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 voice for the unborn: Lord Nicholas Windsor in Australia

John Ballantyne - News Weekly

Lord Nicholas Windsor, an outspoken champion of the unborn and a first cousin of the queen, addressed thousands of pro-life Australians who took part in Melbourne’s March for the Babies on Saturday, October 13. The march is held annually to commemorate the passage four years ago of Victoria’s Abortion Law Reform Act 2008, the most radical abortion bill yet carried in Australia. Victoria’s laws permit abortion up to nine months. This means that a baby can now be aborted, literally moments before natural birth. There is no requirement to provide medical assistance for babies still alive after failed late-term abortions.


Oregon scientists make embryos with 2 women, 1 man

Malcolm Ritter - AP

Scientists in Oregon have created embryos with genes from one man and two women, using a provocative technique that could someday be used to prevent babies from inheriting certain rare incurable diseases. The researchers at Oregon Health & Sciences University said they are not using the embryos to produce children, and it is not clear when or even if this technique will be put to use. But it has already stirred a debate over its risks and ethics in Britain, where scientists did similar work a few years ago.

Charities & NFP

High demand worries not-for-profit sector

The Mercury

A new report says Australia's not-for-profit organisations lack confidence they will meet demand for their services in the next six months. Religious organisations had the lowest level of confidence followed closely by the health sector, a community index released by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and the Centre of Social Impact (CSI) found.

Benchmark for giving begs wealthy to follow

Adele Ferguson - SMH

October 23 will go down as a monumental day for Worley Parsons co-founder and biggest single shareholder John Grill. At 2.15pm yesterday he held a briefing in the foyer of the University of Sydney's Law Building to hand over $20 million to set up the John Grill Centre for Project Leadership then dashed across the quadrangle to front his last Worley Parsons annual general meeting as chief executive.

Drugs & Alcohol

Health experts call for restrictions on energy drinks

Karen Collier - Herald Sun

Health experts are increasing calls for energy drink restrictions after revelations five deaths are being investigated overseas. The Australian Medical Association wants supermarkets and convenience stores to be banned from selling the caffeine-charged drinks to minors. Retailers would face fines for underage sales in a similar way to alcohol and cigarettes.


National Parks staff ordered to boost access for CSG mining companies

John McCarthy - The Courier-Mail

A senior Government bureaucrat has directed Queensland Parks staff to enable better access to state land for coal seam gas and mining projects. A leaked memo from Queensland Parks and Wildlife Services acting deputy director-general Annie Moody has told staff a radical change in thinking will be needed and warns that public service staff cuts mean it will not be able to do many of the things it has previously done.

AGL faces anger over coal seam gas

Herald Sun

AGL Energy chief executive Michael Fraser has faced shareholder anger over the development of NSW coal seam gas assets. There were several cries of "rubbish!" from shareholders during Mr Fraser's speech at AGL's annual general meeting (AGM) in Sydney today. Mr Fraser said coal seam gas was in the NSW community's long-term interests.


GPs reluctant to euthanise patients

Melissa Davey - SMH

More than 200 Australian doctors have banded together to call for law reform on voluntary euthanasia, but few of them would want to administer a fatal drug dose, the organisation's spokesman says. Robert Marr, a GP in Sydney, said he was unable to think of any member of Doctors for Voluntary Euthanasia Choice who would want to be responsible for the death of a patient wanting to die. He said critics of euthanasia focused on this reluctance and raised the issue of the possible traumatic outcomes for doctors.


Packer plays high for hotel at Barangaroo

Sean Nicholls - SMH

James Packer is pushing to alter building height limits at Barangaroo to add up to 20 storeys to his planned $1 billion hotel and casino complex and make it one of Sydney’s tallest towers. He has received strong support from the former prime minister Paul Keating, who has declared the complex should be designed along the lines of a ‘‘Brancusi sculpture’’ and is also backing the idea of a second casino for Sydney.

Homelessness & Poverty

Re-opening of Sydney’s busiest free restaurant for the homeless

Christian Today

Sydney's busiest free restaurant for the homeless will re-open today after a major refurbishment. The Exodus Foundation's famous Loaves & Fishes Free Restaurant has severed over 2.5 million meals to the poor and homeless since it opened 23 years ago. As demand for its services has grown so too has the strain on the heritage-listed building housing the Restaurant.


Climbing Uluru could be banned as number of tourists attempting climb has almost halved

Lachlan Hastings - The Daily Telegraph

Climbing Uluru is on the verge of being banned, with the number of visitors scaling the sacred rock plummeting in the past two years. In 2010, 38 per cent of visitors climbed, but a survey in June this year revealed numbers had almost halved to 20 per cent, which is among triggers for closing the climb. Parks Australia has pledged to consult widely before any decision is made to close the attraction.

