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

US state escalates abortion battle


Erik Eckholm – The Age





Mississippi voters are being asked to decide whether a fertilised egg should be declared a legal person and similar initiatives are brewing in other states that would effectively brand abortion and some birth control as murder.














Children & Family

Spotlight on important role of Blue Light Discos


Jano Gibson - ABC





More than a hundred delegates have met in Darwin today for the start of a two-day conference about Blue Light Discos. The discos started in Melbourne in the 1970s and were brought to the Northern Territory in 1981. They provide a safe place for teenagers to have a night out without the risks of alcohol and drugs.










Donor Conception & Surrogacy

Donors could find a spot on birth register


Natasha Wallace - SMH





Sperm, egg and embryo donors may be listed on birth certificates after the state government decided to hold an inquiry into the issue. There is no provision at present for donors' details to be recorded with the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. The inquiry is in response to a Herald story about a sperm donor who was forced off his 10-year-old daughter's birth certificate despite a close relationship that included financial support and regular court-ordered visits since she was born.










Drugs & Alcohol

Score, Chop, Snort: Sydney's cocaine blizzard


Joel Meares - SMH





The past few years have seen more overdoses than ever in NSW and in 2010 there were 688 records of possession compared with 549 the year before and just 182 back in 2000. Once the choice of inner-city hipsters and the city’s wealthy elite, cocaine is now almost as easy to buy in Parramatta and Penrith as it is in Paddington. Joel Meares looks at the blizzard enveloping Sydney and the price users are paying – to both their bank balance and their health – for their indulgence.










Education

Australian education in the Asian century


Michael Wesley - The Australian





In Australia’s education sector, Asia’s rise has been a question of numbers. As governments became willing to foot the bill for a shrinking proportion of the costs of educating Australians, the growth of demand from international students, most of them from Asia, began to fill the gap. Asian students became a huge money earner for our schools, colleges and universities, in effect subsidising the education of Australians.










Rise of autism puts strain on public school budgets

Andrew Stevenson - SMH





The number of children in NSW public schools with autism is nearly four times higher than it was just eight years ago, placing a significant strain on the Education Department budget. Figures released by the department yesterday show that in 2003 slightly more than 2000 students across the state had been diagnosed with the disorder; this year some 8400 students have been diagnosed.










Anglicans reject multi-faith education in schools

Barney Zwartz – The Age





Melbourne Anglicans have rejected a call to introduce a multi-faith general religious education into all Victorian state schools, in a move described as a return to sectarianism.










Pre-empting prejudice

Opinion – The Age





Religions must be properly taught in state schools as part of the curriculum because people who never come across religion are far more likely to be prejudiced against it.














Gambling

Primary school pupils absorbing gambling culture, Synod warned


Mark Brolly - Melbourne Anglican





Primary school pupils were absorbing a “betting odds culture” from big screens at major sporting venues such as the MCG and promotions by sporting identities, Synod was told. Bishop Philip Huggins, Chair of the diocesan Social Responsibilities Committee, said this type of betting advertising “has slipped in without any public debate or reflection”.










Tony Abbott in bandit country

EDITORIAL - SMH





It's not a ''pledge in blood'' but a ''prediction'' by Tony Abbott that if the Coalition led by him comes to government, it would repeal a law mandating pre-commitment technology to be installed in poker machines. Such a law is demanded by Tasmanian independent MP Andrew Wilkie as the price of support for Julia Gillard's government, with next June his deadline.










Human Rights

The real injury is to free speech


Janet Albrechtsen - The Australian





Many words have been written about the Federal Court finding that Andrew Bolt contravened section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. And many more words still need to be written. These issues are not passing curiosities. They should not be lost to a fast-moving news cycle.












Marriage

Greens claim gay union credit, but baulk at preference deal


Daniel Hurst – Brisbane Times





The Greens have claimed credit for the new push to introduce same-sex civil unions in Queensland, saying Deputy Premier Andrew Fraser is championing the issue because the minor party is so strong in his inner-west city electorate.
There is a newspaper poll, at the end of the above story, that you might like to vote on.





Value of marriage trivialised by laws

Catholic Leader





Any introduction of civil unions for homosexual couples in Queensland will further undermine marriage, John Paul II Centre for Family and Life director Ray Campbell said. Dr Campbell was commenting on a proposal by Deputy Premier Andrew Fraser for legislation to allow civil unions for same-sex couples.










Overseas Aid

Smart Aid? Gillard Funds ‘Mining for Development’


probonoaustralia





The Gillard Government has launched a $127 million ‘Mining for Development Initiative’ which aims to help ‘resource-rich, poor countries’ better use their natural resources. Prime Minister Julia Gillard launched the $127 million initiative which is being dubbed ‘smart aid’ at CHOGM in Perth.










Politics

Reuniting church and state


Gary Bouma - OnLine Opinion





There is a biblical story in which Jesus responds to a challenge about 'paying taxes', put to him by parties who wanted him to side with one of the political factions of the day, with the dictum 'Give to God the things due to God and to Caesar the things due to Caesar'. His answer caused consternation then, and through most history since then. The passage has been used to legitimate the separation of church and state, and a kind of differentiation of responsibilities that usually, of late, leaves church and religious voices marginalised.










Religion

Benedict invites atheists to inter-faith Assisi talks


SMH





Four leading atheist intellectuals will take part in inter-religious talks in Assisi for the first time in a sign of Pope Benedict's growing interest in dialogue between ''faith and reason''.










Religious Freedom & Persecution

Iranian pastor's execution: Supreme leader continues silence on death row ruling


Katherine Weber - Christian Post





The international public continues to await the opinion of supreme leader Ayatolla Ali Khamenei concerning the execution case of Iranian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani. As of Oct. 13, it was predicted that Khamenei would make his decision within 20 days.










Where have all the Christians gone?

Elwood McQuaid - Jerusalem Post





Christians are being killed by radical Islamists because of their beliefs. Why then, while the world celebrates revolution in the Arab world, are we standing silently while these atrocities are taking place in these democratically-liberated lands? And there is another question—one we must all ask ourselves: Why has the church been virtually silent about the suffering of our brethren?










Refugees

People trafficking a trade in human misery that must be stopped


Najib Razak (Prime Minister of Malaysia) - SMH





Where you or I see a man, a woman or an innocent child, people traffickers see only one thing - money. They target the vulnerable and the desperate and exploit them without mercy, taking advantage of people financially, physically, often even sexually.










Further

Better angels fall to brutal reality


Miranda Devine – The Telegraph





Two videos of people dying agonising deaths have been big hits on the internet in recent days. Together they offer a searing insight into the dark side of human nature. Security footage of a two-year-old girl in China being run over twice and left for dead by at least 18 passers-by has engulfed that nation in a wave of soul-searching.