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.



Abortion legislation to ease women's stress

Calla Wahlquist - The Examiner

Having easy access to abortion did not change Elizabeth's decision, but it did make it easier. Elizabeth, who has asked to be referred to by her first name only, was 22 years old when she fell pregnant to her boyfriend in 2008. ``It was difficult because he was really against me having a baby, and that was difficult because I kind of wanted it,'' she said.

New frontiers in repressing dissent

Mercator Net

Tasmania may be small, but it will punch far above its weight on the world stage in shutting down protests against abortion if a new bill is passed. Tasmanians learned on Friday, International Women’s Day, that abortion is to be decriminalized. This left many confused. Some took it to mean that abortion is currently illegal; others wondered if the State Government had somehow “lost” the amendments to the criminal code that legalized abortion, at any stage of gestation, in 2001.


Tamworth's busty billboard revealed as man's elbow

Kitty Hill - Northern Daily Leader

A busty Tamworth billboard has been found to exploit women - but the eye boggling truth is a complaint about it to the Advertising Standards Bureau has actually revealed the "boobs" actually belonged to a man. In a judgement yesterday by the bureau which determined the cheeky advert was degrading to women, it appears the joke is on Tamworth.

Drugs & Alcohol

Drug lesson is etched in acid - Stephanie Jager will live clean after overdosing on LSD

Clementine Cuneo - The Daily Telegraph

The father of a teenager who almost died after taking LSD said his daughter had learnt a valuable lesson about its dangers. Police said Stephanie Jager was celebrating her 15th birthday on Saturday night when she became violently ill and began hallucinating after taking what is believed to be a tab of the drug, known as "acid". The Coffs Harbour teen was rushed to hospital and spent the next 24 hours in a critical condition.


Knives out from all sides over online gambling laws

Richard Willingham -The Canberra Times

The government has released a report into online gambling reform calling for harm minimisation and pre-commitments. Richard Willingham and Senator Nick Xenophon respond. The long-awaited review of the online gambling laws has been rejected by bookmakers and gambling critics with the federal government accused of ''copping-out''. Fairfax Media on Tuesday morning reported that the Australian online gambling market would not be opened up to more legal betting avenues until a uniform harm minimisation and consumer protection guidelines were in place. More than $1 billion is estimated to be punted on 2200 illegal overseas gambling websites by Australians every year, with growth expected to continue strongly.

The downside of regulating sports betting

Cormac Barry - SMH

He's about 25 years old, well educated, earns a middle income and is tech-savvy. This is the profile of an Australian who bets on sporting events. However, there are no guarantees that he will place his bets through a reputable Australian website. That's because when he is placing his bets, he invariably has five or more websites open, yet just one or two of these are licensed in Australia. When deciding what to bet on, he is able to easily compare the odds, the events he can bet on and the methods which enable him to place bets (either over the internet or with a telephone operator).


I'm Gay and I oppose same-sex marriage

Doug Mainwaring - The Public Discourse

While religion and tradition have led many to their positions on same-sex marriage, it’s also possible to oppose same-sex marriage based on reason and experience. I wholeheartedly support civil unions for gay and lesbian couples, but I am opposed to same-sex marriage. Because activists have made marriage, rather than civil unions, their goal, I am viewed by many as a self-loathing, traitorous gay. So be it. I prefer to think of myself as a reasoning, intellectually honest human being.

Nationals MP Darren Chester says critics who launch personal attacks on PM should 'lay off'

Ben Packham - The Australian

A Nationals MP has urged colleagues and members of the public to tone down their criticism of Julia Gillard, saying the vicious personal attacks against her are un-Australian. Amid an uptick in support for the Prime Minister in the latest Newspoll, Victorian Nationals MP Darren Chester called for a more rational and dignified political debate.


Australia warned against returning Afghan refugees


A group of 30 Afghan MPs has written to the Federal Government urging it to abandon plans to return asylum seekers to Kabul. The ABC has obtained a copy of the letter, which says the security situation in the Afghan capital is getting worse and attackers are targeting members of the Hazara ethnic group.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

Iran puts five Christians on trial for their faith

Lisa Daftari - Fox News

Five Iranian Christian converts who were detained late last year will reportedly begin trial in Iran’s Revolutionary Court this week, according to a human rights group following the case. The five men were among seven arrested in October when security forces raided an underground house church in the city of Shiraz during a prayer session. They will be tried at the Revolutionary Court in Shiraz’s Fars Province on charges of disturbing public order, evangelizing, threatening national security and engaging in Internet activity that threatens the government, according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide, a religious persecution watchdog group.

Sexualisation of Society

Rosita Gallasch - The Examiner

A spponsorship deal between a Southern government school and a sex shop has raised questions about the scope of public-private partnerships in schools, according to the state's peak parents' group. A source said the shop was understood to have had some connection to the school, possibly through a student's family, and that resulted in a major component of a program being partly named after that business last year.


Cardinals fail to choose a pope in first conclave vote

Barney Zwartz - The Age

The first black smoke has emerged from the chimney on the Sistine Chapel roof, signalling that the cardinals meeting in a secret conclave have failed in their first vote to elect a new pope. As the smoke billowed out of the chimney, tens of thousands of onlookers in St Peter’s Square cheered in excitement or booed in mock disappointment.