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-life 'October Baby' rejected by major studios, blitzes box office


Hollie McKay - Fox News





“The Hunger Games” wasn’t the only film to hit box office paydirt this past weekend. Although it only opened in 390 theaters, the anti-abortion drama “October Baby,” starring John Schneider, earned the second-highest-per-screen average, bringing in almost $2 million in ticket sales. “I was shattered when I first learned about the story. I was moved and mesmerized. I wasn’t an activist, I was just someone who was shattered by the truth,” director Jon Erwin told FOX411’s Pop Tarts. “Here is our little film, small budget, in the top ten (at the box office). We are thrilled, blown away.” “October Baby” follows the emotional journey of a young woman who learns that she was almost aborted, but at the last minute was instead given up for adoption. The film almost didn’t see the light of day.










Abortion files left in public bin

Daily Telegraph





More than 1000 private abortion records from a defunct clinic have been found discarded in a recycling bin outside a US primary school. The discovery near the school in Kansas City, Kanas, has prompted a police investigation and outrage from people on both sides of the abortion debate. The patient records found Saturday came from Affordable Medical and Surgical Services, which closed after its doctor, Krishna Rajanna, lost his medical license in 2005.












Family Court lacks power to stop abortion, judge rules

Louise Hall - SMH





A judge has ruled the Family Court has no power to order a woman not to terminate her unborn child at the request of the baby's father. Justice Peter Murphy had been asked by a man to grant an urgent injunction to stop his former partner aborting their baby.












Bioethics

Sperm donors should be identified, a Victorian parliamentary committee says


The Australian





Everyone conceived through sperm donations should be allowed to obtain identifying information about their biological parent, a Victorian parliamentary committee says. The Law Reform Committee says donor-conceived people have the right to know the identity of their parent, even if the donor wanted to remain anonymous. State legislation currently prohibits people conceived from sperm donations before July 1, 1988 from having access to any identifying information about their donors.




Health concerns spark call for sperm donor revelations

Sarah Dingle - 7.30 (ABC)





The records of sperm donors could be made available after the advice of a Victorian Parliamentary Committee today, but the idea has caused much debate already.








Children & Family

Love me do, but just for nine years it seems

Elissa Doherty - Herald Sun

Forget the "seven-year itch" - marriages these days tend to turn sour after nine years as couples stay together longer than they used to. Couples are putting up with each other longer, separating after an average of 8.8 years and divorcing after 12.3, a Bureau of Statistics social trends report, Love Me Do, has found.








Education

Aboriginal leaders call for action on low school attendance


ABC





'Out of sight, out of mind' seems too often to be the rule that applies to the remote aboriginal APY (Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara) lands in the far north-west corner of South Australia. A few years ago an extensive inquiry reported evidence of widespread rape, abuse and sexualisation of children resulting in teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases; including girls selling themselves for petrol, alcohol, food and drugs. There have since been reports of starvation in several APY communities.














Boost for Church of England schools and churches

Michael Ireland - ASSIST News Service





A wave of new faith-based schools could lead to the building of new churches in the United Kingdom for the first time in more than half a century. Churches are planned for new towns and expanding housing developments, set to burgeon as planning laws are relaxed, according to Britain’s Daily Exress newspaper. The newspaper reports the Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Rev John Pritchard, confirmed that areas around his own diocese will be part of the expansion plans.














Environment

Martin Ferguson issues warning to employers, unions over a slide in productivity


Ben Packham - The Australian





Declining productivity and environmental "guerrilla tactics" are threatening Australia's ability to grab the market opportunity presented by Asian growth, Resources Minister Martin Ferguson has warned. Mr Ferguson urged a “mature debate” between employers and unions to lift workplace productivity amid surging resource project costs. And he accused the Greens and green activists of attempting to stifle investment by tying up projects in environmental red tape.


























Gambling

Online gambling may increase risk of alcohol and cannabis use


Medical Net





With the click of a mouse or touch of a mobile phone screen - in pyjamas or jeans - gambling is now at our fingertips 24/7 with Internet play. With this increased access to gambling, are online gamblers more prone to risky behaviours than offline gamblers? A new study published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, led by Sylvia Kairouz of Concordia University, has compared people who gamble offline only to people who also gamble online in an effort to answer this question. Her results show that alcohol and cannabis use are in fact associated with online users.














