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.



Abortion without doctor on-site gets high grades in Iowa

ABC News – Susan Donaldson James
A typical patient who walks into Planned Parenthood of the Heartland in Iowa isn't typical at all. She may older or younger, married or single, but she is usually confident in her decision to terminate a pregnancy.

Embryo from skin cells: Cloning era closer after men's DNA put into egg

Scientists have created human embryos from slivers of skin – bringing closer the day when babies are cloned in the lab. In experiments that mirror the cloning technique used to make Dolly the sheep, they took cells from men’s arms and legs and placed them into women’s eggs. The embryos created lived for only five or six days, but they represent a key step in the quest for treatments for incurable diseases from Alzheimer’s to cancer.

Children & Family
Kennett reversal on gay parenting

Melissa Fyfe – The Age
Jeff Kennett has shifted his stance on gay parenting in an apparent bid to mollify the gay and lesbian community.

Drugs & Alcohol
Man charged over drug imports accused of global people smuggling ties

Aleks Devic - Herald Sun
One of two men accused of being part of an international people smuggling ring has been charged with importing $750,000 of the drug ice. Federal police have charged two alleged key players of an international people smuggling syndicate.

Diplomats tread cautiously to free teenager in Bali
Matt Brown – ABC AM
As Australian diplomats tread carefully to have a 14-year-old Australian boy released from custody in Bali, Indonesian police are expected to re-interview him sometime today. Indonesian police allege the youth from New South Wales tried to buy a small amount of marijuana in Bali on Tuesday.

University gay tracking 'a nonsense'

Julie Hare
Gay's, lesbians and transsexuals have been named as a new equity sub-group that universities must track for their progress in enrolment and retention.

Growing food emergency 'heartbreaking'

Annah Yard - ABC Hobart
There are concerns cost of living pressures are reaching crisis point around Hobart with a growing number of people, including children, seeking help. Charities say the situation is heartbreaking because they are having to turn people away. A recent food security meeting at Brighton heard alarming statistics about the number of needing emergency assistance.

Human Rights
Local Islamists draw on British success in bid for sharia law
Chris Merritt - The Australian
The push to recognise sharia law in Australia has entered an ambitious new phase that draws on the tactics that have handed success to Islamists in Britain. The latest move, under the guise of helping Muslim women, would give sharia law priority over Australian divorce law. If enacted, this plan would prevent Muslims from obtaining a civil divorce unless they first divorce under Islamic law.

Indigenous issues
Indigenous policy: be compassionate, be brave
Chris Sarra - The Conversation
Why do we keep spending billions of dollars in Indigenous communities with so few results? It’s because we don’t have a high expectations relationship between both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. Setting up this relationship isn’t as hard as you might think. There are some profoundly fundamental aspects of such a relationship which are easily understood by many decent Australians.

Intervention 'needs APY input'
Michael Owens, SA political reporter
Aboriginal leaders in remote South Australian indigenous communities have called on the federal and state Labor governments to consult on a way to quarantine welfare payments as pressure builds for a new federal intervention.

Marriage, family and the business dividend

Carolyn Moynihan - MercatorNET
Have you read the latest on the Greek bailout? Last I heard people who were lucky enough to have government jobs are on strike because they are about to lose them, thanks to austerity measures being forced on the country by the EU and the IMF. The sunny Mediterranean country is the eye of the storm of the European debt crisis. It also has one of the lower birth rates in Europe -- at the current rate Greek women on average will bear less than 1.4 children.

Keep the Upper House until they fix the Lower House

Dean Jaensch - The Punch
In his personal review of his legacy to South Australia, Premier Rann had two main regrets. The first was his inability to abolish the Legislative Council. This has been a key aim of the Labor party for over a hundred years. The passion flows from the fact that Labor has never won a majority of the seats in the Council.

ALP on collision course with PM
Milanda Rout and Lauren Wilson – The Australian
Labor's draft national platform has set the party on a collision course with the Gillard government over the proposed Malaysia people swap deal, saying Australia must meet its international human rights obligations to refugees.

And the last shall be first - why leaders thrive on humble pie
John Dickson – SMH
As Julia Gillard's popularity plumbs record lows and Tony Abbott seems set to win only because he can hardly lose, it is time to ponder one of the most important, if counter-intuitive, keys to persuasive leadership: humility, the noble choice to hold your power in service of others.

Sex Slavery

Sally Neighbour - ABC
Around Australia there are hundreds of legal brothels. Thousands of women sell their bodies for profit. Now, in a joint Four Corners/The Age special investigation, reporter Sally Neighbour exposes the brutal illegal off-shoot of the sex industry: sex slavery. In a report that exposes the worst excesses of human trafficking she reveals how networks of criminal gangs are luring women to Australia, where they are forced to work as sex slaves.

Religious Persecution
Bishop appeals to president of Iran to spare life of pastor facing death sentence for apostasy
Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali has appealed to the President of Iran to intervene to save the life of an Iranian Christian pastor who has been sentenced to death for apostasy. In a letter to President Ahmadinejad, Bishop Michael appeals for clemency for Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani. He says the death sentence against the pastor goes beyond the Iranian law and constitution, as well as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Lawyers fear Iran concocting case against pastor
New reports are surfacing that imprisoned Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani was questioned by Iranian officials Wednesday about his case and the charges he's facing. Human rights groups say the regime's conflicting statements could be a sign that international pressure is working.

Egypt’s continuing sectarian violence
History teaches us that with change, with revolution, comes improvement. But it seems that is not always the case, especially if the improvement is expected but fails to materialise. For many of Egypt’s Coptic population, things have become worse rather than better. The latest statistics from the Egyptian Union of Human Rights Organizations show that since March, nearly 100,000 Egyptian Copts have left the country with the number possibly rising to 250,000 by the end of this year.

Refugees languish in legal limbo after ASIO ruling

Barbara Miller - ABC
A federal parliamentary committee looking into immigration detention has spent the past two days in Sydney, visiting the Villawood centre and holding a public hearing. The committee has heard of the severe mental health impacts of prolonged detention, in particular for more than 40 people in Australian who've been granted refugee status but can't be released because they have been given an adverse security assessment from ASIO.

Jesus Racing set for big weekend
This weekend sees Andrew ‘Fishtail’ Fisher and the Jesus Racing Team return to form. The season so far has not been great, with Jesus Racing taken out in five races! With a championship place unlikely, Fishtail is excited about winning as many individual races as he can between now and the end of the season.

Spreading the word
Jonathan Creek - Today Tonight
A council is spending ratepayers' money to make Muslims feel more at home, by funding workers to spread the word of Islam. Darebin Council in Melbourne's north is doing the hiring, using a grant from the Federal Attorney General Rober McClelland's Counter Violent Extremism Fund. The successful applicant will be paid $66,000 a year.