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.



 

 

Bioethics
Counterfeit drugs risk lives, threaten pharmaceutical industry in India

Medical Net


BBC News examines how counterfeit or substandard medicines are threatening India's fast-growing pharmaceutical industry, writing, "Worth over $12 billion, the industry is expected to grow more than four-fold in the coming decade," but fake drugs in the system are risking both the lives of patients and the reputation of drug makers.





Children & Family
Vampire, werewolf entertainment causes rise in occult activities, Christian scholars alarmed

Eryn Sun - Christian Today


Twilight fans may need to step back and reassess their love of vampires and werewolves, as a recent rise in occult activity throughout the world is alarming some Christian scholars. More than just a flippant fascination, youth today have become fixated on popular entertainment subjects like vampires, ghosts and witches, taking their interests to the extreme, and acting out in accordance.





Financial squeeze equals fewer hugs for those in need
Josephine Tovey – SMH


Love, not money, was the reason Janet Hughes adopted Anna.
But a carer allowance paid to parents who adopt children in foster or out-of-home care has helped immeasurably with the costs associated with supporting the girl, now 14, who has special needs due to her having Down Syndrome and suffering from hearing difficulties and anxiety.





Classification
New curbs on internet sleaze: Help for parents to protect children from unsuitable content

James Chapman - UK Daily Mail


A tough new crackdown to help parents protect their children from internet porn will be unveiled today by David Cameron. Four of Britain’s biggest internet service providers will force customers to specify if they want to view explicit sites. Subscribers to BT, Sky, Talk Talk and Virgin who do not opt in will have no access to internet porn. The breakthrough is expected to be announced by the Prime Minister as the centrepiece of a crackdown on the sexualisation of childhood.





How Steve Jobs beat the smut merchants
Milo Yiannopoulos - Catholic Herald


The late Apple co-founder took a fierce and counter-cultural stand against online pornography. In fact, the defining moral statements of Jobs’s life were about pornography. Jobs didn’t simply object to X-rated material: he detested it and waged war against it, excluding pornographic content from his devices by including rules in his App Store that restricted what other people were permitted to sell on his devices: the iPhone, iPad and iPod.





Drugs & Alcohol
Substances abuse growing in Pacific islands

ABC Radio Australia


Researchers believe the abuse of substances like marijuana and alcohol is on the rise in the Pacific. And a World Health Organisation health specialist has identified substance abuse as the major cause of mental illness in Papua New Guinea. Mental illness is caused by a range of factors but is reportedly compounded by the use of marijuana and home brew mainly by youth.





Gambling
Greens have a spin on pokies reform

Phillip Hudson Herald Sun


The controversial mandatory pre-commitment plan for poker machines could be replaced by a $1 bet limit in a compromise to be floated today by the Greens. Victorian Senator Richard Di Natale said every poker machine in clubs, pubs and casinos should have a bet limit of $1 a spin with a $20 restriction on the amount of cash that can be loaded into a machine at any one time and a $500 cap on jackpots.





Homelessness
The new face of homelessness

SA Local News


Increased welfare payments, better training opportunities and more affordable housing are needed to combat a new wave of homeless struggling to survive. City-based agencies say the predicted economic downturn, rising electricity bills, a lack of affordable accommodation and insufficient Centrelink benefits have forced new clients to seek help for the first time.





Marriage
Same sex marriage: an agnostic's view

Don Allan - OnLine Opinion


As a former Canberra Branch President of Friends of the ABC, I write, reluctantly, that ABC radio and Radio National in particular, seems to have become the propaganda arm of the same sex marriage movement. My reason for raising this issue is because there seems to be view that agnostic and atheists must be on the side of same sex marriage. Not so. I am agnostic and against same sex marriage. My view is that same sex marriage is not a religious matter but a legal matter and that marriage should be the subject of a legal contract specifically for a man and a woman.





Gay marriage activists in push for recognition
Noel Towell - The Canberra Times


Ivan Hinton has the blessing of his 89-year-old grandmother for his marriage to Christopher Teoh. All he has to do now is convince the Australian Government to recognise their union.





