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.



Pro-life supporters hold annual rally at parliament


More than 850 people gathered on the front steps of State Parliament last night as part of an annual protest against Western Australia's abortion laws. Men, women and children held candles as they listened to a range of speakers, including Labor frontbenchers Margaret Quirk and Michelle Roberts and Liberal MP Peter Abetz.

Who or what is a “child”?

Margaret Somerville - Mercator Net

Canada's Parliament lacks the courage to take a stand on defining when an unborn child will be protected by the law. “While cleaning a recently vacated apartment, a building superintendent discovered on the balcony a bag containing the remains of a human baby,” reads a Supreme Court decision from earlier this month.

Inhuman: Undercover in America's late-term abortion industry

Family Research Council

Live Action's new video series, exposing America's late-term abortion industry. Speakers include: - Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council - Lila Rose, President, Live Action - Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) - Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.)

Children & Family

Deprivation worsening among single parents, report reveals

Shane Green - Brisbane Times

A bleak picture of disadvantage among single parents forced onto Newstart has emerged, with a new Salvation Army report finding the contentious policy has compounded levels of deprivation. The survey of 2705 people who used the organisation's emergency relief services in March highlighted the impact of the Gillard government's decision to shift 84,000 single parents on to the lower-paying Newstart allowance.

Childcare, schools lead rise in cost of raising children

Stephanie Peatling - SMH

The cost of raising children has risen 50 per cent in the past five years with a middle-income family now spending $812,000 on two children, new modelling shows. In 2007, the same family spent $537,000 on children from the time they were born until they left home. The jump in cost largely comes from increased childcare and education costs.

Many families and individuals desperately trying to hold on

Chip Le Grand - The Australian

Families are living in a "virtual prison of poverty", unable to pay for dental treatment, prescription medication, school books, clothes and excursions, a national survey of Australia's poor has found. The bleak snapshot of life beneath the poverty line contained within a Salvation Army survey also confirms the impact federal government changes to parenting payments have had on single mothers now forced to subsist on unemployment benefits.


Catholic ire over 'poor' Gonski forecasts

Dennis Shanahan - The Australian

In the first major show of opposition to the Gillard government's Gonski reforms, the Catholic Education Commission has strongly objected to the proposed funding changes because they use "poor or imprecise measures" and do not provide any certainty of funding to non-government schools.


Suicide contagion is real

Wesley J. Smith - National Review

That suicide is contagious is a widely held–and controversial–theory. A groundbreaking new study co-authored by a University of Ottawa researchers has found that teens who know of a schoolmate who died of suicide are far more likely to think about or attempt suicide than those with no “exposure.” ”It’s solid evidence that supports a theory that has been around for a long time–that suicide contagion is real,” says Dr. Ian Colman, Canada Research Chair in Mental Health Epidemiology at the University of Ottawa, who wrote the paper with Sonja Swanson of the Harvard School of Public Health. “I hope schools and school boards take it seriously.”


Tom Waterhouse is ruining industry, betting rival says

Heath Aston - SMH

Australia's biggest corporate bookmaker, Sportingbet, has backed calls for a complete ban on the spruiking of live odds in sports broadcasts and launched a withering attack on Tom Waterhouse. Sportingbet joined market leader Tabcorp in voicing concern at the damage being done to the gambling industry by the growing public outrage at the intrusion of betting into football coverage.

Students need gambling education: academic

Richard Willingham - The Age

Teaching students the dangers of gambling, in the same manner as alcohol, drugs and unsafe sex, is crucial with the boom in betting and easy access to online gambling, an international expert has warned. Canadian academic Jeffrey Derevensky, of McGill University's International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviours, said gambling should be treated like other teen issues in education.

Human Rights

More Afghan women jailed for moral crimes


The number of women jailed in Afghanistan for "moral crimes" such as fleeing abusive husbands has risen sharply, Human Rights Watch (HRW) says. The campaign group said interior ministry statistics revealed that the number of women and girls convicted of "moral crimes" in the war-torn country increased by 50 per cent over 18 months from 400 to 600. According to the HRW report, most of the 600 women in jail were victims of sexual assault and family violence who had run away from their attackers.


