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

Abortion is not the only choice: a response to Lee Rhiannon


Paul Hanrahan - The Drum ABC





It is interesting that Lee Rhiannon is able to infer that people praying with Rosary beads must have disturbing images and engage in guilt-making rhetoric. I am the director of the Sydney 40 Days for Life campaign and am also the executive director of Family Life International Australia, who are the campaign organisers. I wonder if I made a claim about environmental activists as prejudiced as her statement is, what the outcry would be like or, if indeed it would be printed anywhere.














Charities & NFP

Charity regulator start date delayed


Probono Australia





The Gillard Government has announced it will extend the start date of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission to October 1, 2012. Assistant Treasurer Mark Arbib and Minister for Social Inclusion Mark Butler said that the three month extension would provide more time for the sector and Government to continue to work closely together to finalise the legislation.








Background

Opinion - Treasury proposal for charities commission misguided

Catholic News refer also ACL



Quick question: How many not-for-profit organisations are there in Australia? 20,000? 50,000? 100,000? In fact, there is a staggering 600,000 not-for-profit organisations around the country doing everything from caring for the aged and people with disabilities to running local sports club and community gardens and everything in between, writes Martin Laverty, CEO of Catholic Health Australia. Given the massive scale of not-for-profits and the key role they play in the Australian community, the Federal Government has a process in place it says will reduce red tape for these groups and increase their accountability to donors and taxpayers.












Classification

'Anonymous marketplace': software a boon for criminals and the 'darknet'


The Age





A nonprofit company largely funded by the US government is inadvertently providing child pornographers, drug dealers and other criminals around the world with software that allows them to remain anonymous on the internet. Its use for illicit purposes creates new challenges for law enforcement officials hunting increasingly technologically savvy criminals, and highlights the sometimes unwanted consequences of protecting free speech online.












Paedophiles are watching abuse of children live online, say police

Nicky Phillips - SMH





Federal police have detected an increase in paedophiles using online video streaming to watch child abuse as it occurs. Most of the children being exploited live overseas, but Australian children have also been victims of this new method for distributing sexual abuse images. Neil Gaughan, the Australian Federal Police's manager for high-tech crime operations, said the police were working with some internet service providers in a trial blocking the distribution of child pornography over the internet.












Environment

It's a case of Tim foolery as Flannery's predictions of dry dams go unfulfilled


Gemma Jones - The Daily Telegraph





He could be NSW's very own rainmaker. Every NSW town visited by Professor Tim Flannery or his Climate Commission colleagues for community forums where residents were told they were in a "drying trend" has been deluged by rain up to three times the annual average.














Euthanasia

UK court to rule on euthanasia bid


Herald Sun





A British judge is due to make a preliminary ruling on a paralysed man's wish that a doctor be allowed to end his life. The ruling expected today is on the government's bid to have the case thrown out of court. The case was brought by Tony Nicklinson, who suffers from "locked-in" syndrome. Since suffering a stroke in 2005, he has been incapable of moving except to blink his eyes, but his mind is unaffected.




Human rights

Ted Baillieu urged to scrap human rights charter

John Ferguson - The Australian





Victoria's controversial Charter of Human Rights should be repealed as a first step towards reforms to protect free speech, a prominent conservative think tank director says. Institute of Public Affairs executive director John Roskam wants Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu to scrap rather than merely tinker with the charter, which hails from the Labor era and has been condemned for handing too much power to the courts.












Marriage

ACL confident of LNP's support for marriage


Ben Williams - International





The Australian Christian Lobby says the LNP's credentials on same-sex marriage are solid and Campbell Newman has always said he'll support the democratic decision of the party's grassroots. "It is the party's position that it will repeal those elements of civil unions which mimic marriage without affecting substantive rights for same-sex couples,” said ACL’s Queensland Director Wendy Francis.














Pope weighs into gay marriage row condemning 'powerful, political and cultural currents'

Steve Doughty - The Daily Mail





The Pope yesterday condemned David Cameron’s plan to allow same-sex marriage, calling it an attack on justice. He said that marriage between a man and a woman must be preserved because it protects parents, children and the whole of society. Pope Benedict urged Roman Catholics to stand against ‘powerful political and cultural currents seeking to alter the legal definition of marriage’.










Katter party attack ad slams Campbell Newman over gay marriage

News.com





Bob Katter's Australian Party has launched a controversial TV commercial attacking LNP leader Campbell Newman over his support for gay marriage. The advertisement, which went to air last night and has been uploaded to YouTube, targets Australian Greens leader Bob Brown and Mr Newman on the issue of gay marriage.












Overseas Aid

Kony 2012: Just DO something. Anything.


