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.









 



 





Bioethics

First US embryonic stem cell trial halted


Herald Sun





The first-ever trial using human embryonic stem cells to treat paralysis has been halted due to high costs, and the company will focus instead on new cancer treatments.










Humble man deciphered genetic code

SMH





Har Gobind Khorana rose from a childhood of poverty in India to become a biochemist and share in a Nobel prize for his role in deciphering the genetic code.










Children & Family

X Factor: Bullying on national television


Paul Mitchell - OnLine Opinion





This year, with ever-younger contestants, some of the harmless fun has disappeared from the X Factor. In fact, this week I saw something that was close to child abuse, a kid in the kind of atmosphere that we spend millions of dollars in advertising campaigns to prevent in our homes, workplaces and schools.










Classification

Facebook users exposed to hardcore porn


SMH





Facebook is investigating reports that some members of the social network have been receiving extreme pornography and violent images in their news feeds. "Protecting the people who use Facebook from spam and malicious content is a top priority for us and we are always working to improve our systems to isolate and remove material that violates our terms," a Facebook spokesperson said.










One in three children run into disturbing content online

SMH





Niloofar Veiszadeh is only eight but she uses the internet every day, accessing a range of sites from her own laptop. The year 3 student uses the internet for everything from researching her school work to finding recipes to making homemade play dough and catching up on television shows she missed while at school.










Drugs & Alcohol

Drugs and Alcohol in the Workplace: A Cocktail for Disaster?


PRWire





The Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (Vic) requires employers to take positive steps to provide and maintain safe working environments for workers and to ensure that others are not exposed to risks to health and safety arising from the workplace. It is self-evident that drug and alcohol consumption results in impaired judgment, coordination, concentration and alertness.










Education

Parents support Judeo-Christian teaching: LNP


Daniel Hurst – Brisbane Times





Queensland's Liberal National Party has strongly backed religious instruction in state schools, arguing Islamic and non-religious parents often want children brought up with a Judeo-Christian grounding.










Euthanasia

Retired prosecutor gives his view on death with dignity

SMH

Though he built a career serving the law, the former director of public prosecutions Nicholas Cowdery told a forum on assisted suicide yesterday that it did not belong in every aspect of life.

It was a belief reinforced by the case of a man prosecuted for aiding and abetting the suicide of his wife, who was suffering a debilitating disease, he said.










Homelessness

Housing crisis: academic warns


AAP

More low-income families across Australia are going without food to meet their housing costs, a leading academic says. Andrew Beer, who will head up a new centre to address homelessness and imbalances in the housing market, said the number of people sleeping rough was also increasing.










Marriage

Christian lobby angered by Gillard's position on conscience vote


Dennis Shanahan and Milanda Rout – The Australian

When you click on the story – you’ll see the video of the actual interview between Ms Gillard and Jim Wallace on the issue.

Julia Gillard's support for a conscience vote on same-sex marriage and the certainty of a Greens motion on the issue have put the Prime Minister on a collision course with religious groups over her promise to "absolutely" leave the Marriage Act unchanged in this term of parliament.










Creating a circus to perform illusions

Dennis Shanahan – The Australian





Julia Gillard is in danger of creating her own media circus out of the ALP national conference as she attempts to walk a tightrope on marriage promises, encourages diversionary fireworks on uranium and tries to emerge with a ringmaster's reputation.












Julia Gillard under attack from Greens on same-sex marriage stance

The Herald Sun





Prime Minister Julia Gillard is under attack from the Australian Greens and activist groups for pushing for a conscience vote in parliament on same-sex marriage. Ms Gillard will ask next month's ALP national conference to support a conscience vote, even though she won't back a change to existing laws.










Labor must do what is just and back same-sex marriage

Gavin Marshall - The Age





The party has a historic opportunity to uphold its progressive tradition. It's hard to believe that in 2011 we live in a society where prejudice, discrimination, fear and even hatred directed at same-sex-attracted people still exist.










