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 on the rise for women over 30


HealthCanal





Rising abortion rates for women in their 30s and 40s in Adelaide’s southern suburbs has sparked a new awareness campaign led by Flinders University. The Southern Partnership in Sexual and Reproductive Health, will provide information to all women - with a focus on those aged over 30 - about fertility awareness and management.










British women offered free contraception pill at Christmas

Herald Sun - AFP





British women are being offered free supplies of the emergency "morning-after" contraceptive pill over the Christmas and New Year holidays, the country's leading abortion agency said today.










Hospital silent on abortion tragedy

Stephen Drill - Herald Sun





The Royal Women's Hospital is refusing to reveal whether it has stood down the ultrasound clinician at the centre of a bungle in which a healthy fetus was terminated accidentally.










Bioethics

Armageddon super virus recipe: keep secret or publish?


Glenda Kwek - SMH





To publish or not to publish? That is the question gripping scientists after virologists said they had developed a bird flu virus - with a 60 per cent human mortality rate - that could spread as easily as the common cold. Some fear the virus, if it fell into the wrong hands, could be modified by bioterrorists into a weapon that kills billions of people. But supporters said publishing the H5N1 study would have the opposite effect, by helping governments and other scientists learn about how they could counter such pandemics - whether they occurred naturally or artificially.










Children & Family

Teens sexting less than originally thought


Michael Atkin - ABC





Teenagers are sending naked pictures of themselves electronically at much lower rates than first thought. A study in 2008 found one in five American teens had sent a naked or semi-naked picture electronically - a practice known as sexting. But a new study, published in the medical journal Pediatrics, claims those findings are way off the mark.










Lack of affordable childcare keeps 70,000 mothers at home

Kelly Burke – SMH





Almost 70,000 women are locked out of the workforce solely because they cannot get affordable childcare. The group makes up 15 per cent of all unemployed women who say they want to work but cannot, according to the Bureau of Statistics. A further 13 per cent said they were either unavailable for work or unable to work more hours because there were no childcare places where they lived.










Classification

Parents letting kids watch what they want on TV - study


Susie O'Brien and Clare Peddie - The Advertiser





Children nationwide are allowed to watch violent, sexual and scary television shows, a study reveals. Parents worry that television is bad for kids, but many let them watch what they want, according to the latest research report from the Australian Research Alliance on Children and Youth (ARACY).










Violent games evading classification

Herald Sun – Nathan Mawby





Violent video games sneaking on to Australian gaming devices are circumventing classification as download items. A title that dodged the Classifications Board last week was a computer game expansion pack, which added decapitations, blood sprays and parts being torn from bodies by gunfire to a previously PG-rated game.










Drugs & Alcohol

Our legal system does not view cannabis abuse as seriously as it should


David Penberthy - Herald Sun





It is only a matter of time before the Bali-boy turns up on the idiot box for an exclusive tell-all interview, promoted by whatever ratings-hungry network shells out the cash - as a cautionary tale that no parent and no teenager can afford to miss. It is of course a story that most Australian parents and teenagers can very much afford to miss. The reason is simply that most Australian parents and teenagers would not be so breathtakingly foolish as to land in a country renowned for executing the most minor of drug offenders, and immediately shell out the requisite amount of rupiah for a bag of Balinese dope.










Gambling

Newman vows to fight pokies spending limit


Chris O'Brien - ABC





Queensland Liberal National Party (LNP) leader Campbell Newman has promised to fight the Federal Government's move to limit poker machine spending. The Commonwealth initiative will require poker machine users to nominate in advance how much they are prepared to lose to try and reduce problem gambling.










Pokie clubs play an ace in battle to prevent changes

Phillip Coorey – SMH





The gambling lobby is claiming a coup in its battle against the Gillard government's proposed poker machine reforms by enlisting the support of the renowned western Sydney youth worker Father Chris Riley. The founder of Youth Off the Streets, has lent his words and image to a Clubs Australia flyer that will be distributed today to 2 million houses in 46 electorates in NSW, Queensland and Victoria. The seats are held either by Labor MPs or independents.










Indigenous

NRL star helps target problem gambling


ABC





The star power of the National Rugby League (NRL) is being used to combat problem gambling in Aboriginal communities. Today, former Newcastle Knight Ashley Gordon will hold a workshop in Taree. It is one of 20 communities targeted in New South Wales. Myall Lakes' MP Stephen Bromhead says the Government is committed to countering the problems caused by gambling within Aboriginal communities.










Marriage

Tony Abbott tips anti-gay marriage party line to stay


AAP





Coalition MPs may have to cross the floor to exercise a conscience vote, with Opposition Leader Tony Abbott indicating the coalition will hold the party line against gay marriage. Liberal frontbencher Malcolm Turnbull has asked Mr Abbott to allow coalition MPs a conscience vote.










