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

Shutting down the debate


Mercator Net





That there are psychological consequences to having an abortion have been accepted by many in the pro-life and pro-abortion camps. The psychiatrist Professor Ian Brockington has commented: "Some [post abortion] mothers feel like criminals and brood over the dead foetus. Some find it hard to look at small babies and burst into tears when they see babies or when abortion is mentioned."
















Bioethics

Choosing your baby’s sex is selfish beyond belief


Letitia Rowlands - The Punch







When I gave birth to my second gorgeous son six weeks ago, the first question some asked when they heard our happy news was: “So are you going to try again for a girl?” Umm, how about you give the epidural time to wear off and let me enjoy my beautiful, healthy baby boy before telling me that somehow my world is not complete because I have only produced babies featuring both an X and Y chromosome. Admittedly I have only had two children of the same sex, not seven like Tumut couple Andrew and Jodi McMahon who appeared on 60 Minutes on Sunday night documenting their desperate bid for a baby girl.


















Drugs & Alcohol

War on drugs never ends: Vic police


Sarah Malik - Ninemsn





Decriminalising drugs will lead to greater abuse, and more crime and suffering, Victorian police say. Deputy Commissioner for Crime Graham Ashton said criticisms made in a recently released report claiming the "war on drugs" had failed were incorrect. The controversial report by think tank Australia21 says a tough law-and-order approach is doing more harm than good, with one of its authors, Foreign Minister Bob Carr, suggesting "a bit of modest decriminalisation" to free up police time.










Greens back decriminalising drugs, but not legalisation

AAP





The Greens say decriminalising drugs will reduce harm but have stopped short of advocating their legalisation. A report calling for a review of a hardline approach to drugs backed up what the party had been saying for years, Greens health spokesperson Richard Di Natale said. He said more investment was needed in treatment, rehabilitation and harm minimisation programs including medically supervised injecting rooms.










Henderson condemns drug law relaxation push

Anthea Kissel - ABC





The Northern Territory Chief Minister says he will not allow drug laws to be relaxed while he is in charge. A report by Australia21 argues the war on drugs has been lost and governments should consider decriminalising certain substances. Former Northern Territory police commissioner Mick Palmer has backed the report. But the Chief Minister Paul Henderson says there's no safe level of use when it comes to illicit substances. "I couldn't disagree more with any report," he said.












Truckies caught drug driving

AAP





Truck drivers have been caught taking drugs, breaching fatigue requirements and overloading their vehicles in a police crackdown south of Sydney. More than 70 truck drivers were pulled over and drug tested on the Hume Highway last night as part of Operation MetroCatch, a police operation targeting heavy vehicles. Two drivers tested positive for methamphetamine, while eight were issued with infringement notices for offences relating to the recording of work and rest time in their log books, police said.










Underage female drinkers at increased risk of fatal car crashes

News Medical





Underage female drinkers have been at a growing risk of fatal car crashes in recent years -- so much that they've caught up with their male counterparts, according to a study in the May issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. Back in 1996, the U.S. had a gender split when it came to underage drinkers' odds of being involved in a fatal car crash: at any given blood-alcohol level, young men had a higher risk of a fatal crash than young women did. But by 2007, the new study found, that gender gap had closed.












Gambling

Is sports tipping pushing us into sports gambling?


Tom Cummings - Roar Rookie





Lately, everyone’s talking about gambling in sport. Live odds, sponsorship, stadium naming rights, exotic bets, relentless advertising… it’s in the news, on TV and radio, they’re even arguing about it in Canberra. Love it or hate it, there’s the real potential for trouble when betting companies sink their hooks into the teams we follow and begin the media coverage that goes with it. Sadly, the betting companies have noticed this. In the last year or so there’s been an explosion in ‘free’ tipping competitions with huge prizes from the likes of Sportsbet and Centrebet.










Star casino scandal claims Peter Grimshaw, Barry O'Farrell's fallen star

Andrew Clennell and Alicia Wood - The Daily Telegraph





The Premier's top adviser Peter Grimshaw quit before he was sacked over The Star casino affair yesterday. A damning report by the director-general of the Premier's Department, Chris Eccles, found Mr Grimshaw, Barry O'Farrell's communications director, had breached the ministerial code of conduct by forwarding an email from the Premier to his partner.






Marriage

Gay marriage won't harm church rights: Anglican leader

Daniel Hurst – The Brisbane Times





The dean of St John's Anglican Cathedral in Brisbane has broken ranks with traditionalists and thrown his support behind allowing same-sex marriage. In his submission to a federal parliamentary inquiry, the Very Reverend Dr Peter Catt argues a proposed marriage equality bill will remove discrimination, afford equal marriage rights to same-sex and heterosexual couples, and recognise society's pluralistic nature.




Overseas Aid

Campaign launches to increase attention on water, sanitation and hygiene


Christian Today





Micah Challenge’s Give Poverty the Flush campaign seeks to focus greater public and political attention on the potential for improved water, sanitation and basic hygiene (WaSH) to save millions of lives in the developing world. “We want to highlight the staggering reality that one-third of our planet, an estimated 2.5 billion people, do not have access to an adequate toilet,” said National Coordinator of Micah Challenge in Australia, John Beckett. Diarrhoea currently kills more children every year than AIDS, malaria and measles combined. Approximately 3,000 children every day die from diseases related to water and sanitation.




Politics

Budget a battleground - ministers rage over $3 billion carbon tax cutbacks


Simon Benson - The Daily Telegraph





Senior government ministers have privately lashed out at having to make savings in the May Budget to help pay for the $3 billion shortfall in this year's carbon tax compensation bill. As Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Treasurer Wayne Swan warn of tough measures to return the Budget to surplus, several ministers confirmed that they were being made to help pay for the early rollout of the carbon compensation package in May.