Overseas Aid
How Australian aid in Asia can benefit those at home

Matthew Clarke - The Conversation


Australians are a generous lot. On a per capita basis, public donations to help those affected by natural disasters are amongst the highest in the world. And the government provides a substantial aid budget too, although its motives may include more than just seeking to reduce poverty. Studies show that it doesn’t hinge on where emergencies occur or what type they are, Australians will respond to appeals for aid. It doesn’t even matter how long it has been since the last public appeal. Where a need exists, Australians will answer the call.





Politics
Parliament address on Obama's schedule

ABC


United States president Barack Obama will address Federal Parliament when he visits Australia next month. Mr Obama will make his first official visit to Australia for two days in mid-November. Prime Minister Julia Gillard says the visit is historically significant as it is the 60th anniversary of the Australia-US alliance this year.





From dizzying highs to crushing lows in a day
Peter Hartcher - SMH


No policy triumph of the Gillard government is so great that it can't be overshadowed immediately by a policy failure. The success of getting its signature reform, the carbon tax, through the House of Representatives on Wednesday was followed by the pre-emptive surrender on its asylum seeker policy yesterday.





Religious Persecution
Time to speak up is now!

Peter Day - Quadrant


This Thursday, October 13, a private bill expressing sympathy and support for the eight million or so Christian Copts of Egypt will be voted on in the Australian parliament. The bill, introduced a few weeks ago by Craig Kelly, the Liberal Federal member for Hughes, could hardly be more timely. It comes just days after the shocking military violence against Coptic demonstrators in Cairo that has left at least 24 dead and 270 wounded and otherwise injured.





Iranian pastor gets retrial
Mission Network News


Iran's highest court has ordered a retrial for an Iranian Christian pastor facing the death sentence for apostasy. While there is no timeline set for the new trial, early reports indicated there were problems associated with the initial investigation of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani. He was arrested and imprisoned in October 2009 for protesting a decision by the government requiring that his son study the Qur'an.





Guide: Christians in the Middle East
BBC


The Middle East is the birthplace of Christianity and home to some of the world's most ancient Christian denominations. But Christian communities across the region are declining in numbers because of a combination of low birth rates, emigration and, in some places, persecution and violence.





Refugees
Offshore processing backdown will bring boats: Julia Gillard

Matthew Franklin and Joe Kelly - The Australian


Julia Gillard has predicted an increase in boat arrivals after yesterday being forced to abandon offshore processing and softening the treatment of asylum-seekers who arrive by sea. Under Labor's new asylum-seeker regime, increasing numbers of arrivals will be allowed to live in the community and work while on bridging visas as their claims are processed.





Julia Gillard turns to onshore processing of asylum seekers set free in Australia on bridging visas
Gemma Jones - The Daily Telegraph


Asylum seekers will be freed into the community on bridging visas after the government was plunged into crisis today, with the Malaysia solution not only dead but Prime Minister Julia Gillard coming close to losing control of parliament. Crisis meetings of Cabinet and caucus were called, with Labor now turning to onshore processing after it became apparent the government would lose a vote on Ms Gillard's planned Migration Act changes to allow the Malaysia people swap deal.





Sexualisation of Society
British retail consortium guidelines to stop sexualisation of children’s fashion

The Open Press


The movement to end the “Sexualisation of Children” has gained the support of the UK government’s Minister of State for Children & Families, Sarah Teather. She has approved the British Retail Consortium (BRC) Guidelines which seeks to end the “Sexualisation of Children” in retailing and advertising.





Further
Dementia is now a parliamentary matter!

Australian Ageing Agenda


All it takes for an issue to come to the forefront is for someone to ask the question. Only hours after 500 Alzheimer’s Australia supporters marched on Canberra to demand government action to restore dementia as a national priority beyond 2013 and grant the organisation $500 million of funding to the cause over five years, the matter has been raised in parliament.