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.




Abbott vows not to wind back abortion

Katharine Murphy - SMH

Tony Abbott has said he would not wind back the clock on abortion law should he become prime minister and argued his personal evolution had been in a ''reassuring'' direction for progressives. The Opposition Leader yesterday rejected feminist academic Susan Mitchell's recent accusation that he would use high office to impose conservative social values on the country.


One wrong foot after another: the ethics of the Pharmacy Guild’s deals

Ken Harvey - The Conversation

First it was the Pharmacy Guild’s deal with Blackmores that raised ethical concerns. Both deals involve undisclosed payments from drug companies to Guild subsidiaries to ensure that dispensing software identifies certain prescriptions on which pharmacists are prompted to take action. In the Blackmores case, to on-sell Blackmores “companion” complementary medicines with prescription drugs; in the Pfizer case to sign up patients prescribed nine Pfizer brand name drugs to the company’s “support” programs.

Children & Family

Unions and charities warn about rise in casual and part-time work

Pia Akerman - The Australian

Unions and charities have joined to warn about the growth in casual and part-time work, raising concerns that an increasing number of families are consequently relying on charitable welfare. Following an anti-poverty week roundtable in Melbourne yesterday, Australian Council of Trade Unions president Ged Kearney said the expanding proportion of Australians not in permanent employment was creating a class of "working poor".

Independent body should decide welfare and pension payment levels, says survey

Adele Horin - SMH

Most people believe an independent body should set the level of welfare payments and pensions rather than politicians, a national poll commissioned by Anglicare Australia shows.

Doctors play god with kids

Miranda Devine – The Telegraph

What kind of a doctor would prescribe hormone treatment for a healthy 11-year-old boy whose parents want him to be a girl? This is what a Californian lesbian couple are reportedly doing to their adopted 11-year-old son Thomas Lobel, now known as "Tammy".


AD/BC rock solid in curriculum

Dan Harrison - The Age

The time-honoured terms BC and AD are safe from the clutches of political correctness in classrooms. The agency responsible for the national school curriculum yesterday denied it ever intended to remove the terms from history classrooms. Newspaper reports last month suggested BC and AD would be replaced by the academic terms BCE (Before Common Era), CE (Common Era) and BP (Before Present).

Education ministers back new national standards

Education Review

Australia’s education ministers agree on national reforms for teachers, principals and students. State and federal education ministers have endorsed assessment standards for the new Australian curriculum and a framework for national teacher registration.

NBN accused of distance education snub

Chrissy Arthur - ABC

The Isolated Children's Parents' Association says the needs of distance education and Schools of the Air have not been considered in the rollout of the National Broadband Network. New ICPA Queensland president Andy Pegler says the group is continuing to lobby for infrastructure to support the technology needed for education.


Boredom behind rise in gambling

Melissa Grant - Daily Mercury

Bored miners are fuelling an unprecedented splurge on Mackay poker machines with the region's monthly pokies losses surging past $6?million. A gambling support service is counselling a number of miners who are blowing bucks on the pokies, while a community organisation says the swell in losses can be attributed to increased wealth in Mackay. Last month alone gamblers frittered away $6.33?million on poker machines in the region, much more than last year's average monthly loss of $5.193?million.

Concern gamblers could evade limits

Richard Willingham - The Age

Problem gamblers living on the Victorian border could be able to dodge proposed poker machine reforms and continue gambling by crossing state borders. During a senate hearing Liberal senator Cory Bernardi asked officials from the problem gambling taskforce how the government's plan to force punters to pre-set how much they are willing to lose would be monitored.

Human Rights

Vague laws let courts dictate public morality

Kevin Andrews - The Australian

Some recent cases, including the prosecution of News Limited columnist Andrew Bolt, highlight the dangers that flow from the assertion of group rights. Relying on legislation such as the Commonwealth Racial Discrimination Act and the Victorian Racial and Religious Tolerance Act, groups of individuals have claimed offence at public comments on the basis that the allegedly offensive comments promote intolerance.


Julia Gillard's free vote on gay marriage

Simon Benson - The Daily Telegraph

Julia Gillard is set for a reversal on gay marriage, with government sources claiming she would announce within weeks a conscience vote on the issue. Government sources said the Prime Minister would state her position ahead of the Labor Party's national conference in December. It could come as early as Monday or after the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth finishes at the end of next week.


Kevin Rudd's United Nations Security Council bid is costing us millions

Steve Lewis - The Daily Telegraph

Millions of dollars are being secretly spent on Australia's bid for a seat on the United Nations Security Council, with foreign ambassadors being wined and dined - and even invited to a swank MasterChef dinner. Documents obtained under Freedom of Information reveal the costs of operating Australia's mission at the UN have jumped sharply as Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd steps up his campaign for a seat.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

Malaysian police gives 'Defend Islam' rally green light

Carolyn Hong - Straits Times Indonesia

Malaysian police have issued a permit for a mass gathering of Muslims this Saturday 'to defend Islam against Christian proselytization', an event politicians and others fear will stoke religious tension in this multiracial country. The Himpunan Sejuta Umat, or gathering of one million Muslim faithful, is organized by 25 non-governmental organizations, including the Malay supremacy group Perkasa. It is calling for a new law to punish those who try to convert Muslims.

Iranian religious authorities acknowledge the spread of gospels in Iran

Michael Ireland - ASSIST News Service

Despite pressures and threats on one hand and the ban of printing and selling gospels on the other hand, Christianity is increasingly spreading among the youth and families in Iran.


Christians plan to shine at CHOGM


Queen Elizabeth’s arrival in Australia signals the start of CHOGM 2011, the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth. SHINE is part of the “Commonwealth Prayer Initiative” organised by church leaders in Perth, in response to WA Premier Colin Barnett’s call for community support for CHOGM. A prayer initiative “Project 54” began last year, with churches in Perth “adopting” one nation (out of the 54 in the Commonwealth) to pray for over a 12-month period.

Tracking for all animal exports to end cruelty after Farmer review

Milanda Rout - The Australian

Every animal exported from Australia to an overseas abattoir will be tracked and audited by the end of next year, under the government's moves to stamp out cruelty across the entire $1 billion-a-year livestock trade. Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig is expected to announce today that the extra transparency measures in place for live cattle exports to Indonesia since July will be extended to all markets, including Asia and the Middle East, and will also cover the live-sheep and goat export industries.