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.



Donor Conception & Surrogacy

UK surrogacy mum wants maternity leave

Jared Yee - BioEdge

A British woman who had a child by surrogacy has sued for paid maternity leave. The woman, who remains anonymous, alleging sex and maternity discrimination, has taken her case to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) to decide whether the British laws are consistent with European Union directives. The court is expected to decide later this year. Natalie Gamble, a fertility law expert, said mothers who were pregnant or who have adopted are eligible for maternity leave under the existing law, but women who use surrogates are not covered.

US Supreme Court wrestles with posthumous conception

Jared Yee - BioEdge

Karen Capato gave birth to twins in 2003 – 18 months after the death of her husband, Robert Capato. Are her twins eligible for “survivor benefits”? The US Supreme Court grappled this week for the first time with “posthumous conception”. The Capatos married in 1999, and Robert was diagnosed with oesophegal cancer shortly afterwards. For fear that treatment might render him sterile, the Capatos began depositing sperm at a Florida sperm bank. They had a naturally conceived son in 2001, but they grew increasingly worried as Robert’s condition worsened. They signed a notarised statement that any children “born to us, who were conceived by the use of our embryos” shall be in all aspects their children and entitled to their property.

Drugs & Alcohol

New Tobacco Atlas estimates $35 billion tobacco industry profits and almost 6 million annual deaths

World Lung Foundation

In 2011, according to The Tobacco Atlas, tobacco use killed almost 6 million people, with nearly 80% of these deaths occurring in low- and middle-income countries. When considering 2010 deaths with tobacco industry revenue, the tobacco industry realizes almost $6,000 in profit for each death caused by tobacco. If trends continue, one billion people will die from tobacco use and exposure during the 21st century – one person every six seconds.

Drugs: our man in Cambodia

Nick McKenzie and Richard Baker - The Age

Australian police suspect a nephew of Cambodia's Prime Minister of involvement in a heroin trafficking and money laundering syndicate targeting Australia. The revelations come after The Saturday Age reported that police had uncovered a global crime syndicate importing more than $1 billion of drugs into Australia annually, with connections to government and policing officials across Asia.


Church schools with a valuable lesson

The Sunday Telegraph

This morning and every Sunday morning, parents will have their babies baptised into the Catholic faith. The majority of these families will not be once a week church-goers, but most will be there at Easter and Christmas. They'll baptise their kids because their parents had them baptised and they'll also have another goal in mind: a fine education. The Catholic Church has its challenges but Catholic schools are overwhelmed with demand for places. Today The Sunday Telegraph reveals an ambitious $1 billion expansion plan, under which the church will buy land in NSW to expand its existing schools and build new ones.


One World Government: how now Brown vow

Andrew Bolt - Herald Sun

Bob Brown really does want the One World Government that the far-Right conspiracy theorists once saw everywhere: The Greens’ hero was met with a standing ovation when he delivered the 2012 Green Oration, which called for a single global and democratic parliament. ”Let us create a global democracy and parliament under the grand idea of one planet, one person, one vote, one value,” he said. Senator Brown said he would call on the world’s 100 Greens parties to back his “earth parliament” at the third global Greens conference in Senegal next week.

Illegal logging takes 30 football fields a minute: why isn’t Australia acting?

Bill Laurance - The Conversation

A few years ago a friend of mine, Philip Fearnside, feared for his life. Phil had just flown into Manaus, Brazil, where he is a biologist and well-respected critic of illegal loggers and others who threaten the Amazon rainforest. He’d left his car in the airport parking lot, and he noticed a window was ajar. He was certain he’d closed it tightly. For the next two hours Phil gingerly probed his car, eventually crawling beneath it to check for wires or bombs. He found nothing — a false alarm, he surmised. But Phil was not simply being paranoid. Criminal gangs increasingly control illegal logging, and will kill those who dare to oppose them.


Health group wants floor price for NT alcohol


The peak body for Aboriginal health services in the Northern Territory says Australia should follow Britain's lead and introduce a floor price on alcohol. The British government is planning to curb alcohol-related violence and hospital admissions by making alcohol more expensive. It says it will bring in a floor price of about 60 cents per unit of alcohol.

Improving education for indigenous kids

Edith Cowan University - The Coversation

Less than a third of indigenous students complete high school compared to more than three quarters of their non-indigenous counterparts. Aboriginal education researchers from Edith Cowan University found that while high profile initiatives such as Closing the Gap and the Northern Territory Intervention have worked to close the educational gap, the rate of closure has been too slow.


