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.



Former abortion clinic doctor in court over hepatitis C infections

Paul Anderson - Herald Sun

A former abortion clinic doctor who has pleaded guilty to infecting more than 50 women with hepatitis C at a Melbourne clinic was a "catastrophe waiting to happen", the state's top prosecutor has said in court. Victims sat in the Supreme Court today for the plea hearing for James Latham Peters, 63, who has previously pleaded guilty to 55 charges of negligently causing serious injury. At least one woman sobbed as she read out a statement about how the infection has affected her life.

Charities & NFP

James Packer could have done with a few more 'I love yous' from father Kerry

Marnie O'Neill -

I can't imagine going through single day - let alone a lifetime - without telling my child how much I love him. In fact I tell my son "I love you" so often that I worry the words have lost their meaning - especially to his two-year-old ears. Watching James Packer's considerable distress as he described hearing his father utter those seldom-used words to him during a "death bed phone call" left me quite depressed. I received a similar phone call from my own emotionally-challenged father shortly before he died at the age of 49 and - almost 15 years on - the memory of it still makes me blubber like a little kid.

Drugs & Alcohol

Tears, shame, smoking and PR

Mike Daube - The Conversation

The past week has seen a torrent of news coverage about Chrissie Swan, who “confessed” to smoking while pregnant with her third child. The confession was followed by myriad commentators and op-eds criticising her inevitable critics. Chrissie Swan is a media celebrity and radio presenter who came to prominence as a runner-up in Big Brother. She has previously attracted media attention around obesity, including a stint promoting Jenny Craig.

Tonnes of cocaine flown to Australia on private planes: court documents

Peter Mitchell - The Canberra Times

The arrest of an alleged drug boss in Chicago has revealed a bold trafficking operation by Mexican gangs who fly tonnes of cocaine from the US to Australia in private planes and, on the return leg, fly out "millions of dollars" in cash profits. To entice pilots to fly the jets for the monthly US-Australia round-trip, cash windfalls are offered, according to court documents. Planes used to fly cocaine to Australia are loaded with millions of dollars in cash for the flight back to the US and pilots are paid a 10 per cent share of the booty.

Fall in teenage binge drinking

Tony Wright - SMH

Australia's brewers, ramping up their campaign against government-mandated warnings on alcohol products, have seized on the nation's latest and largest survey on teenagers' drinking habits to declare that it ''dispels the myth that there is an alcohol crisis in Australia''. The 2011 Australian Secondary Students' Alcohol and Drug Survey, prepared for the federal Health Department, found alcohol consumption among students aged 12-17 had continued to fall since 2005. Big decreases in binge drinking - defined as more than four drinks in a single session in the previous seven days - were recorded among both older and younger students.


NSW in row over Gonski funding


The New South Wales Education Minister has lashed out at the Federal Government in a stoush about the Gonski education review. At a rally in Sydney yesterday, unions, teachers and parents called on the State Government to release its plan for how it would contribute to funding the education reforms announced a year ago. But Adrian Piccoli says the Federal Government must explain its financial plan before the states and territories do so.

HELP for surging study debts

Sophie Elsworth - News Ltd

Australian university student debts are growing at a rapid rate, increasing by 45 per cent in three years. Latest figures from the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education show Australians owe $26.3 billion in Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) debts. It's an increase of about $8.2 billion since 2009.


Climate boffins dine out on $1740 taxpayer dollars

Gemma Jones - News Limited Network

A dozen Climate Change authority executives dining out at a posh Italian restaurant to get to know each other better left tax-payers with an almost $2000 bill. The dinner was held so the executives of the outfit created in July to review and make recommendations about the carbon tax and other federal government green schemes could meet in "an informal setting" to better their "collective decision making" capacity.


Euthanasia debate comes to Lake Macaquarie


An Australian man whose father took his own life in the late stages of motor neurone disease will address a euthanasia forum in Lake Macquarie tonight. Gideon Cordova's father Robert was a marine biologist who was diagnosed with the disease in 2008 and progressively lost his capacity to swallow. He took his own life in 2009.

Overseas Aid

Australia increases aid to Solomons in wake of tsunami


Australia's Foreign Minister, Senator Bob Carr, has commited extra aid for the earthquake and tsunami damaged Santa Cruz Islands in Solomon Islands. The foreign minister says Australia will send two AUSAID workers to assess the damage and help coordinate the relief effort. Australia is also funding a flight to take medical staff to the affected region and to evacuate severely injured people for treatment in Honiara.


