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.


Drugs & Alcohol

Terracotta pots concealed drugs: police


It looked like a bake sale, but inside the stacks of aluminium-wrapped loaf-shaped parcels was half a tonne of heroin and ice, worth half a billion dollars. Seven men, including four Hong Kong nationals and three Australians, appeared in a Sydney court on Tuesday charged with offences relating to an alleged international drug-smuggling syndicate.


Federal School Education Minister Peter Garrett says teachers do not have to be smart


Teachers don't need to be smart or gifted as long as they are passionate, federal School Education Minister Peter Garrett says. Mr Garrett was responding today to plans by the NSW government to consider ways of lifting professional standards and make it easier to fire underperforming teachers.

$4m bullying social media campaign

Daniel Burdon - The Morning Bulletin

A $4 million social media campaign to help parents and children deal with bullying in schools seemed to be the only concrete outcome of a forum on the issue in Canberra on Tuesday. Schools Education Minister Peter Garrett on Monday called for students, parents and teachers to send him their ideas on how to stamp out bullying in Australia's schools.


LNP promises to develop Cape York as wild rivers laws buried

Rosanne Barrett - The Australian

Signature wild river preservation laws blamed for putting vast tracts of Queensland in economic mothballs are to be scrapped in favour of a regime that encourages mining and development. Campbell Newman's Liberal National Party government will begin the process of repealing the laws on Cape York Peninsula, the scene of a bitter dispute between environmentalists who backed the measures and indigenous interests that claimed they strangled the economic life of local communities.


High rollers take lower profile as cracks appear in China

Colin Kruger - SMH

Speculation about the intentions of Echo Entertainment's would-be suitors, Crown Ltd and Asian casino operator Genting Group, centre on the global grab for Asia's growing population of high rollers. But this market has lost some of its lustre recently with the two gambling meccas, Singapore and Macau, suffering slow downs as the Chinese economy cools.

NRL rejects player gambling research


Gambling counsellor and former Newcastle Knights player Ashley Gordon says the National Rugby League needs to investigate the impacts of gambling on rugby league players. Mr Gordon says gambling is having a devastating impact on the lives of some players and their families. As part of his work with Southern Cross University he put forward a proposal to the NRL to conduct research into player gambling, but it's been rejected.


Australian boxer Damien Hooper warned not to wear Aboriginal flag t-shirt


He did it for his people, but officials are warning Australian boxer Damien Hooper not to repeat his entry to the Olympic ring with the Aboriginal flag proudly emblazoned across his chest. Hooper, an Indigenous Australian from northern Queensland, marked his Games debut by wearing a black T-shirt bearing the Aboriginal flag as he arrived for his impressive opening fight win against American Marcus Browne.

Stolen Generation test case likely to go to trial

Claire Moodie - ABC

A test case for compensation by members of the Stolen Generation in Western Australia is likely to go to trial in the Supreme Court early next year. The action is being taken by seven siblings who were removed from their parents in the Wheatbelt and placed into state care between 1958 and 1961. Their parents, Donald and Sylvia Collard, who are both aged in their 80s, are also plaintiffs in the case.


Chick-fil-A? Really?

Sheila Liaugminas - Mercatornet

That was my reaction first time I heard the name of this place years ago. It was popular and well-frequented in some parts of the country, the food was good, the people extra friendly, but there wasn’t one anywhere near where I lived in Chicago. Times have certainly changed, but the reaction hasn’t.

UK: Polygamous immigrant families to be paid more benefits after Government blunder

Martin Robinson - Daily Mail

Extra wives will soon be able to claim full single person's benefits despite being married. The Government admits a loophole will exist because they do not want to recognise polygamy in any way, so they will treat extra wives as single.


Coalition split over candidate for Hume

Phillip Coorey - Sydney Morning Herald

An intensifying row between the Nationals and Liberals over the NSW seat of Hume is delaying the finalisation of an agreement to determine in which seats the two parties will run candidates at the next federal election. The Coalition agreement was supposed to be finalised more than a month ago but the Nationals and Liberals are at loggerheads, with the Liberals insisting the Nationals do not run while the Nationals are hell-bent on fielding a candidate.

