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.



Internet is parents' worst nightmare

Michelle Grattan - The Age

When the Liberal member for Bradfield, Paul Fletcher, and his group of Coalition MPs were preparing their discussion paper on ways to improve online safety for children - released by Tony Abbott on Friday - they came upon a Perth school principal who'd had to sort out a Facebook dispute between two six-year-olds.

Drunk, naked, bloodied . . . but that doesn't stop schoolies posting pictures online

Petra Starke - News Limited Network

Out of control schoolies are documenting their debauchery on social media, publishing photographs of dangerous drinking, fight-related injuries and nudity on public photo sharing websites. A picture of a teen with a bruised and swollen face from a drunken fist fight, and another with a bloody eye, are among some of the most shocking uploaded by school leavers to photo sharing network Instagram over the first weekend of the Schoolies festival.

Drugs & Alcohol

Dangerous new drugs sold on web 'silk road'

Amy Corderoy - SMH

Dangerous new psychoactive drugs are emerging in Australia at a breathtaking rate, say experts conducting groundbreaking research into online drug sales. The drugs can be toxic to the brain and are often untested on humans, and unsuspecting users are buying them without knowing what they contain or what effect they will have. About four new chemical substances, and 10 retail outlets selling them to Australians, are emerging each month, Tasmanian researchers have found.

Seniors selling off their drugs

Julia Medew - The Age

Patients being given powerful painkillers should be routinely drug tested to make sure they are not selling their drugs in the booming black market, doctors say. Leading pain and addiction medicine experts say there is increasing evidence of doctors being scammed for large doses of prescription drugs, particularly addictive opioids such as OxyContin.


Few know of religious exemption

Markus Mannheim - SMH

Most people are unaware religious schools can sack teachers who are gay or who have children outside of marriage, a survey says. The study also found an overwhelming majority - 89 per cent - back laws that would force such schools to publish their employment policies online and alert parents to them.

National campaign warns schools they could be short-changed $600 for every student

Samantha Maiden - The Sunday Telegraph

Labor MPs will kick-start a national campaign this week warning schools risk being short-changed $600 for every student - $2 billion in total - unless the parliament embraces a new funding deal. Public and private schools will lose funding under the current Commonwealth indexation arrangements according to new government modelling. The reason is that Commonwealth indexation of education spending is tied to the states, ensuring that if they reduce spending, cuts to federal grants will follow.

Sex, drugs, cheap beer and ignorance - schoolies completely lose it in Bali

Jonathan Marshall - Herald Sun

Bali has gone berserk with schoolies - with the teens' disregard for terrorism warnings just as crazy as their drunken partying. Thousands of overly excited schoolies making the pilgrimage abroad have touched down in Bali despite Australian Government warnings that there is a high chance they could become victims of a terrorist attack.


Tarkine row at boiling point

Helen Kempton - The Mercury

Tempers in the Tarkine are set to reach boiling point this summer if yesterday's pro-mining rally is anything to go by. The anger was palpable as 3500 people in Burnie chanted and screamed for Canberra to let new mineral projects go ahead in Tasmania's Tarkine. Premier Lara Giddings and Resources Minister Bryan Green struggled to be heard as the crowd booed their arrival on the podium at the Australian Workers Union-organised event. Ms Giddings was hit with a barrage of verbal abuse by an angry placard-bearer as she approached the stage.


Greens try to overturn ban on euthanasia

Richard Willingham - SMH

Euthanasia will be thrust on to the national agenda again with the Greens set to introduce laws that would overturn a ban on the territories legalising the controversial practice. Greens senator Richard Di Natale, a doctor, will today announce that the party is drafting legislation that would wind back a 1997 Kevin Andrews bill that banned the Northern Territory, ACT and Norfolk Island from allowing euthanasia.


Second casino 'bad deal for state coffers'

Sean Nicholls - Sydney Morning Herald

A leading gambling industry analyst has warned that James Packer's proposal for a high rollers' casino at Barangaroo looks like a bad deal for NSW residents because of the low tax rate that is likely to apply, and the absence of a public tendering process. A NSW government panel is examining the net financial benefit to the state of issuing a second casino licence in Sydney to Mr Packer's company Crown Ltd after the monopoly licence owned by Echo Entertainment, owner of the Star, expires in 2019.


