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

Decriminalising abortion closer

Calla Wahlquist - The Examiner







�Legislation to decriminalise abortion in Tasmania appeared in view of passing the �Legislative Council last night. Nine MLCs supported the Reproductive Health Bill through the second reading stage, but securing majority support on the final vote is understood to be dependent on amendments made.










“Every child a wanted child?” Deconstructing the false argument for abortion

Mary Spaulding Balch - Life News





In the 1960s, we were told that there were too many people, not enough resources, unwanted and abused children, abused women, poverty, and a host of other social ills. When taken separately, these issues all appear to be independent problems, but we were told that they all had a common “remedy”: abortion.
















Bioethics

The conundrums in using Down syndrome screening tests for gender selection


Linda Atkins - On Line Opinion









As a prenatal diagnostician, I was, of course, delighted with the newest technology available to Australians for Down syndrome detection.












Children & Family

The most important thing you can tell your teenager about going to schoolies


Mamamia Team





Schoolies week (or month, or however long the celebration goes for nowadays) is here again. And, as is the case everywhere, media outlets run stories about the dangers our kids are facing. Drinking. Drugs. Debauchery. But there is one danger that doesn’t get mentioned nearly enough. And it really should: Social media.










Online posts of schoolies fails on Facebook, Instagram and other social media will come back to haunt school leavers, Queensland police warn

Jermy Pierce - The Courier Mail





Police are warning schoolies that lewd and crude photos of their alcohol and drug-fuelled misadventures posted online will stay with them for the rest their lives. In the opening days of this year's festival more than 100,000 pictures on the photo-sharing site Instagram have been linked to schoolies.














Classification

PM hosts internet safety summit

UK Prime Minister's Office





Today the Prime Minister hosted a key summit at Downing Street to welcome progress made by internet service providers, leading search engines and police agencies to better protect children from harmful material online and block child abuse and other illegal content but warned that there is still more to do.










Google to warn users of 13,000 search terms associated with child pornography

Loek Essers - IDG News Service







Google will display warnings above the search results for 13,000 terms it believes are associated with more explicit child sexual abuse terms, it announced Monday. Microsoft said it will take similar action on its Bing search engine, and on Yahoo searches powered by Bing. The two companies are acting at the request of U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, although a Google spokesman said the changes will affect searches worldwide, not just in the U.K.




Husbands will have to ask their wives if they want to watch porn at home, Cameron warns

Matt Chorley - Daily Mail





Husbands will have to have a difficult conversation with their wives about accessing porn at home, David Cameron said today. The Prime Minister warned that new opt-in filters will mean that couples will have to decide between them if their internet access can be used to view pornography. But he signalled that he thought families with children should opt to block access to adult material.














UK's action to filter pornography applauded

Christian Today



The Australian Christian Lobby has applauded British Internet Service Providers’ action on filtering pornography – with 20 million families having to make a decision by the end of 2014 whether they will have a filter or not.








Drugs & Alcohol

Ice inquiry: UnitingCare clients trafficking to support habit


Pat Byrne - Ballarat Courier





Teenagers as young as 14 were using the drug ice in Ballarat, the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into ice use and supply heard today. UnitingCare Ballarat alcohol and other drug program manager Peter Cranage said a lot of 14-16 year olds in Ballarat were using ice, but the largest group was 25-35 year olds.








Govt body wants alcohol rethink

Steve Jancetic - AAP





It's good enough for Olympians and Wallabies - and now an advisory panel wants the entire nation to reassess its attitude towards alcohol. In the latest bid to curb the impact of alcohol abuse on the community, the Australian National Council on Drugs (ANCD) on Wednesday put forward a series of recommendations to the federal government aimed at tackling the issue.














Euthanasia

Another voluntary euthanasia bill bites the dust


Margaret Otlowski - The Conversation





When it comes to legislating voluntary euthanasia in Australia, success is rare and short lived. The Tasmanian Voluntary Assisted Dying bill is the latest such piece of euthanasia legislation to be defeated. It was ultimately voted down, although it was close – 13 to 11 votes. The outcome was a great disappointment to many: opinion polls consistently indicate majority public support for legalisation of voluntary euthanasia. So, why are our legislators not representing public opinion?








Ruling on "rational suicide" articles

The Age



The Press Council has considered a complaint about a series of three articles on suicide that were published in The Age in April 2013. Two of the articles, “Rational Suicide: Why Beverley Broadbent chose to die” and “Beverley's Choice”, presented the story of Beverley Broadbent who had been interviewed by the journalist several times shortly before she used a lethal drug to take her own life in February 2013.














