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

Standing up for the unborn


Selina Venier - Catholic Leader

Emily's Voice is a pro-life organisation that represents the 80,000 plus "little Australians" each year who won't be given the chance to experience life outside the womb. Selina Venier spoke to their new CEO Paul O'Rourke. As Catholics prepare to join the Rally for Life in Queens Park, Brisbane city, on February 11, Paul O'Rourke is another pro-life advocate in the fight for the unborn.


Education

Gillard commits to budget surplus


Alison McMeekin - The Daily Telegraph

Thousands of vocational students would no longer have to pay expensive upfront fees -- while others would be guaranteed subsidised training places worth up to $7800 -- under plans announced by Prime Minister Julia Gillard this afternoon. Ms Gillard will propose the sweeping reforms to the vocational education system to the States and Territories.


Environment

Insuring the environment – who pays when mining goes wrong?


Stephen Garnett - The Conversation

This past Christmas, Darwin waited with unnecessary nervousness as Cyclone Grant developed to our north. It missed us, but on Boxing Day it dumped 385mm of rain into the Edith River. The resulting flood washed away a railway embankment and sections of a goods train carrying copper concentrate from Oz Minerals’ Prominent Hill mine in South Australia to the Port of Darwin. More than 1,000 tonnes of copper concentrate was spilled.


Marriage

Bisexual group’s slur warning


Andie Noonan - Star Observer

Bisexuals have issued a plea ahead of this weekend’s Pride March for an end to biphobic comments as they march down Fitzroy St, St Kilda. Bisexual support group Bisexual Alliance Victoria (BAV) says it will not tolerate biphobic jeers from the crowd. BAV president James Dominguez stressed that most people gathered to watch the LGBTI pride march are supportive, however, in the past some people along the route have yelled out hurtful remarks.


Gay 'marriage': why does different have to mean bad?

Christian Today

In just a few weeks, the British Government will begin rounding up opinions on marriage and whether the current legal definition of a union between one man and one woman should remain, or be redefined to apply also to same-sex couples. Whenever a change to the law is being considered that has the potential for significant impact on a nation’s social structures or the way in which future generations think and live, it is always best to err on the side of caution.


Unstable behaviour

Mercator Net

A leading activist agrees that homosexual preferences are fluid and changing. If so, why do gays need special treatment? Many people think that homosexuality is a biological characteristic like race or sex – biologically fixed and genetically determined. They think this because this is the view that has been successfully propagated by the gay rights lobby for decades in order to provide a justification for arguing that ‘homophobia’ is a form of discrimination akin to racism or sexism.


Politics

PM's hold on job slipping, say backers


Philip Coorey - SMH

Kevin Rudd has hit back at accusations by colleagues he is not a team player as close supporters of Julia Gillard concede her grip on the prime ministership is slipping. One factional boss, who is loyal to Ms Gillard, said yesterday: ''There's been quite a shift over summer'' and ''she's in trouble''.


Religious Freedom & Persecution

Pakistani Christian charged with ‘blasphemy’ denied bail


Michael Ireland - ASSIST News Service

A judge has denied bail to a young Christian man charged with desecrating the Quran under Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy laws -- despite the lack of evidence against him, sources have told Compass Direct News. Compass reports that police in Shahdara, near Lahore, had arrested 23-year-old Khuram Masih on Dec. 5 and charged him with desecrating the Quran after his landlord, Zulfiqar Ali, alleged that he had burned pages of the book in order to prepare tea.


Bethlehem: Once-thriving Christian community facing extinction

Joanne Hill - Jewish Tribune

If the persecution of Bethlehem’s Christians isn’t stopped, the once-thriving community is in danger of being virtually eliminated, warns David Rubin, Israeli author, political analyst and terrorism expert. For most of their history, Christians constituted approximately 80 per cent of Bethlehem’s population, but that changed dramatically after the Oslo Accords granted control over the region to the Palestinian Authority (PA) in 1995, and the community has subsequently shrunk to 15 per cent. I predict that, unless something is done about this, within another 20 years there will be only a handful of Christians left in Bethlehem.


Refugees

Reforms in Myanmar may spark refugee return

Denis Gray - Associated Press

The pastor stood before more than 300 young Burmese refugees gathered for morning prayers in a weathered, jungle church. "There's a time for war, and a time for peace. Sixty-three years is long enough for killing," he told them. "Hope to see you all soon in our beautiful land." Simon Htoo's buoyant words would have been unlikely just a few months ago, but surprisingly rapid reforms and cease-fires under way in Myanmar are opening the prospects for the return of one of the world's largest refugee populations — some 1 million Burmese huddled in frontier camps and hide-outs across five countries.


Sexualisation of Society

Porn scandal teacher may stay


Aleks Devic and Anthea Cannon - Herald Sun

A "porn star" teacher could keep his job, despite a video of him having sex with an ex-student being posted on an X-rated website. Just days before school resumes, the Geelong high school at the centre of the storm says it is taking the matter "very seriously".


Other

Catholic social solutions to workplace fairness


Race Matthews - Eureka Street

Bruising industrial confrontations within Qantas and in Victorian hospitals during the latter half of last year pose pertinent questions as to whether alternative forms of ownership and control of workplaces might in some instances have more to offer than conventional wisdom may suppose.


Community pay ruling will change lives

NineMSN

The dream of buying a home and raising a family is now within reach of workers in the social and community sectors granted an eventual $20,000 a year pay rise. One of them is 32-year-old Deb Batterham, one of 150,000 workers in the field, most of them women. Although she adores her work as a researcher at a homelessness service in central Melbourne, Ms Batterham says she recently considered turning her back on it after nine years.