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 fear fallout as winter bites

Karen Collier and Nathan Mawby - Herald Sun

Charities fear a flood of households will need emergency relief to pay winter power bills as higher use, price hikes and the carbon tax bite. St Vincent de Paul Society energy analyst Gavin Dufty said lump sum payments designed to ease the tax pain should be linked to when energy bills arrive rather than delivered in one hit.

Children & Family

Children hide poverty to protect parents, study finds

Adele Horin - Sydney Morning Herald

Children from poor families deny their own needs to protect their parents from blame and social stigma, a new study has shown. They claim not to like joining a sports team or going on a school excursion, which they know their families can't afford. ''Their demands were incredibly modest,'' the nation's leading poverty researcher, Peter Saunders of the University of NSW, said. The study is the first in Australia to hear children's accounts of what it is like growing up poor. Almost 100 young people from 11 to 17 were interviewed, as well as teachers and parents.

High Court dismisses international custody battle

Elizabeth Byrne - ABC

The High Court has dismissed a constitutional challenge in the international custody battle over four sisters. The action was mounted to prevent the girls, who are aged from nine to 15, being returned to Italy under a Family Court order. Chief Justice Robert French told the court the bench could find "no want of procedural fairness" in the matters put before it.

Decision protects kids from far greater hurt

Chris Merritt - The Australian

One of the fundamental concepts underpinning family law has just dodged a bullet. Had the decision gone the other way, children embroiled in break-ups could have carried the additional burden of being independent players in the destruction of their family. They could have been afflicted with the worst of all rights: to instruct lawyers to defeat one of their parents. Even worse, it could have opened the way for children to give evidence against a parent.


Vocational training faces fleecing and cuts

Caro Meldrum-Hanna - Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Trade schools around Australia are having the prospect of funding cuts exacerbated by claims that unscrupulous companies are misusing training incentives. If you were shocked by stories of private colleges offering cut-price diplomas to international students, wait for this. Tonight we reveal allegations that young Australians are being exploited by a new wave of training companies. 7.30 has been investigating the booming industry of private apprenticeship training. Companies offer cheap and speedy qualifications to young trainees for a price. There are now more than 5,000 of these providers across Australia funded by both Federal and state governments. It's a multimillion dollar market, but is the system being scammed?


Euthanasia: tackling a 'wicked' policy problem

Scott Prasser - Online Opinion

Euthanasia is a policy issue in Australia that has yet to be seriously tackled let alone resolved. Green Party Senator Bob Brown's private member's bill, Restoring Territory Rights (Voluntary Euthanasia Legislation) Bill 2010, that is still before the Senate, reminds us that while euthanasia is not presently top of the policy agenda, there is still the potential for legislation to be passed in the life of the present Commonwealth Parliament. Senator Brown's bill would give the ACT and NT legislatures the power to legalise euthanasia – whether they would choose to do so or not is another question. It is also still in the realms of possibility that the current Gillard Commonwealth Government could decide to legislate nationally on euthanasia, if it judged such action to be both constitutional and popular and given its dependency on the Greens for survival.


Libs rule out same-sex marriage vote

Rosemary Bolger - The Examiner

Opposition Leader Will Hodgman is set to go down in history as one of the last political leaders to support homophobic discrimination, the Tasmanian Greens said yesterday, after he ruled out a conscience vote on same-sex marriage. Mr Hodgman, who believes marriage should remain between a man and a woman, said all 10 Liberal MHAs were opposed to the proposed legislation anyway.

Gay marriage debate on tricky ground

The Examiner

Many people will have their personal views about why Premier Lara Giddings accelerated the gay marriage issue last weekend. At a time when the Tasmanian community is polarised over the future of forestry and also the proposed Bell Bay pulp mill, it was problematic whether we needed another divisive issue.

Orlando Magic, Amway bycotted for anti-gay marriage donation

Meghan Kiesel - ABC News

After hundreds of thousands of people ate "mor chikin" last week to support the Chick-fil-A CEO's traditional-marriage stance, another prominent company has found itself in the crosshairs of a boycott sparked by its executive's marriage beliefs. The Douglas and Maria DeVos Foundation, financially supported by Amway president Doug DeVos, donated $500,000 to the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), an anti-gay marriage group that was one of the leading advocates against same-sex marriage initiatives in eight states.

