The ACL compiles a daily media monitoring services of stories of interest relating to children, family, drugs and alcohol, marriage, human rights, religious freedom etc. See here to read what's in the news today.



 

 


Abortion
Abortion hinders achievement of development goals

International Business Times


Brazil is on track to meet targets to improve maternal health, goal No. 5 of the Millennium Development Goals, U.N. targets that countries worldwide have pledged to achieve by 2015. Maternal deaths are supposed to decline by two-thirds from 1990, when they were 220 per 100,000 live births. By 2005, that figure in Brazil had already declined by half, to 110 per 100,000. But one of the country's biggest maternal health impediments is abortion, which is illegal in most cases and often unsafe.





Classification
Signs of the times
Karl Quinn - The Age


When Robert Doyle recently denounced the massive FCUK billboard on the side of a warehouse building in North Melbourne as ''an insulting and gratuitous blot on our urban landscape'', he was articulating a view shared by many Melburnians. And when, a few days later, it was reported that the sign was to be replaced by a less ''offensive'' one - the clothing company's acronym giving way to its fuller name, French Connection UK - it appeared the lord mayor had struck a victory for righteousness.





New rules tipped for television content
Tim Dick – The Age


The government's review of media rules for the digital age is looking at entirely dropping Australian quotas for television and radio, or making them apply to websites too if it decides they should be kept.





Donor Conception & Surrogacy
Call to protect surrogacy kids
David Killick - The Mercury


Changes are needed to proposed surrogacy laws to better protect the interests of children, a parliamentary committee has heard. Tasmanian Commissioner for Children Aileen Ashford yesterday told a Legislative Council inquiry that a Bill now before Parliament was vague and lacked adequate protections for the children born to a surrogate mother. "We're saying it should be framed around the best interests of the child," she said.






Education
Primary school bans Lord's Prayer

AAP


A West Australian government school has banned students from reciting the Lord's Prayer before assembly in response to complaints from parents. Edgewater Primary School, in Perth's north, ended the 25-year practice after some parents said it contravened the WA Education Act, which stipulates schools cannot favour one religion over another.





Why the Christian right don’t like Gillard
Luke Williams - The Punch


The Gillard Government has taken the middle road in making changes to the national school chaplaincy program; $222 million has been committed to extend the program until 2014. But now schools can elect to have non-religious person fill the role as a secular worker and still use the $20,000 grant scheme.





Church to probe Access
Barney Zwartz - The Age


The Uniting Church, one of the key partners in Access Ministries that provides religious education in Victorian primary schools, has backed away from supporting the beleaguered agency.





Our Father art in heaven, not in school
The Age


A government school in Western Australia has banned students from reciting the Lord's Prayer before assembly in response to complaints from parents.


Euthanasia
Where is the worst place in the world to be a doctor?
MercatorNet



Could there be a worse place in the world to be a doctor than the Netherlands? Not because of the standard of its health care; it has one of the highest life expectancies in the world and one of the lowest infant mortality rates. But because the professional association of Dutch physicians has decreed that euthanasia is an integral part of a doctor’s job.





Gambling
Online poker site a 'global Ponzi scheme'

Herald Sun


International online gambling site Full Tilt Poker stole $US440 million ($431.29 million) from players around the world in a Ponzi scheme used to pay lavish fees to board members, US prosecutors say. Full Tilt "defrauded players by misrepresenting that their funds on deposit in online gambling accounts were safe, secure, and available for withdrawal at any time", the US Attorney's office for Southern Manhattan said today.





Marriage
Tassie poll a big step for gay marriage
Jill Singer- Herald Sun




We hear a lot of cynicism about politics these days and the alleged uselessness of caring or fighting for political change. Julia Gillard, Tony Abbott - what's the difference? They both put the human rights of asylum seekers down their list of political priorities.





Tasmania to push for gay couples' right to marry
Alexandra Humphries - The Australian


The last state to decriminalise homosexuality, Tasmania, is set to become the first to officially support gay marriage.





