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. Children & Family
Balance can be a household wordJane-Frances Kelly – SMH
In June the Grattan Institute published a report, The housing we'd choose, that contained the first substantial survey of Australian housing preferences since the early 1990s. The survey showed that, contrary to myth, Australians want a mixture of housing choices, not just detached houses.Drugs & Alcohol
Drugs fault at home, not BaliAndrew Bolt – Herald Sun
The question now isn't what punishment Bali's courts will hand the year 9 student from Morisset Park for buying marijuana. It's what punishment NSW police - and our legal system - didn't give the 14-year-old that might have saved him. Indonesian prosecutors said last Friday they'd ask for a three-month sentence for the boy, who will be sentenced on November 25. Student survey - drunken sex and schooliesThe Daily Telegraph
Thousands of teenagers flock to schoolies week celebrations to get drunk and have sex, but it turns out most don't enjoy the experience. A survey of 500 school leavers found many expected to drink heavily and "hook up" with someone, but seven out of 10 rated the week-long celebration as negative.Pregnant women still drinking and smokingHerald Sun
Smoking and drinking during pregnancy appear to be linked to a woman's age and socio-economic status, while shifts in official advice have led to confusion about whether it's safe to drink, a government study suggests. The study by the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) found 18 per cent of women smoked during pregnancy, while 38 per cent consumed alcohol. $78 million drug bust severs major source of Sydney's cocaine supplyAlison Rehn – The Daily Telegraph
Four Spanish nationals face life in prison after Australian authorities made the fifth biggest cocaine bust in the nation's history. Following a nine-month investigation, police swooped on a yacht on Queensland's central coast on Friday, seizing 300kg of the drug with a street value of $78 million.Education
Schools ethics course a fraud: Nile
State MPs will attend ethics classes in NSW schools, as part of a parliamentary inquiry into the teaching of the subject. Christian Democrat Fred Nile has welcomed the inquiry, saying the subject is "a fraud". The multi-party inquiry will look at the curriculum of the course.
Experts skeptical of planned WA bikies laws
Mark Colvin – ABC
West Australia's Attorney General Christian Porter will try to introduce the toughest anti-bikie laws in the country. Just months after similar legislation was scrapped in New South Wales and South Australia, Christian Porter says important legal lessons have been learned. But the Australian Council for Civil Liberties says the proposed bill would not survive a legal challenge, and the bikies say they'll fight it all the way to the high court.
Income control for Northern Territory alcoholics
James Massola – The Australian
Northern Territory alcoholics could be subjected to income management under a raft of measures designed to tackle indigenous alcohol abuse. Under a tightening of alcohol control measures announced by Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin today, the government will continue current alcohol restrictions and toughen penalties for grog running.
PM grants conscience vote, dooming gay marriage
Michelle Grattan – The Age
Julia Gillard will back a conscience vote for Labor MPs on gay marriage, as the Age/Nielsen poll shows a growing majority of Australians favour legalising marriage equality. But in a stand that will deeply disappoint those arguing for change, the Prime Minister also wants opposition to gay marriage to stay in the ALP platform, which will be debated at next month's party conference.
An opportunity for sound and fury signifying something
Julia Gillard – The Age
Robust debate on uranium and gay marriage is what the Labor conference needs. Labor meets next month in Sydney. As Australia's oldest and largest political party, we must take our opportunity to speak to the country, to be clear about Labor's vision for the future. Anyone who joins a political party loves an argument. Sometimes those arguments get noisy, but that's a healthy sign. A party able to hold robust debates is a party full of energy and ideas for the future.
Voter opinion adds weight to shift in marriage policy
Phillip Coorey - SMH
Almost two thirds of voters support legalising same-sex marriage, indicating the public is more relaxed with the concept than politicians. With Julia Gillard to recommend today that Labor change its policy position to that of a conscience vote, the latest Herald/Nielsen poll shows 62 per cent of voters support legalising same-sex marriage outright. This represents a 5 percentage point increase in support since the question was last asked a year ago.
Gillard's push for uranium sales to India
Phillip Coorey – SMH
The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, has set the scene for a brawl at the ALP national conference by calling on the party to reverse its policy and allow uranium exports to India. Calling for a policy change that is likely to be adopted, Ms Gillard says it is time for Labor to broaden its platform and ''strengthen our connection with dynamic, democratic India''.
More than one Lazarus?
The Death Row analogy was brought out yesterday to explain the latest Herald-Nielsen poll findings about the federal political scene, suggesting that while conditions have improved for Julia Gillard and Labor, they are still far from a reprieve from execution at the next election. Still, as they say, while there's life, there's hope. Meanwhile, the rising support level will quell much of the near-open canvassing of another leadership switch.
Religious Freedom & Persecution
U.S. Egyptian Christians tell Clinton Egypt persecution is a 'Crime Against Humanity'
Allison Summers – Christian Post
The president of the International Christian Union and the American Coptic Association, Monir A. Dawoud, has written a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, asking for the United States's support in protecting the Copts, or Christians of Egypt, from the Muslim Brotherhood as the country undergoes major social and political unrest.
Catholic men better paid, says new study
Leesha McKenny – SMH
Catholicism, with all its attendant ceremony, piety and guilt, may well trump a good Protestant work ethic when it comes to earnings potential, according to the authors of a new study. Catholic men between 25 and 54 years were found to benefit from a wage premium of 6.7 per cent compared with men who reported a Protestant affiliation, an analysis of the Household, Income Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey found.