Councillor says fund-raising forum gave $22,000 to Lib MP's campaign

Sean Nicholls, Kate McClymont - SMH

Federal and state MPs have benefited from tens of thousands of dollars collected by a fund-raising body linked to Liberals in south-west Sydney which has been referred to election funding authorities for investigation. Frank Oliveri, a Fairfield councillor close to the organisation, the South West Business Forum, has broken his silence over the whereabouts of some of about $35,000 raised at a 2007 event attended by Tony Abbott and Helen Coonan.

Abbott's sister makes a baskets case as she rides after Moore

Leesha McKenny - SMH

Tony Abbott's sister, Christine Forster, is concerned for the City of Sydney. ''I have this mental image of Clover Moore wanting people to be riding around the centre of Sydney with baguettes in their front baskets,'' Ms Forster, a first-time Liberal candidate for council, said.

Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Brisbane 'madam' faces court

Amy Remeikis - Brisbane Times

A woman accused of running a Brisbane prostitution racket fronted a Brisbane Magistrates Court this morning. Dan Li, who is also known as Renee, did not appear for her mention at first, and was represented by her lawyer Andrew Bale in front of Magistrate Allan Taylor. However, before Mr Taylor set Ms Li's next court date, he asked she appear before the court as she was listed as required to appear on his documents.

Sexualisation of Society

Sex tourists: Brazil fights 'Out of Control' child exploitation

Heather Sells - CBN News

Countries that host the Olympic Games typically look forward to the tourists and money the events bring. But there's also a dark side to that influx of visitors -- the sexual exploitation of children by sports fans. Brazil, which is hosting the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics, is already making plans to ward off this potential disaster. In northeastern Brazil, a growing number of tourists have become a sizable part of the economy. These visitors come to the region to take advantage of its world-renowned beaches, colonial architecture, and rich history. Tragically, some also come to take advantage of Brazil's children.


Muirhead admits child porn charges


Former ABC television and radio presenter Andy Muirhead has admitted accessing and possessing thousands of child pornography images. The 35-year-old has pleaded guilty to two counts of using a carriage service to access child pornography and one count of possessing child exploitation material.

Australian Catholic Bishops Conference to host largest youth festival since WYD 08

Christian Today

In December 2013 the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference will host the first Australian Catholic Youth Festival. The Festival will be held in the Archdiocese of Melbourne from Thursday December 5th to Saturday December 7th and gather up to 4000 young Catholics from year 9 students to those 25 years of age. The Festival will be the largest national gathering of Catholic young people since WYD 2008 and will be held 5 years after Pope Benedict XVI visited Australia for the Sydney WYD.

Calls multiply for inquiry into handling of sex abuse

Linton Besser, Joanne McCarthy - SMH

Precisely six months after the paedophile priest Denis McAlinden was reprimanded but not reported by the church over allegations of child sex abuse, Father Brian Lucas told the Wood Royal Commission that ''to engage in a cover-up … is the very worst way of approaching it''. Now Father Lucas, the general secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, is one of three senior Catholic officials being investigated by police detectives over the concealment of McAlinden's offences in the 1990s.

Just say no: Why abstinence is the way to go

Anna Maria Hoffman -

On July 6, 2012, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce released a pro-abstinence staff report called “A Better Approach to Teenage Pregnancy Prevention: Sexual Risk Avoidance.” This report details how Sexual Risk Avoidance (SRA), abstinence, truly lowers the rates of sexually transmitted infections (STI’s) and unintended teenage pregnancies as opposed to comprehensive sex education (CSE), which only focuses on reducing these risks.

Brothers in arms, yes, but the US needs to get rid of its guns

John Howard - SMH

Early in 2008 Janette and I were guests of the former president, George H. W. Bush or ''41'', as he is affectionately known, at his Presidential Library in College Station, Texas. I spoke to a warm and friendly audience of more than 300 who enthusiastically reacted until, in answer to a request to nominate the proudest actions of the Australian government I had led for almost 12 years, I included the national gun control laws enacted after the Port Arthur massacre in April 1996. Having applauded my references to the liberation of East Timor, leaving Australia debt free, pres ding over a large reduction in unemployment and standing beside the US in the global fight against terrorism, there was an audible gasp of amazement at my expressing pride in what Australia had done to limit the use of guns.