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

Sex-changing treatment for kids: It’s on the rise


Associated Press





A small but growing number of teens and even younger children who think they were born the wrong sex are getting support from parents and from doctors who give them sex-changing treatments, according to reports in the medical journal Pediatrics. It’s an issue that raises ethical questions, and some experts urge caution in treating children with puberty-blocking drugs and hormones.














Stem cell institute's ambitious campaign

Cathoic News





With pro-life ethics and a patient-driven paradigm, the John Paul II Stem Cell Research Institute hopes to save lives and shape the future of medicine, reports the Catholic News agency. “Medical research is becoming too expensive and taking too long.
















Classification

Mardi Gras films banned


Star Observer





The Classification Board has refused exemption for two films in the program for the Mardi Gras Film Festival. The films, 'Community Action Centre' and 'In Their Room: Berlin', contain some unsimulated sexual activity.










R18+ classification for videogames the quest continues

Sam Hinton - The Conversation





Late last week Federal Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare introduced a bill to parliament that takes Australia one step closer to an R18+ classification for videogames. No sooner had the classification bill been introduced than the Coalition responded by calling for an inquiry into the bill.
















Drugs & Alcohol

Booze buster toast of the govt


Jorge Branco - Central Queensland News





A health initiative started on the Sunshine Coast to help young people avoid alcohol abuse has scored a $100,000 windfall from the State Government. Hello Sunday Morning, created by former Coast man Chris Raine, works to reshape the country's drinking culture by encouraging people to give up drinking for a set period. It has earnt Mr Raine, who now lives in Melbourne, the title of 2012 Young Australian of the Year.












Drink spikers take shots at women

The Daily Telegraph





Women who think drugs are always used to spike drinks have been warned that men are simply buying double shots or adding large amounts of alcohol to target victims. Hundreds of women continue to fall victim to drink spiking despite years of warnings from police and licensed venues.














Education

Gonski's $5bn blueprint to arrest student decline


Justine Ferrari - The Australian





The Gillard government's commitment to overhaul school funding was thrown into doubt yesterday after Julia Gillard described the independent Gonski review only as "a good insight" and failed to endorse its approach. The Prime Minister refused to back key recommendations of the Gonski report, released yesterday, including the need to boost government funding for schools by at least $5 billion a year.














Bligh dangles education carrot to voters

Kym Agius - SMH





Premier Anna Bligh has dangled a $4000 gift to Queensland high school graduates and vowed to invest millions in the state's children, while admitting it's hard to drag voters' attention away from Labor's federal leadership woes. Ms Bligh travelled to the central Queensland mining centre of Rockhampton on day two of the election campaign, to re-launch Labor's Mines to Minds policy.










Flawed system fails autistic pupils, parents say

Charis Chang - Manly Daily





Imagine you are a school teacher and one of your students comes running to you in tears. She has just been shoved by another student who she tried to hug. What do you do? “Of course they punish the kid that pushed,” Autism Community Network founder Steve Drakoulis said. “You’re not going to punish someone for hugging but the pushing is punished.”






















Euthanasia

Tasmania on track to legalise euthanasia


Catholic News





Tasmania may be on track to become the first state in Australia to legalise euthanasia, as Premier Lara Giddings and Greens Leader Nick McKim prepare a Private Members' Bill, reports The Mercury. Mr McKim and Ms Giddings yesterday said they would soon release a voluntary euthanasia discussion paper. "It is high time that Tasmania's laws caught up with public feeling on this issue," Mr McKim said.
















Gambling

Star Casino has extreme party culture


Yahoo News





A former Star employee says the Sydney casino is plagued by a culture of parties, irresponsible gambling and sexual harassment. The claims come just days after the NSW Gaming Authority announced an inquiry into the casino, following the sacking of its CEO Sid Vaikunta over sexual harassment allegations two weeks ago.














Marriage

Another inconvenient truth: Fragile families and the looming financial crisis for the welfare state

Patrick Parkinson - Family Law Quarterly





This article examines the emerging financial crisis for governments around the western world arising from the growing fragility of family life and the increase in births to mothers without a partner living in the home. The costs of family instability are not just borne by individuals. They are to a very significant extent borne by taxpayers, who provide income support for many parents and their children, pay substantial administrative costs in ensuring income transfers through the child support system, and bear more of the costs of caring for the elderly than would be necessary if a greater number of marital and quasi-marital relationships remained intact.










Same-sex marriage plan 'power grab'

UKPA





Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey is lending his weight to a campaign against plans to legalise same-sex marriages. In an article for the Daily Mail, Lord Carey claimed the proposal to change the status of marriage "constitutes one of the greatest political power grabs in history".
















Politics

Labor rebels draw up battle plan to bring on challenge


Phillip Coorey, Peter Hartcher - SMH





Senior ministers have held secret discussions to reassure themselves Julia Gillard still has majority support, while rebel caucus members have drafted a petition in a bid to force a leadership spill next week. The petition, yet to be circulated, needs a minimum 35 signatures to force a spill should the impasse between Ms Gillard and Kevin Rudd not be broken before Parliament resumes on Monday.














Christian lobby targets MPs over same-sex debate

Michael McKenna - The Australian





The Christian lobby has entered the Queensland election fight with an emotive attack on Labor MP Kate Jones. Ms Jones, who is defending her seat against Campbell Newman, has been confronted over the former minister's support for legislation clearing the way for same-sex couples to have civil unions and a child through surrogacy. The Australian Family Association has sent leaflets to homes in the Brisbane electorate of Ashgrove, condemning Ms Jones for supporting laws that "violate kids' rights to a mum and dad".














Religious Freedom & Persecution

A new year of ‘dhimmitude’ for Egypt’s Copts

Raymond Ibrahim Bio - Front Page Mag





For Egypt’s Christian Copts, the New Year began with threats that their churches would be attacked during Christmas mass (celebrated on January 7). Happily, Coptic Christmas came and went without incident. Yet, if the Muslim Brotherhood “protected” Coptic churches when many around the world were watching, as soon as attention dissipated, it was business as usual.












Blast at Nigerian church wounds five

Herald Sun





A bomb planted by an abandoned car exploded outside a church in the middle of a worship service near Nigeria's capital, wounding five people amid a continuing wave of violence by a radical Islamist sect, authorities and witnesses say.










Muslims stone Christians on Temple Mount

Ryan Jones - Israel Today





A mob of some 50 Palestinian Muslims stoned a group of Christian tourists atop Jerusalem's Temple Mount on Sunday morning. Three of the Israeli police officers who acted to protect the Christian group were wounded by the stone-throwers. Police arrested 11 Palestinians, several of them minors, for their role in the attack.
















Other



A father's betrayal of innocence - why did Jason Lees throw his son off the Story Bridge?

Kate Kyriacou and Alison Sandy - The Daily Telegraph





To the outside world, they were a close and loving family. Jason Lees, a popular private school teacher and successful international rugby referee, his wife Danielle Cara Sutton, a psychologist. Their two-year-old son a normal, well-adjusted boy. Their seemingly happy life together makes it even harder to understand what could have driven Mr Lees to take his son to Brisbane's Story Bridge in the early hours yesterday, throw him over the edge, before jumping himself.












Dawkins hit by slavery 'smear'

Adam Lusher - SMH





He has railed against the evils of religion, and lectured the world on the virtues of atheism. Now Richard Dawkins, the secularist campaigner against ''intolerance and suffering'', must face an awkward disclosure: he is descended from slave owners and his family estate was bought with a fortune partly created by forced labour.