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

Another reason why abortion is a crime: Patrick Henry Hughes


Whole Reason





This story is so amazing, I just had to share it. I know I sullied the inspiration of this by mentioning abortion, but I just have to say that such ‘handicapped’ children are murdered by their parents more often than not today. This Dad is a hero, and so is his boy.












Bioethics

Even more weirdness


Michael Cook - Mercatornet





Newspapers have their “silly season” of shock-horror absurdities in the slow news summer months. How about bioethics journals? When two very loopy articles in peer-reviewed journals surface in as many weeks, their silly season is clearly February and March. First two Italian/Australians asserted in the Journal of Medical Ethics that infanticide was morally permissible. That created a firestorm of commentary which badly tarnished the prestige of bioethics as a serious discipline. Now an American, a Swede and a Briton are about to publish an even weirder article in a journal called Environment, Ethics and Policy. Their proposal is to combat climate change with human engineering. People who are smaller and shorter and eat less meat will help reduce both their own carbon footprint and bovine flatulence (which is a significant contributor to greenhouse gases).










Brennan attacks same-sex parents

Star Observer





Prominent human rights lawyer and Jesuit priest Father Frank Brennan has used a Lent address to attack same-sex parenting — warning that science will soon be able to create children who are biologically linked to both their same-sex parents. “We are just around the corner from scientists being able to produce a child from the genetic material of two ova or two sperm,” Brennan said. Brennan also used the address to oppose same-sex marriage, and compared the issue of same-sex parenting to the Stolen Generations and victims of forced adoptions.














Children & Family

The weight of dreams is taking its toll on girls


Lucie van den Berg - Herald Sun





More than half of girls believe losing weight would make them feel better about their appearance. A shocking survey of 1000 teenage girls found 60 per cent do not think they are beautiful and many are taking dangerous steps to boost their self-esteem. More than half skipped meals, 45 per cent had been on a diet, a third had cut out a food group and one in five admitted to vomiting after eating.












Classification

Australian R18+ games classification to become reality


Diana Nguyen - Computerworld





The R18+ games classification legislation has passed without amendment in the House of Representatives, bringing Australia closer to an R18+ category for computer games. The Bill will be presented to the Senate for debate in coming weeks, with the Federal Government adamant it will be passed. “The legislation is expected to pass the Senate,” a spokesperson for the minister of home affairs, Jason Clare, told Computerworld Australia.
















Drugs & Alcohol

Introducing a new watchdog for alcohol marketing


Melissa Sweet - Crikey





Relying on the alcohol industry to regulate alcohol marketing does not work. It’s time for a new approach, writes Rebecca Johnson, policy advisor with Cancer Council Western Australia. Alcohol companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars each year saturating our information environment with booze advertising – it’s on jerseys and screens at the footy, on bus shelters and billboards near schools, in magazines, at the movies, on the internet and even in the music videos aired on Saturday morning TV. The ads work.










3 year plan to tackle Newcastle's alcohol problems

ABC





Hunter New England Health says while illicit drugs remain a problem on the streets, alcohol by far causes the most harm. A forum in Newcastle today will discuss a three-year action plan to identify and tackle ongoing problem areas in Newcastle for alcohol-related harm. Figures will be presented showing the continuing effectiveness of restricted pub trading hours in the city, but the forum will also discuss strategies to make further improvements.
















Marriage

Same-sex marriage arguments released


Peter Jean - The Canberra Times





Altering the definition of marriage to allow same-sex couples to wed would be the equivalent of defining sheep stations as lighthouses, a Senate committee has been told. The first 70 of what are expected to be thousands of submissions to an inquiry into a Greens bill to legalise gay marriage have been publicly released. Newcastle University senior law lecturer Neil Foster told the inquiry that any attempt by Parliament to change the nature of marriage by allowing weddings between same-sex partners would be unconstitutional.














Obama camp noncommittal on gay-marriage plank in party platform

LA Times





Just as President Obama's top campaign advisors are arguing that the prolonged GOP primary is raising controversial issues that will alienate the eventual GOP nominee from independent and swing voters in the fall, Democrats are facing a similar quandary. On Wednesday morning, the chairman of the 2012 Democratic National Convention, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, called for the party's platform to push for the legalization of gay marriage. That's a position opposed by Obama -- though he's said his views on the issue are "evolving" -- and one that many Democrats ostensibly would not want to have highlighted a few months before the general election.










Sex education: what happens after civil unions and gay marriage?

The Australian Family Association





When countries have re-defined marriage through 'gay marriage' (in fewer than 5% of the world's nations) or gay union laws, radical changes to early schooling curricula have soon followed. For example in Massachusetts, USA Robb and Robin Wirthlin were shocked that their 7 year old was taught in second grade that a man can marry a man. The teacher read a book to the class "King and King" which normalised the concept of homosexual romance and gay marriage to very young children.












Overseas Aid

George Clooney credits Christian aid in Sudan, tells of unlikely alliance with Pat Robertson


Mark Ellis - ASSIST News Service





Hollywood actor George Clooney put his body on the line for Sudan when he was arrested outside the Sudanese embassy in Washington March 16th. In recent statements he also credited the efforts of Christian aid groups to provide humanitarian aid and relief to those suffering what he described as “war crimes.” On March 14, Clooney testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee stating the Sudanese government was killing its people and blocking aid to the Nuba mountains and other areas. He described in vivid detail his visit this month to southern Sudan, where he saw hundreds of victims who sought shelter in caves from Sudanese bombings.














