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.







 



 





Charities & NFP

Goodwill gifts help turn a present into the future


Melbourne Weekly





What do you give the person who has everything? Socks and jocks? A voucher? How about a goat that can help sustain a family with its milk? Or a well that will provide fresh, clean water for a remote village? True, the goat and the well would be hard to gift wrap, but you can be certain they’d be truly appreciated by the people who need them most.










Children & Family

The parental happiness curve


MercatorNet





Given the negative association between marital happiness and parenthood, one might expect that the least happy husbands and wives would be parents of large families. Not so. In a striking finding, it turns out that the relationship between family size and marital happiness is not linear, but curvilinear. In other words, according to the Survey of Marital Generosity, the happiest husbands and wives among today’s young couples are those with no children and those with four or more children.










Classification

New strategies for combatting internet porn


MercatorNet





Cutting off supply lines to committed users has limited effectiveness. Let's try stopping people from getting hooked in the first place. Some individuals may believe that, while child sexual assault is wrong, there is no harm in viewing internet child exploitation material because it is, after all, just a digital recording of something that happened in the past. However, some important contrary points can be made. Clearly if an individual pays for child exploitation material then they are supporting a market that abuses children.




Donor Conception & Surrogacy

Cease and desist warning issued to sperm donor

Marcus Wohlsen - news.com







A US man from the San Francisco Bay area has fathered 14 children in the past five years through free sperm donations to childless couples he meets on the internet - and is now in trouble with authorities. Trent Arsenault says he donates sperm out of a sense of service to help people who want to have children but can't afford conventional sperm banks. The 36-year-old minister's son has four more children on the way.














Drugs & Alcohol

Canberra drink-driver hits police car


news.com





Police in the ACT have charged a Canberra man who was caught driving with more than four times the legal alcohol limit while his five-year-old son was a passenger in the car. Officers were undertaking a routine patrol in suburban Melba late on Saturday night when they noticed a car travelling on the wrong side of the road and heading directly towards them. The two cars collided at low speed.










Environment

Noisy wind farms breach environmental laws, according to submission to NSW Planning


Daily Telegraph





Wind farms are breaching NSW environmental laws with excessive noise causing sleep loss, stress and other health problems, it is claimed. The claims are made in a submission to NSW Planning by a group opposed to plans for a wind farm in Flyers Creek, near Orange in the state's central west.










Euthanasia

Opinion - Law too blunt an instrument regarding euthanasia


Catholic News





Quentin Dempster is a very experienced, thoughtful journalist. Last month he produced a story on the ABC's 7.30 NSW program entitled The Right to Die. It was compelling television, including an interview with a well-educated MS sufferer, Loredana Alessio-Mulhall, who pleaded for the right to die, writes Frank Brennan in ABC Online. Once we start drawing the lines elsewhere with the blunt instrument of the law, vulnerable people will be sure to be put to death without their consent, because others judge that their lives are complete or useless. And the resources for providing dignified last days for those whose lives are all but complete will be more scarce.










Gambling

Woolworths hotels' arm buys 31 NSW pubs to strengthen their grip on poker machines


Vanda Carson - The Daily Telegraph





Woolworths has confirmed its massive spending spree on 31 New South Wales pubs to strengthen its grip on the poker machine market. Five weeks after The Daily Telegraph wrote about the grocery giant's plans to buy up about 800 machines, the deal has been officially announced.










Religious Freedom & Persecution

42 Ethiopian Christians arrested in Saudi Arabia


International Christian Concern





International Christian Concern has learned that Saudi security forces arrested 42 Ethiopian Christians at a prayer gathering in Jeddah on Thursday. The location of the detained Christians is unknown. On December 15, Saudi police and security officers raided an evening prayer meeting at the home of an Ethiopian Christian in the Al-Safa district of Jeddah. Those attending the service were reportedly beaten and threatened before being arrested. An Ethiopian and Eritrean Christian immigrant community living in Europe wrote in an urgent appeal for help to the ambassadors of European embassies in Riyadh on Friday.










Refugees

Systematic failings: scathing report into Villawood suicides


Kirsty Needham - SMH





A NSW Coroner has issued a scathing report into the suicide deaths of three men within three months at the Villawood immigration detention centre in 2010, listing systemic failings by the department and the private company that runs the centre. The Coroner, Mary Jerram, also rejected claims by the immigration department that it wasn't within her power to make recommendations to the federal immigration minister Chris Bowen.










A year after Christmas Island, another tragedy at sea

The Punch Team - The Punch





It’s almost exactly a year since the Christmas Island tragedy, when dozens of asylum seekers died on Australia’s doorstep. In an event which everyone predicted - but which no one managed to prevent - more boats came and sank. Now, there has been a tragedy on an even larger scale, with hundreds of asylum seekers feared dead after yet another overloaded, unsafe boat sank, killing people who were desperate for a better life.










Onshore, offshore: both sides stick to their guns

Lauren Wilson and James Massola - The Australian





The Greens and Labor's Left have mounted a spirited defence for maintaining onshore-only processing of asylum-seekers. This is amid criticism from the Coalition and Labor's Right that the policy is risking lives. Greens immigration spokeswoman Sarah Hanson-Young has dug in and rejected calls to revive offshore processing, instead calling on the Gillard government to increase Australia's humanitarian refugee intake.










Other

Mother Teresa's order will pray for Hitchens' soul


Catholic News





Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity order said it would pray for the soul of British writer Christopher Hitchens, who aggressively campaigned against its Nobel prize-winning founder, reports AFP in the West Australian. "We will pray for him and for his family," spokeswoman Sister Christie told AFP on Friday, upon hearing of Hitchens' death at the age of 62 after a battle against cancer of the oesophagus. Asked whether Hitchens, an avowed atheist, would welcome such prayers, she declined to comment.