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.



Doctor who infected women with hepatitis C jailed for 14 years

Paul Anderson - Herald Sun

A drug-addicted doctor who negligently infected 55 women patients with hepatitis C while administering anaesthetics to them during abortion procedures has been jailed for 14 years. Sentencing James Latham Peters this morning, Victorian Supreme Court judge Justice Terry Forrest said the disgraced doctor was now a totally isolated man whose addiction to the medical drug fentanyl had compromised every aspect of his life and led to the infection of the women who had placed their trust in him at a most vulnerable time.

James Peters' victims tell of the torment of contracting hepatitis C from the drug-addicted doctor

Paul Anderson - Herald Sun

Fifty five women infected with hepatitis C by drug-addicted doctor James Peters continue to live a never-ending nightmare. Having made the most harrowing of decisions to have an abortion, the unwitting patients were infected with the virus while lying anxious and vulnerable in the operating theatre at a day surgery in Croydon. Dr Peters, the specialist anaesthetist, was right beside them, assuring them everything was going to be fine as he negligently infected them by injecting them with the same syringe he had used to inject himself with the medical drug fentanyl.


Online move to bypass gay sex film 'ban'

Karl Quinn - SMH

The producer of "banned" gay sex film I Want Your Love has defied the Australian censors, claiming the movie's global release on Monday via web-based video-on-demand services represented a way "to bypass the gatekeepers" and render them irrelevant. Classification Australia's refusal to grant the film exemption from classification – which would have allowed it to screen to adult audiences at three queer film festivals around the country – has drawn criticism from Hollywood actor James Franco and attracted worldwide media attention.

I’d like fewer addictive games, thanks

Patricia Hernandez - Koaku

Describing something as “addictive” is often innocuous, even if the word can mean wildly different things. Saying that nutella is addictive is not the same thing as saying that a drug is addictive, for example. One of these is meant as a compliment, the other…not so much. When we’re talking about games, describing them as addictive is how many of us to laud compelling design decisions that make it difficult to stop playing. When I say that Call of Duty is addictive, for example, what I’m really talking about is how thrilling twitch-based shooting is, and how remarkable the game is at providing constant adrenaline rushes. That also explains why it often sounds like we’re describing a drug: you can’t get enough of it, and in some way, that feels seductive.

Drugs & Alcohol

Inside Sydney's drug houses

Simon Black - The Daily Telegraph

It's the secret scourge hiding next door. Behind the manicured lawns and picket fences in quiet suburban streets, organised crime gangs have set up hundreds of clandestine drug labs and hydro houses. Between July and December last year, 164 cannabis houses and 47 "drug labs" - in which amphetamine and ecstasy were manufactured - were shut down. More than 200 drug dens have been raided in the past six months.

Victoria Police raid Bandidos club in Melbourne's north in bikie gang crackdown

Anthony Dowsley - Herald Sun

Police have raided the clubhouse of the Bandido Motorcycle Club in Brunswick. Echo Taskforce detectives and members of the critical incident response team and Santiago Taskforce executed warrants at the Weston St headquarters today. It is the clubhouse where members were drinking before an incident in which they were shot at at Melton on Friday night. The taskforce is now monitoring all club activity after the wild ambush on the Bandidos by rivals the Hells Angels. Senior Bandido Toby Mitchell was shot in a bicep during the gunfire, at the Diablos club.

Byron Bay to trial a 1.30am lockout of venues

Byron News

The Byron Bay Liquor Accord is to trial a 1.30am lockout in its member venues to try to reduce alcohol-related anti-social behaviour in the town. The 1.30am time is a compromise after community members and police agitated for a 1am lockout and several venues received "please explain" notices from the liquor licensing authority. "All Accord members have agreed to introduce new evidence-based measures this week including a trial of stringent measures to reduce antisocial behaviour in and around the town centre," said Accord chairperson Hannah Spalding.

