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.



The Lance Armstrong paradox: how saving lives can be wrong

Paul Biegler - The Conversation

The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) has officially upended the Elysian podium that held Lance Armstrong aloft as victor of seven Tours de France. Its ruling comes in the wake of the damning judgement of the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). Crashing down, the podium has obliterated perhaps the greatest ever sporting achievement, taking with it the vicarious elation of millions. But this skydive from grace is extraordinary for another reason. Armstrong’s drug-fuelled dominance saved thousands from cancer and, if his charitable foundation Livestrong survives the cataclysm, could deliver many more.

Charities & NFP

Where the most charitable Australians live

Adele Ferguson - SMH

When it comes to giving, Melburnians living in Middle Park rank as the most charitable, followed by South Australians living in Vale Park, residents living in Killara, NSW, and Vaucluse in Sydney’s Eastern suburbs. The figures, released by NAB in its inaugural NAB Charitable Giving Index, were compiled using donations made by credit card, BPay and EFTPOS. They give Australians – and the 600,000 non profit entities trying to raise money - an idea of who is giving what, when, and where.


Friends with your boss on Facebook? Watch out


Thousands of young Aussies might have to update their Facebook status from 'hired' to 'fired' sooner than they'd like. Almost one-third of workers aged between 18 and 25 are friends with their boss on social media, a new survey has found. But more than half them - 58 per cent - admit they've never cleared potentially career-damaging content from their profiles.

Drugs & Alcohol

Prescription drugs fuel alarming death spike

Daniel Piotrowski - News Ltd

It's our new drug crisis. Australia is experiencing its biggest spike in opiate-related deaths since the heroin epidemic of the 1990s, but the majority of deaths are being blamed on prescription painkillers such as oxycodone - also known as 'hillbilly heroin' – and morphine. An analysis by researchers at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) at the University of New South Wales, found 500 Australians aged 15 to 54 died of an opiate overdose in 2008, up from 360 in 2007.

Medics' drug pilfering rare but perilous

Michelle Henderson - AAP

It's uncommon, but it happens. Occasionally, medical professionals including doctors, nurses, anaesthetists and paramedics dip into the drugs readily available to them to self-medicate or feed an addiction. The thorny issue was thrown into the spotlight last week after it emerged vials of the powerful painkiller fentanyl belonging to the Victorian ambulance service had been emptied and refilled with water.

Mum treated kids with methadone before, court told

Loukas Founten - ABC

A mother who killed her five-year-old son with a lethal dose of methadone had previously given the boy the drug when he was suffering from swine flu, a court has been told. Lisa Ann Collard, 45, put methadone in her son Kristopher's bottle of cordial at her Modbury Heights home in Adelaide in June last year in an attempt to treat the boy's flu symptoms.


Trawler risks spelt out

The Mercury

Fisheries Minister Joe Ludwig received confidential advice that banning the controversial super trawler Abel Tasman would be a "significant risk" for the Federal Government.


Doctor slams 'arrogance' on euthanasia

Melissa Davey - WA Today

The views on euthanasia held by the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, and the NSW Premier, Barry O'Farrell, are ''supremely arrogant'', says a leading Sydney primary care physician. David Leaf, a Dying with Dignity NSW board member, said mounting evidence that supported legalising euthanasia was being ignored. He said assisted dying programs worked, with no evidence of heightened risk for groups considered vulnerable to euthanasia, including the elderly, uninsured, poor, physically disabled and mentally ill.


Path now clear for James Packer's new casino at Barangaroo

Andrew Clennell - The Daily Telegraph

It's the final piece of James Packer's gambling puzzle - and now Sydney will get its second casino. James Packer's Barangaroo hotel-casino development will get cabinet approval on Monday. Shadow cabinet also gave approval to the plan yesterday, ensuring changes to casino laws to enable the proposal to pass the upper house. Opposition Leader John Robertson told Labor caucus Sydney needed a six-star casino, and a high rollers room was the only way to pay for it.