Nothing good ever happened at a Sydney casino

Anthony Sharwood - The Punch





Give The Star some credit. It does at least live up to its name, even if it has to fork out megabucks to get the stars to appear. When Star City opened in 1995, it reportedly paid Diana Ross a cool million to perform at the opening. That was a fun night. The free concert was dangerously crowded, and you had to queue for three hours to play blackjack tables with a minimum bet limit of $25.














Homelessness

Homelessness rising in regional Victoria


Eleni Psaltis - ABC





A housing organisation in north east Victoria says homelessness is becoming more prevalent in the State's regional and rural areas. In just the last three years the number of people seeking help from the Rural Housing Network's Wodonga office has increased by 25 per cent, as Eleni Psaltis reports.










Homelessness getting worse: Salvos

Shane Desiatnik - Blue Mountains Gazette





The rising cost of living and a sudden shortage of accommodation options in the Blue Mountains has led to a noticeable rise in people ‘living rough’, according to The Salvation Army Upper Mountains Corps. Lieutenant Jon Belmonte said while new public housing and crisis accommodation places have been added in Sydney’s metropolitan area in the last two years, demand had outweighed supply in the Upper Mountains at a time when the cost of gas, electricity, petrol and rents had soared.
















Indigenous

Close the Gap': indigenous urged to quit smoking


Tasha Impey - ABC





When a 41-year-old Aboriginal man's heart age in relation to his actual age was calculated at 69, the nurse attributed it directly to his unhealthy lifestyle and chronic smoking addiction. This was a common result at the heart calculator stand at Pangula Mannamurna in Mount Gambier which hosted a number of services working together to achieve better health and life expectation equality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. The prevalence of diabetes, heart disease, cholesterol problems and diseases directly related to tobacco use topple that of non-indigenous peoples in Australia which prompted the 'Close the Gap' campaign in 2006.
















Marriage

Christian demoted over Facebook comments loses human rights argument


The Christain Institute





A judge has stopped a Christian from using human rights arguments in his legal case against his employer who demoted him because of his moderate comments about gay weddings in churches. The ruling was handed down last week by District Judge Charles Khan at Manchester County Court. Adrian Smith will continue his legal action, claiming breach of contract, but the judge’s ruling will fuel concerns that the rights of Christians are being relegated. Smith was a housing manager at Trafford Housing Trust (THT) when, on Feb. 13, 2011, he posted a link on his personal Facebook page to a BBC news story entitled “Gay church marriages get go ahead” and added his own comment: “an equality too far.” The comment was made on his personal Facebook page, in his own personal time, and was only visible to his Facebook friends and their friends.














Politics

Malice by proxy


Royston Mitchell - Quadrant





Get Up has offered to fund the defamation suit against billionaire Clive Palmer, following his accusation that Queensland anti-coal campaigner Drew Hutton is “a tool of the US Government and Rockefeller and so are the Greens”. Get Up executive director Simon Sheikh confirmed that his organisation would fund Mr Hutton’s legal challenge, and said he was prepared to launch a funding drive if needed. Of course he wants to support Hutton. What better opportunity for malice by proxy? Get Up has mutated into the PC enforcement wing of the federal Labor party.










Swan sets up cuts to protect surplus

Phillip Coorey - SMH





Government programs will be either cut or wiped out in the upcoming federal budget as the government strives for a surplus in the face of dwindling tax revenue, the Treasurer, Wayne Swan, will warn today. In his first major speech setting the scene for the May 8 budget, Mr Swan will say delivering a surplus next financial year, as the government has promised, is an economic imperative.




Christian values to the rescue for Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore

Alicia Wood - The Daily Telegraph





Lord Mayor and MP Clover Moore can thank God. Barry O'Farrell's push to remove her from state parliament has hit its first major roadblock in the form of the Reverend Fred Nile. Sources within the Christian Democratic Party confirmed Mr Nile and Paul Green will not support Mr O'Farrell's bill in the upper house unless the Premier includes a clause that the law would also apply to federal MPs in NSW. Mr Green is currently the mayor of Shoalhaven City Council but is giving that job up in September.














Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

The slave girl and the professor


Roger Sandall - Quadrant





The movie I am Slave is as good as the book, from scenes of wild destruction as Arab horsemen seize twelve-year-old Mende Nazer from her home in the Nuba Mountains, to the slave market in hartoum, to her days of captivity in London. The story of a plucky young woman breaking away from years of Sudanese servitude to recreate herself as a free UK citizen is inspiring: we wish her well. It also provides a dramatic glimpse of one of the stranger fruits of British multiculturalism—a slave trade that has brought hundreds of captive African youngsters into the land of William Wilberforce and Granville Sharp.














Religious Freedom & Persecution

Youcef Nadarkhani still alive; Execution reports prove false


Katherine Weber - Christian Post





Iranian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani is still alive and recent reports of his execution are false, according to the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which was able to confirm on March 26 that the imprisoned evangelical minister's death sentence for apostasy has not been carried out. Many followers of Nadarkhani's case grew alarmed after a purported image of the pastor was in wide circulation on the Internet. The image shows the Iranian pastor blindfolded, standing on gallows next to a noose while two armed guards stand behind him.










Burma's Christians continue to face discrimination

Christian Today





Christian Solidarity Worldwide has called upon the international community to closely monitor Burma after soldiers from the Burma Army reportedly ransacked a village church and disrupted a Christian meeting. The Rev Jangmaw Gam Maw reports that soldiers entered the Sin Lum Pang Mu Baptist Church in Pang Mu village on 13 March and proceeded to burn Bibles and destroy church property.










Sudanese Christians given until April 8 to leave

Ryan Mauro - Family Security Matters





The Sudanese regime is on its way to becoming the next Iran, regardless of whether President Omar Bashir remains in power or not. The country is moving towards becoming a full-blown Sharia state, comparable to Iran, Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan under the Taliban. Towards that end, 500-700,000 Christians have been told to pack up and leave by April 8 or they’ll be treated as foreigners.
















Refugees

UN warns 16,000 Sudan refugees at risk


Sky News





The UN refugee agency is warning that the lives of more than 16,000 Sudanese refugees are at risk as Khartoum bombards South Sudan's oil-rich border areas for a second consecutive day. 'UNHCR considers that the Yida refugee settlement is not safe for long-term stay due to its proximity to the volatile border zone,' said Melissa Fleming, spokeswoman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. 'We consider that refugees' lives are at stake, so we do urge them to move.'














Sexualisation of Society

Rejection, pain, bullying, heartbreak: former Dolly model search entrant speaks out


'Melanie' - Melinda Tankard Reist blog





‘I was never as happy or as sure of myself after that. It was just too big of a let-down, because it wasn’t a rejection from a high school bully, it was a rejection from ‘the experts’, from people with professional opinion, and it was a closing of doors in my face from a glamorous and revered industry’ Thank you for bringing the Dolly Model Reboot to my attention. I am disgusted and appalled. I’m sure you are already aware of the massive damage it can do. The fact that they have brought it back bothers me so much I wanted to share my story with you. I was 15 when my mum entered me into the Dolly Model Competition. She told me it was to help me with my self-esteem which, at the time, was shockingly low. She said I was so beautiful there was no way I wouldn’t win. A mother’s naivety.














Dogged by sex craze

Niccole Mills - NT News





Territorians are avoiding taking their dogs for a walk for fear they may be mistaken for doggers. Hundreds of animal lovers said they were shocked to learn of the new sex craze that has changed the meaning of the NT's outdoor lifestyle. The NT News yesterday revealed more than 2300 Territorians were registered with the website Dogging Australia, which helps people find strangers willing to meet in public for sex.














Other

Vatican job goes to ALP's lawyer


Michelle Grattan - The Age





John McCarthy, QC, is to be appointed Australia's ambassador to the Vatican. Leading Labor lawyer John McCarthy, QC, counsel for the New South Wales ALP and a friend of Foreign Minister Bob Carr, is to be appointed Australia's ambassador to the Vatican. Mr McCarthy, 64, has been senior counsel for the NSW ALP for about 20 years and a close friend of Senator Carr since their student days.












Titanic 100: International event to celebrate Christian legacy of Titanic's sinking

Wesley Strackbein - Christian News Wire





As the world pauses this April to remember the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, one group will gather to celebrate the sacrifice of the men and boys on board the ship who gave their lives so women and children might live. Titanic 100: An International Centennial Event will be held on April 13-15 in Branson, Missouri, and is unique as an anniversary commemoration in focusing on the Christian doctrine of "women and children first" that was displayed in the midst of Titanic's tragic sinking.