Human Rights

Conference speakers warned on vilification laws

John Masanauskas - Herald Sun

Organisers of a major Muslim conference in Melbourne have been warned they could face prosecution if state racial and religious vilification laws are broken. Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship Minister Nick Kotsiras said he had received complaints about some speakers who might attend the Australian Islamic Peace Conference, scheduled for the Showgrounds this month. Mr Kotsiras directed Victorian Multicultural Commissioner Chin Tan to speak to the event's organisers. "I've asked him to explain to them that we live in a multicultural state and that our aim is to ensure that individuals, groups and communities are able to live in peace and harmony with each other," he said.

Rights laws lose touch with mainstream

Patrick Parkinson – The Australian

The federal government's Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill looks as if it is now dead in the water. A draft bill was released for public consultation when we were all busy with our Christmas shopping. Anyone who wanted to make a submission had to do so in their spare moments between going to office parties, end of school year concerts and basting the turkey. Yet, despite it being the worst possible time of the year for consultation, there were more than 590 submissions concerning this draft bill, many of them making very detailed critiques. It also became a subject of major controversy in the media.

Govt on watch for any slavery links: PM

The Australian

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has pledged to boycott any organisation linked to slavery or people trafficking. Delivering a speech to an International Women's Day breakfast in Sydney on Friday, Ms Gillard says the new strategy means no firm tainted by slavery or people trafficking anywhere in the supply chain will be able to supply goods or services to the government.


Taking same-sex marriage step by step

Michael Cook - MercatorNet

Whether you call it polygamy, or polyamory, or consensual nonmonogamy, the notion of multiple partners in a single relationship is just over the horizon. Australian activists for same-sex marriage have always insisted, that it will not lead to polygamy or polyamory. Never, ever, ever. Gay marriage is just like traditional marriage, except for the sex of the spouse. Activist Rodney Croome wrote last year that “studies show most LGBTI people want to be part of a two-person marriage, while partners in polyamorist relationships (most of which begin as heterosexual unions) say they don’t want their relationships recognised as marriages.” Former Greens leader Bob Brown described a push for polyamory as “nonsense”.


New Victorian Premier Denis Napthine says he wants to heal rifts with Canberra

Pia Akerman - The Australian

New Victorian premier Denis Napthine has revealed he offered Ted Baillieu his support to hold on to the Liberal leadership, as he declared he wants a new era of cooperation with Canberra. Dr Napthine said he did not ask Mr Baillieu to step aside during yesterday's whirlwind series of events in Melbourne, during which backbench MP Geoff Shaw quit the Liberal party, threatening the Coalition's hold on government, before Mr Baillieu handed in his resignation.


Study finds risky vitamin deficiencies in refugees

Sunanda Creagh - The Conversation

Refugees arriving in Australia often suffer from dangerous levels of Vitamin B12 deficiency, which can be fatal if left untreated, a new study has found. The study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, concluded that refugees should be routinely checked for vitamin deficiencies upon arrival on Australian shores. Humans get most of their Vitamin B12 from meat, dairy and eggs. Allowing levels to drop too low can cause fatigue, fetal development problems, depression and permanent nerve damage that leaves people unable to walk.

Morrison stands by refugee comments


Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison has explained the kind of behavioural protocol he thinks asylum seekers should live by when they are released into the community. Mr Morrison was last week criticised for his comments after a Sri Lankan asylum seeker, released into the community on a bridging visa, was charged with the indecent assault of a female university student in Sydney.


Scholars slam Mark Burnett's The Bible TV show

Rhys Blakely - The Australian

Scholars had frowned on the addition of "angels with ninja skills" to the latest adaptation of the Bible, branding it a transparent ploy to lure an audience. If so, it worked: the Good Book is America's newest television phenomenon. A biblical mini-series that began this week with the story of Adam and Eve has beaten a host of critically feted dramas, all manner of sitcoms and, yes, even Downton Abbey. The series, which is called The Bible and produced by the History Channel, attracted more than 13 million viewers on Sunday, making it the most-watched entertainment show of the year on cable.

SA paves way for child sex abuse inquiry


The South Australian government has cleared the way for the federal government's royal commission into child sexual abuse to conduct its investigations in the state. Premier Jay Weatherill told state parliament on Thursday the appointment of the commissioners under state law ensured the commission had all the powers it needed to perform its functions. The wide-ranging inquiry will look into institutional response to child sex abuse, investigating where systems failed to protect children and make recommendations on how to improve laws, policies and practices.