A lethal threat lies behind Labor's reversal on gay marriage

Peter Costello - SMH





The Australian Christian Lobby has found the ALP is no longer the ''safe alternative''. Parliament legislated a formal definition of marriage as ''the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life'' with the bipartisan support of the Coalition and the Labor Party. And that was Labor's position at the 2007 and the 2010 elections. Now, as we all know, Labor has declared support for gay marriage in its party platform. It's a big turnaround in a short space of time. How did all those people who voted against gay marriage in 2004 get converted on the road to Damascus?










Turnbull joins Liberals push to allow conscience vote on same-sex marriage

James Massola and Lanai Vasek - The Australian





Liberal MPs have been lobbying Tony Abbott in private for two months to allow a conscience vote on same sex marriage, with former Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull the latest to reveal he has urged the Opposition Leader to allow MPs to make up their own mind on the issue. The member for the eastern Sydney seat of Wentworth said today he believed a conscience vote was necessary, echoing the stance of Liberal Senator Simon Birmingham.










'No way' to gay marriage

Blacktown Advocate





Both of Blacktown's federal Labor MPs Ed Husic and Michelle Rowland have said they will vote against same-sex marriage next year. After the ALP national conference voted to amend the Marriage Act to support gay marriage on the weekend, Chifley MP Ed Husic and Greenway MP Michelle Rowland told the Advocate they wouldn’t back the bill because their electorates overwhelming opposed it.










Marriage equality: secrets behind a successful campaign

Kevin Donnelly – ABC Drum





Dennis Altman, in a comment piece for yesterday's The Age in response to the ALP conference's decision on gay marriage writes: "The campaign for marriage equality, largely run by younger women and men, not all of them gay, is one of the most successful examples of effective lobbying in Australia over the past few decades."










Politics

Politicians unite to hurry disability insurance scheme


Jessica Wright – SMH





The two main parties have vowed to take a bipartisan approach to ensure the national disability insurance scheme is rolled out as soon as possible. Following the move by Labor to adopt the scheme to the party's platform, the opposition has reaffirmed it will work with the government to implement the scheme, which will represent the largest ever change to the funding and delivery of disability services in Australia.










Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Illegal sex trade 'rife' in city


Shannon Newley - Warwick Daily News





Not enough is being done to crack down on illegal prostitution Lawrence Springborg has heard from a Warwick legal sex worker. The escort, who goes by the name of "Jennifer" met with the Member for Southern Downs in his Rose City office yesterday to discuss the issue and voice her concerns about the illegal side of the industry. Mr Springborg said he felt Labor had brought in the Queensland Prostitution Act with grand promises of ending illegal prostitution when it had done nothing of the kind.










Religious Freedom & Persecution

Muslim extremists destroy lives, church buildings in Nigeria


CompassDirect





In Nigeria’s increasingly dangerous northeast, Muslim extremists in this town in Yobe state helped members of the Islamic terrorist sect Boko Haram destroy five church buildings last Saturday, while previously in neighboring Bauchi state Islamic radicals killed four Christians, including three girls. Boko Haram members’ weekend rampage in the Yobe state town of Geidam destroyed all Christian-owned businesses, as area Muslims pointed them out for the sect raiders, according to local Christians.










Central Java, Islamic extremists against Christians: five churches at risk demolition

Mathias Hariyadi - Asia News





An Islamic extremist group in Pracimantoro, a town in the district of Wonogiri, in central Java, ha appealed to local government for the demolition of five Protestant churches in the area. The tension in the area is steadily increasing, and rumors of threats of demolition, circulating since yesterday evening in a series of documents, is not contributing to calming tempers. Previously, extremist threats have focused on nine other churches in Bekasi regency, West Java.










"We'd allow a Coptic president only if Israel allows a Muslim one", Salafist leader

Ahram





Yasser Burhami, an outspoken Salafist leader, denies right of Coptic Christians to hold high political office in Egypt; calls for government to monitor women's attire and force tourists to abide by Islamic law. One of Egypt's most prominent Salafist leaders has said he would only accept a Coptic Christian president of Egypt if the US, Britain and Israel accepted a Muslim president of their countries.










Refugees

Boat traffic flows freely with policy stuck in a jam


Peter Alford and Paul Maley - SMH





The largest boatload of asylum-seekers to arrive since 2009, and the sixth in a week, has landed on Christmas Island, clear evidence the people-smuggling syndicates are taking full advantage of Australia's political impasse on combating the traffic. HMAS Ararat intercepted the fishing boat carrying 167 people yesterday, as Home Affairs and Justice Minister Brendan O'Connor was in Jakarta discussing with senior Indonesian officials "new ways" of jointly targeting the syndicate bosses.










Six boats in six days as monsoon risks ignored

Kirsty Needham, Tom Allard Jakarta





THE third-largest boat to arrive since Labor took office, carrying 167 asylum seekers and crew, was unloaded at Christmas Island yesterday as another vessel came within 12 nautical miles of the West Australian coast.