Human Rights

Must religious organizations be required to admit on-adherents as members?

Benjamin Bull - Town Hall

About five years ago, I had the privilege of making a presentation before the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, a European intergovernmental organization established to protect, among other things, international “human rights.” While there, a prominent European atheist group also did a presentation claiming that churches across the world are violating the rights of atheists by excluding them from church membership. Of course, this was news to me. So I listened.


Gay Ulster born MP Conor Burns not for same sex marriage

Sam McBride - Newsletter

An Ulster-born gay Conservative MP has come out against David Cameron’s attempt to introduce gay marriage, warning that even assurances from the Prime Minister may not stop churches from being forced to conduct same-sex ceremonies. In an interview with the News Letter, Conor Burns – a Catholic unionist who was born in north Belfast and is now a rising Tory star – spoke for the first time about an issue which has split the Conservative Party.


Corbell, Hunter back in the race

Noel Towell - The Canberra Times

Simon Corbell and Meredith Hunter appear to be back in contention - by the slimmest of margins - to hold their places in the ACT Legislative Assembly. Interim preference numbers released by Election ACT late last night, although they relate to a small number of votes, hold out hope for the incumbents in Ginninderra and Molonglo.

Former GetUp! director wants ACT Senate seat

Chris Johnson - The Canberra Times

Former GetUp! director Simon Sheikh is making a tilt for an ACT Senate seat and has thrown his hat into the ring for Greens preselection. He is after Liberal Senator Gary Humphries’ seat. The high-profile grass roots lobbyist has the blessing of Greens leader Christine Milne, but he will have to wait at least a month to find out whether the ACT branch of the party accepts him.

SA Liberals' re-elected leader Isobel Redmond promises to make most of 'shotgun' marriage

Daniel Wills and Brad Crouch - Adelaidenow

Opposition Leader Isobel Redmond is vowing not to alter her leadership style, despite gathering the support of only half her party room. She also gained a deputy who had campaigned to remove her. Speaking to The Advertiser after yesterday's 13-12 victory, Ms Redmond said she might leave her front bench in place until Christmas and was unsure when she would release new policies.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

Another Christian teenager held for blasphemy in Pakistan

Dan Wooding - Assist News

A Muslim mob ransacked the home of a 16-year-old Christian boy accused of sending a blasphemous text message; he has been charged with Pakistan’s most serious “blasphemy” offence, which carries the death penalty. A mob burning belongings of Ryan Stanten, a Christian boy accused of sending anti-Islam texts to his Muslim neighbors, in Karachi. According to Barnabas Fund, Ryan Stanten allegedly forwarded on Tuesday. October 9, 2012, a text containing material deemed offensive to Islam. It was sent to fellow residents of a middle-class colony in Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Karachi, for employees of a gas company.

Religious freedom: Growing concern over anti-religious developments in Westerrn Europe

Stefan Bos - Bos News Life

At least 200 million Christians suffer discrimination and persecution worldwide, including in European Union countries such as Hungary, which now has Europe's "most restrictive" church registration law, according to a new report obtained by BosNewsLife. The Religious Freedom in the World Report 2012, released by the Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) relief and advocacy group, also noted "growing concern" about perceived anti-religious developments in Western EU states Britain, Spain and the Netherlands. "Increasingly there are attempts in these countries to impose an extreme form of secularism that excludes the role of religion in public life."


Brazil's evangelical churches rewrite the rules of politics

LA Times

The Catholic nation's evangelical Christians are gaining influence — and using it to sway elections. The trend has others uneasy over the blatant mixing of church and state.

UK: Gay couple win B&B case against Christian owners


A gay couple who were turned away from a B&B have won their court case. Michael Black, 64, and John Morgan, 59, were prevented from sharing a room together at the Swiss Bed and Breakfast in Cookham, Berkshire. They began legal proceedings against the owners, Susanne and Mike Wilkinson in January 2011.