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.



The hidden pain behind the right to choose

Christian Post

Many women live, in pain, in a closet of shameful secrets. Why? Besides the pain, risks and physical aftermath abortion brings, a woman suffers emotionally. She participated in taking the life of her own child. And because a woman participated in taking the life of her own child, she doesn’t get to grieve. After all, why should she mourn? It was her decision. Writing about “choice” is not easy. It’s a subject that from many perspectives divides our nation. Many years ago I too was an advocate for “choice.” I stepped into a new world when my eyes were open to what that word really meant.

Children & Family

Abbott challenged on childcare funding

Lisa Martin - AAP

The federal coalition is being challenged to commit more funding to child care after promising Australian parents a review to make childcare services more flexible and affordable. Childcare and workers groups say there can't be reform without substantial increases in benefits, but Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says while the system needs to change it must be within "existing funding parameters".

Abuse commission to alert police

Phillip Coorey - Sydney Morning Herald

The Royal Commission into child sexual abuse is prepared to hear testimony from anybody who has ever been abused and will pass information onto police along the way, rather than than wait ''years'' until the Commission has concluded. A discussion paper released late Monday by the secretariat of the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse says the Commission ''should provide an opportunity for those affected by child sexual abuse to share their experiences if that is their wish''.


UK: Internet porn and the rape suspects aged ten: Police forces arrest under-13s for sex crimes

Paul Bentley - Daily Mail

Children as young as ten are being arrested on suspicion of rape amid fears that online pornography is twisting their view of sex and relationships. The scale of sexual offences committed by primary school children was revealed in disturbing figures from police forces across the country. Twenty-four forces arrested children under 13 for suspected rape in the past year while seven detained at least one ten year old.

The internet never forgets, expert warns

Nine MSN

Professor Tsubik, a computer sciences specialist from the University of California, was one of the speakers at a UNSW panel discussion in Sydney on Monday, which explored the concept of privacy in the realm of social networking. According to Professor Tsubik, education about the possible consequences of publishing private information via social networking needs to start young.

Donor Conception & Surrogacy

Kids from Craigslist? Desperate parents request Craigslist adoptions


People have been buying things off of Craigslist for years: furniture, clothes, toys … and apparently even babies. That’s right, would-be parents are now posting ads for babies on the popular website. For many, it works. After years of taking fertility medication to try to conceive, Tracey and Dan Citron of Minnesota decided to put a post on Craigslist, saying that they were looking to adopt a child. Pregnant Tammy Nelson responded, and the couple now has a healthy little boy named Ben.

Drugs & Alcohol

Is it time to sue the alcohol industry for preying on young people?

Melinda Tankard Reist - MTR blog

Every weekend the group of 13 and 14-year-old girls got together and played a game. They’d stand in a circle and drink straight spirits. The girl who remained standing the longest, won. Some needed their stomachs pumped afterwards. The doctors who told me about treating girls like this almost every weekend have every right to feel demoralised. The use of alcohol has become more widespread and acceptable for children and young people. They are drinking more often and at riskier levels.


Govt extends super trawler ban


A ban on commercial fishing in Australian waters by the super trawler Abel Tasman will be extended for two years while the environmental impacts are assessed, the federal government says. Environment Minister Tony Burke on Monday said the extension would take effect from midnight on Monday.


Greens try to overturn euthanasia ban


The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) is urging federal parliamentarians to reject the latest attempt to legalise euthanasia. The Australian Greens this week will introduce a private bill that seeks to overturn the Commonwealth's ban on the Northern Territory and the ACT legalising euthanasia. The lobby says the minor party's strategy is legislation by fatigue.


Pokies players have trouble identifying addiction warning signs

Ross Peake - The Canberra Times

Regular players of the pokies find it difficult to identify early warning signs that they are addicted, according to a study published on Monday. The ANU study of regular gamblers in Canberra also finds they are very reluctant to intervene when they think someone might have a gambling problem.


Damming the rivers of grog

Russell Skelton - The Age

Alcohol-related deaths in the Northern Territory are 31 times higher than the rest of the country. What can be done? It's just on dusk in the Kimberley community of Mowanjum. Five cars in various states of disrepair and filled with youths laughing and waving from the open windows head down the road on a grog run to Derby, a 10-minute drive away.