Who’s afraid of the slippery slope?

Zac Alstin - Mercator Net

There is nothing, in principle, to stop us from arbitrarily allowing same-sex marriage but rejecting polygamy. There is nothing to stop us from arbitrarily restricting euthanasia to very narrow circumstances, if we so choose. The problem is that as our sense of ‘normal’ shifts over time, we may find ourselves wanting to shift those arbitrary boundaries. The only solution is to calibrate our sense of ‘normal’ by non-arbitrary principles, reasons that will not shift.


Record rout exposes Labor crisis as Anna Bligh quits politics

Matthew Franklin and Michael McKenna - The Australian

Julia Gillard has been warned she faces electoral annihilation in Queensland after voters mauled Labor in Saturday's state election, ousting 43 MPs and slashing the party's representation to single figures in its worst result on record.

After Bligh, the deluge: Gillard's own day of reckoning awaits her

Phillip Coorey - SMH

If Julia Gillard were a coal miner, her canaries would not just be dead - they would be dead, buried and cremated. The apocalypse which befell the Bligh government on Saturday has effectively rendered Queensland, which does not have an upper house, a one-party state.

Santorum wins Louisiana primary

Associated Press

Rick Santorum is the winner of the Louisiana Republican presidential primary, defeating GOP front-runner Mitt Romney in yet another conservative Southern state. Santorum is Romney's chief challenger and a former Pennsylvania senator who has won previous contests in Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama. The Louisiana victory was unlikely to change the overall dynamics of the race. Santorum still dramatically lags Romney - the former Massachusetts governor - in the hunt for delegate to the GOP's summertime nominating convention. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia was far behind in the Louisiana vote count.

Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Sex-slave charity head quits amid row

Lindsay Murdoch - SMH

The head of an Australian charity that has been accused of faking the rescue of Thai hill tribe children from sexual slavery has resigned. Former Australian army commando Sean McBride stepped down from the Grey Man charity at the weekend following new claims about the organisation and an investigation into the hill tribes children by Thailand’s Department of Special Investigation.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

Salafist leaders celebrate death of Coptic Pope in Egypt

Compass Direct

As Christians across Egypt continued to mourn the loss of Pope Shenouda III this week, Islamist leaders of the Salafist movement issued a litany of insults, calling the late leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church the “head of the infidels” and thanking God for his death. The vitriol indicated the level of hostility the Salafists, who now make up 20 percent of Egypt’s parliament, have toward Christians. In a recorded message released on the Facebook page of one leading Salafi teacher, Sheik Wagdy Ghoneim, the sheik celebrated the pontiff’s death.


Tim Tebow, the media is not your friend

Ronn Torossian - Chrismanews

A good, God-fearing man, born to Christian missionaries, comes to New York to help the team win. How will he handle the Big City, and will the media give him a chance? It sounds like a sappy made-for-TV movie—but it is the reality that will be playing out in the biggest media market in the world very soon. Tim Tebow is already a marketing sensation—highly visible. He is appealing and one of the most popular athlete-celebrities in the world. Tebow claimed his religious beliefs from his parents, and his entrance into this world was nothing short of a miracle. Tebow’s mother was very sick, his fetus appeared injured, and her doctors were preparing for a stillbirth. They recommended an abortion, but the Tebows’ religious beliefs would not allow it, so they prayed—and now we have the phenomenon known as Tebowing. Home-schooled to impart Christianity, and raised in small town America, he was a high school all-star, playing to the Friday night lights and going to church on Sunday.

Pope: stop worshipping false gods


Pope Benedict has begun a week-long pilgrimage to Latin America by calling on Mexicans to conquer an ''idolatry of money'' that is feeding drug-related violence, and urging Cuba to leave behind a Marxism that ''no longer responds to reality''. The Pope, 84, was met at the airport in Guanajuato state by the Mexican President, Felipe Calderon, the man who ordered troops onto the streets in 2006 to combat drug cartels, triggering a wave of violence in which 47,000 people have died.

Anal HPV, cancer common in men having sex with men

HealthDay News

Men who have sex with men (MSM) are at increased risk for anal human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and anal intraepithelial neoplasia (AIN), according to a meta-analysis published online March 23 in The Lancet Oncology. Dorothy A. Machalek, from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, and colleagues reviewed data from 53 eligible studies to investigate the prevalence and incidence of anal HPV detection, AIN, and anal cancer in MSM.