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.



Dangerous effects of RU486 being ignored by Parliament as those advocating for right to life labelled ‘anti-women’

Ben Williams - International News

The Australian Christian Lobby has renewed its call for the evidence about the harms to women of the chemical abortion drug RU486 to be considered in light of a speech being made by Health Minister Tanya Plibersek today promoting the drug.

Children & Family

Judge imposes jail for domestic violence

Candice Marcus - ABC

A woman has been jailed for a minimum of nine months and a man for seven years in two domestic violence cases in South Australia. The woman stabbed her partner in self-defence during an argument. Catherine Therese Collyer, 49, cried as she was led into custody, after learning her sentence of three years and nine months would not be suspended.


The Sext Files: Christian lobby wants tougher laws to protect children

Karlee Ventre - Crikey

Many young people think sexting is acceptable because they are surrounded by pornography every day, says the Australian Christian Lobby. The Victorian director of the ACL, Daniel Flynn, told Crikey: “Young people are in an environment where they are bombarded with pornography on television, outdoor advertising and in movies. So the sending of a sexualised image doesn’t seem like an inappropriate thing to do. What makes a difference now, is that these images can be circulated at the speed of light, and the breadth of distribution is what makes them most damaging.”

Secret proposals threaten the end to a free, open internet


It is the "most important meeting you've never heard of" — a behind-closed-doors battle for control of the internet that one of the web's founders fears may "put government handcuffs on the net". The International Telecommunications Union (ITU), a United Nations organisation representing 193 countries, is reviewing international agreements governing telecommunications with a view to expanding its regulatory authority over the internet.

More regulation only way to stop social networks learning more than we wish, says researcher

Loek Essers - IDG News Service

Online social networks are gathering information about their users that those people never intended to disclose, and government regulation may be the only way to stop the practise, a researcher said Tuesday. People deliberately disclose a great deal of their personal data to social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn already -- but the networks can use that information, and data about users' online behavior, to infer even more, allowing them to build extensive user profiles, said Christian Zimmermann, a researcher at the University of Freiburg in Germany, at the Amsterdam Privacy Conference.


Would you ever tell your mate to 'suck it up'?

Chris Paine -

Today is World Mental Health Day and six Australians will take their own lives, as they do every day. It's a brutal, honest statistic that reflects one of our country's great tragedies: suicide. But if your friend or loved one is going through a rough patch, what do you tell them? What can you tell them?

Don’t sweep mental health issues under the carpet

Concetta Fierravanti-Wells - The Punch

Mental health is a far greater problem than we realise. According to the 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing, 368,100 Australians had contemplated suicide in the 12 months prior to the survey interview. Of those, almost three-quarters had had a 12-month mental disorder. Yet, according to ABS statistics, there were 1,881 suicide deaths reported in 2007 of which 72 per cent were males. Today six Australians will tragically take their own life and chillingly, more than 200 will make a suicide attempt. Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 44, women under 34 and currently ranks 15th in the overall causes of death in Australia.

Human Rights

Comment: Anti-blasphemy laws 'won't work in Australia'

David Tittensor - SBS

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), a peak body for Islamic countries which comprises 56 member states, has renewed its call for the need of anti-blasphemy laws. But David Tittensor from La Trobe University says they wouldn't work in Australia. In the wake of the violence sparked around the world by the anti-Islam video entitled Innocence of Muslims, the debate about the need for anti-blasphemy laws has re-emerged.


Cape York police say alcohol management plans represent missed opportunity in indigenous communities

Melanie Petrinec - The Cairns Post

Alcohol Management Plans have represented a missed opportunity to create jobs in indigenous communities and a long-term exit strategy is needed, a senior Cape York police officer has told an inquiry. Sen-Sgt Brendon McMahon gave evidence at a Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry hearing at Aurukun yesterday and said while he supported the bans, he also thought they needed to evolve beyond prohibition.

Overseas Aid

AusAID defends human rights concerns over Cambodian railways project

Ilya Gridneff - SMH

It was the $145 million project planned to connect the fragile and debilitated railways of Cambodia. But this week, two years into the embattled scheme, a raft of non-government organisations, 30 Cambodian families and the Human Rights Law Centre filed a complaint with the Australian Human Rights Commission over what they say are breaches of basic human rights.


Politicians at war losing our respect

The Daily Telegraph

Tuesaday was a dark day for federal politics. Even by the appalling new lows we've become used to, the standard of debate and behaviour in our nation's parliament has been especially farcical and sad. The Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader each claim to be victims of the other, yet neither has the discipline or decency not to stoop to the other's level. Tony Abbott employs a horrible phrase against Julia Gillard - at least horrible in its context now - and she rightly cries foul play.

Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Man who posed as female escort agency owner jailed

Mark Russell - The Age

A man who lured six young women into having sex with him after posing as the female owner of a boutique escort agency was today jailed for at least five years. County Court judge Mark Gamble said the case reinforced fears that the internet was "a dangerous place for the unwary". The judge said the six victims aged between 16 and 20 had shown a remarkable degree of naivety by placing their trust in Steve Onnis, who had gone to great lengths to ensnare the women.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

Pakistan: 24-year old Christian abducted, forced to convert to Islam and marry her abuser

Shafique Khokhar - Asia News

Seized at dawn, forced to endure sexual abuse and to marry the young Muslim man who abducted her with the help of his family and convert to Islam. This is the dramatic story of Shumaila Bibi, a 24-year old Christian who worked in Nishatabad, a suburb of Faisalabad (Pakistan), in a textile company. The future of Sumaila is hanging by a thread and will depend on the decisions of the justice of Pakistan, who on more than one occasion have failed to protect the rights of religious minorities in the country.


Greens move to end indefinite detention


The Australian Greens have introduced a bill to the Senate designed to remove a legal loophole which allows the indefinite detention of asylum seekers deemed to be security risks. The High Court ruled last week asylum seekers given adverse security assessments by the Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) could still be granted a refugee visa.


Californian pastor rebukes 'passive, coward' churches for avoiding hot button issues

Lillian Kwon - Christian Post

Pastor Shane Idleman is all too aware of the moral decline he sees in the United States and he's speaking out about it. But what irritates him is the cowardice he finds in many churches when it comes to tackling "hot button" issues.

$40 million: that's a fine mess we're in

David Nankervis - Adelaide Now

More than $40 million worth of court imposed fines over a 12 month period were not paid, new South Australian figures show. That accounts for almost a third of the $122 million worth of fines imposed in the 12 months to June, for offences such as breaking the speed limit, running a red light and possession of illegal drugs. Family First MLC Dennis Hood, who obtained the figures, said the tens of millions of dollars owing were either "`written off" or accumulated year after year.