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.


Children & Family

Teaching parents key to managing young offenders

Kevin Ronan - The Australian

Recent coverage in The Australian has identified a number of problems related to youth offending and our juvenile justice system. Understandably, higher-cost juvenile detention appeals to a community need to penalise youth for bad behaviour as well as to protect the community. However, a lock-em-up strategy tends to produce only a short-term outcome that is further complicated by a tendency for increased recidivism. This is unfortunate given that youth offending is often a reflection of a recurrent, multi-generational problem. Of differing pathways to offending, one prominent pathway discussed by Northern Territory chief magistrate Hilary Hannam is through a history of being abused. That is, child abuse is a risk factor for a range of poor outcomes, including offending.

Donor Conception & Surrogacy

Wanted: 'Adventurous woman' to give birth to Neanderthal man - Harvard professor seeks other for cloned cave baby

Daily Mail

Neanderthals have been extinct for 33,000 years, but George Church, a genetics professor at Harvard Medical School, believes he can bring them back with the help of a surrogate human mother. They're usually thought of as a brutish, primitive species.

So what woman would want to give birth to a Neanderthal baby? Yet this incredible scenario is the plan of one of the world’s leading geneticists, who is seeking a volunteer to help bring man’s long-extinct close relative back to life.

Frozen in time: clarifying laws on IVF embryo use and destruction

Jenni Millbank - The Conversation

Over the past two decades, the frozen preservation of embryos has become routine practice in IVF. What currently happens to embryos next is controlled by overlapping and complicated rules that confuse and disempower IVF users. Several embryos are usually produced in an IVF cycle but only one, or at most two, are transferred at one time to minimise the chance of multiple births. Additional embryos are then stored at clinics for use in future transfer cycles.

Drugs & Alcohol

SA police bust open alleged drug-trafficking ring, arrest four alongside 12-year-old boy

Adam Hegary - Adelaide Now

A man has been caught allegedly trafficking more than 30kg of cannabis alongside his 12-year-old son as part of a major drug-syndicate bust. Drug Investigation Branch detectives and Nuriootpa police stopped the 59-year-old man, of Ingle Farm, in his 4WD on the Sturt Hwy at Truro about 3.30am yesterday. Further raids led to the arrests of three other alleged syndicate members - from across the metropolitan area - and the seizure of more drugs, a liquid believed to be meth oil, a firearm, a Taser and more than $37,000.

Festival overdose victim Gemma Thoms 'took three pills', inquiry told

Angie Raphael - Herald Sun

Gemma Geraldine Thoms was a fun and outgoing 17-year-old girl who never fulfilled her dreams of becoming a hairdresser, after overdosing on ecstasy at the 2009 Big Day Out festival in Perth. West Australian coroner Dominic Mulligan is investigating the circumstances surrounding Gemma's death, including why, when she presented to a first-aid post, she was released back into the crowd.


When a state government refuses to defend its marriage laws

James S. Cole - MercatorNet

A crucial case before the US Supreme Court will determine whether sovereignty lies in the hand of the people or judges. I wrote earlier this month about challenges to the principle of government by the people that are raised in connection with the Supreme Court appeals in the so-called “gay marriage” cases. This article focuses on the second case that the Supreme Court agreed to hear, the challenge to the California state constitutional amendment known as Proposition 8.

Overseas Aid

Bill Gates interview: I have no use for money. This is God’s work

Neil Tweedie - Telegraph

Having already given away $28bn, Bill Gates intends to eradicate polio, with the same drive he brought to Microsoft. William Henry “Bill” Gates is a rich man. His estimated wealth, some 65? billion measured in US dollars, equals the annual GDP of Ecuador, and maybe a bit more than that of Croatia. By this rather crude criterion, the founder of Microsoft is worth two Kenyas, three Trinidads and a dozen or so Montenegros. Not bad for a university dropout. Gates is also mortal, although some of his admirers may find that hard to believe, and as they say, there are no pockets in shrouds. So he is now engaged in the process of ridding himself of all that money in the hope of extending the lives of others less fortunate than himself.


Labor to copy Obama poll plan

Michelle Grattan - The Age

Labor MPs and candidates summoned from around the country will be told to get vigorous local campaigns under way as quickly as possible, at a briefing in Canberra early next month. In an approach reflecting last year's highly successful Obama strategy, ALP strategists insist the party must have much stronger ''on-the-ground'' campaigns than it did in 2010. As an Essential poll on Monday showed the ALP trailing the Coalition 46-54 per cent in two-party terms, Labor national secretary George Wright said: ''The field campaign in the election will be critical.''

Greens campaign launch a strategic error

Darren Brown - WA Today

The image would have warmed the hearts of tree-change, Chardonnay drinking, hybrid drivers everywhere: a lush green carpet being rolled toward the front doors of Parliament House. Appealing to those who identify with, but haven't ever voted Green was undoubtedly the hope of those performing this piece of symbolic theatre yesterday – Greens candidates standing for the unwinnable 59 lower house seats at the March 9 state election. But unfortunately for them and their upper house peers, the Greens' campaign launch offered little more than mere symbolism on all fronts.

