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.



New Zealand abortions decline in 2011, 767 more babies live

Steven Ertelt -

The number of abortions performed in New Zealand decreased in 2011, Statistics New Zealand said today. A total of 15,863 induced abortions were performed in New Zealand in 2011, 767 fewer than in 2010. “The general abortion rate (abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years) decreased from 18.1 per 1,000 in 2010 to 17.3 in 2011. This rate is the lowest since 1995 when it was 16.1 per 1,000. The lower abortion rate indicates that the decrease in the number of abortions was due to fewer women having abortions rather than to changes in the size or age structure of the population,” said Dallas Welch, the acting government statistician.


Watching violence makes for angry kids, study shows

Neil Keene - The Daily Telegraph

Kids exposed to violence in video games and on TV display similar reactions to those who witness war and acts of violence in real life. Macquarie University Children and Families Research Centre deputy director Dr Wayne Warburton said yesterday that years of study across the world showed definite links between time spent watching dramatised violence and the likelihood of aggressive behaviour in the young.

Adults-only games rating finally a reality


Nearly 12 months after "historic agreement" to change Australia's classification system, legislation finally passed federal parliament last night to introduce an adults-only video game rating. "These are important reforms over 10 years in the making," says Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare. "The R18+ category will inform consumers, parents and retailers about which games are not suitable for minors to play and will prevent minors from purchasing unsuitable material.

No longer a boys' game as gorefests to get R18+ rating

Julie Power – SMH

From January 1, Australia will have an R18+ classification for computer games, bringing the country into line with the rest of the world for the first time. Unlike videos, books and other entertainment, computer games is the only category that does not have an R18+ rating, although 92 per cent of households play games. The new category has been such a hot issue that the Attorney-General's Department received 58

Human Rights

Faux human-rights claims diminish democracy

Janet Albrechtsen - The Australian

To gain a better understanding of the abuse of the phrase human rights, all one need do is compare and contrast two events reported within hours of each other. In Oslo on Saturday, Burmese democracy campaigner Aung San Suu Kyi finally delivered her acceptance speech for receiving the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize. After more than two decades under house arrest at the hands of the military junta in Burma, the 66-year-old human rights activist gave a deeply moving address about her isolation from her husband, her family and the world.


Gay marriage debate brought forward

Phillip Coorey - SMH

The vote on gay marriage has been brought forward from the end of the year and could be held as early as August following concerns from Labor's Right that the debate is damaging the party. It is accepted on all sides that the push to legalise gay marriage will be defeated.

Labor gathering names for marriage debate

Federal Government whip Joel Fitzgibbon has called for MPs who want to speak in the debate on same-sex marriage legislation to start putting their names on the list. A meeting of the Labor caucus today was told this was necessary to determine how much time was needed to deal with the two private members' bills put up by government MP Stephen Jones and Greens MP Adam Bandt.

MP changes view on gay marriage

Phillip Coorey – SMH

A cabinet minister and leading member of Labor's Right faction has changed his mind and says he will vote for same-sex marriage. Late yesterday, the Special Minister of State, Gary Gray, told Parliament: ''This change will improve the lives of people and the lives of future generations. ''Every Australian should have the right to marry who they want, and every Australian should be able to marry who they love.''


G20's family feud to see summit fall flat

Just like every other family, the G20 has its tiffs. But, as any Sopranos fan will tell you, some families are more powerful than others. The global summit - being held in the beachside resort city of Los Cabos - is under intense pressure to drive action on the debt crisis in Europe and the United States. But as the first day of the two-day summit drew to an end, leaders and officials were talking down the prospect of anything more than a statement on future directions or a "roadmap".

Rumblings in the ranks over Ted Baillieu's future

Peter Rolfe – Herald Sun

Ted Baillieu last night faced renewed leadership questions as fallout continued over the fractured relationship between two senior members of his Coalition Government. The Government did its best to paper over cracks in the Coalition's unity as Deputy Premier Peter Ryan was grilled over a public disagreement with his former police parliamentary secretary, Bill Tilley.

Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Standing up for sex workers is standing up for pimps

Caroline Norma - SMH

Elite academics in Australia love to profess their support for ''sex workers''. University of New South Wales academic Catharine Lumby in ''Sex is not dirty work'' on these pages pleaded for the media to treat sex workers with more respect, given that prostitution is a legal form of employment in Australia. Lumby recalls telling her sons over the dinner table to not make jokes about women their friends call ''prosties'', and to remember that feminists and Christians could be condemned for failing to properly recognise prostitution as work.

Brothel to expand, but with new limits

Leesha McKenny – SMH

The developer planning Australia's largest brothel has been granted the right to proceed, but a court has curbed its ambitions by imposing a limit of 1.5 patrons to every sex worker. Stiletto in Camperdown wanted permission for a $12 million expansion accommodating up to 160 people at its Parramatta Road business at any one time, including almost three patrons for each of its 40 sex workers.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

SkyCity Casino in Auckland to discipline worker for carrying a pocket Bible

Jeff Schapiro - Christian Post

Last week Tuni Parata, a tower host at SkyCity Casino in Auckland, received a letter from her employers accusing her of misconduct for having the Bible, the NZ Herald reports. The letter states disciplinary action may be taken because she was seen with a "non-work related material in a front of house work environment." Parata has been a SkyCity employee for 16 years and now fears that she will lose her job over the issue. Her disciplinary hearing is scheduled for Thursday.


Restoring hope for refugee children

Liza Beinart - ABC

This week we celebrate Australia's diverse refugee communities. The 2012 theme for Refugee Week is restoring hope. In reflecting on this theme, I wonder what this means for refugee children and their families. Refugees arriving in Australia face a range of challenges, many of them exacerbated by the media's negative portrayal and therefore the public's negative perception of them.

Vietnamese 'boat people' become successful Australian citizens

Matthew Carney - ABC

Three decades ago in 1981 an Australian Naval Commander picked up a leaking boat with 99 Vietnamese refugees on board. Those 99 "boat people", as they were known are now productive and successful citizens of Australia. And the Naval Commander who saved them from certain death says the asylum seeker debate could learn a lot from this extraordinary tale.

Sexualisation of Society

An education in lewdness as porn images show up on Education Department's website

The Daily Telegraph

Pornographic images from a Japanese escort agency have shown up on the Education Department's website on a teacher-student portal. Education Minister Adrian Piccoli was forced to order the images be taken down yesterday after being alerted by The Daily Telegraph.

Go easy on sex photo teens

Ashley Gardiner – Herald Sun

Teenage sexters who share explicit and naked pictures should be cautioned rather than charged, police say. The softer approach would be applied when the other party has consented to having the sexually explicit picture taken, usually on a mobile phone.


Government-funded ‘registry of homophobic acts’ launched today in Quebec

John-Henry Westen - LifeSiteNews

In what they are touting as a “world first,” a Quebec homosexual activist group has launched a “registry of homophobic acts” with support and funding from the Quebec Government’s Justice Department. Standing alongside Montreal Police Chief Johanne Paquin and Commander Alain Gagnon, the leadership of the group Gai Ecoute launched the anonymous tipster registry at a press conference today. Included in the definition of actions classified as “homophobic” and deemed worthy of reporting to the registry are: “any negative word or act toward a homosexual or homosexuality in general: physical abuse, verbal abuse, intimidation, harassment, offensive graffiti, abuse, injurious mockery, inappropriate media coverage and discrimination.”

Plea on male netballer: 'Please stick up for me and all girls who play in girls' competitions'

Carolyn Webb - The Age

Members of a junior netball club have slammed a VCAT decision to allow a 185-centimetre tall, 13-year-old boy interim permission to play in an all-girls' competition. Despite Netball Victoria discouraging teams from speaking out, the coach, parents and players from one of the boy's rival teams, St Therese's of Essendon, say it would be a disaster if VCAT made the ruling permanent that boys can play in the 15 and under matches.