Christian lobby warns Labor on gay move

NineMsn





The Australian Christian Lobby has warned Labor that adopting same-sex marriage as policy could cost the party seats in western Sydney and south-east Queensland. The ALP's national conference in December is likely to back a conscience vote on the issue, a move proposed by Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Tuesday.










Marriage breeds better children

Alex White – Herald Sun





Children of married couples are more mentally and socially developed than children brought up by a single parent or an unmarried couple, a study claims. A report by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, released today, suggests a gap between children from single-parent and married families that will continue to widen as they grow.










Labor Left fights for policy change over same-sex marriage

Phillip Coorey - SMH





THE Labor Left will fight the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, over gay marriage saying it will not be bought off with a conscience vote, especially if there is no accompanying change to the wording of Labor's policy platform.










Moustache politics challenges Movember

Susannah Singh - The Age





Every November, men grow wacky moustaches to raise money for organisations combating prostate cancer and depression. But this year a rival charity has been set up in reaction to the controversial leadership of Jeff Kennett, chairman of beyondblue, an organisation that received $10.3 million from Movember last year. Founder of Fauxvember Sydneysider Adrian Hempel, who is sporting a drawn-on moustache, said: "I've been a big supporter of Movember Australia in past years, and last year was the captain of one of the most successful teams. "But as a gay man who suffers from depression, and has seen the effects of problem gambling, I can no longer support beyondblue with Mr Kennett as chairman."










Politics

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.










Gillard's uranium backlash

Michelle Grattan, Katharine Murphy and John Watson - The Age





Prime Minister Julia Gillard's push to sell uranium to India has triggered a fight with her party's Left, attracted disquiet from Pakistan and infuriated Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd, who was not consulted about the change. Tensions between Ms Gillard and Mr Rudd are likely to escalate after the snub, which was made worse by Mr Rudd being in India when she made the move.










As one love match ends, an old schism opens up

Janet Alberechtsen - The Australian





The political love affair between the Gillard government and the Greens has come to a screeching halt. Now into the middle game of the electoral cycle and with the carbon tax through federal parliament, Labor has started publicly dissing the Greens.








Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

MP should have known 'prostitute' was under-age, court hears


The Age





A former Tasmanian MP charged with having sex with a 12-year-old girl sold into prostitution should have realised she was under age, a court has been told. Former Tasmanian upper house MP Terence Lewis Martin has pleaded not guilty to indecent assault, unlawful sexual intercourse with a young person and one count of producing child exploitation material.










Chinese prostitutes trafficked into Ghana to service expats?

shanghaiist



Ghana's Citi News reports that Chinese women are being trafficked into Ghana to service expatriates working in the country, according to the Accra-based non-governmental organisation Enslavement Protection Alliance West Africa. Comments by Tatiana Kotlyarenko, executive director of the NGO, via the paper: “They are deceived and brought here under wrong consent,” she stated. “None of them really know that they are coming here to do that. ”










Religious Freedom & Persecution

Bishops Open ‘Religious Liberty’ Drive


New York Times – Laurie Goodstein





The nation’s Roman Catholic bishops opened a new front in their fight against abortion and same-sex marriage on Mo day, recasting their opposition as a struggle for “religious liberty” against a government and a culture that are infringing on the church’s rights.










Sexualisation of Society

Sixteen too old for model career, young girls told


Letitia Rowlands - The Daily Telegraph





Girls as young as 13 are being sought by a Sydney modelling agency which has described 16-year-olds as "too old" for the international industry. Gear Model Management director Dragan Dimovski said other Australian modelling agencies were "very conservative" about the minimum age of the girls they employ.










Other

Bells are stinging - St Leonard's Catholic Church's ding dong battle


Kat Adamski The Daily Telegraph





A plan by St Leonard's Catholic Church to install bells after almost 100 years of silence could divide the community. The Naremburn church has lodged an application with Willoughby Council to put six sound-controlled bronze bells into the existing belltower - but not everyone is happy.