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.



Call for free abortions as needy women priced out of procedure

Adele Horin - Sydney Morning Herald

Growing numbers of women in desperate financial straits cannot afford abortions, say women's health advocates who are running out of funds to help them. They say women on Centrelink benefits cannot afford fees at private abortion clinics, and public hospitals must play a bigger role in providing a free service.


Games, alcohol a 'toxic' mixture

Richard Noone - The Daily Telegraph

Violent video games were "rewiring" adolescent brains so that when a real confrontation was combined with alcohol it created a "toxic formula", a leading child psychologist said. Dr John Irvine said "hundreds of hours" playing violent, realistic games was not only desensitising young minds but programming them to respond aggressively. "It's impacting on the thinking of young kids and they really feel like they're in the game," Dr Irvine said. Former SAS commander and now managing director of the Australian Christian Lobby, Jim Wallace, said modern games had essentially become military-grade simulators.

Drugs & Alcohol

Steroids seized in Australia may have been intended for sex workers in Bangladesh

Alison Caldwell - ABC

The arrest of four men bound for Bangladesh carrying $1 million and a large quantity of steroids at Sydney Airport this week has highlighted concerns about the growing trend of steroid abuse among sex workers in Bangladesh.

Heroin trafficker April Philippi, 23, told police $17,000 in her coast was from prostitution, court hears

Tony Keim - The Courier-Mail

A young Gold Coast woman tried to claim more than $17,000 she made by trafficking heroin was actually earned by selling her body for sex, a court has heard. The Brisbane Supreme Court was told April Philippi, 23, told police money found in her coat pocket during a search at Burleigh Heads on February 26, 2010, was made while working as a prostitute.


No peace deal for Tasmania's forests


Long-running talks to strike a peace deal for Tasmania's forests have failed, with signatories unable to meet today's deadline for a final agreement. The industry and environmental groups involved say they need fresh eyes and cannot do it alone. They have called on the state and federal governments to facilitate a final agreement to reduce the amount of native forest logging in the state.

Libs push for bag ban results, promising to overturn ban if elected

Megan Doherty, David McLennan - SMH

The Canberra Liberals will overturn the territory’s ban on free plastic bags if they win October’s ACT election. ‘‘If businesses have adapted to the ban and would like to continue charging for bags, they are welcome to do so. But if they don’t, they won’t be lumped with a $27,500 penalty,’’ ACT Opposition Leader Zed Seselja said in a statement today. ‘‘This is about bringing sense and evidence back to government decision making.’’


Man 'shot wife of 45yrs in mercy killing'

Herald Sun

A US man will be arraigned tomorrow on a charge that he walked to his wife's bedside in an Ohio hospital intensive care unit and shot her in what police say was possibly a mercy killing. The coroner's office has scheduled an autopsy for later today after John Wise apparently walked into the hospital room of his wife Barbara Wise and shot her while standing at her bedside. She was declared dead at Akron General Medical Centre on Sunday morning.


Homelessness: blanket solutions don’t apply

Brianna Davidson - The Punch

This week is Homeless Person’s Week and for seven days coins will be collected, awareness raised and pledges made to reduce the number of Australians who don’t have a place to call home. Recent research from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare puts that figure at more than 100,000, of which almost half are under the age of 25. On the 12th of August, Homeless Person’s Week and International Youth Day will collide, prompting consideration of some of the most vulnerable in our community: those who are both young and homeless.

We need to get serious about homelessness

Rob Evers - OnLine Opinion

In May 2008, the then-Prime Minister Kevin Rudd identified homelessness as “a national obscenity”. Two years later, the federal Labor government released a white paper, ‘The Road Home’, focusing on halving homelessness by 2020. But now, four years later, homelessness has fallen off the public policy map, and as a nation we are no closer to removing this “obscenity” from our society. We need action on homelessness now more than ever. Studies from Homelessness Australia reveal that almost 80 per cent of families who show up at homeless and crisis services are turned away. But the next statistic is even more troubling - with one in 38 Australian children aged four and under having spent time in a homeless service between 2009-10.


PM urged to challenge gay marriage move

Lanai Vasek - The Australian

The Coalition says Julia Gillard must launch a High Court challenge if Tasmania legalises gay marriage, as a senior Liberal branded the proposed laws as "socially destructive". The Senate Opposition Leader, Tasmanian Eric Abetz, said he believed the laws - if passed - would be challenged one way or another, and it was up to the federal government to take the lead.

A lesson in love from the drive-thru (update from yesterday)

Joe Carter - The Gospel Coalition

A minor Internet sensation erupted this week when Adam Smith, former CFO and treasurer of medical supplies manufacturer Vante, videotaped himself bullying a Chick-fil-A drive-thru employee. Smith was fired by his company because of his behavior, but the young woman he harassed provided a model in how to respond to hateful speech.

