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

Crying foul on drugs to calm bawling babies


Adam Cresswell - The Australian

Doctors have sounded the alarm over soaring prescriptions for acid-suppressing drugs for young babies. They warn there is clear evidence the pills do no good in most cases and may instead be causing chest infections and even food allergies. The drugs, called proton-pump inhibitors, have become widely used to treat crying in babies just a few weeks old, in the belief their distress is caused by acidic stomach contents rising up the oesophagus, causing pain.


Gambling

Bingos' got my baby: Clubs give kids early lesson on gambling


Ellise Bosilkovski - The Daily Telegraph

Children are being entertained with a drink, meal and a game of kids bingo while their parents enjoy a break at the local club. The clubs are handing out prizes such as gift vouchers at regular events for children as young as five, costing as little as $5 a time. Souths Juniors, a club in Sydney's east and a prominent anti-pokies campaigner, is the latest to launch bingo sessions for kids, offering $360 worth of gift vouchers from Toys 'R' Us. The cost of entry is $10 with a free meal and drink. Club spokesperson Brad Smith said the club wasn't promoting gambling, merely teaching children numeracy skills.


Julia Gillard refuses to answer questions about pokie machine reform

Stephen Drill, Gemma Jones - Herald Sun

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has again refused to answer questions about poker machine reforms in Melbourne this afternoon. Ms Gillard fended off repeated questions about the pre-commitment and $1 bet limit proposals. Poker machine reform was a key platform for the support of independent MP Andrew Wilkie, who helped Ms Gillard form a minority government. "As I said to you yesterday and the day before as well I'm not going to engage in commentary while I am in discussions with Mr Wilkie," she said.


Internet gambling on the rise

Health Canal

Internet gambling is on the rise in Australia according to new research from the University of Sydney and Southern Cross University, with factors such as convenience and ease of access contributing to its popularity. The study shows that internet gamblers had significantly more positive attitudes towards gambling and that people appear to be gravitating towards online gambling because of its availability and convenience.


Wilkie insists poker machine deal still holds

Stephen Dziedzic - ABC

There's been talk in some Labor circles of him buckling on gambling reform. The Australian Christian Lobby's Lyle Shelton says the Government must not give in to the clubs industry. This is a massive social crisis and yet it seems like the vested interests of the clubs and the likes of Mr Packer's Crown Casino have such a hold on both sides of politics and we're very disappointed by that, because this is an issue of social justice, it's an issue that's causing incredible hardship to children and to families right across this nation and it needs to be tackled.


Sport’s gambling dependence is the elephant in the boardroom

licoriceallsports - The Roar

“Sports that embrace sports betting are like heavy smokers. Yes, it is pleasurable at first and a seductive source of revenue. Drag it down deep, there you go, and blow rings at the wowsers that fear for you.” “But the longer it goes and the more heavily it is inhaled, the more likely it will turn cancerous. Attacking first at the fringes, minor players agreeing to do little things – until it metastases to the point of Test results that tell the tale and it is obvious to all that the very soul of the sport is now malignant.”


Marriage

Phelps v Court: a shameless exercise in moral panic


Adam Ch'ng - ABC The Drum

It was during my first university lecture in political science that I learnt the concept of moral panic: an elite-driven media campaign to force social change where a target group is constructed as a threat to societal values and deserving of righteous anger, hostility and punishment. Moral panics involve several stages. Firstly, the target group is identified as a threat to core values. Secondly, the threat is presented in a fairly reasonable manner to the media. What follows is a rapid escalation in public concern, necessitating a response by politicians. Ultimately, the moral panic either recedes or results in the desired social change.


David Cameron's plan for legalizing same-sex marriage condemned, protest may take place

Benge Nsenduluka - Christian Post

Traditionalist Tory (British Conservative) members of Parliament are said to be recruiting over 100 backbenchers for a campaign aimed at sabotaging the PM's decision to lift the ban on same-sex civil marriage, according to The Independent UK. In 2011 Cameron announced his plans to legalize same sex marriage at a conservative conference, forcing a number of anti-gay MPs to leave during his speech.


Overseas Aid

Aid agencies admit deadly famine delay


ABC

Aid agencies are now acknowledging their slow response to the Horn of Africa famine cost tens of thousands of lives. While an accurate death toll may never be known, the United Nations estimates tens of thousands have already died in the region and the number continues to grow. A joint report by Save the Children and Oxfam says early signs of the looming food crisis were clear months before the emergency reached its peak and international agencies started responding.


