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

Father’s importance


Sheila Liaugminas - Mercator Net

He’s supposed to be the rock, the head of the family, the protector, in the right order of things. But classic family identity roles are under tremendous cultural pressure and social commentators won’t dare talk in those terms anymore. That doesn’t change the truth.


Classification

New Zealand: Young people's views of classification system listened to


Scoop

Chief Censor Andrew Jack spoke in support of research published by his office this week that found that many young New Zealanders are critical of the system of legal restrictions operating in this country for films and games. "While critical of aspects of the system" he said, "overall, the message is that young New Zealanders are sensitive to the fact that some content could have a negative impact on their behaviours and attitudes, or on the behaviours and attitudes of those younger than them."


Singaporeans beg government to block website

Simon Sharwood - The Register

In many nations around the world citizens want their governments to stop blocking access to the web, but in Singapore netizens are asking the government to add more material to its list of sites that won't be available to locals. The site in question is ashleymadison.com, a dating site for people already in relationships that offers “Life is short, have an affair” as its motto and bills itself as “the world's leading married dating service for discreet encounters.”


Drugs & Alcohol

Murder-accused teenager was drunk and on drugs, court told


James Hancock - ABC

A court has heard an Adelaide teenager was drunk and on drugs when he shot dead another and tried to kill two others. The accused was a week from his 18th birthday.


Smokers lose out as Abbott tweaks tax

Mark Kenny - the Age

About 16,000 higher-end superannuation earners will benefit from government moves to clarify tax laws by either ditching or finally enacting long-intended changes. But smokers have not been so lucky and will pay up to $2.50 more for a packet of 20 cigarettes from December 1.


Environment

NSW signs up for Abbott's environment one-stop-shop


Vicki Wood - Queensland Times

A second state government has signed on for the Abbott government's environmental approvals "one-stop shop", with New South Wales joining Queensland in the venture. The deal was announced in a statement from Prime Minister Tony Abbott's office released on Tuesday.


Gambling

Social stigma works against educational gambling ads


Peter Jean - The Canberra Times

Slogans such as ''gamble responsibly'' could make problem gamblers feel stigmatised and less likely to seek counselling, according to new research. The ACT Gambling and Racing Commission will re-examine educational materials in response to research it commissioned from the ANU.


Human Rights

How Google snoops on your email: Microsoft accuses rival internet giant of using private details to sell adverts without users' knowledge


Amanda Willian - Daily Mail

Microsoft has accused rival Google of using 'private information for profit' by snooping on people's emails. The software giant has launched an advertising campaign warning people that Google reads every email sent by users, scanning for key words to target advertising.


Indigenous

MP's Indigenous work call faces rough road


Anthony Stewart - ABC

A resident of Santa Teresa in Central Australia says forcing people to commute to Alice Springs to find jobs is not a reasonable solution to unemployment in the region. The Prime Minister's Parliamentary Secretary for indigenous affairs, Alan Tudge, has suggested unemployed Aboriginal people in the community should travel the 80 kilometres to Alice Springs to find work.


Marriage





Faith leaders split on same-sex marriages

SBS

Although same-sex unions are available in a majority of Australian states, marriage comes under federal legislation and same-sex couples are not formally recognised as married by the federal government. The ACT is currently the only state to recognise same-sex unions after it recently passed legislation. But it's a different matter if same-sex couples want to have a ceremony in a place of worship.


New Zealand: Same-sex marriages pass 100 mark

3 News

After the first rush of same-sex couples exercising their new right to marry, the number tying the knot has evened out to about 13 a week, statistics suggest. According to Statistics New Zealand 117 gay couples married in the six weeks between August 19 and the end of September.


Politics

'Politics takes its toll': Tebbutt calls it quits


Anna Patty - SMH

Marrickville mayor Jo Haylen has emerged as the front-runner to stand for ALP preselection in the new state seat of Summer Hill after Labor MP Carmel Tebbutt announced she would bow out of politics. New electoral boundaries will split Ms Tebbutt's NSW seat of Marrickville into two new ones: Summer Hill, which is expected to be safely held by Labor, and Newtown, strongly contested by the Greens.


Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Reformers seek to rein in Germany's legalized prostitution


UPI

Reformers seeking to crack down on legalized prostitution in Germany say they are hopeful negotiations to form a new government will lead to changes. Leaders of the conservative Christian Democratic Union of Chancellor Angela Merkel and the left-leaning Social Democratic Party, seeking to form a "grand coalition" after September's federal elections, said during the weekend they are discussing ways to tighten the country's 11-year-old law legalizing prostitution.


Refugees

Labor dilemma on temporary protection visas for refugees


David Wroe - SMH

Labor faces an internal debate over whether to shadow the Abbott government closely on refugee policy or oppose the government's tough plan to restore temporary protection visas. With Parliament set to return next Tuesday, the Labor caucus will need to decide whether to wave the plan through or support a Senate block on the regulations to revive the Howard-era policy.


Religious Freedom & Persecution

Atheist group sues California city for opening meetings with explicitly Christian invocations


Scott Kaufman - Raw Story

The city council of Pismo Beach, California is being sued by the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) for opening its meetings with explicitly Christian invocations. According to transcripts obtained by FFRF and submitted along with its complaint, between January of 2008 and October of 2013, the city’s official chaplain, Paul Jones, has called the council meeting to order with a Christian prayer 125 times. Many of Jones’s prayers include passages devoted to the role of prayer in public life.


Secularists in ‘hostile’ attempt to rid schools of chaplains

The Christian Institute

A secularist pressure group has targeted every school in Scotland demanding to know about their chaplaincy services. The Scottish Secular Society (SSS) wrote a letter in September asking 24 questions, including whether material disagreeing with homosexuality had been distributed in the school.


Sexualisation of Society

'Virtual' Filipina girl identifies 1000 webcam sex tourists

Yahoo News

A Dutch rights group said Monday it had identified over 1000 pedophiles around the world by offering online sex with a computer-generated 10-year-old Filipina girl called Sweetie. Terre des Hommes Netherlands has now handed over to police the identities of over 1000 adults who were willing to pay children in developing countries for online sex, it said.


Other

Vatican to survey laity on sex, family issues in lead-up to synod on family


Hilary White - Life Site News

What do the laity of the Catholic Church think about the teachings on artificial contraception, abortion, the restriction of marriage to one man and one woman, sex outside of marriage and divorce? These and other issues are at the centre of a questionnaire sent out on Friday by the Vatican to survey not only bishops and theologians but also ordinary lay people.