Stuart Robert - The Punch





The massive YouTube viewing of Invisible Children’s film “Kony 2012” is nothing short of phenomenal. People are engaged, outraged and quite rightly calling on the International community to do something - in this case, arrest, charge and try Kony in the Hague. People have found their voice against one of the world’s cruelest, most evil men and his regime of hate and terror. The call for justice is both reasoned and reasonable. I go to Uganda almost every year and see firsthand the impact of Kony’s violence and terror. He should be brought to justice and it should be now.


















Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

High dollar and strong economy attracts modern-day slavery and human trafficking

The Australian






Modern-day slave traders are attracted to Australia by its high dollar and strong economy, federal police say. Talking ahead of a joint federal and West Australian police forum on human trafficking in Perth, AFP Commander Chris McDevitt told reporters the nation's resilient economy was providing an incentive for organised sex and slavery rings in the region. "Australia is very much the lucky country at the moment," Cmdr McDevitt said. "The dollar is strong and the opportunities for organised crime are huge."












Opinions sought on sex laws

Matt Smith - The Mercury





People who want to have a say on the future of sex worker laws in Tasmania have two more weeks. In late January, Attorney-General Brian Wightman released a discussion paper on possible legislative options for the industry, including the possible legalisation of brothels. The Australian Christian Lobby yesterday expressed disappointment with the State Government's handling of the issue.












Council supports brothel application

Shannon Tonkin - Illawarra Mercury





A proposed brothel in Wollongong will not adversely affect a nearby church, martial arts studio and family services premises, the council has said. The Lighthouse Church, on nearby Gladstone Ave, and Catholic Care in Auburn St both raised concerns over the potential location of the brothel - 24 Auburn St - during initial exhibition of the plans in December last year.














Religious Freedom & Persecution

Ten killed in a Nigeria church bombing


Alarabiya





A suicide bomber blew himself up outside a Catholic church in the Nigerian city of Jos on Sunday, killing 10 people attending mass, the emergency services said. The man drove his car towards St Finbar’s Catholic Church in the city before setting off a large explosion, killing himself and at least three churchgoers, emergency agency spokesman Yushau Shuaib told AFP. “Three confirmed dead,” said Shuaib, adding that several others were in a critical condition. “The bomb exploded before he could get to the church,” he said of the bomber.










Iranian pastor Nadarkhani Twitter campaign breaks 1 million followers

Katherine Weber - Christian Today





The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) has been at the forefront of Iranian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani's court case, and the group's many endeavors, namely its "Tweet for Youcef" campaign and congressional petition, have seen substantial results. Those who sign up for the "Tweet for Youcef" campaign allow the ACLJ to use their Twitter accounts to post a daily Nadarkhani update, which includes the number of days Nadarkhani has been imprisoned, facts about his court case, and a link back to the ACLJ's Nadarkhani information page. Since the campaign began in mid-February, it has gained a substantial following, now reaching 1.1 million Twitter users per day in 89 percent of the world's nations.










CSI Lecture Series

Christian Solidarity International







Daniel Pipes speaking on Christian persecution in the Middle East










Refugees

Syrian refugees see no end to bloodshed


Herald Sun





Syrian refugees in Jordan see a grim future in their homeland, saying the regime has not yet shown its "ugly face'' and are bracing themselves for more bloodshed, in which thousands have already died. A year after protests first erupted against President Bashar al-Assad's 11-year-old rule, prompting a brutal regime crackdown that monitors say has killed more than 8500 people, many have fled Syria fearing the worst may be yet to come.
















Sexualisation of Society

A win for women. When actions and words align – celebrating corporate responsibility when we find it

Ruth Limkin - Bread and Justice





I discovered the Women at Telstra webpage a few weeks ago. The sentiments expressed were encouraging, particularly around developing a workplace for women that is ‘supportive’ and being ‘proactive about women’s development and gender inclusion’. I agree that that such outcomes take ‘focus and specific action’. The video message by CEO David Thodey was eloquent and authentic. The desire he expressed about Telstra being a place that ‘connects women with real opportunities’ is both admirable and good business practice. Hence, when I became aware of the nature of some of the Bigpond mobile videos that Telstra was selling, I was both disappointed and somewhat confused at the mixed messages being sent.










Call for inquiry into child sexualisation

Natasha Boddy - The West Australian





A Liberal backbencher has called on Parliament for an inquiry into the sexualisation of WA children. The State's commissioner for young people and children has warned that body image problems, eating disorders and depression were some of the emotional and psychological costs of an increasingly sexualised environment for children. Upper House MP Nick Goiran said last week there needed be greater recognition that the sexualisation of children was an important issue of ongoing concern in the community and an inquiry was necessary.