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.


Children & Family

Kids could someday get on Facebook, without lying

Though Facebook bans children under 13, millions of them have profiles on the site by lying about their age. The company is now testing ways to allow those kids to participate without needing to lie. This would likely be under parental supervision, such as by connecting children's accounts to their parents' accounts. Like many other online services, Facebook prohibits kids under 13 because federal law requires companies to obtain parental consent if they want to collect information about those children.

Drugs & Alcohol

Hidden dangers in love drug fad of nexus

Mark Morri - The Daily Telegraph

A "love" drug from the 70s is emerging as the new ecstasy among Sydney club goers. Use of nexus or 2CB has risen over the past year, police figures show. The National Drug and Research Centre has reported use was up from 2 per cent in 2010 to 9 per cent in 2011. "NSW Police drug seizures in the second half of 2011 showed similar increases in percentage of seizures testing positive for nexus," a police spokesman said.

Parents still searching for answers a year on

Nino Bucci - The Age

She bought a four-pack of Pulse, a mix of soda, vodka and guarana, on the way. After drinking three cans in a bit over an hour, Sara was feeling good. But soon after starting her fourth, she started to vomit. Her parents, Predrag and Mila, picked her up about 11.30pm fearing she may have had too much to drink. Sara was dead three hours later. The Milosevics want to know why.

- update - Minister pressured to ban alcoholic energy drinks


Environment minister's climate science doubts 'refreshing'

Daniel Hurst - The Brisbane Times

Queensland's environment minister has confirmed he doubts the role of humans in causing climate change, but says he believes society should act to curb pollution and find renewable power sources. Premier Campbell Newman today backed his minister, Andrew Powell, saying it was “refreshing” to have someone in charge of the portfolio who was prepared to tell the truth.

Labor 'puts globe before polls'

Climate Change Minister Greg Combet said Labor would have a global responsibility and a duty to future generations to block a future Coalition government's bid to scrap carbon pricing. Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has vowed to scrap the carbon tax, which comes into effect on July 1, if elected in 2013. Mr Combet today said Labor had argued "hard" for the past seven years that carbon pricing was the most efficient and effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. "We do as a country and a people have a responsibility to play a fair part in the international community to tackle climate change," he said.


Euthanasia opponent to brief state MPs

Lauren Novak Political Reporter – Adelaide Now

Canadian anti-euthanasia campaigner Alex Schadenberg will visit Adelaide this month to brief state MPs. The Australian Family Association has organised the trip as part of a national tour.

Mr Schadenberg, who chairs the international Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, will speak in Adelaide on June 24 at a private dinner.


Sydney's homeless given helping hand

Sally Block - ABC

Sydney's homeless were given access to food, clothing, more than 50 non-government and government agencies and even haircuts and massages today. Thousands of people who are already sleeping rough or are at risk of doing so, descended on the Town Hall for Sydney Homeless Connect. 'Steve' was one of those people and camps out near the Domain in central Sydney and wants to find housing after being homeless for the past few months after losing a job and a relationship split.


Brown asks PM to reassess gay marriage debate

Phillip Coorey – SMH

The outgoing Greens senator, Bob Brown, has urged the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, to change her public stance against gay marriage, saying the majority of Australians had shifted their views and she ought not to be pilloried for doing the same. In his final address to the National Press Club yesterday, Senator Brown said his partner, Paul Thomas, pushed the Prime Minister over the issue during a recent farewell dinner at The Lodge also attended by Ms Gillard's partner, Tim Mathieson.

Aust theatre stars back gay marriage

Sky News

A stellar cast of Australian actors will perform a play to support gay marriage, as part of what Magda Szubanski says is the push for the 'civil rights issue of our time'. Rachel Griffiths, Lisa McCune, Daniel MacPherson, Shane Jacobson and Szubanski lead an ensemble cast in 8, a play about an American court case over whether gay and lesbian couples should be able to marry.

Marriage on the skids

David van Gend - Online Opinion

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. Daniel Brennan, former chairman of the Bar Association in Britain, wrote in March: "After all, if you can abolish the most important precondition of marriage, namely that it requires a person of each sex, why should you be able to retain other preconditions, such as limiting it to only two people? In The Netherlands, where same-sex marriage was introduced in 2001, 'cohabitation agreements' have been used to give three-way relationships a measure of legal recognition."

Marriage bill to be introduced tomorrow

Star Online

Victorian Greens MLC Sue Pennicuik will introduce her Marriage Equality Bill into state Parliament tomorrow afternoon. The bill will presumably allow same-sex couples to marry in Victoria if passed. “Much has happened in the quest for marriage equality in recent years and support in the community is growing,” Pennicuik said.


Don't write Julia Gillard off, warns Bob Brown

Alison McMeekin – The Daily Telegraph

She may be down in the polls but at least one person hasn't written off Prime Minister Julia Gillard. Speaking at the National Press Club yesterday, former Greens leader Bob Brown - whose resignation from the Senate will take effect in 10 days - acknowledged that recent polling showed Tony Abbott would win a federal election if it was held now.

Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

US: sues over Washington sex-trafficking law

Gene Johnson - SMH

The website sued the state of Washington on Monday, saying a new law that would require classified advertising companies to verify the ages of people in sex-related advertisements is invalid, even if it has a laudable goal. Gov. Chris Gregoire signed the bill into law this year in an effort to cut down on child sex trafficking. It allows for the criminal prosecution of classified advertising company representatives who publish or cause publication of sex-related ads peddling children. Proof of a good-faith attempt to verify the age of the advertised person is considered a defense under the law.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

The fate of Syria's Christian minority

Ken Blackwell - American Thinker

The region's minorities increasingly risk becoming expendable collateral damage in the open-ended civil war in Syria. Many of Syria's ruling Alawites - and their Kurd, Assyrian, Maronite Christian, Greek Catholic and Orthodox fellow minorities, indeed even the prudent Druze - feel caught in a vicious zero-sum game. The minorities listed -- fittingly -- in the middle of that group (Assyrian, Maronite Christian, Greek Catholic, and Orthodox) are all Christians. And their plight points up the fact that Christians are being ethnically cleansed throughout the Middle East.

Deadly suicide bomb attack on church in Nigeria

ASSIST News Service

Compass Direct News is reporting that a suicide bomber crashed the gate of a church compound in Bauchi, a northern Nigerian city on Sunday, killing himself and at least 10 others and leaving more than 30 injured, according to eyewitnesses and officials. The Islamic extremist Boko Haram group was suspected of detonating the bomb at the gate of Living Faith church as members were leaving an early morning worship service; the explosion also brought down a wall of the adjacent Harvest Field church, an eyewitness told Compass.

Over 612, 000 have signed the 'Call for Mercy' petition for Asia Bibi, have you?

Stacy L. Harp - Persecution Blog

Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian wife and mother, was arrested in June 2009, after Muslim co-workers accused her of insulting the prophet Muhammad. In November 2010, Asia was convicted under Pakistan's blasphemy law and sentenced to death. She has appealed her sentence and remains in prison awaiting the Lahore High Court's ruling.


Asylum debate needs broader horizons

Susan Metcalfe - SMH

Our politicians and media are obsessed with talking about people smugglers and asylum seekers on boats but little attention is paid to the scarcity of alternatives that forces a small number of desperate people to get on boats. The ABC's Four Corners program this week appears to have uncovered evidence of people smugglers exploiting Australia's refugee status determination processes and running their businesses out of Australia. If this is the case then appropriate action should be taken by authorities.

People smuggler plays us for fools

The Daily Telegraph

Australians of all political views are united by a desire that everyone be given a fair go. This applies equally to people whose connections in Australia go back many generations and to people arriving to begin new lives. As well, Australians expect that our generosity will itself be treated fairly. We trust that those wishing to share our fine and free society will offer information to immigration officials and other authorities that is accurate and honest.

Of all 4 Corners of the world they chose this one

Daniel Piotrowski - The Punch

It was a ripper story that raised some serious questions about the process people go through to gain asylum here. erguson exposed a small group of people smugglers who infiltrated Australia as asylum seekers to tout their business with our refugee community. The people smugglers were approved to enter Australia expeditiously. The ringleader, Captain Emad, was in detention for just 3 months before he was approved to enter the country as a genuine refugee. While Emad and his band of people smugglers were living in public housing in Canberra, refugees who had actually fled persecution remained in detention for years.

People-smugglers set up in Australia, pretending to be refugees

Paul Maley and Lauren Wilson - The Australian

People-smugglers who have fraudulently obtained refugee status are operating inside Australia - and the federal government has been aware of the practice for a long time. ABC's Four Corners revealed last night that senior people-smugglers and their families were among the thousands of asylum-seekers who had arrived by boat in order to continue their lucrative trade from Australia.

Second people-smuggler posed as refugee

Paul Maley - The Australian

A second established people-smuggler travelled to Australia posing as a refugee in January, fuelling concerns Australia's border security checks are in chaos. As the Gillard government scrambled to check claims a top people-smuggler had entered Australia as a refugee, The Australian was told cabinet vetoed a proposal that would have created a ministerial "inquisitor" to check asylum-seekers' stories rigorously to prevent bogus refugee claims.

Sexualisation of Society

Porn is not free - The high social and personal costs of pornography

Regis Nicoll - Link-Zone

Porn is big business. With annual revenues exceeding $13 billion in the United States and $97 billion worldwide, the porn industry is bigger than Microsoft, Google, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo!, Apple, Netflix, and EarthLink combined. Clearly, the appetite for smut is voracious. But is that a bad thing? Many would argue no. According to a 2003 survey by the Barna Group, 38 percent of adults believe that there is nothing morally wrong with viewing sexually explicit material. What's more, a 2005 Harris poll showed that 23 percent believe that there should be no restrictions on porn or its access, despite its increasingly graphic content and under-age subjects.


Vatican rebukes nun for her book making case for same-sex love


The Vatican has denounced an American nun who taught Christian ethics at a prestigious divinity school for a book that attempted to present a theological rationale for same-sex relationships, masturbation and remarriage after divorce. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said that the book, Just Love: A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics, by Sister Margaret Farley, was ''not consistent with authentic Catholic theology'' and should not be used by Catholics.