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.



Alabama bill may threaten abortion clinics' existence

Matt Cantor - Newser

Alabama's state legislature has passed a bill placing tough new restrictions on abortion providers, and critics say it's intended to shut down the five clinics in the state, the New York Times reports. The bill is headed for Gov. Robert Bentley's desk today; he has said he'll sign it. Its measures include a rule that doctors who provide abortions must have local hospital admitting privileges. Multiple clinics in the state use doctors based outside Alabama, and state politics would make it tough for them to get admitting privileges, says a Planned Parenthood rep.


'G-rating' rule for Queensland's outdoor advertising?

Katherine Feeney - Brisbane Times

Changes to the way outdoor advertising is regulated in Queensland, which could lead to the “G-rating” of all content, have been foreshadowed by Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie. In a letter tabled in Parliament on Wednesday, Mr Bleijie said community concerns about outdoor advertising in the state led him to consider “the appropriateness of the current model” of control. His comments came in response to a petition from the Australian Christian Lobby's Wendy Francis, who has been a central figure in several high-profile disputes about advertising content and in 2011 launched a campaign calling for “G-ratings” on billboards.


Assisted suicide the path to Nazism: Right to Life

Julia Medew - The Age

Right to Life Australia has warned politicians not to explore assisted suicide or voluntary euthanasia laws, saying it will take Australia down the same path as Nazi Germany. On Thursday, president of the group Margaret Tighe condemned Beverley Broadbent's decision to tell her story and The Age for reporting it, saying it would cause people to consider suicide.


High roller trying luck in High Court

Sky News

A man who gambled away almost $1.5 billion in 14 months at Melbourne's Crown Casino has begun his fight in Australia's highest court to win back a small fraction of his losses. Gold Coast businessman Harry Kakavas, described in the High Court on Thursday as Australia's 'highest of high rollers', claims Crown knew he was a pathological gambler but lured him back anyway to take advantage of his 'special disability'. The court heard that between June 2005 and August 2006, Mr Kakavas spent $1.479 billion at Crown, winning and losing vast sums, often on hands of baccarat that took just seconds to play. During one 'frenetic' stint in May 2006, Mr Kakavas spent a staggering $164 million in just five and a half hours.


Health summit called to help mentally ill


The poor health and high rates of premature death among people with mental illness will be addressed at a Sydney summit next month. Federal Minister for Mental Health Mark Butler and his NSW counterpart Kevin Humphries will co-host the event, saying the commonwealth, states and territories must work together to address health issues suffered by those a mental illness.

Human Rights

Smith airs jail raid concerns with Indonesia

George Roberts - Radio Australia

Defence Minister Stephen Smith says he has discussed concerns over alleged human rights abuses with Indonesia. Defence Minister Stephen Smith says he has discussed concerns over alleged human rights abuses with Indonesia. Last month about 17 heavily armed men stormed an Indonesian jail and killed four inmates who were suspected of murdering a military commando.


Indigenous expert welcomes Royal Commission


Indigenous expert, Professor Muriel Bamblett has welcomed Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse's call for information from previous reports on child abuse. Ms Bamblett, head of the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency, advocates for the rights of Indigenous children and hopes the calls prompt Aboriginal people to speak up to the Royal Commission.


Love for more than one

Monique Schafter - 7.30 ABC

Can you fall in love with multiple partners at the same time? They say that three's a crowd, but apparently not for those in non-monogamous relationships. The word "polyamory" recently appeared in Australia public life when Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi suggested that legalising gay marriage could eventually lead to three or four people marrying each other. But what exactly is polyamory? Monique Schafter spoke to couples in multiple relationships.

Gay marriage support to be wiped out?

Benn Dorrington - Star Observer

Same-sex marriage support in the Australian Parliament could be halved at the next federal election if the latest opinion poll results are repeated in six months time. Almost half of the Lower House MPs who voted for same-sex marriage last September would be swept out of office according to the latest Newspoll results for March 22-24 published in The Australian newspaper and collated by the ABC’s election analyst, Antony Green.


Voting age debate hits Australia

Larissa Nicholson - The Canberra Times

Austria has lowered its voting age to 16, and Scotland may follow for its upcoming independence referendum. But Australia should not follow suit, according to an ANU academic. Professor Ian McAllister said allowing 16 and 17-year-olds to vote would not make young people more politically engaged or create a fairer democratic system.

Battle for Barton will be decided by mosque's support

Heath Aston - SMH

The race to replace former attorney-general Robert McClelland in the southern Sydney seat of Barton will hinge on which candidate locks in the support of Australia's largest Shiite mosque at Arncliffe. Union-backed candidates Steve McMahon, former mayor of Hurstville, and Shane O'Brien, the mayor of Rockdale, are expected to receive the most votes when Labor Party branch members vote on Saturday.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

Nigeria Christians ask for prayer after new attacks


Christians in central Nigeria are appealing for prayer after a new round of violence left as many as 80 people dead and more than 4,000 others displaced during the Easter season. At least 19 people were killed this week when gunmen attacked the mostly Christian Atakar ethnic group in the Kaura district, located in a remote area of Kaduna state. Officials suspect the attackers were Muslim Fulanis.

Pakistan anti-Christian violence injures 18

Stefan J. Bos - Bos News Life

At least 18 people were injured Wednesday, April 3, when angry Muslims attacked a dozen Christian shops and churches in Pakistan's city of Gujranwala, Christians told BosNewsLife. Among the seriously injured people was one man who was earlier reported to have died, but he survived, investigators said. The violence in the city's Francis Colony area followed Muslim anger about Easter Sunday prayers in local churches and a dispute among Muslim and Christian youngsters over loud music, BosNewsLife established.

Pakistan acquits Christian on death row


A Pakistani court has acquitted a Christian man who was sentenced to death for blasphemy six years ago in the country's second largest city, lawyers say. Younis Masih, 34, a labourer, was arrested in September 2005 in the low-income Qenchi Amar Siddhu neighbourhood of Lahore after local residents accused him of interrupting a gathering of Sufi singing to make blasphemous remarks.


Why we should support Christian projects from Hollywood

Phil Cooke - Charismanews

Despite the raging success of The Bible miniseries on the History Channel, Christian critics still sound off about recent efforts by Hollywood to produce Christian-themed movies and TV programming. I was in a meeting recently where we discussed the record-breaking audience for The Bible series, and one well-meaning Christian in the group said, “But it’s so inaccurate!” Every time a project like The Blind Side, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Bible, The Book of Eli and others come out, a group of Christians take issue with the theology, doctrine or portrayals in them. In most cases, the complainers are well-meaning, but despite the inaccuracies or doctrinal issues in these projects, here’s why I think we need to support them.

Pigs can't fly - Qantas bans pork on in-flight menu to respect Islam

Angela Saurine and Peter Holmes - The Daily Telegraph

Qantas has removed pork from its in-flight menu on flights to and from Europe as a result of its partnership with Middle Eastern airline Emirates. No food containing pork or pork products will be served on those flights - which now has a stopover in Dubai - because it is strictly forbidden in Islam and is considered "unholy".