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.



Judge blocks Arkansas abortion ban—for now

Associated Press

A federal judge granted a request today to temporarily block enforcement of a new Arkansas law that bans most abortions 12 weeks into a pregnancy. District Judge Susan Webber Wright granted a motion for preliminary injunction in a lawsuit that the ACLU of Arkansas and the Center for Reproductive Rights brought on behalf of two Little Rock abortion providers. Today's decision means the ban, which was set to take effect in August, can't be enforced while the lawsuit is pending. A decision about the law's constitutionality is expected later.

Children & Family

World Congress of Families 7

Bill Muehlenberg - CultureWatch

The latest gathering of the premier international family convention has just finished in Sydney, Australia, and it was a raging success. The WCF has become the most important event on the pro-family calendar, and the latest meeting just finished again demonstrates why this is such an invaluable gathering. Started by American social commentator and family expert Dr Allan Carlson, the Congress was first held in Prague in 1997. Five other major events were held between that initial congress and the one just completed. Geneva, Mexico City, Warsaw, Amsterdam and Madrid were the venues, and a number of regional conferences have also been held.

World Congress of Families 2013

Tamara Rajakariar - Mercator Net

Over the weekend, I was able to attend the last day of the seventh World Congress of Families. Founded in the late nineties, the congress seeks to respond to the anti-family modes of thought that dominate the West with a coming together of international pro-family organisations and activists.

Donor Conception & Surrogacy

No child support if dad is anonymous sperm donor

The Local

The German state will not pay to support a child if its father was an anonymous sperm donor, a court ruled this week. A woman who became pregnant using an anonymous sperm donation in Denmark, was refused child support by the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig on Thursday - because there was no conceivable way the state would get its money back. The law says that the boy, born in 2005, has a right to financial support because the father is not paying his share. But the court said that the basis of this concept was that the state support was an advance payment of money which would later be demanded from the father.

Drugs & Alcohol

$43m of meth disguised as hair products: Customs


Customs officers in NSW have seized 72 litres of liquid methamphetamine disguised as shampoo and hair dye with a street value of up to $43 million and arrested two men. Customs officers intercepted the liquid in a consignment of hairdressing equipment imported from China last weekend. They detected the methamphetamine after X-raying a pallet of shampoo, conditioner and hair colouring products.

AFL figures reveal huge rise in positive illicit drug tests

Rebecca Williams - Herald Sun

AFL boss Andrew Demetriou says the rule allowing players to self-report illicit drug use has saved at least two lives. The AFL yesterday revealed 26 players tested positive to illicit substances in 2012, a sharp rise from six the previous year. AFL medical director Dr Peter Harcourt said a "similar number" of players had also self-reported.

Who will accept the anti-doping challenge first?

Wayne Goldsmith - ABC

The fall in the use of alcohol by footballers has seen a rise in the use of social drugs. Only when individual clubs take a hard stand on this will the situation change, writes Wayne Goldsmith. The issue of social drug use in professional football is huge - far bigger and far more insidious than anyone is prepared to admit. And not nearly enough is being done about it.


How legal euthanasia changed Belgium for ever

Tom Mortier and Steven Bieseman - Mercator Net

The ideology of absolute self-determination has become sacred and unquestionable. In 2002, Belgium became the second country in the world after its neighbour, The Netherlands, to legalise euthanasia. Over the next decade our country has become a living laboratory for radical social change. With many other countries debating legalisation at the moment, now is a good moment to stand back and take a good long look at the results.


Gaming habits are learnt early

Jason Dowling - SMH

One in four teenagers has played a gambling-style video game, leading to warnings game play could translate into gambling with real money. New research, which surveyed 1200 young people aged between 13 and 17, found about 25 per cent reported to have once gambled in a video game, about 9 per cent had played gambling games through social media.

NRL walks away from reported $50m sponsorship deal with bookie Tom Waterhouse

Marian Wilkinson - ABC

Negotiations for bookmaker Tom Waterhouse to become an official sponsor of the National Rugby League (NRL) have broken down, with both parties walking away from the proposed deal. "We failed to reach agreement around terms with Tom Waterhouse," the NRL's general manager for strategy, Shane Mattiske, has told the ABC's Four Corners program in an interview to be broadcast tonight.


