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

I’m Labor, I’m pro-life and I’m no political hypocrite


Simone McDonnell - The Punch





I am extremely proud to be a member of the Australian Labor Party. A party that is committed to pricing carbon, that is increasing superannuation, and that will soon introduce Australia’s first National Disability Scheme. Labor for Life is simply a group of ALP members with pro-life values. We are a new organization, only formalising our structure at the ALP National Conference in December. There are strong branches operating in the ACT and QLD. As within all democratic bodies, members are entitled to hold and express their own views.














Bioethics

Drugs sold to dead in pharmacy swindle involving claims under Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme


Samantha Maiden - The Courier Mail





Pharmacists have been caught pocketing rebates for dispensing drugs to dead patients in a crackdown on fraud. Almost $2 million in taxpayer-subsidised medicines were wrongly claimed last year, an investigation into claims lodged on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme has revealed. In the latest cases, a Queensland pharmacist was forced to repay Medicare $39,000 after data analysis revealed the pharmacy was regularly claiming prescriptions multiple times to the value of $35,000. The pharmacist also claimed $4000 for prescriptions supplied before and claimed after the date of a patient's death.


















Children & Family

Overhaul of the aged-care system is needed to avoid an imminent crisis claims Australians Deserve to Age Well campaign

The Daily Telegraph





An overhaul of the aged-care system is needed to avoid an imminent crisis, a coalition of 28 groups has warned the federal government. The group, including health professionals, unions and charitable organisations, has warned the aged-care system designed for Australia in the 1960s is now buckling and in need of urgent reform. Launching the Australians Deserve to Age Well campaign yesterday, the group said that by 2050 the system would need to support 3.5 million older citizens.
















Drugs & Alcohol

Generation Y-not


The Daily Telegraph





They are the modern day invincibles. A generation of young women who blithely out-drink and out-smoke men, who routinely sunbake without protection and some engage in unsafe sex. Health professionals are increasingly worried about the growing band of women who think they're bulletproof. The reckless behaviour is exposing some of them to sexually transmitted infections at record levels, with health officials saying Australia is in the middle of a chlamydia epidemic.
















Education

$300 million in education tax rebates going unclaimed


Samantha Maiden - Herald Sun





Thousands of parents are missing out on education tax rebates worth up to $800 for every child after failing to lodge the paperwork. School uniforms, laptops, hats, shoes and sports uniforms have joined the list of expenses eligible families can claim this financial year. Computer repairs, home internet connections, computer software for educational use, school textbooks, stationery and prescribed trade tools are also on the long list of legitimate education expenses.




We've had enough, it's time to raise your own kids, teachers say

Evonne Barry - Herald Sun





Parents are shirking the responsibility of disciplining their kids, turning teachers into makeshift mums and dads. A major Herald Sun survey of Victorian teachers found three-quarters believe parents have unreasonable expectations about the school's role in raising kids. And the stresses are showing, with nearly half of teachers surveyed admitting they had considered resigning over the past 12 months.












Thousands of parents illegally home schooling

Ian Townsend - ABC





As a new school year begins, more than 50,000 Australian children will be home-schooled and in most cases, their parents are doing it illegally. It is compulsory to send children between the ages of six and 16 to school, or register them for home schooling, but more parents are opting out of the traditional school system and keeping their children at home.










School staff in rort scandal

Farrah Tomazin - The Age





Parents and staff in Victorian schools have been caught taking kickbacks, stealing fund-raising money and pocketing tens of thousands of dollars that should have been spent on students. Documents leaked to The Sunday Age reveal the alarming rate of fraud in schools and the lack of checks and balances to ensure finances are properly controlled.














Indigenous

Libs baulk on referendum support


Christian Kerr - The Australian





Coalition support for a referendum on constitutional recognition of indigenous Australians cannot be guaranteed, senior opposition sources have warned. While there is strong support in opposition ranks for the idea, Liberal frontbenchers are critical of the broader package of proposals to recognise Aborigines and to remove racially discriminatory provisions in the Constitution. "There's no way in the world we will end up supporting a generic, anti-racial discrimination provision in the Constitution," a Liberal frontbencher said yesterday.










Ruckus puts referendum out of reach

Paul Sheehan - SMH





At least the Aboriginal tent embassy in Canberra has finally achieved one constructive thing in its 40 years as a moral eyesore: it helped kill off the proposed amendment to enshrine racial preference in the Australian constitution. That proposed amendment is now dead.












Marriage

Bipartisan talk on same-sex unions as doubts grow over marriage equality


Christian Kerr - The Australian





Chief government Whip Joel Fitzgibbon and his opposition counterpart, Warren Entsch, have discussed jointly sponsoring legislation for same-sex civil unions amid speculation any move for full marriage equality will fail. Mr Entsch, a longtime parliamentary campaigner for gay rights but an opponent of same-sex marriage, confirmed the discussions yesterday, adding he hoped to receive advice on appropriate wording for a bill this week. "My view is that a marriage proposal will not succeed," Mr Entsch said
















Parents of gays make TV pitch to Abbott on same-sex marriage vote

Dan Harrison - SMH





Parents and grandparents of gay and lesbian children will make a direct appeal to Tony Abbott to allow them to marry in a television commercial which will air nationally from today. The advertisement, organised by the Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, is designed to increase the pressure on Mr Abbott to grant Coalition MPs a conscience vote on same-sex marriage.




















