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.



Federal judge blocks North Dakota fetal heartbeat abortion law

News Medical Net

Under the law, which had been scheduled to go into effect Aug. 1, a woman could be prevented from seeking an abortion as early as six weeks into her pregnancy if a fetal heartbeat is detected. North Dakota passed the law at the end of March, part of a package of curbs in four laws that passed the Republican-controlled Legislature and were signed by GOP Gov. Jack Dalrymple.

Children & Family

Funding stepped up to fight domestic violence


Domestic violence workers have welcomed a multi-million-dollar funding boost for better training to protect victims. The Federal Government has announced an extra $7.6 million worth of funding for a national training program called DV-Alert.


Pornography on the Internet: filters said to be an essential defence

FamilyVoice Australia

“Susie O’Brien is exactly right about the growing porn problem among young Australian teenagers – we urgently need tougher action,” FamilyVoice research officer Ros Phillips said. “The new sex ed program developed by Victoria’s Education Department will require state school students to analyse pornography. This is likely to be counter-productive – these powerful, extreme images cannot be erased from a child’s mind by discussion,” Mrs Phillips said.

Drugs & Alcohol

Concern as Aussie cannabis gains potency


Cannabis in Australia has become more potent over the years and contains high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), according to a study of samples confiscated from recreational users and growers.


20pc of prisoners have hepatitis B and C: latest health report


A significant number of inmates in Australian jails suffer from chronic disease or mental health problems, according to new research. The figures released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare show 32 per cent of inmates have a chronic disease, with asthma and hepatitis among the most common.

Superbugs found in food and drinking water


Antibiotic-resistant superbugs are now being found in food and, in some countries, drinking water, while doctors are warning that we're approaching the time when even the most toxic of antibiotics won't be able to kill some bugs.


Claims GetUp! contest breaches law

Christian Kerr - The Australian

Activist group GetUp! has been accused of breaching electoral laws with a web-based competition to give away $40,000 in gold bullion to encourage young people to enrol to vote for the first time in the forthcoming federal election. The competition offers prizes of $5000 to a first-time enrollee from each state and territory.


Rudd plan in tatters as camps labelled 'gulags'

Bianca Hall, Michael Gordon - SMH

Australia's offshore detention centre network is in crisis, with more staff turning on a ''cruel and degrading'' system they say makes riots inevitable. Their accusations came as Immigration Minister Tony Burke embarked on his own mission to investigate allegations of rape made by a former employee at the detention centre on Papua New Guinea's Manus Island.

Survivors tell of panic as asylum boat capsized

Peter Alford - The Australian

Survivors of an asylum boat sinking have told of terrified passengers jumping into the sea as their vessel capsized off West Java. Scores of boatpeople remained missing today after last night's disaster claimed at least four lives, including those of three children.

For those who’ve come across the seas: A short trip to PNG

Jo Chandler - The Global Mail

Papua New Guinea lacks a basic social safety net for its own citizens, let alone for the traumatised refugees about to be loaded on it by Australia. In the fragile country, the potentially sweet political deal has triggered anxiety, shame and bewilderment.

New asylum policy puts women at greater risk of violence

Jacqui True - The Conversation

Essentially, the plan is to send refugees to a country where women and children experience extreme vulnerability to criminal wife beating, sexual violence and gang rape, and gender-based killings related to witchcraft or sorcery allegations.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

American Pastor Saeed: 300 illegal dys in an Iranian prison

Jordan Sekulow - ACLJ

Today is the 300th day of American Pastor Saeed Abedini’s illegal imprisonment in Iran – 300 days away from his wife and kids, 300 days of torment for his Christian faith, 300 days and counting.

Sexualisation of Society

Warning against rough porn before real sex


"Boys definitely watch porn and then expect something like that to be done in real life," says a 20-year-old Australian female. Pornography is not new, but the internet has made it so accessible that it's become the main sex educator for many teenagers. Before they've even encountered "real" sex, many young people have watched online porn.


A Christian vision for gender non-conforming boys

Denny Burk blog has an article about a youth camp for gender non-conforming boys. It’s a retreat for prepubescent young men who behave in ways that are feminine. The camp provides a place for parents and children to feel “protected” as these young boys act out in ways that they wouldn’t normally do in public.

World Youth Day 2013: Pope Francis's challenge to the Church and the world

Austen Ivereigh - ABC Religion and Ethics

Austen Ivereigh, a Catholic journalist and the co-ordinator of Catholic Voices, is in Rio de Janeiro for the 28th World Youth Day. He will be contributing daily insights and reflections throughout Pope Francis's visit.