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.



Revisiting the “after-birth abortion” controversy

Shimon Glick - Mercator Net

An expert on Jewish medical ethics says that the slippery slope is very real, no matter what some bioethicists may say. In late February last year, two Italian academics working at Monash University in Australia flicked a match into a highly combustible pile of old abortion debates, caricatures of pointy-headed academics, news-hungry journalists and recycled Go-Home-Peter-Singer posters.

Children & Family

Families lose out as Prime Minister Julia Gillard scraps $600 boost to family tax

Lanai Scarr, Jackson Gothe-Snape - News Limited

Families in Julia Gillard's electorate will be the biggest losers from the Prime Minister's latest broken promise - the scrapping of a $600 boost to the family tax payment. An analysis by News Limited of Family Tax Benefit part A recipients by electorate has shown 23,895 families in the Prime Minister's Melbourne base of Lalor were set to get the extra payment, promised by Labor in last year's budget.

How family conflict affects children

Health Canal

New research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) reveals why some children are badly affected by negative family conflicts while other children survive without significant problems. Researchers found that the way in which children understood the conflicts between their parents had different effects on their emotional and behavioural problems. Where children blamed themselves for the conflicts between their parents, they were more likely to have behavioural problems, such as anti-social behaviour.


Australia has exported stock for centuries. And the horror stories just keep on coming.

Anna Krien - SMH

'In the eyes of a butcher a horse is already dead,'' wrote Georges Bataille, and if the record of Australia's live export trade is anything to go by, you can take that as a given. In fact, you could add exporter, producer, and importer to the list, if you wanted to be comprehensive. Herded onto ships with names like the MV Ocean Swagman, these animals are considered little different to radios or tyres. They are inanimate objects, albeit frisky ones, who may need oily rags tied over their eyes as they are prepared for slaughter, led past carcasses still twitching with nerves or have their tendons slashed before having their throats cut with raggedy blades.


Not a noble death

Michael Cook - Mercator Net

The euthanasia of Nobel laureate Christian de Duve in Belgium is a worrying precedent for the world's baby boomers. Euthanasia claimed its most famous victim last Saturday. At the age of 95, Belgian Nobel laureate Christian de Duve was killed with a lethal injection. He died in his home, surrounded by his four children. He had planned his death for weeks and even explained his reasons and his philosophy of life in a long interview with the Belgian newspaper Le Soir. This was published immediately after his demise.

Madeleine Milne didn't know how much she was loved

Clementine Cuneo and Bruce McDougall - The Daily Telegraph

Madleine Milne was just 13. An adored daughter, sister, talented young artist and lover of the outdoors. But a tragic and senseless set of circumstances sparked by a bullying incident at school led to the beautiful Sydney teenager taking her own life, within two months. While her devastated parents Peter and Valery Milne do not solely blame bullying for their only daughter's death, they believe the anxiety it caused her played a significant role in her fatal decision, 10 days ago.

Human Rights

UN taps former High Court judge Michael Kirby for abuse probe into North Korea

Michael Kirby - The Australian

Former High Court judge Michael Kirby says he has been inundated by people wanting to give evidence on abuses just hours after his appointment to head a landmark UN team set up to probe human rights violations in North Korea. The United Nations Human Rights Council had announced Mr Kirby would head a three-member team investigating “systematic, widespread and grave violations” in the reclusive Asian nation.


Ask us what we think on gay marriage

Jai Martinkovits - News Limited Network

If Australia is to redefine marriage ? and this is by no means inevitable ? it is not a matter for legislators or activist judges, but a matter for the people. Contemporary Australians must recognise that proponents of same-sex marriage are not seeking to achieve “marriage equality”, but instead to redefine marriage – a proposal so fundamental that it goes to the fabric of society itself.

Overseas Aid

Advocates fear government will raid aid budget

David Wroe and Bianca Hall May - Macedon Ranges Weekly

Overseas aid advocates fear the Gillard government will raid its aid budget for the second year running to cover spiralling asylum seeker costs. With belt-tightening expected in next week's budget, aid groups are worried the government might once again use part of the $5.2 billion overseas aid budget to pay for the processing and housing of asylum seekers in Australia. In December, Foreign Minister Bob Carr revealed the government would take $375 million of the money being spent on helping poor nations - about 7 per cent of the aid budget - and redirect it to asylum seeker costs as a flood of boats arrived.


McLindon resigns as KAP national director

Bridie Jabour - Brisbane Times

Katter's Australian Party's national director has announced his resignation in a shock statement. Aidan McLindon, formerly the Queensland state member for Beaudesert, will officially step down from the role on June 1. Mr McLindon announced the move in a statement which was full of praise for the fledgling party.

