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

Foetal homicide laws set up a competing set of rights for women


Rachel Watts - ABC

Whatever happens inside a person, is that person's business. It's a fairly straightforward concept. A WA proposal to introduce foetal homicide laws, indirectly sets up a competing set of rights that patronise women. In response to the assault of a woman in Western Australia, which ended her eight-month pregnancy, WA Attorney General Christian Porter announced last month he would pursue legislation to strengthen penalties available in cases of assault of a pregnant woman that causes the death of a foetus.


Children & Family

Growing number of mums kicked off Baby Bonus


Patricia Karvelas - The Australian

The number of mothers being kicked off the Baby Bonus - the alternative to paid parental leave - skyrocketed in the past financial year with 791 women being disqualified. The Australian has learnt the staggering increase is due in large part to mothers losing access to their children, and new carers being encouraged to claim the payment instead. It is the highest number of new mothers kicked off the payment in its history.


Nicola Roxon fixes Family Court de facto bungle

Nicola Berkovic - The Australian

Retrospective laws were introduced to parliament yesterday to fix an embarrassing government bungle that cast doubt on all Family Court decisions affecting the financial affairs of de facto couples. The government passed legislation in 2009 that should have given the Family and Federal Magistrates courts the power to deal with property and maintenance disputes between de facto couples.


Classification

Computer games to come under stricter classification than film


Tim Lohman - Computerworld

Computer games are likely to be subject to stricter classification standards than those applied to film once the new R18+ classification system is introduced in Australia in January 2013, the Legal & Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee has heard. Speaking at the Committee’s hearing into the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Amendment (R18+ Computer Games) Bill 2012, Attorney-General’s Department assistant secretary, Jane Fitzgerald, said more restrictive classifications under the MA15+ and R18+ ratings were needed in order for state Attorneys-General to agree to the introduction of a new classification system.


Drugs & Alcohol

Vic counsellor charged over sexual assault


Steve Lillebuen and Belinda Merhab - Herald Sun

An award-winning Melbourne counsellor praised for helping thousands of Australia's most vulnerable has been charged over an alleged decade-long series of sexual assaults. Brian Cox, 71, is accused of sexually assaulting three women who had turned to his northern suburbs alcohol recovery centre for help in staying sober.


Human Rights

Victoria's Human Rights Charter: future still unclear


Sarah Joseph - ABC

The Baillieu Government has committed to retaining the Victorian Charter of Rights and Responsibilities in its official response to a review of that law. That response is an apparent rejection of the key recommendations of the review body, the Scrutiny of Acts and Regulations Committee (SARC).


Marriage

Campaign group in marriage law plea


strathearnherald

A campaign group opposed to legalising gay marriage has seized on an opinion poll which suggests most Scots think children are best raised by a married man and woman. Scotland for Marriage - which is supported by some religious groups - opposes the Scottish Government's proposal to extend the definition to same-sex couples. The survey of 1,004 people by Opinion Research Business (ORB) shows 69% think the ideal situation for a child is to be raised by a married mother and father.


Church makes anti-gay stand

Tim Braban – The Chronicle

The Australian Evangelical Lutheran Church has made a point of distancing itself from comments made in favour of gay marriage by a Year 12 student at Concordia Lutheran College. The church is considered to be a more conservative arm of the Lutheran church in Australia. 



Politics

Campbell Newman hurt, but still in line to win seat of Ashgrove


Michael McKenna - The Australian

Campbell Newman has taken a hit on his once commanding position in the must-win seat of Ashgrove but remains on track to win a tightening contest with Labor incumbent Kate Jones. The latest Newspoll, exclusive to The Australian, shows Mr Newman's primary vote in Ashgrove is steady on 49 per cent, but Kate Jones has closed the gap after luring away Greens support. When likely preferences are factored in, Mr Newman’s two-party-preferred vote is four points clear of Ms Jones, 52 per cent to 48 per cent.


Smear campaign costs us all dearly

Ruth Limkin – The Courier Mail

Queenslanders generally take a laid-back approach to electioneering, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. So my interest was piqued recently when a very non-political friend took to social media to voice his thoughts. He said: "Just putting it out there. Campbell and Lisa Newman are friends of mine, two of the most divine, honourable human beings I know. With all this horrible political smear campaign going on, just thought it needed to be said. Vote however you like, but don't believe the lies."



Religious Freedom & Persecution

Palestinian Authority declares church in Bethlehem to be unlawful


Rachel Hirshfeld - Israel National News

The Palestinian Authority declared a Baptist Church in Bethlehem to be unlawful and said that it will no longer receive rights as a religious institution, Algemeiner reported. This decision comes a week after Prime Minister Salam Fayyad told an audience of Evangelical Protestants that his government respected the rights of its Christian minorities.


Other

Media watchdog set for broader role


Clare Kermond and Lucy Battersby - SMH

Australia's media watchdog stands ready to take on a broader role following suggestions from the Convergence Review that a new regulator is needed. In a rare media interview, Australian Communications and Media Authority chairman Chris Chapman said his understanding of the Convergence Review's interim report was that ''the rump of the ACMA will be the basis of the new regulator''.