Attack of the hyphens: Hanson-Young & Whish-Wilson stick the knife in Milne’s loose mouth


Greensparty Senators Hanson-Young and Whish-Wilson have seized on their party leader’s astounding gaffe of endorsing a forger, Jonathan Moylan, who faked an ANZ press release, causing a $300 million stock market crash in miner Whitehaven Coal. Hanson-Young’s leadership ambitions are well-known, after a couple of failed attempts to win the deputy leadership of her party, initially losing to Milne and then to Marxist scholar, Dr Adam Bandt PhD (Marx).


Rights groups welcome Manus Island challenge

Liam Fox - ABC

Refugee advocates say the decision by Papua New Guinea's opposition to launch a constitutional challenge to Australia's Manus Island processing centre is a win for human rights. Refugee advocates say the decision by Papua New Guinea's opposition to launch a constitutional challenge to Australia's Manus Island processing centre is a win for human rights. Opposition leader Belden Namah says the facility is illegal because it authorises the deprivation of the asylum seekers' personal liberty.

Bad weather keeps asylum boats in port

Lauren Wilson - The Australian

Severe monsoons in waters north of Australia have blunted the influx of asylum-seeker boats, but the drop in arrivals has also raised hopes the offshore-processing regime and forced returns to Sri Lanka might be having an impact. With 10 days left in January, 188 asylum-seekers have arrived on boats in Australian waters, compared with more than 300 last January. There were a record 17,202 arrivals by boat last year.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

Christianity, Islam, and Atheism: The struggle for the soul of the West

Thomas Jordan - Catholic News Agency

How does Islam impact Western culture? William Kilpatrick challenges the typical perspective in Christianity, Islam, and Atheism: The Struggle for the Soul of the West. He looks at the essence of Islam, the life of Muhammad, and the teaching of the Koran. In doing so, he shows that Islam threatens the Western way of life, and Christianity in particular. But what is this threat and why don’t more people recognize it?

Two North Korean Christians killed for their faith

Elizabeth Sanchez - Charisma News

Open Doors has confirmed the death of two Christians in North Korea. According to the ministry that serves persecuted Christians worldwide, one Christian was recently shot while he was on his way back to Bible training in China. The other died in one of North Korea's notorious labor camps. The first Christian had travelled to China several times before. People told him he could earn more money, but after working in China for six months he still hadn't received any money, even though he found several jobs.

Egypt’s Christians worried by Islamists’ rise

Abigail Hauslohner - Washington Post

Egypt’s Christians were worried about their safety on Monday as they marked the first Christmas under Islamist rule, with Coptic Pope Tawadros II urging worshipers “not to be afraid” and some complaining that their lives had gone from bad to worse in the nearly two years since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak. At St. Mary’s Church in the dense and religiously mixed neighborhood of Imbaba, where sectarian clashes have flared before, midnight Mass on Christmas Eve started early because of safety concerns. The church, which was torched by an Islamist mob in 2011, was protected Sunday by a larger police presence than in past years, a signal to some that the Islamist government wanted to avoid trouble after political clashes flared last month on Egypt’s streets.

Sexualisation of Society

How big business is stealing our little girls' childhoods: Dolls in micro-skirts, make-up for girls aged four... psychologist Steve Biddulph on the crisis facing our daughters

Daily Mail

Fifteen years ago, psychologist Steve Biddulph wrote a landmark book on the difficulties of raising boys. Back then, he believed girls weren't a problem. In this major Mail series, he argues everything's changed - and our daughters are facing an unprecedented crisis. On Saturday, he described how girls are becoming sexualised at a younger and younger age. Today, he examines why girls are increasingly insecure - and how big business preys on them for profit.


Florida atheist group wants equal time after Bible giveaway at school

An atheist group plans to distribute reading materials after free Bibles were placed in 11 Florida schools by a relig ous organization, reports.

The atheist group Central Florida Freethought says a recent Collier County court ruling gives them the right to distribute books such as "Why Jesus?," "What is a Free Thinker?" and "Why Women Need Freedom from Religion" after the World Changers Religious Organization was allowed to place Bibles in the schools. "The county has invited people in now to do this, and what we need to do is put the views of the biblical creationists into perspective with our perspective," said David Williamson of Central Florida Freethought.

Open Insider: thank God!; faith at the heart of Novak Djokovic's stunning success

"It's hard to know how meaningful it really is to each individual person unless you know that person, and I've never spoken to Novak about it, but I would say faith gives you a better perspective on life." he said. "In a sporting context, I don't think God is going to choose between one or the other. But the point of having faith is to know you are safe and it doesn't really matter if you win or lose. My feeling was always that God had given me a certain amount of talent and he expected me to get the most out of that talent. So in the end it was up to me, and that drove me to train as hard as I could, and compete as hard as I could, to do justice to the talent I was given."

Furore as gay group asked to take down sign

Leesha McKenny - SMH

Parramatta's Lord Mayor is facing a social media backlash after a gay and lesbian youth group invited to a family fun day was asked to remove its signage because council deemed it too offensive. Council staff told the group that a banner promoting its "support services for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, same-sex attracted and gender-diverse young people, their families and communities" was inappropriate at last week's Rediscover the River festival. Fearing "a potentially toxic environment", Twenty10 – which had been invited by council to set up a kite-making stall – decided to pack up and leave instead.