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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Children & Family

Child's school project becomes a plea to the Family Court


Michaela Whitbourn - SMH

She has witnessed countless bitter rows between her warring parents, including an incident at her primary school assembly that led to police being called. Her mother, a health worker, admits she has an alcohol abuse problem and her behaviour towards her former husband and his new wife has been ''appalling''.


Meet the co-parents

Louise Carpenter - The Guardian

The definition of family has changed in recent years, now co-parenting is rewriting it completely. These mothers and fathers have relationships based on legal agreements and counselling rather than dates, romance and sex. But they all have one thing in common: the desire to have a child.


Classification

UK: Internet porn blocked by BT by default: Automatic filters will protect children from sex websites


Lizzie Edmonds - Daily Mail

BT has announced all new customers will have parental control filters switched on when they subscribe to its broadband service. The company has offered the free Parental Controls service for a number of years, but this is the first time new customers will have to actively choose whether to turn the filters off.


Donor Conception & Surrogacy

Facing the fallout of artificial reproductive technologies


Carrie Gress - Catholic World Report

“Egg or sperm donors don’t help other people have children, they help other people have their children,” says Jennifer Lahl, founder and president of the Center for Bioethics and Culture. Lahl spoke with Catholic World Report about her work to assist the most defenseless affected by the rapidly changing and largely unregulated world of biotechnology. The CBC has produced three original, award-winning documentary films: Anonymous Father’s Day (2011), about children of sperm donors who long to know more about their biological fathers; Eggsploitation (2010), which uncovers the serious risks associated with human egg donation; and Lines That Divide (2009), focusing upon the stem-cell research debate.


Drugs & Alcohol

Philadelphia abortion doctor Gosnell gets 30 years for illegal drugs


Associated Press

A Philadelphia doctor already serving life in prison for performing rogue abortions has been sentenced to a concurrent 30 years for illegally distributing painkillers, including many later sold on the street by addicts and drug dealers.


Euthanasia

Euthanasia 'fundamentally selfish'


James Henry - Stuff

I write this submission as the 33-year-old father of a lovely 7-month-old baby girl. I was born in New Zealand and with the exception of occasional overseas trips have lived my entire life here. I have no intention of living anywhere else. I work in secondary education and see my role in life as being to contribute to the well-being and development of my country of birth. For all these reasons I am profoundly disturbed by many of the comments about euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide (PAS) that I have read on this page.


French public panel recommends legalizing euthanasia

John Irish and Sophie Louet - Reuters

A French public panel recommended on Monday legalizing voluntary euthanasia, supporting a campaign pledge by President Francois Hollande despite the opposition of the national ethics committee. Hollande promised in July to hold a national debate with a view to submitting a bill to parliament that would go beyond the current law that bars doctors from assisting suicide.


Gambling

Pokies changes won't promote responsible gambling, pubs lobby says


Richard Willingham - The Age

An angry pubs lobby, which is facing a new tax hike, says plans to reduce the rate of return to punters on Victoria's poker machines is inconsistent with responsible gambling. The pubs and clubs have also vowed to campaign against the Napthine government's shock tax increase on the industry, which the Australian Hotels Association says will hit venues' bottom line by up to 7.5 per cent.


Homelessness & Poverty

New report shows rise in demand for homelessness services, big surge in 'couch surfing'


Simon Lauder - ABC

Advocates for the homeless are urging the Federal Government to commit fresh funding to the sector, as new figures show a big increase in the number of people seeking help. Advocates for the homeless are urging the Federal Government to commit fresh funding to the sector, as new figures show a big increase in the number of people seeking help. A report released today by the Institute of Health and Welfare shows 244,000 Australians used homelessness services in the past financial year - a 3 per cent increase in one year.


Human Rights

Tim Wilson to head freedom campaign as human rights commissioner


Christian Kerr - The Australian

New Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson has pledged to put freedom on the offensive. Attorney-General George Brandis announced the appointment of the high profile public policy analyst and commentator to the role today.


Marriage

Hundreds turn out to support cake shop owner who refused same sex wedding


Taylor Temby - 9 News

On Friday, hundreds of supporters flooded the small Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood in support of the store’s owner, Jack Phillips. Phillips made national news in 2012 when he refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, claiming it violated his Christian beliefs. The couple sued him, and the American Civil Liberties Union filed a complaint on their behalf.


Politics

It's time to live within our means, says Joe Hockey


David Crowe - The Australian

Australia is heading for an economic trough that will put more jobs at risk as the mining boom subsides, deepening the budget deficit and putting federal debt on track to hit $667 billion. In a bleak revision of the nation's outlook, Joe Hockey declared that the "entire community" would have to accept spending cuts and other harsh measures to prevent the deficits from continuing for a decade.


Prostitution & Human Trafficking

UK: Modern Slavery Bill to tackle scourge of human trafficking


Human traffickers will face tougher sentences under new draft legislation published today. The Modern Slavery Bill is the first of its kind in Europe, according to the Home Office. Experts have welcomed the proposals to help prosecute offenders but some have warned that they do not provide enough protection for victims.


Dutch prostitutes demand footballers' pension perks

News Limited

Dutch prostitutes want to enjoy the same retirement perks as professional footballers because they also do "difficult physical work" in the prime of their lives, a lawyer says. "Footballers and prostitutes both do a difficult physical job that they cannot do their whole life," said Wil Post, a lawyer for Freya, a company that wants to take over a prostitution business in central Dutch city of Utrecht.


Refugees

Syria, and its refugees, brace for the freezing cold


Keir Simmons - NBC News

In a devastating war that has already taken over 100,000 lives, survivors now face a miserable winter. Snow blanketed Syria this week, and bombed-out houses offer little protection. Syria’s children have already been killed by bullets and bombs, air bombardment, improvised explosives and chemical weapons. An estimated 11,000 young people have been killed in just under three years — and now they are dying of cold.


Religious Freedom & Persecution

More slaughter in Muslim lands; Media, governments silent


Raymond Ibrahim - Gatestone Institute

Two of the most tragic Islamic attacks on Christians, killing several women and children, took place in the month of October, one in Syria, another in Egypt.


Judge orders removal of San Diego war memorial cross

Abby Carr - Charisma News

A federal district court judge in California ordered the removal of the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial in San Diego late Thursday. The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) said the decision is “deeply flawed” and promised to file an amicus brief in support of an expected appeal to keep the memorial—which includes a commemorative cross—in place.


Other

Should I give a cow or cash for Christmas?


Bruce Wydick - Christianity Today

A few weeks ago the Heifer Project animal gift catalog made its annual pilgrimage through our mail slot, landing on our entryway floor right on time for the holidays. Donating a farm animal to a family in a developing country as a Christmas gift to another has become a tradition in our own family. Over the years, I have been the patron donor of chickens, a goat, rabbits, frankly, enough farm animals to make Old McDonald jealous. One year I gave (part) of a water buffalo to my younger brother.