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.


Charities & NFP

Charities' cash plea for mums

Patricia Karvelas - The Australian

Charities have demanded the Gillard government increase their funding so they can deal with an expected surge in single mothers struggling with bills after they are shifted on to the dole in January under a budget savings measure. The national director of Uniting Care, Lin Hatfield Dodds, said four charities had met last Friday to discuss their concerns about an expected increase in demand.

Children & Family

Father wins the right to immunise daughter

Janet Fife-Yeomans - The Daily Telegraph

A mother has been ordered to allow her eight-year-old daughter to receive conventional immunisations after a Family Court judge rejected her homeopathic regimen. The woman, who said she lived a "simple and healthy way of life" in the wellbeing industry, lost a bid for an injunction against her ex-husband after he secretly took their daughter to a traditional doctor for the injections.


Our web-addict kids miss meals and sleep

Natasha Bita - News Limited Network

One in five Aussie kids spend so much time surfing the internet that they miss out on meals and sleep, a study shows. Edith Cowan University researchers have revealed that "excessive internet use" is twice as common in Australian children as British kids. A fifth of the Australian children surveyed said they had "gone without eating or sleeping because of the internet".

Outrage over fake Jetstar Facebook page

Petra Starke - News Limited Network

Jetstar has landed in the middle of a PR disaster after an internet hoaxer hijacked its Facebook page and started snapping at customers. Customers of the budget airline were left confused and angry when an anonymous prankster registered on Facebook under the name "Jetstar Australia'', and using the airline's official logo, began rudely responding to their queries on the company's official page.

Drugs & Alcohol

Victorian youths are using methamphetamine at alarming rates, police say

Mark Buttler - Herald Sun

Senior police have been left shocked by a radical escalation in the use of amphetamines in Victoria. A boom in the use of methamphetamine, otherwise known as ice, is believed to be behind a 58.2 per cent increase in the dangerous stimulant in the past year. "That's staggering," Assistant Commissioner Steve Fontana told the Herald Sun. "The greatest concern we've got at the moment is ice."

Collingwood chief Gary Pert warns of illegal drug culture in football

Jon Anderson - Herald Sun

Collingwood chief executive Gary Pert has raised serious concerns about a growing illegal drug culture in football. Pert told the Herald Sun last night drugs had become a significant industry issue that must be addressed as soon as possible. "This is a serious issue with young men in the community and we'd be naive to think it didn't happen in the AFL," Pert said. "It will be an ongoing challenge - as it is in the community - from this point on."

We remain vigilant: chief

Adam McNicol - AFL

AFL boss Andrew Demetriou says the game's administrators must work to strike a better balance between the in-season and off-season lifestyles of players. The issue was recently thrust back into the spotlight by Collingwood CEO Gary Pert, who raised his concerns about illicit drug use among players when he addressed a meeting on the Gold Coast last week. "When they're at the club they get a very structured environment," Demetriou said on Wednesday.


Third school collapse raises governance question

Eleanor Hall - ABC

The Independent Education Union is warning more schools could be about to collapse and there's an urgent need for better governance of the sector. St Anthony's Coptic Orthodox College is the third independent school to collapse in Melbourne in just six months.

Gonski bill rights moral wrong: PM

Katina Curtis - SMH

Prime Minister Julia Gillard says Labor will target and eradicate the "great moral wrong" faced by children who do not have access to educational opportunities. Ms Gillard on Wednesday introduced legislation to parliament in response to the Gonski schools funding review, saying the bill would enshrine in law "our nation's expectations for our children's achievements at school.


Global appetite for palm oil raises environmental, humanitarian concerns

Jason Motlagh - SMH

Twenty-five years ago, Lahad Datu was just another sleepy port town on the fringe of Malaysian Borneo, frequented by traders, sea gypsies and the occasional pirate gang. These days, big money is flowing into banks and construction projects that have multiplied in the city centre, where a gaudy silver statue honours the cash crop that put the former backwater on the map: palm oil. Long a preferred cooking ingredient in developing countries, palm oil is now in greater demand in Western markets because of its low price and long shelf life.


MPs corrupt over pokies: Wilkie


Independent Andrew Wilkie has accused MPs who oppose poker machine reform of corruption. Some politicians who reject the federal government's moves to regulate poker machines were effectively on the gaming industry's payroll because they had received or had been promised "fat donations", he said. "In my opinion, that's corruption," the Tasmanian MP told parliament on Wednesday.

Jobson stole and lost $8 million on online pokies

Emily Portelli - Herald Sun

A gambling-addicted mother of two was "floored" to learn she had wasted almost $8 million on online pokies. Administration manager Wendy Hope Jobson used internet banking to siphon money from her hotel-business employer more than 1000 times over five years. Jobson, 50, wasted the money on a gambling website, spending most of it on a poker machine game called Doctor Love.


How much evidence do you need to prevent HIV?

Bridget Haire - ABC

In the last two years, we have come closer to finding effective biomedical solutions to preventing HIV infections than any time in the past two decades. A pill a day can prevent HIV, if taken consistently by an HIV-negative person at high risk of acquiring HIV. If a person with HIV consistently takes effective anti-HIV medication, the chances of them infecting a sexual partner are close to zero. The condom, while remaining cheap, effective and sometimes convenient, is now just one part of the HIV prevention toolbox rather than the whole kit and kaboodle — in theory at least.

Human Rights

Exposure Draft Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill 2012

Australian Senate

A Bill for an Act relating to human rights and discrimination, and for related purposes.

Overseas Aid

PNG calls for changes to Aussie aid

Adam Gartrell - SMH

Papua New Guinea's leader wants Australia to rethink its aid spending in his impoverished nation, calling for a greater focus on big-ticket infrastructure projects like roads and ports. PNG Prime Minister Peter O'Neill has also called for a shake-up in trade and investment links between the two nations. Mr O'Neill says the PNG-Australia relationship is currently in "good shape" but has warned against complacency.


No peace for Labor in the Middle West

Gemma Jones and Janet Fife-Yeomans - The Daily Telegraph

Forget the war-torn Middle East, Labor MPs are trying to keep the peace in their own electorates first. The most vocal minister to speak out against Prime Minister Julia Gillard's plan to vote against giving Palestine an upgraded status at the United Nations was Tony Burke, whose southwestern Sydney electorate is made up predominantly of Islamic voters and those of Lebanese heritage.

LNP slides from glory to chaos, with one MP to be kicked out for dissent and another threatening to sue a colleague

Steven Wardill, Robyn Ironside, Sarah Vogler - The Courier-Mail

The Newman Government was last night in chaos, with one MP to be kicked out for dissent and another threatening to sue a colleague. After a second day of public attacks aimed at each other, LNP MPs last night agreed at a special party room meeting that disgruntled Yeerongpilly member Carl Judge was "no longer welcome". "There was a whole range of behaviour we found unacceptable," Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney said. "The message for him is that he is no longer welcome in our team."

Religious Freedom & Persecution

Taking Christ out of the Christmas celebration

Petra Starke - Adelaide Now

Most people associate this deeply religious holiday with a time to eat, drink and spend up big at the shops. This Christmas I was going to buy the Australian economy a new iPad, because we keep being told it's depressed and I wanted to cheer it up a bit.