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.




Young people dominate Washington pro-life march


President Obama and another massive turnout of pro-life Americans gained attention in Washington as the country passed the 39th anniversary of the Supreme Court's legalization of abortion. The president reaffirmed his commitment to abortion rights, even urging continued efforts to protect those rights for "our daughters." The White House issued his statement Jan. 22, the date in 1973 on which the Supreme Court issued companion decisions -- Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton -- that struck down all state abortion restrictions and effectively legalized the procedure for any reason throughout pregnancy.


The role of research ethics consultations

Health Canal

In the past decade, a growing number of academic medical centers have begun offering research ethics consultation services, in which bioethics experts help scientists address the ethical and societal implications of their laboratory and clinical experiments. For instance, an investigator may want advice on the social and cultural ramifications of conducting genetic research among an indigenous population.


Online media needs to lift its game

Vic Alhadeff - Online Opinion

For many outlets, there seems to be a parallel universe at work that repeatedly - albeit unintentionally - allows deeply offensive comments to see the light of day. Comments can't be posted on mainstream media sites without a human accepting them and pressing a computer key. Most outlets assign staff to moderate comments and block those deemed unacceptable. In reality, however, comments continually make it to air that are highly objectionable. Different parameters apply to Twitter and Facebook, whose raison d'etre is to enable people to commit thoughts to air without an intervening gatekeeper. Yet while the latter applies its own standards in regard to content and language, it too is accountable when it comes to such issues as vilification.

Sex crime may need Facebook ban: judge

Steve Butcher - The Age

A judge has suggested a teenager be banned from using Facebook after he and a mate became ''friends'' on the social networking site with a girl, 14, against whom they later committed multiple sex offences. Judge Paul Lacava yesterday described Facebook as a ''dreaded'' communication method that the pair utilised before they ''just used this child as an object for their own personal gratification''.


Wind farm threat to Eden’s tourism future

Amanda Stroud - Eden Magnet

After all was said and done at last Thursday’s public forum on the proposed Eden wind farm, what it seemed to come down to is whether or not the seven, 135 metre wind turbines proposed for the South East Fibre Exports site could jeopardise Eden’s future as a tourism drawcard. The visual appeal or otherwise of the turbines - which will make Boyd’s Tower look like a match stick - is the one issue that it seems everyone can agree on; you either like the look of the wind turbines or you see them as a blot on the landscape.


Stalemate may delay pokies reform

Jason Dowling - SMH

The biggest shake-up of Victoria's poker machine industry in two decades is in turmoil with the state's gambling giants at war over the value of technology monitoring player losses and ensuring government tax revenue. The Baillieu government has been warned billions of dollars in poker machine taxes are at risk unless Tatts and Tabcorp provide immediate access to their poker machine monitoring networks to Intralot, the company chosen to take over the monitoring role from August.


Tent protest promises international rights campaign

Dan Harrison - SMH

Activists uniting around the 40th anniversary of the Aboriginal tent embassy have vowed to wage an international campaign against Australia's bid for a seat on the United Nations Security Council if the Gillard government does not meet their demands for indigenous sovereignty.

Indigenous rights key to UN seat: activist


An original member of the Aboriginal tent embassy says Australia will never win a seat on the United Nations Security Council unless the federal government acknowledges indigenous sovereignty. Michael Anderson said the mission of the tent embassy, established 40 years ago on Friday, was a declaration of indigenous people's sovereignty over Australia. He was speaking after 200 protesters trapped Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott in a Canberra restaurant before police arrived to clear a passage for the pair.


Marriage made easier for same-sex couples

Dan Harrison - SMH

The federal government will help Australian same-sex couples marry in countries where gay marriage is legal by issuing them with documents currently available only to heterosexuals. In several nations that allow gay marriage, including Portugal, Spain, Norway and South Africa, a person must produce a Certificate of No Impediment, which proves they are at least 18, unmarried and that there is no other barrier to them taking part in a marriage ceremony.

Cynthia Nixon says she's gay by 'choice.' Is it really a choice?

Karen Kaplan - Los Angeles Times

Former “Sex and the City” star Cynthia Nixon says she is gay by “choice” – a statement that has riled many gay rights activitists who insist that people don’t choose their sexual orientation. The question of whether sexual orientation is subject to nature or nurture – or some combination of both – has been hotly debated for years. If it is not an immutable characteristic, that would imply that a gay person could be somehow transformed into a straight one. In other words, homosexuality could be “cured.” Which in turn implies that being gay is some sort of illness.

Overseas Aid

Nation's rich can do more for community


Outgoing Australian of the Year Simon McKeon has called on the nation's wealthiest citizens to take up philanthropy and try to emulate their US counterparts. Australians were a generous people, as shown by its rankings in the World Giving Index compiled by the UK-based Charities Aid Foundation, he said.


Adverse findings against Thomson

Kate Mcclymont - SMH

The formal investigation by Fair Work Australia into the Health Services Union has made adverse findings against key union officials including the president, Michael Williamson, the national secretary, Kathy Jackson, and the former national secretary Craig Thomson, now a federal MP. The three were notified last month that the workplace regulator intended to make adverse findings against them.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

Seven Christians Killed in Bauchi State, Nigeria

Compass Direct News

Early morning attacks in Tafawa Balewa, Bauchi state on Sunday (Jan. 22) left at least seven Christians dead and a church building destroyed. The attack on the Evangelical Church Winning All Church 2, residents of Tafawa Balewa said, was carried out by area Islamic extremists alongside members of the Boko Haram sect, with the church building and surrounding houses bombed.


Bishops call for detention limits

Barney Zwartz - SMH

Australia's Catholic bishops have called on the government to limit detention of asylum seekers to a maximum of three months, the church has announced in an Australia Day statement. Urging the parties to develop a joint approach, so humans do not become political pawns, the bishops said: "To honour the Australian sense of justice and compassion, there must be a defined limit to incarceration in detention centres for people who are not criminals."