More anti-gay marriage protests in France


Thousands of Catholics and other people protesting France's plans to legalise same-sex marriage and adoption have gathered in Paris, a day after some 100,000 rallied nationwide to decry the measure promised by the Socialist government. Unlike Saturday's rallies, which unfolded in a family-friendly atmosphere, Sunday's demonstration in the capital was marred by accusations that journalists covering the rally and topless counter-protesters dressed as nuns had been roughed up. Thousands of people attended the rally, organised by the conservative Catholic group, Civitas, whose stated aim is to "re-Christianise" France.

Gay marriage protests fire up thousands in France


French opponents of same-sex marriage and adoption have staged their first major protests, rallying more than 100,000 people nationwide as police used tear gas against counter-demonstrators in one city. Wearing pink scarves and T-shirts and carrying pink balloons with the image of a man and woman holding two children's hands, demonstrators on Saturday marched against plans by the socialist government to legalise same-sex marriage and adoption.

Same-sex marriage ten years on: Lessons from Canada

Bradley Miller - The Public Discourse

The effects of same-sex civil marriage in Canada—restrictions on free speech rights, parental rights in education, and autonomy rights of religious institutions, along with a weakening of the marriage culture—provide lessons for the United States. Would recognizing same-sex relationships as marriages be much of a game-changer? What impact, if any, would it have on the public conception of marriage or the state of a nation’s marriage culture?


Australians increasingly disillusioned with federal system and national tier of government Newspoll finds

Australians are disillusioned with the federal system and are losing faith in the national tier of government, a new poll has revealed. According to the third biennial constitutional values survey, two-thirds of Australians do not believe state and federal governments are working well together, with confidence in the federal government as the most of effective level of government falling from 50 per cent in 2008 to 29 per cent. The findings, published in The Weekend Australian newspaper, also revealed 38 per cent of Australians believe the federal system is not working, as opposed to just over 30 per cent in 2008.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

Basharat Khokhar under life threats on officially escorting blasphemy accused Rimsha Masih

Pakistan Christain Post

Basharat Khokhar, a 37 years old Pakistani Christian who is employed in police department, came in limelight of national and international media on September 9, 2012, when he was captured in images of escorting blasphemy accused down syndrome minor girl Rimsha Masih from armed jail vehicle to Army helicopter in vicinity of Adiala Jail Rawalpindi. Rimsha Masih, a minor Christian girl with mental illness, resident of Mehrabad, a slum of capital city Islamabad, was arrested under section 295 B and C PPC of blasphemy law on accusation of burning pages of Quran (Holy Book of Muslims) on August 16, 2012.

Family killed in attack on Christian community in Nigeria

Christian Today

Christian Solidarity Worldwide has expressed fears for Christians in northern Nigeria after a family was killed in Kaduna State this week. The organisation reports that gunmen opened fire on the home of Yakubu Kayit in Madauchi-Zonkwa. There were reportedly five family members in the house when the gunmen set it ablaze, killing everyone inside.


The smearing of Cardinal Pell

Andrew Bolt - Herald Sun

Gerard Henderson analyses three consecutive days of uniformly hostile coverage of the Catholic Church by the ABC’s 7.30. Tuesday was probably the worst and most unprofessional.

United voice: handle our children with care

The Examiner

Can I brag about my son? He's a little legend. ``Aaah-men,'' he says at the end of our goodnight prayer, followed by ``wuv-yoo''. I can't tell you what that little utterance means to me, and what feelings of love and joy and protectiveness well up when I am reminded of his vulnerability. It's for the same reason that I join many others in expressing relief at Prime Minister Julia Gillard's announcement last week of a royal commission into child sexual abuse in Australia, focusing on institutions including the church.

Legal firms circle child abuse probe as victims could swamp royal commission

Milanda Rout - The Australian

A flood of new sexual-abuse claims against Australian religious institutions has emerged in the six days since Julia Gillard launched a royal commission, but concerns are growing that it risks becoming "unwieldy", as law firms begin advertising for victims wanting compensation.