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.




People with disabilities offer a “Thread for weaving joy”

Charles Chaput -

While some people resent the imperfection, the inconvenience, and the expense of persons with disabilities, others see in them an invitation to learn how to love deeply without counting the cost. God will demand an accounting.

Charities & NFP

Opinion - Treasury proposal for charities commission misguided

Catholic News

Quick question: How many not-for-profit organisations are there in Australia? 20,000? 50,000? 100,000? In fact, there is a staggering 600,000 not-for-profit organisations around the country doing everything from caring for the aged and people with disabilities to running local sports club and community gardens and everything in between, writes Martin Laverty, CEO of Catholic Health Australia.


R18+ video game classification expected by 2013

Harrison Polites - Technology Spectator

R18+ video game classification legislation has been introduced into the lower house of Australian parliament and is expected to come into effect by 2013. The government conducted a public consultation on the issue which resulted in around 58,000 submissions over two years.

Pyrrhic Victory: Behind the rhetoric of the R18+ debate

Daniel Golding - Crikey

The debate over an R18+ classification for videogames in Australia has been the most pervasive public discussion on videogames of the last decade, yet it has never really been about classification.

Donor Conception & Surrogacy

Sperm donors' secret details tagged on birth certificates

Patrick Lion - The Daily Telegraph

Birth certificates could be secretly tagged with the identity of sperm or egg donors under a controversial state government proposal to help children track down their biological parents later in life. Notes or "hidden" addendums would be linked to the certificates, telling the child that more information relating to their donor was available when they turned 18.

Drugs & Alcohol

High use of prescription drugs found among police detainees

Herald Sun

A new study has uncovered an unexpectedly high rate of prescription drug use among people detained by police, with one in four obtaining the drugs from illegal sources. Drugs such as methadone, used as a heroin substitute in treatment of addiction, were procured mostly on legal prescriptions.

Counterfeit drugs becoming big business worldwide

The Associated Press

The discovery that a fake version of the widely used cancer medicine Avastin is circulating in the United States is raising new fears that the multibillion-dollar drug-counterfeiting trade is increasingly making inroads in the U.S. The criminal practice has largely been relegated to poor countries with lax regulations. But with more medicines and drug ingredients for sale in the U.S. being manufactured overseas, American authorities are afraid more counterfeits will find their way into this country, putting patients' lives at risk.

E-cigarette explodes in man's mouth

Rob Quinn - Newser

Scary news for electronic smokers: A 57-year-old man in Florida suffered serious injuries when an e-cigarette exploded in his mouth, ABC reports. The explosion knocked out all the man's teeth and part of his tongue, and severely burned his face. "The best analogy is that it was like trying to hold a bottle rocket in your mouth when it went off," says the police officer who responded to the call. "The battery flew out of the tube and set the closet on fire."


Gonski review: time for a new vision for Australian education

David Zyngier - The Conversation

Australia’s educational system must be one of the most over-reviewed in the OECD. Hundreds of Select Committees – Federal and State, Upper and Lower House in the past 20 years have reviewed teacher quality and student outcomes. And we still haven’t got it right. Now we have the Gonski Review into funding arrangements, in which Mr Gonski looks forward to an education system premised on ensuring “educational outcomes are not the result of differences in wealth, income, power or possessions".

School computers soon to outnumber students

John Ferguson - The Australian

More than 130,000 extra school computers have been bought and installed nationally than were initially required by the states and territories under Labor's digital education revolution rollout, new figures show. The biggest winner under the school computer windfall was NSW, with more than 100,000 extra units installed than were originally forecast to be needed.


Nitschke visit stirs debate

Bruce Mounster - The Mercury

Tasmania may be on track to become the first state in Australia to legalise euthanasia, as Premier Lara Giddings and Greens Leader Nick McKim prepare a Private Members' Bill. But Exit International advocate Philip Nitschke yesterday told more than 50 Tasmanians at a Launceston public meeting they didn't have to wait. Australian Christian Lobby state director Mark Brown, who attended the meeting, said the cheapening of human life by the promotion of suicide options.

