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.



Children & Family

“Jayden’s law” campaign for stillbirth recognition now underway in SA parliament

Christian Today

Family First MLC Robert Brokenshire this week introduced to Parliamentarians the campaign for “Jayden’s Law”, a reform initiative to grant recognition via birth certificates for babies lost inside 20 weeks’ gestation. The campaign is named after the child Port Lincoln mother Tarlia Bartsch tragically lost at 19 weeks’ gestation. When she asked for a birth certificate, she was told the baby had to reach 20 weeks to be entitled to a birth certificate.

Move-in before marriage no longer predicts divorce

Associated Press

Nearly half of first marriages break up within 20 years, a new government study finds. With those odds, you might wonder: Would we be better off living together first? The new research, part of a marriage survey of 22,000 men and women, suggests times have changed from the days when living together signaled poor chances for a successful marriage later. "It's not playing as big a role in predicting divorce as it used to," said Casey Copen, lead author of the study.


Is Far Cry 3's drug use going to be a classification issue?

David Hollingworth - Atomic MPC

Game Trailer: The latest trailer for Ubisoft's Far Cry 3 is a helluva trip - but is this far out ride going to cause issues when it comes to classification. Basically, in the game, it looks like your going to be tripping balls on some of the missions. In fact, that seems to be the entire point of some parts of the game. Now, we're not adverse to the odd virtual trip, but drug use in interactive media like a video is definitely a bugbear of the Australian Classification Board, and it looks like the matter of drug use in Far Cry 3 is very much interactive, and somewhat player driven.


Alarm over $175m education gap for vulnerable

Bianca Hall - The Age

The Australian Education Union has called on the federal government to include an emergency $175 million ''equity package'' in this year's budget to pay for national literacy and numeracy programs due to expire on June 30. In its pre-budget submission, the union urged the government to introduce the interim package to stop the programs, which target the most vulnerable students in 1100 schools, disappearing.

O'Farrell government freezes Islamic school's funding

Leo Shanahan - The Australian

The NSW government has frozen funding to Sydney's largest Islamic school after an Education Department audit found the school's owners were charging the school millions of dollars in improper fees. The department last night confirmed it had ceased funding of about $4.5 million to Malek Fahd school, after an investigation into the payments the school made in management fees and backdated rental fees to its owner, the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, the nation's peak Muslim body.


Nitschke to be questioned over drug death


Euthanasia campaigner Philip Nitschke says police want to interview him over the death of a woman at Victor Harbor in South Australia in December. He says the woman, who was suffering from motor neurone disease, contacted him for help in seeking a legal exemption to access the euthanasia drug Nembutal, which is otherwise illegal.


Independent MP Andrew Wilkie close to a new pokies deal

Lisa Martin - AAP

Independent MP Andrew Wilkie is close to sealing a deal with the Federal Government for a package of measures aimed at tackling problem gambling. The Government today postponed until May a legislative package that includes a poker machine trial of mandatory precommitment technology in the ACT. Mr Wilkie had threatened to scuttle the package, fearing the trial was being set up to fail.


Inaugural national homelessness services achievement awards announced

ProBono News

Seven community organisations from across Australia, including Kids Under Cover, have been recognised for their work in preventing and addressing homelessness at the inaugural National Homelessness Services Achievement awards in Canberra today. The Awards were delivered by the new Minister for Social Housing and Homelessness Brendan O’Connor and showcase the quality, innovation and dedication of homelessness services.

National recognition for Salvos work in Tasmania

Tasmanian Governemnt

The Minister for Human Services, Cassy O’Connor, today congratulated the Salvation Army on recognition for its work in Tasmania helping the homeless and those at risk of homelessness. The Salvation Army today received a commendation at the National Homelessness Services Achievement Awards in Canberra for transitional support model for ex-prisoners.

Human Rights

The human rights of women

Sheila Liaugminas - MercatorNet

As declared, or addressed, by the 56th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women. Morten Wetland made an extremely strong statement condemning any religion, morality or tradition that stands in the way of the human rights of women. For Norway, this essentially means that any group that does not consider abortion (or “sexual and reproductive rights”) to be a human right, is getting in the way of the human rights of women.

