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

When hyphen boy meets hyphen girl, names pile up

Tovia Smith - NPR

Those born at the height of the name-hyphenating craze will be the first to tell you — having two last names can be more trouble than it's worth. There's the perennial confusion at school and at the doctor's office, and the challenge of squeezing your name onto forms. And now that the hyphenated generation is marrying and parenting, a whole host of new tricky situations has emerged.

Living with foster parents since she was 36 hours old, two-year-old could soon be forced to leave only family she knows

Renee Viellaris - The Sunday Mail

A little girl cherished by her "mum and dad" has been ordered to leave the only family she knows and live with strangers. In a few short weeks, bureaucrats will force this loving family to separate, and will break the heart of a girl they are meant to protect.


A shadow cast on Hollywood

Alex Pham, Steven Zeitchik, Ben Fritz - SMH

The mass shooting at a Dark Knight Rises screening has Hollywood quietly squirming. Despite the entertainment industry's famously liberal leanings, violent content has long been its stock in trade - leading creators of movies, TV shows and video games to contemplate what role, if any, their work may have played in the violence. ''Like every person who works in movies and is following this event, I'm asking myself what are we responsible for, if anything,'' said Rob Cohen, a director-producer of edgy films such as XXX, Stealth and the coming Alex Cross.

Drugs & Alcohol

'Time to consider raising the drinking age' - top health expert

Tory Shepherd -

Increasing the drinking age is just one tough measure that would help curb random violence, according to a top health expert who says the time for "soft actions" is over. Professor Mike Daube says the US, which has a legal drinking age of 21, shows it can be done and it works, but adds that it’s “unlikely to happen” here, because many voters and the drinking industry would be vehemently opposed.


Swedish high school student fails bio class for saying homosexuality ‘abnormal’

Angela O'Brien - LifeSiteNews

A Swedish high-school student recently failed a biology class for saying that homosexuality is abnormal, according to Swedish national news-site, The site reports that a grade 8 student at Nynäshamn Highschool in Stockholm County, Sweden, expressed the opinion that homosexuality was “onormalt” — literally “abnormal” — and, as a result, received a failing grade.


Climate results turn sceptic: 'let the evidence change our minds'

Leo Hickman - SMH

The Earth's land has warmed by 1.5 degrees Celsius in the past 250 years and ''humans are almost entirely the cause'', according to a scientific study set up to address climate sceptic concerns about whether human-induced global warming is occurring. Richard Muller, a climate sceptic physicist who founded the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) project, said he was ''surprised'' by the findings. ''We were not expecting this, but as scientists, it is our duty to let the evidence change our minds.''


Call for betting limits as poor lose more

Rachel Wells and Adam Cooper - The Age

Victorians lost at least an extra $30 million on the pokies last financial year, blowing more than $2.68 billion. The heavy losses were the second-highest in Victoria in more than a decade and it was once again punters in Melbourne's poorest suburbs that racked up some of the biggest losses in the state, prompting problem gambling campaigners to call for tough reforms including $1 bet limits and a compulsory pre-commitment system.


Exercising a democratic right

The Australian

Among its "reasons why marriage equality matters", the Australian Marriage Equality lobby group lists "growing support in Australia and around the world" - an argument that implies public opinion deserves to be respected. But, unfortunately, the group showed scant respect for the democratic process when it slammed Immigration Minister Chris Bowen for declaring he would vote against same-sex marriage. Mr Bowen, quite reasonably, is basing his decision on the fact that the Labor Party went to the 2010 election with a policy of retaining the status quo. He believes that his vote should reflect the "overwhelming and strong community view" of his western Sydney electorate of McMahon, in which many people have told him of "the great importance they place on the traditional definition of marriage".

Kramer vs. Kramer vs. Kramer How does polygamous divorce work?

