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.



Vermont becomes third state to legalize assisted suicide

Steven Ertelt - LifeNews

With Governor Peter Shumlin’s signature on a bill the state legislature approved, Vermont today becomes the third state after Oregon and Washington to legalize assisted suicide. Shumlin signed a bill today legalizing physician-assisted suicide for patients deemed to have a “terminal condition.” The move immediately drew opposition from leading pro-life groups. The new legislation “lays the foundation for deadly acts disguised as ‘care,’” noted Americans United for Life president Charmaine Yoest. “Physician-assisted suicide does not affirm the life or dignity of individuals facing serious illness or death. Instead, it opens the door to abuses and dangers for extremely vulnerable individuals.”

Children & Family

The cuts are now personal

John Collett - SMH

The 2013-14 federal budget delivered not that much for the personal finances of most people. It mostly deferred or scrapped tax breaks that had been promised, but not yet delivered, and so will hardly be missed. But the baby bonus of $5000 for the first child will go in favour of giving parents an extra $2000 through Family Tax Benefit Part A. And from July 1 next year there will be a half a percentage point rise in the Medicare Levy to help pay for the DisabilityCare Australia scheme.

Drugs & Alcohol

Man arrested in one of capital's biggest ecstasy busts

Canberra Times

Canberra detectives have carried out one of largest single ecstasy seizures on record in the ACT, finding drugs with a street value of more than $150,000 in a residential home. The bust included the seizure of a pill press, the first seized by ACT Policing in more than a decade.

Drugs and alcohol cause problems during pregnancy

Health Canal

A University of Canterbury psychology researcher has identified the first direct evidence that combined use of ecstasy and alcohol during pregnancy causes brain damage. The UC study indicated simultaneous use of alcohol and ecstasy during pregnancy may cause brain abnormalities that are more severe than those observed when either drug is taken alone.

Vic police want zero alcohol for 25yo's


Victorian police want to extend the zero alcohol limit for drivers until the age of 25, but say other P-plate restrictions may not need to be extended. Extending the zero alcohol limit for drivers until the age of 25 is the next logical step in saving lives on the roads, Victoria's top traffic cop says. But other conditions of P-plate licences, such as passenger number restrictions and rules about driving high-powered vehicles, may not need to be touched.


Rudd steals PM thunder on school funding


Kevin Rudd says his decision to support same-sex marriage is not about the Labor leadership, but a matter of conscience. Seeking an edge over the coalition, Prime Minister Julia Gillard has spent the week campaigning on her schools improvement plan and talking up the prospects of a coalition government raising the GST rate. She visited Melbourne on Tuesday to pressure the Victorian government into following NSW's lead in signing on to the schools plan by June 30.


Betting ban doesn't need federal approval

Neda Vanovac - News Ltd

A ban on live odds betting during sports broadcasts does not require commonwealth legislation, South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill says. Mr Weatherill on Monday said he wanted to ban such advertisements before the end of the AFL season, but federal Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said on Tuesday he preferred the matter be dealt with by the commonwealth, because of the involvement of broadcasters.

South Australia's move to ban live sports betting in doubt: Conroy


Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has poured cold water on suggestions South Australia could go it alone and ban live betting odds during sports broadcasts. Premier Jay Weatherill has announced his state will move to ban advertising of live betting, saying he holds concerns for a generation of children who think gambling is a normal part of watching sport. The Australian Christian Lobby says the new code risked being "toothless", as industry self-regulation did not have a good track record.


We’re all mad here

Allen Frances - Mercator Net

That's the message of the new edition of the bible for American psychiatrists, DSM-5. Diagnostic inflation is about to become hyperinflation. Medication misuse is out of control in the US and more psychiatric labelling in DSM-5 will not help. “We are all mad here” explains the Cat to Alice when she wonders about the strangeness of Wonderland. Well, life is starting to follow art. If people make the mistake of following DSM-5, the new diagnostic manual in psychiatry that was published on Saturday, pretty soon all of us may be labelled mad.

NSW Premier backs childcare centres' right to exclude unvaccinated children

Liz Foschia - ABC

New South Wales Premier Barry O'Farrell has given in-principle support to an Opposition plan to allow childcare centres to ban unvaccinated children. The State Opposition says it will consult the childcare sector and public on the draft bill, which will allow preschools to choose whether to accept children who are not immunised.


Declaration of 2013 World Congress of Families

Tamara Rajakariar - Mercator Net

At every World Congress of Families, a declaration is read to complete the proceedings. This is a summary of findings - put together with all the presentations and discussions in mind – which reaches a formal conclusion and gives participants a mind-frame with which they can move forward.

Gay marriage change a 'personal journey': Rudd

Marissa Calligeros, Judith Ireland and James Robertson - SMH

Kevin Rudd has denied hiding his true beliefs about same-sex marriage while he was prime minister, saying his current stance was the result of a ''personal journey''. Mr Rudd, who announced he had changed his position on same-sex marriage in a lengthy blog post on Monday night, rebuffed suggestions that it was more convenient for him to publicise his view as a backbencher, rather than party leader.

Christian Lobby says same-sex marriage would create another Stolen Generation


The managing director of the Australian Christian Lobby, Lyle Shelton, says legalising same-sex marriage will create another Stolen Generation.

Senator Wong condemns Christian Lobby's stolen generations comment

Jonathan Swan - SMH

Finance Minister Penny Wong has condemned the Australian Christian Lobby over comments likening children of same-sex couples to the stolen generations, saying the group's "bigotry" has no place in modern Australia. Senator Wong, who is a lesbian, a mother and a Christian, said comments made on Tuesday by the the ACL's managing director Lyle Shelton "demonstrated just how out of touch they are".

Gay marriage debate highlights deep divide in Conservative party

Nicholas Watt and Caroline Davies - The Guardian

Deep divisions in the Conservative party were highlighted late on Monday when Tory MPs clashed during a lengthy debate on the gay marriage bill which survived a series of challenges from traditionalists. Tory reformers expressed exasperation when a former defence minister warned of an "aggressive homosexual community".


Ombudsman finds long-term detention linked to self harm

Karen Barlow and Eliza Borrello - ABC

Commonwealth Ombudsman Colin Neave has expressed concern about the mental health of people being held in detention centres for long periods of time, saying the policies for dealing with them are inadequate. Mr Neave has released a report which was prompted by an escalation in the rate of self-harm in immigration detention centres in 2011.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

Two arrested in connection with murder of missionary Graham Staines

ASSIST News Service

Fourteen years after Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two young sons were burnt to death in sleep by a right wing mob, two suspects were arrested Friday from Odisha's Keonjhar district. A story by Priya Ranjan Sahu for the Hindustan Times reported that Ghanshyam Mahanta, 37, and Ramjan Mahanta, 34, were arrested on Friday morning during a raid by CBI officials and the Keonjhar police." That's according to District Police Superintendent Kavita Jalan.

Will U.S. designate Egypt, Pakistan, Iraq and Nigeria as religious freedom violators?

Patrick Goodenough - CNSNews

As the State Department prepares to release its annual report on international religious freedom Monday, a key issue for many Americans concerned about religious persecution is whether it will blacklist a handful of particularly egregious violators – or, as in previous years, ignore the recommendations of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.