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

New foetal homicide laws planned for WA


Attorney General - WA Government

The State Government has announced its plans to strengthen and clarify Western Australia’s foetal homicide laws. Attorney General Christian Porter said proposed laws would strengthen the penalties applying in cases of violence against pregnant women which resulted in the death of an unborn child. Mr Porter said it was intended that the laws would create a new offence of causing death or grievous bodily harm to an unborn child through an unlawful assault on its mother. This offence, based on one in operation in Queensland, would carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.


Bioethics

Ethicists give thumbs-up to infanticide


Michael Cook - Bioedge

If abortion, why not infanticide? This leading question is often treated as a canard by supporters of abortion. However, it is seriously argued by two Italian utilitarians and published online in the prestigious Journal of Medical Ethics this week. Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva are associated respectively with Monash University, in Melbourne, Australia, and with the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, in the UK. They argue that both the fetus and the new-born infant are only potential persons without any interests. To emphasise the continuity between the two acts, they term it “after-birth abortion” rather than infanticide.


Children & Family

Dental plan to aid children and low-income earners


Misha Schubert - SMH

Every Australian child and millions of low-income earners would get basic dental services up to a capped amount each year, in a dramatic reform to end the poverty trap of chronic dental ill health. But more complex procedures, such as crowns and implants, would not be covered by the scheme, which would cost $10 billion over the first four years, according to a confidential report on the proposal due to be released tomorrow.


Disconnecting from family

Julieanne Strachan - The Canberra Times

Social media is becoming more and more an issue of complaint for families dealing with relationship difficulties, counsellors say. A survey by Relationships Australia, which canvassed 120 counsellors, showed that 80 per cent of them had clients who had raised concerns about the impact of Facebook. More than 70 per cent had encountered concerns about email and almost 50 per cent had heard concerns about mobile internet devices and blogs and forums.


Hope for children addicted to gaming

Adele Horin - SMH

Children addicted to video games are more likely to suffer depression, anxiety and social phobias as a result of their pathological gaming, and may need professional help to recover, a visiting American researcher says. Once their gaming is back to normal levels, their psychological problems shift, and their mood and school work improves, says Douglas Gentile, a lead researcher on two studies of video game addiction.


Donor Conception & Surrogacy

Pope: marriage only place 'worthy' for conception


The Associated Press

Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday urged infertile couples to shun artificial procreation, decrying such methods as a form of arrogance. Speaking at the end of a three-day Vatican conference on diagnosing and treating infertility, Benedict also reiterated church teaching that marriage is the only permissible place to conceive children. Matrimony "constitutes the only 'place' worthy of the call to existence of a new human being," he said.


Gambling

Barry O'Farrell is backing James Packer's Barangaroo casino


Vikki Campion and Alicia Wood - The Daily Telegraph

Premier Barry O'Farrell is backing James Packer's plans for a $1 billion casino at Barangaroo, saying it will bring jobs and tourists to Sydney. The billionaire's casino group Crown wants to build a 350-room hotel, world class spa, casino and entertainment complex at Central Barangaroo, between the Headland Park and the commercial hub of Barangaroo South.


Homelessness

Rough sleeper numbers down in Sydney: council


Kelsey Munro - SMH

The City of Sydney is claiming a victory in its efforts to reduce homelessness, recording 25 per cent fewer rough sleepers on city streets in its biannual count this week compared with two years ago. But the manager of homeless service Missionbeat, Daniel Strickland, said the picture is not that simple as rough sleepers make up only about 15 per cent of the homeless, and the count covers only parts of the CBD and inner city.


Marriage

NSW community program funding cut while Mardi Gras funding continues, Fred Nile asks: Why?


Christian Today

The Rev Hon Fred Nile MLC, Leader of the Christian Democratic Party, has raised concern that the NSW Government was cutting funding to important community programs whilst funding for the 2012 Sydney Mardi Gras continued unabated.


Trade in teen brides booms, prompting Senate inquiry

Linda Silmalis - The Sunday Telegraph

Dozens of teenage girls have been given special visas to wed in Australia, prompting a Senate inquiry into whether they are being forced into pre-arranged marriages. Department of Immigration figures show the number of visas issued to overseas residents wanting to enter Australia to marry is rising.


Overseas Aid

Religious People Donate More - UK study


ProBono News

Religious people donate more than twice the amount to charity than those without a faith, according to new research from the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) in the United Kingdom. The figures, released this week, found that those who had religious beliefs gave an average amount of £576 (approximately A$844) to charity over the last twelve months, compared with the £235 (or A$344) average contribution of those who had no religious faith.


