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

Are our kids too fragile?

Linda McSweeny - Daily Life

Red wash cloths are being stashed in preschool first-aid kits around the US to ensure that when children are hurt, they don't see the blood in the clean-up. Psychologists say it won't be long before we see the same thing in Australia, if it's not already happening. The fragility of modern kids is being challenged by psychologists who say parents are overprotecting, overindulging and overscheduling their children to the point where they expect perfection in every area other than hardiness, leaving kids floundering.

Drugs & Alcohol

Binge drinking: there is no magic cure

Raffaele Piccolo - On Line Opinion

We have a drinking problem in this country, that much is obvious. I do not intend to revisit the numerous surveys and studies that have established this conclusion. Instead I want to discuss where we need to go from here. In recent days the results from the 2010 National Drug Strategy Household Survey report have become a topic of discussion. Amongst other findings, the report found that support for increasing the minimum drinking age, as a means to combating people's problems with alcohol had risen from approximately 40% in 2004 to 50% of respondents in 2010.

ACT police seize 'dangerous' synthetic drugs

David Ellery - The Canberra Times

Laboratory testing has confirmed $20,000 worth of "herbal incense" products seized by ACT police contain synthetic cannabinoids. The substances, believed to include popular marijuana substitutes such as Kronic and Jungle Fever, were available for sale through tobacconists, sex shops and other retail outlets.

Euthanasia & Suicide

Researcher will examine farm suicide effects

Laura Poole - ABC

New research will look at how suicide, and other untimely deaths, affect families living and working on farms. Alison Kennedy is a University of New England PhD student based at the National Centre for Farmer Health, at Hamilton in south-west Victoria. She's looking at how farming families deal with deaths from 'external' causes, like suicide, accidental death and homicide.


Gaming firms score court win over Vic govt

Greg Rule -

Victoria's two big gaming companies have won court action against the state government over levies of more than $42 million imposed on them. The Victorian Supreme Court on Monday ruled in favour of Tatts and Tabcorp in their joint legal action against the Victorian Treasurer Michael O'Brien, challenging his determination that they each pay health benefit levies of about $42 million for the 2012/13 financial year.

Homelessness & Poverty

Hidden poor: children who miss social and sporting activities

Lisa O'brien - Brisbane Times

For many parents, ferrying children to a footy or netball match, or a dance or drama class, is a routine part of the weekend. Visiting a museum or library with their children is also a fairly standard event during school holidays. Most parents know that these types of activities help children develop in lots of ways - physically, socially, emotionally and cognitively. They're also fun to do, which is an important part of childhood. New research shows, however, that significant numbers of children aren't participating in any sport or cultural activities outside school. And the children most likely to be missing out are those living in the most disadvantaged communities.

Human Rights

Coles accused of underpaying Bangladeshis

Ben Butler - SMH

Supermarket group Coles has been accused of paying so little to its Bangladeshi suppliers that it is impossible for them to run a safe factory. Coles, Target, Cotton On and Forever New were named as retailers using low-cost labour in Bangladesh, where a factory collapse in April claimed more than 1100 lives, by ABC TV’s Four Corners program on Monday night.


Marriage a sacred, enduring covenant

Claire Van Ryn - The Examiner

Rupert Murdoch has filed to divorce his wife of 14 years, the glamorous Wendi Deng. It will be Mr Murdoch's third divorce and Ms Deng's second. A pre-nuptial agreement signed before their 1999 wedding will see Ms Deng benefit handsomely (but not too handsomely) from the split - Mr Murdoch's second wife Anna Maria Torv reportedly received a $US1.7 billion divorce settlement in 1999 at the end of their 31 year marriage.

How a country’s economy is determined by the quality of its marriages

Tamara Rajakariar - Mercator Net

A mother at home is of more use to the economy than her husband at work. Don’t believe me? Watch this clip of Pat Fagan of the Family Research Council speaking at the recent World Congress of Families, and I’m sure you’ll agree! I’ll run through his main points though, to summarise for you.


Labor’s leadership issue: it’s not the media’s fault

Jeff Sparrow - Overland

On the weekend, the Age’s editorial calling for Julia Gillard to stand down for Kevin Rudd spurred outrage all over social media. There was, without doubt, something a little grotesque about the leader writer’s suggestion that a Gillard resignation would somehow produce ‘vigorous, policy-driven democratic debate’. ‘The Age is […] despairing of the vacuum in policy debate,’ explained the piece, as if the editor of a major newspaper played no role whatsoever determining what was debated and how.

Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

PNG officials trading in trafficking victims: US report

Liam Cochrane - ABC

A report released by the US State Department says Papua New Guinean government officials are facilitating human trafficking through bribery and trading victims for political favours. The report describes PNG as a place where local and foreign victims are trafficked for sex work, child labour, or manual labour at mining or logging camps.

Taxi driver banned for inviting teen to try prostitution

Stephanie Gardiner - SMH

A Sydney taxi driver has been banned from working after he suggested a 17-year-old passenger should ''prostitute himself'' during a trip in the inner west. The teenager, who cannot be identified, reported driver Vilame Sodiki's sexually explicit comments to Roads and Maritime Services this year and it cancelled his authority to drive a taxi.


Refugee boy's plea: help me, Australia

Michael Bachelard - Fairfax Media

Nine months after young refugee boy Omid Jafary was plucked from the ocean, stunned into silence by watching his father, uncle and cousin drown, he is still living in Indonesia with no idea what his future holds. Like thousands of other children waiting indefinitely for resettlement to Australia, this heartbroken child has been shuttled from one temporary home to another.

Indonesia neglects child migrants: report


A watchdog group has criticised Indonesia over its treatment of children who are migrants or seeking asylum, saying they are placed in abysmal conditions with no way of appealing their detention. The New York-based Human Rights Watch said in an 86-page report released on Monday that Indonesia has detained hundreds of migrant and asylum-seeking children each year without giving them a way to challenge their detention. The country lacks asylum laws and allows immigrants to be detained for up to 10 years.

Darebin Council report reveals city is a magnet for asylum seekers

Tessa Hoffman - Herald Sun

Darebin's plethora of multicultural support services have made it a magnet for asylum seekers, according to a new report. A Darebin Council study found asylum seekers released from detention into temporary government housing in Tarneit were "moving to Darebin due to local support structures". But Asylum Seeker Resource Centre spokeswoman Pamela Curr disputed the findings, saying that cheap rent, not services, was behind the influx.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

Christians slain by Islamists in Nigeria

Joseph DeCaro - Worthy News

In the latest of a series of attacks this year in the Wase area of Plateau state, Nigeria, Fulani Muslims killed one Christian and destroyed church buildings in four villages Tuesday. "There are Christian villages that have been completely wiped out by these Muslim terrorists. Just last week Muslim Fulani herdsmen attacked some Christian farmers in Wase and destroyed all the crops they planted on their farms."