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.



A woman's best friend

Babette Francis - On Line Opinion

On 12 July 2012 The Drum Opinion (ABC online) published an article by Jane Gleeson-White titled "My womb is not terra nullius". Jane is an author with degrees in literature and economics. In her article Jane lauded the actions of a woman known as "Anonymous" who took photos of her own abortion and published them on the internet to show the world how safe and easy it was. Jane also praised Caitlin Moran, British broadcaster, who had an abortion after having two daughters and who claimed she had no regrets.


More Thalidomide claims in the pipeline after historic victory


The company responsible for distributing the drug Thalidomide in Australia has agreed to hold negotiations with other Australian and New Zealand victims after a landmark victory for a Melbourne victim. The pledge forms part of a multi-million-dollar compensation settlement made with Thalidomide suffer, Lynette Rowe.


Children exposed to sex scenes in movies ‘will be more promiscuous and have more sexual partners’

Alex Ward - Daily Mail

Watching sex scenes in movies can make children more sexually active from a younger age, research suggests. Whether it’s Leonardo Dicaprio and Kate Winslet making love on the Titanic or Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart cuddling in bed on their vampire honeymoon in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, teenagers watching sex scenes have an increased curiosity for sex. Watching sex on screen could lead to teenagers having more sex with more partners and without using condoms, researcher Ross O’Hara from the University of Missouri said.


Educate the public and this plan might work

Elizabeth Farrelly - Sydney Morning Herald

Let's be clear. Just being endorsed by the developer, mining and business lobbies doesn't necessarily make a thing bad. But it might reasonably alert your suspicions. The NSW Minerals Council praises Brad Hazzard's planning green paper as a path to "growth, jobs and economic benefits". The Property Council calls it bold and far-reaching. The Sydney Business Chamber says it "de-risks" development.


Carbon tax compo being gambled away

Handouts to low-income workers under the carbon tax scheme have led to a surge in pokie revenues in May and June, according to The Australian Financial Review. Pokie revenues in Queensland rose more than 7 per cent in May and 12 per cent in June which coincided with the Federal Government’s handout of more than $15 billion in carbon tax compensation to pensioners and low-income earners.


Marriage leads to children - gay marriage leads to surrogacy

Michael Cook - SMH

A TV show called The New Normal will have its premiere on NBC in the US soon. It's about a gay couple and the single mother they engage to have their baby. "She's just like an easy-bake oven except with no legal rights to the cupcake," the surrogate-mother broker tells Bryan and David. This is a hard-nosed description of the woman's role in gay marriage and child-rearing, but it sums it up accurately.

It will break my son's heart to realise he hasn't got a mother, says Elton as he reveals he'd like Zachary to have a sibling

Sara Nathan - Mail Online

Since his son’s birth 18 months ago, Sir Elton John has been the epitome of the proud father. But the flamboyant star, now enjoying life as the parent of a toddler, has admitted it will be ‘heartbreaking’ for Zachary to grow up without a mother. The singer, 65, and his civil partner David Furnish, were delighted when Zachary arrived on Christmas Day 2010.


Catholic Church endorses Labor in by-election


The Catholic Church has taken the unusual step of endorsing a political party in the lead-up to Saturday's the Melbourne by-election. The Catholic Education Office, part of the Archdiocese of Melbourne, has written to families with children at Catholic schools, urging them to vote for Labor. It says the Greens have policies which would see less funding given to Catholic schools, while Labor would maintain current funding levels.

G20 summit helps seal Queensland's place in political sun

Peter Costello - SMH

Sydney and Melbourne will have to get used to growing political clout coming out of Brisbane. Queensland now has 30 seats in the House of Representatives compared with 37 for Victoria and 48 for NSW. On current polling there could be as many as 29 Queensland Liberal National members elected to the lower house at the next election. They could be the largest state bloc in the Coalition party room. With more members, they will claim more seats in the cabinet. One reason the next Coalition government will be different from the last will be the enormous sway held by the Queenslanders.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

Iran: Fears for imprisoned pastor's health

Christian Today

There are grave concerns for the health of an Iranian pastor serving time in prison for "action against the state". Pastor Benham Irani reportedly lost consciousness three days ago. He has since regained consciousness but his health is reported to be declining steadily as a result of the harsh treatment he has experienced in Ghezel Hesal Prison, in Karaj.