Paris anti-gay marriage march turns violent

Rob Quinn - Newser

Clashes erupted in Paris yesterday when topless protesters from the Ukrainian group Femen challenged a Catholic-led march to oppose gay marriage. The activists were punched and pushed to the ground after chanting "In Gay We Trust" and spraying white powder from bottles, the AP reports. A law proposed by France's Socialist government could see marriage and adoption legalized for gay couples by early next year.

Tens of thousands protest against gay marriage in French cities

Euro news

More than 100,000 people have marched in cities across France against government plans to approve same-sex marriage and adoption. Carrying numerous banners the protesters criticised the government which has come under fire from catholic and right-wing groups.


UN gives Canberra deadline to address refugee health fears

Bianca Hall - The Age

The United Nations has given Australia a month to show how it will ensure the mental and physical safety of two refugees, one of whom tried to commit suicide this month. The man, who tried to hang himself, has been in detention for three years and five months. He had told authorities he was desperately concerned about his brother, who has been detained for almost four years, and who is reportedly severely mentally ill.

Two boats intercepted off Christmas Island


Two boats carrying 195 asylum seekers have been intercepted off Christmas Island. The first boat, which was located on Friday night, was carrying 59 passengers and two crew. The second boat, carrying 136 passengers and two crew, was intercepted on Saturday morning.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

Egypt's churches pull out of constitution panel


Egypt's churches have pulled out of a panel dominated by Islamists that is writing the country's post-revolt constitution, state television announced on Saturday. "Egypt's three churches have withdrawn from the constitutional assembly," state television quoted Bishop Pachomious -- the interim head of the Christian Coptic Orthodox church. President Mohamed Morsi has pledged to allow the Christians equal rights, but the once banned Muslim Brotherhood to which Morsi belongs has repeatedly said it wants to gradually impose an Islamic state.

Sexualisation of Society

Charity, celebrity and the corporate condonation of child sexual abuse

Jocelynne Scutt - On line Opinion

Child sexual abuse is on the agenda in Australia, with state inquiries in Victoria and NSW, and the recent federal government announcement of a Royal Commission into institutionalised abuse of children and young people. The Jerry Sandusky case in the United States confirms, if confirmation is necessary, that not only is the Roman Catholic church responsible for systematic and apparently systemic abuse together with its cover-up. The problem goes way beyond church and church-related institutions.


Reining in commission's false hopes

Dennis Shanahan - The Australian

Nicola Roxon has moved quickly to shut down growing expectations the royal commission would be a litany of personal confessions and allegations, a public police inquiry and a new well of compensation for victims. Last Monday Julia Gillard told her cabinet colleagues she had decided on a royal commission in response to newspaper reports of two state inquiries and numerous police investigations into child sexual abuse, largely within the Catholic Church.

Is the Petraeus scandal a religious affair?

Religion News Service

It's tempting to view the sex scandal surrounding retired Army Gen. David Petraeus through a religious lens. After all, most faiths forbid adultery, and even before his fall from grace, some Pentagon colleagues compared Petraeus to the biblical King David—another proud and powerful warrior. The comparison seemed even more apt after the former four-star general's resignation from the CIA on Friday. "More than one officer cited the biblical adultery of King David and Bathsheba," wrote The New York Times.

Ignore doomsday warnings, says Pope


Pope Benedict XVI has called on Christians not to heed doomsday warnings that the world will end on December 21. During his weekly Angelus address from the window of his Vatican apartments on Saint Peter's Square, Benedict spoke of extracts from the bible that speak of "the sun and moon going out, the stars falling from the sky".< blockquote>

Growth heading for cliff in Australia, says Chaney

Aaron Patrick - AFR

Australia is likely to fall off a “growth cliff” when the resources investment boom ends in the next few years because the economy is not becoming more productive, says Michael Chaney, chairman of National Australia Bank and Woodside Petroleum. Economic growth was likely to slow to less than 2.5 per cent after 2015 because of burdens on business, including overlapping state and federal environmental regulations, and Labor’s industrial relations system, which made the workplace less ­flexible, along with other problems, he told The Australian Financial Review.