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

Barnaby Joyce calls for baby bonus review


Nationals Senator Barnaby Joyce says he is sceptical about the baby bonus and thinks it should be reviewed. Senator Joyce has disputed News Limited newspaper reports he is pushing Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to make an election commitment to double the bonus to $10,000. He says the plan to boost the payment was something the Nationals floated before the last election, but he is not in favour of it.

Drugs & Alcohol

Obama: Drug legalisation not the answer

President Barack Obama says legalising drug use is not the answer to trafficking in illegal narcotics in the Americas, countering a growing chorus in Latin America to discuss decriminalisation as a way to ease deadly cartel violence. Obama says he is open to having a debate about legalisation but he doesn't believe it will lead to an agreement to legalise drugs.


Private schools warn of fee rises

Anna Patty, Kim Arlington - SMH

Some schools could lose up to $3.9 million a year under a proposed national funding system, forcing them to increase school fees, the NSW Association of Independent Schools has warned. Some might be forced to close. The association's executive director, Geoff Newcombe, said he was concerned preliminary data suggested ''serious flaws'' with the new funding model proposed under a review led by the businessman David Gonski.


Pokies give peanuts to charity

Stephanie Peatling - SMH

Charitable and community contributions made by clubs are nothing more than a ''smokescreen'' to disguise profits from problem gambling, according to the first research to look at donations from the clubs industry. A Monash University study has found charitable contributions are ''minuscule'' compared with profits made by clubs and an ''extremely inefficient and high cost method of funding community sporting activities''. It also reveals that the electorates where gamblers lost the most money on pokies were all Labor seats.


Breaking the bonds on marriage

Katherine Murphy - Brisbane Times

Political opposition to gay marriage from Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott is what it is - predictable. But legal experts looking at the current proposals suggest another hurdle besides politics looms. The legislation, if it passes, will almost certainly be challenged in the High Court. Legal experts judged it ''uncertain'' whether the High Court would accept the proposals currently on the table.

Special investigation uncovers bogus marriages

Josh Robertson - The Courier-Mail

An investigation by The Courier-Mail has uncovered bogus marriages allegedly brokered by an Oxley-based immigration agent. Bombay-born Chetan Mashru is also accused of profiteering through applications for refugee and skilled migrant visas students have no prospect of getting. A happily-married father-of-two said Mr Mashru, 32, offered in January to arrange residency for him "if you divorce your wife".

Overseas Aid

Labor will break promise on aid funding to meet surplus, charities fear

Ilya Gridnef - Casey Weekly

Aid groups and charities fear Labor's commitment to a surplus budget will lead to dramatic cuts to overseas development funds that help the world's poorest people. Aid industry sources told The Sun-Herald the federal government had told them that ''nothing is sacrosanct'' in the lead-up to next month's budget. Any cuts to overseas aid or a delay of promised funding would threaten the government's election promise for an increase in overseas development assistance to 0.5 per cent of gross national income by 2015.


ALP sets sights on southern votes with exit of Brown

Daniel Flitton - SMH

Labor is hoping the vanishing ''Brown factor'' will allow it to claw back three or four points on its weak primary vote in southern states. While Labor's woes in Queensland, Western Australia and NSW have dragged down the Gillard government, Bob Brown's decision to depart politics in June has raised hopes of paring back what is seen as an inflated green vote south of the Murray River.

Abbott to blame for surplus urgency: Milne

Julian Drape - Yahoo News

New Greens leader Christine Milne says Opposition Leader Tony Abbott is to blame for creating an environment where Labor feels it is locked into delivering a surplus in the May budget even though economic circumstances have changed. Treasurer Wayne Swan and Finance Minister Penny Wong continued to insist on Sunday that getting the books back in the black was "the right thing to do".

A huge feat to fit Slipper in fleet of chauffeured cars

Steve Lewis - The Daily Telegraph

Speaker Peter Slipper splurged $75,000 on lavish limousine and taxi travel in just 18 months - including $8600 during separate holidays in Tasmania and Western Australia. The man who holds the highest parliamentary office in the nation also spent $1000 on a shopping excursion to Brisbane with his wife - in a clear breach of commonwealth entitlements - an investigation revealed.

Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Hayson's luck runs out as bad debts and love gone wrong lead to court

Kate Mcclymont - SMH

The old saying goes that if you are unlucky in love, you are lucky at cards. But the colourful gambling identity and brothel owner Eddie Hayson can't seem to take a trick in either. The Sydney bookmaker Tom Waterhouse has placed a caveat over Mr Hayson's Parramatta Road brothel, Stiletto. The caveat, which was lodged in January, is for security for the $1 million in gambling debts Mr Hayson ran up with the bookmaker.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

In the country that used to be England

Mark Shea - NCRegister has long been a given that all religions are equally superior to the Catholic Church. Now that the country has largely de-Christianized, that has expanded to the confidence that all religions are equally superior to Christianity. So, for instance, Cameron's Britain takes it for granted that Christians can not only be compelled not to wear crosses, but that if one of them becomes uppity enough to do so, all you have to do is trot out the language about mean Christians who advertise their faith as though it was superior to other beliefs. Whipped Christians, timid about appearing "judgmental", often capitulate to this sort of draconian post-Christian appeal to "judge not, lest ye be judged" and back down.

How the media whitewashes Muslim persecution of Christians

Raymond Ibrahim - Gatestone

While the MSM may report the most frugal facts concerning Christian persecution, they utilize their entire arsenal of semantic games, catch phrases, and convenient omissions that uphold the traditional narrative—that Muslim violence is anything but a byproduct of the Islamic indoctrination of intolerance.


Future of religion questioned as atheists gather

Brigid Andersen - ABC

Religion will be a non-event in Australia within two generations according to the head of the country's atheist foundation.David Nicholls says we are now seeing the tip of the iceberg as more and more people declare themselves non-believers and free thinkers. But he admits religion will always be present in Australia because of indoctrination and because some people "need fairy stories to survive". "Within two generations, religion in Australia will be a non event," he said. The ABC's Religious and Ethics editor and former Uniting Church minister, Scott Stephens, . . . agrees with atheists that religion has no place in politics or education.

Nile party could block Boxing Day trading laws

Josephine Tovey - SMH

A state government push to allow all shops to open on Boxing Day, and to lift other trading restrictions, is in peril because the Christian Democrats, whose vote in favour of the proposals is crucial, say they are unlikely to support changes to existing rules. Several religious organisations have joined unions in lobbying against the government's mooted changes to the Retail Trading Act, which would allow all shops to open on Boxing Day, saying it will harm the wellbeing of families and the community.