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

Love letter written by former PM Joseph Lyons discovered in Tasmanian cottage

Emily Bryan - ABC

A Tasmanian woman has discovered a love letter written by a former prime minister in her living room. Ros Mills bought a cottage in Deloraine that was rented by Joseph Lyons and his wife Dame Enid during the early years of their marriage. While having a wood heater installed, Ms Mills found behind the mantelpiece a letter dated 1918, when Mr Lyons was working in Hobart as a state MP.


Facebook challenge after girl's death leap over insults

Tom Kington - SMH

A prosecutor has opened an investigation into how Facebook allowed the publication of insults and bullying posts aimed at a teenager who later took her own life. Carolina Picchio, 14, from Novara in northern Italy, died in January after a gang of boys circulated a video on Facebook of her appearing drunk and dishevelled in a bathroom at a party.

Drugs & Alcohol

Cannabis disorders less likely to be diagnosed

Melissa Davey - The Examiner

More than 185,000 Australians will no longer be diagnosed with cannabis use disorders under changes to the controversial diagnostic manual used by psychiatrists, released this month. Sydney researchers looked at the revised diagnostic criteria in the latest version of the manual, known as DSM-5, to see if it would impact prevalence.

Two men charged over Sydney meth supply


Two men have been charged with the commercial supply of methylamphetamine on Sydney's northern beaches. Surveillance of two men, 34 and 39, at Jamieson Park, North Narrabeen, led officers to search a car where they allegedly found eight large vacuum-sealed bags containing crystal meth about 4pm (AEST) Monday, police say.


Senators unite in attack on Prof Flannery

The Mercury

Climate Commission head Professor Tim Flannery has angered politicians of all persuasions after he didn't turn up to a senate hearing in Canberra. Senators on Monday had hoped to question Professor Flannery at a Senate budget estimates hearing but were told he could not attend because of a "long-standing personal commitment".


Gillard faces push for wider betting ban

Paul Osborne - AAP

Prime Minister Julia Gillard is heading into a caucus tussle with Labor MPs who are calling for a tougher crackdown on sports bet advertising. Ms Gillard has announced new rules to regulate sports bet advertising to ease concerns over live odds promotion during commercial television broadcasts. But the Labor caucus, which meets in Canberra on Tuesday, will still discuss a motion from NSW backbencher Stephen Jones to ban all gambling advertising during children's TV viewing times.

TV revenue at risk with total ad ban: Conroy

Jonathan Swan - The Canberra Times

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy says the government cannot impose a total ban on gambling advertising during sport broadcasts because TV networks are finding it ''harder and harder'' to secure revenue. ''You'd actually be surprised,'' Senator Conroy told ABC radio on Monday morning

Live sports odds ban: does the government’s plan go far enough?

Mike Daube - The Conversation

What are the odds? In the face of public pressure, prime minister Julia Gillard has given bookmakers an ultimatum regarding sporting events. If the bookies do not agree to a ban on gambling promotion during events, legislation will be introduced to this effect. The ban will not extend to advertising before or after the game, or during breaks in play.

Human Rights

Attorney-General asks Abbott not to scrap discrimination law breached by Bolt

Judith Ireland - SMH

Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus has called on Tony Abbott to back away from a pledge to repeal a section of the Racial Discrimination Act that journalist Andrew Bolt was found guilty of breaching. Mr Dreyfus wrote an open letter to Mr Abbott on Monday morning, arguing the Coalition's stance on section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act is inconsistent with its support for the London Declaration on Combatting Anti-Semitism.


World's indigenous peoples unite in Darwin


Reindeer farmers from Sweden, Colombian women's groups and Australian Aborigines are finding out what they have in common at a landmark conference of indigenous people in Darwin. The first World Indigenous Network got under way at the weekend, bringing together 1200 indigenous delegates from more than 50 countries.


Thousands protest gay marriage in Paris


At least 150,000 people have protested in Paris over a new law allowing gay marriage. The largely peaceful gathering that later turned violent as riot police battled hundreds of right-wingers. Police say they had made a total of 293 arrests and six people were injured during Sunday's demonstration - four police officers, an AFP photographer and a protester.


Up to 25,000 asylum seekers expected this financial year

Bianca Hall - SMH

The immigration department vastly underestimated the number of asylum seekers expected to arrive in Australia this financial year, with up to 25,000 now expected – almost five times more than initial forecasts. Last year, the immigration department estimated just 5400 asylum seekers would arrive in Australia in 2012-13, before being forced to revise it to to 12,000 in February.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

West must act decisively to protect Syria's persecuted Christians

Jim Wallace - The Australian

The hardest test of foreign policy is not its intersections at the lofty geopolitical level but where it inevitably affects ordinary people, and nowhere is this test as difficult as in the Middle East. As I visited the area recently to assess the situation of minorities in the Syrian conflict, it quickly became evident that the West's policy there courts a disaster.

Sexualisation of Society

#FreeKate? Movement to normalize pedophilia finds its poster girl

Robert McCain - Spectator

In January, Rush Limbaugh warned that there was “an effort under way to normalize pedophilia,” and was ridiculed by liberals for saying so. But now liberals have joined a crusade that, if successful, would effectively legalize sex with 14-year-olds in Florida. The case involves Kaitlyn Ashley Hunt, an 18-year-old in Sebastian, Florida, who was arrested in February after admitting that she had a lesbian affair with a 14-year high-school freshman.

Local child porn case leads to US rescue

Dan Oakes - The Age

It was a story that gripped Victorians for weeks: a young couple left a note for family and friends saying they were heading to central Victoria to pan for gold, loaded their gear into a rental car and vanished. Distraught family members made tearful pleas for public help in finding Craig Stanley and Rebecca Michels, describing their disappearance as totally out of character.


Raising hell for Jesus

Peter Munro - SMH

Australian Christian bands are on cloud nine at the moment, with high-charting albums and plenty of worshipping fans.

Pell blames inaction, loose entry standards


Cardinal George Pell has acknowledged that senior figures in the Australian Catholic Church covered up evidence about child abuse. Before Victorian inquiry into institutional child sexual abuse, Cardinal Pell said the Catholic Church's history of child abuse stems from loose entry requirements for priests, past errors of judgement and inaction.

Mutable or immutable?

Robert R. Reilly - Mercator Net

Homosexuals are born that way, gay activists argue vehemently. How is it that so many have changed? Science has been enlisted to depathologize homosexuality in so far as it can lend credence to the assertion that homosexuality is an immutable condition. The immutability issue is as irrelevant to the moral nature of homosexual behavior as it is to alcoholic behavior. Alcoholics, by definition, are alcoholics for life. If they wish to remain sober, they may never drink again.

Religion, Marriage & Euthanasia


Tony Jones is joined by atheist astrophysicist Lawrence Krauss; America's openly gay Bishop Gene Robinson; Reverend Fred Nile; Howard Minister turned broadcaster Amanda Vanstone; former Labor Education Minister Susan Ryan. [ACL: Panelists - four to one]