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.



Grief for baby who ‘never lived’

Gabrielle Knowles – The West Australian
Under WA legislation, a baby must have been born alive to be considered a human being for legal purposes. Attorney-General Christian Porter said he was considering law reforms regarding foetal homicide as part of a wider criminal justice package before the next election.

Children & Family
UK: Goodbye, mother and father! Now Parent 1 and Parent 2 appear on PC passport form

Jack Doyle – Daily Mail
For decades, passport applicants have been required to provide details of their mother and father. But now, after pressure from the gay lobby, they will be given the option of naming ‘parent 1’ and ‘parent 2’. The change, which is due to take place within weeks, has been made following claims the original form was ‘discriminatory’ and failed to include same-sex couples looking after a child.

Dads missing out on precious family time
Elissa Doherty – Herald Sun
Sitting around the dinner table with the children is an integral part of family life. But longer working hours and commuting are eating away the precious chance for many families to bond over a meal. Figures show nearly half of dads with partners do not make it home for dinner every night when their children are aged 2-3, while more than a third are at the dinner table only a few times a week.

Donor Conception & Surrogacy
Canada: Surrogates often deeply upset by the process: study

National Post – Tom Blackwell
Their key role in the arcane world of surrogate motherhood has received relatively little scientific examination, but it turns out surrogates are often deeply upset by the process, a new Canadian case study suggests. Women who get pregnant for others frequently suffer separation anxiety and depression when they have to hand over the newborn to the would-be parents, researchers at a Vancouver fertility clinic report. Some also become angry when their contact with the parents is limited.

School staff in 92 sex claims

Bethany Hiatt – The West Australian
The WA Education Department investigated 92 allegations of sexual misconduct involving teachers or other school staff last financial year. Figures released by the department reveal the allegations were about inappropriate conduct that could have been sexually motivated and ranged from behaviour that made a student feel uncomfortable to sexual contact.

Ban the CFD casino – true brokers don’t bet against clients

Stuart Washington – SMH
We all know the shtick. A presentable young person, usually male, explains to us earnestly about the latest happenings on the sharemarket. In the background, we can see clearly the company logo as the young folk look down the barrel of the television camera and intone their opinions of the day’s events.

Swan feud over pokie reform
Geoff Chambers – The Daily Telegraph
Treasurer Wayne Swan and his older brother Ian are at war over the government's proposed poker machine reforms, which could leave their local surf club with a $720,000 black hole and budget cuts to crucial rescue equipment. Ian Swan - who sits on the Coolum Surf Club board and is a life member - said yesterday small clubs such as his would be in the firing line. The Swan family are prominent members of the local Sunshine Coast surf lifesaving community. The surf club, run by country music star Keith Urban's brother Shane, has 48 poker machines.

Attack on pokie reform came from 'up top', says Warren
Dylan Welch – SMH
A respected NRL commentator has admitted that ostensibly off-the-cuff remarks during a rugby league final attacking proposed poker machine reforms were provided to him by Channel Nine management. The admission by Ray Warren, one of Australia's most famous sports commentators and a former gambler, emerge as the two independent politicians backing the pokie reforms lodge a formal complaint with the broadcaster over the remarks, which they say break the law.

No to legal marriages if Church forced to marry gays: archbishop

Catholic news
Perth’s Archbishop Barry Hickey said the archdiocese will stop conducting legal marriages if it is forced to carry out same-sex unions, reports The West Australian. The Record also reported Archbishop Hickey as saying that even if the push for same-sex marriage succeeded, the Catholic Church would continue to celebrate marriage as it always had. ”We might be back to the ghetto. We can’t do those marriages at all. And if the law forces us to, we cancel our registration as marriage celebrants. We just don’t do it,” he told parishioners of the Traditional Anglican Church parish of St Ninian and St Chad in Maylands on Sunday.

Campaign against online dating site that recruits married people
John Martin – Christian Today
American televangelist Pat Robertson caused controversy when he said on TV that it may be acceptable to divorce a spouse suffering from Alzheimers because he or she is “not there” anymore. It reflects a growing attitude that marriage is in the same category as consumable items like computer accessories that can be abandoned and replaced. Now a London man has launched a campaign against a UK-based online dating website which he says views marriage in this way. Global Personals is behind the website which aims at married people, encouraging them to have a fling and cheat on their partners.

Sex workers get help to give up their night jobs

Michelle Griffin – The Age
Rita could never explain the large gap on her resume when she applied for jobs. She’d say she was a stay-at-home mother. But she’d really spent her adult life working as a prostitute to support three children. ”You can’t really tell them what you were doing,” she said.

UK: Two Scots jailed over UK sex trafficking offences
BBC News
A man and woman from Scotland have been jailed for a total of almost five years for trafficking men and women into prostitution across the UK. Stephen Craig, 34, and Sarah Beukan, 22, admitted moving 14 men and women to addresses in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Belfast, Cardiff and Newcastle. Their prosecution was the first in Scotland for human trafficking.

Religious Persecution
Egyptian Muslims burn Coptic church in Aswan province
Chana Ya’ar – Israel National News
Egypt is back to “business as usual” with the Islamic majority harassing and attacking its Christian minority. A group of Muslims burnt down part of a church Friday – the Islamic Sabbath – in the village of Marinab, according to a report published in the daily Al Masry Al Youm.

Asylum seekers’ $4000 a day for smokes

Simon Benson – The Daily Telegraph
Buying cigarettes and tobacco for immigration detainees is costing taxpayers more than $1.4 million a year. While the federal government spends millions on anti-smoking campaigns, the cost of keeping up detainees’ habits costs about $4000 a day.

Surge in numbers of Iranian boat arrivals
Kirsty Needham – The Age
Iranians have overtaken Afghans to become the largest group of asylum seekers arriving by boat to Australia, and have been labelled ''troublemakers'' by immigration officials who are unhappy that they are unable to send home those who fail refugee status. Iranian boat arrivals leapt eightfold, from 197 in 2009-10, to 1549 last year. At the same time, visa success rates have plummeted, from 100 per cent in 2008, to 27 per cent last year.

Refugees rejected in error
Kirsty Needham – The Age
Two out of three refugee rejections issued to boat people are being overturned on the grounds of legal error and lack of fairness when they reach the Federal Court. Immigration Department documents reveal that in the first 43 cases where rejected asylum seekers have sought judicial review, 27 decisions by immigration reviewers were found to be legally wrong.

Godless on the rise
Mary Papenfuss – Newser Staff
Evangelicals might appear to be everywhere in American politics, but the number of believers is falling, according to studies. Agnostics and atheists are among the fastest-growing segment in the US, reports the Guardian. The number of secular Americans has likely doubled in the last three decades, and has grown especially fast among the young, say experts.

Prime mate norm bucks animal urges
Michelle Griffin – The Age
Monogamy is like vegetarianism, says psychologist Christopher Ryan: you can practise it, but it isn't natural. ''Both are lifestyle choices that can be advantageous in many ways,'' concedes the American author of bestselling sexuality primer Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality. ''But they're both in contradiction with the evolved tendencies of our species.'' Arguing that ''long-term sexual monogamy is clearly unnatural for people, and difficult for many of us'', Dr Ryan and his co-author and wife, Spanish psychiatrist Cacilda Jetha, try to frame promiscuity as a basic evolutionary urge.