Islam declared as Egypt's state religion, experts unsure how far Islamic laws will be enforced upon Christians

Christian Today

The Constituent Assembly committee tasked with drafting Egypt's new constitution has revealed articles of the document, which declares that "Islam is the religion of the state" informed by Islamic Sharia principles. However, those statements seem to contradict an included provision for Christians and Jews to be governed by their own religion, according to observers.


'Hundreds will drown' unless smugglers are stopped

Simon Cullen - ABC

A former human rights commissioner has warned that hundreds - if not thousands - of asylum seekers will almost certainly drown on their way to Australia unless something is done to stop people-smuggling boats.

Sexualisation of Society

Call for Bimberi sex visits

Kathleen Dyett - ABC

A doctor at Canberra's youth detention centre says teenage detainees should be allowed conjugal visits. Dr Michael Levy says many of the detainees at the Bimberi Youth Justice Centre, who are aged between 14 and 18, are sexually active. Dr Levy says many contract sexually transmitted diseases at that age and the situation must be remedied.

When a feminist gets bumped for a pornographer

Gail Dines - Counter Punch

Last week, midway through a leisurely Saturday afternoon, I got an email from MSNBC asking me to be on the Melissa Harris Perry Show a week later (July 7th). I was delighted to accept, as MHP is not your usual American journalist. A professor of political science at Tulane University, she is an outspoken African American feminist and a progressive voice in a media landscape dominated by right-wing talking heads.

O'Farrell welcomes study on Father F

Leesha McKenny - SMH

The NSW Premier, Barry O'Farrell, has urged the Catholic Church ''to do what appears to have been lacking in past investigations'' and hand its findings into a priest's alleged sexual abuse of altar boys to police. Mr O'Farrell welcomed the church's appointment this week of retired Federal Court judge Antony Whitlam, QC, to investigate its ''processes related to the management'' of Father F, who stands accused of repeated abuse stretching back to the 1980s in Moree.


Together union lays off workers while criticising Newman Goverment's public service job cuts

Koren Helbig and Thomas Chamberlin - The Courier-Mail

The most vocal critics of the Newman Government's job cuts are quietly laying off their own workers as the state faces up to economic reality. Together union secretary, Alex Scott, the representative of public sector workers, wrote to union employees in June warning jobs in regional offices faced the axe as the group's financial position plummeted due to falling membership and decreased investment returns.

Bugs and bungling slow major internet name expansion

Julianne Pepitone - CNN

Next week, the public will get its first look at the proposed list of new Web domains in the largest-ever expansion of the Internet's naming system. We're headed way beyond .com and .org -- get ready for .google, .sex and thousands more. But you won't be clicking your way to those new sites any time soon. Expanding the Internet's domains is a slow, wildly complicated process -- and those in the trenches aren't thrilled with how it's gone so far.

Sick of paying my taxes for the ABC

James Allan - Quadrant Online

Yes, yes, yes I like to watch the ABC. But these days it’s virtually never a program that has anything to do with current affairs or politics. The ABC has such a ‘favour the left’ attitude to its reporting that it galls me. A year or two back I said as much to the managing director of the ABC, Mr. Mark Scott, whom I met at a conference. Mr. Scott was nice; he was pleasant; but he wouldn’t move from the party line that there was no political bias. Such things, he intimated, were in the eye of the beholder.

The War against Human Nature II: Gender Studies (Part 1)

Frank Salter - Quadrant Online

Gender is an obvious choice of subject for testing the acceptance of biology in the social sciences because the differences between men and women are known to have a strong biological component (more of which presently). And gender relations are increasingly important within work organisations. The trickle of women into extra-household work roles has become a flood.