Case to answer: Prosecutors called in to investigate Thomson report

Daily Telegraph





Federal Labor MP Craig Thomson has continued to protest his innocence this afternoon following Fair Work Australia's decision to refer a report into his former union, the HSU, to Commonwealth prosecutors. Fair Work Australia’s decision has opened the possibility that Mr Thomson, and other HSU officials, may face criminal charges for alleged misuse of funds. Mr Thomson, who was accused of using his union credit card to pay for prostitutes, denied any wrong doing again today.




Gillard to suffer as costs soar

David Penberthy – Herald Sun





There are sentences in politics that can sum up the mood of the times. In the United States in 1992 it was Bill Clinton's "It's the economy, stupid" that encapsulated the sense among voters that George Bush Sr was not focused on bread and butter issues affecting family budgets. For all the heat in Australia around issues such as border protection and gay marriage, the No.1 concern for put-upon families is the cost of living. It is simply staggering how expensive Australia has become.










Media's soft treatment of Brown opens door to the little Greens men

Gerrard Henderson - Brisbane Times





Imagine the media reaction if the atheist Julia Gillard or the Christian Tony Abbott raised the possibility, in a major address, of extraterrestrial life on one or more planets beyond Earth. At the very least, they would have been ridiculed. There may even have been calls for a retirement on medical grounds. Yet this is what the Greens leader, Senator Bob Brown, did when delivering the third annual Green Oration in the Hobart Town Hall on Friday, March 23.










Clover Moore set to leave NSW parliament

AAP





Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore will be forced to leave parliament after new laws banning NSW MPs from serving as local councillors passed the state's upper house. The Local Government Amendment (Members of Parliament) Act 2012 passed the state's upper house without amendment on Tuesday night by 19 votes to 17. It means 29 serving state MPs who are also councillors or mayors have up to six months to decide whether they'll stand at local government elections in September.




Turnbull laments state of US politics

Michelle Grattan – The Age





Malcolm Turnbull has sharply criticised the corrupting power of money in the US and described America as looking ''like a country that is barely governed''. In an interview with The Monthly, published today, the former Liberal leader and member of Tony Abbott's shadow cabinet says American politics is becoming ''profoundly dysfunctional''.














Religious Freedom & Persecution

Egyptian Copts abandon constitution talks


Reuters





Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Church has announced it is withdrawing from talks on a new constitution, saying Islamist domination of the drafting body has made its participation "pointless," Egypt's state news agency said. The decision late on Sunday followed calls by Egyptian liberals to boycott the constitution drafting committee, which is seen as failing to adequately represent the nation's diversity.
















Refugees

Labor 'in denial' over border protection as boatpeople arrive


Lauren Wilson - The Australian





The arrival of a boat carrying 43 asylum-seekers has reignited a political brawl over offshore processing, the Coalition accusing Labor of being in "severe policy denial" on border protection. Immigration Minister Chris Bowen yesterday laid the blame for the latest boat arrival -- the 13th since the opposition blocked Labor's attempt to amend the Migration Act -- on Tony Abbott's "stubborn r fusal" to work with the Gillard government to revive offshore processing. The latest boat, with its 43 passengers and two crew, was intercepted yesterday morning north of the Tiwi Islands.














Sexualisation of Society

AMA ads anger over sexualisation of kids


Clare Kermond - SMH





The Australian Medical Association has called on the government to crack down on ads that sexualise children, saying such images and messages are damaging children's health. AMA president Steve Hambleton said self-regulation of the advertising industry was clearly not working and called on the government to step in and enforce regulations.










Other

Our bill to China: $5100 per family


Peter Cai - SMH





Ever wondered how much you spend on Chinese goods every year? Now there is an answer. According to a research report, Australian households spend $5100 each on goods from China. According to the Allen Consulting Group, more than $43 billion worth of manufactured goods from China were imported into this country last year alone - mostly telecommunications equipment, clothing and computers.












Why have a Global Atheist Convention?

David Nicholls, Atheist Foundation of Australia - Online Opinion





A humorous sub-title would be, '...and three days of silence'. Of course, in reality, that is not the case. There is a massive paradigm shift happening in all societies, especially in developed nations, where the taken-for-granted truths about supernatural origins are being critically questioned like no other time in history. As an example, the last Atheist Convention held in Melbourne in 2010 attracted over 2,500 people and the very recent Reason Rally in the USA gathered a crowd of around 20 thousand of the non-religious who stood in the rain to hear speakers expounding on what this shift in thinking means.










Taxpayers foot $2m bill to Sky News for Australia Network TV tender bungle

Dennis Shanahan - The Australian





The Gillard government has been forced to hand over millions of dollars of taxpayers' funds in compensation to Sky News after bungling the $223 million tender to run the Australia Network international television service. Cabinet twice overruled unanimous public service advice that Sky News be given the 10-year contract to provide Australia's international "soft diplomacy". Instead, the government aborted the tender process and handed the job to the ABC.














Queensland Premier Campbell Newman scraps 'waste of taxpayer money' literary awards

Fran Metcalf - The Courier-Mail





Premier Campbell Newman has scrapped the Queensland Premier's Literary Awards in a move that has shocked and outraged arts and publishing identities. The Courier-Mail reports the Premier declined to comment on his move but a spokesperson issued a statement this afternoon which said cancelling the awards was part of the LNP Government's plan to control government spending and lower the cost of living for Queenslanders.




Canberra was only ever a stopover for Catholic high-flyer

Graham Downie - The Age





The move to Brisbane of the Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn Mark Coleridge fulfils prophesies on his appointment in 2006 that Canberra was only a stepping stone in his ecclesiastical career. His reputation preceded him to Canberra and it seemed likely then it was not a long-term appointment.