Occupy court case 'watched closely' for precedent


The Occupy Melbourne group says its constitutional challenge on the right to protest, could set a valuable precedent internationally. The Occupy movement swept around the world last year, but similar legal challenges in London and elsewhere, have not succeeded. In Melbourne, the group has taken its fight to the Federal Court, challenging the laws that allowed Melbourne City Council and Victoria Police to issue notices to protesters.


Intervention not perfect, but it’s better than nothing

Sally Brooks - The Punch

The prominence of the story about AFL player Liam Jurrah in the national media was interesting. Yes, here is a man who many in central Australia hold up as a vision of hope and this dream has for the time being been destroyed. But Jurrah, as many have noted, is a man with feet in both worlds. These worlds do not often cross paths in a way that is palatable to white people on the East Coast.


New Hampshire House to weigh gay marriage repeal vote

Norma Love - Associated Press

New Hampshire lawmakers are considering whether to take the first step toward making their state legislature the first one to repeal a gay marriage law, even as the governor threatens a veto. But regardless of the final outcome of the push to repeal the 2-year-old gay marriage law, both sides are pledging to continue fighting into the fall elections. ( - an update - )

Marriage not a human right - Euro Court

Ron Hughes - Gay News Network

The European Court of Human Rights has found that member states are not compelled to legalise same-sex marriage. The ruling followed a court case in which two lesbians from France argued they were being discriminated against by not being allowed to marry. Valerie Gas and Nathalie Dubois wanted to marry so Gas could legally adopt Dubois' daughter, but the court found they were not being discriminated against. The judges found that, "The European Convention on Human Rights does not require member states’ governments to grant same-sex couples access to marriage."


Queensland faces rare change of government


After nearly 23 years in office, Labor may lose what's become a bitter contest in the Queensland State election.

The LNP looks set to easily win Saturday’s Queensland State Election with former Brisbane Lord Mayor Campbell Newman elected Premier

Roy Morgan Research

Anna Bligh looks set to be replaced by Campbell Newman as Premier of Queensland. Although Anna Bligh won the hearts of many in Queensland for her personal engagement with the floods and those effected by the floods last year; there is a clear groundswell of frustration in the Queensland electorate about economic issues — such as the loss of the State’s Triple A Rating; asset sales, also of the negativity felt towards Julia Gillard and Federal Labor appears to be rubbing off on the Queensland ALP; and there is also a sense that 20 years is enough.

Lindsay Tanner slams politics of spending

Stephen Lunn and Patrrica Karvelas - The Australian

Former finance minister Lindsay Tanner has attacked politicians, including his own former Labor colleagues, arguing that they are ignoring the national interest and handing out infrastructure funding "irrespective of merit" for political and not economic gain. In comments critical of the Rudd and Gillard governments, as well as the Howard government, Mr Tanner declared the political milking of government spending had become worse over the past decade.

Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

More arrests likely after woman charged with child prostitution

Liverpool Leader

Police believe more arrests could follow after a woman was charged on Friday over the alleged forced prostitution of children. Adrienne Garner, 22, did not apply for bail in Parramatta Bail Court on Saturday. Police allege she operated a child prostitution ring in which girls as young as 13 were forced to have sex for as little as $50 in cars and motels. Strikeforce Woodvale was established in February to investigate alleged child prostitution in Warwick Farm.

Woman at brothel 'set on fire'

Leigh van den Broeke - The Daily Telegraph

A woman at a brothel suffered burns to about 40 per cent of her body after she was allegedly doused with petrol and set on fire in southern Sydney. The female was set alight at a brothel on Regent Street, Chippendale about 9.55pm. She suffered burns to her upper body. Paramedics rushed the woman to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital where she is in a serious condition.

Police arrest 13 people to smash child porn ring

Dan Oakes - SMH

Police have smashed a child pornography ring on Australia's easter seaboard, raiding 19 properties in Victoria, NSW, Queensland and the ACT and arresting 13 people in a fortnight-long operation. In an exclusive briefing, senior federal police told the Herald one of the men arrested had horrific images and videos that would have required 24 standard laptop computers to store them.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

South Sudan under severe strain as Sudan forces Christians out

Michael Ireland - ASSIST News Service

Hundreds of thousands of people originating from the mainly Christian, mainly African, South Sudan are effectively being forced out of Sudan, having been stripped of their citizenship. Barnabas Fund says the believers have until April 8 either to leave the strongly Islamic and Arab northern country or to be treated as foreigners under a regime that is extremely hostile to non-Muslims and non-Arabs. The deadline was announced last month.