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.



When the womb is a battlefield

Judie Brown - Christian Post

A baby is a blessing. Sadly, that mentality seems to be a thing of the past. Instead, today a baby is often thought of as an intrusion, an annoyance, or a thing that can be discarded at any time and for any reason—especially if he does not meet society’s standards of normalcy. Today’s commentary addresses this mentality and explains why this attitude must change if our society is to ever find peace. We must help people realize that, truly, a baby is a blessing.


Cancer survivors welcome embryo screening

Kellee Nolan -

Breast cancer survivor Petrina Burnett says she doesn't "even want to go there" when asked whether she would have children naturally. She is worried about the risk of passing on a genetic mutation called BRCA 1, a predisposition to cancer that she has a 50 per cent chance of passing on to any children she may have. At 36, she is relieved to know that if she does have children, she can use embryo screening technology to choose ones without the mutated BRCA gene to go on to pregnancy with.


Secretive teens in more danger online

Justin Coulson - The Punch

“Forbidden fruit” is powerfully alluring, especially for teenagers. Researchers have discovered that when children and adolescents are “forbidden” from drugs, media consumption, and even certain peer relationships, they will resist those limits and assert their independence.If you tell a teen not to do something you almost ensure that as soon as your back is turned, they’ll be experimenting, investigating, poking, prodding, inhaling, swallowing, or otherwise trying to experience whatever was just deemed contraband.

Drugs & Alcohol

Anger as NSW axes youth drug court

Adam Harvey - ABC

Legal experts are baffled by a NSW Government decision to axe special youth court that sent young offenders to counselling and rehab instead of jail. The court was set up 12 years ago after a recommendation of the Drug Summit, but it was closed down at short notice on Monday.

Mines call for tougher rules on synthetic drugs


The New South Wales Minerals Council says inadequate regulation of synthetic drugs makes it difficult for the Hunter's mining industry to properly address work health and safety issues. The Minerals Council says synthetic drugs need to be prohibited to send a clear message to workers and the community that the use of the substances will not be tolerated.


Founder of online gambling site Full Tilt Poker arrested in N.Y.

Los Angeles Times

The founder of the defunct gambling site Full Tilt Poker, which allegedly owes $350 million to Internet poker players, was arrested in New York as he came back into the country. Raymond Bitar, who was an equities trader in Los Angeles before establishing the offshore website, was taken into custody Monday at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Tatts hoping for $40 million tax windfall in court appeal

Ben Butler - SMH

Gaming group Tatts stands to reap tens of millions of dollars if it wins a $135 million court stoush with the Tax Office. Tatts on Monday asked the Federal Court to overturn an ATO decision denying it a $135 million tax deduction in 2007. The money was paid to the Queensland government as part of $530 million outlaid by Tatts to acquire the state's Golden Casket lottery business.


Minister responds to Toomelah troubles


The Minister for Community Services Pru Goward reacts to concerns about support for remote centres such as Toomelah.

Poor indigenous diets

Julie Brimblecombe - The Conversation

After tobacco, overweight and obesity contributes most heavily to the disease burden affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. It accounts for 16% of the health gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, and is linked with physical inactivity, which accounts for a further 12% of the gap. Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and kidney failure – each driven by obesity – are all rife among this population. Promising inroads have been made into tobacco cessation through political commitment, legislation, and community support. But obesity prevention in remote Indigenous Australia has not received equal attention.

Study reveals stark mental health figures for indigenous prisoners

Tony Moore - Brisbane Times

Nearly 90 per cent of indigenous women in Queensland prisons have a diagnosed mental illness, the first systematic research into Queensland's indigenous prisoners has revealed. That is four times the rate of mental illness in the general community. And nearly half of indigenous prisoners have been imprisoned four or more times.


UK: Schoolchildren could learn about same-sex marriage

The Huffington Post UK

Children in schools in England and Wales could be taught about same-sex marriage should proposals to allow gay people to wed go ahead, according to internal Government documents released on Monday. Measures introduced in 1996 require sex education lessons to include teaching about "the nature of marriage and its importance for family life", and the emails suggest that teaching material would have to be rewritten to cover same-sex marriage if the law changes.


Abbott warns of double dissolution


Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says he would call a double-dissolution election if Labor senators block his attempts to dump the carbon tax. "Absolutely," he said when asked about whether he would take the drastic step. "Everything that we humanly can, we will do."

Senior Labor MP Joel Fitzgibbon cracks the Whip on Green alliance

Simon Benson - The Daily Telegraph

A senior Labor MP has publicly questioned his own government's continued alliance with the Greens and called for Labor to take them on or risk shedding more votes to the minor party at the next election. Chief government whip Joel Fitzgibbon said the government was now at risk of permanently losing voters to the "fringe party" unless it rethought its strategy of coalition with them.