Labor abandons promised carbon price tax cuts

Judith Ireland - Brisbane Times

Tax cuts linked to the carbon tax will be abandoned in next week's federal budget, due to a drop in the projected carbon price. Climate Change Minister Greg Combet confirmed on Wednesday that the Gillard government would ''defer'' its plan to increase the tax-free threshold in 2015.

'Hollande is so completely useless I may be forced to stand again', says Sarkozy

Ian Sparks - Daily Mail

Nicolas Sarkozy says he may be forced to stand again as president of France against his wishes because Francois Hollande is ‘completely useless’. The ex-leader, who was ousted by the Socialists a year ago, said President Hollande had displayed a ‘total lack of leadership and his government was ‘collapsing'. Sarkozy’s scathing assessment of the left-wing administration was reported in French daily Le Parisien. He said: 'The socialist government is falling apart. I am extremely worried. I am also deeply concerned for the 1,500 extra people who lose their jobs every day.

Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Claims voluntary sex workers being disadvantaged by trafficking crack-down

Tony Eastley - ABC

Melbourne's Inner South Community Health Service will tell the House of Representatives Inquiry into Slavery and People Trafficking that the crack-down on the trafficking of sex workers to Australia is leaving sex workers who have come here voluntarily too scared to seek advice on their rights from support services.

Sex slaves in Vic brothels, inquiry told


There is large scale human trafficking occurring in some licensed Victorian brothels, Victoria Police have told a parliamentary inquiry. While the majority of brothels are not using trafficked sex workers, there are some where trafficking is occurring, the federal inquiry into slavery and human trafficking heard.

Why the game’s up for Sweden's sex trade

The Independent

Sweden's innovative sex-trade laws criminalise clients, not prostitutes. The result: a 70 per cent drop in business. Joan Smith jumps in a squad car with local police to find out how it works – and whether Britain could follow suit.

The myth of the happy hooker

Irish Times

Rachel Moran started selling sex when she was 15. Don’t fall for the ‘Pretty Woman’ redemption story, she says in her new book about life on the street. Now she wants men who use prostitutes to be named and shamed.


Rallies seek release of 55 refugees in limbo

Andrea Petrie - SMH

Rallies will be held across the country on Friday to demand the release of a Sri Lankan mother and her three children, along with the other 55 ASIO-rejected refugees being detained in Australian detention centres. The candle-light vigils will be held in Melbourne's CBD, Dandenong, Brunswick and Footscray and in Sydney's CBD and outside Villawood detention centre, where Ranjini and her children are being incarcerated.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

The mass exodus of Christians from the Muslim World

Raymond Ibrahim - Front Page Mag

A mass exodus of Christians is currently underway. Millions of Christians are being displaced from one end of the Islamic world to the other. We are reliving the true history of how the Islamic world—much of which prior to the Islamic conquests was almost entirely Christian—came into being.

Sexualisation of Society

Unkindness of strangers

Chris Kenny – The Australian

Sexism, pornography, social media, bureaucratic accountability and the contest of ideas: this story touches on these volatile topics and reveals the challenges of the digital age, and its propensity for hypocrisy and injustice. The way women are treated in public debate has become hotly contested ground in recent years as our first female Prime Minister has confronted personal vitriol and placards about bitches and witches. Julia Gillard and myriad supporters have not been afraid to claim victim status, declaring the Prime Minister's gender has intensified the political attacks.


Protect religious freedom for our troops - not attack it

Family Research Council

Reports indicate that senior Pentagon officials have recently consulted with radical secularists to formulate a policy that would put military chaplains and o her leaders who "promote their personal religious beliefs to their subordinates or to extend preferential treatment for any religion" in danger of court-martial. Our brave troops deserve better. Subverting the religious freedom of our troops both hurts the morale of our troops and puts our nation at risk by labeling courageous military personnel as enemies.

The roots of benevolence: Christian ideals and social benefit

Greg Clarke - ABC Religion and Ethics

"The concept of the church's care of 'the poor' was basic to the founding of the earliest hospitals. The hospital was, in origin and conception, a distinctively Christian institution, rooted in Christian concepts of charity and philanthropy. There were no pre-Christian institutions in the ancient world that served the purpose that Christian hospitals were created to serve, that is, offering charitable aid, particularly health care, to those in need."

Plague on both their houses: The real story of growth and decline in liberal and conservative churches

Christopher Brittain - ABC Religion and Ethics

Last year, Ross Douthat caused a stir among mainline American church circles with his provocative article, "Can Liberal Christianity be Saved?" Douthat suggests that the more liberal denominations seek to be "self-consciously progressive" - accepting same-sex relationships, the legitimacy of other religions and so on - the faster they experience numerical decline. He argues that the leaders of liberal churches in the United States "often don't seem to be offering anything you can't already get from a purely secular liberalism."