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

Warring parents use family restaurants as neutral territory for access to children

Ainsley Pavey - The Sunday Mail (Qld)

Hundreds of children are "parent swapping" at McDonald's restaurants around the country each week as warring couples seek neutral territory for access to their children. The practice, which is flourishing under the nation's 50-50 shared parenting regime, is deemed "acceptable" by the Family Court hierarchy as demand soars for secure contact centres. But counsellors, academics and children's and women's advocates fear a bystander could be caught in the crossfire of a violent relationship breakup during a McDonald's handover.


Lollipop Chainsaw: sweet and sour


Former undertaker turned rockstar developer Goichi Suda certainly never makes a dull game. But for every wonderfully creative idea he adds to his eccentric portfolio, the Japanese auteur invariably includes something that tests a player's resolve. Lollipop Chainsaw is another oddity that will divide players. Many will be left wondering whether it is shamelessly exploitative or just cheeky parody. You're certainly not meant to take it seriously, but the relentless barrage of flesh flashing and sex jokes can make for some uncomfortable moments.

Drugs & Alcohol

Grant Hackett admits to popping ‘evil' Stilnox

Neil Breen - Sunday Herald Sun

Multiple Olympic champion Grant Hackett battled a "heavy reliance" on the controversial sleeping pill Stilnox towards the end of his glittering swimming career. The besieged Hackett, who is battling to salvage his reputation following his ugly split from wife Candice Alley, began using the pills when they were administered to him by swimming officials at meets, including the Olympic Games.

Cops crack down on drugs central

Jon Kaila - Sunday Herald Sun

A tough new cop has declared the biggest crackdown on Victoria's heroin capital. Senior-Sergeant Ciaran Boyle is spearheading a war against drug dealers and users in the most robust approach ever seen in Richmond. The recently appointed station commander has vowed to "rid the scourge", saying drugs "underpins all crime" in the suburb.


Giving up on God in our classrooms

Yasmine Phillips - The Sunday Times

Only one in five public primary schools in WA now offers scripture lessons to students. Some public schools are offering religion only as a lunchtime or after-school option and others do not have any form of religious education at school. Across the state, 124 out of 538 public primary schools allow authorised volunteers from particular churches to take the lessons.


Homeless run up $100 million hotel bill

James Robertson - SMH

The NSW government has spent $100 million on hotel rooms for homeless people since 2000, as public housing declines and shelters turn away those in need. A Sun-Herald investigation has obtained documents under freedom-of-information laws that show the program's rapidly multiplying budget reached $27 million last financial year, up from $3 million in 2000.


Mental health needs high for indigenous


Mental health services for Aboriginal people in custody need to be developed urgently, according to a study that found most Queensland indigenous inmates suffered from a mental illness. The Queensland Forensic Mental Health Services study of 419 indigenous men and women from six high-security prisons found that about 73 per cent of men and 86 per cent of women had a mental health disorder.


Newman stamps his mark

Kym Agius, Gabrielle Dunlevy - SMH

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman addresses the Liberal Party's 56th Federal council meeting in Melbourne. It has taken only 100 days for Campbell Newman to put his authoritative, conservative and frugal imprint on Queensland. As he did during the election campaign, the Premier has stuck doggedly to a plan to reshape the state in 100 days, according to new priorities.

All Qld Labor MPs could go: Newspoll

All of Queensland's federal Labor MPs, including Kevin Rudd and Treasurer Wayne Swan, would be tossed out if an election were held now, according to the latest Newspoll state-by-state analysis. The Australian said that if Labor was hoping the defeat of Anna Bligh's Queensland government in March would quell some of the anger against Julia Gillard's federal government then they had better think again.

Support for carbon tax dives as politicians brawl


A new poll says support for the carbon tax has fallen to a record low. The Nielsen poll, published in today's Fairfax papers, says two thirds of Australians do not support the tax, which came into effect on Sunday.

Sydney, Catholics dominate Coalition

Frank O'Shea - SMH

One of the rules of public discourse is that we are not allowed to be divisive. We must not criticise a business leader simply because that person is from divided South Africa or broken Ireland; apart from an occasional slip into bad manners (''Bob's bitch'', ''Ju-liar'', ''Ditch the Bitch'') we must stay well away from denigration of a political leader on the basis of gender; and under penalty of a ton of self-righteous bricks on our head we never mention religion, especially one of the Middle Eastern varieties.

Low expectations are easily met

Peter Hartcher – SMH

What does it say about a country when nearly 90 per cent of the people's hopes of their leaders are hugely disappointed on an important matter, yet the leaders' approval ratings do not budge? It tells us that the country has such low expectations of its leaders that when they fail spectacularly, the people are not surprised in the least. This is a picture of a country in a state of despondency about its leadership. And not just with one side of politics but with both.

Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

New sex laws will fail: academic

Jane Hammond - The West Australian

State Government plans to get brothels out of the suburbs are doomed to fail and will most likely push the sex industry further underground, a leading urban planning academic said yesterday. Senior lecturer in regional and urban planning at the University of WA, Paul Maginn, said the sex industry was highly adaptable and Government attempts to legislate to move it out of suburbia were ill-conceived.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

Gunmen kill 16 in Kenyan churches

The Australian

Gunmen killed 16 people and wounded dozens when they opened fire and hurled grenades into two churches in the eastern Kenyan town of Garissa yesterday, the latest in a string of attacks. In apparently co-ordinated attacks, they burst into churches targeting worshippers as they held Sunday prayer services in Garissa, 140km from the border with war-torn Somalia. The attackers escaped.

Egypt Christians ‘killed’ after election Morsi

Stefan Bos - BosNewsLife

Native Christian missionaries in Egypt remained concerned Saturday, June 30, saying at least two fellow believers were killed by suspected Islamists since Mohammed Morsi was declared the country's president.


Combet attacks Greens on refugees

Ross Peake - The Canberra Times

A federal cabinet minister has directly criticised the Greens, Labor's minority government partners, for blocking legislation to allow asylum seekers to be sent to another country. ''I am totally disgusted by the position that [Opposition Leader] Tony Abbott and the Greens took in the Senate to defeat that bill, because it leaves us in a position of not being able to prevent more people being killed at sea in these boats,'' Climate Change Minister Greg Combet said yesterday.