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

Pro-lifers arrested for praying


Dave Tombers - WND





Six people peacefully protested the Obama administration’s mandate requiring employers to provide contraceptives, sterilization, and abortion-producing drugs by kneeling in prayer in front of the White House, and they quickly were arrested and whisked away by U.S. Park police. “Occupy Wall Street protesters have been occupying federal property for months, but when we kneel in prayer, the police are called in and we are arrested,” said Father Wilde, one of the protesters.










Children & Family

Plunge from Brisbane's Story Bridge came after 'relationship broke down'


Kate Kyriacou, Alison Sandy - The Courier-Mail





A man who jumped from Brisbane's Story Bridge with his two-year-old son in his arms was suffering from a relationship breakdown. As tributes poured in for respected teacher Jason Lees and his son Brad, The Courier-Mail has learned Mr Lees was struggling after problems between him and wife Danielle.










Family Court settlements in doubt after admin error

The Australian





Attorney General Nicola Roxon is frustrated a "small administrative error" could put in doubt three years' worth of Family Court property settlements and other orders handed down to de facto couples. Since 2009 the Family Court has had the power to settle the property disputes of de facto couples, after state courts relinquished their powers to the federal government.










Classification

R18+ game classification: The quest continues


Sam Hinton - Delimiter





Late last week Federal Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare introduced a bill to parliament (PDF) that takes Australia one step closer to an R18+ classification for videogames. No sooner had the classification bill been introduced than the Coalition responded by calling for an inquiry into the bill. These are just the latest developments in a saga that’s been running for the best part of a decade. But if everything goes to plan, we could see R18+ games on Australian shelves by January 2013.












No sex, but crushed heads are OK. Leaked Facebook document reveals website's secretive and bizarre 'graphic content' policy

Daily Mail





A former employee who used to filter out offensive content on Facebook has leaked the website's secret rulebook, which gives astonishingly detailed instructions that include blocking mild nudity but allowing images of death and disfigurement, as well as racially charged comments. An aggrieved Moroccan worker who was paid a mere $1 an hour by oDesk - a third-party content-moderation firm used by Facebook - revealed it tells staff to delete all forms of sexual activity, even simulated activity where there was nothing explicit on show. Yet deep wounds, excessive blood and 'crushed heads, limbs etc' are allowed - 'as long as no insides are showing'.










Education

Fixing education a matter of urgency, Gillard warned


Bianca Hall - SMH





Pressure is growing on the federal government to commit to the biggest reforms to hit the education sector in generations. The government released on Monday the Gonski review into schools' funding - the most wide-ranging review into schools funding in 39 years.










Gambling

Gamblers' brains have unique chemistry


SMH





Financial market traders and keen gamblers take note. Scientists have found that a chemical in the region of the brain involved in sensory and reward systems is crucial to whether people simply brush off the pain of financial losses. Scientists say the study points the way to the possible development of drugs to treat problem gamblers and sheds light on what may have been going on in the brains of Wall Street and City of London traders as the 2008 financial crisis took hold.










Human Rights

Church of Scientology demands right to underpay


Joe Hildebrand - The Daily Telegraph





Scientologists have asked the federal government for an exemption to the Fair Work Act so they do not have to pay workers the minimum wage. In a submission to the Fair Work review, public affairs director Reverend Mary Anderson said the Church of Scientology, which believes Earth was founded 75 million years ago by an alien tyrant called Xenu, should be exempt from workplace law because it was a legitimate religion.










Marriage

Can you choose your sexuality?


Rachel Hills - The Canberra Times





Is sexual orientation written in our genes? Or is it something that can change over time, whether by whim,circumstance or sheer force of will?










Kreayshawn on sexuality: 'I'm not that gay'

Alicia Adejobi - Taletela





Kreayshawn has addressed her sexuality yet again, this time claiming that she's "not that gay." The 'Gucci Gucci' rapper has been open about being bisexual since she burst onto the scene last year, and she explains how she chooses a partner.










Overseas Aid

PNG, Australia sign zero-tolerance agreement on aid funding


Australia Network News





Papua New Guinea and Australia have signed an agreement of zero tolerance to fraud in the multi-million dollar AusAID program. Australia's international aid agency, AusAID provides more than $AU480 million in aid each year to improve PNG's worst health and education outcomes.










Politics

Julia Gillard v Kevin Rudd, part II


Dennis Shanahan and Sid Maher - The Australian





The Gillard government faces days of uncertainty until Kevin Rudd declares whether he will challenge Julia Gillard for the Labor leadership, go to the parliamentary backbench or even resign from his Brisbane seat and force a by-election. As government sources last night revealed the Prime Minister would today call a special caucus meeting for a leadership ballot on Monday, NSW independent Tony Windsor warned it was "more than likely" a change of leader would trigger a return to the polls.










It's show time now shadow boxing is over

Michelle Grattan - The Age





Kevin Rudd is appealing to his desperate and dysfunctional party as its best vote-getter, but he is confronting a seething hatred from his many critics determined to block his resurrection. He goes into the ballot with a minority of votes. But now the shadow boxing is over, he can lobby openly, in what will be a bitter contest very different from the surgical overnight coup of 2010.










Religious Freedom & Persecution

New fears for Iranian pastor on death row who refuses to renounce his Christian faith


Patrick Goodenough - CNS News





The American Center for Law and Justice said Tuesday it had received information that Iran may have issued an execution order for Youcef Nadarkhani. “As of today, we cannot confirm that Pastor Youcef is alive,” said executive director Jordan Sekulow. “With Iran now dominating international headlines because of its military actions, it’s clear Iran may have decided to move forward by issuing an execution order, knowing that the world’s attention is focused elsewhere right now. We also know that Iran’s top officials can reject the execution order and release Pastor Youcef if they so desire. We will keep the international pressure on Iran to free Pastor Youcef.”










Sexualisation of Society

Virgin's sexism in the sky


Catherine Marshall - Eureka Street





It's 6am and I'm sipping a flat white in Virgin Australia's Sydney Airport lounge. I'm here with a colleague who has lounge access and favours this carrier over the opposition, Qantas. Our debate over which of these two local airlines deserves our patronage continues as we take off for Melbourne.










Sex education expert calls for pornography education in schools

Mandy Squires - Geelong Advertiser





A university sex education expert has called for students to receive porn education at school, following research showing most kids have viewed explicit content online by the age of 11. Deakin University sex education expert Debbie Ollis said unfortunately exposure to pornography was part of "the reality of social life" for most children in 2012.










Other

Christian origins too often neglected in Australia, Archbishop says


Mark Brolly - Anglican Media Melbourne





Archbishop Philip Freier says there is a disconnection in Australia between many features of society, such as the welfare system, and their Christian origins. Dr Freier said the welfare state in England had come out of a strong Christian context but while Australia had adopted some of the policies, it had done so without the context. He also said primacy of conscience was part of the DNA of the United States but that a similar strong unifying narrative in Australia “might be harder to get in an increasingly secular society which, from my perspective, is trying to privatise faith here”.










Romney woes leave Republican race close

SBS





Mitt Romney's future hangs in the balance. Soon he could either be restored as the frontrunner in the Republican presidential race or be left staring into a political abyss. Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, a Christian conservative who fiercely opposes gay marriage and abortion, has surged from a distant third into pole position following his trio of vote wins earlier this month.