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

I'm an abortion clinic escort


Ruby Hamad - Daily Life


"Is this why you came here all the way from Australia? To kill babies?” I didn't set out to become a clinic escort. Sure, I'd seen footage of angry anti-abortion protesters harassing women and threatening doctors, but thought that only happened in such places as Kansas and Mississippi, not here in New York City. When a local feminist group told me that escorts - volunteers who “escort” patients from the street and into the clinic - were desperately needed at a women's health centre in a low-income area of Queens, I was motivated as much by curiosity as my passion for reproductive rights.


Classification

Legal loophole for Wicked obscenities to be explored


Sunshine Coast Daily

A parliamentary inquiry into advertising standards may hold the key to closing a legal loophole which allows obscene Wicked Campers to stay on the roads. Attorney-General Jarrod Bliejie has revealed a parliamentary committee is already investigating outdoor advertising and whether reforms, including law changes, are needed.


Drugs & Alcohol

Vic arrests in $300m drug raids


Steve Lilleburn - AAP

Three Canadians have been charged after police raids targeting a $300 million international drug syndicate. The trio was arrested in Melbourne as part of Operation Diamondback, which was set up 18 months ago based on information from Customs and NSW Police.


Salvos call for a re-think on alcohol advertising

ABC

The Salvation Army is urging Hunter residents to get behind their call for a re-think on they way alcohol is advertised during sport. As part of its Alcohol Awareness Week, the Salvos have released new research showing more than 70 per cent of regional Australians believe alcohol and sport are too closely related.


Education

Billions in funding fail to boost skills of teachers


Nicolas Perpitch - The Australian

Education funding has failed to boost the skills of teachers to deal with the wide range of challenges they are likely to face in the classroom, according to a leading advocate for education reform.


Will the tolerance agenda destroy Christian higher education?

Paula Bolyard - PJ Media

Last weekend my husband and I visited our son at the little Bible College he attends in Pennsylvania. The school’s website describes it as “a fully-accredited, faith-centered educational institution… committed to providing students with excellence in biblical higher education for effectiveness in global Christian leadership.” The 672 undergraduate students students all dual-major in Bible and their chosen field of concentration to earn Bachelor of Arts degrees.


Euthanasia

Your dying wish


Philip Adams - The Australian

In 2007, John Howard and Phil Ruddock were determined to ban a book - the first Australian book to be banned in this country for decades. It wasn't porn, or a naughty Norman Lindsay novel (his Redheap had been banned in 1930 and remained so until 1958). The seditious tome was Philip Nitschke's The Peaceful Pill Handbook, concerning voluntary euthanasia. The government already had a new law, the Criminal Code Amendment (Suicide Related Material Offences) Act, that made it a crime to use email, the internet, fax or phone to discuss the practical aspects of ending one's life. Now they wanted to ban an old-fashioned print guide, too.


Health

HIV rises as men admit unprotected sex


Nine MSN

HIV diagnoses are rising at a record rate as an increasing number of gay Australians admit having unprotected casual sex, according to two major reports. An annual surveillance report says 1253 people were diagnosed in 2012 and around 30,000 infected people know they have the virus.


HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmissible infections in Australia HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmissible infections in Australia: Annual Surveillance Report 2013

Kirby Institute

A total of 1 253 cases of HIV infection was newly diagnosed in Australia in 2012, a 10% increase over the number in 2011. The annual number of new HIV diagnoses has gradually increased over the past 13 years, from 724 diagnoses in 1999. Men who have sex with men accounted for 88% of diagnoses of newly acquired HIV infection. Exposure to HIV was attributed to heterosexual contact and injecting drug use in 9% and 1%, respectively, of diagnoses of newly acquired HIV infection.


Marriage

Rush to save gay marriage bill

Lisa Cox and Peter Jean - The Canberra Times

The ACT government has scrambled to amend its same-sex marriage bill in a last-minute bid to safeguard the historic law from being struck down by the High Court. But marriage equality advocates were warning the government on Monday night that the bill was likely to be deemed unconstitutional unless further amendments were made.


ACT makes eleventh-hour changes to same-sex marriage laws

ABC

The ACT Government will amend its same-sex marriage legislation to give it more chance of surviving a High Court challenge. Meanwhile leaders of eight of Canberra's religious faiths will meet today to present a united front against the legislation.


Will the ACT's marriage equality bill survive a High Court challenge?

ABC

A battle is brewing between the Australian Capital Territory and the Commonwealth over same-sex marriage. The ACT Government plans to pass its Marriage Equality Bill 2013 before the end of the year. The Federal Government says once this happens it will ask the High Court to overturn the law.


Politics

Trust in the nation's government and politicians has fallen to record lows, study finds

Clay Lucas - The Age

Trust in government and the nation's politicians is falling dramatically, a major research project tracking social harmony and Australia's large-scale immigration program has found. Australians' trust in their fellow citizens has also fallen, Mapping Social Cohesion, a report to be released on Monday, says. The report also found a marked increase in the number of migrants who said they had experienced racism and discrimination.


Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Child 'runaway bride' speaks out: 'I fled ignorance'


Israel National News

A Yemeni girl who ran away from an arranged marriage at age 10 faces off against a Muslim cleric on Lebanese TV.


Refugees

Minister wants boat people called illegals


Bianca Hall - SMH

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has instructed departmental and detention centre staff to publicly refer to asylum seekers as ‘‘illegal’’ arrivals and as ‘‘detainees’’, rather than as clients. The directive has been criticised as a ‘‘profound’’ shift by a leading asylum seeker agency, which says the new terminology is designed to dehumanise people.


Religious Freedom & Persecution

Gunmen kill 3 in shooting spree at Egyptian Coptic church


Reuters

At least three people were killed, including an eight-year-old girl, and around 12 others wounded after unknown gunmen opened fire on wedding guests outside a Coptic Christian church in a suburb of the Egyptian capital on Sunday night. "There were two men on a motorbike and one of them opened fire," said Egypt's interior ministry.


Sexualisation of Society

Delving into Perth's swinging scene


Bob Maumill - SMH

Conducting a series of interviews with people involved in the Perth "swingers" scene has been a revelation. For years it has been common knowledge that a sub culture of partner-swapping sex activists, known as "swingers", has operated in Western Australia. But as I delved further into the activities of regular "players", the number of participants and the social status of some of those involved astonished me. Thousands of West Australians like to swing.


Other

In the end, to be a mother meant to spare my unborn child suffering


Rebecca Schwartz - The Australian

Bed 73, 6 East Ward. I lie down and begin the unbearable wait for the unfathomable to unfold. There are forms to sign, visits by medical officers to endure. Over the next four hours each visit brings a new piece of torturous information. If your baby is stillborn, my partner and I are told, the hospital can dispose of the body or you can take it with you. If your baby takes a breath before dying, you cannot keep the body - it must be cremated or taken to a funeral home; you are also entitled to the baby bonus, which, a nurse brightly suggests, should help with burial costs. If you have not given birth in the next 24 hours, the doctor says, we will consider surgery.


Bayley's sentence appropriate: Vic court

AAP

Adrian Bayley's 35-year minimum jail term was entirely appropriate given the vicious and callous nature of his murder and rape of Melbourne woman Jill Meagher, a court has found. Bayley's failed publicly-funded bid to appeal his sentence has prompted a review by Victoria Legal Aid (VLA), with the body now considering more stringent tests and limits on which cases it will support.