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.


Charities & NFP

Charities prepare for a bleak Christmas


Tasmanian charities are warning it is shaping up to be a grim Christmas for a growing number of Tasmanians. Many say the state's high unemployment rate has pushed more people into part-time jobs and families are struggling to make ends meet. Welfare organisations are bracing for a spike in demand for their services.

Children & Family

Painful lost years for unmarried mothers

Gillian Bouras - Eurekastreet

The phrase enforced adoption conjures up visions of babies being wrenched from a wailing mother’s arms, or babies being spirited away in the dead of night. Of course it wasn’t like that: girls such as Jane signed the requisite consent forms. But the idea of force is there, because the notion of choice rarely was, and girls were routinely persuaded that adoption was the best course of action to take for the sake of both mother and child. Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu’s recent apology to all these deprived mothers, numbering in tens of thousands in Victoria alone, can never bring back lost years or compensate for raw and primal pain, but it is an acknowledgement of that pain.

Drugs & Alcohol

Men charged over white powder haul

Brisbane Times

NSW Police have charged two men after finding over 150 kilograms of white powder believed to be methamphetamine and more than $100,000 in cash. The men, aged 62 and 28, were stopped on Pyrmont Road in Pyrmont in central Sydney and were taken to Surry Hills police station after 148 kilograms of the drugs and $70,000 in cash were discovered during a search.

Honduras children pray to end epidemic drug violence

In Honduras, 8,000 children and parents gathered in a stadium to pray earnestly for their country, which is suffering an epidemic of drug trafficking and violence. The children came from many different churches to intercede for the future of their country. Underlining the depth of the crisis, President Porfirio Lobo also attended this year's event. Every year since 1999, the prayers of these children reach the nation through a network of radio and TV stations.

Social cocaine use boosts heart attack risk

Sunanda Creagh - The Conversation

Regular cocaine use significantly raises the risk of heart attack and stroke for otherwise healthy young people, a new study has found. The study, presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions today, showed that young people who used cocaine at least once a month had up to a 35% increase in aortic stiffening, higher blood pressure than non-users and an 18% greater thickness of the heart’s left ventricle wall — all factors that boost the risk of cardiac arrest. “It’s the perfect heart attack drug,” author Associate Professor Gemma Figtree from the University of Sydney’s Kolling Institute of Medical Research said in a statement.


Pell withdraws support from embattled St Johns College


Six priests at Sydney University's oldest residential college have resigned at the request of Catholic Archbishop George Pell, who has intervened to end a series of damaging incidents. Cardinal Pell has issued a brief statement revealing he has withdrawn support for the administration at St John's College. He says he has lost confidence in the capacity of the council to reform life at the college and has requested the six priest fellows of the council resign, which the ABC understands has taken place within the last two hours.


Former UN official says climate report will shock nations into action

Peter Hannam - The Age

The next United Nations climate report will ''scare the wits out of everyone'' and should provide the impetus needed for the world to finally sign an agreement to tackle global warming, the former head of the UN negotiations said. Yvo de Boer, the UN climate chief during the 2009 Copenhagen climate change talks, said his conversations with scientists working on the next report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change suggested the findings would be shocking.


Our cup runneth over with betting options

David Penberthy - The Punch

By the end of today Australians will have spent just under $800 million on an event which lasts for just over three minutes. Last year's winner in the two flies up a wall guineas. According to research by the financial modelling firm IBISWorld, $377.7 million will be spent on fashion and fascinators, booze and canapés, as well as travel and accommodation for those making it to down to Melbourne. Another $404 million will be spent directly on gambling, be it a couple of bucks in the office sweep or the big end of town plunging tens of thousands on their favourite nag.

Human Rights

Scales of justice tipping against the community in Queensland

Kat Grigg - The Conversation

The cost of litigation is a barbed wire fence that stops many people using our court system. This fence becomes a towering barrier when people are trying to protect not their private interests, but something valuable to the community; say, an old building with heritage values. It’s true that when people in the community act to protect something in the public interest, they can sometimes find lawyers willing to act for free or greatly reduced fees. They then have a set of wire cutters to cut through the costs barrier. But in most courts in Australia if you lose a case you will be ordered to pay the legal costs of the other parties.


