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

Average of four Victorian children a day are flagged at risk of abuse of neglect before born

Brigid O'Connell - Sunday Herald Sun

An average of four Victorian children a day are flagged as at risk of abuse or neglect before they are even born. State child protection authorities received the highest number of reports in the past financial year after new laws were introduced to monitor the welfare of unborn babies. The Department of Human Services received reports in the past five years from concerned friends, family members, health professionals and teachers for 4415 unborn children, who were likely to be harmed once they were born.


Warning to firms on Facebook comments

Julian Lee - SMH

Large companies that fail to remove false and misleading comments from their brands' Facebook pages within 24 hours face potential court action, the competition watchdog has said. Companies are required to monitor comments left by the public to ensure they comply with advertising guidelines and consumer law, after a ruling by the advertising industry's regulator last week that everything that appears on a brand's Facebook page is advertising. Now the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has lent its voice to the Advertising Standards Board ruling, which has thrown the marketing industry into turmoil as companies face the prospect of being penalised for what members of the public post on their sites.

Drugs & Alcohol

Imperial Tobacco admit giving staff free cigarettes 'for research'

Perth Now

New Zealand's largest tobacco manufacturer will be investigated for giving free cigarettes to its staff. Imperial Tobacco's commercial boss Brendan Walker confirmed cigarettes were available to office staff and workers during breaks at its Petone factory, the Herald on Sunday reports. "It's purely for research,'' he told the newspaper.


School funds boosted in stages

The Australian

Increased federal funding for schools is expected to be phased in, with the government saying yesterday a transition period would be considered for new arrangements. School Education Minister Peter Garrett also said the federal government would negotiate over the contribution expected of the states and territories.

Mother quizzes school staff

Geelong Advertiser

A "gifted" pupil could also be an under-achiever, the mother of a former student told a tribunal in her dispute with Geelong Grammar over her daughter's low academic results. Elizabeth Jane Weir, mother of former student Rose Ashton-Weir, quizzed a senior staffer at the prestigious school on whether she was aware of the concept that an academically gifted student could also be an under-achiever. She asked whether the prestigious school knew Rose could suffer "somatic", or physical, responses to stress. "I don't know that Rose was gifted, I perceived an intelligence in her," Clyde House head Heather Morgan told the Victorian Civil and Administrative Appeals Tribunal.


FV Margiris is no cute fishing boat

Quentin Hanich - ABC

One of the world's largest fishing vessels is on its way to Australia. The FV Margiris dwarfs anything in the Australian fishing fleet and looks nothing like a traditional fishing vessel. At 142 metres long and with a cargo capacity of approximately 6,200 tonnes, it is a stark example of modern fisheries and is far removed from the traditional 'John West' image of the family fishing boat setting out to sea at sunrise to catch the family's meal. This is no cute fishing boat. It is a massive refrigerated factory vessel with a bridge at the front and a large net out the back to feed its floating processing factory.


Tatts and Tabcorp compensation bid threatens Budget surplus

Peter Rolfe, Grant McArthur - Herald Sun

Two pokies giants have vowed to pursue a claim for $1.3 billion from the Baillieu Government, despite pleas to put the state's welfare ahead of profit. Treasurer Kim Wells says if a compensation bid is successful it will have a huge impact on Victoria's finances and jeopardise total Budget surpluses for the next three years.


Homeless link

Jim O'Rourke - SMH

People who first become homeless at a young age are more likely to experience persistent homelessness later in life, a new Australian study suggests. Journeys Home tracked more than 1600 homeless people, or those at a high risk of homelessness, for close to two years, and found half of the participants had their first experience of homelessness before they turned 18. A third of people who first experienced homelessness under the age of 15 had spent four years or more homeless during their life.


Growing up with two moms: The untold children’s view

Robert Oscar Lopez - The Public Discourse

Between 1973 and 1990, when my beloved mother passed away, she and her female romantic partner raised me. They had separate houses but spent nearly all their weekends together, with me, in a trailer tucked discreetly in an RV park 50 minutes away from the town where we lived. As the youngest of my mother’s biological children, I was the only child who experienced childhood without my father being around.

Capital set to reinstate civil union law

Lisa Cox - Canberra Times

Improvements to the territory's civil unions laws are set to pass the Legislative Assembly after the Greens agreed to back a bill introduced by the ACT government. The Greens had previously feared the laws would undercut national efforts for marriage equality, but now say they will vote in favour of the changes after consultation with Canberra's gay and lesbian community.

SA, Tas premiers join gay marriage rallies

Stephen Johnson -

The premiers of South Australia and Tasmania have told gay rights supporters they will legislate for same-sex marriage regardless of what federal parliament does. Thousands of demonstrators have marched in seven Australian cities almost eight years after the Howard government passed the Marriage Amendment Bill to deny gay couples marriage rights.

Queue for pink aisle

Anne Mather - The Mercury

Thousands of same-sex partners across Australia have their champagne flutes and credit cards poised, waiting for Tasmania to give the green light to gay marriage. Since Premier Lara Giddings said last week that Tasmania would push to legalise same-sex marriage, campaigners have been swamped with interest from interstate couples. Marriage Equality campaigner Rodney Croome said "many thousands'' of interstate couples would come to Tasmania to tie the knot if the laws were passed, and the economic spin-offs would be huge.

States go it alone on gay marriage

Samantha Maiden, Peter Rolfe - Herald Sun

Julia Gillard has been accused of playing dead on a push to legalise gay marriage as a "dog's breakfast" of new laws loom in Tasmania, South Australia and the nation's capital. Despite promising Christian groups at the last election there would be no change to Labor's position that marriage should remain between a man and a woman, MPs are to debate a private members bill to legalise gay marriage. Some states and territories are going it alone in defiance of the Commonwealth Marriage Act, prompting warnings the Prime Minister must act.

