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

Safe abortion: a 'pro-life' cause worth fighting for


Melanie Poole - ABC





The emergence of 'Labor for Life', a group of Labor MPs, members and supporters who have mobilised to oppose abortion, among other issues, should deeply concern Australians who care about human rights and saving lives. Members of 'Labor for Life', along with 'pro-life' Coalition MPs, have been key opponents of efforts to achieve reproductive choice for women in both Australia and developing countries.










Abortion error medic still at Royal Women's Hospital

Stephen Drill - Herald Sun





A clinician who wrongly aborted a healthy twin foetus still works at the Royal Women's Hospital despite a finding that human error was to blame for the tragic mistake. An independent report into the incident was handed down this week. The report, led by Canberra Hospital's Professor David Ellwood, found human error was the cause of the mistake on November 22 last year.














Children & Family

Chasing shadows


Michelle Griffin - The Age





In 1990, there were 12,000 notifications of suspected child abuse in Victoria. Today, there are 55,000. What's going on and how can it be fixed? Sprawling as a Russian novel and just as grim, the Cummins report into child welfare in Victoria caps more than 20 years of investigations of our society's thorniest problem: how to protect and care for our most vulnerable children.
















Environment

Anger at secret deal on Tasmanian forests


Matthew Denholm - The Australian





Tasmania's logging agency and peak timber body have secretly signed a deal giving ownership of all new conservation reserves under the federal forest peace agreement to the state's Aborigines. The extraordinary deal will infuriate green groups because the new reserves - expected to be at least 200,000ha, and up to 430,000ha - would not become national parks managed by conservation agencies. Instead, under the memorandum of understanding, ownership of all new reserves would be vested in the Aboriginal Land Council of Tasmania, while Forestry Tasmania would be paid to help manage them.
















Gambling

Wilkie threat to vote against 'weak' pokie reform bill


Richard Willingham - SMH





Fresh doubts have been cast on the future of poker machine reforms with key independent Andrew Wilkie threatening to vote against the government's reform package because he says it is too weak. Mr Wilkie, with the support of the Greens and independent Senator Nick Xenophon, are now pushing for the trial in the ACT to test mandatory precommitment to be ''remedied''.














Human Rights

Coalition plan to change laws on vilification


Chris Merritt - The Australian





The federal opposition has unveiled a plan to wind back the restrictions on free speech in the Racial Discrimination Act that were used to prosecute Herald Sun journalist Andrew Bolt over his columns about light-skinned Aborigines. The plan, which has been unveiled by Tony Abbott, promises that a Coalition government would repeal the key provisions that led a Federal Court judge to order a correction to what he said were Bolt's unlawful articles. Opposition legal affairs spokesman George Brandis told The Australian the Coalition would remove the provisions in the act that prohibit the use of words that offend or insult.












Human rights and religious faith

Rowan Williams - ABC





The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is unquestionably a landmark in the history of moral consciousness, one of the factors that has consistently given hope and purpose to political life throughout the globe since it first saw the light of day in 1948. It has offered a global benchmark for identifying injustices to those who have never been able to make their voices heard. And, for all the challenges which we shall come back to in a moment, it has been an energising force in the witness of more than one community of faith in their struggle against arbitrary oppression and for protection of the vulnerable.
















Politics

Family First boosts candidate numbers


Sam Burgess - ABC





The Family First party has increased the number of candidates it will field at next month's state election but only one will run in southern Queensland. Family First will run candidates in 38 seats, up from 25 at the 2009 election.










Smith confirms he opposed offer to Carr

news.com





Defence Minister Stephen Smith's office has confirmed he fought a push to have former New South Wales premier Bob Carr drafted into the Senate so he could serve as foreign minister. Prime Minister Julia Gillard's authority has been shaken as she seeks a replacement for Kevin Rudd.












Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

South Australian Government wants employment rights for sex workers


Miles Kemp - The Advertiser





Sex workers should be given the right to appeal against dismissal, a minimum wage and collective bargaining rights, the South Australian Government believes. But opponents of the sex industry have asked why South Australia has requested that the rights be granted in a review of the Federal Government's Fair Work Act when prostitution is still illegal in the state. "The definition of national system employee could be clarified to ensure that employed sex workers can access their industrial entitlements under the Fair Work Act," the State Government's submission states.










High-class escort agency boss hails 'amazing' feeling after not guilty verdict

SMH





A British jury has found a Sydney woman not guilty of allegations she "controlled" a team of escorts and pocketed the illegal profits. Following a trial lasting several days at a central London court, the nine-man, three-woman jury agreed that Larissa Miesnieks had committed no crime in the way she operated her online high-class escort agency, Atlantic Companions.












Religious Freedom & Persecution

Egypt’s Copts protest “disappearance of girls”


Mohamed Abdel Salam and Joseph Mayton - Bikyamasr





A number of Egypt Coptic Christian protesters organized a demonstration on Tuesday in front of Parliament to protest what they called “the disappearance and abduction of Coptic girls,” where the families of the missing girls took part in the protest organized by the Association of Victims of Abduction and Enforced Disappearance. The protesters chanted “Where is the rule of law” and “no for the Islamization of minors”,”MPS, where are the rights of Copts?”