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

Time for abortion law reform


Susie O’Brien - Herald Sun





I never thought I’d say this, but I agree with renegade Frankston MP Geoff Shaw that it’s time to reform Victoria’s abortion law. But, that’s about as much as we have in common. Mr Shaw is understood to want the laws watered down to remove a section requiring doctors who hold a conscientious objection to abortion to refer a pregnant patient to another doctor who does not hold the same views.
















Children & Family

Young Australians are stressed worrying about stress, study and body image


Chris Pash - Business Insider





Australia’s 15 to 19-year-olds are worried about stress, according to the largest survey of youth in the country. And both girls and boys rate study and body image as issues to worry about.










Classification

Ensuring children’s online safety


Michael Nycyk - On Line Opinion









Parents, educators and the law have struggled with the widespread use of internet communications by children and teenagers. Consistent reports of children’s self-harm promote moral panic that causes a reactionary, but slow acting, formation of policies and an increase in punitive laws. In September 2013, the Federal Coalition released their policy on internet safety, titled The Coalition’s Policy to Enhance Online Safety for Children, which criticised the Australian Labor Party’s restrictive and failed filter proposal. The Coalition proposed the replacement of the filtering system with a Children’s e-Safety Commissioner as a single point of contact for online safety issues.








Education

Australian teens fall behind peers in Vietnam, Estonia and Poland


Justine Ferrari - The Australian









Australian teenagers have slipped further behind their peers overseas in international tests assessing skills in reading, maths and science, now ranking behind students in Vietnam, Poland and Estonia.
















Euthanasia

Mom offers to sell house to fund daughter’s suicide at Swiss ‘clinic’


Nancy Flanders - Life Site News





As written for the Daily Mail Online, when Jennie was just six weeks old, her mother Debby was told that her daughter hadcystic fibrosis and likely wouldn’t live to see her fifteenth birthday. Debby, just 18 at the time, was devastated, as any parent would be. She spent the next two years in a depression, crying daily, worried for her daughter’s health and future. But then, she decided that her daughter needed for her to be strong, and she picked herself up, vowing to help Jennie live every day like it was her last.












Gambling

Pokie warnings to be scrapped in removal of Julia Gillard reforms


Jessica Marszalek - Herald Sun









New laws will stop warnings flashing up on poker machines telling players of the cost and harm of problem gambling. And a trial of mandatory precommitment technology in the ACT - where people would have to nominate how much they were prepared to lose before playing - will not go ahead.










Health

ABC Catalyst TV show causes at risk patients to stop their medicine


Sue Dunlevy - Herald Sun





The fallout from the controversial ABC TV Catalyst program on anti-cholesterol drugs is gathering pace with three in four doctors reporting patients have stopped their medications. Almost half of the patients that have stopped their drugs are considered at high risk of a heart attack.














Marriage

Same-sex marriage: High Court reserves decision on Commonwealth challenge to ACT laws


ABC





The High Court has reserved its decision regarding the Commonwealth's challenge to the ACT's same-sex marriage laws. The court says it will hand down its decision next Thursday, and in the meantime will allow same-sex marriages to take place in Canberra from Saturday




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Chance for same-sex marriages after High Court reserves decision

Michael Inman and Lisa Cox - The Age





Gay couples are free to marry in the ACT this weekend after the High Court reserved its decision in the Commonwealth's challenge to the territory laws. The court has reserved its decision in the case, in which the Commonwealth argues the territory's historic laws are in contravention of the federal marriage act, until December 12.












Overseas Aid

Bishop wants aid kept at $5bn a year


SBS







Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says the government will cut Australia's overseas aid budget, but she wants its funding stabilised at $5 billion a year. Ms Bishop told the coalition joint party room on Tuesday the federal government had to address Labor's budget deficit and debt, and overseas aid would not be quarantined.










Politics

Abbott threatens to keep Parliament sitting until Christmas


Louise Yaxley - ABC





The Prime Minister has threatened to keep Parliament sitting until Christmas to deal with abolition of the carbon tax, the mining tax and the debt ceiling.












Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Are sex workers victims?


The Hoopla





When you think of prostitutes, do you imagine women forced into sex work through drug addiction, coercion, or trafficking, or do you imagine free choice? Controversial tough laws being introduced into the French Parliament this week propose that clients, not sex workers, should face criminal charges.












Refugees

PM puts refugee convention in spotlight


Paul Osborne - Herald Sun







Prime Minister Tony Abbott has raised the prospect of Australia leaving the United Nations refugee convention after a key plank of the government's border protection plan was scuttled in the Senate. The Labor opposition and Australian Greens voted in the Senate late on Monday night to overturn temporary protection visas (TPVs).










Religious Freedom & Persecution

Plight of Middle East Christians should concern us all


Alan Howe - Herald Sun





Jessi Boulus was a happy girl and only child of her parents. The 10-year-old was walking home from a bible study class a few weeks ago when a man approached and killed her with a single gunshot to the chest. Jessi's mother, Phoebe, has no doubt Jessi was killed for the "crime" of being Christian.






A month of horror for Christians under Islam: September 2013

Raymond Ibrahim - Gatestone Institute









The same month that Obama tried to wage war on behalf of the jihadi rebels in Syria (citing "human rights" concerns), some of the war's worst atrocities were committed against that nation's Christian minority, most notably in Ma'loula, an ancient Christian region where the inhabitants spoke Aramaic, the language of Jesus. There, al-Qaeda-linked jihadis fired mortars and missiles into at least two ancient churches before looting them; some 80 Christians trying to defend their homes were killed. Others who could not flee were forced, on pain of death, to convert to Islam.






Syria: 'Crimes against humanity' in Christian town says MP

Adnkronos



A Syrian MP has urged the world's nations and Pope Francis to stop "crimes against humanity" in the historic Christian town of Maalula, which activists said was captured by rebels on Monday. "The true crime against humanity in Syria is in Maalula," Christian MP Maria Saddeh told Adnkronos International (AKI), a day after the United Nations implicated Syria's authoritarian president Bashar al-Assad in war crimes. "Sixteen nuns have been kidnapped, civilians are being killed and a monastery and 60 houses were burnt down yesterday," said Saddeh, who was elected to parliament as an independent.








Sexualisation of Society

Calls for Seven to cut Lingerie Football


SMH





A petition calling on the Seven Network to reconsider plans to broadcast the "sexist" Lingerie Football League (LFL) has generated over 2,000 signatures. Seven will begin broadcasting the Australian women's gridiron competition from December 14 on its male-focused digital channel 7mate, with a late-night timeslot of 10.30pm. The LFL involves women playing the sport clad only in lingerie, heavy make-up and padding.












Other

Australian Christian man Zac Young died by tiger shark attack; Last sentence 'I love you guys'


Christian Post





Mr Young and his friends Lindsy Isaac, Kurt Gillan, 18, and Shayden Schrader, 15, had been surfing 200m from shore at Campbells Beach north of Coffs Harbour when an eight-foot tiger shark came up from behind Zac. He passed away peacefully, no pain with his last words to me being "I love you brother" he than he began to pray " Please God my lord and Savior help protect my friend's and help me through this time of need" he then went unconscious.