Time for Greens to join us in the real world

Joel Fitzgibbon – The Daily Telegraph

People from all walks of life, young and old, blue collar and white collar, from the right and to the left, will be disappointed by the failure of our national parliament to sort out the boat people issue. And many of them will be wondering who to blame. They should consider the following facts. At the conclusion of the debate last week, every member of the house of representatives bar one voted for an offshore processing solution.

LNP star James McGrath cruels Mal Brough's return

Michael McKenna – The Australian

Mal Brough's political comeback has been ambushed by the architect of the Liberal National Party's state election victory in Queensland. James McGrath has won powerful backing to challenge the former Howard government minister in a preselection battle for the federal seat of Fisher, held by stood-aside Speaker Peter Slipper. Mr McGrath, who previously signalled he would run in the neighbouring Sunshine Coast seat of Fairfax, yesterday stunningly switched electorates with the support of LNP powerbrokers, increasingly concerned about Mr Brough's involvement in an anti-corruption probe and role in the sexual harassment case against Mr Slipper.

Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Pay dirt

Caroline Overington – The Australian

It is 6pm on a Thursday in the West Australian mining town of Karratha and Vicki, the madam at the local brothel, is just back from picking up a young blonde from the airport. "Angel" is carrying her dinner, a whole roast chicken in a plastic bag, and she's got an air of anticipation about her, much like a young woman about to go on a backpacking holiday. "It's my first time in Karratha," she says after we've been introduced, "but I hope the rumours are true!" And what rumours would they be? "I heard there's plenty of men and they've got plenty of money, they're short of female company and they want to party."


Indonesia talks sink new hope on boats

Phillip Coorey - SMH

The steady arrival of asylum seeker boats is unlikely to abate any time soon with the Indonesian President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, demanding the release of crew members from Australian jails while offering little new in return for helping to stop the trade. In a joint statement released after their meeting in Darwin the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, agreed to the speedy processing and release of the minors from Australian jails. Both leaders promised to intensify efforts to tackle people smuggling.

Crew plea surprises Prime Minister Julia Gillard

Alyssa Betts - Herald Sun

Indonesia has urged Prime Minister Julia Gillard to release under-age members of people-smuggling crews from detention. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono put Ms Gillard on the spot in Darwin yesterday as the pair spoke of increased co-operation. "I welcome the policies of Australia to free under-age seafarers, who are also victims of acts of people smuggling," Mr Yudhoyono said. "And no doubt we hope that repatriation of the remaining under-age seafarers can be accelerated."

Police target group behind boat disasters

Karlis Salna - AAP

Indonesian police are closing in on other members of the people-smuggling syndicate responsible for two fatal voyages to Australia that resulted in the deaths of almost 100 asylum seekers. HajiI Irfan, an Afghan national with links to people-smuggling kingpin Sayed Abbas, was arrested last Friday in relation to his alleged involvement in organising the asylum-seeker boat which sank on its way to Australia on June 21, killing 90 people.

Police target group behind boat disasters

Karlis Salna – AAP

Indonesian police are closing in on other members of the people-smuggling syndicate responsible for two fatal voyages to Australia that resul ed in the deaths of almost 100 asylum seekers. HajiI Irfan, an Afghan national with links to people-smuggling kingpin Sayed Abbas, was arrested last Friday in relation to his alleged involvement in organising the asylum-seeker boat which sank on its way to Australia on June 21, killing 90 people.

Sexualisation of Society

Boobs, bimbos and broads: sexism and stereotypes in the gaming industry

Jane Hollier - Melinda Tankard Reist Blog

Sexist attitudes towards women in the gaming industry have existed ever since they realised a few extra dollars could be made by slapping a bow on top of the infamous yellow orb Pac-Man, and marketing ‘him’ as a ‘her.’ But at least in the 1980s graphics were limited, and the only obvious distinction between male and female was a bow. Fast forward 30 years and the difference is clear.


Dismantling the new atheism


Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, and the late Christopher Hitchens, collectively known as the “new atheists,” embody one of the most aggressive recent manifestations of both “scientism” and ”naturalism.” This new atheism is characterized by extreme forms of both scientism, a view about knowledge that holds that only what can be demonstrated scientifically deserves to be considered knowledge, and naturalism, a view about reality that holds that only the material world is real.

Federal MPs to pocket more pay

Phillip Hudson - The Daily Telegraph

Federal MPs have been handed a $5550 pay rise - just three months after pocketing a $44,000 salary boost. As families struggle with the carbon tax, the 3 per cent increase quietly handed down this week is almost double the annual inflation rate. It has already been derided by one figure as the "pollies' own carbon tax compo".