Politics

Coal seam gas, the Great Barrier Reef and the Queensland election – an analysis of party policy


The Conversation





Queensland is different from other states in that it only has a lower house. In other states minor parties achieve representation in upper houses — and therefore have a role in government — through proportional representation voting systems. Nevertheless, a vote for a minor party in Queensland can still be important because of the state’s optional preferential voting system. Where a candidate does not achieve 50% of the primary vote in an electorate, preferences are distributed to decide the winner.




















Lutheran pastor elected as Germany’s president

NY Times





A rights activist and former Lutheran pastor was overwhelmingly elected as Germany’s 11th postwar president on Sunday, putting former East Germans in the nation’s two highest offices at a time when it is being called on to assume a greater leadership role in Europe.














Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Accused brothel owner 'unaware'


Maris Beck - The Age





An accused illegal brothel owner - who was netted by a police inquiry into human trafficking and Chinese criminal syndicates - was unaware that women were masturbating clients in his East Melbourne massage parlour, a court has heard. The police investigation, revealed by The Age last year, uncovered up to 24 illegal brothels operating across Melbourne's north and east under the protection of at least one corrupt official. The Melbourne Magistrates Court heard yesterday that De Gen Zheng, 55, of Preston, was charged by investigators late last year over offences relating to prostitution.


















Santorum: Obama Justice Dept. favors pornographers over children, families

Napp Nazworth - Christian Post





Presidential candidate Rick Santorum responded Sunday to a post on his campaign website accusing President Barack Obama of favoring pornographers over children and families. The Obama administration has not been prosecuting purveyors of pornography, Santorum argued.
















Refugees

Boat refugees will be assessed as air arrivals


Kirsty Needham - SMH





Asylum seekers arriving by boat will be assessed for refugee status in the same system as air arrivals from Saturday, as the federal government removes one of the last vestiges of the Howard government's Pacific Solution. About 1300 asylum seekers who arrived by boat before March 24, but are still waiting for their first refugee assessment interview, will also be processed under the new system, the immigration department said.
















Other

Senate faces choice of extremes


Sid Maher - The Australian





The Senate will be forced to choose between the pro-abortion, pro-gay-marriage, pro-euthanasia Greens and the anti-abortion, anti-gay-marriage, anti-euthanasia Democratic Labor Party as it forms a parliamentary human rights committee. DLP senator for Victoria John Madigan will force a vote on the membership of the committee as he tries to overcome a deal between Labor and the Greens for South Australian senator Penny Wright to fill the spot.












Social bonds pilot for NSW ex-prisoners

Nick Perry - NineMSN





A drop in the high rate of re-offending by former prisoners in NSW will be one of the key goals of a "social bonds" program to be trialled in the state. The Social Benefit Bonds (SBB) pilot will also look at ways to restore children in foster care to their families.












Sharia widespread in local community

Sophie Gosper - The Australian





A lawyer has revealed he has prepared more than 1000 wills for Australian Muslims using Islamic law, while other lawyers and Muslim leaders say sharia is used informally by most of the Islamic community. The revelation that the use of sharia law is widespread follows a declaration by Attorney-General Nicola Roxon that there is no place for Islamic law to settle family issues in Australia. Muslim leaders have defended the use of Islamic law in Australia, particularly in the execution of wills that favour sons over daughters, arguing Australian courts should respect the religious wishes of Islamic citizens.










Vatican Bank's silence leads to account closure

Nick Squires - SMH





Thirty years after it was entangled in a scandal involving the mafia, money laundering and the mysterious death of the man nicknamed ''God's banker'', the Vatican Bank faces fresh controversy. The bank has suffered the ignominy of having one of its accounts closed by JP Morgan after stonewalling requests for information. This came less than two weeks after the US State Department listed the Vatican as being vulnerable to money laundering.












Greens? It's a CIA plot, says Palmer

Scott Rochfort - SMH





What do the Australian Greens and American Express have in common? According to the one-time media spokesman for the former Queensland Premier Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen, they both could be linked to the Central Intelligence Agency. ''This is funded by the CIA,'' declared the mining billionaire Clive Palmer yesterday, brandishing a copy of a recent report which outlined plans on the funding of a Greenpeace-led ''anti-coal movement''. Palmer revealed the paper ''probably came out of Langley in the United States by the CIA''.












Biggest ass is you, Germaine

Miranda Devine - The Daily Telegraph





For the birth-mother of 1960s feminism, Germaine Greer sure isn't much of a sister. On ABC television on Monday night she mocked the Prime Minister's figure, saying Julia Gillard should face the fact she has a "big arse". Greer thinks the PM's jackets are all wrong because from behind they go "horizontal". "Every time she turns around you've got that strange horizontal crease (pause for uproarious laughter from the Q&A panel) which means they're cut too narrow in the hips. You've got a big arse Julia. Just get on with it." Nice, really nice. Whether or not you support the prime minister's policies or agree with her politics, this is the most pathetic criticism.