ACL in the news

Victorian election minus one week


William Bowe - Crikey



Press reports continue to indicate that both sides believe it to be very tight in the crucial sandbelt seats, but statewide published polls still show Labor on course for a comfortable victory.






Children & Family

UNFPA: Children have right to sex, drugs, abortion to reduce population


Life Site News



There are more young people in the world now than ever before. According to the United Nations Population Fund’s latest report, this represents an unprecedented opportunity for progress, but only if future generations are smaller. UNFPA’s prescription to ensure a “demographic dividend” includes freely available abortion for adolescents, removing age of consent, drug and prostitution laws, and reduced parental involvement in the sexual formation of their children.




Break the teen suicide taboo: The terrible tragedy of young lives lost

Bruce McDougall - Daily Telegraph



New data reveals suicide is the leading non-medical cause of death in people aged 10 to 14.




Classification

UK: Tesco hides newspaper covers to stop children seeing ‘sexualised pictures’






Supermarket to only show names and logos on stands after pressure by campaign groups No More Page 3 and Child Eyes.








Donor Conception & Surrogacy

Thai surrogate baby Gammy could become an Australian citizen


Lindsay Murdoch - SMH



Gammy, the boy at the centre of a surrogacy scandal in Thailand, could receive Australian citizenship, which would open the way for him to be eligible to receive healthcare and other benefits in Australia. Gammy's Thai surrogate mother Pattharamon Chanbua has lodged papers applying for his citizenship with the Australian embassy in Bangkok.




Drugs & Alcohol

Cops’ war on drugs handcuffed by rules


Miranda Devine - The Daily Telegraph



“In 20 years I’ve never seen it this bad,” one veteran police officer says. Buying illicit drugs has never been so cheap and easy. Drugs effectively have been decriminalised, under the noses and against the wishes of most Australians. This is not what police want. They are demoralised by their impotence.




The ice age: 12-year-olds are slaves to the drug but school counselling service is to be axed

Eamonn Duff - Sun-Herald



Three years ago, she was attending one of the state's top primary schools in Sydney's eastern suburbs. Today, she is 14-years-old and so consumed by her addiction to the drug ice, she has sold her body on Sydney's streets to fund her next fix.




Euthanasia

Victorian election 2014: Electorate overwhelmingly back voluntary euthanasia, Vote Compass reveals


Guy Stayner - Yahoo News



Victorians overwhelmingly support voluntary euthanasia for terminally ill patients, putting them at odds with the Coalition and Labor parties on the issue, according to Vote Compass results.




Gambling

Gambling companies step up efforts to sway addiction debate


Reuters



On the websites of Britain's bookmakers gamblers can bet around the clock on anything from football in Azerbaijan to financial market fluctuations, while others in betting shops feed high-stake machines that can devour 300 pounds ($470) a minute.




Human Rights

Secular prejudice and religious freedom


Peter Kurti - Quadrant



The mark of a good citizen used to be the free display of personal conviction about ideas, beliefs and morals. That manifestation of conviction has given way to a fashionable and ostentatious “open-mindedness” which, steeped in hypocrisy, seldom extends to traditional Christianity, especially Catholicism.




Indigenous

WA suicides: Touch of hope as state mourns lost children


The Australian



At either end of Western Australia, two indigenous families buried their teenage sons yesterday.




Marriage

Pastors opposed to same-sex marriage vow not to participate in any civil ceremonies


Jonathan Merritt - Religion News Service



What’s the surest way conservative pastors can avoid any government mandate to perform same-sex marriages? According to one prominent religious journal and a growing number of ministers, the answer is not to perform any civil marriages at all.




Rise in ‘silver separators’ leads to health fears

The Christian Institute



More and more people will spend their final years, lonely, poor and in ill health because of a rise in divorce amongst the elderly, a study has revealed. Data by The International Longevity Centre UK demonstrates that divorce in old age has implications for the wellbeing of each party.




Politics

Religious groups call on all parties to leave the equal opportunity laws alone






A coalition of religious groups has called upon all parties contesting the Victorian election to commit to maintaining Victoria’s current equal opportunity laws.




Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

SA prostitution debate continues


Ros Phillips - Family Voice



“I was in the public gallery of the South Australian House of Assembly yesterday afternoon when MPs explained why they would not be supporting Steph Key’s private member’s bill to decriminalise the prostitution trade in South Australia,” FamilyVoice research officer Ros Phillips said today.




Refugees

Refugees and the great legal run-around


Adam Morton - The Sunday Age







Australia again changed the settings on its humanitarian refugee intake last week, cutting out people who claim asylum via Indonesia. What will this mean?




Religious Freedom & Persecution

Islamists kill 28 Christians in Kenya


Bos News Life Africa





Somalia-based Islamist group al-Shabaab claimed responsibility Saturday, November 22, for killing 28 Christians traveling on a bus in northeast Kenya.










Sexualisation of Society

Celebrity role models causing rise in ‘sexting’


The Christian Institute



Celebrities are the cause of a sharp rise in the number of children sending sexually explicit text messages, a child protection expert has warned. Dr Zoe Hilton told MPs that schoolchildren are copying the ‘sexting’ trend which is endorsed by adult celebrities.









Other

Public transport brings out the worst in us


Kevin Donnelly - ABC



Our society is becoming increasingly brash and self-centred. So the next time you're on a train, show some consideration for the people around you, writes Kevin Donnelly. If you travel on our major cities' trains, you've probably read the warnings about what you can and cannot do. Carry a valid ticket, 'yes'; give up your seat to those more in need 'yes'; feet on seats, 'no'; alcohol and smoking, 'no'.