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.



Turkish PM: abortion is murder


Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has compared abortion to murder and said it's a conspiracy to crimp his country's economic expansion. ''We know there is a devious plan to remove this nation from the world stage,'' Mr Erdogan told the women's unit of the governing Justice and Development Party.

Feature - Woman's abortion survival turned into movie

Catholic News

The touching story of American woman Gianna Jessen, born after her mother went to have an abortion, has been made into a movie called October Baby, reports Vatican Insider. “My name is Gianna Jessen. I was aborted, and I did not die. My biological mother was seven months pregnant when she went to Planned Parenthood in Southern California and they advised her to have a late-term saline abortion.


Monash University researchers score $1.75m boost for multiple sclerosis study

Jessica Marszalek - Herald Sun

Melbourne researchers using a new adult stem cell technique have scored $1.75 million towards their fight against multiple sclerosis. The Monash University team, directed by Professor Claude Bernard, are taking skin cells from people with MS and turning them into stem cells that can be genetically reprogrammed into affected brain cells.

Children & Family

Silenced by the system


Fathers have a right to see their children. Children have a right to be protected. Everyone has a right to be heard. Actually – no they don’t. And this is the key point a much talked-about international custody battle, being played out in the courts and in the media, is about to contest. The children’s great aunt has challenged the High Court in a bid to overturn a section of the Family Law Act that prevents children receiving independent legal representation unless there are "exceptional circumstances". Tony Morris QC is supporting the move which will finally give children caught up in complicated custody battles a voice.

Facebook making infidelity Just 'A few clicks away'

The social networking site Facebook has grown substantially in recent years, primarily because it gives users the chance to reconnect with old friends and distant family. But that Facebook benefit could also be fueling relationship problems. More than a third of divorce filings last year included the word "Facebook," according to a British survey by Divorce Online. Some 80 percent of divorce lawyers also say they've seen a rise in cases related to social networking.


Advertising watchdog probes 'offensive' sex billboard as critics call for ratings system

Angela Ranke - Courier Mail

A billboard spruiking a sex product for men is under fire, sparking renewed calls to introduce a classification system for outdoor advertising. The billboard is an advertisement for the Advanced Medical Institute, the company behind the banned "want longer lasting sex" ads, and depicts the slogan ``It's time...oral last longer making love''. It appeared over the weekend on the busy Beaudesert Rd overpass at Salisbury and is near two local state schools. Wendy Francis of the Australian Christian Lobby said the latest AMI billboard showed self-regulation did not work.

Drugs & Alcohol

Fruity Banrock Station wine 'aimed at young females' expert says

Catherine Hockley - The Advertiser

The producers of one of South Australia's best-known wine brands has been accused of targeting youth with fruit-flavoured cask wine. Banrock Station has been criticised over its new cask wines, Infusions, which includes rose "infused" with strawberry and lychee, and savignon blanc with peach and mango flavours. Public health expert Professor Mike Daube, from the National Alliance for Action on Alcohol, says the wine is a direct pitch at young females. "We have enough problems with kids and alcohol," he said.


Tatts worth a look as option to gambling on sharemarkets

Tim Boreham - The Australian

On the banker's long-standing proviso that you only lend money to companies that don't need it, Tatts's $200 million retail debt raising is worth a look for yield-hungry investors who don't want to take a punt on choppy equity markets. But there's been a slew of other raisings of late - all with varying structures and terms - so such an offer shouldn't be viewed in isolation.

Expert backs Government's interim gambling report


An interim review of Australia's decade-old online gambling laws has recommended legalising some forms of online poker. The Federal Government has released its interim review of the 2001 Online Gaming Act, with 35 recommendations to strengthen consumer rights and stop harmful online gaming practices. The laws were originally drawn up more than 11 years ago to reduce the scope for problem gambling through interactive and online services.

Human Rights

Australian probe looms for Google Street View

Jennifer Dudley-Nicholson -

Australia's Privacy Commissioner could launch a second investigation into Google's collection of personal information after a report found the internet giant was warned its Street View cars were harvesting everything from text message to internet passwords. The details emerged in a US Federal Communications Commission report that found the company's Street View cars not only photographed streets but recorded wi-fi network details, as well as "names, addresses, telephone numbers, URLs, passwords, email, text messages, medical records, video and audio files". Google apologised for the collection in 2010, saying "we want to reiterate to Australians that this was a mistake for which we are sincerely sorry".


Equal on frontline, rejected on return: battle for an Aboriginal veteran's justice

Margaret Burin - ABC

Aboriginal elder John Lovett is calling for compensation on behalf of his father, whose traditional homeland was denied to him under Victoria's Soldier Settlement Scheme and given to white soldiers. Herbert Stahle Lovett served Australia in both world wars. He fought like anyone else, but when he returned he was denied the same rights as other soldiers. After the First World War, Aboriginal families were forcibly removed from his homeland at Lake Condah and following the Second World War the Commonwealth sold the land to the State Government for its Soldier Settlement Scheme.


Confessions of a polygamist: A man's love for two twin sisters

Tory Shepherd - Daily Telegraph

Marc Glasby was faithful to his wife Belle for 30 years - until he fell in love with her identical twin sister, Dorothy. Now he loves them both. And they love him. And the three of them live together, the women taking it in turns to sleep with Marc. Holly Hill says 'Humans not built to be faithful' advocating open relationships. Polygamy – marrying multiple people - is illegal in Australia, but there is clearly no law against polyamory – loving multiple people.

Will incestuous couples want marriage rights?

David van Gend – The Australian

The day we cut marriage adrift from the rock of nature, from the mammalian order of male-female-young, is the day we lose any fundamental reason to deny "marriage equality" to any consenting adults, whether polyamorous or incestuous. And that way madness lies.

