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. Abortion
Sydney University's pro-life club reports free speech under threat among studentsLIfeChoice Sydney
LifeChoice Sydney, The University of Sydney's student-based prolife club, is concerned with calls for its recent affiliation to the University of Sydney Union (USU) to be overturned as any such move would significantly diminish freedom of speech in student life. LifeChoice President Rebecca Elias said that the society was established to promote discussion on the issues of abortion and euthanasia in Australian society.The campus spat scaring the life out of liberal democracyXavier Symons - The Punch
Most people would agree that free speech is worth protecting, even if it leads to despicable Neanderthals standing before a microphone. I think it preposterous, then, that there have been moves to shut down a recently established pro-life society at the University of Sydney. The existence of LifeChoice Sydney, a secular and non-partisan organisation aiming to promote discussion of abortion and euthanasia, is under threat just a week after it was approved by the University of Sydney Union. Pro-choice advocates have labelled the society “non-inclusive”, “extremist” and a threat to the safety of women on campus. They have mooted an amendment to the Union’s constitution that prohibits the establishment of any society that is pro-life. They have even proposed that the Union representatives who approved the society be “censured”.Children & Family
Daycare centres price themselves out of market over smaller optionsNeil Keene - The Daily Telegraph
Parents frustrated by years-long waiting lists and soaring daily fees are turning to other childcare options. The number of Australian children in family daycare - home-run care for groups of up to five - has jumped by more than 30 per cent in five years, Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations data reveals.Family Day Care Australia CEO Carla Northam said 113,000 children were attending across Australia by the end of the last financial year.Legal reforms not enough to keep children safeElspeth McInnes - Online Opinion
The case of the four Queensland girls who have been ordered back to Italy by a Family Court has finally brought to public attention many of the defects and deficiencies in the Family Law and the Family Law system in Australia. The reforms to the Family Law Act, which come into effect on 7th June, include broadening the definition of ‘family violence’ and ‘abuse’, direct courts to give greater weight to children’s safety, removal of the ‘friendly parent’ provision and give effect to the Convention on the Rights of the Child amongst other reforms.Drugs & Alcohol
Huge heroin haul found in shipping containernews.com
Five people have been charged after a shipping container holding 20kg of high-grade heroin was discovered in Brisbane. Police say the drugs, concealed inside sports bags, were smuggled from Thailand and may have been bound for Sydney or other Australian cities. Senior detectives seized the container on May 29 and arrested five alleged members of a distribution syndicate in Sydney yesterday after raiding seven properties on the city's west and southwest.Let's go to war on the folly of decriminalising drugsTim Priest - The Daily Telegraph
There are few issues able to generate emotions quite like the drug debate and whether or not we should move away from prohibition. Invariably, it is the social researchers, left-leaning politicians and well-meaning but naive health workers who reignite a debate that has little chance of becoming a reality.Restaurants dispute ban on smokingLeesha McKenny - SMH
Nine restaurants are fighting a Parramatta City Council ban on smoking in outdoor dining areas in the Land and Environment Court. The group, under the umbrella of the Parramatta Business Freedom Association, argues the council did not have the authority to impose the ban. ''It is the essential allegation of the applicants that the council has gone beyond its power in its attempt to ban smoking in the outdoor dining areas,'' its submission to the court reads.Environment
Solar schools 10 times dearer, doubly unsafeDavid Crowe - The Australian
The federal government is paying 10 times its carbon price to cut greenhouse gas emissions at thousands of schools, according to a highly critical audit that warns of safety risks under the program. Labor's election pledge to install solar panels in every school has emerged as one of the most expensive schemes to reduce emissions, prompting the Auditor-General to question the policy's cost and value for money.Gambling
The Star casino sues Asian 'whales' over $23m debtVanda Carson - The Daily Telegraph
The Star casino is suing ten of its high roller gambling patrons who have not repaid $23 million credit to gamble on at its casino, after they failed to pay their bill. The group of Asian "whales'' as they are known in the industry, were introduced to gambling in Sydney through an operator of group gambling tours, known as junkets, who lend gambling money to casino visitors. The Asian "junket operator'' called SilkStar has gone bust.Nick down on Getup! inactionChris Johnson - Canberra Times
Independent senator Nick Xenophon has criticised a decision to block activist group GetUp! from advertising its anti-poker machine campaign on Canberra’s ACTION buses. The public issues organisation was hoping to highlight problem gambling by displaying its controversial ads on ACTION buses travelling regular routes around Parliament House.Marriage
In U.S., same-sex spouses may face financial tanglesTemma Ehrenfeld - Reuters
Christel de Vries, a Dutch outsourcing manager for Accenture, sealed her love for her female partner twice, once in 2001 in Amsterdam under Dutch law and again in 2007 in a civil union in New Jersey. Yet under U.S. federal law, she isn't married — and that is creating obstacles in her divorce. The 1996 Defense of Marriage Act rejected federal recognition of same-sex marriages in the United States and abroad and declared that no state need recognize a same-sex marriage in another state. The conflict between state and federal law — and between states — creates double worlds for gay marrieds in nearly every area of their financial lives.Jim Wallace on SunriseSunrise - Channel SevenThe Sunrise, "Same-sex marriage showdown"The Sunrise, "Factsheet: It's time to celebrate and support"
(Note: "marie claire and Sunrise, along with GetUp, are celebrating the love and showing their support for marriage equality . . .