Queensland teacher Merin Nielsen jailed for aiding suicide of man, 76

Rosanne Barrett - The Australian

A Queensland judge has sentenced a former teacher who assisted the suicide of an elderly acquaintance to jail in the first case of its kind in the state. Merin Nielsen, 50, was sentenced to three years jail with a non-parole period of six months for assisting the suicide of 76-year-old Brisbane man Frank Ward.


ACT pokies trial gets first nod

Canberra's pokie clubs have agreed in-principle to participate in the Federal Government's trial of mandatory pre-commitment technology. The technology requires gamblers to set limits on the amount of money they are willing to lose on high-betting machines which can chew through an average $1200 an hour.


Domestic violence support in doubt for homeless women


There are fears more Hunter Valley women could be living on the streets if a local women's centre does not get ongoing funding. The Hunter Women's Centre at Mayfield says it needs $55,000 a year to continue a program for women experiencing domestic violence.


Indigenous win for native title rights at Yarrabah

Laura Packham - Cains Post

Yarrabah resident Anthony Fourmile can now begin his "Australian dream" of building his own house on the land he has called home for the past 40 years. After a 16-year court battle for native title rights, the indigenous people of Yarrabah will officially be granted 30-year land leases in the coming weeks. In December, the Federal Court of Australia recognised the combined Gunggandji people's native title rights over 7528ha of land and sea country, 6km east of Cairns.


Wedding tourism booming in Queensland

Angela Saurine - The Australian

Wedding tourism is booming in Australia's north despite the strong dollar, with a 30 per cent rise in the number of non-Queenslanders getting married in the Sunshine State in the past five years. From beach ceremonies on tropical islands to remote rainforest escapes, Births, Deaths and Marriage figures show there were 2640 weddings from domestic and international visitors last year.

Overseas Aid

UN aid chiefs call for $725mn for drought hit Sahel


United Nations and European Union aid chiefs called Wednesday for "urgent" assistance for West Africa's drought-hit Sahel region, saying it needed $725 million (552 million euros) this year. "Around 725 million dollars is what is assessed to be needed this year," Helen Clark, head of the aid agency UNDP, said after the meeting, which also included the EU's Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid Kristalina Georgieva.

Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Ex-MP and sex offender Terry Martin attacked outside court

Zara Dawtrey - The Mercury

Convicted child-sex offender and former-MP Terry Martin was attacked a Tasmanian court outside court this afternoon. In dramatic scenes, the former Legislative Councillor, who was late last year convicted of having sex with a 12-year-old prostitute, was struck by relatives of the girl as he was being led from Hobart's Supreme Court this afteroon.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

NYC mayor defends school worship ban

Associated Press

Mayor Michael Bloomberg is defending New York City's ban on worship services in public schools. The ban went into effect on Sunday. Asked on Monday whether he would consider a compromise, Bloomberg told The New York Times that the Constitution clearly calls for separation of church and state.

20,000 Muslims attempt to kill pastor and torch church in Egypt


A mob of nearly 20,000 radical Muslims, mainly Salafis, attempted this evening to break into and torch the Church of St. Mary and St. Abram in the village of Meet Bashar,in Zagazig, Sharqia province. They were demanding the death of Reverend Guirgis Gameel, pastor of the church, who has been unable to leave his home since yesterday. Nearly 100 terrorized Copts sought refuge inside the church.

Sexualisation of Society

Mossimo peepshow is ‘sexist rubbish’

Collective Shout

The promotion is called ‘Peepshow.’ Through the use of ‘peephole’ imagery and words like ‘strip’ on their signage, the promotion makes clear reference to the sex industry and voyeurism. The message to women here is, you are valued for your appearance and your ability to sexually arouse men. That’s your role n society.