Haiti's frustration with aid groups

Barbara Shelly - Newsday

Two years after the earthquake that shattered its buildings and soul, Haiti has grown sick of compassion. Citizens, nations and charities responded quickly after the Jan. 12, 2010, quake that claimed 250,000 lives and left more than a million people homeless. Nongovernmental aid organizations rushed in with medical supplies, food and water, and tents. Their trucks and tents still crowd the landscape. And that's become a problem.


Politics

WA Opposition Leader Ripper resigns


ABC

West Australian Opposition Leader Eric Ripper has officially announced his resignation, ending ongoing speculation about his ability to lead the Labor Party to win next year's state election. Mr Ripper also announced that he will retire from politics at the end of his current term. He has called a caucus meeting for 10am on Monday when it is understood Mark McGowan, the Member for Rockingham, will be elected as leader unopposed.


Bob Katter insists his party can win in Queensland

Tony Bartlett - AAP

Federal Independent MP Bob Katter insists his party could still win a mandate to govern Queensland in its own right. His fledgling Katter's Australian Party is contesting the state poll, which is yet to be called. Mr Katter today repeated his vow not to climb into bed with Labor or the Liberal National Party if the election result is tight, saying his party is only interested in governing in its own right.


Religious Freedom & Persecution

Double standard in application of Egyptian Contempt of Religion Law


AINA

Anger and frustration have risen among Egypt's Coptic Christians after the recent escalation of court cases against Copts charged with of contempt of Islam. Copts accuse the authorities, including the ruling Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF), of exercising double standards in the application of the "contempt of religion" law. In the last month three cases have been brought against Copts, based on accusations mostly from postings on Facebook or Twitter of cartoons or comments deemed by Islamists as insulting to Islam. "Copts have received a barrage of insults to their faith and their symbols and have had churches torched and destroyed, and no one has done anything about it," said Dr Naguib Gobrail, head of the Egyptian Union of Human Rights Organizations. "The law of contempt of religion is applied solely to punish the Copts."


Refugees

Don't release refugees before security clearance, says Marion Le


Lanai Vasek - The Australian

Refugee lawyer Marion Le has warned against releasing asylum-seekers awaiting their security clearance into the community saying there is no guarantee they won't pose a threat to the safety of everyday Australians. Ms Le, a refugee advocate and staunch opponent of mandatory detention, told The Australian Online while she rejected the lengthy periods in detention for some asylum-seekers, moving them into the community while they were awaiting Australian Security Intelligence Organisation checks was not be the best way forward.


Release 'red-flag' refugees: Daryl Melham

Paul Maley - The Australian

Refugees deemed security threats should be able to live in the community on control orders or wearing electronic monitoring devices, a senior Labor MP has urged. Daryl Melham, the head of a parliamentary committee on detention, said there must be a solution other than being condemned to a life in detention for the growing number of asylum-seekers who have been found to be both refugees and threats to national security. In comments that put him at odds with Gillard government policy, Mr Melham said ASIO should be obliged to continuously review asylum-seekers to whom it has issued adverse security assessments in case their situations changed and their threat to the community diminished or disappeared.


Sexualisation of Society

'Nuckin Futs' set to go on sale after lawyer argues F-word won't offend


Sarah O'Carroll - news.com.au

A snack called Nuckin Futs will go on sale after a lawyer's successful argument that the word "f..." is a normal part of Australian speech and so cannot be deemed offensive under trademark rules. The trademark application for "Nuckin Futs" was at first rejected by the register as being scandalous and offensive due to its similarity to the phrase "f...ing nuts".


Other

'Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus' video receives over 6 million views on YouTube, creates dialogue

Ravelle Mohammed - Christian Post

The video, titled “Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus,” was uploaded Jan. 10 and has since become YouTube's most-watched video. The popular, and apparently controversial video, showcases what Jefferson Bethke says was his “journey to discover this truth – the difference between Jesus and false religion.” “What if I told you, Jesus came to abolish religion?” the poet asks. “If religion is so great, why has it started so many wars? Why does it build huge churches, but fails to feed the poor?”


Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus

YouTube - now 14.7 million views

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IAhDGYlpqY