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.



Today’s women: Sorry feminists, we’re not supporting abortion

Jill Stanek - LifeNews

The cover story in the January 14 issue of Time magazine has stirred a lot of conversation on both sides of the abortion aisle. In particular it has brought to the fore a generational rift within the pro-abortion movement. The article noted the rift as one of several problems the movement is facing. But in the article’s wake young feminists have apparently felt freed to launch an open revolt. According to 32-yr-old Erin Matson (pictured right, to the right of feminist icon Gloria Steinem), who has a view from the inside as a recently resigned VP of NOW, the problem is boards of “powerful, older, white, heterosexual” feminists who want to keep the power.


Mum's cry for help after her son becomes addicted to role-playing game Runescape

Petra Starke - Adelaide Now

Karen's 17-year-old son Sam stays up for 25 hours at a time, rarely washes, never cuts his hair. He's gaunt, subsisting on occasional meals of fast food, and barely talks. He's a junkie, but he's not addicted to drugs. He's addicted to Runescape. With more than 200 million registered players, Runescape is one of the world's largest free online role-playing games.

Donor Conception & Surrogacy

Parents told to destroy their IVF embryos

Laura Speranza - The Sunday Telegraph

Hundreds of healthy frozen embryos are being destroyed because patients are led to believe they are only viable for as little as five years. There are more than 120,000 frozen embryos in storage in Australia, but many IVF clinics ask patients to destroy them within five to 10 years. Some women who are having trouble conceiving have received letters telling them they have a limited time left to use their embryos even though doctors have successfully used 15-year-old specimens to create healthy children. IVF clinics base their requests to destroy embryos on government guidelines.

Drugs & Alcohol

Health curbs on alcohol mooted

Christian Kerr - The Australian

Health activists are seeking public funds to lay the groundwork for bans on alcohol advertising, minimum pricing of alcoholic drinks, restrictions on certain foods and to push the case that alcohol causes cancer.

The Lance ‘n’ Oprah show is about more than one man

Kevin Andrews - The Punch

The admission by Lance Armstrong that he used performance-enhancing drugs during his cycling career may finally lead to a comprehensive account of the widespread doping during the past two decades of the sport. Drug use has been known to cycling for decades. In the early days, some riders consumed a cocktail of amphetamines to withstand the long hours of competition, day after day, in the grand tours. But it was the discovery of Erythropoietin (EPO) in the 1980s that has cast a long shadow over cycling to this day. EPO is the hormone that regulates red blood cell production, giving the user an unfair advantage.


More WA schools become independent


WA's Education Minister Peter Collier is calling for more schools to join the State Government's independent public school program. The initiative gives state schools more control over finances and staff recruitment. Mr Collier says 255 schools will be part of the independent schools program this year and so far the feedback from the schools involved has been very positive. He says he expects that number to keep growing in the coming years.

States demand answers on education plan

Daniel Hurst - Brisbane Times

The states are demanding that Prime Minister Julia Gillard urgently spell out her signature education reforms amid fears time is running out to effectively implement the $6.5 billion in new spending on schools. Uncertainty about the Gonski reforms has been highlighted by Queensland which says it may not include any extra money in its 2013-14 budget despite Ms Gillard's desired deadline to introduce the package from the start of 2014.

For-profit schools to cash in

Esther Han - SMH

Global education companies are planning to open Australia's first for-profit schools targeting local primary and secondary students as early as next year. Fairview Global, a for-profit schools network based in Malaysia, will send scouts to Australia within six months to find potential sites, with the aim of opening two schools next year and in 2015.


Disability is not a death sentence

James M. Thunder - Mercator Net

Deaf and blind Belgian twins were euthanased at their own request in December. What would Helen Keller have advised them? It would be interesting to know if I am wrong in my assumption that most Americans know the story of Helen Keller (1880-1968). My assumption would be wrong if you are reading her story here for the first time.


Overuse of internet gaming or gambling set to be a mental illness

Natasha Bita - News Limited

Internet addiction is likely to be classified as a mental illness, as Australian psychiatrists warn teenagers and single men are getting "hooked" on online gaming. The 21st-century syndrome has been listed as a priority research field in the latest "psychiatrists' bible". The American Psychiatric Association will add "internet use disorder" to the research appendix of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) in May, after the first review in two decades.

Human Rights

Nicola Roxon's laws 'can ensnare everyone'

Milanda Rout - The Australian

Legal experts have questioned whether Labor's draft anti-discrimination laws are constitutional, arguing the expansion of federal powers is a step too far into community life that will ensnare students, parents, employees and even sports spectators. As the Senate inquiry into the bill prepares to hold its first hearings this week, constitutional law professors Nicholas Aroney of the University of Queensland and Patrick Parkinson of the University of Sydney say it could also fall foul of our international obligations and may lead to successful court challenges.

Free speech dogged by politics of difference

Paul Sheehan - Sydney Morning Herald

The obvious question is, what are they afraid of? Is it fear of violence, or vandalism, or simply fear of association? Debbie Robinson, a small business operator who describes herself as an ordinary citizen, wants to bring to Australia a Dutch political leader who is a supporter of democracy, freedom of religion, feminism and gay rights. But when she started making arrangements all she encountered was fear. In Sydney, venues that were initially available were cancelled or would not take the booking when they realised who the speaker was,'' she told me.