Brian Palmer - Slate

The polygamous stars of the reality television series Sister Wives headed to court on Wednesday to challenge Utah’s ban on plural marriage. Kody Brown is legally married to his first wife, Meri, but his three other relationships are spiritual marriages only. What happens if one of the spiritual wives wants out? Do plural wives have legal rights?

Same-sex bill may hit Greens hurdle

David McLennan - Canberra Times

The ACT Greens are considering blocking proposed improvements to same-sex civil unions, fearing they could undercut national efforts for marriage equality. The ACT government will bring forward debate of its legislation to effectively reinstate its original civil union laws, which were overturned in 2006 by the Liberal federal government, who said they were too similar to marriage.

Boston Mayor backs off attempt to block Chick-fil-A: ‘I make mistakes’; Dodson didn’t influence decision

Matt Pitchford - Daily Caller

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino has stepped back from his threat to block Chick-Fil-A from opening a new store in the city. His announcement comes a day after Antoine Dodson shared his definitive opinion about the controversy via YouTube. According to the Boston Herald, Menino said, “I can’t do that. That would be interference to his rights to go there,” referring to company president Dan Cathy, who drew the mayor’s wrath by going public with his views against same-sex marriage.

Protesters spoil Chick-Fil-A opening

Kevin Spak - Newser

Fast food lovers had camped out all night for the grand opening of a Chick-fil-A in Laguna Hills, California, but their plans were foiled this morning as gay rights protesters descended on the restaurant, and company management made everyone disperse, NBC San Diego reports. The chicken chain has suddenly become America's most controversial eatery after its president declared its opposition to same-sex marriage.


No, Minister. That's not quite how the rules on accepting gifts should work

Steven Wardill - The Courier-Mail

More than a third of the members of Campbell Newman's Cabinet have been caught wrongly accepting gifts and other gratuity. The Courier-Mail can reveal seven ministers have listed gifts valued at more than $500 on Parliament's pecuniary interest register.

Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Hell de Jour: The sex trade and its advocates

Tony Mckenna - Huffington Post

In a recent article for the Huffington Post, comedian Chris Dangerfield provides a new spin on an old argument regarding the sex trade. The argument is a familiar one: prostitutes are exploited but hey that's okay - because so are billions of other people. There is, he claims, no difference between the exploitation of a prostitute and that of a person working in Tesco stacking shelves for 12 hours a day. Is he correct when he says that the exploitation of a prostitute is no different from the exploitation of a shelve stacker? And how might we test the claim?

Religious Freedom & Persecution

Syrian Christians in Damascus and Aleppo are terrified of being targeted and driven away

Chaldean Bishop Antoine Audo SJ of Aleppo said the Church was frightened of a repeat of the catastrophe in Homs in the spring when the Christian quarter came under fire, forcing a mass exodus of almost all of the faithful – more than 120,000. The bishop reported that as conflict deepened in Aleppo and Damascus, people were turning to him, desperate for help after leaving their homes and all their belongings and fleeing for safer towns and villages.

Sexualisation of Society

Child exploitation: The horror, the horror

Lainie Anderson - The Punch

Back in January, SA Police established a special internet child exploitation unit to tackle the rise in internet predators and the growing trade in sexual images involving children. To date, the unit has made 21 apprehensions and is investigating another 68 cases. (This often means they’re ploughing through seized computer hard drives for images – one hard drive a few weeks back contained 1.2 million photos.)


Now you can 'print' guns at home

News Limited Network

A fully operational pistol and assault rifle have been "printed" from plans posted on the Internet. Australian Popular Science reports an amateur gunsmith using the name "HaveBlue" has made a fully operational 0.22 caliber pistol and parts of an AR-15 assault rifle.

Cheapie imports force farmers to walk away

Samantha Townsend - The Daily Telegraph

At least one farmer a week is packing up and quitting the land as a direct result of cheap imported products flooding the market and undercutting their livelihoods. And industry experts fear that number is likely to increase because farmers are already selling produce for less than the cost of production.