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.



China probes forced abortion case amid uproar


China said Thursday it was investigating the case of a woman who was allegedly forced to abort seven months into her pregnancy, after images posted online of the baby's corpse caused an uproar. Activists have criticised authorities in north China's Shaanxi province for allegedly forcing Feng Jianmei to abort her pregnancy because she failed to pay a hefty fine for exceeding China's "one-child" population control policy.

Children & Family

Family court fight over daughter's $80

Emily Moulton - PerthNow

A father worth almost $1 million is fighting a court decision ordering him to pay his daughter $80 a week to help with her university studies, even though he already pays his son the same amount. The man, who works with a government department, was told he had to make the payments following property settlement and child maintenance proceedings with his former wife in the WA Family Court.

Families preparing for dark days ahead

Peter Martin - Brisbane Times

Ask families if their finances have improved over the past year and they are likely to feel perky. Australians gave more positive answers to that question this month than last, and more positive answers than they did a year ago. Ask about the economy and their answers are little changed over recent months.

Miners challenged on fly-in fly-out


The mining industry has been accused by MPs of not taking responsibility for the social and financial problems caused by fly-in fly-out (FIFO) workers. Bendigo MP, Labor's Steve Gibbons told the federal parliamentary inquiry into FIFO and DIDO (drive-in drive-out) he believed resources companies left it to government to tackle problems unrelated to their profits. He said he had come to that conclusion after viewing massive port and rail expansions at Port Hedland during the Regional Australia Committee's travels across Australia's mining regions.


UK: Ban sick websites that drove our girl to despair: Distraught parents tell how stressed 15-year-old died in front of a train after being lured into an online world of self-harm and suicide

Neil Sears et al - Daily mail

A distraught couple are calling for a ban on anorexia and suicide websites following the death of their daughter. Rosie Whitaker, 15, was hit by a train in what British Transport Police are treating as a suicide. Her family believe Monday night’s tragedy came from reading and writing on websites where girls idealise slim celebrities such as Kate Moss, while describing how they cut themselves and contemplate taking their own lives. In a blog, Rosie, a talented ballet dancer, spoke of her struggles with bulimia, her compulsion to slash herself with a razor blade and plans to kill herself. Callous strangers responded by telling the clearly underweight girl she was fat and urging her to commit suicide.

Drugs & Alcohol

Party culture and the hangover of sexual assault

Justin Huntsdale - ABC

An Australian-first study based in Wollongong has a sobering message for young women who binge drink. The data is in - the more a young woman binge drinks on a night out, the more likely she is to be sexually assaulted, receive unwanted sexual attention and have unprotected sex. For concerned friends, family and health practitioners across Australia, it's research that confirms something they already knew, but Dr Kylie Smith says it's essential in securing funding to try and address the problem.


Schools program gets mixed audit


An audit of a national program to help low-performing students has shown that schools which got extra money improved at the same level as those which did not. But in some cases there were only three months between the program starting and the next round of National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) tests.

Parents of bullies should pay- Nicholson


A former chief judge of the Family Court says there should be harsher penalties for bullying, and parents of bullies should be financially penalised. Alastair Nicholson says tougher laws could be crucial in the fight against bullying, News Ltd reports. He says victims should be able to make parents of their tormenters pay and schools should be made legally responsible for student bullying.


UN environment summit opens in Rio


Brazil's president has called on countries to reach an agreement on global warming at the opening of a conference in Rio de Janeiro. Twenty years after the first Earth Summit, a renewed bid to rally the world behind a common environmental blueprint has opened in Rio de Janeiro against a backdrop of discord and economic gloom. Kicking off the so-called Rio+20 summit, Dilma Rousseff, president of host nation Brazil, on Wednesday called on "all countries of the world to commit" to reaching an accord that addresses the most pressing environmental and social woes.


Gurindji vow to fight NT intervention

Xavier La Canna - NineMSN

An Aboriginal group who famously won land rights after walking off the Wave Hill Cattle Station say they are preparing to fight again - to stop the Stronger Future laws. The Gurindji people from Daguragu and Kalkaringi in the Northern Territory on Thursday issued a statement saying the government should abandon the laws. "This Intervention must be abolished, not extended for another 10 years," it said.


Brown predicts more Greens in Canberra after next election


Former Greens leader Bob Brown says he has no regrets about quitting Federal Parliament and predicts there will be three more Greens senators after the next federal election. Senator Brown said that if the Greens kept up poll results similar to their current 14 per cent primary vote, they will boost their numbers in federal parliament. ''There will be three more senators for a start, but there will be more Greens in the parliament,'' he told reporters in Canberra today.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

US: China human rights activist Harry Wu says State Dep’t ignores religious freedom issues in China

Patrick Burke - CNS News

Chinese human-rights activist Harry Wu said he was “very disappointed in Obama,” and he also said the U.S. State Department, by excluding chapters on religious freedom for the first time in its human rights reports on various countries this year was ignoring the problem of religious repression in Communist China. The State Department “never take[s] action,” he said.

Muslims in Turkey demand conversion of renowned Christian church site to a mosque

Nicola Menzie - Christian Post

Instanbul's Hagia Sophia, which means "Holy Wisdom" in Greek, was completed in 537 by Emperor Justinian and considered the center of Orthodox Christianity for more than 900 years. It was converted in the mid-15th century into a mosque after conquest by the Ottomans and became a source of pride for the Muslim world. On Saturday, local time, thousands of Muslims turned out to the historic site to protest Turkey's 1934 law that makes it illegal for any religious group to hold services on its grounds. The Hagia Sophia was declared a museum that same year.

Sexualisation of Society

Report highlights abuse in military

Daniel Flitton - SMH

Paedophiles are suspected to have joined the Defence Force to target young boys, a damning confidential report into sexual assault in the military says. The report, commissioned by the Defence Minister, Stephen Smith, last year following the Skype sex scandal, finds a culture in abuse stretching back to the 1950s with more than 770 potential cases.