Private sector closing jobs gap as indigenous work rises

Patricia Karvelas - The Australian

Bold policies to close the gap between black and white Australia in employment are working, with new data revealing that employment growth for Aborigines has increased dramatically, mainly in remote areas via the private sector. A paper to be released by the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research at the Australian National University offers the first major analysis of the nation's closing the gap strategy, demonstrating that between 2006 and 2011, the employment rate increased by 13 per cent in remote areas and 3 per cent in non-remote areas for the nation's first people.


Gay marriage to see crime rise: NZ leader


Garth McVicar, a spokesman for New Zealand's crime victims' rights group Sensible Sentencing Trust, has stirred up the gay marriage debate by linking gay marriage to crime. Mr McVicar says a pro-gay marriage bill currently before the country's parliament is a further erosion of what he considers to be basic values and morals. The submission, made on December 10, is in his name.

A new voice for marriage equality

Sydney Star Observer

A tumultuous year in 2012 for the LGBTI community around the country and especially in Queensland was reason enough for Brisbane rights advocate Chad St James to create something that could galvanise the community in the face of growing adversity. Disappointed at the state of the marriage equality debate in Australia where several pieces of federal and state legislation to gain equal rights were defeated and moves made in Queensland by the conservative Liberal National Party government to wind back civil unions and defund the state’s only gay men’s health organisation, St James decided to put his efforts into making a documentary that the LGBTI community could rally behind and the broader population could learn from.


Swan on track to lose seat, poll shows


Wayne Swan is on track to lose his seat at the next federal election, a poll indicates. The ReachTEL telephone poll was commissioned by the union United Voice and surveyed 511 residents in the Treasurer's north Brisbane electorate of Lilley on Thursday. According to ReachTEL, 45.2 per cent of respondents said they would vote for the Liberal-National Party candidate, Rod McGarvie, while 38 per cent said they would vote for Labor and Mr Swan. Just over 45 per cent of respondents (45.1 per cent) said their opinion of the Treasurer was unfavourable, compared with 34.1 per cent who said they had a favourable view of him.

Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Single mums turn to brothels and stripping


Some single mothers hit by recent welfare cuts to parenting payments have turned to prostitution and strip clubs in order to keep a roof over their family's head. The payment cuts came in at the start of 2013 and affect 84,000 single parents, mostly mothers who received parenting payments. The majority have been shifted onto the Newstart unemployment allowance when their youngest child turns eight.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

Endangered religious freedom day?

Ken Blackwell and Bob Morrison - American Thinker

January 16th is observed as Religious Freedom Day in America. On this day in 1786, the General Assembly in Richmond passed the sweeping Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom. First proposed by Thomas Jefferson in 1779, it was Jefferson 's most loyal lieutenant, James Madison, who shepherded this vital measu e through the lawmaking process. Today, we find religious freedom in grave jeopardy. Obviously, the HHS Mandate that forces Christians to subsidize abortion-producing drugs is the clearest example. There is an avalanche of others. Last August, our organization, Family Research Council, partnered with the Liberty Institute to release a report on the growing threat of religious hostility from government action.

'We're only after the Christians...' Minutes later a Briton lay dead: Terrifying moment gas plant gunmen rounded up non-Muslims and strapped explosives to their necks

Anna Edwards - Daily Mail

A British security guard was murdered in cold blood just minutes into the siege at the Algerian gas plant, an IT worker caught up in the hostage crisis has told The Mail on Sunday. The Algerian employee, who managed to escape, has given the most detailed account so far of how Islamist terrorists rounded up foreign workers during the four-day stand-off and placed explosives round their necks. Following his escape, the IT worker contacted a friend who remained in the camp and witnessed yesterday’s final onslaught by Algerian troops.

'I am told I will hang for my faith in Jesus': American pastor faces death sentence in Iran

Robert Tait - UK Telegraph

Saeed Abedini, 32, who is Iranian born, is expected to go on trial next week before a revolutionary tribunal in Tehran in a hearing presided over by a judge blacklisted by the European Union for handing down harsh verdicts. US officials have already voiced concerns over the fate of Mr Abedini, who has been held in custody since July 2011 after being arrested while on a visit to Iran from America.

Sexualisation of Society

The corruption of a generation: A renowned psychologist argues that our daughters are facing an unprecedented crisis... sexualisiation from primary school age

Steve Biddulph - UK Daily Mail

These days, there’s a new grumble among women who ply the so-called oldest profession in the world. Their clients, they say, are finding it increasingly hard to identify them. Why? Because ordinary 17-year-old girls are dressing just like prostitutes. The streetwalkers aren’t the only ones complaining, of course. Many middle-class parents watch with horror as their little darlings succumb to today’s hyper-sexualised culture, with its sinister diktats on how ordinary teenagers should look and behave. Sexualisation — the forcing of a sexual identity onto a child — was a term originally applied in cases of child sex abuse. Today, it’s a problem that’s seen in every primary school, and few girls escape it.