Gambling

Watch list of gambling apps will warn parents of dangers facing children


ABC





The South Australian Government will publish a list of gambling-like apps and games to help warn parents of those unsuitable for children. Premier Jay Weatherill says the watch list compiled by the State Government is backed by legislation to classify gambling-style games and phone apps.












Police officers accused of gambling scam

Sky News





Two NSW police officers used the personal details of other officers and the expertise of professional gamblers to run an online gambling scheme, the Police Integrity Commission (PIC) has heard. The PIC is investigating whether Senior Constable Marc James Smith or Detective Senior Constable Anthony Paul Williams or any other member of the force has been involved in serious misconduct or criminal activity.
















Health

Experts say thousands of women still drink during pregnancy


Elise Worthington and Stephanie Smail - ABC





Health advocates are concerned more children are being born with foetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) in Australia because women are getting mixed messages. The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) changed the guidelines on drinking during pregnancy in 2009. Since then it has recommended pregnant women abstain from drinking alcohol, as there is no safe level of alcohol consumption during pregnancy.












Homelessness & Poverty

Travel, high costs forcing eviction on Melton renters


Tara Murray - Melton Weekly





Many Melton (in Melbourne's west) residents are feeling the pinch, with an increasing number of people being evicted from rental properties. Figures from the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal show the number of Melton renters evicted from private rental properties rose from 136 in 2010-11 to 178 in 2012-13.




















Overseas Aid

Christian doctors providing relief work to the Philippines


Jeremy Reynalds - ASSIST News Service





Global Health Relief, a ministry of Christian Medical and Dental Associations (CMDA), will be sending a relief team to provide medical care to the people affected by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. According to a news release received by the ASSIST News Service, a five-member scout team led by CMDA's CEO Dr. David Stevens, will leave Nov. 20 to assess the medical needs in the Baybay City area which has a population of more than 100,000.














Politics

Minor Christian parties: is there a resurrection in sight?


Bernard Gaynor - On Line Opinion





There are four minor conservative parties that seek to represent the views of Australia's Christian voters: Family First, Democratic Labour Party (DLP), Australian Christians/Christian Democratic Party and Rise Up Australia Party. And they need to hear some hard truths. Because while these parties are filled with good people who have good intent, collectively, they are not very good at politics. Considering that they are political parties, this is not going to get them very far at all.














Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Sex Trafficking


Ramona Schindelheim - MyFox Los Angeles









Sex trafficking of minors is a huge, violent business around the world, young children forced to have sex for money. Here in Los Angeles County, more than 500 juveniles have been arrested for prostitution-related offenses over the past two years. These are teens and pre-teens as young as eleven who were forced into prostitution by men they already knew or, in some horrific cases, by men who had snatched them off the street.












Refugees

Thousands of Syrian refugees flood into Lebanon


SR Nnews



Thousands of Syrians poured into Lebanon, taking shelter in wedding halls and makeshift shacks after fleeing heavy fighting in a mountainous region across the border in Syria, while a massive explosion Sunday targeting a government building outside Damascus killed at least 31 soldiers.


















Religious Freedom & Persecution

Elections in Nepal cause for concern


MNN





Should the Hindu nationalists win, Christians in Nepal fear a rise in persecution. Wes Flint with Vision Beyond Borders explain , "The Church has been allowed to function. There has been some rioting; there have been some church bombings that have gone on. Most of these bombings are by a small pro-Hindu group that has periodically persecuted the Church."














School cancels Christmas toy drive after humanists threaten to sue

Todd Starnes - Town Hall





A South Carolina charter school has canceled its annual Christmas toy drive after a group of self-described humanists complained that the project violated the U.S. Constitution and accused them of bribing children to convert to Christianity.














Sexualisation of Society

Miley Cyrus claims ‘I’m one of the biggest feminists’


The Christian Institute





Pop star Miley Cyrus, who has recently been embroiled in controversy after a series of sexually explicit performances, has claimed she is “one of the biggest feminists”. The 20-year-old singer said she thought there was a “double standard” when it came to men and women and body image. No-one minds if a man goes topless on the beach, she said, adding “So why can’t we?”
















Other

The top five reasons your church could land in court


Kate Tracy - Christianity Today





A review of 12,000 court rulings from 2012 reveals the most-common reasons that American churches were taken to court last year.