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.



US marks 40th anniversary of landmark abortion case

Brendan Trembath - ABC

Both sides in the American abortion debate are marking the 40th anniversary of the controversial US Supreme Court decision which established a woman's right to an abortion. The delicate question over whether a woman has the right to choose to terminate a pregnancy - and thus, critics argue, end a life - has long caused deep and bitter divisions in America.

Drugs & Alcohol

Movie goers should not be able to drink in Norwood's Hoyts cinemas, Norwood, Payneham & St Peters Council says

Emma Altschwager - Herald Sun

General movie goers should not be allowed to drink alcohol in Norwood's Hoyts cinemas, Norwood, Payneham & St Peters Council says. The council voted last night to write to the Liquor and Gambling Commissioner to express its concerns about the cinema operator's push to allow patrons to drink alcohol in the complex's seven theatres.

Don't drink alcohol? You're un-Australian say Gen Y

Lucy Kippist -

Predicting whether or not you will have a drink this Australia Day comes down to your gender, age and what state you come from. New data from alcohol abstinence advocates Febfast has revealed that more men than women associate having a drink with being inherently Australian. Ditto the younger generation, with 28 per cent of 18 to 24 year olds more likely to knock back a beer or two while celebrating our national holiday. That's compared with 12 per cent of Australians who are 55 years and over who don’t see drinking alcohol as a necessary part of being an Australian.

Violence, booze a nation's shame as police prepare for Australia Day assaults

Aaron Langmaid - Herald Sun

Australia is earning itself a reputation for violence and drinking to excess because young people can't handle their booze, experts have warned. It comes as police gear up for a spike in violent assaults on Australia Day. Our day of national pride is second only to New Year's when it comes to the number of punches thrown by goons. In Victoria, last year 109 assaults were reported to police on Australia Day and 122 were reported on the same day in 2011.

Human Rights

Anti-discrimination bill causes more problems than it solves

Innes Willox - The Australian

Industry has a significant and long-running interest in the debate over how best to streamline anti-discrimination legislation. Employers are obviously deeply focused on their workplaces being sites of co-operation, efficiency, harmony and integration. Disruption and unrest at any level serves only to reduce teamwork and effectiveness. The proposed consolidation of anti-discrimination acts needs to be put back on track. If the current draft bill is enacted, it will cause more problems than it resolves.

Anti-discrimination laws: an act of confusion

Chris Berg - ABC

Proposed changes to Australia's anti-discrimination laws were meant to reduce "uncertainty". But Chris Berg argues that the attempt to merge laws on discrimination and harassment has resulted in an incoherent mess.

Aspects of anti-discrimination law changes 'go too far'

Simon Cullen - ABC

The head of the Human Rights Commission believes aspects of the Government's proposed overhaul of anti-discrimination laws may "go too far" and has suggested tweaking the plan in order to preserve the thrust of the "valuable reforms". Commission president Gillian Triggs says the public debate over the changes has exposed some weaknesses in the draft legislation that should probably be changed.

Discrimination bill opposition hardens

Max Blenkin -

Opposition to Labor's planned overhaul of anti-discrimination laws is hardening, with the head of the Human Rights Commission Gillian Triggs suggesting the most contentious provision could be dumped. That section says unlawful discrimination can include conduct that offends or insults. Professor Triggs, the HRC president, said it was not subject to the objective test of reasonableness, fuelling fears it would harm the fundamental right of freedom of speech.


'Captain's pick' of Nova Peris risks backlash in Labor

Sin Maher - The Australian

Julia Gillard has risked a backlash from Labor members and stoked internal divisions after moving to dump long-serving senator Trish Crossin and install Olympian Nova Peris as the candidate to become the party's first indigenous federal member. The Prime Minister said yesterday she had made a "captain's pick" by inviting Ms Peris to join the ALP and seek preselection for the Senate for the Northern Territory. "I have made the decision, and that's it," she said.

Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Single mum prostitution 'hearsay': govt

Lisa Martin - AAP

Reports that some single mothers had turned to prostitution and stripping following welfare cuts to sole parents were "hearsay", the federal government says. The benefit cuts came in at the start of 2013 and will affect about 84,000 single parents, mostly mothers who receive parenting payments. AAP revealed on Sunday two brothels in Melbourne and Brisbane have since experienced an "influx" of applications from single mothers looking for work, while others sought work at strip clubs.


New threat to offshore processing

Bianca Hall and Judith Ireland - SMH

Australia's offshore processing faces a fresh legal threat, as Papua New Guinea's Opposition Leader alleges asylum seekers are being held illegally on Manus Island under PNG's constitution. Two Australian lawyers say Opposition Leader Belden Namah's challenge has a good chance of success.

Asylum seekers swap accommodation for household chores

Tony Eastley - ABC

A new program aims to place around two thousand asylum seekers in Australian homes in exchange for help with household chores.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

A Christian convert, arrested at Christmas, remains in prison

Mohabat News

The Christian young man was arrested at the same time as Iranian security authorities arrested a group of Christians in Tehran. After almost a month, this Christian convert remains in prison, as judicial authorities refused to accept bail for his release. According to Mohabat News correspondents, Mostafa Bordbar, a Christian convert, was arrested during the Christmas celebrations by security authorities in Tehran and is still being held in Evin prison.

Sexualisation of Society

Labour warns of serious damage caused by the 'pornification' of our children's lives

James Chapman - UK Daily Mail

Children are being seriously damaged by the ‘pornification’ of British culture, a senior Labour figure will warn today. Diane Abbott will say the notion that overt, public displays of sexuality are ‘enlightened liberation’ has created a ‘prison’ for a generation of young women.


Assembly religious spat escalates

Lisa Cox, Noel Towell - Canberra Times

Religious tension between the ACT’s Chief Minister and the Speaker of the Assembly has escalated nearly three weeks before the chamber is first due to sit. Liberals’ speaker Vicki Dunne has become more insistent that Chief Minister Katy Gallagher and her Labor MLAs join in a church service to mark the beginning of the new Assembly on February 11. But Ms Gallagher is insisting “as a matter of principle” that she and her colleagues will not take part in the ceremony.

Russia moves to enact anti-gay law nationwide

Kissing his boyfriend during a protest in front of Russia's parliament earned Pavel Samburov 30 hours of detention and the equivalent of a $16 fine on a charge of "hooliganism." But if a bill that comes up for a first vote later this month becomes law, such a public kiss could be defined as illegal "homosexual propaganda" and bring a fine of up to $16,000. The legislation being pushed by the Kremlin and the Russian Orthodox Church would make it illegal nationwide to provide minors with information that is defined as "propaganda of sodomy, lesbianism, bisexuality and transgenderism."