Chick-fil-A 'Tastes Like Hate' vandal arrested

Audrey Barrick - Christian Post

A gay artist who claims to be Christian was arrested this week after painting "Tastes Like Hate" on the wall of a Southern California Chick-fil-A restaurant. Manuel Castro, 30, had stepped forward last week as the one responsible for the vandalism which included a painting of Chick-fil-A's signature cow. The message was painted on the eve of last Friday's "National Same-Sex Kiss Day" which was organized in response to Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy's recent remarks in support of traditional marriage. According to a new Rasmussen Reports poll, 31 percent hold an unfavorable view of the restaurant while 61 percent hold a favorable one.

Is it true Jesus never addressed same-sex marriage?

Daniel Akin - BP News

Today it is popular among those promoting same-sex marriage to say that Jesus never addressed the issue, that He was silent on the subject. Those who affirm the historical and traditional understanding of marriage between a man and woman often are admonished to go and read the Bible more carefully. If we do so, we are told, we will see that Jesus never addressed the issue. So, the question that I want to raise is, "Is this assertion correct?" Is it indeed the fact that Jesus never addresses the issue of same-sex marriage?


PM's $150m spin doctor brigade

Nicola Berkovic - The Australian

Taxpayers are spending about $150 million a year on an army of spin doctors to sell the Gillard government's policies to voters. Figures obtained by The Australian reveal there are about 1600 staff employed by federal government departments and agencies in media, communications, marketing and public affairs roles.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

Attacks on Christians sharpen with Government collusion

Khaled Abu Toameh - Gatestone Institute

As all eyes were turned this week toward Sinai, where Muslim fundamentalists killed 16 Egyptian border guards while they were having the Ramadan fast-breaking meal, Christian families were being forced out of their homes in the village of Dahshur, 40 kilometers south of Giza. Hundreds of Christians fled their homes after being attacked by their Muslim neighbors, who also targeted a church and Christian-owned businesses in the village. The anti-Christian violence was described as the worst since Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi was elected as president in June.


Labor floats Nauru solution as Angus Houston hands down report

Troy Bramston - The Australian

Senior Labor figures are exploring a dramatic shift on asylum-seeker policy to reopen the Nauru processing centre as part of a two-stage proposal that could trigger the government's Malaysia Solution if the first step does not stop boat arrivals. The plan is being considered as a rapid response to a border protection review due today from former Australian Defence Force chief Angus Houston, heightening pressure on both major parties to negotiate a compromise as parliament resumes after the winter break.

Bowen pre ared to deal with Coalition on asylum-seeker policies

Jared Owens - The Australian

Immigration Minister Chris Bowen has refused to rule out adopting the Coalition's asylum-seeker policies if it cannot strike a deal with the Greens and independents this week. The parties will on Monday hear the recommendations of an expert panel, headed by former Defence Force Chief Angus Houston, following the High Court's detonation of Labor's Malaysia people swap policy as unconstitutional.

Labor all at sea on eve of asylum seeker report

Mark Kenny - The Punch

The biggest single boatload of asylum seekers since Labor came to power has intensified the pressure on Julia Gillard to fix the border protection mess heading into a crucial parliamentary fortnight. More of these this year than any other, and it's still August. The timing is excruciating for Labor MPs returning to the capital as Ms Gillard’s eminent person’s panel headed by Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, prepares to report on Monday. Derided as problem out-sourcing, the former top soldier’s mission was always close to impossible: fixing what the Government and the parliament was incapable of fixing when it ended two days of acrimonious debate in a stalemate last June.

Sexualisation of Society

Australia's most complained about ad Rip & Roll safe sex campaign returns


The "Rip & Roll'' safe-sex advertising campaign, which was the most complained about ad in Australia last year, has returned to Queensland. Healthy Communities says its posters will appear from today in 35 bus shelters in inner Brisbane and will also be plastered on billboards at Surfers Paradise, Townsville, Cairns, Capalaba in Brisbane's east and Albion in Brisbane's north.


Why I'm still a Catholic

Geraldine Doogue - Online Opinion

Why am I still a Catholic? How should I answer this important question? In truth, sometimes I'm not sure why. Yet I know the Church frames my identity, as basic as that. It's the source of consolation without peer. I can't slough it off: it's too embedded in the way I see the world and myself. I take it for granted in some respects, one of the products of being formed in post-WW2 Australian Catholicism, with its strong Irish inheritance.

Analyst predicts dark forecast for Fairfax papers The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald

Jeff Whalley - Herald Sun

Fairfax metropolitan publications The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald may face crunch time within three years amid predictions they will no longer be able to generate a profit, a leading media analyst says. The forecast follows talk the Fairfax board will meet to discuss a $1 billion writedown of the business before its annual results are released on August 23.

US: Centers for Disease Control moves to keep new resistant gonorrhea at bay

Liz Szabo - USA Today

Gonorrhea, a sexually transmitted disease that infects 700,000 Americans a year, already has become resistant to all but one class of antibiotics and could soon become untreatable, federal health officials warned. Doctors at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new treatment guidelines, hoping to delay the inevitable day when standard drugs no longer work. The guidelines call for withholding a potent oral antibiotic now commonly used to treat the infection. Instead, doctors should use an injectable form to which the gonorrhea bacteria seems less likely to develop resistance, along with a second type of antibiotic pills.