")Prostitution & Sex Trafficking
Search for 'a second prostitute' in the Craig Thomson scandalAndrew Clennell and Steve Lewis - The Daily Telegraph
One former prostitute may have recanted her allegations against embattled MP Craig Thomson but police have backed claims another woman was responsible for a $770 charge to his union credit card. They are yet to find her so she can be interviewed about the allegation she was working for Boardroom Escorts in May 2005 when the charge was added to Mr Thomson's Health services Union credit card.Religious Freedom & Persecution
Concerns for refugees from EritreaChristian Today
Christian Solidarity Worldwide has received alarming reports of the abductions of six Eritrean women in Cairo. The women were reportedly abducted in the Egyptian capital by men purporting to be police officers. The women, aged between 20 and 32, claim to have travelled in a white taxi that was stopped by men in police uniforms, who opened the vehicle and sprayed an unknown substance into their faces that caused them to lose consciousness. When they awoke, they were in an unfamiliar location.Malaysia clerics say no to Portugal, Man Utd, Brazil jerseysJoseph Mayton - Bikymasr
The small street seller had all the European club jerseys ready for sale on Saturday evening, as passersby wanted to grab their favorite international shirt ahead of this month’s Euro 2012. But for Portugal fans, the jersey was nowhere to be found. “We are not allowed to sell the jersey because it shows a cross,” the shopkeeper told Bikyamasr.com. “I still love Portugal and will be rooting for them, but we are an Islamic country and don’t want to get people angry,” he added.Refugees
First Sydney families take in refugee boats overflow
Gemma Jones - The Daily Telegraph
The first asylum seekers to be billeted in Sydney homes arrived at the front doors of families last night as residents answered the Gillard government's call to relieve it of its boat people dilemma. Already 50 asylum seekers have been sent to homes across the country, with Sydney families like Michelle Tisch and her three Afghan foster children receiving their new house guests last night. Almost 3000 people registered to be sent asylum seekers after the government last month teamed with the Australian Homestay Network (AHN), which usually places overseas students, to enlist families.
Kingpin 'Captain Emad''s flight undermines people-smuggling credentials
Lauren Wilson - The Australian
Australia's moral authority over people-smuggling in the region has been eroded after the Australian Federal Police allowed the alleged kingpin "Captain Emad" to flee the country, despite having had him under surveillance for two years. AFP Commissioner Tony Negus yesterday revealed police were powerless to stop Iraqi refugee Ali al-Abassi leaving Australia from Melbourne airport on Tuesday night, just 24 hours after an ABC Four Corners report alleged he was the head of an international people-smuggling syndicate. Mr Negus said police did not have sufficient evidence to stop him from leaving.
Our star spangled manner
Malcolm Fraser - The Age
There are too many who believe that if we support the United States and go to war when it wants us to, it will in turn support us on issues that we regard as fundamental to our own security. History strongly suggests that the real determinant of the actions of great powers is their own interests. Too much reliance on great powers for one's security is not wise. Our own skill, our own strength, our own diplomacy, wisdom, our contribution to our region, our contribution to the overall security of that region - t
ese are what will secure Australia's future. But this does not mean we cannot have alliances.
Bullying targeted in new video for girls
Rowena Smith - Northside Chronicle
Raising Confident Girls encourages girls to talk about serious issues. Three north west girls have joined with former swimming champ Susie O'Neill to spread the importance of open conversations on peer pressure, bullying, alcohol use, gambling and risk taking. It aims to open up the communication channels between young females and their adult role models to stimulate honest conversations that create honest relationships. It was produced by consultant psychologist Amanda Hefez.
MONA founder in Tax Office sights
David Walsh, the eccentric professional gambler and founder of Tasmania's Museum of Old and New Art, has found that cloaca happens. Having spent $180 million establishing MONA, the most famous exhibit being Cloaca, a complicated poo-producing machine, Mr Walsh is now involved in a legal stoush with the Australian Tax Office.