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.


Bioethics & Health

It’s time for amputation to be a polite subject in health care discussions

Michael Vagg - The Conversation

The MJA this month leads with a startling statistic. Diabetes-related foot disease is apparently causing ‘a limb (to be) lost every 3 hours.’ As someone who works in amputation rehabilitation for a living, I think the data are more nuanced than just the scary headline. Let me start by saying that I don’t disagree with the authors of this article in their conclusions.

How much is a body worth? I set out to find out

Storm Theunissen - UK Guardian

For the most part, it's illegal to sell your body in Britain. But, in fact, there are various legal ways human body parts can be sold that don't involve waking up in a bath of ice with a kidney missing. In a research experiment, I tried to see how much of the human body can lawfully be put up for sale: by trying to sell as much of my own body as I could. It turns out pretty much everything God gave us can be sold.

HIV transmission study

Star Observer

A global research project being launched in Australia is seeking to determine whether HIV treatment reduces the risk of HIV transmission within serodiscordant gay relationships (where one partner is HIV-positive and the other HIV-negative). The Opposites Attract Study is being coordinated by the Kirby Institute at the University of New South Wales, and will be conducted through 15 sexual health, HIV and GP clinics in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide.


School blue sees Abbott scramble

Phillip Coorey, Jewel Topsfield, Bianca Hall - SMH

The Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, has gone into damage control after telling an education forum that the high level of public funding public schools receive is an injustice. Addressing a meeting of the Independent Schools Council of Australia yesterday, Mr Abbott stressed the Coalition's opposition to the Gonski review's recommendation to overhaul school funding.

Gonski school reforms are unaffordable: Tony Abbott

Milanda Rout - The Australian

Tony Abbott says public schools are adequately resourced and the Gonski school funding reforms are unaffordable under current budgetary conditions. In a speech to the Independent Schools Council of Australia, the Opposition Leader rejected claims that the commonwealth government neglected the funding of public schools in favour of independent schools.


More indigenous medical students create milestone

Julia Medew - SMH

The number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medical students has increased dramatically in the past decade and now matches the ratio of indigenous to non-indigenous people in Australia for the first time. Last year, 80 of Australia's 3241 domestic first year medical students were indigenous - 2.5 per cent, up from 0.8 per cent in 2004. The milestone is being celebrated by medical deans and the Australian Indigenous Doctors' Association because 2.5 per cent of Australia's population is Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander.


MPs to debate same-sex marriage bill

Jessica Wright - SMH

A bill to legalise same-sex marriage will be debated in Parliament today, sparking concerns by the Greens that the government may be trying to bring on an early vote in an attempt to push the politically fraught topic off the agenda. Labor MP Stephen Jones’ Marriage Amendment Bill 2012 will be debated for half an hour this evening in the lower house. It is one of three same-sex marriage bills before Federal Parliament. [Five members spoke last night - The debate will continue today]


Historic days ahead for Tasmanian State Parliament

The Examiner

State Parliament resumes this week, with several of the final 20 sitting days for the year set to become historic dates for the state and even Australia. After the six-week winter break the state government is poised to pursue an ambitious social agenda. Premier Lara Giddings has promised to make a formal apology to mothers and children affected by forced adoptions in this session of Parliament.


MP wants apology to blacklisted Olympian Peter Norman


Federal Parliament will today consider whether to apologise to the late Australian sprinter Peter Norman, who was blacklisted for supporting a civil rights protest at the 1968 Olympic Games. Norman was the silver medallist in the 200 metres at the Mexico Games. The US athletes who ran first and third in the race, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, gave Black Power salutes on the dais as Norman stood alongside wearing an Olympic Project for Human Rights badge. [ All without mention of Peter Norman's Christian heritage ]

First female Anzac's death in Afghanistan reignites debate on women in the front line

Ian McPhedran - News Limited Network

The death of the first female Anzac to fall in Afghanistan threatens to re-ignite the debate about women serving on the front line. Lance Corporal Jacinda Baker, 26, a medic with the New Zealand Army, was killed yesterday morning in Bamiyan Province when her soft skinned Humvee vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device (IED).

O'Farrell to offer apology for years of forced adoptions

Sean Nicholls - Sydney Morning Herald

The NSW government will offer an apology to potentially tens of thousands of parents and children who were forcefully separated by past adoption policies 14 years after it was first called for. It is estimated that in Australia between 1951 and 1975 up to 150,000 unmarried mothers had their babies forcefully adopted by churches and women's hospitals.

Victorian Catholic Church says sorry over child sex abuse

Daniel Fogarty - Daily Telegraph

Victoria's most senior Catholics have apologised for the sexual abuse of children under the church's care. Church leaders also said they will continue to take decisive action to protect children. In a letter to parishioners, the church says it is "deeply sorry" for the suffering and trauma endured by children and the betrayal of trust.