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
Court bans stem cell technique patents

Herald Sun


The European Union's top court has ruled that scientists can't patent stem cell techniques that use human embryos for research purposes, a ruling some scientists say threatens important research since no-one can profit from it. The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg said the law protects human embryos from any use that could undermine human dignity.





Children & Family
Agencies 'failed' bashed toddler
Pia Akerman - The Australian


A two-year-old girl who died after being bashed in her family home was let down by childcare staff and police, who knew she had suffered injuries in the weeks before the fatal attack.





Housing costs pushing families to the fringe
Simon Johanson - The Age


The research into housing affordability found families with annual incomes less than $40,000 were forced out of buying a home altogether. Those with incomes between $40,000 and $80,000 could only afford homes in the outer suburbs or growth areas, the study based on data from Adelaide and Melbourne found.





Uncle says DoCS failed dead Tanilla
SkyNews


The brother of a NSW central coast woman charged over the death of her two-year-old daughter says DoCS failed to act on the family's concerns. Donna Deaves, 27, appeared briefly in Gosford Local Court on Wednesday charged with being an accessory after the fact to the murder of two-year-old Tanilla Warrick-Deaves.





Technology takes toll on family life, a study
Naveen Kar - Social Barrel


No doubt information technology has made our lives easier. However, it is also a fact that television, iPhone, mobile phones, Internet, etc. have diminished the warmth in family relationships. Latest technology is helping children in their studies, but it is also increasing the distance between children and their parents, suggests a recent study. Researchers from Missouri University say that intervention of technology in the lives of children has increased so much that many children today don’t have time to sit and talk with their parents.





Drugs & Alcohol
Fake credit cards worth $30m seized along with drugs and cash

Mark Morri - The Daily Telegraph


More than 12,000 fake credit cards with a face value of $30 million have been seized in Sydney during a massive police operation early today. Police raided properties in Ashbury and Haymarket where they allegedly found the 12,000 blank credit cards and holograms, a number of blank New South Wales driver's licences, computer files and equipment allegedly used in the manufacture of fraudulent documents.





Education
Increasing numbers of students not attending school

ABC


The WA State Government has rejected claims funding cuts are to blame for a spike in the number of children missing from the education system. The Education Department's annual report reveals the number of students whose whereabouts is unknown increased from 813 in 2009/10 to more than 1,400 last financial year.





Environment
At the coalface: Jones and Greens together in mining fight

Phillip Coorey - SMH


Alan Jones arrived in Canberra yesterday and found himself in furious agreement with the Greens in admitting he had overstepped the mark with some of the things he had said about the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard. Jones has taken up the cudgels against the rapacious expansion and effect of coal seam gas and coal mining on food-producing land in NSW and Queensland and took it to the National Press Club.





Gambling
Abbott keen for gambling policy to toe line between Wilkie and clubs

Phillip Coorey - SMH


The Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, has commissioned his own problem gambling policy but one which avoids a fight with the powerful clubs lobby and tries not to aggravate the Tasmanian independent, Andrew Wilkie. The shadow cabinet has charged the opposition's families spokesman, Kevin Andrews, with preparing a policy which will include targeting poker machine addicts for counselling and education and possibly introducing voluntary precommitment on the machines.





Indigenous
Program sees school attendance double

Roseanne Barrett - The Australian


School attendance in the formerly "notorious" Cape York community of Aurukun has almost doubled in three years amid a strengthened focus on education and community programs. Before the Family Responsibilities Commission trial project started in mid-2009, school attendance hovered at 37.8 per cent. By the end of term two this year, it had risen to more than 70 per cent including 73.2 per cent in the primary school.





Marriage
ABC defends marriage equality coverage

Serkan Ozturk - ABC


The ABC’s managing director, Mark Scott, has been forced to defend the public broadcaster’s coverage of same-sex marriage during a Senate Estimates hearing in Canberra yesterday. Liberal Senator Eric Abetz put it to Scott that a July episode of religious affairs program Compass in which host Geraldine Doogue presented a dinner table discussion on the issue of same-sex marriage was biased.