Overseas Aid

Indonesia's rise is the big story we're missing

Hugh White - SMH

Australians see Indonesia today through a kaleidoscope of negative images: Islamic terrorists, people smugglers, dreadful tsunamis, violence in East Timor, brutal abattoirs, Australians on drug charges. Schapelle Corby's ordeal somehow typifies the whole thing. But we are missing the big story. Indonesia's economy is growing so strongly that, according to Citibank, it will be the fourth largest in the world by 2040. Our big neighbour will then be three or four times richer than us. Already its GDP has overtaken ours by about 15 per cent. The government says our massive aid spending is the key to good relations. Indonesia is our largest aid recipient, getting more than half a billion dollars next financial year. But this money has become a substitute for serious political and diplomatic engagement. It cannot buy the relationship we need with Indonesia when it becomes a great power.


Is there any price PM won't pay to hang on? Apparently not

Shaun Carney - The Age

A good government had lost its way: that was Julia Gillard's justification for her move on Kevin Rudd in June 2010. She had seized for herself the role of the rescuer, the deputy who would take over, right the ship and get it back on course. In doing so, Gillard was setting a high standard for her prime ministership. By her own telling, she would restore sensible, methodical processes not just to the government's decision-making procedures, but to the way it carried itself and explained its actions to the public. This much was implicit in Gillard's first explanation of her reasons for shafting Rudd.

Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Sex workers shine light on their trade with Q&A

Kylie Northover - The Age

A porn star, an escort, a tantric practitioner, a dominatrix and a rent boy walk into a bar … and willingly answer any question thrown at them. At least that's what happened last night at a public forum in the Secret Society Bar in Bourke Street. In a bid to demystify their profession, the sex workers appeared on a panel open to the public, as part of this week's Festival of Sex Work, the first festival of its kind in Australia.

Sex workers argue 'fly in fly out' rights

Leone Knight - ABC

Sex workers are legitimate 'fly in fly out'(FIFO) workers, according to the Australian Sex Workers Union. In its submission to the parliamentary inquiry on the use of 'Fly in Fly out' workers, the union says sex workers experience all of the same problems of other FIFO workers.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

Bhatti murder case in Pakistan becomes increasingly murky

Michael Ireland - ASSIST News Service

The investigation into the murder of Pakistan’s only cabinet-level Christian, Shahbaz Bhatti, has become mired amid suspicions of a possible cover-up, sources said, according to Compass Direct News (CDN). Compass reports that sources say lax investigations, a series of freed suspects and lack of coordination across law enforcement organizations have stalle the case following the March 2, 2011 slaying of the federal minister for Minority Affairs. Compass reports that at the scene of Bhatti’s murder, police recovered a leaflet asserting that Bhatti had been killed for raising his voice against Pakistan’s notorious “blasphemy” laws.

Islamists in Egypt blame Christians for voting

Mary Abdelmassih - Assyrian International News Agency

The official results of the first round of the Egyptian presidential elections were announced today, the run-off will be between Mohamed Morsy, the Muslim Brotherhood candidate, and Air Marshal Ahmad Shafik, Mubarak's last PM, who served for less than one month during the revolution and before Mubarak was ousted. Many Islamists, fearing Shafik if he comes to power, especially after vowing to bring back order and security within one month of his election, are blaming Copts for voting for Shafik and bringing him to second place. Copts have been accused of being "traitors" and "anti-revolutionary" for voting to bring back the old regime.


Teen refugees appeal to change detention policy

Jessica Marszalek - Herald Sun

Three teen refugees will today detail their frightening trips to Australia on rickety fishing boats as they appeal to Immigration Minister Chris Bowen not to lock up the children who survive the journey. The Afghani trio were be joined by two Australian friends at Parliament House today, who say the policy makes them ashamed. Ali Mohammadi and Hussain Akhlaqi, 17, and Mujtaba Ahmadhi, 18, were minors when they arrived in Australia, and said they battled depression when they were immediately locked in detention.

Sexualisation of Society

Salacious ad is far too sexy for Sharks

Bruce McDougall - The Daily Telegraph

The Cronulla Sharks football club has distanced itself from a steamy advertisement produced by new sponsor Shark energy drink that depicts two young people having raunchy locker room sex. The Sharks said the ad - urging customers to "Bring Out The Beast" - would not be used to market the club, even though it was part of promotional campaigns by its major jersey sponsor in other parts of the world.


Christians pray in stadium ahead of London Olympics

Christian Today

Up to 9,000 Christians gathered at Leyton Orient Football Stadium on Saturday for a day of prayer and worship for the London Olympics. The stadium is located next to the newly completed Olympic Park, which in just a few weeks' time will welcome athletes and thousands of spectators from around the world for the London 2012 Games. Light the Fire is the only stadium event of its kind taking place in Britain this year that is dedicated solely to praying for the Olympics.

The end of days is coming, but Christmas is not

Barney Zwartz - The Canberra Times

One in 10 Australians believes the world will end this year in line with ancient Mayan prophecies. Some think it will be the final cataclysm, and some that it will usher in a new era of peace and spirituality. There's even a chance extremists will be tempted to violence, a Melbourne conference will hear today.

New laws criminalise slave practices

Richard Willingham - SMH

Forced marriage, labour and organ trafficking are the targets of new laws being proposed by the federal government to clamp down on ''slavery-like'' practices. The Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon, will today introduce new laws that criminalise forced marriage, forced labour and organ trafficking, with people found guilty of forced marriage to face up to seven year's jail and punishment of up to 12 year's prison for forced labour.