Gay marriage laws at mercy of independents

Andrew Darby - Fairfax Media

For more than a century an oversized portrait of that conservative paragon, Queen Victoria, has leaned imperiously over members of Tasmania's upper house, the Legislative Council. This is the chamber originally formed of the privileged in the early 19th century to curb a tendency towards democracy. Traditionally Tasmanian voters have elected independent candidates to the house - as is the case now, with 13 of the 15 members being independents. It can still force a lower house to election without going itself.

Fight for the pink dollar

Michelle Pane - The Mercury

Tasmania faces a battle for the coveted "pink dollar" as the ACT considers pursuing same-sex marriage. Marriage equality campaigner Rodney Croome said the value was likely to be hundreds of millions of dollars to the first state or territory to take the plunge. "The race is on," Mr Croome said. "There is a very large amount of money at stake."

Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Mining boom sex worker wins anti-discrimination case


A sex worker has won an anti-discrimination case against motel owners in a Queensland mining town who refused to rent her a room. The ruling could have wider implications in Queensland, where the mining boom is also fuelling a boom in the sex trade. The Queensland Civil and Administration Tribunal has ruled the owners of Moranbah's Drovers Rest Motel, southwest of Mackay, contravened the Anti-Discrimination Act.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

Malaysia: Action against non-Muslims for spreading their religion to Muslims

The Malaysian Insider

The Islamic Religious Council in the states can take action against non-Muslims for trying to spread their faith among Muslims in the country. Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharum said this can be done based on existing enactments that prohibit non-Muslims from doing so. "Distribution of reading materials and in the form of audio video is disallowed as it will lead to dissatisfaction of Muslims," he said at Yan Hospital here today. A newspaper reported that two men believed to be foreign tourists tried to spread Christianity as Muslims were preparing to break their fast in Penang on Thursday.

Gunmen kill 19 in church attack in Central Nigeria


Gunmen have attacked a church and killed at least 19 people including the pastor in central Nigeria. Armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles, the assailants stormed the church in Kogi state, near the city of Okene, during a service. The joint military force commander in Kogi state, Lt Col Gabriel Olorunyomi, said the gunmen targeted the Deeper Life Bible Church in the town of Otite, near Okene, the AP news agency reports. It is not clear how many people were injured. Witnesses said blood covered the church floor.


NBN Co fails on target rollout

Kevin Morgan - The Australian

Broadband Minister Stephen Conroy's reluctance to share the National Broadband Network's new corporate plan is in sharp contrast to his usual enthusiasm for spruiking the NBN. After sitting on the plan for weeks, he's due to release it tomorrow. His reluctance is understandable given it can only highlight the massive failure to reach any of the initial plan's goals.

Mitt Romney, Chick-fil-A, and Ben & Jerry's

Dennis Prager - Town Hall

The Democratic mayors of Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. gave Mitt Romney and the Republican Party the greatest gift possible. They provided the American people with as clear an example of the unbridgeable differences between left and right, between Democrat and Republican, as could be hoped for. A photo of Romney eating both a Chick-fil-A sandwich and Ben & Jerry's ice cream would be worth far more than the proverbial thousand words.

Gabby Douglas vs. secular journalism

Marvin Olasky - World Mag

What do reporters know and when do they report it? It was hard to miss yesterday the Christian beliefs that gave Gabby Douglas the foundation for all the work and concentration that went into her gold medal performance. Interviewed on television directly after her triumph, the gymnast said, “I give all the glory to God. It’s kind of a win-win situation. The glory goes up to him and the blessings fall down on me.” No major publication apparently quoted her “glory to God” remarks.

Black loans, burnt boats and fast cars

Kate McClymont and Linton Besser - SMH

A spectacular boat explosion, pointed guns, BRW rich listers and secret shareholdings in the British Virgin Islands are just some of the intriguing elements involving former government ministers, investors and controversial coalmining deals worth tens of millions of dollars. The dramatic allegations of corruption against three former Labor ministers - Eddie Obeid, Ian Macdonald and Eric Roozendaal - are now part of an inquiry that will begin on November 1 and run at least until April.