What are Americans learning from pop culture portrayals of polygamy?
Chuck Colson and Timothy George - ChristianityToday


Big Love, HBO's series about the "polygamists next door" in Sandy, Utah, ended its five-year run last March, but polygamy is still going strong on American television. What are Americans learning from sympathetic portrayals of polygamy in popular culture? Catholic Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York was no alarmist when he worried aloud that the next step in the marriage debate would be another redefinition to allow polygamy and infidelity. How did we get to this point?





Overseas Aid
Rudd defends aid payments

NineMSN


Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd has defended part of Australia's aid budget going to countries run by corrupt and ineffective governments. In a speech at Charles Darwin University about poverty, Mr Rudd told those gathered that he had often heard people say the problem with Australia's aid grants was that the money went to countries that were corrupt.





Aid workers' cash for kicks
Steve Lewis – Daily Telegraph


Taxpayers have forked out more than $110,000 for foreign aid workers to learn martial arts as the sharp hike in aid funding comes under close Government scrutiny.





Prostitution & Sex Trafficking
New funding announced to fight slavery and trafficking

Probono Australia


The Gillard Government says it is stepping up the fight against labour trafficking – granting more than $485,000 to combat slavery and human trafficking in Australia. Minister for Justice Brendan O’Connor said that while people trafficking is not common in Australia, “Australian authorities are now identifying an increasing number of trafficking victims in industries other than the sex industry.”





Religious Freedom & Persecution
Iran Pastor's Execution Verdict Expected Within 20 Days

Katherine Weber – Christian Post Contributor


Iranian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani’s defense lawyer has predicted that the supreme leader Ayatolla Ali Khamenei will reveal his “opinion” concerning the pastor’s case within the next 20 days.





Sudan: mounting concerns regarding imminent adoption of entirely Shari’a constitution as pressure on churches intensifies
Christian Solidarity Worldwide


Christian Solidarity Worldwide has expressed concern regarding the implications of an entirely Shari’a-based constitution on freedom of worship in the Republic of Sudan, in the wake of increasing pressure on churches in the area since the creation of South Sudan on 9 July 2011.





Rising incidents of sexual harassment against Christian women workers on workplaces in Pakistan
Pakistan Christian Post


There are rising incidents of sexual harassment against Christian women workers on workplaces in Pakistan which go unreported due to cultural and social values. The influential Muslims feel free to kidnap and rape Christian women in Pakistan where Islamic laws protect culprits. In kidnap and rape cases against Christian women, the Muslim culprits walk free from courts which keep victims silent on such abuses.





Refugees
Libs to blame for new boat, says PM

Kirsty Needham, Tom Allard – SMH


Iranians and Iraqis make up the bulk of 51 asylum seekers on the first boat intercepted off the West Australian coast since the collapse of the federal government's offshore processing scheme.





Sexualisation of Society
“I’m sorry I did not wait”

Carolyn Moynihan - MercatorNet


New research published in the Journal of Adolescent Health last week shows that one in five teens who have had sex regret the fact, even when they approached the situation feeling that they were “in love”. External pressures and lack of self control meant that they went further than intended, or did not find the “joy” they anticipated.





Further
Islamic group calls Australia the 'real terrorists'

John Masanauskas – Herald Sun
A radical Islamic group is facing fresh calls for it to be banned after accusing Australia and its allies of being the "real terrorists".





No appeal in Andrew Bolt case

Herald Sun

Andrew Bolt and the Herald & Weekly Times have decided not to appeal the Federal Court's ruling that the Herald Sun columnist breached the Racial Discrimination Act. The court last month found Bolt had breached the act in columns on fair-skinned Aborigines published in 2009 and titled "It's so hip to be black'' and "White fellas in the black''.