North Carolina bill to ban gay marriage advances to Senate
Washington Times


A North Carolina bill to allow voters a chance to define marriage in their state constitution goes to the state Senate on Tuesday, after passing the state House. North Carolina is the only Southeastern state without voter-approved language in the state constitution that defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman.





UK Christians oppose attempts to redefine marriage
Christian Today


The Christian Institute has come out in opposition to the Government's plans to hold a consultation on whether to change the legal definition of marriage. Equality Minister Lynne Featherstone announced at the weekend that the Government would launch the consultation next spring. At present, only unions between a man and a woman are defined as a 'marriage'.





Overseas Aid
World Vision calls Australia to respond as East Africa emergency worsens

Christian Today


The East Africa Emergency Appeal is in response to the current famine in parts of Somalia and extended food crisis affecting over 13 million people in the Horn of Africa including Kenya and Ethiopia. People’s access to food and water is in jeopardy and the risks of the outbreak of disease are growing. Children are among those most vulnerable in the worst hit countries.





Religious Persecution
Gallows await pastor; prayer requested

Charlie Butts - OneNewsNow


A pastor in Iran has another court hearing scheduled for Sunday. He is under a death sentence for converting to Christianity. Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani remains behind bars in Rasht awaiting what is called a re-examination. He claims he never really practiced the Islamic faith. "They will be determining whether he was a Muslim between the ages of 15 and 19 -- after the age of accountability -- and then 19 when he became a Christian," he explains. "Then they will forward their results on to the Branch 27 of the Supreme Court, which will have the final decision on whether he is executed or not."





California city fines couple for holding Bible study in their home
Madeleine Morgenstern - The Blaze


A southern California couple has been fined $300 dollars for holding Christian Bible study sessions in their home, and could face another $500 for each additional gathering. City officials in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. say Chuck and Stephanie Fromm are in violation of municipal code 9-3.301, which prohibits “religious, fraternal or non-profit” organizations in residential neighborhoods without a permit. Stephanie hosts a Wednesday Bible study that draws about 20 attendees, and Chuck holds a Sunday service that gets about 50.





Refugees
Faulkner challenges Gillard on offshore scheme

Michelle Grattan - The Age


Labor Party elder John Faulkner has rejected Julia Gillard's repeated claim that her legislation on offshore processing of asylum seekers is in line with the party's platform. Hours after the Prime Minister was effectively ticked off by one of the most widely respected figures in the ALP, Tony Abbott formally confirmed that the opposition will defeat the government's legislation after, as is certain, its own amendment is voted down.





Gillard stays on-plan for Malaysia Solution but MP nerves fraying
Matthew Franklin- The Australian


Labor is to hang tough on its plan to send asylum-seekers to Malaysia, convinced it can blame Tony Abbott for any increase in people-smuggling if he refuses to back its policy.





Tony Abbott fails boat test
Paul Kelly - The Australian


Australia now confronts an institutional failure in its border protection policies with the parliament about to confirm by omission the recent High Court decision to remove, in effect, offshore processing policy from the discretion of the executive government.





Sexualisation of Society
PETA to launch porn site in name of animal rights

SMH


People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, no stranger to attention-grabbing campaigns featuring nude women, plans to launch a pornography website in the name of animal rights. The non-profit organisation, whose controversial campaigns draw criticism from women's rights groups, said it hopes to raise awareness of veganism through a mix of pornography and graphic footage of animal suffering.





Further
Objection to Katter party registration

AAP


A member of The Queensland Party has lodged a last-minute objection to Katter's Australian Party being registered in Queensland. Mr Somerville said he was dumped after he questioned its Christian constitution and whether he'd be able to maintain a personal, rather than party, view on issues.





Sri Lankan envoy hits back at Greens
Ninemsn


Sri Lanka's top diplomat in Canberra has hit back angrily at an Australian Greens-led group demanding a war crimes investigation of his government.