Reprieve for indigenous tenants in housing dispute

Philippa McDonald - ABC

Residents living on a former Aboriginal reserve in Bourke, in central-north New South Wales, are engaged in a bitter dispute with the local land council about the poor condition of their homes. For years, many have been refusing to pay their rent in protest. The Nulla Nulla Local Aboriginal Council hit back with threats to evict their tenants.


Turning the other cheek amid the political gender wars

Justine Toh - ABC

"Gone is the turned cheek" wrote Anne Summers regarding Prime Minister Julia Gillard's electrifying smackdown of Opposition Leader Tony Abbott for his sexism and misogyny. In doing so, Summers drew upon a phrase garnered from Christianity. She applauded Gillard's refusal to "resist an evil person" by turning "the other cheek also" if they have already slapped you once. That is what Jesus advised during the Sermon on the Mount as recorded in the Matthew's gospel. Gillard chose not to, and women everywhere punched the air in delight. After years of sexist sledges and appalling personal attacks that have assailed Gillard throughout her time in office she probably felt that enough was bloody enough.

Berry in the box seat for Labor

Canberra Times

The latest preference count in the territory elections has handed a third seat to ACT Labor in the northern electorate of Ginninderra. Interim preference numbers published by Elections ACT last night show the seat held by ACT Greens Leader Meredith Hunter falling to Labor candidate Yvette Berry. Last night's tally indicated for the first time an assembly with eight Labor seats and eight Canberra Liberals, and the balance of power held by lone Green Shane Rattenbury.

MP Andrew Leigh quits over mining industry migrant visa deal

Simon Benson - The Daily Telegraph

The deputy chairman of Labor's special committee investigating migrant worker visas in the mining industry quit in protest last night after a dispute over its findings. ACTMP Andrew Leigh is believed to have resigned over a draft report from the caucus committee, set up in the wake of the government's special deal to allow billionaire mining magnate Gina Rinehart to bring in 1700 migrant workers.

Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Brothel owner's boyfriend stabbed to death inside the Clyde brothel

Clementine Cuneo - The Daily Telegraph

A brothel owner's boyfriend has been fatally stabbed inside the business he has run for the past few years. Police said the man, believed to be aged in his 40's, was found critically injured inside the Clyde brothel, just before 6am today. He was rushed to hospital suffering multiple stab wounds, but died a short time later.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

Sectarian conflict looms over Poso

Ruslan Sangadji and Bagus BT Saragih - The Jakarta Post

A church was set ablaze while a sophisticated explosive device struck a traffic police post in Poso regency, Central Sulawesi, early on Monday, igniting fears of a reoccurrence of the sectarian conflict that once ravaged the Christian-majority regency. Presidential spokesman Julian Aldrin Pasha said that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono had been informed of the incident. “The President has asked the police to immediately launch a thorough investigation,” he said.


Flotilla of tiny asylum boats arrives on our shore

Matt Johnson - The Courier Mail

Almost a third of illegal boat arrivals in the past two weeks carried fewer than a dozen people as desperate asylum seekers clamber to board any vessel available. The 24th boat to arrive in the past fortnight had just 11 people on board, according to Customs and Border Protection.Six other boats have arrived, each carrying between five and nine asylum seekers, since October 10.


Breaking the code of silence

Sophie Love - OnLine Opinion

One in five children are sexually abused. Just stop for a minute and think about that. Think about five adults you know. One of them will have been sexually abused (they may have blocked the memory out or they may keep it close to their chest as their deepest, darkest, most shameful secret). Think about five children. One has, or will be, sexually assaulted. Their innocence stolen and smashed, never to be recovered. That's not 'pedo panic', that is a tragic reality.

Congrats on your useless billion dollar seat

David Flint - The Punch

The government has actually borrowed billions to buy a vanity pulpit for Kevin Rudd. But it’s not going to be occupied by him – unless of course there is another coup by the faceless men and the ALP decides after all the nasty things they said they want him back. Until then Julia Gillard and Bob Carr will use their very expensive new toy, the vanity pulpit, to bore us with endless “initiatives” on world issues. The fact is the Russians and Chinese who actually run the Security Council will ignore each of them.

What kind of religion is free in the public square?

Ryan Messmore - ABC

Last night, Ryan Messmore delivered the 14th annual Acton Lecture on Religion and Freedom, hosted by the Centre for Independent Studies. This is an edited version of his address.