Hockey won't support gay marriage


Senior Liberal Joe Hockey expects his party room to re-examine a conscience vote on the difficult question of gay marriage after the September election. But he says he would not personally back a change to the laws. Mr Hockey described the issue of same-sex marriage as "very, very difficult" when asked if he would back a push to allow Liberal MPs a conscience vote in parliament.

Anglican church leader tells Kevin Rudd equality is not the issue

Brad Norington - The Australian

Kevin Rudd has been blasted by a leading Anglican cleric for pursuing "illusory equality" and failing to accept the "unique" consummation of traditional marriage, after switching his public position to support for gay marriage. Peter Jensen, Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, said yesterday he considered the former Labor prime minister an interesting and thoughtful man but took issue with his newfound advocacy of same-sex marriage under civil law while at the same time proposing an exemption for churches.

Kevin Rudd says let people decide on gay marriage

Jason Tin - The Courier-Mail

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has refused to budge on his rejection of gay marriage as Labor's Kevin Rudd called for a referendum on the issue. Mr Rudd yesterday told The Courier-Mail the nation should use a referendum to settle the matter by the end of the next term of government - no matter who leads it after the September election.

UK could have a lesbian monarch, says Lord Norman Tebbit


The debate in Britain over legalising gay marriage has taken a surreal turn after a senior politician said it could result in a lesbian queen giving birth to an heir by artificial insemination. Norman Tebbit, a member of Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative party who sits in the House of the Lords, also joked that it could see him marry his own son to escape inheritance tax.


Sure, Rudd's self-serving. He's also dead right

Sarrah Le Marquand - The Daily Telegraph

Even someone as hopelessly unco-ordinated as myself knows dancing is all about timing. Outside the dance floor, it's hard to find anyone with more impeccable timing than Kevin Rudd. From his conveniently staged YouTube-ready home videos, campaign T-shirt competitions and casual breaching of cabinet confidentiality on national television, the former PM's self-promotion is invariably handled with meticulous precision. So it's hard not to be cynical about his sudden epiphany over legalising same-sex marriage.

Craig Thomson now faces 173 fraud-related charges over Health Services Union credit cards

Shannon Deery - Herald Sun

Embattled MP Craig Thomson is facing 19 fresh charges in relation to allegations he misused thousands of dollars in union funds to pay for porn and prostitutes. The Melbourne Magistrates' Court heard this morning Mr Thomson would now face 173 fraud related charges - including 19 new charges. The new charges allege Mr Thomson used a Health Services Union credit card to pay for R-rated movies and make cash withdrawals.

Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

'You will die screaming': prostitute's alleged blackmail campaign

The Age

A sex worker has been involved in a six-year campaign of harassment, intimidation, stalking and blackmail against a doctor after they had a brief sexual relationship, a court heard yesterday. It was alleged the woman demanded sums varying from $150,000 to $350,000 in messages sent by text to the doctor and threatened to kill him.

Sexualisation of Society

The problem with porn

Michael Short - SMH

Technology has enabled the proliferation of pornography, making it so pervasive that it has become the main sex educator for many young people. This is a profound problem because it gives a distorted view of sexuality and human relations, predominantly involves violence against women and encourages hazardous practices. It is causing young people confusion and anxiety, and they are feeling pressure to mimic acts that are common in pornography but that many girls, in particular, find distasteful, degrading or painful. Research shows more than nine in 10 Australian boys aged 13 to 16 and more than six in 10 girls in the same age group have seen pornography online.

Planet porn

Matty Silver - The Canberra Times

Today's teenagers, especially boys, grow up watching porn from a very early age. Some start as young as eleven. Sexual curiosity is healthy but they often see hard-core images, giving them unrealistic expectations of sex. For many children, porn has become their primary sex educator.


New sex charges against Sydney dance teacher Grant Davies


A prominent Sydney dance teacher accused of grooming children for sex and possessing child pornography is facing six new charges of aggravated sexual assault. Grant Davies, 39, who ran a dance studio on Bibby Street in Chiswick, was arrested on Friday after police allegedly uncovered a large amount of child porn and evidence of grooming on a computer. At Burwood Local Court today, Mr Davies' solicitor Phillip Gibson said he had just been handed six more charges against his client, bringing the total number to 10.