Chick-fil-A breaks world sales record after hateful attacks

Jennnifer Leclaire - Charismanews

Customers lined up, some patiently waiting for hours, to show their support for the restaurant on what former Gov. Mike Huckabee declared “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day” on Wednesday. "It's gone beyond anything I could have imagined," Huckabee told Fox News. "Every one of (the stores) that I know have reported record, historic sales yesterday. ... A lot of the stores ran out of chicken before the end of the day."

Numbers tip against Tas gay marriage

David Beniuk - AAP

Tasmania's same-sex marriage legislation will face an uphill battle getting through the state's upper house, with numbers tipping against the reform. Two MPs from the 15-member Legislative Council who are officially undecided have expressed reservations about the move, announced by premier Lara Giddings at the weekend's ALP state conference.

ACT keen to be gay wedding capital

Peter Jean - Canberra Times

Canberra could become the gay wedding capital of mainland Australia if the ACT Government follows the lead of Tasmania and attempts to legalise gay marriage. Tasmania's Labor Premier, Lara Giddings, announced at the weekend that her government would introduce a bill to introduce same-sex marriage on the island state.

Gay marriage hope for ACT

Jessica Marszalek - Herald Sun

The ACT says it wants to follow Tasmania and legalise gay marriage, with advocates declaring Australia's first same-sex union will happen this year. Tasmania could pass a state-based, gender-neutral marriage act by the end of the year, after Labor Premier Lara Giddings declared she would do what was "right". The Australian Christian Lobby's Lyle Shelton said the debate over gay marriage laws in Tasmania had been driven by propaganda and misinformation.


Labor hits six-month high in Newspoll but voters unconvinced by both leaders

Matthew Franklin - The Australian

Labor's primary vote has climbed five percentage points to its strongest position since February but a near-record one in four Australians remain undecided about whether they would prefer Julia Gillard or Tony Abbott to be prime minister. With the Prime Minister on holiday for the past week and Australians focused on the London Olympic Games, Labor's primary vote hit 33 per cent in the latest Newspoll - up from 28 per cent a fortnight earlier.

Labor could lose NT in August poll

Paul Osborne -

Labor will lose its fifth state or territory regime in four years if the Country Liberal Party (CLP) takes power in the Northern Territory's election later this month. The Labor government of NT chief minister Paul Henderson went into caretaker mode on Monday following the official issuing of the writ for the August 25 poll by territory administrator Sally Thomas. Mr Henderson has signalled he wants to campaign on territory issues, without any help from Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Call to adopt Sweden's prostitution laws


A sex industry lobby group in Tasmania is pushing for the introduction of laws which penalise the clients of prostitutes. It is based on a model used in Sweden where the act is criminalised, not the worker.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

Women, Christians among groups unhappy with Egypt's new government

LA Times

When Islamist President Mohamed Morsi was elected in late June, he promised to represent all Egyptians by forming a government inclusive of women, Christians, youth and even artists and intellectuals. Although the president said he heard the voices of all Egyptians, the much-anticipated government announced last week has proven to be a disappointment for many as a setback to the ideals that propelled the revolution that last year toppled Hosni Mubarak.

Arizona man sent to jail for holding Bible studies in his home

Maegan Vazquez - Fox News

A Phoenix pastor who was jailed for holding a Bible study group on his private property is now holding one behind bars. Michael Salman is serving a 60-day sentence in Maricopa County's notori us Tent City jail for allegedly violating his probation by holding religious services on his property in violation of zoning and building codes. He was arrested July 9, after authorities charged the one-time gang member hosted Bible sessions for as many 80 people on his 4-acre property, which he tried to claim as a tax-exempt church.


Coalition confirms its total opposition to Malaysia plan

Phillip Coorey - Sydney Morning Herald

The federal government's chances of breaking the policy impasse over asylum seekers are remote, with the opposition to reaffirm today its own position and insist that a regional solution be based on deterrence, not setting up a regional processing centre. The opposition will not support the government's Malaysia plan, a regional solution designed as a deterrent, claiming it is bad policy.

Liberal MP hopeful of asylum solution

Sky News

A Liberal member of a federal cross-party MP group seeking a solution to the asylum seeker policy deadlock is hopeful of finding answers that will uphold human dignity and save lives. The cross-party group includes Labor, coalition, Greens and independent MPs, and includes outspoken Liberal MP Judi Moylan. The group will meet in Canberra on August 13 - the day before parliament resumes after the winter break - to hear the views of non-government organisations.


Advertisers accept their duty to vet Facebook posts

Julian Lee - SMH

Advertisers are weighing up the implications of a landmark ruling that will require them to moderate comments by members of the public on their brand's Facebook pages. The Advertising Standards Board has declared that third-party posts that appear on company Facebook pages constitute advertising, and must therefore comply with ad industry guidelines and Australian consumer law.