Following Jesus’ footsteps the best approach to aid and development

Jane Still - Anglicord

When the elderly ladies at the Good Samaritan clinic in Kenya were unable to get anyone to fund a well, they didn’t give up. They needed to address the burden of carting water for older women and those with HIV and AIDS. So they began to save a little bit of money out of their income, and were then able to access funds from the Anglicord income generating scheme to fund five rainwater tanks. They didn’t get their well, but through their initiative, hard work and a bit of a hand from Anglicord, they got what they needed – water.


Politics

Fears Julia Gillard win won't end Labor warfare


Matthew Franklin - The Australian

Julia Gillard is poised to win today's Labor leadership ballot but faces ongoing political turbulence, with her critics predicting MPs will seek to draft Kevin Rudd to the leadership later this year. While the Prime Minister has demanded party unity after today's ballot, Mr Rudd has said he fears her supporters will continue a campaign of "character assassination," to make him the scapegoat for future Labor errors. Mr Rudd hit out at Labor's "faceless men" yesterday as his supporters warned MPs that opinion polls showed Ms Gillard was so unpopular with voters that Labor could lose 30 seats at the next election and spend the next generation in the political wilderness.


Religious Freedom & Persecution

EU, US Urging Iran not to execute Pastor Nadarkhani


Stefan J. Bos - BosNewsLife

Jailed Iranian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani was believed to be still alive Saturday, February 25, after the European Union and the United States urged Iran not to carry out an execution order and demanded his immediate release. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said through her spokesperson that she is "extremely worried about reports that the execution of Iranian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani in Rasht, Gilan province, may be imminent."


Nigeria unrest: Suicide bomb targets church in Jos

BBC Africa

A suicide car bomber has killed at least three people at a church in the troubled central Nigerian city of Jos, sparking reprisals by Christian youths. Witnesses said the suicide bomber drove his car into the prominent Church of Christ during morning prayers.


The plight of the Christians in Nigeria

Gather News

A suicide bomber attacked the Church of Christ in Jos, Nigeria during morning services, murdering two Christians. Thirty-eight were wounded and a father and child, along with the bomber, were killed. Although no group has yet claimed responsibility, a radical Islamist sect, Boko Haram, whose name means "Western Education is Sacrilege", has been targeting churches. Reuters reports that after the attacks, two Christian youths beat two Muslims to death after setting up a roadblock and attacking them when they stopped. Two days ago, Boston.com reported a horrifying story about a 79-year-old Christian choir singer, Shetu Haruna Malgwi, who was murdered after assailants slit her throat and put a note on her chest in Arabic, stating "We will get you soon". A bible was put under her feet.


Expert warns of Waqf's dangerous plans for Temple Mount

Elad Benari - Israel National News

Archaeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar warned on Thursday about the plans of the Muslim religious authority, the Waqf, for the Temple Mount. Speaking to Arutz Sheva, Mazar said that for the past 12 years, the Waqf has constantly built on the Temple Mount in an attempt to implement its final plan: the establishment of a huge mosque on the Mount.


Sexualisation of Society

Sex video shown at state hostel


Debbie Guest - The Australian

The warden of a government-run youth hostel let 14-year-olds watch violent bestiality videos in his flat, an inquiry has heard. Serial pedophile Dennis John McKenna also arranged for students to go on an excursion to a Perth nightclub where they drank alcohol and smoked.


Telstra's soft-porn site under fire

James Frost – The Australian

In another sign that Telstra is not the boring government-owned phone utility it once was, the company now offers softcore pornography over video-capable mobile phones. Telstra mobile users can watch videos with titles such as Dirty Housewife and Hot Asian Gets Wet for between $3.50 and $4.95 per viewing. "We have a range of web pages offering different content for the many niche interest groups that make up our customer base," a Telstra spokeswoman said. The "Telstra Babes" content is just a few clicks away from the "Women at Telstra" recruitment website, which describes the company's "inclusive working environment" for women and its culture that "celebrates the success of women at every level".


Other

Atheist Richard Dawkins: God might exist


Neal Colgrass - Newser

World-famous atheist Richard Dawkins admitted in a debate this week that he's at least a little bit agnostic, the Telegraph reports. Sharing an Oxford University stage with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, Dawkins said he was “6.9 out of seven” certain of his atheism. “I think the probability of a supernatural creator existing is very, very low,” he said.


Christian paper to 'counter' atheists

Barney Zwartz - SMH

The front-page headline screams in capital letters something most newspapers tuck away discreetly, if they admit it at all: "I WAS WRONG!" But it is not the Regal Standard admitting error, but "the world's most notorious atheist", philosopher Antony Flew. One of the 20th century's most influential atheists, Flew changed his mind about the existence of God, largely because of the complexity of DNA. So he is ideal front-page material for a Christian single-handedly taking on the Global Atheist Convention, to be held in Melbourne in April.