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.


Children & Family

One in four kids left without adult supervision at home


At least a quarter of the nation's 10 year olds are being left without adult supervision in the family home. That's the finding of the Federal Government's Growing Up in Australia study which is tracking the lives of 10,000 young people. The Australian Institute of Family Studies carried out the study - its research director Daryl Higgins spoke to Keith Breene.

Sex offender risk to children

Linda Cann - The Sunday Times

Sex offenders are allowed to live with children because of a loophole that keeps authorities in the dark about convicted criminals. A government review also has raised fears about the number of children aged 12 or under having sex and says teachers and police are confused about whether to report it as child abuse.


Judge in warning on sext penalty

Farrah Tomazin - Canberra Times

The head of Victoria's Children's Court wants the law changed so young people caught sexting are not charged with child pornography or unfairly branded as sex offenders for life. At present, there is no specific offence in Victoria for sending sexually explicit messages via mobile phones or the internet. Instead, sexts are classified as child pornography under the Crimes Act when the images are of people under 18 - even if the person pictured took the photographs themselves and willingly sent it to others.

Drugs & Alcohol

Schoolie punched woman on drug rampage, says witness

Michael Bachelard - SMH

Horrific new details have emerged about an 18-year-old Australian schoolie in Bali who punched and hospitalised a young woman and experienced a psychotic episode while under the influence of hallucinogenic "magic mushrooms". A witness to the attack, which happened at about 9.30pm on Saturday night, said it was “unprovoked” and had happened at the Bali resort where the young man was staying.


Students drop old uniforms to conform to a new reality

Linda Silmalis - The Sunday Telegraph

Schools are abandoning skirts and tunics for girls in favour of unisex shorts and skorts as part of an overhaul of the traditional student uniform. The Parents and Citizens Association claims the move is being driven by Gen X and Y parents who want to remove gender bias from the playground.


Doha sets up $3bn hit for taxpayers as climate deal fails to deliver on emissions targets

David Crowe - The Australian

Australia has backed a global climate change deal that offers poor countries financial aid for the "loss and damage" they suffer from extreme weather events, in a new step that could one day leave taxpayers with a $3 billion annual bill. Developing nations acclaimed the deal for clearing the way for compensation claims against advanced economies as the summit failed to set new targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions, further delaying the crucial decisions until 2014.

Forest deal support unclear as positions wax and wane

Dinah Arndt - The Examiner

Sometimes, it pays to look behind you to see what's coming. Next week, the Legislative Council will decide whether it will pass the Tasmanian Forests Agreement Bill. It's difficult to underplay the importance of that single political decision. Both the federal and state governments want to put forestry to bed. It is demanding too much attention and costing them too much in capital - both political and monetary.


Euthanasia “trivialized” in Belgium: report by bioethics institute

Michael Cook - Bio Edge

Belgium legalised euthanasia in 2002, with a law containing strict controls to protect the vulnerable. The Belgium-based European Institute of Bioethics has just released a study of the experience of ten years of euthanasia. It claims that the results are far from encouraging.


Punt on pokies proves a big winner for Woolworths

Colin Kruger - SMH

Better known for selling bread and milk, supermarket operator Woolworths is rapidly emerging as one of the world's biggest poker machine operators. With 11,700 machines in operation across Australia Woolworths pubs and gambling venture, ALH, runs more poker machines than six of the largest casinos in Las Vegas combined.

Homelessness & Poverty

Beaten, homeless and powerless – we can do better than this

Rob Evers - On Line Opinion

The United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women defines violence against women as: "any act of … violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women including threats of such acts, coercion or … deprivations of liberty, … occurring in public or private life." Although we may like to think violence against women happens infrequently or perhaps somewhere else, Australian figures are alarming when it comes to domestic and family violence, with a staggering 28.5 per cent of women having experienced some form of domestic violence in their lifetime. The link between domestic violence and homelessness is increasingly clear, and it requires a different and better response.


Britain to allow gay marriages in churches


Britain will announce plans next week to allow gay marriages in churches and other religious buildings, although the prime minister insists no faith group will be forced to hold them. Culture secretary Maria Miller will unveil ministers' responses to a consultation earlier this year, which will propose that religious organisations should be able to "opt-in" to hold same-sex weddings, according to a government source.

Gay marriage 'not beneficial for society'

Christian Today

The Church of England has warned the UK Government not to go ahead with plans to legalise gay marriage. In a response to the Prime Minister's announcement of the equal marriage bill yesterday, the Church of England said its defence of the traditional understanding of marriage was "not knee-jerk resistance to change".

Overseas Aid

A need for awareness of Pacific neighbours

John Connell - SMH

Poverty has become increasingly visible in the expanding urban areas of the Pacific - now housing about half the region's population, often in squatter settlements, where not long ago islanders were presumed to live in tranquil rural villages. Diabetes has reached epidemic proportions, straining and distorting health budgets. Stability, too, has posed problems in the Solomon Islands where Australian forces remain.


Liberals gag twits

Jessica Wright - SMH

Liberal Party candidates have been gagged before next year's federal election, with Coalition backbench MPs under pressure to close their Twitter and other social media accounts. In an opposition bid to limit ''stuff-ups and scandals'', Fairfax Media has learnt of a directive from the head office of the federal Liberal Party to preselected candidates that ''strongly advises'' against using Twitter, and tweeting on behalf of the Liberal Party is ''not encouraged''.

Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

No massage as brothel king Eddie Hayson pays his $20m debt off

Clementine Cuneo - The Daily Telegraph

Brothel king Eddie Hayson was in the middle of having a facial when the text message arrived. It was his solicitor delivering the news that dozens of police were raiding his controversial sex club Stiletto and he had better get down there pronto. "So I had to cut it short, and cancel the manicure and the foot massage," Hayson said.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

Syrian Christians face starvation, deadly attacks

John M. Lindner - BosNewsLife

Minority Christians in Syria's largest city Aleppo said Friday, December 7, they face starvation after dozens of believers already died in targeted attacks rocking Christian areas of the war-torn country. "Bread isn't found since last week, there is no wheat in the city and of course fuel is not available so...bakeries are not working," said Majd Ajji, whose father runs a Baptist church in Aleppo, where airstrikes and gun battles transformed buildings into heaps of rubble.

Sexualisation of Society

Girls are still getting the wrong messages about their bodies

Melinda Tankard Reist - Sunday Herald Sun

I asked a group of Year 12 female students what message they would like me to deliver on their behalf to an advertising conference I was about to address. Their profound and carefully worded message? You suck.


Defence Department's chaplains at NATO event costing $30,000

Ian McPhedran - Herald Sun

We aren't even a member of the alliance but that didn't stop our Defence Force sending three senior chaplains to a NATO conference in Europe at a cost of more than $30,000. Principal chaplains from the Navy, Army and Air Force attended the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation event in Sarajevo earlier this year.