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

Big abortion’s ‘gangster tactics’


Sheila Liaugminas - Mercator Net





Some big media writers are using strong language to criticize the strongarm tactics Planned Parenthood used on the Komen foundation last week.












Komen donations soar after cutting ties with Planned Parenthood

Ben Johnson - LifeSiteNews





The Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation is reporting a massive uptick in fundraising ever since the women’s health organization announced it is cutting ties with Planned Parenthood. In a conference call on Thursday its founder, Nancy Brinker, told reporters donations to the Komen foundation have increased 100 percent over the last two days.
















Bioethics

2 cancer drugs latest to hit black market


Delthia Ricks - Newsday





Scam artists have stepped up the smuggling of medicines because of drug shortages in the United States while brazenly counterfeiting others, profiting on people with cancer and other medical conditions. Last month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration alerted pharmacies and physicians that questionable versions of two leading cancer drugs had entered the pharmaceutical supply chain. The breast cancer drug Faslodex and the lymphoma medication Rituxan have recently made their way through unknown sources into U.S. cancer clinics, officials said.




















Children & Family

Family sues over 'brutal bullying'


Noel Towell - The Canberra Times





A Canberra mother and daughter are suing the ACT education department after alleging that the girl was brutally bullied by a group of teenagers at one of the city's public high schools. Papers lodged in the ACT Supreme Court allege that the victim was physically and sexually assaulted by the group during a four-month period in 2006, with the abuse filmed on mobile phones and distributed on the internet. It is also alleged that school authorities failed to control the group, despite their running wild at the school for at least a year before the attacks, terrorising students and even assaulting and intimidating teachers.














Classification

Facebook’s being a boob over breastfeeding pics


Gail Gago - The Punch





The Facebook ban on photographs of women breastfeeding their own children raises some important issues about freedom of choice and the role of social media in setting behavioural standards. There is no valid reason for any social media network to ban legitimate pictures posted by women of themselves breastfeeding their own children. Such pictures can help normalise breastfeeding and educate others about how breastfeeding is done in real life.
















Drugs & Alcohol

It's official - smoking makes men stupid


The Australian





Men who smoke experience greater mental declines over time than men who never smoked, but the same link does not appear among women, said a British study published in the United States. The research suggested that the effects of long-term cigarette smoking show up terms of memory loss, inability to connect past experience with actions in the present, and a drop in overall cognition skills.
















Police charge outlaw motorcycle gang members with drugs and weapons offences at Archerfield

Liam Parsons - Southern Star





Two southside members of the Odins Warriors Outlaw Motorcycle Gang have been charged with firearm and drug offences after police raided two industrial sheds in Boniface St, Archerfield, last week. Police said a 58-year-old member of the Odins Warriors, of Algester, who owned the building, allegedly declared a shotgun to police.














Education

Public servants turn bus drivers in disability transport debacle


Eleanor Bell - ABC





Public servants are driving children to school in New South Wales today after failed contract negotiations left several hundred disabled children without transport last week. The State's Education Department is still looking for permanent drivers to ferry more than 60 children with disabilities to school. The Minister had promised to have the travel assistance program back to normal by the start of the week.










Vic parents' group advertises to end religious education

Catholic News





Parents in Victoria are increasing pressure on the Education Department to end religious education in state schools amid claims it is making children isolated and fearful, reports The Herald Sun. A massive billboard has been erected in the Melbourne suburb of Bulleen, claiming state schools "are not church playgrounds". It says: "Special religious instruction divides our children".










Education divide grows

The Advertiser





The length that some parents are taking to ensure their children are sent to their school of choice highlights a divide in the quality of education offered throughout the state. In some cases parents are lying about their addresses or moving house just so their children can attend a particular school. On the evidence of where parents send their children to school and the lengths to which they go to do so, this divide appears to be growing.










Environment

Poland gives green light to massive fracking efforts


John Daly - Online Opinion





There is perhaps no more controversial energy source after nuclear than "hydraulic fracturing," or "fracking," of subterranean shale deposits containing pockets of natural gas. While the process can liberate previously unusable sources of natural gas, political, environmental and scientific concerns have risen along with production, as evidence mounts that fracking is responsible for everything from polluting subterranean aquifers to causing regional earthquakes.
















Gambling

Victoria follows Fed Govt with pokies policy pause


Simon Lauder - ABC





The Federal Labor Government has walked away from its guarantee of mandatory pre-commitment technology for poker machines but the Victorian Government is also attracting criticism for changes to its policy on poker machines. The Victorian Government had promised to introduce voluntary pre-commitment controls by next year, but it's now saying it can't meet that deadline while the Federal Government's plan is up in the air.