Jobs for the girls

Babette Francis - Online Opinion

While many writers of "letters to the editor" have had a field day commenting on the First De Facto, Tim Mathieson's recommendation that small, female, Asian doctors are the appropriate professionals to conduct prostate cancer examinations, being small, female and Asian myself (although not a doctor) I applaud his efforts to provide "affirmative action" for this disadvantaged minority to which I belong. He should also ensure that supermarket shelves be lowered so we can reach all the stuff we want, and that ingredients for Indian curries, Indonesian nasi goreng and Thai satays be displayed prominently.

Federal politics – voting intention

Essential Research

Q. If a Federal Election was held today to which party will you probably give your first preference vote? If not sure, which party are you currently leaning toward?

Jeremy Hanson elected Canberra Liberals leader

Noel Towell - The Canberra Times

Jeremy Hanson has been elected leader of the Canberra Liberals with Alistair Coe as his deputy. Mr Hanson defeated former leader and deputy leader Brendan Smyth in a party room ballot held at the Legislative Assembly on Monday afternoon, in the wake of the resignation of Zed Seselja who will challenge for a Senate seat.

Bob Katter's Australian Party on verge of collapse, member says


Suspended Katter party member Bernard Gaynor says the party is on the verge of collapse amid a damaging rift over same-sex marriage. He claims Katter's Australian Party (KAP) founder Bob Katter is at odds with the party's president Max Menzel and national director Aidan McLindon on the issue. Mr Gaynor says people are walking away from the party.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

The Silent Exodus of Syria’s Christians

Dan Wooding - Assist Ministries

According to Nina Shea, Director of Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom, in Syria’s rebellion, “no religious or ethnic group has been spared horrific levels of loss and suffering, but its 2,000-year-old Christian minority is now facing a distinct persecution.” Writing for the National Review, Shea says, “Under the cover of war and chaos, this group, which alone lacks militias of its own, is easy prey for Islamists and criminals, alike. These assaults are driving out the Christians en masse. This 2,000-year-old community, numbering around 2 million is the largest church in the Middle East after Egypt’s Copts, and it now faces extinction.

Christian rights challenged more often: academic

John Bingham - SMH

London: Judges are more likely to interfere with Christians' freedom to practise their faith than Muslims or Sikhs, a leading Oxford philosopher has claimed. Professor Roger Trigg said British courts are reluctant to "lecture" members of other faiths about their rights but "think they know about Christianity". He said they were treading on "very dangerous ground" by making decisions about what is and what is not a crucial component of someone's religion.

Egypt's Christian winter

Brian Stiller - National Post

Many factors have converged to create this ongoing backlash. The economy is in tatters: 25% of Egyptians live on $1 a day, while another 25% make $2 a day. There are 45 million Egyptians under 30, and 90% of them are unemployed, providing an ideal breeding ground for unrest and protest. European powers are reluctant to provide financial aid until the social unrest abates. And yet, looming in the background of every public debate, is religion. The U.S. recently, and European powers historically, have to their discredit blinded their eyes to the fundamental nature of the Middle East. The pressure between the Islamic majority and the Christian minority, but long-established, other faiths is reaching a boiling point.

Sexualisation of Society

Child porn or art? Topless teenage Moss gets mixed reviews

Steve Dow - Brisbane Times

Art Gallery of NSW visitors on Monday asked if pressure had been applied to a 15-year-old Kate Moss to expose her breasts in a photo shoot now on display. One British couple visiting the gallery, both aged 65 and who previously lived in the London borough of Croydon when Moss attended the local Riddlesdown High School in 1989 when the picture was taken, considered the image a problem.


Nine suggestions to prevent sexual abuse among children

Medical Net

Pediatricians know that when they discuss seat belt, bicycle and water safety during annual wellness visits they are helping to reduce a child's risk of harm. Those same visits should in lude messages about personal space and privacy, says Dr. Martin A. Finkel, an internationally known expert in the prevention and treatment of child sexual abuse, and he is urging pediatricians to begin a dialogue that will help children avoid the physical and mental health consequences of sexual abuse.

News gets gamed

Johnathan Holmes - ABC

The author of the blog, Melbourne software engineer Russell Phillips, explained that as long as you clear the cookies from your computer each time you vote on a News Ltd online poll. Phillips used his programming skills to create a cyber-robot, or bot, that voted for him – around 15,000 times.

Pope Benedict XVI resigns because of failing health

Nick Miller - SMH

The surprise resignation of Pope Benedict XVI – the first by a pontiff for almost 600 years – has led to calls for his replacement to be the Catholic Church’s first black leader. He is and remains one of the most significant religious thinkers of our time. In a letter to his Catholic brethren Pope Benedict, 85, said his advanced age and the pace of change in the modern world had left him unable to “adequately fulfil the ministry entrusted to me”.