Native title win for WA traditional owners


The Federal Court has made a ruling in favour of traditional owners following a five-year native title dispute with miners in Western Australia's Pilbara region. The Ngarla people were granted a native title claim in the East Pilbara in 2007 but there was a dispute over whether a mining lease extinguished their rights. The Federal Court has now ruled the Ngarla people do retain their native title rights when the mining ends.


6 ways religious demographics could determine Tuesday's winner

Dan Gilgoff - CNN

Just because President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney mostly have avoided talking religion during this campaign doesn't mean religion won't play a big role in determining the winner of the presidential race. Here are six ways religion's role in the electorate may shape the outcome on Tuesday.

Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Authorities crack down on child sex offenders in Bali

Radio Australia

A Bali-based charity says it expects more arrests of foreign men on child sex charges in Indonesia over the coming months. The arrest last month of a Dutch national was the first arrest in Bali of a suspected sex offender since 2009. Sacred Childhoods, a non-governmental organisation supporting children in Indonesia, says it has handed information to Indonesian police that will help their investigation. The group is also setting up Bali's first safe house and support services for children caught up in sex offender networks or trafficking networks. According to the United Nations Children's Fund, around 70,000 women and 30,000 children are trafficked into the sex industry throughout Indonesia and abroad each year.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

Egypt Salafists briefly take hold of Coptic Christian land

Bikya Masr

As tensions between Egypt’s Christian minority and the Muslim majority continue to increase, a Coptic Christian bishop told the state newspaper al-Ahram that a group of ultra-conservative Salafists had taken over land owned by Christians and made it a makeshift mosque for nearly 24 hours. According to Bishop Morqos, a group of the Salafists – puritan Muslims – they occupied a small piece of land owned by the Coptic church on Monday and put up a banner that read “Al-Rahma Mosque” before the bishop and others forced them off the area after security officials were informed of the situation.

Nigerian Christians ask for prayer to end violence

Christian Today

Nigerian Anglicans are asking Christians around the world to pray and fast for an end to violence in the country. Northern Nigeria has been hit by a wave of deadly attacks on churches, mostly blamed on Islamist militant group Boko Haram. At least seven people were killed and dozens injured in a suicide bombing during mass at a Catholic church in Kaduna last week.

Merkel's Christian comments cause upset


German opposition politicians and human rights groups are criticising German Chancellor Angela Merkel for claiming Christianity is "the most persecuted religion worldwide." Jerzy Montag of the opposition Greens party on Tuesday described Merkel's comments as "mistaken" and "not very helpful". Rights campaigners said ranking faiths according to how persecuted they are is pointless.

Sexualisation of Society

Sex and cheating are absolutely unwelcome

Jeff Kennett - Herald Sun

If I were Premier or Lord Major today . . . don't worry, such a fate is not about to befall the citizens of Victoria. But if I were, there are two things I'd try to fix immediately. Issue one: Inappropriate billboards as you start to motor on to the Bolte Bridge and into our great city of Melbourne. When we commissioned City Link, we demanded that the winning consortium provide a "gateway" to our city through which all traffic must pass. Hence the Cheesesticks, or whatever you want to call them.


Technology is making you stupid

Everett Themer - On Line Opinion

You are dumber than your parents. That being said, it isn’t really your fault. It wasn’t caused by your lack of ambition or the years your dad spent pointing out your short comings. The fact is that your parents are most likely dumber than your grandparents. They just won’t admit it. If you are fortunate enough to have grandparents who are still living, ask them about your parents. Grandma or grandpa will almost certainly have a few interesting things to say. Yes, you probably did a whole lot of stupid things as a kid, but don’t let your parents fool you. They did too.

Media, unions and political parties seen as Australia’s most corrupt institutions

Sunanda Creagh - The Conversation

The media, trade unions and political parties are seen as Australia’s most corrupt institutions but fewer than 1% of people have had recent direct experience of graft, a new poll shows. The survey, titled Perceptions of corruption and ethical conduct and produced by the Australian National University’s Research School of Social Sciences, surveyed 2020 people aged 18 years and over by phone between August and September this year, with a response rate of 43%. The results were adjusted to epresent the national population.