From anxiety to Asperger’s, how the DSM is redefining disorders

Wes Mountain - Crikey

The “bible” for mental health disorders is getting a much-needed update. It could reshape diagnosis and treatment for many sufferers, and not everyone is happy, writes Wes Mountain at The Citizen. The DSM-5, the latest revision of the “bible” of mental health disorders, will be issued within days. It’s been 13 years since the last update, and it could have a significant impact on the diagnosis, treatment and funding of a number of currently recognised mental health disorders, from addiction to Asperger’s. But not everyone is happy about it. The DSM is shorthand for the solemnly titled Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the framework psychiatrists and others in the mental health profession use to diagnose disorders and psychiatric conditions.


Job feud lifts lid on 'chaos' in Greens

Chris Johnson - SMH

Greens leader Christine Milne is being accused of running a dysfunctional office and allowing a culture of intimidation, after the sudden resignation of a highly regarded senior employee. Alexandra Lamb, a media adviser to Senator Milne, quit her job last Sunday after professional clashes with the party's new communications director, Georgie Klug. Ms Lamb was given half an hour to leave her Parliament House office after her resignation. The incident highlighted a culture of tension and mistrust inside the balance-of-power party. Sources say a ''bitter, petty and nasty'' process was put in train to force Ms Lamb's resignation and was indicative of measures used against other staff.

Sheikh, go figure

Christian Kerr - The Australian

Fears are running high in the nation's capital over the numeracy skills of ACT Greens Senate candidate Simon Sheikh. Sheikh, the former madam of left-wing cause bordello GetUp!, has already been befuddled by questions on how many years he spent as a Labor Party member, insisting it was first only one, then two, when the records say four. Now, an email to his supporters points to an even more poignant perturbation with arithmetic. Sheikh claims the Liberals won their ACT Senate spot at the last poll "by only 38 votes".

Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

US seeking to stamp out 'evil' of human trafficking


Hundreds of people were arrested in the United States in 2012 as authorities crack down on "the evil" of human trafficking, US officials said Friday, warning modern-day slaves could be hidden in any neighborhood. Around the world some 27 million people, including women and girls, are the victims of trafficking, US Secretary of State John Kerry said as he chaired an inter-agency White House meeting on trafficking.

South Melbourne brothel expansion in clash with council's structure plan says VCAT

Dana McCauley - Herald Sun

A licensed brothel 200m from the South Melbourne site earmarked for a new state primary school has lost its VCAT bid to expand. Pleasuredome owner Ivan Gneil sought VCAT approval to use the property next door as part of his Gladstone St brothel, after council officers discovered he had installed a connecting door between the two properties. Mr Gneil said he spent a year and a half and $200,000 fighting the council at VCAT, seeking to use the second building for storage, administration and staff facilities.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

Two Christian churches in Egypt attacked by Muslims this week


The escalation of Muslim attacks on Christian churches in Egypt continues unabated. This week two attacks were carried out, one in Alexandria and one in Menbal in Upper Egypt -- both allegedly prompted by harassment of Muslim women. Yesterday the church of St. Mary, in the Dakhela district, west of Alexandria, was attacked by Molotov cocktails and bricks, causing the gate to burn and the breaking of most of the stained glass windows. One Copt was killed and several injured.

Islam could become dominant UK religion in 10 years

JohnThomas Didymus - Digital Journal

According to a new analysis of 2011 UK census, one in 10 people under 25 are Muslim, Christianity is declining 50 percent faster than previously thought and in 10 years Islam may become the dominant religion with only a minority identifying as Christian.

Sexualisation of Society

'Betrayed': top dance coach arrested

Nick Ralston, Melanie Kembrey, Tim Barlass, Megan Gorrey - SMH

For almost a decade thousands of parents trusted prominent Sydney dance teacher Grant Davies as he told them he could make their children famous. But for almost the entire time Mr Davies operated his RG Dance studio in the city's inner west, police claim he was taking naked photographs of female students.


Twitter, Facebook ticket inspector warnings for fare evaders

Luke Henriques - Herald Sun

Thousands of Melbourne fare evaders are dodging ticket inspectors with the help of social media snitches that track their whereabouts. More than 4700 people have liked a Facebook page that posts the whereabouts of inspectors and encourages others to do the same.

EU shows how to do a dodgy survey

Anne Fleck - Mercator Net

The EU's largest-ever survey of hate crimes and discrimination against LGBT people claims that they labour under a terrible burden. But the figures don’t support the conclusions.