Marriage

Dutch 'Divorce Hotel' helps couples untie the knot


NewsCore





In the Netherlands a weekend break can become a weekend break-up for couples hoping for a swift and cheap divorce. It is a concept called the "Divorce Hotel" and helps husbands and wives to arrange all the necessary legal documentation to end their marriage over the course of just two days. They meet a mediator and series of lawyers behind closed doors who will split assets, agree alimony payments and arrange visitation rights - all for a fixed fee.














Overseas Aid

Famine forcing people from homes in Africa's Sahel region


Christian Today





The food crisis in Africa's Sahel region is "deepening", Christian Aid has warned. The development agency said thousands of people along the border with Niger and Burkina Faso were being forced to leave their homes in search of food. One of the worst affected areas is north Burkina Faso, where Christian Aid has sent a task force to oversee an emergency feeding programme.












Mercy Ships brings volunteer dentists to Africa

News staff - Charisma News





Mercy Ships volunteer dental professionals are in Lomé, Togo, alongside the Africa Mercy, the world’s largest privately owned hospital ship, to give kids a smile. Mercy Ships medical professionals hold free dental consultations not far from the ship, which recently docked in the West African port for its fifth visit since 1990. According to the World Health Organization, the entire country of Togo has only 19 dentists—less than one dentist for every 10,000 people. That compares to 16 dentists per 10,000 people in the United States.














Politics

Prime Minister Julia Gillard's BBQ party strikes a snag as Labor leadership speculation continues


Simon Benson, Patrick Lion and Alison Rehn - The Daily Telegraph





Replacing Julia Gillard with Kevin Rudd would force a snap election, according to key independent Tony Windsor, who said a leadership change would jeopardise Labor's policy agenda. Returning to Canberra for the year's first parliamentary sittings, which begin tomorrow, the federal NSW MP said he didn't see any advantage in Labor dumping Ms Gillard from the top job and replacing her with the Foreign Minister.












Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Sex trafficking and the Super Bowl


Ann Oestreich - Washington Post





On the Catholic liturgical calendar, February 5 is the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time. In the U.S., where professional football is sometimes referred to as a “religion,” February 5th is the highest holy day of the sporting year: Super Bowl Sunday. The Super Bowl attracts tens of thousands of fans to the host city, and millions of television viewers, making it the most watched broadcast each year. But it also attracts a sector of violent, organized criminal activity that operates in plain sight without notice: human sex trafficking.
















Religious Freedom & Persecution

Iran: Concern over health condition of Pastor Farhad Sabokroh in prison


Dan Wooding - ASSIST Ministries





Concern is growing in Iran over health condition of Pastor Farhad Sabokroh who was arrested together with two other Christian converts. They have now been in custody for over 40 days. According to the Iranian Christian news agency, Mohabat News, family, relatives and a wide range of Iranian Christians within and outside Iran expressed their concern over the health condition of Pastor Farhad Sabokroh, who was arrested on December 23, 2011, with others in attendance at the Christmas service of the Assemblies of God church of Ahwaz, where he was pastoring.










The global war on Christians in the Muslim world

Ayaan Hirsi Ali - NewsWeek





From one end of the muslim world to the other, Christians are being murdered for their faith. We hear so often about Muslims as victims of abuse in the West and combatants in the Arab Spring’s fight against tyranny. But, in fact, a wholly different kind of war is underway—an unrecognized battle costing thousands of lives. Christians are being killed in the Islamic world because of their religion. It is a rising genocide that ought to provoke global alarm.














Let people wear the cross with pride: Bishops join motion to defend Christianity against human rights zealots

Leon Watson - Daily Mail





Three bishops will call for the Church of England's national assembly to stand up for the right of Christians to wear a cross. They are among more than a hundred members of the Synod to sign a motion condemning the 'silencing' of outward displays of Christianity. Supporters say the Church should defend Christians against the 'overzealous' interpretation of human rights and equality legislation by judges, politicians and employers.
















Other

The deadliest place to be a girl?


Amie Newman - Impatient Optimists





The deadliest place to be a girl? That would be India. A new UN report reveals the country to be the most dangerous place in the world to be a girl between the ages of 1 and 5 years old. From the Times of India: "...an Indian girl child aged 1-5 years is 75% more likely to die than an Indian boy, making this the worst gender differential in child mortality for any country in the world." To be clear, infant and child mortality is declining in India as it is all over the world. However, for India and China, the number of girls dying in infancy is higher than the number of males. For every 56 male Indian children that die, 100 girls die.














Woman uses Bible verses to ward off attacker

ABC News





A North Carolina woman read the Bible to her attacker for an hour and a half after he slashed her throat before the man apologized and left. Lindsay Wood, 32, of Shelby, N.C., had just arrived home from Bible study on Wednesday. Wood asked her 15-year-old son to collect the trash can from the curb. During this time, Wood’s attacker walked into her home and slashed her neck. “She told him please not to hurt her, that she loved the Lord and her son,” neighbor Faye Cooke told ABC affiliate WSOC.