public to champion the children of Syria by backing a $1 billion “No Lost Generation” aid intervention. The organizations are so concerned about the situation facing millions of Syrian children that they are uniting behind a call for donor and public support to fund critical education and protection programs to lift Syrian children out of misery, isolation, and emotional and mental distress.










Politics

Victorian parliament Speaker Ken Smith to retire


Richard Willingham - The Age





Embattled Speaker Ken Smith will not contest this year’s election, the MP has announced. Last week, The Age reported that Mr Smith, the 69-year-old veteran of the Liberal party, faced likely defeat if he decided to recontest the safe seat of Bass. Aaron Brown, a local Liberal with strong conservative lineage, had been tipped to challenge for the prized seat. He is a 27-year old agricultural scientist and son of former Liberal state leader Alan Brown.












Redcliffe byelection rests on the undecided and disillusioned

Amy Remeikis - Brisbane Times





The undecideds and the Palmer vote could be cruicial in deciding the outcome of the Redcliffe byelection. Premier Campbell Newman is expected to call the byelection date on Monday, following his return from holidays. The seat has remained vacant since Scott Driscoll resigned from parliament in November, after an adverse finding from the Parliamentary Ethics committee.














Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

US: The scourge of human trafficking in our own back yard


Nancy Zaretsy - Miami Herald







Once you know something horrible is happening to children right in your own neighborhood, what do you do? What do you do when you realize that children are being held against their will nearby and forced to work, to prostitute themselves as slaves?
















Religious Freedom & Persecution

Syria: Armenian Christians forced to convert to Islam or die


Raymond Ibrahim - The Blaze





Arabic language websites reported earlier this week that the al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant—which, throughout the course of the war against the Syrian Bashar al-Assad government has committed any number of atrocities, from decapitating “infidels” to burning churches—has successfully “forced” two Armenian Christian families to convert to Islam.












Sexualisation of Society

UK: Film ratings to be toughened up amid fears over the sexualisation of girls


Alice Philipson - Telegraph





Ratings for films aimed at children will be toughened up as they are too sexualised and contain too much swearing, the body which decides movie ratings has said.










Other

So ready to throw book at Bernardi without reading it


Paul Sheehan - Sydney Morning Herald





"We know the statistics - that children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime, nine times more likely to drop out of schools and 20 times more likely to end up in prison. They are more likely to have behavioural problems, or run away from home, or become teenage parents themselves. And the foundations of our community are weaker because of it.'' - President Barack Obama, Father's Day speech, 2008.














Keeping up appearances in frugal times

Bianca Hall - SMH





Undeterred by the threat of deep-vein thrombosis, Prime Minister Tony Abbott took to economy class last month to fly overseas for a family holiday. It was a commendable look for the leader of a government preparing to take the razor to the budget. And while Abbott's office did not try to publicise his frugal travel arrangements, they did not go unnoticed.












Questions over new ex-gay program boss

Benjamin Riley - Star Observer





Sydney-based ex-gay organisation Liberty Christian Ministries has appointed a new head for their pastoral care program that claims to offer support for people with “unwanted same-sex attractions”, sparking concern over the organisation’s continuing activities.