Politics

Independent MP Andrew Wilkie considers supporting no-confidence motion in Labor over Australia Day riots


Patrick Lion, Simon Benson - The Daily Telegraph





Independent MP Andrew Wilkie has raised the prospect of supporting a no-confidence motion in Labor over the Australia Day security scare. Raising serious doubts over the Prime Minister's version of events of what went on in her office, Mr Wilkie said yesterday he would back moves to bring the matter before parliament to help him decide a position before a no-confidence vote. His threat came as the Coalition said it would give Ms Gillard until this afternoon to refer the incident to the Australian Federal Police, otherwise it would.










Galaxy poll shows twice as many voters back Kevin Rudd as Australia's preferred leader to Prime Minister Julia Gillard

Simon Benson - The Daily Telegraph





Twice as many voters now back Kevin Rudd as the nation's preferred leader and Labor's best hope for survival as Prime Minister Julia Gillard continues to be shadowed by the government's elephant in the room. But they rejected any plan by Labor to deliver Bill Shorten as a "spoiler" candidate should Mr Rudd challenge, with the former PM outpolling the man responsible for his sacking by four to one.












NSW Liberal dilemma over party president's election

Sean Nicholls - SMH





The NSW Liberals are wrestling with whether to delay internal elections until next year to allow the party president, Arthur Sinodinos, to stay in the role until the federal election. The federal Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, wants Senator Sinodinos, who became president before he entered the Senate last year, to remain as he believes he will deliver stability and maturity to the campaign.












Mitt Romney, the Mormon, runs foul of southern Christians in the US presidential race

Paul Toohey - The Sunday Telegraph





What is a Christian? It is not a Mormon, as the US presidential race is fast teaching us. Political pundits predicted that the Republican presidential nominee's resident Mormon, Mitt Romney, would fare poorly in the South Carolina primary, a strongly Christian state. They were right. I did not imagine some minor theological differences could cause such a problem. Nor did I understand that the theological differences were not minor at all. Mormons say they believe in the same God as Christians; American Christians believe Mormons are communing with an entirely different Bloke, one they have invented to suit their own dodgy purposes.


















Religious Freedom & Persecution

New York Senate committee passes church/school bill


Baptist Press





A New York State Senate committee has stepped in on behalf of churches that soon will not be allowed to meet in public schools in New York City. Sponsored by assistant Senate Majority Whip Martin J. Golden, the bill would "prevent school districts from excluding groups from meeting on school property because of the religious content or viewpoint of their speech, including allowing religious worship services." If S6087A, approved by the committee Jan. 24, does not pass, New York City would become the first major city nationwide to ban churches from meeting in public schools. In December, the New York Department of Education told about 60 churches they have until Feb. 12 to find alternative meeting spaces.








Over 3000 Muslims Attack Christian Homes and Shops in Egypt, 3 Injured

AINA





A mob of over 3000 Muslims attacked Copts in the village of Kobry-el-Sharbat (el-A eriya), Alexandria this afternoon. Coptic homes and shops were looted before being set ablaze. Two Copts and a Muslim were injured. The violence started after a rumor was spread that a Coptic man had an allegedly intimate photo of a Muslim woman on his mobile phone. The Coptic man, Mourad Samy Guirgis, surrendered to the police this morning morning for his protection. According to eyewitnesses, the perpetrators were bearded men in white gowns. "They were Salafists, and some of were from the Muslim Brotherhood," according to one witness. It was reported that terrorized women and children who lost their homes were in the streets without any place to go.












Refugees

Refugee appeals involving false claims cost taxpayers millions


David Murray - The Courier Mail





Dodgy claims involving fake religious beliefs, sham marriages and lies about sexuality are adding to a logjam of cases in immigration and refugee tribunals, costing taxpayers millions of dollars. Desperate foreign citizens who arrive by plane are launching a barrage of appeals after Immigration officials reject their claims and seek to send them home.










Lost at sea: 37 of 3237 boatpeople had passports

Paulk Maley - The Australian





Asylum-seekers are discarding their passports at soaring rates, sparking renewed calls for boatpeople to be penalised for destroying their identity documents in a bid to help their refugee claims. Of the 3237 asylum-seekers who admitted to flying to Indonesia on a passport, 3200 did not have any travel documents when they arrived in Australia. People-smugglers routinely advise their clients to discard their identity documents before arriving in Australia.














Other

Young judges too soft according to retired Supreme Court judge John Nader QC


Linda Silmalis - The Telegraph





A retired Supreme Court judge has accused his younger colleagues of being too reluctant to lock up criminals because they think it's "cruel". While NSW Attorney-General Greg Smith has called for alternatives to jailing offenders, John Nader QC said judges needed to return to a policy of punishing criminals with prison terms for punishment's sake.












This is who Thursday’s event was supposed to be about

Tory Maguire - The Punch





The Australia Day event at The Lobby in Canberra has become all about Tony Hodges, Kim Sattler, Barbara Shaw, Michael Anderson, Julia Gillard, Tony Abbott, the police and a bunch of idiots who saw fit to hijack the day. It wasn’t supposed to be about them. Our political leaders had gathered at the restaurant to bestow the new National Emergency Medal on 26 Australians who, paid or unpaid, did extraordinary work during the Victorian Bushfires and Queensland floods.