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
'Save the humans': MP on abortion
Daniel Hurst - Brisbane Times
Katter’s Australian Party has signalled it will not accept candidates who support gay marriage or who shun “Christian values”. But maverick federal MP Bob Katter yesterday cautioned that the party did not have a policy on abortion, after his state ally Aidan McLindon spoke out against pregnancy terminations.





Bioethics
The cultured body and the cult of medicine

Jeffrey Bishop - ABC


A 2010 survey found that as many as 48% of women and 23% of men said that they are interested in having cosmetic surgery. Celebrities, like Heidi Montag, are now forthright about having had cosmetic surgery. Many other celebrities, both men and women, have been rumoured to have had cosmetic surgery. One website suggests which stars are desperately in need of plastic surgery.







Classification
Unclassified, but still rated

Andrew Taylor - SMH


Films containing graphic depictions of sexual violence can be screened at film festivals without having been viewed by the federal government agency responsible for classifying films. A director of the Sydney Underground Film Festival, Katherine Berger, said it was required to ''send detailed synopses and notes on what elements'' included sex, violence and obscene language, but not the actual film unless requested.







Drugs & Alcohol
Alcohol services condemn fines

Julia Medew - The Age


Specialist drug and alcohol workers should be deployed with police targeting public drunks, and new fines of up to $1100 should be used to boost treatment services, the Victorian Alcohol and Drug Association says. The chief executive of the group that represents drug and alcohol services, Sam Biondo, said the Victorian government's new regime of higher fines for people found drunk in public ignored the complex needs of such people and had potential to drive alcohol-fuelled violence behind closed doors.






Gambling
MCG to punt live odds off ground

Greg Baum - SMH


In what can be seen as a stance against the growing gambling culture in AFL football, the MCG has banned the promotion of live odds on its scoreboard. MCG Trust chairman John Wylie said the trust had become increasingly concerned at what he called a sharp increase in advertising of gambling agents and products, especially up-to-date odds during matches.







Marriage
Church leaders lobby MPs over marriage laws

Dennis Shanahan - The Australian


More than 50 church leaders have directly appealed to all 226 federal MPs not to change the Marriage Act, kicking off a campaign to defeat moves by Labor and the Greens to allow same-sex marriage. In defence of marriage being only between a man and a woman, the leaders cite the "high incidence of fatherless youth" in the London riots as an example of the social dangers if governments do not create "a natural and stable environment" for children.





No love for gay marriage among Queensland MPs
Daniel Hurst - Brisbane Times


Queensland federal MPs have overwhelmingly voiced their opposition to same-sex marriage, buoying conservative Christian lobbyists ahead of tomorrow's discussion of the issue in the House of Representatives. But marriage equality campaigners say they are undeterred because some major party MPs support change but are not yet ready to say so publicly.





Overseas Aid
The world's food system is broken. Aid will not fix it

Archie Law - ABC


The famine in Somalia never should have happened. This is the first famine of the 21st century and it is occurring while we are producing enough food to feed the world twice over. The problem isn't simply hopeless governments or failed rains; rather, the world's food system is broken. This is a tragedy that could have been prevented. The way the world currently responds to these problems is by waiting for situations to reach emergency levels then scrambling together a response. But humanitarian aid alone will never end hunger.





Church leader says Horn of Africa in need of 'immediate' action
Christian Today


The head of the World Council of Churches is calling upon governments in the Horn of Africa to do everything they can to ensure aid reaches those in need. The region is facing its worst famine in decades, with the World Food Programme warning that around two million Somalis face starvation.







Religious Persecution
Ban Christian churches on streets with Islamic names, says Indonesian mayor
Telegraph


Critics say the decree, proposed by Bogor mayor Diani Budiarto, is another example of growing religious intolerance in the world's most populous Muslim country. The Setara Institute for Peace and Democracy, a human rights group, says attacks on religious freedom by hard-liners more than tripled in the last two years.





Sexualisation of Society
‘Pull the Pin’ on children’s beauty pageants

Catherine Manning - Online Opinion


The Victorian Government thinks by sending Child Safety Commissioner Bernie Geary to the Universal Royalty Pageant held in Melbourne in July, they have done enough to investigate the harm beauty competitions have on children. Are they seriously trying to say that a visit to the pageant by Commissioner Geary, with no input from any other interest group or experts, is enough to make an informed decision about the impact of pageants on children and our culture?





Further
Besieged Craig Thomson feels the heat over job for ex-wife Christa
Steve Lewis and Andrew Clennell - The Daily Telegraph


Craig Thomson bowed to pressure and quit as head of parliament's economics committee last night. The development came amid new revelations that he lobbied a firm - which was in the process of seeking millions in federal funding - to give his ex-wife a job.





Malek Fahd Islamic School 'fees' funding Australian Federation of Islamic Councils
Leo Shanahan - The Australian


The nation's peak Muslim body is extracting millions of dollars in rent and fees from a successful Islamic school in Sydney that draws most of its funding from taxpayers. Documents reveal the Malek Fahd Islamic School paid the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils $5.2 million last year alone, an amount equal to one-third of the school's educational funding from the federal and state governments.